Scotty wrote (View Post
): › Here I was simply trying to make a point. The point is that many non-fundamentalist christians dismiss certain parts of the bible, and if you can completely dismiss one part of the bible then you can't completely trust any of it.
That simply does not follow. Yes, it's a consistent Fundamentalist creed and militant atheists like you love it. But it is not valid logic. I've done examples in the other thread showing we never adopt this criteria for any other book or idea. We take claims one at a time and evaluate them.
I know why you want to saddle Christianity with Fundamentalism. It's the only way you can falsify Christianity. This is one way that Fundamentalism is so dangerous to Christianity: it falsely sets Christianity up to be refuted.
Quote: › Looking back, I guess I did take this one a bit out of context. ... Many of the scriptures were inspired through the holy spirit though, and wouldn't that make them perfect?
The point I was trying to make was that if god is writing through inspired humans wouldn't he inspire them enough to write it down correctly (and clearly)?
Well, progress. Why do you think "inspiration" would be perfect? God is trying to work thru fallible, limited humans to get across very complex ideas about a reality that is beyond them.
Do you have kids? Nieces, nephews? Have you ever had to try to explain to a 4 year old how television works? Or some of the more complex moral concepts like "white lie"? For instance, yes, we tell young children not to lie. We're pretty absolute about it when they are 4 years old and tell them to tell the absolute truth. But by the time they are teenagers, we are telling them you don't walk up to an overweight person and say "you're fat!" That would be the truth, but there are moral considerations beyond the simple truth.
We as a sentience and culture are still "growing up". What was told to us 2500 years ago in our childhood is not necessarily what applies now that we are older and more mature.
While God is very powerful, humans are limited. One way we are limited is in our language. We can't understand concepts we have no language for. And scripture doesn't come with a glossary. So, when God wanted to tell people He created the universe, He couldn't sit down and explain it as we understand it now, could He? It would be like trying to explain electrons and electromagnetic waves to the 4 year old who wants to know how a TV works. The Hebrews at the time had no words or any way to get words that would mean "Big Bang", "natural selection", "mutation", or even "billion". What they get are the essential theological messages in terms that make sense to them.
It is tragic that Fundamentalists try to turn this into something it's not. If you are looking for truth, it's simply dishonest on your part.
Quote: › Again, all you're doing is pointing out the contradictions that are in the bible. Jesus said he didn't come to change the laws, then he changes them. He still said he wouldn't change them.
What Matthew 5:17 actually says is "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."
You said Jesus said he wasn't going to change
the laws. That isn't what he said, is it? I've now learned that I can't trust you to be truthful about scripure.
Now, are there contradictions in the Bible? Of course, especially when read literally. If there weren't, then I'd know the whole thing was concocted. In ANY overwhelming or traumatic situation, humans ALWAYS contradict on the details. Encountering the supernatural is at least as unsettling/traumatic as a battle or traffic accident, so of course people are going to contradict about the details. Especially when those encounters take place over at least 1600 years with all the changes of culture that happened during that period.
It is the contradictions that give scriptures versimilitude.
Quote: › Additionally, if I wasn't here to try to understand how people can be 'liberally/moderately' christian then why would I be here?
To attack Christianity by trying to tie it to Fundamentalism. In the other thread, you stated absolutely it was impossible to be a "moderate Christian" and that there were no such Christians. So don't try this disingenuous tactic of "try to understand". You've already made up your mind.
Quote: › I'm obviously not going to change anybody's opinion.
LOL! You don't really think that. In fact, you think you have an airtight argument and that you will be able change opinions.
Quote: › I'd be ecstatic if you could give me a reasonable reason to follow your beliefs, but all you seem to be doing is giving me these rationalizations through later contradictions in scriptures.
Why would you be "ecstatic"? After all, you've stated that Christianity is a bloody, terrible religion without morals. Remember, I didn't seek you out; you came here attacking Christianity. All of your posts refute the idea that you are looking for a "reasonable reason to follow" Christianity. Your mind was made up long before you showed up here. I'm playing defense.
And, in playing defense, I don't give a crap whether you personally become Christian. In fact, I hope you don't. Christianity is already saddled with Fundamentalists who are intolerant, tyrannical, don't think critically, and are illogical. Why would I want to add another such person to Christianity?
This isn't about converting you or establishing the truth of Christianity. It's about examining the validity of your arguments
. Are the arguments valid? So far, no.
Quote: › There are thousands of ways you can interpret the bible. By interpreting it literally, you are interpreting it as it was meant to be read.
Nonsense. Much of the Bible is poetry, and we all know poetry is not meant to be read literally. So you can exclude literalness for all the poetry and the parables right off the top. In other cases, a literal interpretation contradicts -- which tells you that a literal interpretation is wrong.
Otherwise the Bible is a theological
document. That's what 2 Timothy 3:16 is saying. It is meant to instruct about righteousness and theology. All the history in it is subordinated to that purpose.
Quote: › I'm sure the writers didn't try to confuse the people who would read the bible by making you have to twist words and look for rationalizations constantly.
Shakespeare didn't confuse people, either, but no one thinks he was writing literal Scottish history in Macbeth, either, do they? What is clear to the people of the time isn't necessarily clear 2,000 years later.
Quote: › Yes. The bible has a whole lot of contradictions.
Which is why you do context: historical, social, textual. You look for themes, not isolated verses.
You can take passages out of context from Stephen Jay Gould and make it look like he is against evolution. The passages are there. But that isn't what Gould meant to say.
So, if it is invalid for Fundamentalists/creationists to take passages out of context from evolutionary biologists, it is just as invalid for you to take passages from the Bible out of context. Both of you are doing the same thing: looking for selective data to back a preconceived position. Such a search is invalid.
Quote: › Changing your interpretation of what he said the first time is just twisting the words of the bible around to fit what you want to believe.
And why are you not "twisting the words of the bible around to fit what you want to believe"? You admitted above that you took the passages out of context. So you've already admitted your guilt to this crime.
Lucaspa" I told you that Jesus denied the Bible was the "perfect word of God" and gave you the chapters for that. You never contradicted that
Why yes he did, but he only did that according to the bible. If the bible can be wrong in some areas, all of it is subject to being wrong. "
LOL! what a creative way of getting rid of data that contradicts your position: deny your position! Well, now that you have completely destroyed your contention that all the Bible is true and literal, what are you going to do? You can only prove Christianity wrong if ALL the Bible is literal and truth.
So, in order to deal with a minor point, you destroyed your whole position. Congratulations.
And yes, all of it could possibly be wrong. The challenge is to establish that ALL of it is. Since Christians and atheists have been working at that for at least 1600 years and haven't succeeded, somehow I'm not shaking in my boots.
Quote: › I'm not here to falsify christianity.
You really believe this? Boy, can you lie to yourself. You're failing to understand because you are not listening. You keep insisting that mistaken ideas are correct even when shown they are incorrect. You aren't here to learn, you're here to insist on a literal, "perfect" Bible.
Lucaspa: As I noted in Mark 10 and Matthew 14, Jesus says that the human authors sometimes got it wrong.
"Because if god could inspire people to write his word, he would've guided them enough to write it down correctly. Though there are no scriptural proofs of this,"
Notice you said "there are no scriptura proofs" but insist that the idea is correct. Now, you do have scriptural evidence that God did NOT, despite what you think, but you reject contrary evidence.
That is not "wanting to learn". It is dogmatically insisting on a position and refusing to change it no matter what evidence is presented.
Quote: › 1. I'm looking at all of the evidence.
No, you aren't. You are ignoring verses that don't fit your preconceived opinion.
Quote: › 2. When you can throw out some passages of the bible and keep others it harms society because you don't know what you can throw out.
How? According to you, "throw out" these verses " The bible was used to justify sexim and slavery for a long time, and today it's still being used to discriminate against gays. It was used to justify that the Earth was flat and that the sun revolved around the Earth, and today it's still used to justify creationism. This makes it very difficult for society to progress." made it easier for society to "progress" . How do you think re-interpreting those verses such that racism, sexism, discrimination against gays, and creationism are discarded harms society?
I don't think you are looking at what you actually write.
It appears that keeping all the verses was harmful, according to you.
Quote: › If they would have just accepted the entire bible as true, then we wouldn't have people using it as a moral basis, or as a scientific basis.
Excuse me, but we do have people insisting the entire bible is true and using it as a moral and scientific basis. So your whole claim is contradicted by the evidence.
Quote: › 3. Because it is supposed to be perfect. The only rationale for it not being perfect is "god works in mysterious ways" or "humans made the errors" even though god, being all powerful could clearly have prevented this.
Sorry, but I've given you reasons other than these for scripture not being perfect. God may be all-powerful, but there are still self-imposed limits He operates under. And one of these is the limited knowledge of humans. He decided that He wasn't going to zap complete knowledge of the universe into our heads. Yes, love imposes limitations even on a powerful being.
So, instead of trying to understand, you are again dogmatically insisting on one point of view.
Quote: › I would consider anybody who would stone a person to death for working on the sabboth irrational.
That's your limitation. Since the sabbath is part of Israel's national identity, a person working on the sabbath is being a traitor. Executing traitors is rational. We may not agree with it, but it is rational.
Quote: › If they write something down that's wrong, then they are untrustable, as we can't trust them to write down what's correct.
Again, not true. You are lumping claims again. Darwin wrote down things that were wrong. But we don't say he was untrustable. People can make honest mistakes.
[quote](and when I say untrustable, I mean we can't trust everything they write down as perfect, or even as correct)['/quote]
When do we trust ANY person to write down everything
as correct? When they don't, we don't leap to the conclusion that everything is incorrect, do we?
We take claims one at a time.
"We, as christians believe the bible, but as soon as society advances and realizes that the bible was wrong in any area we will immediately pretend that the bible never taught that area, instead of holding our true beliefs or abandoning them.
First of all, I'm talking about throwing verses out. It's a common habit I've seen, and I'm not fond of. Scientists will throw out anything they deem incorrect. They will not try to pretend it's not incorrect, or pretend it's not there. "
Then you are making a strawman. And yes, science does pretend it's not there. After all, how many scientists do you know that constantly bring up Piltdown? Basically, those bones have been thrown out of science. So have Gentry's halos.
On a day-to-day level, we throw out artifacts all the time and never report them. So we "pretend it's not there".
But it's obvious from the examples I gave that Christians do abandon some beliefs. They abandoned the belief that slavery was good. In the NT, the Jerusalem disciples abandon the belief that converts must convert to Judaism and be circumcized and ahere to the dietary laws. In Romans 5, Paul says that the Laws don't apply.
Quote: › Second, you can't 'revise' the bible, it's already written. All you're doing is interpreting it differently to fit the modern world view.
Again, this is bad? How the passages are interpreted is a theory. We aren't supposed to revise theories in the light of better data? Of course we are. Again, what you say is a virtue in science you are saying is a crime in theology. Why? Look at the first quote in my signature. The Christians at the time were not supposed to re-interpret the theory of the age of the earth (derived from interpretation of biblical passages) based on the data found in the earth? Why not?
There are many passages the say the earth does not move. Christians were not supposed to reinterpret those passages based on astronomical data that the earth does move as it orbits the sun?
Again, you are giving away your agenda. Instead of reinterpreting the passages (changing the theory), you want them to discard Christianity and become atheist
Quote: › If the bible's going to be used as a validation for anything (and it's pretty close to getting to there in the USA), then it better be perfect.
Since Origin of Species is used as validation of evolution, then it too "better be perfect". Sauce for the goose. If it's wrong anywhere, then how can we use it to validate anything?
Do you object to the Bible as being used as a validation for the Civil Rights Movement? Do you think it had to be perfect in order to be used to combat racism? I use the Bible to combat discrimination against gays. Should I stop?
Quote: › Again, interpretations are just opinions of what you think the bible means.
And theories are just opinions of what you think the data means. So what? Should we discard all theories based on this? I don't think so. Instead, you test the theories/interpretations. Christians do this. You want us to stop testing and just discard the Bible. Sorry, ain't gonna happen. If you think the Bible is false, you are going to have to demonstrate that ALL the claims are false. This is how we handle claims in all fields of human knowledge. I see no reason to invoke Speical Pleading for theology or Biblical interpretation. Do you?
Quote: › This doesn't change what the bible teaches at all,
Sure it does. As you said "interpretations are ... what ... the bible means." So, if the Bible means something different, then what the Bible teaches changes.
Quote: › the bible was never wrong doesn't change the fact that it was wrong.
It says that a literal interpretation was wrong. That's different than "the bible was wrong". I
am the one that posted where Jesus says the bible was wrong. Of course you try to throw that fact out!
There are different types of truth. Again, let's avoid Special Pleading and take this out of religion. Shakespeare's Macbeth
is still popular because it tells us about truths of human nature: greed, lust for power, corruption of power, ultimate justice etc. BUT, it is set in a fictional Scottish history. The history is wrong. Does that make the human truths wrong?
A literal interpretation of Genesis 1 is wrong. The earth was not created in 6 literal days. However, that does not make the initial statement "God created the heavens and the earth" wrong. It simply says that the particular HOW of creation based on a literal creation is wrong.
Quote: › The problem is christians are reluctant to challenge the bible. They weren't so quick to change their auxiliary hypothesis to fit with the heliocentric view of our solar system. The same reluctance still harms society today, where we've now got kids in Kansas who can't learn about evolution.
So much wrong with this paragraph. Remember the title of the thread? Fundamentalism vs Christianity. And I'm arguing that Fundamentalism is NOT Christianity. Remember?
1. It was Christians who challenged Ptolomaic geocentrism. Remember, both Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo were Christians.
2. At the time of the trial of Galileo, the scientific evidence was not as clear cut as it is today. In fact, Galileo rejected
some of the most compelling evidence for heliocentrism -- such as Kepler's planetary orbits.
3. This occurred when Christianity and science were trying to establish their relationship. The Catholic Church made a mistake and incorporated a scientific theory -- geocentrism -- as part of theology. They found that they made a mistake. Give them credit; they learned from it. Later, they never incorporated either Flood Geology or creationism into theology and found it easy to reject both and accept old earth and evolution.
4. No public school child in Kansas has ever not been taught evolution. In both instances, the revised standards were dropped before they took effect. In any case, evolution would have been taught; it's just that creationism would also have been taught. And, to refute your contention "The problem is christians are reluctant to challenge the bible" it was Christians who challenged the standards and voted out the school board members that favored diluting evolution.
5. Also remember that in the 1982 MacLean vs Arkansas that prevented YEC from being taught in public schools, there were 26 plaintiffs. ALL of them were theists. 23
were ministers or rabbis, including the Catholic, Methodist, Episcopalian, and African-Methodist bishops for Arkansas. MacLean himself was Rev. MacLean of the Presbyterian Church USA. I don't see much "reluctance" there.
Quote: › The point is that throwing out or ignoring bible passages is contradictory to the nature of christianity.
Nope. First, notice the NT where all the dietary laws are thrown out. Accepting new data and revising interpretations or even deciding that verses don't apply has been there in Christianity from the beginning. Again, look at Mark 10 and Matthew 14.
Your claim is just wrong. Based on the data.
Re-interpreting Biblical passages in the light of extrabiblical data is also part of Christianity going back at least to 400 AD. Augustine of Hippo did so when he wrote "On the Literal Meaning of Genesis,"
Quote: › You seem to be rationalizing them instead, under the assumption that god wouldn't have wanted the bible to be perfect, since he was perfectly able to make it perfect.
False witness. If you were really here to learn, you would never have said this, because it is NOT what I've been saying. It is, however, part of your dogmatic position.
Partly I've shown that you have taken the verses out of context and they don't say what you say they do. That's not "rationalization"; it's showing your claims about the verses to be wrong.
Second I've never made an "assumption" that God didn't want to the Bible to be perfect. Instead, I've looked at what the Bible says and concluded
from what the text says Jesus and Paul stated that scripture is
1) not to be interpreted literally and 2) is not perfect.
Third, define "perfect". Perfect for WHO? An explanation we give a 4 year old may be "perfect" for a 4 year old but not perfect for a 21 year old.
Also, "perfect" HOW? Historically? Scientifically? Theologically?
You've based your argument on several premises. I claim those premises are false. Therefore the conclusions are false.
But, since we are discussing the validity of the premises, you must now demonstrate that the premises are correct. You can't simply claim them without evidence and argument.