Rather than an innate part of intelligence, it could be an innate part of free will. One of the big doctrines in most Monotheologies is Free Will. If there really are things we need to do in order to make it into whatever Paradise exists, and God wants us to be more than automatons, then we must have the ability to do things contrary to that goal. God would then, perhaps, feel the need to try and convince us to do the right thing because he doesn't want to force us to do so. His way of convincing, whether the most effective or not, is to threaten us.
Its not even just threatening us, its threatening some of us. Many people go there entire lives without hearing about God. So in reality, it cant be the most effective means to get people to do what is right. Now, had he revealed himself to all people, the threats my have merits as being the most effective way to get people to do what is right.
Like it or not, this is just the way things are. Lots of religious writings contain this kind of language. Religious texts can say, “wrath of God,” when neither God nor anybody’s temper is involved, and still be teaching a correct principle. Religion is not science, and was never meant to be: scriptures are not scholarly textbooks, but practical handbooks designed for average people, who don’t care about scientific technicalities.
First, average people do not have the ability to properly decipher the religious texts. Most simply listen to what their leaders(priests, pasteurs, etc) tell them. The great number of translations available and potentially conflicting texts make it almost impossible for your average person to understand the books. Furthermore, when the Bible was written your average person could not read(and this continued for about 80 percent of the Bibles current life time) . Well learned men who went to school(and for a large part of the history the church was the only place you could get an education at) were the only ones literate, especially in Latin. To say the Bible was written for the average person is completely false. It was written for the elite priests and leaders in societies and even today requires in depth reading and reasoning to reach many conclusions people believe(most of which without the slightest idea how their church got there)
Second, "scholarly books" as you say are written explicitly to avoid ambiguity and misinterpretation. If you leave texts open to interpretation, people will interpret it the way they want, not necessarily the correct way. And there is no reason to favor one interpretation over another(other than personal preference).
Third, If an all powerful being was inspiring the authors of the books for people(particularly one intended for the elite in society) to use as a guide, he would write it as clearly and outright as possible. Half speaks and interpretations of words in manners they don't mean in normal language(eternal) would not accomplish this objective. Unless God is intentionally trying to screw with people, he would have the Bible say what he means so that people can't simply wiggle in what they want it to say(even subconsciously, confirmation bias is very important to avoid).
Essentially, it would not be a very useful book if ever time someone encounters something they have an issue with, they can shift the entire meaning and interpretation of the passages.
Hillbilly, why did you cut out every part of my post that explained the answers to your questions? I put my claims first, the warrants immediately after. If you would include my entire post instead of editing out the parts that explain things, you would understand where I am coming from. The way you quoted my posts is highly deceptive and inaccurate.
Really? What do you base this statement on, personal experience? Are you drawing you conclusion based on your own inability to properly decipher the religious texts. ?
I will admit I should have sourced this bit, I apologize. I had assumed there was a general agreement on this point. "Only 16 percent of Christians polled said they read the Bible daily." and we are just talking about reading a copy of the Bible, not even comparative translations and looking at the original language.
This is the false statement. The fact that individual humans have attempted ( somewhat successfully) to deny access of the scriptures to the general population has no relationship to the intent of the writers.
You entirely dropped my main argument, which is that when the Bible was written and for the majority of its lifetime, the average person was not literate. Its not a question of denying scripture, its a question of whether the people in question could actually read. They certainly could not when the scripture was written and the authors would have known that. It is extremely egocentric to think the Bible was written specifically for your generation or for the last hundred years of the industrialized world. The only ones able to read for most of the Bibles history was the leaders and priests. And obviously literacy is a prerequisite for reading the Bible. But as I said earlier, I already pointed this out in my original post, you just chose to ignore it.
And this does not even account for the fact that among those who could read, the number who could read well enough to understand literary devices(Metaphors, Similies, Diction) and had access to original source text would be extremely small.
Try taking a breath and thinking. Carefully. This wiggling and shifting is a result of human free will. My Grandfather used to say " It's a poor carpenter who blames his tools." To blame the writings for the human attempts to make them fit their own desires is very much like blaming the hammer cause you can't hit the nail.
I am not blaming the writings for human attempts to make them fit their desires, I am blaming people who try to take a highly metaphorical stance on the Bible. If the Bible is written to mean things other than what it says, then it provides allot of opening for people to shift the meaning to what they want. A literal interpretation is the only way to avoid people bringing their own viewpoints into the matter. If the word "eternal" means something different in the Bible then in almost every other instance of its use,then it causes issues with interpretation. Its no longer a good guiding our behavior if by necessity we have to bring our own opinions on the matters in question. Its no longer guiding us then. We would just be guiding it to say what we already believe.
The intent, I believe, is to allow humans to follow GOD because they WANT to, not because they HAVE to. You have this choice as well. You don't need to put so much effort into making excuses, just make your choice and live ( and die) with it.
Fully understanding a situation in no way limits their free will. People knowingly commit wrong actions all the time. All knowledge does it better inform you of the consequences. And from my understand, informing people in the right way to live is the purpose of the Bible. If people are allowing different interpretations of words as simply as "eternal", then they aren't gaining knowledge from the Bible, they are simply affirming the beliefs they already have.
Oh, I'm not questioning your version of the history of the "bible" so much as your conclusions as to the "intent" of the writers.
The history of the "bible" summed up in Hill Billyese: It's a collection of writings, selected from a larger collection of writings that are likely based on a collection of oral histories and such. During most of this history most folks couldn't read or write.
Hillbilly, you seem to be grasping part of my argument. The Bible is a collection of writings and during this time most folks couldn't read. The part you are missing is my conclusion from this. If most folks could not read the bible when it was being written, then clearly the bible was not intended for most folks. It was intended for those who could read. That would be the priests and royalty of society. The bible was not written with the "average" person in mind, because nothing was written for the average person in this time period.
I had wanted to make an argument for modern day context as well as the context of the authors. But I am willing to drop the modern day argument if you want to focus on the context the authors lived in. Please explain how the authors intended the book for the average person when the average person was incapable of reading the bible.