Author Topic: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?  (Read 711 times)

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Offline Truth OT

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A. Believe nothing in it that is not confirmed by other historical sources
B. Discard it entirely as pure fiction
C. See it as Kabbalistically Divine in origin and structure, but not message (www.biblewheel.com)
D. Use it, read it, study it, but understand that it should not be assumed to be anything more than the writings of ancient men

Offline Samuelxcs

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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2011, 12:12:20 PM »
They should realize it is wrong and forget about it.
"The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget."
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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2011, 12:14:44 PM »
A, which leads to B.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline velkyn

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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2011, 12:20:36 PM »
A. Believe nothing in it that is not confirmed by other historical sources
B. Discard it entirely as pure fiction
C. See it as Kabbalistically Divine in origin and structure, but not message (www.biblewheel.com)
D. Use it, read it, study it, but understand that it should not be assumed to be anything more than the writings of ancient men

There is little reason to study something that is so ridiculously flawed, other than as a rather ineptly done set of myths.  If the bible could be considered "divine" then my local phone book is just as magical  :P

All myths seem to have at least a little bit of reality behind them, the Greeks have gods but in the city of Athens, etc.  Essentially, it works on the "even a broken clock is right twice a day" rule.  We have humans writing about their world and how they think teh supernatural works in it. 
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Offline kcrady

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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2011, 01:35:04 PM »
I think it should be treated no differently than any other comparable set of ancient texts, like the Iliad, the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Code of Hammurabi, etc..  It is deserving of neither elevated suspicion (as implied by option A) nor elevated credulity at the outset of inquiry.  It is not "special" in any way, apart from its efficacy in triggering cognitive biases in its favor.  It does not take much study to discover that the Biblical texts are the product of a culture that was barbaric, incurious, and retrograde by the standards of the major civilizations of their time and region.   

I think Hector Avalos has it about right:

Quote from: Hector Avalos
Biblical studies as we know them should end.  Biblical scholars all agree the Bible is a product of another age and culture, whose norms, practices, and conception of the world were very different from ours.  Yet these same scholars paradoxically keep the general public under the illusion that the Bible does matter or should matter.  We have argued that whether they intend it or not, their validation of the Bible as a text for the modern world serves to validate their own employment and revelance in the modern world...[Dr. Avalos' proposal to "end" Biblical studies] would also be the less self-interested option because it would not have my own employment as an ultimate goal, and it would allow thousands of other texts that have not yet been given a voice to also speak about the possible wisdom, beauty, and lessons they might contain.  Indeed, thousands of Mesopotamian texts continue to lie untranslated.
[1]
 1. Dr. Hector Avalos, "Why Biblical Studies Must End," in The End of Christianity, John W. Loftus, Ed., pp 128-129, bolded emphasis added.
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Offline Traveler

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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2011, 02:23:22 PM »
E. Its just another ancient set of writings, to be read or not read as one desires. Take it all with a grain of salt, as with any ancient set of writings.
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

Offline Aaron123

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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2011, 02:45:42 PM »
A, which leads to B.  Same as it is with any other religion books.  If one says that you need to be "open-minded" about the bible, then it stands to reason that the same should apply to other holy books.
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2011, 03:35:28 PM »
D.

Whether we like it our not, the Bible is a cultural artefact of enormous influence on human develpment over the last 3,000 years. We cannot understand the history of the world if we don't understand the Bible; we can't make sense of Handel's Messiah or the Holocaust.

And forgetting our history isn't recommended; as George Santayana said, Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Offline jetson

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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2011, 06:19:20 PM »
Gnu - I can see where you're coming from, but when will it end?  Do we really have to continue to consider the Bible as being so important for another 3,000 years?  It's beyond silly to think that the Bible has anything in it that we have not already gleaned, so it remains nothing more than history, never worth repeating.

It's nice to get historical critical analysis of literature, and it is usually helpful in determining the history of humans from various cultures.  But to drag this non-sense forward into our current society as though it still has something relevant within its pages is fairly pointless, in my opinion.

Offline Traveler

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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2011, 06:38:25 PM »
I agree with jetson. I have limited time for reading and there are tons of ancient tomes I (or anyone) could choose to tackle. I don't see any reason to put the bible ahead of any of them, and I certainly wouldn't make it required reading. There will be tons of history that I never study for lack of infinite time, so let those who are interested study it, let those who are interested in Mayan culture study it, etc.
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2011, 06:46:32 PM »
Jetson:
Quote
Gnu - I can see where you're coming from, but when will it end?
6,267CE. March the 17th. Round about tea-time.

Quote
so it remains nothing more than history, never worth repeating.
As George said, that's why we mustn't forget it.
 

Offline rickymooston

Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2011, 06:46:57 PM »
A. Believe nothing in it that is not confirmed by other historical sources
B. Discard it entirely as pure fiction
C. See it as Kabbalistically Divine in origin and structure, but not message (www.biblewheel.com)
D. Use it, read it, study it, but understand that it should not be assumed to be anything more than the writings of ancient men

A and D while noting that A doesn't contradict D.

It is frequently the case that mythology is influenced by real events. It is thus likely that many things in the bible actually happened but the accuracies of the descriptions of many of those events are subject to major doubt.

Some legends were likely legends told to enlighten and not necessarily told as literal truths. You can compare to Glouscap, Zeus or the Arabian knights.

It should be noted that some events in the bible have apparently been confirmed. I'm not sure which ones or how strong such confirmation is.

"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline jetson

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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2011, 07:47:11 PM »
It should be noted that some events in the bible have apparently been confirmed. I'm not sure which ones or how strong such confirmation is.

Bolding for fun.

Offline wright

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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2011, 07:57:21 PM »
I'm with those who find it interesting in the sense that all mythology is interesting. I also think Gnu has a point.

As a poet, I find some of it inspiring. But then, I also find inspiring imagery in the translated lyrics of anime theme songs.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
--Marcus Aurelius

Offline dloubet

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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2011, 12:14:06 AM »
Treat it with the same credence as you do any book with talking animals in it.
Denis Loubet

Offline Poseidon

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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2011, 12:35:31 AM »
The title of the thread is in the form of a question that has a fatal hook; "reasonable open-minded folks".  The most rabid of jesus freaks are quite sure that they are reasonable and open minded.  If truth be told, some of we atheists are not as open minded as we believe ourselves to be.

Many of us have already opted for choice D. We have read at least one of the numerous bible variations, more than likely the KJV, and have dismissed much of it.  The bible, after all, is the enemies hand book. It should be required reading, but never be regarded as an historicly accurate account.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2011, 12:56:09 AM »
When I was a kid, we learned about Greek myths in grade school, and then on Sunday I went to church and was told those stories were true. But I couldn't help but notice the similarities between the known myths and the bible. It's so frickin' obvious.

I'm fine with teaching the bible he same way we teach other mythologies. And of course we do have to keep ourselves informed about ow the bible affected our history so that we an avoid the recurrence of stake-buntings and such. But that's about it.

Everybody thinks they are open-minded. And 2/3's of the population thinks they are above average. Once we get this bible stuff fixed and out of our social structure, we need to start work on our various misconceptions about ourselves. Except for me, of course.
Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline gonegolfing

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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2011, 09:04:09 AM »

Quote
How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks[1] people Give The Bible?
 1. 1

None.......just like all other ancient tribal myths that we talk about and teach.

It's a complete shame that modern people cannot see that they are foolishly believing the primitive reasonings in the midst of profound ignorance, as true, of an ancient nomadic warring middle eastern tribe.



1. Folks is a dumbed down word. "People" is a much more reasonable word choice  ;)




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Offline velkyn

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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2011, 10:04:01 AM »
It should be noted that some events in the bible have apparently been confirmed. I'm not sure which ones or how strong such confirmation is.

funny that you can make this claim but remain so ignorant about it.  Yeesh.

No, the essential events in the bible have never been "apparently confirmed". 
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Offline free

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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2011, 10:36:27 AM »
I may have mentioned that despite being an atheist, I am employed as a Physics and Engineering teacher at an Orthodox Jewish Yeshiva.  One of my very interesting experiences with religion occurred this past summer when my robotics club won a competition and flew to Israel to compete in the finals. 

We took my students to do some touring and visited the Old City of Jerusalem (Where the big temples, Wailing Wall etc are located; the most historic part).  I noticed a large number of Asians (who I learned later to be Korean) throughout most of the city, seemingly engaged in a lot of the religious monuments and artifacts.  I inquired and, to my delight, learned that the Old Testament (Torah) is taught in some Korean schools as an epic piece of literature in the same courses that they read the Illiad and the Odyssey! 

A very minor win for me among my co-workers.  The Koreans have it right, teach it like literature.

Offline Traveler

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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2011, 11:11:15 AM »
When I was a kid, we learned about Greek myths in grade school, and then on Sunday I went to church and was told those stories were true. But I couldn't help but notice the similarities between the known myths and the bible. It's so frickin' obvious...

Exactly. I am completely baffled that people don't see it.
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Offline Nam

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Re: How Much Credence Should Reasonable Open-minded Folks Give The Bible?
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2011, 12:58:41 PM »
I've been told by Christians recently that I have a closed-mind, and they have an open-mind because I have closed my mind to the possibility of their religion; of course, when I tell them I'm a former Southern Baptist, they still state I'm closed-minded.  They tell me that they actually are open-minded to other religions and the dreaded "atheism", yet, I'm close-minded.

I told them that I've read 14 versions of the Bible.  I've read the Torah.  The Qu'ran.  The Book of Mormon, and various other religious texts.  I have studied other religions ('cause since I like to argue with people, and religion is a constant debate, one should know the subject they're arguing, no?) and found some of them to have the same faults as the bigger religions; and yet, I'm close-minded.  They mostly do not read up on other religions and/or non-religions except for the propaganda given to them by their Church, or whatever news organizations that they follow; or books that they read.  I asked some of them, if they had read anything by an atheist writer?  Or a Muslim writer?  Or a Buddhist writer? Or anything; and they hadn't.  And, of course we all know that most Christians haven't even read their own religious scripture in full or at all. 

And yet, still, I'm close-minded.

-Nam
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