Author Topic: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock  (Read 13530 times)

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Offline Hatter23

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #174 on: December 27, 2013, 11:46:31 AM »

So how do we know which parts of the bible are meant to be interpreted literally, and which parts are meant to be interpreted metaphorically?

Good questions Quesi. 

First, become familiar with the entire Bible.  Get to know the various books by asking, who was this written to (which persons, tribes, nations), why was the author writing it, what are the main points the author is trying to get across, and what was happening in the countries surrounding the author and his audience.

Second, if you are not familiar with various styles of literature in general, do a little research.  What makes poetry "poetic"?  What makes historical narrative what it is?  What are the elements of allegorical writing?  How do symbolism and figurative speech fit in?  Ask those kinds of questions about secular writing, then apply the same questions to the Bible.

Third, remember that you are in a 21st century Western mindset.  The mindset of Moses 4,000 years ago was different from the mindset of David 3,000 years ago, which is different from the mindset of the Apostle Paul 2,000 years ago.

Fourth, even secular writers and liberal Christian academians wrote about about the various styles of writing found in the Bible, so if you  aren't open to reading what Christian scholars say about the Bible and which parts are metaphorical and which are literal (you'll find some disagreement even among Christians but that's not necessarily a bad thing), then go to these non-Christian sources.

Fifthly, if you do these things, you will have a body of information on which to make informed decisions about what should be taken literally and what should be taken metaphorically.  But as you continue to grow in knowledge, don't be surprised if at some point you might change your opinion on certain passages as to whether they are to be taken literally or metaphorically.  And don't be afraid to grow in your thinking and understanding.
So your magic decoder ring is best. Got it.
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Offline lotanddaughters

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #175 on: December 27, 2013, 11:50:32 AM »
Graybeard, given your lack of knowledge of writing styles, figurative speech, etc.
I, sir, will have you know that my knowledge of writing styles, figurative speech, etc. is far above average.

Unfortunately, for you, my knowledge of the lengths to which so-called Bible-believers will go to apologise what was written by bronze age peasants is equally good. There is no doubt at all that those who wrote and read all that garbage above, firmly believed it was true and literal. It is this upon which your house is built.

By even trying to explain, you are merely updating your god so that he coincides with your ideas. So basically you are creating a god to worship.

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and your propensity to lift verses out of context, we could spend days on your monumental post.
Only because you, and only you, have a magic decoding ring that tells you what is literal, what is symbolic, which is allegorical and what can be dismissed. You know as well as I that all the supernatural events mentioned in the Bible are "symbolic" but you believe some of them. You believe in a Resurrection! And yet you find it unreasonable that the earth could be supported on pillars! 

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You even bring a verse quoting worshipers of Artemis as if this is somehow indicative of Biblical thought, when all the Bible did was just report what the pagans were saying.
Two points there: (i) It shows the mentality and scientific knowledge of the day (ii) There was no correction to the belief of the Artimesisans, was there? All this goes to prove that Yahweh had absolutely no idea what he had created or how it worked.

Now, if the TV repairman came round to your house and told you that the goblin that paints the pictures on your screen had died and that you needed a new goblin... what would you think of the repairman? 

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I commend you on having either a good knowledge Bible verses
Like most atheists, this is the case. We know far more than the average Christian rube. When a Christian makes a claim, unlike them, I check it. When I check it, I record it, because the same weak arguments keep appearing, and this saves time.

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If I thought you would be open to understanding the verses in their context, I'd be happy to discuss with you.
If I thought you could explain anything sensibly, I'd listen.

Oh, OK then: try this one:

Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken;

So, what about the stars falling from heaven? How's that work then?

This, right here above, Gezusfreke, is called "getting your ass schooled". That's okay, though. We've all been there, Buddy.


We've all been there.
Enough with your bullshit.
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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #176 on: December 27, 2013, 12:06:01 PM »
Graybeard, are you trying to say that 2,000 years ago they didn't teach the concepts of “figurative”, “symbolic” "metaphorical" and “literal” in sheepherder school?

I'm shocked.  :)

Edit: Smiley added to help make it clear to christians that I'm joking. Otherwise well get a link to some web site purporting to have details on how ancient christian sheepherders were educated. In Aramaic and Greek and stuff.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 12:08:15 PM by ParkingPlaces »
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Online skeptic54768

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #177 on: December 27, 2013, 12:08:54 PM »
It appears gzusfreke deserves more credit from you guys. His posts are very thought provoking and rational.

Please try and listen to what he has to say instead of just salivating for any type of rebuttal.

Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #178 on: December 27, 2013, 12:11:11 PM »
It appears gzusfreke deserves more credit from you guys. His posts are very thought provoking and rational.

Please try and listen to what he has to say instead of just salivating for any type of rebuttal.

Skep, please keep in mind that "thought provoking and rational" mean different things to christians and non-believers. You should know by now that if you're impressed, we probably aren't.

Edit: By the say, gzus, don't be dishearten. You're doing a fairly good job. We just disagree with you. Which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 12:13:24 PM by ParkingPlaces »
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Offline Quesi

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #179 on: December 27, 2013, 12:15:18 PM »

So how do we know which parts of the bible are meant to be interpreted literally, and which parts are meant to be interpreted metaphorically?

Good questions Quesi. 

First, become familiar with the entire Bible.  Get to know the various books by asking, who was this written to (which persons, tribes, nations), why was the author writing it, what are the main points the author is trying to get across, and what was happening in the countries surrounding the author and his audience.

Second, if you are not familiar with various styles of literature in general, do a little research.  What makes poetry "poetic"?  What makes historical narrative what it is?  What are the elements of allegorical writing?  How do symbolism and figurative speech fit in?  Ask those kinds of questions about secular writing, then apply the same questions to the Bible.

Third, remember that you are in a 21st century Western mindset.  The mindset of Moses 4,000 years ago was different from the mindset of David 3,000 years ago, which is different from the mindset of the Apostle Paul 2,000 years ago.

Fourth, even secular writers and liberal Christian academians wrote about about the various styles of writing found in the Bible, so if you  aren't open to reading what Christian scholars say about the Bible and which parts are metaphorical and which are literal (you'll find some disagreement even among Christians but that's not necessarily a bad thing), then go to these non-Christian sources.

Fifthly, if you do these things, you will have a body of information on which to make informed decisions about what should be taken literally and what should be taken metaphorically.  But as you continue to grow in knowledge, don't be surprised if at some point you might change your opinion on certain passages as to whether they are to be taken literally or metaphorically.  And don't be afraid to grow in your thinking and understanding.

Gosh.  I have a pretty good education, and a pretty high literacy level.  I live a middle class existence in a first world nation, and I have leisure time to pursue issues of interest to me.   I have access to electricity and electronics and the information age is at my fingertips.  I also have access to nutritious foods, which aids my ability to concentrate.  My health is pretty good in general, and as my middle aged eyes make it increasingly difficult to read the written word, I just buy reading glasses. 

In other worlds, I am privileged beyond the wildest dreams of a huge percentage of humanity.

I could certainly follow the path the you outline.  But most of humanity could not.

Why did god write a text which is only accessible to humanity's elite? 

That just doesn't seem very nice. 

What am I missing here?

Offline jtk73

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #180 on: December 27, 2013, 03:33:46 PM »
as are most of your posts are just your opinion.  But my opinion is based on me actually READING the Bible multiple times and reading what many others have to say about the Bible, and I've been at this for many years now.
If I am pointing out a clear contradiction of something stated in the bible or something stated by a believer, it is not an opinion. It is an unresolved contradiction. Saying that such is just my opinion does not automatically resolve the contradiction. In the case of the above, I indicated that you were mistaken that...
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The Bible is clear that Yahweh is the only supernatural being.
If it was clear, we would not be discussing it. If it was clear, Christians would not disagree on the trinity or the nature of the trinity. There would not be countless books laying out different theories on the the nature of the trinity.

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No backpedaling necessary.  One, it is only your opinion that Yahweh is evil.  Two, we are not perfect image reflectors.  Ever been to a "Hall of Crazy Mirrors" at a fair or circus?  There are mirrors that make tall, skinny people look short and fat, or distorted in other ways.  Even though we can recognize some familiar features of ourselves in these mirrors (i.e. the color of our skin and hair), we know that those images are not a complete and accurate reflection of us.
Handwaving. Everything that you are saying is contradictory. We are not perfect image reflectors - except for the goodness in us but any evil or badness in us is NOT a reflection of God. But even the goodness in us is not a reflection of God because any goodness that we have is as filthy menstrual rags to God. This is horribly dishonest. I believe that this is referred to as 'pretzel logic'.

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God created man, and "it was good." Man was originally created good, then he chose not to be.
Man did not 'choose' to be bad. Man did not have knowledge of good or bad. God placed a temptation directly within their reach, deliberately. Then placed, or at the very least allowed, a magic talking serpent into the garden and allowed the serpent to talk to man. He did nothing to stop any of this. Then God punishes THEM for HIS incompetence and lack of foresight. If anyone chose to be bad, it was Yahweh.

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So it was Adam and Eve's fault.
Then why doesn't Yahweh punish them and only them for their 'transgression'? Why, according to the bible does he bring the hammer down on all the rest of humanity for something that they had no part in?

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I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and think "good" of you, that you are not trolling.
Think what you will of me. It doesn't change the fact that previously you stated that the goodness in us reflects the goodness in God but then you engage in special pleading trying to say that the evil in us does NOT reflect evil in God. You can't have it both ways. Either our good/evil/FMR(Filthy Menstrual Rags) all reflect those same qualities in God or none of them do.

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The good things that God does are pure, holy, and righteous.  Man has no innate goodness, none of his own.  Any goodness that man has is man attempting to imitate God.  But in comparison to the good that God does, man's "righteous works" are actually filthy.
You have rendered these words useless when stating that if God does them they are holy and righteous but when man does them they are filthy. Why would I want to associate with a being that looks down upon me with such loathing (for simply being human, no less). You have basically shut down the discussion right here - if man's 'righteous works' are filthy, then why bother? If me living a life of debauchery would be the same in God's eyes as me opening a soup kitchen for the homeless, helping others, etc. then WHY BOTHER?

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Man was originally created good
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Man has no innate goodness
Does not compute...

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The biblical Christian explanation: Holy means that God is unlike us.  His essense is purely good.  When He does anything, it is within His character of being holy, so that whatever He does is "right," or righteous.
This still tells me nothing useful about God other than he loathes me no matter what I do. It also renders the words meaningless when everything that God does is good or righteous even if it is something evil & vile.

Offline jtk73

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #181 on: December 27, 2013, 04:40:25 PM »
First, become familiar with the entire Bible.  Get to know....you will have a body of information on which to make informed decisions about what should be taken literally and what should be taken metaphorically. ....
Regarding all of the above, especially the bolded (yes I snipped some out some for space) ...Why should any of this be necessary? Why would the bible be so ambiguous that one has to do all of this studying and searching just to figure out what is literal and what is figurative? This is supposed to be a message of monumental importance, is it not? That should be easily understood by young and old, rich and poor, regardless of level of intelligence, correct? Then why is it so convoluted, contradictory, ambiguous, confusing and long? Is Yahweh a sadist? Don't you find it odd, even the slightest bit, that this monumentally important message that God wants, I assume, to reach all of humanity, is no more advanced or wise than the ancient peoples that wrote it? If, as you have mentioned in one of your replies to me, everything good that man does is filthy to God, why would God throw in yet another hurdle?

Offline gzusfreke

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #182 on: December 27, 2013, 05:39:26 PM »
Graybeard, given your lack of knowledge of writing styles, figurative speech, etc.
I, sir, will have you know that my knowledge of writing styles, figurative speech, etc. is far above average.

Ok, then start using that knowledge in this forum.  Whipping out single verses out of context is not becoming nor intellectually honest.  If we were doing critical analysis of a secular work of literature, the same would apply.

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Unfortunately, for you, my knowledge of the lengths to which so-called Bible-believers will go to apologise what was written by bronze age peasants is equally good. There is no doubt at all that those who wrote and read all that garbage above, firmly believed it was true and literal. It is this upon which your house is built.

By even trying to explain, you are merely updating your god so that he coincides with your ideas. So basically you are creating a god to worship.

Graybeard, it is amazing how many different people I've had conversations with in this Forum over the past five years and they all seem to be able to psychoanalyze Christians after a few posts.

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and your propensity to lift verses out of context, we could spend days on your monumental post.
Only because you, and only you, have a magic decoding ring that tells you what is literal, what is symbolic, which is allegorical and what can be dismissed.

Shhh! Don't tell everyone, they'll want one too! ;D

Actually, I hope you read my reply to quesi.  It doesn't take a magic decoding ring to know that most of an epistle is written in letter form, and just like most letters today, would be taken literally.  But don't be surprised if within the letter, the author might employ some allegorical language.  Like this post, I want you to take it literally, but if I start talking about "the tides of evil negativity, like a deadly komodo dragon, are seeking to devour the Virgin in white," then I might have switched to a different style within the post.  The same critiquing tools used in secular literature can be applied to biblical texts to determine - is this literal, is this symbolic. 

The language of parts of Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation is often symbolic.  The Book of Numbers is pretty straight-forward historical narrative. 

Do you want me to give you more examples?

Graybeard, for all your professed "knowledge," why do you make this out to be harder than it is.

 
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You know as well as I that all the supernatural events mentioned in the Bible are "symbolic" but you believe some of them. You believe in a Resurrection! And yet you find it unreasonable that the earth could be supported on pillars! 

No, I don't believe that all the supernatural events in the Bible are "symbolic."  Yes, I believe they happened.  I absolutely believe in the Resurrection, otherwise there is no need for me to be talking with you.

I never said I "find it unreasonable that the earth could be supported on pillars!"  You are putting words in my mouth.

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You even bring a verse quoting worshipers of Artemis as if this is somehow indicative of Biblical thought, when all the Bible did was just report what the pagans were saying.
Two points there: (i) It shows the mentality and scientific knowledge of the day
Yes, of non-Yahweh worshipers.  Greek Gentiles who worshiped a pantheon of gods (false idols).

 
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(ii) There was no correction to the belief of the Artimesisans, was there? All this goes to prove that Yahweh had absolutely no idea what he had created or how it worked.

Again, your supposed knowledge should have been employed here.  Yes, by all means there was a correction to the belief of the Artimesisans.  It was Paul preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Paul was so effective that many former pagans converted to Christianity, which caused a drop in the sales of silver shrines to Artemis for households and families, which put a hurt on the pocketbooks of local silversmiths.  Yes, there was a huge correction.

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Now, if the TV repairman came round to your house and told you that the goblin that paints the pictures on your screen had died and that you needed a new goblin... what would you think of the repairman?


I would think that he trained under you.

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I commend you on having either a good knowledge Bible verses
Like most atheists, this is the case. We know far more than the average Christian rube. When a Christian makes a claim, unlike them, I check it. When I check it, I record it, because the same weak arguments keep appearing, and this saves time.

And you are so modest too!

Some atheists know where to find their prooftexts, but they really know little about the  Bible.  You are  a good example of that.


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If I thought you would be open to understanding the verses in their context, I'd be happy to discuss with you.
If I thought you could explain anything sensibly, I'd listen.

Good one!


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]Oh, OK then: try this one:

Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken;

So, what about the stars falling from heaven? How's that work then?

This passage is when Jesus is telling His disciples about the end of times, when He returns.  Is He literally speaking of stars falling from the heaven, or will it be more like comets and meteorites, which appear to be stars falling from heaven? 

How can the sun be darkened?  Is it because of a veil of dust surrounding the earth (from all the meteorites landing on the earth), like some secular scientists proposed has happened in the past and killed off all the dinosaurs?

Jesus doesn't say.  He says "the sun will be darkened." Whether He turns His heavenly dimmer switch and knocks the sun down about 150 billion gigawatts, or whether the sun appears to be darkened because of dust in the atmosphere because what appeared to be stars fell to the earth and kicked up the dust, either way the result is the same.

Now, why it matter if this passage is literal or symbolic?
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline gzusfreke

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #183 on: December 27, 2013, 05:41:26 PM »


You forgot one:

Sixth, my version is absolutely correct, and anyone that disagrees with me is wrong. I know this because I am right. So if another christian comes here and says something different, then they are obviously not a true christian. Don't listen to them. Depend on me. I've got it right. If you don't believe me, just ask. Me.

PP, quit trolling.
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #184 on: December 27, 2013, 05:44:32 PM »


You forgot one:

Sixth, my version is absolutely correct, and anyone that disagrees with me is wrong. I know this because I am right. So if another christian comes here and says something different, then they are obviously not a true christian. Don't listen to them. Depend on me. I've got it right. If you don't believe me, just ask. Me.

PP, quit trolling.

That wasn't actually trolling. That is exactly the attitude we encounter with christians all the time. Each one has it right, none seem to agree with each other, and each makes it clear that they have all the answers, no matter what anyone else says.

If I was trolling, I would have started my post out with "Sixethly", just to make fun of you.
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Offline gzusfreke

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #185 on: December 27, 2013, 05:47:09 PM »
It appears gzusfreke deserves more credit from you guys. His posts are very thought provoking and rational.

Please try and listen to what he has to say instead of just salivating for any type of rebuttal.

Skep, please keep in mind that "thought provoking and rational" mean different things to christians and non-believers. You should know by now that if you're impressed, we probably aren't.

Edit: By the say, gzus, don't be dishearten. You're doing a fairly good job. We just disagree with you. Which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

I'm not disheartened.  I just want to learn better how to express my views - your disagreement with me challenges me to be more thoughtful about what I believe and how to express that belief.
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline gzusfreke

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #186 on: December 27, 2013, 05:51:29 PM »

That wasn't actually trolling. That is exactly the attitude we encounter with christians all the time. Each one has it right, none seem to agree with each other, and each makes it clear that they have all the answers, no matter what anyone else says.

But if you notice, there are atheists in the Forum who are the same way.  Human nature is human nature.  People will act like . . . people.  Graybeard is a good example of someone who thinks he has it right and has all the answers no matter what anyone else says.  No offense to Graybeard, just calling it like I see it.

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If I was trolling, I would have started my post out with "Sixethly", just to make fun of you.

What variation of the Queen's English doth thou speaketh, thou of the additional "e"?
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline Ivellios

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #187 on: December 27, 2013, 06:56:55 PM »

Graybeard, it is amazing how many different people I've had conversations with in this Forum over the past five years and they all seem to be able to psychoanalyze Christians after a few posts.

I don't consider 417 posts "a few." I'd wager most people do not either.

There was one thing I read once, "Take the bible literally unless it's obvious that it's being symbolic." ie. 2 fish, 5 loaves feading thousands: literal. beast from the Sea in revelation: symbolic.

Additional Christian twist: if it is clearly wrong, despite being belived literally for 2 thousand years: symbolic.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 07:07:26 PM by Ivellios »

Offline gzusfreke

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #188 on: December 27, 2013, 08:08:29 PM »

Gosh.  I have a pretty good education, and a pretty high literacy level.  I live a middle class existence in a first world nation, and I have leisure time to pursue issues of interest to me.   I have access to electricity and electronics and the information age is at my fingertips.  I also have access to nutritious foods, which aids my ability to concentrate.  My health is pretty good in general, and as my middle aged eyes make it increasingly difficult to read the written word, I just buy reading glasses. 

In other worlds, I am privileged beyond the wildest dreams of a huge percentage of humanity.

I could certainly follow the path the you outline.  But most of humanity could not.

Why did god write a text which is only accessible to humanity's elite? 

That just doesn't seem very nice. 

What am I missing here?

You aren't missing a lot.  You are one of the fortunate ones to whom it has been granted the opportunity to apply all of the blessings that you have been given (good education, being in the top 3% of the worlds richest people, living in a free country, good health, the latest technology) in order to come to a knowledge of God.

You are missing everything.  You are one of the unfortunate ones to whom it has not been granted to the opportunity to come to a knowledge of God because you have so many obstacles between you and dependence on God (good education, being in the top 3% of the worlds richest people, living in a free country, good health, the latest technology).

It's hard to say.  I would like to say it is the first one, but other Christians would say it is the second one.

Either way, the critical analysis of texts and how to treat them (literal or symbolic) was the thing we were talking about.  The same techniques someone who has a good education in a free country in the upper 3% of the world's incomes with amazing technology would apply these techniques to ancient texts of any type, as well as current texts that they might encounter.  These techniques are valid for the Bible too.
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #189 on: December 27, 2013, 08:34:51 PM »
GF what is literal to one follower is symbolic to another,the problem here is that not one group of theists can agree on symbolic/literal. The symbolic/literal debate has been a wedge issue for believers since these stupid books were written and mashed together
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

Offline gzusfreke

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #190 on: December 27, 2013, 08:42:21 PM »
as are most of your posts are just your opinion.  But my opinion is based on me actually READING the Bible multiple times and reading what many others have to say about the Bible, and I've been at this for many years now.
If I am pointing out a clear contradiction of something stated in the bible or something stated by a believer, it is not an opinion. It is an unresolved contradiction. Saying that such is just my opinion does not automatically resolve the contradiction. In the case of the above, I indicated that you were mistaken that...
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The Bible is clear that Yahweh is the only supernatural being.
If it was clear, we would not be discussing it. If it was clear, Christians would not disagree on the trinity or the nature of the trinity. There would not be countless books laying out different theories on the the nature of the trinity.

With regards to the Trinity, there is no contradiction unless you put God on the level of a human.  There is nothing contradictory about a being that is more "advanced" than we are existing as one being in multiple persons.

It may not be understood, but because one cannot understand it doesn't mean that it is impossible.

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No backpedaling necessary.  One, it is only your opinion that Yahweh is evil.  Two, we are not perfect image reflectors.  Ever been to a "Hall of Crazy Mirrors" at a fair or circus?  There are mirrors that make tall, skinny people look short and fat, or distorted in other ways.  Even though we can recognize some familiar features of ourselves in these mirrors (i.e. the color of our skin and hair), we know that those images are not a complete and accurate reflection of us.
Handwaving. Everything that you are saying is contradictory. We are not perfect image reflectors - except for the goodness in us but any evil or badness in us is NOT a reflection of God. But even the goodness in us is not a reflection of God because any goodness that we have is as filthy menstrual rags to God. This is horribly dishonest. I believe that this is referred to as 'pretzel logic'.

It is only pretzel logic because you are trying to twist it.  I've explained how an image reflector can reflect some of an image but not all of it, or some of the reflection but not all of it perfectly.  Really s-i-m-p-l-e.

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God created man, and "it was good." Man was originally created good, then he chose not to be.[/quote]
Man did not 'choose' to be bad. Man did not have knowledge of good or bad. [/quote]

Actually, man had the knowledge of "obey" or "disobey."  That should have been enough. 

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God placed a temptation directly within their reach, deliberately. Then placed, or at the very least allowed, a magic talking serpent into the garden and allowed the serpent to talk to man. He did nothing to stop any of this.

Yes. Yes except not magic unless you mean supernatural. Yes.

 
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Then God punishes THEM for HIS incompetence and lack of foresight. If anyone chose to be bad, it was Yahweh.

No, God punishes man for man's disobedience - "Do not eat" means "Do not eat."  What part of disobedience do you not understand?

Why is it evil for God to set rules in His creation? 

Why is it evil for God to place what is off limits within reach and say "Leave it alone or else."?

Why is it evil for God to allow man the freedom to choose obedience or disobedience?

If man was created a robot, then you would still find fault with Him because He did not give man free will.

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So it was Adam and Eve's fault.
Then why doesn't Yahweh punish them and only them for their 'transgression'? Why, according to the bible does he bring the hammer down on all the rest of humanity for something that they had no part in?

The Christian worldview explains this as the doctrine of Federal Headship.  Adam was placed in the garden as the representative of all mankind.  Had Adam chose to obey, then his obedience would have been passed on to the human race rather than his guilt.

That's why Jesus is referred to as the "Last Adam." He came to be the new representative for the human race, but there is a difference.  We didn't get to opt in with the "first Adam" and some will cry "Foul!" God's creation, so He gets to make the rules. But God was not obligated to send the "Last Adam," yet He did anyway, yet who is crying "Hallelujah!"? Only those who opt in apparently.

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I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and think "good" of you, that you are not trolling.
Think what you will of me. It doesn't change the fact that previously you stated that the goodness in us reflects the goodness in God but then you engage in special pleading trying to say that the evil in us does NOT reflect evil in God. You can't have it both ways. Either our good/evil/FMR(Filthy Menstrual Rags) all reflect those same qualities in God or none of them do.

I think that you're the one doing the special pleading.  I've given you a very clear, simple explanation of how this works.  Besides, there is no evil within God to reflect, so even if we reflected Him perfectly, then we would be only good.

Are you even familiar with the type of mirrors that I'm talking about? I'm just asking.

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The good things that God does are pure, holy, and righteous.  Man has no innate goodness, none of his own.  Any goodness that man has is man attempting to imitate God.  But in comparison to the good that God does, man's "righteous works" are actually filthy.
You have rendered these words useless when stating that if God does them they are holy and righteous but when man does them they are filthy. Why would I want to associate with a being that looks down upon me with such loathing (for simply being human, no less). You have basically shut down the discussion right here - if man's 'righteous works' are filthy, then why bother? If me living a life of debauchery would be the same in God's eyes as me opening a soup kitchen for the homeless, helping others, etc. then WHY BOTHER?

Better questions are "Why would God want to associate with a being who loathes Him?"

"Why would God want to associate with a human who is filthy compared to His righteousness?"

"If pain, loss, and suffering serve no purpose or have no meaning and if we are just a product of TIME + CHANCE + NOTHING and there is no purpose or meaning for mankind other than we just "happened,", then why bother feeding the homeless, helping others, etc. then WHY BOTHER?"


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Man was originally created good
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Man has no innate goodness
Does not compute...

When God created man, man's goodness was derived from God making him good.  It was not innate (self-attained).  Man has no self-attained goodness.

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The biblical Christian explanation: Holy means that God is unlike us.  His essense is purely good.  When He does anything, it is within His character of being holy, so that whatever He does is "right," or righteous.
This still tells me nothing useful about God other than he loathes me no matter what I do. It also renders the words meaningless when everything that God does is good or righteous even if it is something evil & vile.

God is holy, He hates what is not holy.  God is just, He will punish the evildoer. God is love, He extends mercy, grace, and the offer of forgiveness to you.
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #191 on: December 27, 2013, 08:42:50 PM »
GF what is literal to one follower is symbolic to another,the problem here is that not one group of theists can agree on symbolic/literal. The symbolic/literal debate has been a wedge issue for believers since these stupid books were written and mashed together

Please show some respect. Had your ancestors not followed the Bible, you might not have been born.

Just something to chew on.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #192 on: December 27, 2013, 08:48:04 PM »
gxusfreke

Does it bother you at all that your god knew that all of this would happen and he did nothing to stop it? He knew his admonishment to not eat of the tree would fall on deaf ears, yet he didn't tell them a second time or do anything else to prevent it.

Your god wanted all of this to happen. Otherwise it would have gone better.

Is that okay with you?
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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #193 on: December 27, 2013, 08:52:24 PM »
First, become familiar with the entire Bible.  Get to know....you will have a body of information on which to make informed decisions about what should be taken literally and what should be taken metaphorically. ....
Regarding all of the above, especially the bolded (yes I snipped some out some for space) ...Why should any of this be necessary? Why would the bible be so ambiguous that one has to do all of this studying and searching just to figure out what is literal and what is figurative? This is supposed to be a message of monumental importance, is it not? That should be easily understood by young and old, rich and poor, regardless of level of intelligence, correct? Then why is it so convoluted, contradictory, ambiguous, confusing and long? Is Yahweh a sadist? Don't you find it odd, even the slightest bit, that this monumentally important message that God wants, I assume, to reach all of humanity, is no more advanced or wise than the ancient peoples that wrote it? If, as you have mentioned in one of your replies to me, everything good that man does is filthy to God, why would God throw in yet another hurdle?

The Gospel is simple.  It doesn't take all that to understand God's mission or God's love.  But you and some of the others distort what the Bible says, either by evil intent, willful ignorance, or just ignorance.  You want to understand which parts of the Bible are to be taken literally and which are to be taken symbolically.  I tried to help you with that.

So for the 97% of the world who are the world's poor, who don't have much materially, who don't have technology, all they need to hear is that they are sinners, the wages of sin is death, God offers forgiveness and eternal life through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, and it is on the merits of Jesus' work and not theirs.

Now, another question.  Is God unjust for only bringing His message to some and not to all?  How is mankind entitled that all should get the same opportunity?  If you are calling God unjust on this, you cannot claim moral superiority because there is no human alive who does not also show preference to those they wish to show preference to.
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #194 on: December 27, 2013, 08:54:58 PM »

Graybeard, it is amazing how many different people I've had conversations with in this Forum over the past five years and they all seem to be able to psychoanalyze Christians after a few posts.

I don't consider 417 posts "a few." I'd wager most people do not either.

You've read them all?  I'm flattered.

A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #195 on: December 27, 2013, 09:00:17 PM »
GF what is literal to one follower is symbolic to another,the problem here is that not one group of theists can agree on symbolic/literal. The symbolic/literal debate has been a wedge issue for believers since these stupid books were written and mashed together

12 Monkey, or can I call you "Dozen Apes"? you are correct, you say to - mah - to and someone else says tu - may- to.  ;D

I'm actually asking people to use the same secular critical analysis techniques they would apply to non-biblical texts and apply them to the Bible.  We aren't discussing the variant understandings among believers.  This is how you and others in the forum can come to your own conclusions about how someone would determine what was meant to be received literally or symbolically. 


I don't give a rat's rear end if you don't believe the Bible.  I'm not trying to convince you that it is true.  I'm just trying to help you understand why some Christians interpret the Bible the way they do, because that was what I thought the question was.
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #196 on: December 27, 2013, 09:04:45 PM »
GF what is literal to one follower is symbolic to another,the problem here is that not one group of theists can agree on symbolic/literal. The symbolic/literal debate has been a wedge issue for believers since these stupid books were written and mashed together

Please show some respect. Had your ancestors not followed the Bible, you might not have been born.

Just something to chew on.

His ancestors are native americans. He is lucky to have been born at all after his ancestors' encounter with followers of those stupid books.
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #197 on: December 27, 2013, 09:06:06 PM »
gxusfreke

Does it bother you at all that your god knew that all of this would happen and he did nothing to stop it? He knew his admonishment to not eat of the tree would fall on deaf ears, yet he didn't tell them a second time or do anything else to prevent it.

Your god wanted all of this to happen. Otherwise it would have gone better.

Is that okay with you?

Why should it not be ok with me?  In my worldview, it could not be otherwise.  God is not unjust in any of this.

He created the universe, He created man, He created the rules.  Is it ok for God to use evil for a greater good?

Is it okay with you that God would choose to save some and not save all?  Would He be unjust if He chose not to save any?
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #198 on: December 27, 2013, 09:07:33 PM »
GF what is literal to one follower is symbolic to another,the problem here is that not one group of theists can agree on symbolic/literal. The symbolic/literal debate has been a wedge issue for believers since these stupid books were written and mashed together

Please show some respect. Had your ancestors not followed the Bible, you might not have been born.

Just something to chew on.

His ancestors are native americans. He is lucky to have been born at all after his ancestors' encounter with followers of those stupid books.

One of my ancestors was Cherokee.
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #199 on: December 27, 2013, 09:08:58 PM »
One of my ancestors was Cherokee.

So, what?
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #200 on: December 27, 2013, 09:29:04 PM »
gxusfreke

Does it bother you at all that your god knew that all of this would happen and he did nothing to stop it? He knew his admonishment to not eat of the tree would fall on deaf ears, yet he didn't tell them a second time or do anything else to prevent it.

Your god wanted all of this to happen. Otherwise it would have gone better.

Is that okay with you?

Why should it not be ok with me?  In my worldview, it could not be otherwise.  God is not unjust in any of this.

He created the universe, He created man, He created the rules.  Is it ok for God to use evil for a greater good?

Is it okay with you that God would choose to save some and not save all?  Would He be unjust if He chose not to save any?

I was just wondering how low you were willing to lower your standards. If there was a god and I had a chance to ask him anything, I'd ask why it was that he made humans kinder than he is. And why he insisted that his level of concern for us be called "love". It bears no resemblance to the human definition of that word.

If he is real, justice isn't involved. Dictators aren't concerned with such trifles.
Jesus, the cracker flavored treat!

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #201 on: December 27, 2013, 09:34:26 PM »

So your magic decoder ring is best. Got it.

Who snipes?
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

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Re: The concept of sin is our biggest roadblock
« Reply #202 on: December 27, 2013, 09:36:49 PM »
One of my ancestors was Cherokee.

So, what?

I don't go around blaming the sorry state of my life on others just because great-great-great grandmother was packed off on the Trail of Tears. That's what.
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin