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Author Topic:   Why did Noah's descendents forsake God so quickly?
Izanagi
Member (Idle past 3631 days)
Posts: 263
Joined: 09-15-2009


Message 1 of 74 (529774)
10-10-2009 12:41 PM


I went searching around EvC and found a topic that was similar to this that was started in 2002 and closed later that year for going off topic. However, this is a question that I've had rattling around in my head since having the discussion with ICANT on the nature of time.

Bible literalists believe the Bible to be true. They will argue that Flood did happen because it says so in the Bible. The aftermath of the Flood is that there were eight human survivors: Noah, his wife, their 3 sons and the wife of each son. From this population of eight we balloon to a population of 6 billion in the modern day. Now we know humanity has a dizzying array of various beliefs, many that are polytheistic with extremely few monotheistic faiths. We know that Noah, his wife, their sons and wives were monotheistic and believed in God.

So:
1) Noah, wife, sons, and sons' wives believed in God (knew God to exist).
2) Noah and company experienced an event that showed the awesome might of God.
3) Noah and company are the ancestors of all people.

Now it would seem to me that having witnessed what God did to sinners, they would've made certain that their children, their children's children, and so on down the line would have kept to the faith in God. Yet in only 500 or so years, you have Egyptians with their polytheistic beliefs, the East Asian traditions and Hindus with their polytheistic beliefs, the Norse, Greeks, and Celts with their polytheistic beliefs - the point being that nearly all belief systems around the world subscribe to polytheism. So in 500 years you go from a certain belief in one God to many, many polytheistic faiths.

So how can anyone explain this apparent immediate forsaking of a belief in God whose power was proven just a few hundred years prior? How is it that we can get from eight people with one belief to the variety of beliefs we have today especially if those eight people knew, for a fact, that their belief was true?

Edited by Izanagi, : No reason given.

Edited by Izanagi, : No reason given.


It's just some things you never get over. That's just the way it is. You go on through... best as you can. - Matthew Scott

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Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3913
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Message 2 of 74 (529872)
10-10-2009 9:34 PM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Why did Noah's descendents forsake God so quickly? thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Minnemooseus
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Posts: 3801
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 3 of 74 (529874)
10-10-2009 9:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Izanagi
10-10-2009 12:41 PM


God won the battle but lost the war
I went searching around EvC and found a topic that was similar to this that was started in 2002 and closed later that year for going off topic.

That would be my Assuming the flood was real topic. It actually survived for 2 years, but was probably off-topic for much of that. See the early part of the topic.

I say the flood had no effect beyond a temporary cutting back on the population. Human nature remained the same after the flood, as it was before the flood.

The flood was God's war to eliminate the infidels. Much damage resulted, but the core of the infidels lived on.

Moose

Edited by Minnemooseus, : Add subtitle.


Professor, geology, Whatsamatta U
Evolution - Changes in the environment, caused by the interactions of the components of the environment.

"Do not meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer." - Bruce Graham

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." - John Kenneth Galbraith

"Yesterday on Fox News, commentator Glenn Beck said that he believes President Obama is a racist. To be fair, every time you watch Glenn Beck, it does get a little easier to hate white people." - Conan O'Brien

"I know a little about a lot of things, and a lot about a few things, but I'm highly ignorant about everything." - Moose


This message is a reply to:
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Peg
Member (Idle past 3344 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 4 of 74 (529888)
10-10-2009 10:44 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Izanagi
10-10-2009 12:41 PM


Izanaqi writes:

So how can anyone explain this apparent immediate forsaking of a belief in God whose power was proven just a few hundred years prior? How is it that we can get from eight people with one belief to the variety of beliefs we have today especially if those eight people knew, for a fact, that their belief was true?

for the same reason that Adam, who could speak to God, chose to disobey and for the same reason that Cain, who likely could see the entrance to the garden of Eden, chose to disobey.

We do what we choose to, its called free will.

Noahs decendents knew about the flood but, like Adam and Cain, they chose to do their own thing.

there is also the issue of Satan the devil who deliberately opposes God, He influenced Adam into disobedience in the garden of eden and he exerted that same decietfulness on Noahs decendents.

quote:
Revelation 12:9 So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him.

One thing that Noahs decendents prove though is that the flood really did happen and they did not deny that.

If you look at every nation on earth from the athiest chinese to the australian aboriginies to the american indians, they all have legends involving a worldwide flood with only a few people surviving in a vessel.

So while they did not maintain accurate knowledge of Noahs God, they did continue to believe in and teach their children the story of the flood.

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.


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Izanagi
Member (Idle past 3631 days)
Posts: 263
Joined: 09-15-2009


Message 5 of 74 (529905)
10-11-2009 1:24 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Minnemooseus
10-10-2009 9:48 PM


Re: God won the battle but lost the war
I say the flood had no effect beyond a temporary cutting back on the population. Human nature remained the same after the flood, as it was before the flood.

Maybe. But when you consider the Pyramids of Giza and that construction was greatest during the 23rd Century BC, one hundred years after the Great Flood, that would mean that Noah's descendants, while Noah was alive, forsook God, adopted Egyptian myths, and built some of the Pyramids of Giza all within a hundred years. In one hundred years after witnessing the awesome power of God, people decided to give up that faith and go to polytheism, even while seeing animals and plants multiply around them at miraculous rates. And Noah and his family were the God-fearing people too. It doesn't make sense. How can creationists explain this?

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Minnemooseus
Member
Posts: 3801
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 6 of 74 (529908)
10-11-2009 1:41 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Izanagi
10-11-2009 1:24 AM


Re: God won the battle but lost the war
As in my topic (Assuming the flood was real), I'm approaching this purely as a philosophical/theological question (and it is in the "Faith and Belief" forum - not one of the science forums).

I think any considerations of the worldly reality of the flood are off-topic. I think your message 1 indicated such an intent, and I might suggest that you add an "off-topic disclaimer" note to your message (or should I ?).

Mooseus (non-admin subspecies)


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Izanagi
Member (Idle past 3631 days)
Posts: 263
Joined: 09-15-2009


Message 7 of 74 (529909)
10-11-2009 1:43 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Peg
10-10-2009 10:44 PM


Adam and Cain, they chose to do their own thing.

Adam still believed in God afterwards, so did Cain. You may know God exists and still turn your back on God. They knew God existed and and turned their backs on God, but they didn't start worshiping Shiva.

there is also the issue of Satan the devil who deliberately opposes God, He influenced Adam into disobedience in the garden of eden and he exerted that same decietfulness on Noahs decendents.

But Adam still knew God existed. You know who was a descendant of Noah... Abraham. Why did this small group of people remember God but the others completely forgot? Certainly, Noah and his sons lived long enough to properly chastise their descendants, right?

One thing that Noahs decendents prove though is that the flood really did happen and they did not deny that.

If you look at every nation on earth from the athiest chinese to the australian aboriginies to the american indians, they all have legends involving a worldwide flood with only a few people surviving in a vessel.

So while they did not maintain accurate knowledge of Noahs God, they did continue to believe in and teach their children the story of the flood.


No, Noah and his sons would've proven two things:
1) The Flood happened.
2) The Flood happened because of the awesome power of God.

To say that cultures remembered one and forgot the other is ridiculous, more so when you consider that they forgot the other within one hundred years of the Flood. Think about it - one hundred years after the Great Flood, some of Noah's descendants, probably grandchildren and great-grandchildren, went to Egypt, conveniently forgot all knowledge of God, established a polytheistic religion based on leader worship, and built the Pyramids of Giza. All of this while Noah and his sons are still alive. Does that make sense to you? In this day and age it is extremely hard to change the beliefs of people who don't even know God exists. And Noah's immediate descendants are people who knew for a fact that God existed - imagine how hard it should have been to change their minds. So how can you explain that one hundred years after the Flood most of Noah's descendants completely forgot about God?


It's just some things you never get over. That's just the way it is. You go on through... best as you can. - Matthew Scott
----------------------------------------
This is very similar to the suggestion put forward by the Quirmian philosopher Ventre, who said, "Possibly the gods exist, and possibly they do not. So why not believe in them in any case? If it's all true you'll go to a lovely place when you die, and if it isn't then you've lost nothing, right?" When he died he woke up in a circle of gods holding nasty-looking sticks and one of them said, "We're going to show you what we think of Mr Clever Dick in these parts..." - Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

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 Message 4 by Peg, posted 10-10-2009 10:44 PM Peg has responded

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Izanagi
Member (Idle past 3631 days)
Posts: 263
Joined: 09-15-2009


Message 8 of 74 (529910)
10-11-2009 1:49 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Minnemooseus
10-11-2009 1:41 AM


Re: God won the battle but lost the war
Sorry about the confusion, but I had wanted to understand the creationist argument for the flood in light of the fact that most religions are polytheistic with few religions in the world subscribing to a monotheistic faith and how creationists could account for this.

Essentially, rather than looking at the scientific evidence against the Flood, I am looking at the cultural evidence against the flood.

I'm not sure if that clears it up.

Edited by Izanagi, : No reason given.

Edited by Izanagi, : No reason given.


It's just some things you never get over. That's just the way it is. You go on through... best as you can. - Matthew Scott
----------------------------------------
This is very similar to the suggestion put forward by the Quirmian philosopher Ventre, who said, "Possibly the gods exist, and possibly they do not. So why not believe in them in any case? If it's all true you'll go to a lovely place when you die, and if it isn't then you've lost nothing, right?" When he died he woke up in a circle of gods holding nasty-looking sticks and one of them said, "We're going to show you what we think of Mr Clever Dick in these parts..." - Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

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Rrhain
Member (Idle past 286 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 9 of 74 (529911)
10-11-2009 2:25 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Izanagi
10-10-2009 12:41 PM


Izanagi writes:

quote:
So how can anyone explain this apparent immediate forsaking of a belief in God whose power was proven just a few hundred years prior?

Because the Bible, itself, doesn't remember its previously established facts. This is not surprising considering that it is a text that is cobbled together from multiple authors, redacted by yet others, and edited further by still others.

Specifically, Genesis 9 describes the blessing of Noah's family by god and the establishment of a covenant that god will never repeat his mistake of killing everybody.

But then in Genesis 10, we see the following passages:

10:5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.

Wait a second. "Gentiles"? What gentiles? Where did these gentiles come from? Same place as Cain's wife, I guess. There were no gentiles because the only people on earth were descendants of Noah.

And what was this about different tongues? The tongues won't be split until Genesis 11. This isn't a random comment for Gen 10 repeats it:

10:20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.

10:31 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.

So why is it that just two verses after that last claim of different languages, Genesis goes on to say that "the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech"?

Simple: These texts really don't have anything to do with each other.


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

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Peg
Member (Idle past 3344 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 10 of 74 (529936)
10-11-2009 7:34 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Izanagi
10-11-2009 1:43 AM


Izanaqi writes:

Adam still believed in God afterwards, so did Cain. You may know God exists and still turn your back on God. They knew God existed and and turned their backs on God, but they didn't start worshiping Shiva.

that may be true, but we really dont know how they were worshiping or even if they were worshiping. Shiva came along well after the days of the flood. The explanation i would give is that after the tower of Babel incident (where people were given different languages) they went in their separate directions on the earth and took whatever knowlege they had with them. That knowledge became more and more distorted over the years and the God whom they had heard about thru their great great grandfathers, was given new identities. So if 50 new nations developed after Babel, then after a length of time 50 new dieties were invented and the spin off from that is 50 new ways to worship the original God that they had heard about as children.

Izanaqi writes:

You know who was a descendant of Noah... Abraham. Why did this small group of people remember God but the others completely forgot? Certainly, Noah and his sons lived long enough to properly chastise their descendants, right?

This is where you have to take the above story into consideration. The children of Noah thought they would build a tower that would send them up to the heavens and they could be like God. This was displeasing to him so he confused their languages and they all dispersed. Shem was still alive and witnessed that event. He and his immediate family who still worhsiped Jehovah kept their original language (hebrew) but all the others were given new languages.

This is why Abraham and his immediate decendants spoke Hebrew and worhshiped Noah and Shems God. As a family they remained worshipers while other decendents did not.

Izanaqi writes:

some of Noah's descendants, probably grandchildren and great-grandchildren, went to Egypt, conveniently forgot all knowledge of God, established a polytheistic religion based on leader worship, and built the Pyramids of Giza. All of this while Noah and his sons are still alive. Does that make sense to you? In this day and age it is extremely hard to change the beliefs of people who don't even know God exists.

well they didnt really forget, they just changed the story about him. All the nations have gods...this shows that they didnt forget God. Unfortunately stories get changed over time and this is what the isolated groups of people did. They worshiped the God they had previously known about, but after a couple of generations the purity of their understanding became diluted and the stories changed.

The point is thought that they all still have stories that have very similar themes and characters.

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.


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Peg
Member (Idle past 3344 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 11 of 74 (529938)
10-11-2009 7:48 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Rrhain
10-11-2009 2:25 AM


Genesis 10:5 does not read like that in all bibles.

it looks like you are using a kjv

more modern bibles put it more accurately in line with the original hebrew

NIV "By these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each with its own language

NWT "From these the population of the isles of the nations was spread about in their lands, each according to its tongue, according to their families, by their nations.

Rrhain writes:

And what was this about different tongues? The tongues won't be split until Genesis 11.
So why is it that just two verses after that last claim of different languages, Genesis goes on to say that "the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech"?

Verse 1 explains it in the first few words:
And this is the history of Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham and Ja′pheth. Now sons began to be born to them after the deluge

Moses was giving a condensed history of the children of Noahs sons and where they came to dwell on the earth. Its not a chronological book. Genesis is made up of scrolls. Individual scrolls of many different subjects.

When reading the bible, its not good to be of the mindset that the writers wrote a novel. They didnt write like that. We have put it into book form and we have changed the scrolls into one book with chapters and paragraphs....the orignal writers did not write it to ever be as a book. Perhaps if they did, they would have made the chapters and paragraphs for us to save any confusion.


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iano
Member (Idle past 355 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 12 of 74 (529966)
10-11-2009 11:00 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Izanagi
10-10-2009 12:41 PM


Izanaqi writes:

So how can anyone explain this apparent immediate forsaking of a belief in God whose power was proven just a few hundred years prior? How is it that we can get from eight people with one belief to the variety of beliefs we have today especially if those eight people knew, for a fact, that their belief was true?

A glib, albeit accurate, response would be to point out that God, whilst having children, has no grandchildren. That is to say, all men are born sinners, in rebellion, God hating, blind.. and get to become (or not) children of God. Which applies to the children of those 8 as much as anyone else.

Until such point as they were children of God (if becoming so), those children-of-8 would deny night followed day rather than bow down to the living God. It's not a rational thing - to be influenced by the sure knowledge of parents who witnessed God's action. Rather, it's a spiritual thing, influenced by the nature of man-as-he-is-born.

That nature is sinful; God hating, God denying and no testimony of any parent is certain to change that.

-

As to why the plethora of different beliefs today? On the one hand it points to the ends that sinful man will go to to plaster over the knowledge he has that God exists (a knowledge he has, says God). Made in the image and likeness of God, men are infinitely creative and turn that creativity to the goal of producing (a myriad of) ways in which to suppress their knowledge of God. What material difference a false god, false gods or even no god at all?

On the other hand, those different beliefs aren't really all that different in essence. One core thing they have in common is that mans destiny w.r.t. whatever the god in question happens to be, is in a mans own hands. And that all he need do is fulfill certain requirements the god has in order to achieve a positive position w.r.t. that god.

Which leaves man free to carry on with the rest of his life as he wishes, his god safely compartimentalised away and making a something-less-than-an-absolute call on the mans life. Compare to Christianity, in which God issues a call into each and ever area and moment of his disciples existance. That's not something the non-child of God could begin to countenance, his evil-loving nature (says the Bible) shirking from the light that would be shone onto his evil deeds.

Even as a child of God it's not always fun having that light shone into dark places

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


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greyseal
Member (Idle past 2276 days)
Posts: 464
Joined: 08-11-2009


Message 13 of 74 (529992)
10-11-2009 3:43 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Peg
10-11-2009 7:48 AM


and yet people say "beware the comic-book bible"
more modern bibles put it more accurately in line with the original hebrew

I'll have you know, dear Peg, that some people think the KJV the most reliable bible there is, being based upon the earlier, better Greek rather than vulgate Roman texts that those Catholic idol-worshippers use, and that it is leagues better than "modern" "reinterpretations" (read "perversions") that lesser spiritually-aware like to peddle to those who dearly need to be protected from such.

Sarcasm aside, I've heard the "NIV" called "the comic-book bible" and worse, and that in its attempt to modernise has bastardized the very text it sought to protect, that the scribes used way back when were trained specifically to do their job...and that the newer editions went to the lowest bidder.

Unless you've good reason to think any one particular version better, I'd be surprised if anyone will give up their own for yours (just like I'm convinced you'll never drop NIV for KJV).


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Izanagi
Member (Idle past 3631 days)
Posts: 263
Joined: 09-15-2009


Message 14 of 74 (530030)
10-11-2009 11:33 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Peg
10-11-2009 7:34 AM


well they didnt really forget, they just changed the story about him. All the nations have gods...this shows that they didnt forget God.

No, that would show they did forget. Making a story of one god into many gods in the span of a hundred years is incredulous, especially if it was something so important as religion. If you can argue that those people could change their interpretation of their faith so much so quickly despite knowing someone who dealt with God being alive at the moment, then how can you say that the Bible as it is now is the accurate? What if what is written in the Bible is just as you say - they changed the story?

That knowledge became more and more distorted over the years and the God whom they had heard about thru their great great grandfathers, was given new identities. So if 50 new nations developed after Babel, then after a length of time 50 new dieties were invented and the spin off from that is 50 new ways to worship the original God that they had heard about as children.

Distortions may happen, but the stories should still be similar regardless of how many languages were formed. A single God to a group would still remain a single God, not become multiple ones.

well they didnt really forget, they just changed the story about him. All the nations have gods...this shows that they didnt forget God. Unfortunately stories get changed over time and this is what the isolated groups of people did. They worshiped the God they had previously known about, but after a couple of generations the purity of their understanding became diluted and the stories changed.

They did forget. They went from worshiping one God to worshiping many gods. And even the attributes of the strongest god of the various pantheons don't correlate with the God of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The Greek gods were selfish and arrogant, certainly nothing like God, right? Loki was a trickster. Is God a trickster? The stories are similar in the Mesopotamian region, but go farther and farther out, the stories become very dissimilar. And that's the point, the stories should all be similar. But why aren't they? It doesn't take a generation or two for people to change their beliefs in God so greatly. People today can pass down stories of ancestors on ships sailing to the New World with little distortions, why couldn't they?

I agree that stories do change over time, but not so drastically over so little a time. There has to be another explanation. If you could somehow believe that stories about God could change so much in so short a time, then why can't you believe the Bible could have changed so much?

Edited by Izanagi, : No reason given.


It's just some things you never get over. That's just the way it is. You go on through... best as you can. - Matthew Scott
----------------------------------------
This is very similar to the suggestion put forward by the Quirmian philosopher Ventre, who said, "Possibly the gods exist, and possibly they do not. So why not believe in them in any case? If it's all true you'll go to a lovely place when you die, and if it isn't then you've lost nothing, right?" When he died he woke up in a circle of gods holding nasty-looking sticks and one of them said, "We're going to show you what we think of Mr Clever Dick in these parts..." - Terry Pratchett, Hogfather
----------------------------------------
You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe. - Marcus Cole

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Izanagi
Member (Idle past 3631 days)
Posts: 263
Joined: 09-15-2009


Message 15 of 74 (530033)
10-11-2009 11:50 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by iano
10-11-2009 11:00 AM


As to why the plethora of different beliefs today? On the one hand it points to the ends that sinful man will go to to plaster over the knowledge he has that God exists (a knowledge he has, says God). Made in the image and likeness of God, men are infinitely creative and turn that creativity to the goal of producing (a myriad of) ways in which to suppress their knowledge of God. What material difference a false god, false gods or even no god at all?

If you can argue this, then how can anyone argue the Bible is true and accurate? By your argument, since man tries to erase all knowledge of God, then the Bible would have been one of those things that people would've changed.

On the other hand, those different beliefs aren't really all that different in essence. One core thing they have in common is that mans destiny w.r.t. whatever the god in question happens to be, is in a mans own hands. And that all he need do is fulfill certain requirements the god has in order to achieve a positive position w.r.t. that god.

The similarities in nearly religion is to tell how people should live their lives, but that is the purpose of religion. Beyond that, each religion has very different beliefs. Buddhism has no god and Greek mythology has many gods. Greek mythology had selfish and arrogant Gods whose top guy was horny and adulterous while Odin of the Norse gods was wise. The thing is, the polytheistic faiths supposedly arose from belief in a single God. And within those polytheistic faiths, the gods have many different characteristics, from noble to self-serving. But we know from experience that the stories that people tell don't change so much so quickly. People do tell stories of ancestors traveling on ships to reach the New World. Their stories may change a little here and there, but over a couple of hundred years, it doesn't change so much as to be barely recognizable.

And if you can argue that people can change their faith and aspects of their faith so much, then how can you argue that the Bible is accurate and true? Couldn't it be that some people changed it because, as you say,

quote:
On the one hand it points to the ends that sinful man will go to to plaster over the knowledge he has that God exists

Edited by Izanagi, : No reason given.


It's just some things you never get over. That's just the way it is. You go on through... best as you can. - Matthew Scott
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This is very similar to the suggestion put forward by the Quirmian philosopher Ventre, who said, "Possibly the gods exist, and possibly they do not. So why not believe in them in any case? If it's all true you'll go to a lovely place when you die, and if it isn't then you've lost nothing, right?" When he died he woke up in a circle of gods holding nasty-looking sticks and one of them said, "We're going to show you what we think of Mr Clever Dick in these parts..." - Terry Pratchett, Hogfather
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You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe. - Marcus Cole

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by iano, posted 10-11-2009 11:00 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by iano, posted 10-12-2009 4:42 AM Izanagi has responded

  
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