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Author Topic:   Modern Knowledge in the Bible!
defenderofthefaith
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 18 (54531)
09-09-2003 6:02 AM


When people who have been blind since birth are suddenly restored to sight, they have little or no idea what they are seeing. Our brain trains us from babyhood to recognise objects, the dimensions of them, their relations to and distance from each other, etc. If someone had no prior sight he could have had no prior experience of sight, so if he suddenly was able to see, he would not understand what he saw. This is a well-known modern medical condition called 'agnosia'.
Now in the Bible we have Jesus healing a blind man, probably his most common miracle. But this instance is different:
quote:
Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. And he looked up and said, "I see men like trees, walking." Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. (Mark 8:22-25)
Why did that blind man have difficulty understanding what he saw? Why did he see men as walking trees? He had agnosia, of course. This proves the complete authenticity of this account. They had no medical knowledge about such a condition back in the first century when Mark was written, nor would a man with a congenital defect (blind from birth) be healed without eye surgery. So in those days, the only way anyone could have any knowledge of agnosia is for it to have been a real honest-to-goodness miracle! Thus Jesus, by first restoring the man's eyes and then teaching his brain to see, proved he really did make a miracle.
------------------
"God is dead." -Nietzsche
"Nietzsche is dead." -God

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by mark24, posted 09-09-2003 6:14 AM defenderofthefaith has not replied
 Message 3 by Dr Jack, posted 09-09-2003 6:23 AM defenderofthefaith has replied
 Message 8 by sidelined, posted 09-09-2003 6:10 PM defenderofthefaith has not replied

  
mark24
Member (Idle past 5275 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 2 of 18 (54533)
09-09-2003 6:14 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by defenderofthefaith
09-09-2003 6:02 AM


defenderofthefaith,
Why did that blind man have difficulty understanding what he saw? Why did he see men as walking trees? He had agnosia, of course. This proves the complete authenticity of this account.
It "proves" whoever wrote the account appreciated that people who have their sight "restored" understood that they would have difficulty relating to their new sense. It's not that great an insight.
Does the fact he knew what trees looked like, in order to compare men to them without ever seeing one disprove the account? No, of course not!
Ye olde creationist double standard.
Mark
------------------
"I can't prove creationism, but they can't prove evolution. It is [also] a religion, so it should not be taught....Christians took over the school board and voted in creationism. That can be done in any school district anywhere, and it ought to be done." Says Kent "consistent" Hovind in "Unmasking the False Religion of Evolution Chapter 6."
[This message has been edited by mark24, 09-09-2003]

This message is a reply to:
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Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3514
From: Immigrant in the land of Deutsch
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 3 of 18 (54535)
09-09-2003 6:23 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by defenderofthefaith
09-09-2003 6:02 AM


Why is that Jesus being infinitely wise, knowledgeable and powerful didn't just get it right first time?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by defenderofthefaith, posted 09-09-2003 6:02 AM defenderofthefaith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by defenderofthefaith, posted 09-09-2003 6:31 AM Dr Jack has replied

  
defenderofthefaith
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 18 (54536)
09-09-2003 6:28 AM


Mark24, nobody knew much about the senses in the first century, let alone what would happen if sight was miraculously restored. If the account is a fabrication, why would the author show a man who could see but not understand what he saw? No other healing of a blind man does this. Wouldn't an early Christian just believe that the divinity of Jesus would miraculously heal any ailment completely? Why would such an author put in an ailment that Jesus didn't heal completely... but healed twice, once for the eyes and once for the brain?
It's doubtful that anybody except God understood the brain back then.

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by mark24, posted 09-09-2003 8:46 AM defenderofthefaith has not replied

  
defenderofthefaith
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 18 (54537)
09-09-2003 6:31 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Dr Jack
09-09-2003 6:23 AM


Mr Jack,
Because...
Jesus, being infinitely wise, knew that people today would question the truth of His Word. So, he healed the eyes followed by the brain, because He knew that nobody in the first century would know that a man blind from birth could not understand the sense of sight.
Thus, He did this in two stages to prove the story's truthfulness.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Dr Jack, posted 09-09-2003 6:23 AM Dr Jack has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Dr Jack, posted 09-09-2003 6:53 AM defenderofthefaith has not replied
 Message 10 by PaulK, posted 09-11-2003 3:58 AM defenderofthefaith has not replied
 Message 12 by TheoMorphic, posted 10-12-2003 3:20 AM defenderofthefaith has not replied

  
Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3514
From: Immigrant in the land of Deutsch
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 6 of 18 (54540)
09-09-2003 6:53 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by defenderofthefaith
09-09-2003 6:31 AM


Surely, being infinitely wise, he'd know such an explanation would only make a skeptic laugh?
edit: I, not being infinitely wise, make spelling mistakes.
[This message has been edited by Mr Jack, 09-09-2003]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by defenderofthefaith, posted 09-09-2003 6:31 AM defenderofthefaith has not replied

  
mark24
Member (Idle past 5275 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 7 of 18 (54546)
09-09-2003 8:46 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by defenderofthefaith
09-09-2003 6:28 AM


defenderofthefaith,
Mark24, nobody knew much about the senses in the first century,
Utterly irrelevant. Like I say, it doesn't take a great deal of insight to realise that a cured blind man would have trouble recognising the objects he saw, as they are objects he would otherwise only recognise by touch. You need not understand the senses at all to realise this.
And yet according to you (assuming you wish to be consistent) the account contradicts itself, because the man was able to make an analogy of man with trees, which he presumably had no visual experience of, either. Surely if not understanding what a human would look like "proves" the account, then understanding what a tree looks like "disproves" it. You can't have it both ways.
Mark
------------------
"I can't prove creationism, but they can't prove evolution. It is [also] a religion, so it should not be taught....Christians took over the school board and voted in creationism. That can be done in any school district anywhere, and it ought to be done." Says Kent "consistent" Hovind in "Unmasking the False Religion of Evolution Chapter 6."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by defenderofthefaith, posted 09-09-2003 6:28 AM defenderofthefaith has not replied

  
sidelined
Member (Idle past 5988 days)
Posts: 3435
From: Edmonton Alberta Canada
Joined: 08-30-2003


Message 8 of 18 (54607)
09-09-2003 6:10 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by defenderofthefaith
09-09-2003 6:02 AM


"I see men like trees, walking." Why must you conclude that the blind man saw anything at all?The most obvious thing to conclude unless you are biased going in is that he was not cured as he, by his statement, was more along the lines of a man still blind and guessing at seeing something.He believes he will be cured and when the miracle he is awaiting does not happen he saves his belief and meets the social expectations on him by declaring that he does see.
Look at the sentence people.It makes no sense.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by defenderofthefaith, posted 09-09-2003 6:02 AM defenderofthefaith has not replied

  
grumpkin
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 18 (54840)
09-10-2003 10:37 PM


give the ancients some credit here. they may not have known everything we know now about science and medicine but they weren't all complete idiots. even evolution and genetics had been figured out in a primative way before jesus was even born, read lucretius' "on the nature of the universe", his book is more accurate than the theories i've heard from many christians today

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 10 of 18 (54874)
09-11-2003 3:58 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by defenderofthefaith
09-09-2003 6:31 AM


This is just nuts. Firstly the claim that this represents any sort of modern knowledge is clearly false. The man obviously knew what trees look like - therefore he must have had prior experience of sight - and the comparison of men to "trees walking" is more likely a comment on the state of his sight as on any cognitive inability.
Indeed the text goes on to further support such a reading - Jesus applied his hands a second time after that comment and only THEN did the man see clearly.
SO the whole claim to modern knowledge is based on taking a reading that is opposed to the text of the quoted verses. Why do that ? Isn't the Bible as it stands good enough for you ?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by defenderofthefaith, posted 09-09-2003 6:31 AM defenderofthefaith has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by Pringlesguy7, posted 10-12-2003 2:29 AM PaulK has replied

  
Pringlesguy7
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 18 (60589)
10-12-2003 2:29 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by PaulK
09-11-2003 3:58 AM


hope ya dont mind if I pounce on this...but dont you suppose, that if you were blind, and someone was like..."hey, there is a tree" wouldnt you want him to desdribe what it looked like? So the first time you saw it it would register in your brain, hey, a tree...

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by PaulK, posted 09-11-2003 3:58 AM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
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TheoMorphic
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 18 (60591)
10-12-2003 3:20 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by defenderofthefaith
09-09-2003 6:31 AM


Does the bible say that this man was blind since birth? if it doesn't then it's just your guess. If objects were described to him while he was blind why didn't they describe what men looked like?
If you're going to take a COMPLETELY literal interpretation of this part of the bible (along with a couple added assumptions that you make) are you going to be consistent and interpret the entire bible like this? Creationists have said man is fallible... why is your particular interpretation of this passage accurate? Why can't the tree-men be taken as figurative language. Perhaps he was so overwhelmed by finally being able to see men that he had to liken them to some other vibrant, powerful, full of life object that he knew of.
Finally, if this passage is directed at the skeptics of today, why is Jesus (in his infinite knowledge) so unclear? Maybe it is crystal clear to you... but according to you the passage isn't directed at you. You would be a horrible judge to decide if this passage is convincing to skeptics. You've already been convinced of the Bible's inerrancy.
I see this as a fundie sifting through evidence, and only using what supports their position. Why is it that passages in the bible that don't make sense, or contradict one another are deemed as incorrect interpretations by fallible man... while passages that are true (or even passages that have no contradictory evidence) are accepted as interpreted correctly (interpreted by the same fallible man)?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by defenderofthefaith, posted 09-09-2003 6:31 AM defenderofthefaith has not replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 13 of 18 (60613)
10-12-2003 5:52 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Pringlesguy7
10-12-2003 2:29 AM


That doesn't really work. Someone who has never had sight might have an intellectual understanding of what a tree was, but how could they relate that to the sight of a tree ?

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sidelined
Member (Idle past 5988 days)
Posts: 3435
From: Edmonton Alberta Canada
Joined: 08-30-2003


Message 14 of 18 (60670)
10-12-2003 11:50 PM


It is interesting to examine the next passage after the blind man says I see men as trees,walking.
After that he put [his] hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.
Now in this passage Jesus lays hands upon him as though it was obvious that the blind man was not seeing clearly and needed a second "dose" (you would think a miracle of God would work right the first time.) The striking point here is that the man who gained sight does not make a verbal response as to how his eyesight was but rather it is a third party statement who cannot know the truth or the falsehood of the situation.
The unfortunate thing is (as with all supposed miracles there is no test before and after to confirm whether a situation such as blindness) was present before the miracle occured however that is not to say it couldn't have been a miracle. The problem is that there is no way to resolve an issue based on heresay without resorting to trust which could be right or wrong.This is why there is a need for scepticism.I would dearly love to be proven wrong but it can't be on the basis of testimonials.
[This message has been edited by sidelined, 10-12-2003]

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Brad McFall, posted 10-13-2003 12:12 AM sidelined has replied

  
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 5113 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 15 of 18 (60672)
10-13-2003 12:12 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by sidelined
10-12-2003 11:50 PM


Scepticism can give way through doubt by self-determination to a conscious "forgetting" should one have the metaphysics of presence worked out in terms of the materiality that constructed the KORPER but not the flesh would that Matchette's following was taken as true and not a #4 cult."This supplementarity means, according to Derrida, that writing is no longer a mnemotechnical aid to truth; this necessary supplementation is why Husserl call the "body" of writing "a flesh, a body proper (Lieb), or spiritual corpoerality (geistige Leiblichenkeit)" Truth can no longer..."(Lawlor p 116 Derrida and Husserl)
Matchette p 85-6 following - "We have already noted that self-determination and divergence are in inverse relation to each other. As the former increases, the latter decreases. In man this power of self-determination is the maximum in the relative world. Man is thus the least divergent of the relative existents. Man, more than any other relative existent, is capable of determining his own actions, his, to the highest extent, is the ability to elect and choose his actions, his processes, not completley, but more than any other relative entity. For although man is incapable of arresting the physical process of his existence, yet, unlike starts, planets, atoms or electrons, he has it as part of his psychical power in some extent to resist and nullify the natural order. He has the option of conforming to, or opposing this order. Man's freedom is freedom in part to refute, to rebel, to ignore the order of the universe. Man is free to sin, as well as to do good. Because of this freedom, man can, in some measure, determine the state of his own divergence - his freedom empowers him over his thoughts, and these in turn empower and direct his overt activites. On a superficial and obvious level, this is clear enough. Man, through the agency of his "component" ZAU's, is..."

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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