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Author Topic:   To Good to be True? Intelligently Designed?
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 49 (452859)
01-31-2008 2:27 PM


Has anyone ever noticed the level of perfection to which some of the Biblical stories have been structured? I was reading a book on the literature of the Bible when I came to an example of a story told in Genesis 31. I am not going to bother reading the whole thing (just yet), but I will give the paraphrase offered in this book:

quote:
Genesis 31 tells the story of Jacob's escape from his long servitude to Laban, his father-in-law. As Jacob prepares to depart in secret with his wives and children and all his movable possessions, Rachel steals her fathers teraphim (housold idols) and, unbeknown to her husband, hides them in the baggage. When Jacob's caravan is overtaken along the way by Laban tend days later, Laban reproaches Jacob for leaving unannounced and acuses him of having stolen the idols as well. This Jacob denies, not knowing of Rachel's trick. The tents are searched. Coming finally to Rachel's tent, the two men are, in fact, close to discovering the truth, but Rachel has cleverly concealed the idols in a camel bag and is sitting on it. She apologies for not getting up, claiming that she is in her menstrual period; thus the camel bag is not searched, the idols are not found, and the two men part, with Jacob indignant at having been falsely accused.¹

Now, clearly this story has some heavy dramatic literary elements in it, and employs some clever literary formations to bring about the climax (where Rachel's tent is ready to be searched) as well as the problem (stealing of the teraphim) so much earlier in the story as it being what would bring the drama into focus later on.

So, my proposal is this: that, just like the works of William Shakespeare or Homer, the similar high-level form of the Biblical stories relates them to these other literary forms because they share the same complexity of structure (even if that structure is different). Furthermore, that just like these other forms, they must share the same level of non-literalness, i.e., are not entirely true.

Let me rephrase this in a way that I think Biblical Fundamentalists might better understand, the structures of the stories are too complex/structured to have arisen through the chance occurances that lead to the events in the life of real human beings, and can be better accounted for by understanding that these stories were intelligently designed by their authors.

So, how does the Creo/ID/Fundie react to the use of their old 'so-complex-it-was-designed' argument being applied to the stories they believe to be real and not made up designed?

Jon
__________
¹ Gabel, Wheeler, et. al. The Bible as Literature, 31 (Oxford:2006).

Edited by Jon, : Semantic differences


Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

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Message 2 of 49 (453046)
02-01-2008 10:00 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Phat
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Posts: 14120
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Joined: 12-30-2003
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Message 3 of 49 (453076)
02-01-2008 11:19 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
01-31-2008 2:27 PM


Scholar Jonnachi writes:

the structures of the stories are too complex/structured to have arisen through the chance occurances that lead to the events in the life of real human beings, and can be better accounted for by understanding that these stories were intelligently designed by their authors.

So, how does the Creo/ID/Fundie react to the use of their old 'so-complex-it-was-designed' argument being applied to the stories they believe to be real and not made up designed?

This is no problem for me. The issue is the source of inspiration for the authors of the stories.

In other words...were the stories made up from the authors imagination or was the story a vision or an inspiration?


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teen4christ
Member (Idle past 4345 days)
Posts: 238
Joined: 01-15-2008


Message 4 of 49 (453086)
02-01-2008 11:42 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Phat
02-01-2008 11:19 AM


Phat writes
quote:
In other words...were the stories made up from the authors imagination or was the story a vision or an inspiration?


I'm not sure one could ever show with confidence either way.

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Phat
Member
Posts: 14120
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 5 of 49 (453098)
02-01-2008 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
01-31-2008 2:27 PM


Literature need not be a matter of Faith
Jon writes:

So, my proposal is this: that, just like the works of William Shakespeare or Homer, the similar high-level form of the Biblical stories relates them to these other literary forms because they share the same complexity of structure (even if that structure is different). Furthermore, that just like these other forms, they must share the same level of non-literalness, i.e., are not entirely true.

Assuming that all early authors were writing out of their own imaginations, I could see lumping the Bible in that same category.

IMHO the books authors were inspired through prayer, searching, and communion with an unknown God.

I suppose that in the context of literary analysis, musings about the reality of such a God are irrelevant, or, as teen 4 Christ suggests, "unprovable" one way or another.

Kindly resume the literary critique. :)


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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 49 (453100)
02-01-2008 12:08 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
02-01-2008 12:04 PM


Re: Literature need not be a matter of Faith
IMHO the books authors were inspired through prayer, searching, and communion with an unknown God.

So, from where did God get these stories?

Jon


Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

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Phat
Member
Posts: 14120
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 7 of 49 (453106)
02-01-2008 12:15 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Jon
02-01-2008 12:08 PM


Re: Literature need not be a matter of Faith
Jon writes:

So, from where did God get these stories?

God didn't write the stories. The authors did. God merely infused their literary urges with supernatural pixie dust! :laugh:

Seriously, though...I see your point. The authors work must be judged on human scales. I suppose we can *shudder* consider the Bible as merely7 a great work of human literature...for this discussion, anyway. :o

Edited by Phat, : fixed


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iano
Member (Idle past 486 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 8 of 49 (453107)
02-01-2008 12:17 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
01-31-2008 2:27 PM


So, how does the Creo/ID/Fundie react to the use of their old 'so-complex-it-was-designed' argument being applied to the stories they believe to be real and not made up designed?

Whatever you think about the Spielberg dramatisation, Oskar Schindlers Jews bare testimony to the fact that life is far more complex than fiction.

Especially when God is involved.


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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 49 (453841)
02-04-2008 12:22 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Phat
02-01-2008 12:15 PM


Re: Literature need not be a matter of Faith
God merely infused their literary urges with supernatural pixie dust!

Okay. From where did God get the information?


Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 49 (454078)
02-05-2008 1:59 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Phat
02-01-2008 12:15 PM


Re: Literature need not be a matter of Faith
Care to post here what you put in chat? It would be in everyone's better interest to make these things as public as possible in order to increase the educational benefits that a forum such as EvC offers. Comming here and continuing to conduct all discussion in private defeats the purpose of even registering for an account.

Do you not agree?


Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

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teen4christ
Member (Idle past 4345 days)
Posts: 238
Joined: 01-15-2008


Message 11 of 49 (454086)
02-05-2008 2:20 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Jon
02-04-2008 12:22 PM


Re: Literature need not be a matter of Faith
Jon writes
quote:
Okay. From where did God get the information?

God is by definition the supreme being. Your question is like asking from where did the bird gets its feathers, two wings, two feet, and a beak. That's what it is.

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Phat
Member
Posts: 14120
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 12 of 49 (454345)
02-06-2008 2:13 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Jon
02-05-2008 1:59 PM


Re: Literature need not be a matter of Faith
I don't remember what we were talking about and was it even on topic relevant to this? :eek:

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Raphael
Member
Posts: 135
Joined: 09-29-2007


Message 13 of 49 (456004)
02-14-2008 11:18 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Phat
02-01-2008 12:15 PM


Re: Literature need not be a matter of Faith
Sorry Phat. I disagree.

Phat said:

God didn't write the stories. The authors did. God merely infused their literary urges with supernatural pixie dust!

God didnt "infuse their literary urges with supernatural pixie dust" as you put it. There wasnt any inspiration to it. They just wrote what happened. Just because the circumstances are amost unbelieveable, that doesnt mean they couldnt have happened. Many unbelieveable things combined with unusual circumstances have happened in the past....Hitler mysteriously dying before Berlin was taken....King Richard the LionHeart's dissapearance and reapearance..among others.You cant jsut dismiss what it says because it seems "too good to be true".

Raph


Truth is still Truth, Weather One or a Thousand People believe it.

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Granny Magda
Member
Posts: 2383
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 14 of 49 (456018)
02-15-2008 12:55 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Raphael
02-14-2008 11:18 PM


Re: Literature need not be a matter of Faith
Raphael writes:

Many unbelieveable things combined with unusual circumstances have happened in the past....Hitler mysteriously dying before Berlin was taken....

:eek: That's right! He shot himself, whilst biting into a cyanide capsule, and shortly afterwards, he mysteriously died! Coincidence? Or conspiracy? You decide!

Raphael writes:

...King Richard the LionHeart's dissapearance and reapearance..

Right on! Those people who think that he just got shipwrecked and captured until he was ransomed are just naive! Historians who claim that are either deluded or they're shills working for the CIA. Trust no-one!
The truth is out there! :D


Mutate and Survive

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Raphael
Member
Posts: 135
Joined: 09-29-2007


Message 15 of 49 (456019)
02-15-2008 1:01 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Granny Magda
02-15-2008 12:55 AM


Re: Literature need not be a matter of Faith
Granny Magda writes:

That's right! He shot himself, whilst biting into a cyanide capsule, and shortly afterwards, he mysteriously died! Coincidence? Or conspiracy? You decide!

I was just using that as an example of somewhat "rigged" circumstances. And yes i think it was conspiracy.

Raph


Truth is still Truth, Weather One or a Thousand People believe it.

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