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Author Topic:   Not The Planet
Butterflytyrant
Member (Idle past 3047 days)
Posts: 415
From: Australia
Joined: 06-28-2011


Message 237 of 306 (642179)
11-26-2011 11:33 AM
Reply to: Message 216 by purpledawn
11-22-2011 11:59 AM


Re: Universal or Local Flood?
Hello PurpleDawn,

The Torah is not an historical or science document and altough BFT seems to agree that the story should not be jammed into historical or scientific categories; he cannot seem to grasp the idea that the storytellers told stories concerning their culture and environment and not the planet.
...
BFT shared verses he could probably accept as describing a local event.
...
But he seems to think the local theme loses ground because of the next verses.

Your comments regarding what I can and cannot grasp that you are referring have been taken out of context.

What you did not mention here is that I was making these comments while in conversation with IamJoseph.

The Torah is not an historical or science document...

Try telling that to IamJoseph. He has stated on many occasions that the Old Testament is a more historically and scientifically accurate text than any other text in existence. He claims that over 70% of the text has been proven accurate.

...and altough BFT seems to agree that the story should not be jammed into historical or scientific categories;...

This is my position.

...he cannot seem to grasp the idea that the storytellers told stories concerning their culture and environment and not the planet.

I fail to to grasp no such thing. You have made an assumption and your assumption is incorrect.

The conversation that I was having with IamJoseph has lead you to this assumption.

When it suits IamJoseph he states that the Old Testament text is written by Moses and divinely inspired by God. Quotes attributed to God can be taken as the exact word of God.

When it suits IamJoseph he states that the Old Testament was written by ignorant bronze age nomads and needs to be taken as such.

Those two positions are very different and cannot exist simultaneously.

quote:
Genesis 6:17
And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the land (eretz), to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the land (eretz) shall die.

All, every, and under heaven are terms that were still used to refer to local events.


This depends on what you believe regarding the authorship of the Old Testament. This verse supposed to be a quote from God himself. If you believe that the words contained in the Old Testament are the actual words of God taken down by Moses, then you have to believe that this a direct quote from God himself. If this is a quote directly from God, then he would have known about the entire Earth. God would know what exists under heaven. God would know that all of the area under heaven is all of the Earth. Unless you believe that God was unaware of some parts of the creation attributed to him?

If you believe that this text is indeed the scribblings of a bunch of bronze age nomads then I agree that any, all, earth etc can mean only the local area. Of course if you do believe that this text is the scribblings of a bunch of bronze age nomads then it has as much credibility as the legends of the Norse or the legends of the Greeks.

Also, the debate that you have taken your opinion of my comments from specifically discussed the King James Version of the Bible. In the above quote, you have not provided a copy of the text being discussed, you have provided a quote that suits your arguement. Poor form on your part there.

It is an interesting arguement regarding Lots daughters. So you use a quote attributed to a bronze age nomad to support the idea that bronze age people did not know about the Earth as a planet. But you also use a quote attributed to God to support the same arguement. Do you think that your God was as ignorant as a bronze age nomad or do you believe that the text was written by superstitious, ignorant nomads?

Why is it that religious people push a certain part of the text until it becomes impossible for them to do so. Then they smugly advise everyone that it needs to be taken in context or nobody takes that passage literally etc etc etc.

Can you let me know which parts of the bible we are taking literally today and which parts are to be taken in a specific context?

Once you have these two groups, see if you can find 2 other christians who agree with you.

If you want to disagree with a position you believe I support, how about mentioning it in that thread. At least tthat way, if you get it as wrong as you have here, at least I can correct you in the right thread.


I could agree with you, but then we would both be wrong

Butterfly, AKA, mallethead - Dawn Bertot

"Superstitions and nonsense from the past should not prevent us from making progress. If we hold ourselves back, we admit that our fears are more powerful than our abilities." Hunters of Dune Herbert & Anderson

2011 leading candidate for the EvC Forum Don Quixote award


This message is a reply to:
 Message 216 by purpledawn, posted 11-22-2011 11:59 AM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

  
Butterflytyrant
Member (Idle past 3047 days)
Posts: 415
From: Australia
Joined: 06-28-2011


(1)
Message 278 of 306 (642363)
11-28-2011 12:41 AM


If not the planet then what?
The definition of the words used is not the only way of trying to establish what a writer means. If a word or phrase can be taken in two or more ways, you need to look at the context, the intention of the writer and the purpose of the story to help decide what the writer means. It is also handy if there is another part of the story that discusses the same issues and comparing the two.

There is a story in Genesis where regional destruction is discussed. It is the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is Genesis chapter 19 verses 12 - 29.

Here is the text -

quote:
12 Then the men said to Lot, ‘Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city—bring them out of the place. 13For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.’ 14So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, ‘Up, get out of this place; for the Lord is about to destroy the city.’ But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

15 When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, ‘Get up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or else you will be consumed in the punishment of the city.’ 16But he lingered; so the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and left him outside the city. 17When they had brought them outside, they* said, ‘Flee for your life; do not look back or stop anywhere in the Plain; flee to the hills, or else you will be consumed.’ 18And Lot said to them, ‘Oh, no, my lords; 19your servant has found favour with you, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life; but I cannot flee to the hills, for fear the disaster will overtake me and I die. 20Look, that city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!’ 21He said to him, ‘Very well, I grant you this favour too, and will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22Hurry, escape there, for I can do nothing until you arrive there.’ Therefore the city was called Zoar.* 23The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar.

24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulphur and fire from the Lord out of heaven; 25and he overthrew those cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

27 Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord; 28and he looked down towards Sodom and Gomorrah and towards all the land of the Plain, and saw the smoke of the land going up like the smoke of a furnace.

29 So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain, God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had settled.


That story is a story of regional destruction. It can be taken in no other way. The are to be destroyed and the living things to be destroyed are clearly defined.

There is no mention of destoying all land or the land under heaven or all things that breath etc etc etc. Now campare that part of Genesis with the text of the Flood of Noah - Genesis chapter 7 verses 17 - 24

quote:
The flood continued for forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. 18The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters. 19The waters swelled so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered; 20the waters swelled above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. 21And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all human beings; 22everything on dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. 23He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, human beings and animals and creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark. 24And the waters swelled on the earth for one hundred and fifty days.

Even if you repleace the word earth with land, dry land etc it still reads very, very differently to the regional destruction story of Lot.

The story of Noah and the story of Lot cannot be read to both discuss regional disasters. The wording and general feel of the text is extremelly different.

The knowledge and intent of the writer needs to be discussed as well.

Does the writer believe that there is no land on the other side of the mountains he can see? If the writer thought that the land went on forever in all directions, or came to an end at the horizon, they could still use the words 'all land' to refer to all of the land. (edit - Granny Magda covered this well in Message 260)

When the writer is writing 'all land', do you think he means the land up the the side of the mountain that he can see but not the land on the other side?

Just because the writer did not know what nations lay outside their knowledge does not mean that he/she did not include them in their description of 'all land'. All land could very well include all the known and unknown land. Everything.

Is it reasonable to assume that the writer, when writing of the power of their god, did actually mean the entire world (including the lands they could not see)?

It seems that the words used could be used to describe the entire planet, or a certain region on the planet.

Which interpretation you choose to see as more plausible seems to be directly related to the world view or agenda you are affiliated with.

Edited by Butterflytyrant, : No reason given.


I could agree with you, but then we would both be wrong

Butterfly, AKA, mallethead - Dawn Bertot

"Superstitions and nonsense from the past should not prevent us from making progress. If we hold ourselves back, we admit that our fears are more powerful than our abilities." Hunters of Dune Herbert & Anderson

2011 leading candidate for the EvC Forum Don Quixote award


  
Butterflytyrant
Member (Idle past 3047 days)
Posts: 415
From: Australia
Joined: 06-28-2011


(1)
Message 303 of 306 (643055)
12-04-2011 10:34 AM


Summation
This has been an interesting topic to debate.

It is most interesting to see how people read a certain text in way that supports their particular world view. I can often (usually at a stretch) see where a proponent of a viewpoint is coming from. However, there is often little or no real reason for the text to be interpreted in the way they suggest. The only reason to accept an unusual interpretation is to support a particular desired reading.

I am an athiest. I dont have any particular need for this myth to read in a particular way.

I cannot think of any reason why a bronze age author, when trying to describe the power of their God, would not mean to state that he destroyed the entire world. If I was writing a story to attempt to illustrate my gods power, I would write about him/her/it destroying everything. Destroying everything that existed on the surface of the earth. Killing everyone he had created. Every man woman and child. Every animal even. Now that is power. Even if I was not aware of the dimensions, extent or shape of the world I live on, I would say my god is capable of destroying everyone and everything.

Why would an author, writing about a fictional figure performing fictional actions feel the need to reduce the story to fit their particular geographical area? What is the point of the story if it was only meant to be a weak little flood that wet a few farms and killed some cattle, sheep and goats. Woop-de-doo.

There are other 'God/s flexing their muscle' stories from the area that do discuss local floods and local destruction as well as destruction that could be read as meaning all of the world. Some in this debate have pointed out that the authors would have known about these other stories. Why, if they knew about these stories, would they write a story where their god is equal or lesser in power than the other local deities? Would they not make their god MORE powerful than the others? Why make their god an equal? or worse yet weaker in power?

It just does not make sense.

There are plenty of myths and legends that discuss the destruction of the planet earth. The flood of Noah is considered by the vast majority to be a worldwide flood designed to kill every human being and every animal not on the ark.

I am a comic book fan. At least once a month I read about some villian who wants to destroy the world. Regularly, I read about a villian who wants to destroy the universe.

Current writers of fiction do not know the extent or the shape of the universe. Yet they regularly discuss the threat of destruction of the universe.

Galactus threatens to destroy the universe in Fantasic Four comics. When Stan Lee wrote this comic, is it more likely that he meant the entire universe, the bits he knows about and the bits he does not know about, regardless of what shape it is, or do you think he actually only meant the known universe in the 1980s?

Thor saved us all when Thanos tried to destroy the universe in the late nineties. Did the author mean the whole universe or just the known universe?

Fry saved the universe from giant brains in Futurama. Did the writers mean the whole universe, or just the known universe?

My girlfriend pointed out that Dr WHo has saved the universe at least half a dozen times to her knowledge. Do you think that people watching the Doctor in episodes in the far future will think that the writes meant for him to only be saving the known universe?

there are many more examples (i am pretty sure Kirk saved the universe in Star Trek too) but I believe I have made my point.

The argument that the writers of the story would not have known about the entire world so could not have meant the entire world is ridiculous.

If you are a bible literalist then the words are the divine word of God as dictated to Moses. They are direct quotes from God and he would have known about the entire world since he was its creator.

If you believe that these stories are mere fiction, then it makes no sense for the story to refer to a small region to be flooded. It makes no sense because it makes the God in the story weaker than other local gods. It makes no sense because the author/s discuss the destruction of all of the land under heaven. Not the destruction of all land under heaven but restricted to Noahs neighbourhood therefore only a tiny bit of the land under heaven. It makes no sense because the author/s discuss the flood destroying all living things that draw breath. Not all living things that breath in the local area.

If it is the word of God, then it refers to the whole planet.

If it is a work of fiction written with the intent to display the power of a God, then there is no reason to believe that the author/s did not mean all land (regardless of the shape).

From what I can tell, the only real reason someone would want to push the idea that it was a regional flood is because they realise that they cannot fight against the proof that there was no global flood.

Creationists cant change the text, so they have to change their interpretation of the text.

This seems to happen whenever a particular religious position is overcome by science and reason.

If you can't beat science and reason with the current interpretation of the text, reinterpret the text. That way you can never be wrong. Just right over and over again.

Eventually creationsists will paint themselves into a corner.

The text says what it says.

Its a story.

Quit trying to shoe horn it into current knowledge to validate your world view.

Edited by Butterflytyrant, : No reason given.

Edited by Butterflytyrant, : No reason given.

Edited by Butterflytyrant, : No reason given.


I could agree with you, but then we would both be wrong

Butterfly, AKA, mallethead - Dawn Bertot

"Superstitions and nonsense from the past should not prevent us from making progress. If we hold ourselves back, we admit that our fears are more powerful than our abilities." Hunters of Dune Herbert & Anderson

2011 leading candidate for the EvC Forum Don Quixote award


  
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