Understanding through Discussion


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Author Topic:   On The Limits of Human Talent
marc9000
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Posts: 965
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009


Message 1 of 126 (711339)
11-17-2013 4:40 PM


Shalamabobbi and I were having a discussion in this thread on my refusal to accept the many scientific claims that the Bible is wrong because of scientific evidence. I referred to the Biblical instruction of "leaning not on our own understanding", mainly in the way science tries to reduce supernatural acts into something that must comply with current scientific knowledge. I also made this statement;

quote:
I have faith in what the 66 book Bible says, concerning the history it contains, and the guidelines it puts forth for living this life. A significant part of it concerns not always placing trust in the wisdom of humans. It gets the front seat, science gets the back seat. I have no faith in science, unless I see actual evidence, not just what is said by scientific organizations who may have political motives.

shalamabobbi writes:

If you don't mind, would you mind starting a thread in the faith and belief forum to elaborate on the merits of refusing to use our minds to think (leaning upon our own understanding) or why you believe it is something worthy of reward in the hereafter. From my recollection this doesn't sit well with the parable about the talents.

This is the proposal for the thread he asked for. In regard to the parable of the talents, there are actually two, one in the book of Matthew, and one in Luke. They are similar, but not identical, and were told by Jesus at different times for different reasons. The Matthew one was the only one that used the term "talent", and it's important to note that it meant something different from its meaning today. Talent in those days was a measurement of money, not talent as we use the word today.

But his point is noted, and to save time and space I don't feel it important to analyze all the writings and opinions on the above two areas of scripture, at least in this O/P. I agree with anyone who claims that God intends for us to apply ourselves, to do the best we can do, be the best we can be.

By "lean not on our own understanding", I don't think that means to stop short of attempts to learn all we can about the natural world. It means to stop short of using what we learn to put God (or God's word) to the test. To acknowledge that there are some things that humans will never be able to figure out, to the extent to be able to challenge anything the 66 book Bible says.

Faith and belief forum, or "great debate" with shalamabobbi, his or moderators choice.


Replies to this message:
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 Message 6 by Percy, posted 11-18-2013 9:19 AM marc9000 has responded
 Message 7 by RAZD, posted 11-18-2013 10:25 AM marc9000 has responded
 Message 8 by ringo, posted 11-18-2013 11:50 AM marc9000 has responded
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 Message 10 by ProtoTypical, posted 11-18-2013 6:31 PM marc9000 has responded
 Message 11 by shalamabobbi, posted 11-19-2013 2:36 PM marc9000 has responded
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AdminPhat
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Posts: 1907
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004


Message 2 of 126 (711341)
11-17-2013 5:08 PM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the On The Limits of Human Talent thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Dr Adequate
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Posts: 16085
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


(5)
Message 3 of 126 (711343)
11-17-2013 5:26 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by marc9000
11-17-2013 4:40 PM


Well, the obvious problem with this is that you had to use your own limited understanding to decide what is God's word, to decide that it was the Bible, to decide that it should be, as you specify, the 66-book version of the Bible rather than one of the others. You are in fact "leaning on your own understanding" to tell you that.

Having used your frail fallible human intellect to decide to do that, there are certain questions you may never have to think about ever again. But you did have to decide those questions once.

Someone (for example) adhering to a Holy Book saying that the sky is green may indeed ignore reason, which tells him it isn't. "Look!" he cries, "I am not leaning on my understanding! I am using this book rather than my brain! I am not reasoning in the slightest!" --- and indeed no-one could accuse him of presently employing reason or using his brain. But at some point in the past he must have had a reason, good or bad, for deciding to adhere to that book, and must have used his brain, well or badly, to reach that conclusion.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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GDR
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Posts: 4782
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 4 of 126 (711346)
11-17-2013 6:19 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by marc9000
11-17-2013 4:40 PM


marc9000 writes:

By "lean not on our own understanding", I don't think that means to stop short of attempts to learn all we can about the natural world. It means to stop short of using what we learn to put God (or God's word) to the test. To acknowledge that there are some things that humans will never be able to figure out, to the extent to be able to challenge anything the 66 book Bible says.

As a Christian I see two obvious problems with this.

Firstly, instead of making Jesus, the actual incarnate Word of God as confirmed by the resurrection, the primary revealed truth of God as being central to our Christian understanding, you are deciding that a book compiled by many authors in many cultures over many centuries as being the central revealed truth even though the two are often in contradiction. Where there is contradiction it is my contention that we should go with Jesus.

Secondly by choosing faith in Biblical inerrancy over reason, you are left with a theology of salvation by works which again is in contradiction to the teachings of Jesus. Belief in a specific doctrine as a means to salvation is no different that what Jesus criticized the Pharisees for. The Gospel message is about serving God by reflecting His love into the world.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1773
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 5 of 126 (711384)
11-18-2013 8:18 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by marc9000
11-17-2013 4:40 PM


To acknowledge that there are some things that humans will never be able to figure out, to the extent to be able to challenge anything the 66 book Bible says.

That is a difficult position to support given that so many of the things attributed to God in the bible are in direct and obvious conflict with what we have learned about nature. If there is a God then surely his intent is revealed without the possibility of error by the nature of the universe. Giving precedence to the words of the bible over the revelations of nature is like using a compass that has a magnet stuck to it's underside.

It is only when we stop our investigations that we meet the limits of our ability to understand.


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Percy
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Posts: 18307
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 6 of 126 (711391)
11-18-2013 9:19 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by marc9000
11-17-2013 4:40 PM


marc9000 writes:

It means to stop short of using what we learn to put God (or God's word) to the test. To acknowledge that there are some things that humans will never be able to figure out, to the extent to be able to challenge anything the 66 book Bible says.

Just using ICR as an example, aren't Henry Morris, Duane Gish, Andrew Snelling and Steve Austin all examples of Christians arguing that God's word has been put to the test and found true?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by marc9000, posted 11-17-2013 4:40 PM marc9000 has responded

Replies to this message:
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RAZD
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Posts: 19754
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 6.3


Message 7 of 126 (711398)
11-18-2013 10:25 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by marc9000
11-17-2013 4:40 PM


By "lean not on our own understanding", I don't think that means to stop short of attempts to learn all we can about the natural world. It means to stop short of using what we learn to put God (or God's word) to the test. ...

... and when it does put "God's word" to the test, then we should shut down our god-given brains and ignore god-given evidence.

Why is the earth in specific and the universe in general not the "book" of god's creation?

... To acknowledge that there are some things that humans will never be able to figure out, to the extent to be able to challenge anything the 66 book Bible says.

Certainly you will "never be able to figure out" anything you don't investigate.

This is iconic cognitive dissonance behavior -- ignore anything outside your personal bubble of belief and knowledge that challenges those beliefs. Because if you ignore them then you can pretend that they are not true.

Is your belief so weak that you fear to put it to the test?

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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This message is a reply to:
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ringo
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Posts: 16217
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 8 of 126 (711405)
11-18-2013 11:50 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by marc9000
11-17-2013 4:40 PM


When Proverbs 3:5 says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding," I don't think it means we should deny scientific observations. The context has to do with keeping God's commandments, being truthful and merciful, etc.

Proverbs in general is common sense, not an excuse for any nonsense about Bible inerrancy.


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 Message 1 by marc9000, posted 11-17-2013 4:40 PM marc9000 has responded

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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 9 of 126 (711410)
11-18-2013 12:18 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by marc9000
11-17-2013 4:40 PM


It means to stop short of using what we learn to put God (or God's word) to the test.

We are charged and given the capability to test God, Gods word and Gods behavior and morality.

That is the great Raising and gift found in the blessing mankind acquired when they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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ProtoTypical
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Posts: 1773
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


(3)
Message 10 of 126 (711428)
11-18-2013 6:31 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by marc9000
11-17-2013 4:40 PM


God can not be wrong
It is not the word of God that is wrong because that is impossible. If good science appears to conflict with the word of God then it must be your understanding of the word of God that is wrong.
This message is a reply to:
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shalamabobbi
Member (Idle past 922 days)
Posts: 397
Joined: 01-10-2009


(4)
Message 11 of 126 (711488)
11-19-2013 2:36 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by marc9000
11-17-2013 4:40 PM


I guess I need to chip in here.
By "lean not on our own understanding", I don't think that means to stop short of attempts to learn all we can about the natural world. It means to stop short of using what we learn to put God (or God's word) to the test. To acknowledge that there are some things that humans will never be able to figure out, to the extent to be able to challenge anything the 66 book Bible says.

I read a passage in the bible. It's the verse about Eve created from the rib of Adam. I think, (leaning upon my understanding), that this is a wonderful metaphor describing the companionship between husband and wife. She is not taken from his foot to be treated as an inferior partner, but from his side.

Someone else reads that same passage and thinks, (leaning upon their understanding), that a literal interpretation is necessary otherwise we can't trust what the bible says and we're heading down a slippery slope. (I'm not implying this is your interpretation.)

The point is that there is no understanding in the bible itself. Understanding resides in the mind not the book. All we have is understanding. We choose to project it onto the book as we please. And then we get to assert things like, it was given to me of the spirit. I'm not really interested in traveling down that rabbit hole. I'll just note that even if that were true you still lean upon your understanding to arrive at that conclusion.


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Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 12 of 126 (711494)
11-19-2013 3:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by marc9000
11-17-2013 4:40 PM


Surely you don't disregard science because of 6 words in Proverbs!? That's just crazy talk.

Even further, the same Proverb also has this to say:

quote:
13 Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.

and:

quote:
21 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
preserve sound judgment and discretion;
22 they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.

Science *IS* understanding.


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marc9000
Member
Posts: 965
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009


Message 13 of 126 (711621)
11-20-2013 7:03 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by GDR
11-17-2013 6:19 PM


As a Christian I see two obvious problems with this.

Firstly, instead of making Jesus, the actual incarnate Word of God as confirmed by the resurrection, the primary revealed truth of God as being central to our Christian understanding, you are deciding that a book compiled by many authors in many cultures over many centuries as being the central revealed truth even though the two are often in contradiction. Where there is contradiction it is my contention that we should go with Jesus.

Hi GDR, I was referring to things that are proclaimed by secular science, mainly that the book of Genesis is wrong. Jesus never said that Genesis was wrong. What examples do you have where Jesus would agree with something today's scientific community says, as they challenge what the Bible says?

Secondly by choosing faith in Biblical inerrancy over reason, you are left with a theology of salvation by works which again is in contradiction to the teachings of Jesus.

You're equating faith with works? I don't see any similarity. I also don't see Jesus promoting comprising the Bible with human endeavors. Do you have some scripture to correct me with?

Belief in a specific doctrine as a means to salvation is no different that what Jesus criticized the Pharisees for. The Gospel message is about serving God by reflecting His love into the world.

The "world" goes to a lot of trouble to downplay everything about Christianity, including all of Jesus' teachings. If you believe Jesus would favor just shrugging it off, continuing to love them, and condone what they do, well, I think much of his teachings suggest otherwise.


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marc9000
Member
Posts: 965
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009


Message 14 of 126 (711622)
11-20-2013 7:06 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Percy
11-18-2013 9:19 AM


Just using ICR as an example, aren't Henry Morris, Duane Gish, Andrew Snelling and Steve Austin all examples of Christians arguing that God's word has been put to the test and found true?

--Percy

I'd have to see some exact quotes, in their related context, before I could comment on that.


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 Message 6 by Percy, posted 11-18-2013 9:19 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Percy, posted 11-21-2013 8:37 AM marc9000 has responded

  
marc9000
Member
Posts: 965
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009


Message 15 of 126 (711624)
11-20-2013 7:25 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by RAZD
11-18-2013 10:25 AM


marc9000 writes:

By "lean not on our own understanding", I don't think that means to stop short of attempts to learn all we can about the natural world. It means to stop short of using what we learn to put God (or God's word) to the test. ...

... and when it does put "God's word" to the test, then we should shut down our god-given brains and ignore god-given evidence.

No, we should take a second look, ask ourselves who found this evidence, what their motives were, and what use the evidence actually is.

Why is the earth in specific and the universe in general not the "book" of god's creation?

Because it wasn't created in the same way it is sustained. When we try to use the laws that it is sustained by to explain how it was created, we start making small errors that quickly snowball into really big errors.

Certainly you will "never be able to figure out" anything you don't investigate.

A lot of things humans go to a lot of trouble to investigate are a complete waste of time. Life is short, there are a lot of important things to do that go undone because the scientific community is so busy chasing reinforcement to prop up its atheism.

This is iconic cognitive dissonance behavior -- ignore anything outside your personal bubble of belief and knowledge that challenges those beliefs. Because if you ignore them then you can pretend that they are not true.

Like the scientific community does with Intelligent Design. Like global warming alarmists do with economic knowledge of the catastrophe that will happen if their brand of 'licence, regulate, restrict, prohibit' is put into place?

Is your belief so weak that you fear to put it to the test?

No, it's strong enough that I don't have to test it, the same way you're afraid to test yours with something other than Darwinism.


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