PDA

View Full Version : How Outdated is The Bible?


skanky~skanketta
Dec 30th, 2003, 08:13 AM
how outdated is the bible?i mean, i was just wondering. what are your thoughts on this. can soebody please give me reasons WHY you believe its outdated?besides that bit about homosexuality.

Rothes
Dec 30th, 2003, 08:16 AM
It's not outdated, Not to Orthodox Christians or Christians for that matter, you have to decide yourself whether or not to partake in it's prophecy, People who don't have a relationship with God will find it Outdated because they have no interest or don't see sence in the Bible. This is when We as Christians need to Evangelacise together and spread the word of the gospel to people.

Rothes
Dec 30th, 2003, 08:21 AM
Looking at Muslims and Jews, Ask one of them and they would not say their Talmud or Koran to be Outdated (Apart from Secular Denominations) Ask any ordinary European and they will might aswell say that Parts are, It does just go to show that a Stronger Relationship with the Lord and Jesus is in need!!
Hellajulah :angel:

skanky~skanketta
Dec 30th, 2003, 08:29 AM
you see rothes. u shoud be BANNED from this thread!:devil:

seriously though i disagree with what u said. i do believe in god. wholeheartedly. but not the rituals, like going to church. i mean, whats the point. its filled with a bunch of hypocrites anyway. what is the prophecy?

the only reason i have that the bible is outdated is the bit about homosexuality. i cant use that in an argument with my folks cuz i'm not gay. but lets look at this. in some cases homosexuality is genetic. god created everyone right?then how come there are a select few who are gay?how are people supposed to help themselves when it comes to attraction?(to the same or different sex)

irma
Dec 30th, 2003, 08:34 AM
It's a historybook so it's supposed to be outdated.

That said people can still learn a lot from what Jesus said and the meaning of his stories of course.

Socrates and Plato are outdated too and still people read and learn from their work too.

skanky~skanketta
Dec 30th, 2003, 08:38 AM
i do agree that there are plenty of things in there that are still totally not outdated, but i want to know about the topics that in those days were taboo but accepted today.

~ The Leopard ~
Dec 30th, 2003, 08:40 AM
Weeeell, you can always reinterpret holy books to bring them into line with modern science and social ideas.

If you mean when did it get into trouble, if taken literally, I'd say 1610.

Rothes
Dec 30th, 2003, 08:40 AM
you see rothes. u shoud be BANNED from this thread!:devil:

:angel: Hellajulah

seriously though i disagree with what u said. i do believe in god. wholeheartedly. but not the rituals, like going to church. i mean, whats the point. its filled with a bunch of hypocrites anyway. what is the prophecy?

Church is the house of God, it's a place where you and other Christians can devote your time to God making that relationship much much stronger, It's a place of Solitude and Prayer where devoting as much time to God can be beneficial, Christians don't have to go to Church in order to become a Christian, they can practice solitary at home, or at work, they can practice with their family. And Church is not concentrated with Hypocrites :fiery: :fiery: :mad: It's filled with people who share the same relationship with God as you do, It's people who go to church as it is a duty to their faith in God, Many people go to church to reach through to God via the Priest or Bishop or Heiarchy of the Church, it is truly a wonderful experience :

the only reason i have that the bible is outdated is the bit about homosexuality. i cant use that in an argument with my folks cuz i'm not gay. but lets look at this. in some cases homosexuality is genetic. god created everyone right?then how come there are a select few who are gay?how are people supposed to help themselves when it comes to attraction?(to the same or different sex)

Gods word was not meant to say that, There is people in our world who will make judgement out of something in order to contradict what the Bible tells us, It is usually flawed or that they know very little of what they are talking about, Don't listen to them they hate God!!!

Rothes
Dec 30th, 2003, 08:43 AM
Weeeell, you can always reinterpret holy books to bring them into line with modern science and social ideas.

If you mean when did it get into trouble, if taken literally, I'd say 1610.

Then it wouldn't be deemed as Gods Word Right? Only someone elses words, and now I pull a "cult" out of my Black Majic Hat tada ! It's a Scientoligist :) and we can't forget the Kingdom Hall :)

Rothes
Dec 30th, 2003, 08:46 AM
btw yes there is things In the Bible that can be questionable, So I am not completley brainwashed ;) :)

~ The Leopard ~
Dec 30th, 2003, 08:49 AM
Good lord, reinterpretating the Bible in the way I described is exactly what the Catholic Church has done in the case of Galileo. From finding him "vehemently suspected of heresy" in the 1620s it has now apologized in the early 1990s for the way it treated him. It has also more or less adopted his doctrine of biblical interpretation, enunciated in his (privately circulated) Letter to Empress Christina. That's a doctrine about accommodating science, of course, but what I stated in my post was perfectly orthodox Catholic theology in that respect. :angel:

skanky~skanketta
Dec 30th, 2003, 08:52 AM
ok people. instead of the lectures, which are actually quite eye-opening. can u please list down the things that ARE questionnable?thats what i want.

~ The Leopard ~
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:02 AM
But it's a problem, VCR. There are too many interpretations of the Bible, and too many theories as to how you should even go around interpreting it.

If you read it literally, it suggests that the sun goes around that the earth, that the world was created in about the year 4000 BC (depending on how exactly you add up the genealogies), that there was a flood all over the earth somewhat later with waters many thousands of feet high (high enough to cover Mt Ararat until the floods receded), etc, etc. Also, the various gospel accounts of Jesus life, taken literally, cannot be reconciled.

All this and more can be dealt with if you don't take it literally.

Greater problems are the support for genocide against the Canaanites, etc, and some of the very anthropomorphic ways God is depicted in the Old Testament (e.g. he enjoys getting drunk). Then there's Jesus claim that he would come again during the lifetime of his followers, which never happened.

But reinterpretation can explain any of this. Any sophisticated religion can adapt to those sorts of difficulties through reinterpretation. :shrug:

moby
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:05 AM
what i'm more interested in is why pple believe in certain religions and not others...

why isnt buddha as real a religion to the christians for instance?

skanky~skanketta
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:06 AM
ok leopard. tell me a few things that YOUinterpret in todays day that is seen as wrong in the bible.

skanky~skanketta
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:07 AM
buddha is a person. i think u meant buddhism.;)

i'm not too sure. could it be cuz it was rbought up by a person?

moby
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:09 AM
yeah i do mean buddhism...
i was going to write why christians don't think buddha is as real a god as the christian God... but i decided to rephrase it and forgot to go back to change buddha to buddhism

Rothes
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:14 AM
Theres no need to go over excessive Leopard,
My Lady Friend Veronika wants simple Ideas that which were proven and stated immoral in the Bible or to the extent a sin and now questionable in our life that we live presently.

*Homosexuality
*Abortion
*The Holy Grail
*Limbo
*Hell
*Abortion

More recent topics that are not stemmed throughout the Bible but do compare quite contrasting to Christians are that of

*Cloning
*Same Sex Marriages (Was notified on both Testaments)
*Euthanasia/Assisted Death
*Same Sex Parenting

I could go on for Ages and greatly go deep into situations, But these are what effecting us predominatly now in society, I hope this helps Veronica.

moby
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:15 AM
rothes, can you elaborate on the parts about:
limbo
hell, and
the holy grail?

~ The Leopard ~
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:15 AM
Well, I'm an atheist myself. I'm just saying that there is no knock-down argument against the bible or other holy books.

But we do have very strongly corroborated scientific theories that the earth actually goes around the sun, that the earth is billions of years old, etc. We also know that biblical accounts cannot be *literally* true if they are inconsistent.

As for moral ideas, it seems pretty plain that a lot of stuff was forbidden under the Old Law (i.e. the Old Testament law attributed to Moses) that seems quaint now, such as the ban on eating pork, shellfish etc (but that may have made some sense as a local hygenic practice in the circumstances of the time - see what I mean about reinterpretation?)?

Even in the New Testament, St. Paul, who has most to say about moral stuff, has attitudes to women (who should cover their hair etc), sexuality (it is better to marry than to burn, but he makes it clear that he thinks sex is pretty nasty) and especially homosexuality.

Then there's the doctrine of Hell of course. Jesus almost gloats in some passages about his enemies burning alive forever. Nor was this missed by later followers. The church father Tertullian thought that one of the delights of Heaven would be getting to watch the bad guys suffering in Hell. You even get the same thing in more recent theological writings such as the Calvinist Jonathan Edwards.

And on and on.

But it can all be explained away as symbolic, or as an accommodation to the culture of the original audience, etc, etc.

spec7er
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:16 AM
isn't buddhism more of a philosophy than a religion? anyway from what i know (and from what i remember on myhistory class about that) is that buddhism had no real god...it was more of a way of life...but through the years it divided into two different types...one had gods while the other had none. (am right about this? if i made any mistake i stand corrected)

moby
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:19 AM
isn't buddhism more of a philosophy than a religion? anyway from what i know (and from what i remember on myhistory class about that) is that buddhism had no real god...it was more of a way of life...but through the years it divided into two different types...one had gods while the other had none. (am right about this? if i made any mistake i stand corrected)


but then again religions are actually philosophies with a "god"
i'm pretty sure buddhism is a religion cause temples are places of worship?

Rothes
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:19 AM
Moby, Leopard explained perfectly what Limbo/Hell is accustomed to debate for.

Rothes
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:21 AM
Anyway Im out to work, Nice debate Veronica, Hope it continues in a structured manner, I know by the time I get back There will be well over 100 replies and that I miss out lecturing ;)

skanky~skanketta
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:22 AM
thanks. that was exactly what i was looking for.

~ The Leopard ~
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:24 AM
The original form of Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism, did not have a god. It is mainly a philosophy of universal change and personal identity (or rather, non-identity, since the key Hindu doctrine is that of "anatta" or "no self" - there is no real self there, in a sense I can't even begin to elaborate). And then it's about how you can escape the cycle of birth and rebirth (samasara). It started out as a heretical (in that it did not accept the truth of the Vedas) school of thought in India, reacting to the doctrines of the orthodox schools of what we would now call Hinduism.

Modern philosophers still take the Buddhist and Orthodox Hindu doctrines of the self pretty seriously.

(I luuurrve this stuff.)

Rothes
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:24 AM
See being Simple brings out the best answers

~ The Leopard ~
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:26 AM
Yeah, quite so. But surely you don't think my answers are comprehensive ones. I'm only scratching the surface here. :lol:

Rothes
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:28 AM
No No Joui, your very intelligent :) Theres not many people like you around on these boards! Have a good day in Sunny Australia :)

moby
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:29 AM
The original form of Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism, did not have a god. It is mainly a philosophy of universal change and personal identity (or rather, non-identity, since the key Hindu doctrine is that of "anatta" or "no self" - there is no real self there, in a sense I can't even begin to elaborate). And then it's about how you can escape the cycle of birth and rebirth (samasara). It started out as a heretical (in that it did not accept the truth of the Vedas) school of thought in India, reacting to the doctrines of the orthodox schools of what we would now call Hinduism.

Modern philosophers still take the Buddhist and Orthodox Hindu doctrines of the self pretty seriously.

(I luuurrve this stuff.)


but i always think the part about buddha gaining enlightenment after sitting for 40 days under the bodhi tree parallels jesus rising from the dead (or what you would call it)

~ The Leopard ~
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:30 AM
Sorry guys. I'll go away for awhile now.

I guess it looks like I'm showing off, but I'm mainly trying to give you an idea of how complicated it gets, and why I don't normally buy into religious arguments. The issues are just too complex.

I've spent years studying this on and off, so I think I have an idea about the complexities, but I'm not really in a position to debate them in the confined space of posts on a bulletin board.

Rothes
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:30 AM
Reserection??

moby
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:31 AM
yeah that's it rothes... couldn't find that word in head

Rothes
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:36 AM
Sorry guys. I'll go away for awhile now.

I guess it looks like I'm showing off, but I'm mainly trying to give you an idea of how complicated it gets, and why I don't normally buy into religious arguments. The issues are just too complex.

I've spent years studying this on and off, so I think I have an idea about the complexities, but I'm not really in a position to debate them in the confined space of posts on a bulletin board.

Your like me on occasions, It's impossible to speak about such complexities within something such as a message board, even one dedicated to Christians is not the best idea, Though you get people there with a better understanding then people here, I even find it hard to argue the points at www.christianity.com where it is very complex and comprehensive, It's really a better Idea to do it openly and personally, in say a large debating hall or in a conversation,

Practicing it within a messageboard is something which isn't the best idea, It really needs to be debated comprehensivly personally.

Colin B
Dec 30th, 2003, 11:17 AM
Well, as it was written by people* - make that men - who lived a very long time ago, you would have to question it's perspective in relation to modern day society.

*The only exception is 'The Ten Commandments' which were ostensibly written by God onto a tablet of stone - but then we only have Moses' word for that; there's no mention of Arron checking if he had a chisel on him when he climbed back down the mountain.

:) :)

Experimentee
Dec 30th, 2003, 11:56 AM
A lot of the Old Testament is outdated and not relevant anymore, especially the rules in the book of Leviticus. One example I can think of is women being banned from churches while menstruating.

*JR*
Dec 30th, 2003, 12:18 PM
Rothes, not you, our "house evangelist" Nash, nor anyone can ever answer the simple "How do you KNOW..." type question. (Neither can atheists, BTW). That's why a "theologist" isn't the equivilant of a biologist (studying a field in search of new knowledge), but a Kremlin ideologist, fitting things into the Party Line.

decemberlove
Dec 30th, 2003, 04:37 PM
its only outdated if you take it literally. [like people who actually believe the story of adam and eve :lol: ]

and rothes, that extremely ignorant of you to call scientology a cult. its no worse than catholicism. by saying that, it just shows your bias and your willingness to put down other peoples beliefs.

for-sure
Dec 30th, 2003, 04:49 PM
you see rothes. u shoud be BANNED from this thread!:devil:

seriously though i disagree with what u said. i do believe in god. wholeheartedly. but not the rituals, like going to church. i mean, whats the point. its filled with a bunch of hypocrites anyway. what is the prophecy?

the only reason i have that the bible is outdated is the bit about homosexuality. i cant use that in an argument with my folks cuz i'm not gay. but lets look at this. in some cases homosexuality is genetic. god created everyone right?then how come there are a select few who are gay?how are people supposed to help themselves when it comes to attraction?(to the same or different sex)

What about grown people who feel a strong sexual attraction to children? or for that matter brothers and sisters. Why are they not given rights like homosexuals. Why isn't it cool for Britney Spears to French Her Mom or little sisters on Stage, but its cool for her to kiss another woman? As a moral society, we cannot live 'on feelings' alone. What feels right, is not always right. The Bible and its divine message draws the line beautifully.

decemberlove
Dec 30th, 2003, 05:23 PM
What about grown people who feel a strong sexual attraction to children?

yes, what IS the vatican doing about that lil problem?

Crazy Canuck
Dec 30th, 2003, 06:26 PM
One of Rebecca's pet peeves: People who ramble on and on and think they are speaking for God by doing so. *sigh*

Sorry... I had nothing productive to add.

Rothes
Dec 30th, 2003, 08:18 PM
A lot of the Old Testament is outdated and not relevant anymore, especially the rules in the book of Leviticus. One example I can think of is women being banned from churches while menstruating.

Well the Jews don't seem to think it's outdated.

~ The Leopard ~
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:01 PM
yes, what IS the vatican doing about that lil problem?

:lol:

I think they've raised the issue with the Great Queen Spider.

~ The Leopard ~
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:03 PM
One of Rebecca's pet peeves: People who ramble on and on and think they are speaking for God by doing so. *sigh*

Sorry... I had nothing productive to add.

Felling a li'l testy today?

Kiwi_Boy
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:23 PM
IMO the bibles not outdated, things were just done differently then. I am a modern orthodox Jew and there is a balance between old and new...not that i always agree with the "official" new.Somethings I consider outdated but remember because Jew observed the basic laws of Hygine in the bible very few if not NONE died during the black plague in europe...and as a result they were considered evil by christians...well just added to christianities outrageou claims toward judaism.

Things like "thou shalt not" dont change. Ever.

Rothes
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:38 PM
IMO the bibles not outdated, things were just done differently then. I am a modern orthodox Jew and there is a balance between old and new...not that i always agree with the "official" new.Somethings I consider outdated but remember because Jew observed the basic laws of Hygine in the bible very few if not NONE died during the black plague in europe...and as a result they were considered evil by christians...well just added to christianities outrageou claims toward judaism.

Things like "thou shalt not" dont change. Ever.

You know alot about Religious Understanding and Values, It's a difference to some Deviants and Immorals we have here :D :o :devil: :p

~ The Leopard ~
Dec 30th, 2003, 10:23 PM
*Proud to be "deviant" and "immoral".*

GBFH
Dec 30th, 2003, 10:32 PM
^^ me as well.

hey poe and amanda, can you make us some badges?

*JR*
Dec 30th, 2003, 10:39 PM
Well the Jews don't seem to think it's outdated.
That's a TOTALLY irrelevant point. It either IS or ISN'T true, and that's not determined by some public referendum. Furthermore, Jews are DEEPLY divided on these questions, with Israel virtually split down the middle between Observant and non-Observant.

Also, stop this "parallel realities" BS. As a practicing Catholic, you believe Jesus was "the Messiah". Jews (not counting small splinter groups) don't believe that. Not only can't BOTH sides be right on this, but NEITHER can offer a shred of conclusive evidence as to why "we're right and you're wrong".

As to KiwiBoy's point about the bubonic plague, there's some truth to that (about 3% mortality for Jews vs. 33% or so for Gentiles from the Bubonic Plague. Due @ LEAST as much to better sanitation in general as to that PART of this virtue expressed in the the Kosher Laws).

BUT: I once lived close to a Kosher "burger joint" in a very Jewish neighborhood. The air in there was so thick with boiled GREASE etc. that I wouldn't even go in there. Yet on the front door, they had a "Certificate of Compliance" from a prominent Orthodox Jewish group.

In other words, the Rabbi (a word for teacher) who issued it couldn't have given a FF about the obvious unhealthy nature of the food, so long as it was technically "Kosher". (Especially as the place obviously paid the "inspection fee").

The MAIN point is that there IS NOT A RELIGION (including the "reverse mirror image" called atheism) that can prove to the others: "We're right, and you're wrong". So accept that one who says "I'm a (whatever)" is in reality only "demonstrably correct" if its looked @ culturally, NOT theologically, please.

*JR*
Dec 30th, 2003, 11:27 PM
depends, really. it's a personal decision as to whether it's outdated or not because we're talking about it being outdated as to its relation to each individual's sense of the bible. what's outdated for the guy down the street may not be outdated for the guy next door. comes down to personal choice and beliefs. it's really that simple. "Outdated" was the wrong word for this thread IMO; it should say "True" instead. And truth is NOT a matter of personal choice re. these "biq questions". And something CAN be "partly" or "debatably" true.

Which isn't the point, either. We mere humans simply lack the ability to "Discern Divinity". Now I certainly respect ppl's right to make these unprovable judgements. I just wish they'd admit it's merely subjective like ice cream preference, or cultural like nationality.

~ The Leopard ~
Dec 30th, 2003, 11:32 PM
<...> with no end in sight.

Certainly not in a forum like this.

*JR*
Dec 31st, 2003, 12:14 AM
hm...even truth is debatable. what's true for you may not be true for me.... In many cases, correct (like the conflicting opinions about the "hand incident" @ RG for example). But NOT on a simple question like: "Was Jesus an eloquent, charismatic person, but ONLY that; or was he the Messiah prophesized in the Old Testament"?

He was either one or the other, PERIOD. NOT "one for Christians and the other for Jews". Of course NO religion (again, including the "virtual religion" of atheism) can say, er, a damn thing more :o than "just because" when pressed re. why "they're right, and the others are wrong".

~ The Leopard ~
Dec 31st, 2003, 12:41 AM
Weeeeeeell, Roger, I'm no truth-relativist. Either Jesus was resurrected or he wasn't. But you don't have to get very far into this to see how, um, epistemically challenged our situation is.There is much that we will never know, not because the philosophical doctrine of truth-relativism is true (whatever that might mean! :devil: ), but because we are beings who are forced to draw inferences from perceptions that we have in a tiny part of space-time.

I'm betting that there isn't a god, not because I have a knock-down argument, but mainly because I think there's a lot of good evidence that all of the various religions are really just speculations by people who knew even less about the Universe than we do, and were in an even worse position to test their speculations. I feel no need to accept the truth of any of those religious explanations of things. The real underlying explanations of the world that percieve are actually likely to be much weirder (c.f. quantum physics).

Btw, I don't see atheism as a religion in any sense. It is simply the decision not to embrace any transcendental explanation of reality and to settle for whatever partial and provisional explanations we can come up with through the process of reason, scientific experiments etc. If atheism were the belief or speculation no gods exist because they were all eaten by a great juju (or kimmie or serena, or whatever), *that* would be a religion of a kind. But I don't know any atheists who actually believe anything like that.

~ The Leopard ~
Dec 31st, 2003, 12:48 AM
To each her own, as long as they don't expect their views to be enshrined in public policy. I can get along with a liberal anything-at-all. I can't get along with them fundamentalists who want to impose their morality on me, though.

*JR*
Dec 31st, 2003, 12:59 AM
B4 I wish both learned counsel a good night:

Joui, those folks you describe may THINK they're atheists, but are really agnostics like myself. "A" being a "negative prefix", as in asymptomatic, atypical (like me!) :p, etc. Like Clinton saying it depends what the meaning of the word is is! :devil:

And Bri, I fully agree that humanity will likely never agree on theology. Thus I only, er, "preach" :lol: when someone else starts proseltyzing (in this case, NOT the thread starter, who merely asked a question).

~ The Leopard ~
Dec 31st, 2003, 01:16 AM
With respect (as we say in court), Roger, I think it's a cop-out to describe yourself as an agnostic if you seriously don't believe in any god.

An agnostic is someone who feels like this :shrug: about the question. That is not how I feel about it, despite all the qualifications. In the end, I live my life without any theistic beliefs and the word "atheist" reflects that.

Martian Willow
Dec 31st, 2003, 01:20 AM
...I dunno if this is relevant...it is a bit I suppose...but I thought it was inerestin... http://books.guardian.co.uk/reviews/politicsphilosophyandsociety/0,6121,1110392,00.html :)

*JR*
Dec 31st, 2003, 09:06 AM
An agnostic is someone who feels like this :shrug: about the question. I do! And the way you describe some of your friends, it seems that they basically do as well. As in "we can't KNOW who or what created and/or is running things", so indeed :shrug: and deal with what we can influence.

Bri, I totally agree (and can't begin to count the ppl killed and maimed in recorded history ova false "certitude" on this subject). As I said, I address this only when an "evangelist" like Nash (who's obviously decided we're beyong redemption here) :lol: or Rothes, more of a "student of religion" though one with clear preconceptions takes the "pulpit". (Wait, there WAS no conception involved in the origin of Catholicism)! :p

Willow, good point about Paul, who actually created Christianity out of the "Messianic Judaism" of Jesus after meeting Bush, I mean a "burning bush". ;)

~ The Leopard ~
Dec 31st, 2003, 11:16 PM
Well I don't feel all :shrug: -ish about whether theism is true. I think it's an approach to explaining the Universe that doesn't lead us anywhere. I don't believe in Poseidon or Thor or Cybele or Quetzlacoatl or Kali, to name some random deities...and I see no more reason to believe in Yahweh or Allah, or whatever you want to call the Judeo-Christian-Muslim god.

I do believe that we are, as I put it, epistemically challenged. There are many things it is impossible to be sure about, and our science doubtless has a long way to go. But there are still plenty of things that we can more or less rule out at this stage of our intellectual history.

For example, I think we can rule out the theory that earthquakes and storms at sea are expressions of the wrath of Poseidon. I can't prove beyond any doubt that Poseidon doesn't actually exist, but I'm about as sure of it as I can be on such an important issue. I'm not agnostic on the subject. I claim to have gnosis, i.e. knowledge, that there is no such being, even though my knowledge may not amount to *certainty*.

I feel the same way about the Judeo-Christian-Muslim god, but I'm not that interested in shoving that view down the throats of religious Jews, Christian believers, or devout Muslims. If they leave me alone, I'll leave them alone.

I do believe that public policy should be set on the basis that no religious view is known to be either true or false.

*Reminds self to make some sacrifices to Poseidon, just in case.*

Colin B
Jan 1st, 2004, 11:40 AM
Well I don't feel all :shrug: -ish about whether theism is true.

I'm not convinced that :shrug: suffices as a symbol for agnosticism. :shrug: suggests indifference; you need to add elements of :confused:, :scratch:, and :unsure:.

I do believe that public policy should be set on the basis that no religious view is known to be either true or false.

Now that's agnosticism!


*Reminds self to make some sacrifices to Poseidon, just in case.*

Now that's just plain :scared:! :)


:lol: :lol: :lol:

~ The Leopard ~
Jan 1st, 2004, 12:50 PM
Now that's agnosticism!



It's not actually agnosticism, just freedom of religion, tolerance, old-fashioned small-l liberalism, or whatever you want to call it. I'd hope that religious believers would feel the same way, i.e. we can all disagree about these questions, but the apparatus of the state is there for all of us, and it should be neutral on religious questions (unless someone wants to act on their religious views by performing human sacrifices or something :eek: ....but a secular reason can be given for stopping that from happening. ;) :D ).

:wavey:

Colin B
Jan 1st, 2004, 01:08 PM
(unless someone wants to act on their religious views by performing human sacrifices or something :eek: ....but a secular reason can be given for stopping that from happening. ;) :D ).

:wavey:

But what if we get to The Pearly Gates and the guy with the clip-board says, "tsk tsk - no human sacrifices? Sorry, you can't come in!".


:scared: :scared:


:wavey: HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE :wavey:

~ The Leopard ~
Jan 1st, 2004, 10:20 PM
^And to you, too, Colin!

~ The Leopard ~
Jan 2nd, 2004, 12:47 AM
^ :bolt:

azza
Jan 2nd, 2004, 12:50 PM
Im just wondering how can God hear our prayers if where syaing it in our heads :unsure: :confused:

Colin B
Jan 2nd, 2004, 01:15 PM
Im just wondering how can God hear our prayers if where syaing it in our heads :unsure: :confused:
One of the perks of being God I suppose. ;)

Although he'd also know when you're thinking BAD thoughts too!! :scared:

*JR*
Jan 2nd, 2004, 01:56 PM
It's not actually agnosticism, just freedom of religion, tolerance, old-fashioned small-l liberalism, or whatever you want to call it. I'd hope that religious believers would feel the same way, i.e. we can all disagree about these questions, but the apparatus of the state is there for all of us, and it should be neutral on religious questions (unless someone wants to act on their religious views by performing human sacrifices or something :eek: ....but a secular reason can be given for stopping that from happening. ;) :D ).

:wavey:
We can all be for tolerance, Joui, but (with all due respect, as you shysters say :p) we can still tell those who express certitude to give a reason beyond ".....just because". (Equally to those who claim that existence as we know it was self-creating, what I call a true atheist).

Again, there are things we just can't know. For example, lets say it's conclusively proven when the big bang (no, not Anna and Enrique :devil: ) was. OK, what "was" B4 that? Or that the universe is a sphere. OK, what's outside of it? And if a "deity" appears today, perhaps it's just an alien from a planet far more advanced technologically having some fun.

So what's Really Religion is just different cultures continuing to use ancient symbolism to explain what humans can't even begin to. I respect ppl's RIGHT to do so; however, the "big ecumenical don't rain on eachothers' parade" ethos steps right into the trap of Presuming Parallel realities.

APTT Game
Jan 2nd, 2004, 01:59 PM
Aliens create the world but then who created aliens Ohhhhhhhhh scray shit this is :scared:

saki
Jan 2nd, 2004, 05:12 PM
Interesting thread. The point everyone, especially Leopard, has been skirting around but not really explicitly stated is that whether or not the Bible is or can be 'outdated' depends on what your view of biblical interpretation is. If you think, as Catholics do, that the Bible is the voice of God but coming through flawed human vessels, then the bits of the Bible that appear to be inconsistent should be interpreted allegorically or otherwise so that they become consistent. For example, one might think that the prohibitions on sodomy are either the result of flawed *prejudiced* human vessels and/or are inconsistent with the theme of the gospels that love and charity are God's main laws, and thus that the Bible shouldn't be interpreted *today* as against loving homosexual relationships. On the other hand, most Protestans believe that the Bible is to be literally interpreted, leaving them (I would say) with a text that can be seen to be outdated in various ways.

~ The Leopard ~
Jan 2nd, 2004, 10:52 PM
Not just Protestants, Saki. Standard Catholic theology (which is also followed by the more liberal protestant churches) copes fine with things like the untenability of a geocentric universe and the strong corroboration of evolutionary theory (and all the theories that require the earth to be billions of years old - geology, astrophysics, etc, not just biology). The idea is that the Bible assumed ideas of a geocentric universe, a relatively young earth, etc, to accommodate the word of God to the undeveloped science of the time. Ironically, the first person to suggest this approach to biblical interpretation (at least with any rigour, and in a high-profile way) was Galileo, and it was one of the things that made him a heretic. It is now orthodox biblical interpretation for the Catholic Church, and for most Protestants if it comes to that. This makes Galileo a great theologian as well as a great scientist and philosopher.

But the Christian churches, *especially* the Catholic Church, have found it much more difficult to reinterpret the bible in conformity with modern ideas of sexual morality, particularly modern ideas about gay relationships.

In the case of the Catholic Church, part of the problem is that they are stuck with a natural law theory of ethics according to which homosexuality and even contraception are (in the requisite sense) "unnatural". As long as they use a theory like that (which comes from people like Aquinas rather than from the Bible itself) they are under no intellectual pressure to reinterpret the Bible more liberally in respect of homosexual relationships etc. The current pope is making that situation even worse.

*JR*
Jan 3rd, 2004, 12:37 AM
doesn't matter. unless we're preparing a huge "let's bbq the folks who don't believe as we do" party....nobody gives a rats ass how many parallel realities we presume. so the "don't rain on each others' parade" ethos still stands. 2 different issues. Most of us seem like the last ppl in the world who would harm somone ova a different view of religion. Yet one doesn't need to wish one harm to say: "Wait. Rabbi David, Pastor John, Father Brian, Imam Muhammad, etc. You all have obvious respect for eachother.

However, you each believe that your theology is correct. Therefore, BY DEFINITION, you feel that as much as you like the other 3, they're wrong. So EITHER you should (politely) rain on their parades, OR admit that you don't have a shred of rationale to show you're the one of the four who's right".

So they can offer proof that would never pass muster in even a civil trial; admit that their religion is really an expression more of culture than of a search for truth; or put forth that "parallel realities" stuff. Which is quite different than different likes among athletes for instance, as it purports to reflect the truth on major things about the world.

~ The Leopard ~
Jan 3rd, 2004, 12:44 AM
^I actually agree with you, Roger. Good post.

But just as I can get along with a liberal Jew or Christian, or whatever, so I can get along with a charming, intelligent truth-relativist, if that is what Bri is (well, I have no doubt that she is charming and intelligent; but I'm not sure I understand her epistemological position).

saki
Jan 3rd, 2004, 10:39 AM
Not just Protestants, Saki. Standard Catholic theology (which is also followed by the more liberal protestant churches) copes fine with things like the untenability of a geocentric universe and the strong corroboration of evolutionary theory (and all the theories that require the earth to be billions of years old - geology, astrophysics, etc, not just biology). The idea is that the Bible assumed ideas of a geocentric universe, a relatively young earth, etc, to accommodate the word of God to the undeveloped science of the time. Ironically, the first person to suggest this approach to biblical interpretation (at least with any rigour, and in a high-profile way) was Galileo, and it was one of the things that made him a heretic. It is now orthodox biblical interpretation for the Catholic Church, and for most Protestants if it comes to that. This makes Galileo a great theologian as well as a great scientist and philosopher.

But the Christian churches, *especially* the Catholic Church, have found it much more difficult to reinterpret the bible in conformity with modern ideas of sexual morality, particularly modern ideas about gay relationships.

In the case of the Catholic Church, part of the problem is that they are stuck with a natural law theory of ethics according to which homosexuality and even contraception are (in the requisite sense) "unnatural". As long as they use a theory like that (which comes from people like Aquinas rather than from the Bible itself) they are under no intellectual pressure to reinterpret the Bible more liberally in respect of homosexual relationships etc. The current pope is making that situation even worse.

Perhaps I expressed myself badly, but my very point was that it's *Catholic* theology that has an easier time of making the Bible relevant precisely because Catholics don't hold to the literal interpretation of the Bible. Protestant churches can hold the same but they have a much harder time of it, since they place a much greater value on the text itself. To be honest, I think Protestants tie themselves in many more knots over this sort of issue than Catholics do.

But something else that comes into play here is the stress that Catholicism lays upon the *tradition* of biblical interpretation and the tradition of the church. Because they lay much less stress on the authority of the text, they place more stress on the authority of the church through the ages. This would be why it seems to take much longer for the Catholic tradition to adopt new, more relevant, interpretations of contentious issues, as with your Galileo example and indeed the continuing reluctance of the Church to abandon natural law which is a completely daft system of philosophy anyway (I've studied a lot of Aquinas...) Tradition has both been a good thing for the Catholic church and a bad thing - it has meant that the Catholic church escapes the daft "anything goes as long as the spirit MOVES you!" mentality of evangelisty type churches, but it has also meant a reluctance to change stance on certain issues. I honestly don't think that the Bible interpreted as the Church Fathers encouraged the Catholic church to, should be against homosexual relationships. St. Augustine (whom my PhD is on, so apologies if this isn't relevant) says that the most important rule of biblical interpretation should be that everything in the Bible fundamentally means love or charity (depending on your translation, I'm keener on charity) which should mean that loving homosexual relationships aren't forbidden and would encourage or should encourage Catholics to interpret the prohibitions against sodomy as being directed at gay prostitutes (as, to my inexperienced eye, the text seems to indicate anyway) rather than against all same-sex relationships. But, because there have been important church figures who have argued differently, the Catholic church follows them rather than reworking its line on this.

~ The Leopard ~
Jan 3rd, 2004, 11:26 AM
There is actually a lot of charm and intelligence on this thread, but I always have to hand it to Bri. I am far too charmed by her to argue with her, even if I don't entirely agree with the last sentence of her post. :D :kiss:

Great post by saki, as well. Saki, I think you are thinking more of the fundamentalist protestant churches in your comments about biblical interpretation.

I am an Anglican (or an Episcopalian as the Americans say) by upbringing - regardless of my atheistic (or agnostic if you follow Roger on the point) philosophical beliefs. I can assure you that "we" are every bit as liberal as the Catholics, and even more so, in our, um, hermeneutics. "We" have even ordained women and an openly gay bishop...much as those issues are rather splitting the church.

~ The Leopard ~
Jan 3rd, 2004, 12:09 PM
*wonders what VCR is getting out of all this philosophy and theology*

*JR*
Jan 3rd, 2004, 07:29 PM
Indeed this thread, as Joui sort of said, is the kind to bring out the best in posters. Now Bri, let me give you an actual example from nearly a thousand years ago, that might make even you question the "so long as it works for someone" (and doesn't hurt others) view:

(The now "Saint") Anselm of Canterbury devised the "Ontological Arguement" to prove that God exists. In brief:
The concept of what God is (or would be, to non-believers) would add up to the Greatest Conceivable Being. (OK).
To exist is greater than not to exist. (OK).
Therefore, God exists. (Come again)?
In other words, it's so ridiculous (think of "proving" that the "greatest conceivable tennis player" - who never loses a point, exists based on that circular reasoning). Yet Anselm was celebrated as a great Catholic theologian. So I dare say that having to "respect" (not just allow) adherence to that nonsensical "logic" is simply asking too much.

starr
Jan 3rd, 2004, 07:43 PM
IMO the bibles not outdated, things were just done differently then. I am a modern orthodox Jew and there is a balance between old and new...not that i always agree with the "official" new.Somethings I consider outdated but remember because Jew observed the basic laws of Hygine in the bible very few if not NONE died during the black plague in europe...and as a result they were considered evil by christians...well just added to christianities outrageou claims toward judaism.

Things like "thou shalt not" dont change. Ever.

That is such a myth.

Jews died as well. Hygenic laws of the bible have nothing to do with how the black plague was spread. If a jew was living in the same city as gentiles, the jew had the same probablilites of contracting the disease. The disease was spread by fleas who were parasites on infected rats. Rats were endemic in medieval europe, and as I recall the bible really has no hygenic laws surrounding rats or fleas. If a person walked through the streets of the town they could be bitten no matter how clean their homes were. Plus cleanliness has nothing to do with infestations of fleas. These can be carried into your home on your clothing.

~ The Leopard ~
Jan 3rd, 2004, 09:08 PM
Come on, guys. On this occasion, I think you are being a bit hard on Roger. You can be excused from playing the "philosophy of religion" game, and I think Roger should realise that it's no use trying to force you into it (which is the attitude that I have been taking throughout). But I think it's pretty important in its own right. Also, Roger is being courteous to everyone.

There are still people trying to prove the existence of God using versions of the ontological argument, and whether the argument succeeds is a matter of great intellectual importance (FWIW, I don't think the argument can ever be put in a form that works).

I think there's a fourth reason why he might be trying to get you to play the game, and it's the one that I find most natural. It's simply that some of us have had so many bad experiences with religion that we kinda can't believe our luck when we come across people who are religious, but don't want to force religion down people's throats or use their religion as a basis for social policy etc. We reflexively want to put all the anti-religious arguments, and we think that it's important to get these arguments out there.

I point out to Roger that he really can believe his luck in this case. The faith that you have, Bri, is harming no one.

Anyway, he has to speak for himself, but let's all keep this thread "nice" as much as we can.

:kiss: for Bri and Joy.

~ The Leopard ~
Jan 3rd, 2004, 09:12 PM
By the way, Bri, have you been sleeping at all? You were here at 4 a.m. your time, when I went to bed, and I see you've still been posting. You okay?

~ The Leopard ~
Jan 3rd, 2004, 09:21 PM
:)

Happy New Year to you, too, sweetie! How's it going?

~ The Leopard ~
Jan 3rd, 2004, 09:41 PM
fine thanks. and yourself? how was the party? should we derail this thread til JR comes back :devil: Just like this time of year, every year, I am anticipating the start of tennis and kinda of annoyed that it begins in your part of the world because i have to negotiate sleep time, tv time and following from work, while very busy :( I hope Venus is well healed, although i have no expectations of her to do well here- she never does but i hope to see some good matches:) R U going? ( damn, that was one long, run on sentence :D )

Haha, I can't hang around derailing the thread for long. I need to do some work (I have a routine of getting at least a little bit done every day, notwithstanding that it's a Sunday or a public holiday, or whatever).

I'll watch the Hopman Cup on the TV later in the day - or at least some of it. Yeah, I do intend to get to some of the Oz Open, and even to meet some other posters who are attending.

I know what you mean about inconvenient hours, but this is about the only time of year when I can watch tennis, so I'm not really sorry for you. :p

Colin B
Jan 4th, 2004, 12:45 AM
thats why i like the jewish faith- you're either a chosen one or you're not ;)Isn't that the case with all the organized faiths?

Rothes
Jan 4th, 2004, 01:50 AM
Deuce Diva and Me all know about JR don't we Bri ;)

I haven't been here for 2 days and allready theirs 108 views, way to go guys!!! Stop me from evangelicising ya's!

GBFH
Jan 4th, 2004, 03:39 AM
chosen?

*scratches head...shoulders...knees...and toes...kneesandtoeskneesandtoes....headshoulderskn eesandtoes*

Colin B
Jan 4th, 2004, 11:45 AM
erm..if you had said most, i could go along with it but tell me the story of Christians not trying to save and convert others and I'll start going to church:p

Well most of the hard core Christians that I know of, consider themselves to be 'God's Chosen Ones' and that everyone else is sure to suffer eternal damnation. I've never met a full blown, practicing Muslim but I imagine they're the same. Buddhists feel that you have to achieve salvation during your time on earth, so perhaps with them it's not so assured................or do you mean that you have to be born into a given faith in order to be 'chosen'?

Colin B
Jan 4th, 2004, 02:59 PM
well, DD kinda explained it in terms of the inside joke thing but I also meant it in a way that Judiasm and Jewish people have never to my knowing gone around the world trying to convert anyone into Judiasm...they have never concerned themselves with converting anyone else and saving them from eternal damnation- Christians , on the other hand might have that belief of everyone else suffer eternal damanation but they also believe in going around trying to save those lives by making non-christians- christians. Muslims, can't be bothered converting you, they are just busy trying to get rid of you (ooh, i feel the wrath now :D of course I'm being a bit provocative here, for arguments sake;)) And you are right when it comes to Buddihism, Hinduism etc- they aren't trying to convert anyone, they don't have to since its trendy to become one of them;) So, really Christianity to my knowledge is the only religion busy with prostelytizing (sp?) and spreading their religion to the rest of the wretched.

I see, so assuming one is not religiously affiliated to their faith, Judaism says, "If you're not one of us; you're toast", Muslims just say " If I get my hands on you, you're toast anyway", Buddhists say, "be nice and you won't be toast" and Christians say "You won't be toast as long as you sign on the dotted line"??

It's complicated but (inside jokes aside) I think I'm getting the hang of this religion thing. :lol:

Colin B
Jan 5th, 2004, 12:24 AM
:lol: hahaha- EXACTLY Colin- you're a quick study, explain it just like that to your lovely daughter;)


I have four lovely daughters, one of whom is an ardent atheist; the others are unofficially registered as 'Jedi'. I'll explain:

During the UK's 2001 national census, under the (optional) question on religion, there was a box marked 'other' where you could write any faith not assigned a box to tick.
Word got around on the www that if more than 10,000 people wrote the same thing in this box, their choice would have to be officially recognized as a bona fide religion and it wasn't long before someone came up with 'Jedi'.
Once the press got hold of the idea, the movement grew but ultimately, the petty bureaucrats stepped in and spoiled the fun:

The Force will not be with you despite many Star Wars fans registering their religion as Jedi Knight in this year's British census.
Officials said on Thursday there was "absolutely no possibility" of Jedi appearing as a choice of religion on future census forms after officials created a code for Jedi to help them analyze responses to the 2001 population survey.

"Because a certain number of people were likely to have put Jedi Knight as a response to that question, it has been included as a code simply to help speed the forms through the machine-readers," a spokesman for the Office of National Statistics told Reuters.
"All that will happen is that it will be recorded as 'Other'," he said. "It certainly does not mean it is recognized as a religion."

As it turned out, 'Jedi' scored higher than some recognized religions but I don't know the final tally.

:) :)

rand
Jan 5th, 2004, 12:39 PM
isn't buddhism more of a philosophy than a religion? anyway from what i know (and from what i remember on myhistory class about that) is that buddhism had no real god...it was more of a way of life...but through the years it divided into two different types...one had gods while the other had none. (am right about this? if i made any mistake i stand corrected)
it depends which variety...tibettan buddhism is really a religion.....

*JR*
Jan 5th, 2004, 06:39 PM
*still awaiting JRs return*I found this strange planet called "The Real World". :o (Carry on, as, as Ah-nuld said: "I'll be back"). :p

nash
Jan 5th, 2004, 09:14 PM
Rothes, not you, our "house evangelist" Nash, nor anyone can ever answer the simple "How do you KNOW..." type question. (Neither can atheists, BTW). That's why a "theologist" isn't the equivilant of a biologist (studying a field in search of new knowledge), but a Kremlin ideologist, fitting things into the Party Line.


Glad to know that I've made an impact on you, Roger...

:)

As for how do you KNOW - when we die we'll find out who's right. I'd like to ask you to consider that fact when dismissing Christianity as irrelevant. If you're wrong, the consequences for you are catastrophic, because Christianity says that just being a "good person" is not enough to make it to Heaven. It takes a relationship with Jesus.

Colin B
Jan 5th, 2004, 11:59 PM
Glad to know that I've made an impact on you, Roger...

:)

As for how do you KNOW - when we die we'll find out who's right. I'd like to ask you to consider that fact when dismissing Christianity as irrelevant. If you're wrong, the consequences for you are catastrophic, because Christianity says that just being a "good person" is not enough to make it to Heaven. It takes a relationship with Jesus.

Ahhhh, but it was the 'prodigal' son that 'the father' made such a fuss of! ;)

*JR*
Jan 6th, 2004, 06:42 PM
Glad to know that I've made an impact on you, Roger...

:)

As for how do you KNOW - when we die we'll find out who's right. I'd like to ask you to consider that fact when dismissing Christianity as irrelevant. If you're wrong, the consequences for you are catastrophic, because Christianity says that just being a "good person" is not enough to make it to Heaven. It takes a relationship with Jesus.
Hello, Nash, nice 2C you're watching ova your flock. :D And re. the words in bold, Augustine won the "clerical vote" vs. Pelagius with that very arguement in the 400's AD (and became a "Saint"). Which means zero about which (if either) of them was correct. BTW, what's your punishment if you're wrong? :p

nash
Jan 6th, 2004, 06:50 PM
Hello, Nash, nice 2C you're watching ova your flock. :D And re. the words in bold, Augustine won the "clerical vote" vs. Pelagius with that very arguement in the 400's AD (and became a "Saint"). Which means zero about which (if either) of them was correct. BTW, what's your punishment if you're wrong? :p


Hmmm... I guess it'd depend on who's right. If the secular humanists are right :eek: , then we're all just just worm fodder, so there's no risk in being wrong. :)

BTW, I've been on a looooong holiday and just got back to the office on Monday, so that's why I've been so late in catching up on this discussion. Nice to hear from you too!

-Nash-