To Start with:
Since UP has not answered the question asked by Brain, I will wait a bit to see if he will do so. The question is not one of these
The question is not "I have proof Jonah never lives inside a whale, and the bible says he did" the question is "The bible says Jonah lived inside a whale and that's anti scientific nonsense" or, more briefly "the bible describes miracles, and miracles can't happen" as UP has tried to claim. I can answer address that with no problem but the question this discussion room was opened for is not that.
I'm going to address that other question... It should be a more interesting debate anyway. But since it's going to be so damn easy for you to defend that miracles don't happen even granted a God exists, please, by all means, carry on.
watched the 10 questions video over again to make sure I had Brian's delivery of Question 4 In mind when I posted. I was surprised.Initially, UP claims that he expected an attack on why the bible doesn’t provide solid scientific information. Considering the posting that I have linked to, this is exactly what Brain’s essay entails.
I expected "Why does the bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense" to be an attack on the failure of the bible to provide solid science thousands of years ahead of it's time... If I were an atheist that's what I would probably harp on. Why does the bible never say that F=MA or that Jesus is God and man in the same way Light is made of particles and waves. Why instead do we see relics of ancient thinking like referring to water above and below us and calling the mustard seed the smallest when that's obviously the orchid seed.
Yes, It;s similar to what Brian's essay entails. NOT QUESTION #4.
But regardless, Like I said I'll accept your terms. If you want to talk about this essay instead of Question 4 we can do that.
We see this from this quote from the video
These stories are all nonsense. Why would an all-knowing God write nonsense? and quotes from the link I gave
But what if you need still more proof? If so, then here is a question: Why, when you read the Bible, are you not left in awe? Why doesn't a book written by God leave you with a sense of wonder and amazement? If you are reading a book written by the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving creator of the universe, wouldn't you expect to be stunned by the brilliance, the clarity and the wisdom of the author? Would you not expect each new page to intoxicate you with its incredible prose and its spectacular insight? Why are we not seeing a wise informed God?
This is a good question. And a hard one to answer because It's subjective. I for one AM
left in awe after reading the bible. But I understand that you and Brian aren't and I appreciate that. That's not nothing.
The problem is I'm going to need some parameters in order to argue with you about it. Otherwise we're just talking about what kinds of books we like. I could try to fill in your argument for you, but that would be dangerously close to building strawmen.
For instance you might say "why does the bible not contain more certifiably factual information that would astound me?" or "Why doesn't it astound everybody immediately.. why don't angels physically pour out of it every time it's opened?" Or you might say "Why are there so many nonsense miracle stories messing up the great human interest narrative"
(I don't suggest you choose that last one, It's a very bad argument)
But whatever it is I need more If I'm going to argue with you. I can't argue with "I don't like it" or "I'm not in awe" All i can say to that is "I do" and that's weak.
Why is this god limited to the knowledge and beliefs of its worshippers?
you mean "Why is the bible
limited to the knowledge and beliefs of his worshipers?" Don't you? God is not limited in knowledge according to christian tradition.
The bible however is. There's just 66 books and that's it. It's not an omniscient book... it's not even mostlyniscient. And while I disagree technically with the assertion that the biblical authors were limited by their own knowledge (They saw visions and stuff) I am perfectly willing to admit that the text is decidedly written from an ancient perspective. The concept of Geography, Agriculture, Astronomy, Physics, and such was all decidedly 1st Century.
That's because it was written by 1st century authors. Not by God Himself
The first 5 were probably written by 4 sources, the Prophets by the Prophets, The Epistles of Paul by Paul... Yadda yadda.
And the character of the author obviously shows through the writing. It's not like God just moved their hand with a pen on the page, the authors actually wrote in a manner and style in accordance with their personalities.
Now the theory
that we Christians hold to is that the authors were divinely inspired
to write. Meaning that God was participating in and with their thoughts to breath into the authors ideas that they might breath them out onto the page.
So the Question then is WHY? Right?
Why not just write the most angelic prose imaginable in perfect Greek Grammar, taking advantage of the nuances of the language in beautiful and unprecedented ways to spin a crystal web of words. That would stand in all of history as the greatest achievement in language for eternity.
Why instead would you let the human authors dumb it down so much?
I don't want to strawman you... Is that the question?
Why is this god so bothered by people who are not “perfect” in its temple since it should know why they are like that?
The temple is a kind of a living sermon. It is a picture of what heaven is like that people who don't know how to read can look at and understand. Literally EVERYTHING about the temple is symbolic. Everything about it is also literal (they really built it) but the real extant building was a collection of symbols for people to see.
The alter being half a cubit to long didn't go with the symbolism, and neither did handicapped Levites.
We also see Brain remarking on how God can’t even get basic “germ theory” to its believers, telling them things that are worthless in helping someone who is sick.
That's right the bible doesn't give instructions about germ theory, nor does it have instructions about interstellar travel. God conceivably could have done either, but didn't. What's wrong with that?
It tells its believers that menstrual blood is the same as any other discharge.
As opposed to what? What do you believe about menstrual blood?
Yes Menstrual blood operates the same as any other unclean discharge (like diarrhea) under Levitical laws
UP then says that
Answering that question would have lead me straight off the path of classical conservative apologetics. But it's not what Brian said. Brian gave 4 examples of anti scientific nonsense in the Bible in the video. Brain did ask that question right here:
Why didn't God transcribe a useful medical guide into the Bible for these primitive people, rather than transcribing rituals that accomplish nothing? Why doesn't God explain how to manufacture antiseptic solutions, sterile dressings, tetanus vaccines and antibiotic creams? Even better, why not explain how to build a Star Trek Tricorder to instantly heal the wound? Even better, why didn't God design the human immune system to prevent all infections in the first place and eliminate the discharges completely? Why would God intentionally inflict human beings with all of these different types of abnormal discharges?
So we're now getting into something like a problem of evil. "Why wouldn't got make humans perfect so we wouldn't have to poop?" I dunno dude. Because he didn't.
Christian theology has never made the claim that the world, or humans, are perfect. Quite the opposite, we teach that they are broken and getting better,and will one day be perfected.
God could have made us better than we are, he could have made us worse than we are, but we believe he made us as we are.
I understand that you could generate a myth in which a god made us perfect. But that's not the myth I'm defending today.
Extending on these ideas, why doesn't God use the Bible to explain metallurgy, chemistry, biology, physics, manufacturing, mathematics, medicine, engineering, etc. to these primitive people so they can dramatically accelerate their development?
Because then you would get a book shorter than an average textbook, partially explaining one of those fields,or giving a very basic introduction to each and it would be obsolete in 10 years as we learned more.
So we'd have a jump in learning taking us to maybe the year 100 immediately, and then the bible would be of no more use to us as humans.
I don't think that's what the Bible is for. Instead i think the bible, indirectly through narrative and poetry, tells us about who we are and who god is and how to live with one another in creation. in a way that continues to shead light for thousands of years as it invites us to figure out metallurgy ourselves.
I am curious on why UP doesn’t think this “Why does God not give correct useful information in his book and why does he disseminate misinformation?” is the question to be answered. UP, can you clarify? Also, UP, can you define what you mean by “classical conservative apologetics”?
I answered up at the top of the article, but I'll say it again down here. The reason i Didn't think so was because that's not what Question 4 of the ten questions in the video is about. It's what this essay you found after we agreed to the debate is about. But no matter. We'll talk about this instead.
And by "Classical Conservative Apologetics" I'm talking about the normal stuff that you get in a Lee Strobel Book. You know, 5 Arguments for God, Defending the Resurrection, On Miracles, The Innerrancy of Scripture... all that
With the other question the answer comes straight out of the handbook. You know "here's why the Humean argument is crap in a can" but with this one I'm actually going to tick off some Christians (I expect) because eventually you're going to show me verses and I'm going to say "Yup that's what the author thought" and you're going to say "Wasn't the author God" and I'm going to say "No the author was P but it's a book about god and we believe that it in collection with other books like it is special in some difficult to describe way" and you're going to say "isn't everything in the bible true" and I'm going to say "Kinda"... It's not the kind of thing that Doctor Dobson Approves of. he wants me to jade over any embarrassing details and lie for Christ just enough to make it nice and shiney and smooth for everyone.