Author Topic: Prove Satan is Evil  (Read 1373 times)

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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #87 on: August 10, 2014, 03:18:58 AM »
Whether Paul or any other writer in the New Testament took Genesis 1 literally is irrelevant to all 3 points.  Even if Paul took it literally, non-literalism would still not be novel.  Even if Paul took it literally, non-literalism has still been acceptable throughout Christian history.  Even if Paul took it literally, there is still no strong evidence....

Of course, that's all "even if."  Paul appears to be citing a Biblical passage in a manner similar to Rabbinic teaching, much as Jesus does in Matthew 12:40.

 Thus, we do not actually know whether Paul took Genesis 1 literally or not.  But, as I said, whether he did or not is irrelevant.

You made the hard counterclaim ....citing a passage that Paul might have taken literally.  I do think even my critics would agree that the burden of evidence is on you at this point.

I never cited anything about Paul. You are just so desperate to see what you want to see that you are not paying attention to what I quoted. You must be one of those sinners mentioned by Peter who do not accept that Yahweh can do anything.

It is not irrelevant what the writers of the NT thought. Your claim was this.

So, it's pretty clear that the emphasis on a literal interpretation of Genesis is new.....

However much you try to wriggle out of it, your claim is wrong.
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #88 on: August 10, 2014, 03:56:45 AM »

So, it's pretty clear that the emphasis on a literal interpretation of Genesis is new...

So yeah, I stand by my position that Genesis 1 was likely never intended to be taken literally. 

There is a preponderance of evidence casting doubt on your assertion, chief among them being the fact that Biblical literalism is a relatively new idea within Christianity.  The first vestiges of it appeared about 500 years ago with the Protestant Reformation, though it didn't really hit full swing until ~200 years ago as a reaction to the Enlightenment, and it has never been represented by the majority of Christians.  At best, it's a minority view that's been present for less than 25% of Christian history, and practically speaking it's probably closer to 10%.

Just to remind you of your claim in case you want to change your story again.

I know the way you always like to argue by pretending that your sentences don't mean what they say, and I am familiar with the way you like to redefine words to suit yourself as you did when you made the meaning of "omnipotence" whatever you wanted it be. You are an expert in dodging by redefinition, I will give you that.
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Offline Timo

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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #89 on: August 10, 2014, 04:06:58 AM »
So, it's pretty clear that the emphasis on a literal interpretation of Genesis is new.....

However much you try to wriggle out of it, your claim is wrong.

Hold up.  Aren't we straying a bit from the point?  If Origen, Ireneaus, Augustine, etc all argued for a non-literal interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2 then there's just no way of escaping the fact that a non-literal interpretation of these chapters is something that has long been a part of Christianity.  Keep in mind, your original claim was this:

You might think that Genesis should not be taken literally but other Christians such as Shep disagree with you and there is no doubt that he and they are right. It was meant literally. So you see you are just expressing your own opinion because you have compromised with modern knowledge, and you said you wanted to discuss the thread in a "christian framework". You only use a "christian framework" when it suits you. There is another difference between you and other christians.

Bold mine.

In other words, your previous claim that understanding Genesis 1 and 2 as allegory constitutes some sort of retreat from a position that modern science has rendered untenable just doesn't hold up.

With respect to Mooby's opinions on the authorship of Genesis, I'm inclined to agree with him but with caveats on caveats.  I'm not sure how much we can hope to know about the Hebrew Bible's authors given how heavily redacted the books are.  Still, I'm inclined to think that the obvious contradictions between Genesis 1 and 2 ought to be a hint that the editors weren't as bothered by "apparent contradictions" as today's fundamentalists are.

If they were supposed to be taken as literal, then why didn't the editors of the Hebrew Bible bother to harmonize them?
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #90 on: August 10, 2014, 06:18:39 AM »
In other words, your previous claim that understanding Genesis 1 and 2 as allegory constitutes some sort of retreat from a position that modern science has rendered untenable just doesn't hold up.

If they were supposed to be taken as literal, then why didn't the editors of the Hebrew Bible bother to harmonize them?

I never said that a metaphorical interpretation is modern, I only said that metaphorical interpretations provide a convenient excuse for modern christians when they need them. I would appreciate it if you actually read my posts before commenting on them. I have added below, for you, some of what I wrote.

As it became integrated in to the Roman Empire, Christianity developed different levels of interpretation for the text, literal and metaphorical, which could be written together on the same page, for the whole bible not just the creation story. The creation story is not a special case of metaphorical interpretation, it is just a convenient excuse for modern christians who compromise with modern knowledge on the creation story.

Why did the compilers of the NT not harmonize the miracles of Jesus in the gospels if they were supposed to be taken literally as miracles, rather than as the literary device of illustrations through action?
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Offline Mooby

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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #91 on: August 10, 2014, 12:24:40 PM »
I never cited anything about Paul. You are just so desperate to see what you want to see that you are not paying attention to what I quoted. You must be one of those sinners mentioned by Peter who do not accept that Yahweh can do anything.
My apologies, it appears that I saw that it was an epistle and erroneously thought of Paul instead of Peter.

However, my point still stands: "Whether Paul or any other writer in the New Testament took Genesis 1 literally is irrelevant to all 3 points."  That holds true whether we are talking about Peter, James, Luke, Matthew, John, Mark, Jude, or anyone else.

Congratulations, though, on seizing on the one name error I made and pretending that it somehow takes the place of you having a real argument.  No worries, in a post or two I'll go back and collect all your claims that you have deftly avoided defending, and we can both have a friendly look at them together.  ;)

Quote
It is not irrelevant what the writers of the NT thought. Your claim was this.

So, it's pretty clear that the emphasis on a literal interpretation of Genesis is new.....

However much you try to wriggle out of it, your claim is wrong.
Again, as I pointed out, the passage quoted does not necessarily state what its author believed.  Again, as I pointed out, there is no evidence that the New Testament writers thought it mandatory that Genesis 1 be taken literally.  Such emphasis did not appear until the 19th century.  Where's your evidence that the claim is wrong?

You're grasping at straws, here.  I'm still waiting for you to defend your position in any way, and it's becoming more and more apparent that you're either unable or unwilling.


So, it's pretty clear that the emphasis on a literal interpretation of Genesis is new...

So yeah, I stand by my position that Genesis 1 was likely never intended to be taken literally. 

There is a preponderance of evidence casting doubt on your assertion, chief among them being the fact that Biblical literalism is a relatively new idea within Christianity.  The first vestiges of it appeared about 500 years ago with the Protestant Reformation, though it didn't really hit full swing until ~200 years ago as a reaction to the Enlightenment, and it has never been represented by the majority of Christians.  At best, it's a minority view that's been present for less than 25% of Christian history, and practically speaking it's probably closer to 10%.

Just to remind you of your claim in case you want to change your story again.
Thank you for that reminder.  My story is still the same.  As a refresher:

  • Non-literalism is not novel
  • Non-literalism has been acceptable throughout Christian history
  • Current scholarship does not suggest that the original authors intended it to be read literally

As a reminder to you, I'm still waiting on a first draft of your story.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 12:33:53 PM by Mooby »
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #92 on: August 10, 2014, 01:56:47 PM »
You claimed that literalism is new.

I dont care if non literalism is not novel. That is not the point.

Here the author of 2 Peter is saying that people are idiots if they don't believe that the creation story is a fact. You cannot get more literal than that.

2Peter 3:5 In taking this view they lose sight of the fact that there were heavens and earth long ago created by god's word out of water and with water, and by water that first world was destroyed, the water of the deluge.

Genesis is all about how Yahweh divided the cosmic waters. I would explain why Noah's flood is related to that, and part of the same story but you would probably just nit pick, so I won't explain it.

In any case here is an author from the NT saying that Genesis is true and that only idiots who "scoff at religion" would disbelieve it.

Again, as I pointed out, the passage quoted does not necessarily state what its author believed. 

Again, as I pointed out, there is no evidence that the New Testament writers thought it mandatory that Genesis 1 be taken literally.

I just godda laugh at this.

I see that you are too fixed in all your "totally correct" views to admit that you have made a mistake in your beliefs. I think this has reached a stalemate where participants can only laugh, cry or have tantrum. At least I know more about you now, that the only thing you care about is winning an argument, and not in gaining knowledge.

« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 02:18:58 PM by Foxy Freedom »
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Offline Mooby

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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #93 on: August 10, 2014, 04:02:50 PM »
You claimed that literalism is new.
You are correct, I did indeed claim that, and continue to claim that.  Literalism as a movement within Christianity is relatively new, rising with the most recent ~10% of Christian history, as I cited in a previous post.  Individuals have read the various text with varying levels of literal understanding throughout the centuries, but literalism - the school of thought that a literal interpretation of the text is the only theologically allowable way to do so - is a recent development, and is still a minority thought within Christianity.  For the other 90% of Christian history, and for the majority of Christians in the world today, no such theological requirement has existed.

Quote
Here the author of 2 Peter is saying that people are idiots if they don't believe that the creation story is a fact. You cannot get more literal than that.

2Peter 3:5 In taking this view they lose sight of the fact that there were heavens and earth long ago created by god's word out of water and with water, and by water that first world was destroyed, the water of the deluge.
2 Peter 3:1-9
1 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance[. . .]


Again, he is citing the story to support his argument, which is a common thing in Rabbinical teaching.  He's reminding them of what the scripture says, not demanding they take it literally.  There is nothing about the citation that says the readers of the letter must take it literally and/or that a symbolic interpretation is unacceptable.  Again, as I said before, we have a lack of evidence on whether Peter or his readers actually believed it necessary to take his citation literally.

And, again, even if they did, it would not change the fact that we have no evidence of literalism ever being a requirement of Christianity prior to some denominations claiming so in relatively recent history, and we have no evidence that the original authors meant it to only be read literally without any symbolic interpretation.  In short, we have no reason to conclude that it is illegitimate to read Genesis 1 non-literally, which is the point that your entire objection is resting on.

Quote
I just godda laugh at this.
Laugh all you want, you still have offered no real refutation other than, "Nah uh, he totally meant it that way!"

Quote
I see that you are too fixed in all your "totally correct" views to admit that you have made a mistake in your beliefs. I think this has reached a stalemate where participants can only laugh, cry or have tantrum. At least I know more about you now, that the only thing you care about is winning an argument, and not in gaining knowledge.
Ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem.  You still have not made a counter-argument.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 04:07:05 PM by Mooby »
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #94 on: August 10, 2014, 04:56:27 PM »
Current scholarship does not suggest that the original authors intended it to be read literally

Maybe you're right that current "scholarship" (whatever the hell that means) doesn't suggest that... But if so, current "scholarship" is wrong.
Quote from: 2 Peter 1:20-21
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
EDIT: Almost forgot - found on TTA.
The way I see it, Mooby, you have few choices. Maybe Peter was lying/wrong, in which case you'd have to wonder why your god allowed for lies to be placed in the Bible, and what else in the Bible is unreliable. Maybe Peter was telling the truth, in which case your god was an idiot. These are just the main ones.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 05:06:53 PM by One Above All »
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #95 on: August 10, 2014, 07:00:54 PM »
Quote from: Mooby
we have no evidence of literalism ever being a requirement of Christianity prior to some denominations claiming so in relatively recent history, and we have no evidence that the original authors meant it to only be read literally without any symbolic interpretation.  In short, we have no reason to conclude that it is illegitimate to read Genesis 1 non-literally, which is the point that your entire objection is resting on.

Where did this "to only be read literally" come from? I don't care about "only". We are talking about "literally" as the defining factor in the ancient religion. You are trying to shift the goalposts again. Your original comment was that "they were likely never intended to be read literally." Can you stop dodging by redefinition? Keep to the literal reading of the text as the defining factor.

They were likely never intended to be read literally.

This is a quote from DTE who posted this in the previous forum. DTE was a trained theologian who wrote this to show that the stories in the OT were read literally. He specifically quotes the passage of 2Peter which I used.

Quote from: DTE
This is why Christians cannot be allowed to disavow Noah, Jonah or other ridiculous stories and cling to their faith and belief in a risen, saving Christ: Jesus believed in them per the bible and the bible is the testimony of his resurrection. To paraphrase a silly bumpersticker: Know Noah, know Christ. No Noah, no Christ.


Lineage of Jesus
Quote
Luke 3:23b-24, 36-38 - He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melki, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph... the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Kenan, the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.


An historical Noah is necessary to the Christ of the Scripture ever existing, as the Bible names Noah as an ancestor of Jesus (Thanks to Atheist Devil for that one).

 
Jesus' use of Noah:
Quote
Matthew 24: 36-39 - No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Quote
Luke 17:26-27 - "Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

The historical events of the ark are used to explain what will be the historical circumstance of the second coming. Notice the as it was... so it will be structure. What happened then shows what will happen then.

Noah as an example of saving faith and justification by faith
Quote
Hebrews 11:1, 6-7 - Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see... And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.  By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

Noah is going to be in heaven among the Christians with the same saving faith. (Notice also, Hebrews 11 is a litany of faithful Old Testament saints (including Abraham) each of whose historicity is demanded by Noah.

While he was dead, Christ preached to the people drowned in Noah's flood
Quote
1 Peter 3:18-20 - For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,

Notice first, that Peter is discussing Christ's saving work.

After Christ was put to death, he preached by the Holy Spirit to those disobedient souls that drowned in Noah's flood. If there are no such souls, there is no reason to believe Christ was ever put to death.

God's destruction of sinners and preservation of the righteous demonstrated by Noah
Quote
2 Peter 2: 4-5, 9 - For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; ... if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.


God's real ability to rescue the godly and judge the wicked is evidenced in his historic, respective rescuing and judging of them. One such historical act of God which is adduced as a ground of God's faithfulness is Noah.

The flood is evidence of Christ's imminent return
Quote
2 Peter 3:3-7 - First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.


Scoffers, mocking Christ's "failure" to come (when in reality, he tarries in grace-- read veres 8ff, if you're interested) are deliberately ignorant of the 'fact' of the flood, that is evidence of the same word bringing another imminent judgement upon the world.

Without the historicity of Noah, there is no Christianity. Christians who pretend otherwise are dishonest, whether to themselves or to others.

Your comment below shows more of your dodging by redefinition. We were discussing whether the bible was intended to be read literally in ancient times and you bring in all this irrelevant prattle about modern schools of thought. Ancient ideas about the nature of text were not the same as modern ideas about it.

You claimed that literalism is new.
You are correct, I did indeed claim that, and continue to claim that.  Literalism as a movement within Christianity is relatively new, rising with the most recent ~10% of Christian history, as I cited in a previous post.  Individuals have read the various text with varying levels of literal understanding throughout the centuries, but literalism - the school of thought that a literal interpretation of the text is the only theologically allowable way to do so - is a recent development, and is still a minority thought within Christianity.  For the other 90% of Christian history, and for the majority of Christians in the world today, no such theological requirement has existed.

Before you claim that this post is an argument from authority, it is not. It is a use of someone's expertise to show that I am not making unsubstantiated claims.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 07:22:50 PM by Foxy Freedom »
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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #96 on: August 10, 2014, 09:10:22 PM »
I find it difficult to not read the story of Noah literally, since it's hard to believe that God symbolically eliminated "giants", and the world's population, and created a symbolic lineage from Noah and Abe.

I think the intent of Genesis is to encapsulate a load of creation stories, similar to what other cultures have done. It's true that the story can also be interpreted symbolically, but denying the literal truth of the story is not credible, unless you are desperate. Anything is credible if you are desperate. Numerous people who have been scammed are testament to this.

The story of the rainbow appearing after Noah, is supposed to be a just-so story of how rainbows were created. It may also have a symbolic meaning, to do with 7 colours and 7 days, but that doesn't mean it's not a story that ignorant twits wouldn't have written.
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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #97 on: August 10, 2014, 09:16:21 PM »
I am not sure where Mooby gets his figure of 90% of Christian history or of the majority of Christians today not reading the bible literally. It seems like he is basing his numbers on Catholicism alone.[1]Protestant sects have varied a lot in how literally or figuratively they interpreted scriptures. And Protestants are remarkably resistant to taking orders from authority figures on how they should be reading the bible. That is one reason for so many different denominations.

About half of Christian history, not 90%, would cover the thousand years of pretty much solid Catholic domination from the Roman empire during the 4th century until the Reformation. I suppose since Catholics are in the numerical majority among Christians worldwide[2], and many Catholics don't memorize/read/study the bible much at all, literally or otherwise, Mooby could be basing his statements on that.

This article says that Catholics don't sit down and read the bible, but they do have the entire book read to them in services over the course of three years. Not exactly the same as "bible study" as I remember it. Who knows whether the congregation is hearing the passages as literal or not as the priest explains them?
http://www.aboutcatholics.com/beliefs/do-catholics-read-the-bible/

This article says that Catholics don't walk around with big black bibles under their arms, or read it regularly the way evangelicals do, but they do know the teachings. Not chapter and verse, but in general. And they sing parts of it.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/archived-articles-2/3549-2/more-christianity/why-dont-catholics-read-the-bible

He implies that, for Catholics, the bible is more of a set of moral guidelines, examples or suggestions than a literal account of world events. However, if you look at how enslaved peoples in Catholic countries were actually taught about Christianity, they were told the stories about the various important people (Adam, Eve, Moses, Noah, Jesus, Mary, Judas, the devil) as if they were real live people and as if the things that happened to them were real live events. And do this, you go to heaven. Do that, or that, or that, or that, or that you go to hell.

If you ask the average Latin American or Filipino or Angolan if the bible is literally about real people and real events and real places,  I would bet money they would say yes. That is based on my own years of experience living with (and attending mass with) traditional Catholic folks in various countries. YMMV

The priest who wrote the piece also notes that the Catholic Church developed it's methods during a time when printing was expensive and most people were illiterate. So it made sense for the priest to have the one copy of the bible and read it to the people.[3]

The priest says that it would be nice if more Catholics studied the bible the way the fundies do. Nooooooo! Keep with the lovely singing and don't read the book. Catholics are more logical and scientific than fundies. Reading the book and thinking about logically it will make more Catholics into atheists..... :angel:
 1. Don't let fundies like skeptic or JW's like Jst hear about this!
 2. Not because people just love the Catholic Church so much that as soon as they hear about it, they immediately leap to convert from whatever they were believing before, but for two practical and less theological reasons: 1) Catholics traditionally avoid artificial contraception and have large families--in addition, poor countries have high birth rates and Catholic countries tend to be poor; and 2) the Spanish, French and Portuguese were really ruthless at global colonization and forced their religion on lots of slaves and indigenous populations
 3. In Latin. Which most people--being illiterate-- did not speak or understand...Seems like an excuse to keep people ignorant to me, or at least an easy way for unscrupulous leaders to do so. Gotta give the Protestants their due, printing books in the languages people actually spoke and teaching folks to read and write were two really useful improvements over the Catholics.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #98 on: August 10, 2014, 09:20:54 PM »
Mooby would have to make a case that the move away from the literal level wasn't caused by people realising it was wrong, and bailing out to the next (symbolic) level. The hypocrisy is that for any statement in the Bible that appears to be literally true, it will be embraced as such, but when it's proven false, it then becomes symbolic.

For example, St Augustine said that it was ridiculous that the sun was created on the 4th day, and Christians should stop defending it, to be credible. JWs have inserted an interpretation that there were clouds that pulled back on the 4th day. However, if it was scientifically proven that the sun was created on the 4th day, then Christians would praise the Bible as the literal truth, and it would be shown that St Augustine was out of touch with God, as all the other early church fathers were, for believing the Gospel of John, and 1 Enoch, which are entirely false.

Hey, why don't just start writing bullshit, and then when I'm caught-out, claim that it was only symbolic.
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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #99 on: August 10, 2014, 09:32:12 PM »
If you ask the average Latin American or Filipino or Angolan if the bible is literally about real people and real events and real places,  I would bet money they would say yes.

I think the Bible was read to the masses in Latin, so Latin Americans would be better able to understand the literal Bible. For people who didn't understand Latin, it would have been interpreted symbolically.
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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #100 on: August 10, 2014, 09:37:13 PM »
Maybe you're right that current "scholarship" (whatever the hell that means) doesn't suggest that... But if so, current "scholarship" is wrong.
Quote from: 2 Peter 1:20-21
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
EDIT: Almost forgot - found on TTA.
The way I see it, Mooby, you have few choices. Maybe Peter was lying/wrong, in which case you'd have to wonder why your god allowed for lies to be placed in the Bible, and what else in the Bible is unreliable. Maybe Peter was telling the truth, in which case your god was an idiot. These are just the main ones.
Irrelevant.  We're talking Genesis 1, not prophets.  The first prophet doesn't show up for another 10 chapters, and Genesis as a whole is not considered to be a prophetic book.  Thus, 2 Peter 1:20-21 does not apply to Genesis 1.



Quote from: Mooby
we have no evidence of literalism ever being a requirement of Christianity prior to some denominations claiming so in relatively recent history, and we have no evidence that the original authors meant it to only be read literally without any symbolic interpretation.  In short, we have no reason to conclude that it is illegitimate to read Genesis 1 non-literally, which is the point that your entire objection is resting on.

Where did this "to only be read literally" come from? I don't care about "only". We are talking about "literally" as the defining factor in the ancient religion. You are trying to shift the goalposts again. Your original comment was that "they were likely never intended to be read literally." Can you stop dodging by redefinition? Keep to the literal reading of the text as the defining factor.
"To only be read literally" comes from the definition of literalism.  As you may recall, "literalism" figures into both points one and two of my argument.  As a review, here are they are again:
  •     Non-literalism is not novel
  •     Non-literalism has been acceptable throughout Christian history
  •     Current scholarship does not suggest that the original authors intended it to be read literally

No goal posts have been shifted.  In addition, no terms have been redefined: a careful analysis will show that I have been using "literalism" consistently in my post.

As a refresher, the reason my first two points mentioned literalism is that you cited a literalist, stated that there is "no doubt" that the literalist is right in that regard.  Thus, while we are indeed discussing the literal intent of the original author, whether literalism should be a standard within Christianity is also relevant.

If you wish, I will readily agree to exclude Biblical literalism from our discussion.  Is that something you would like to do?



This is a quote from DTE who posted this in the previous forum. DTE was a trained theologian who wrote this to show that the stories in the OT were read literally.
You bold that for what reason, to imply that his points are unarguable because he had training at some point in the past?  I do not consider theologians authoritative.Wiki

At any rate, I'm not going to go point for point on a post from another thread an entire forum ago, so I'll just quote the part you're citing:
Quote
Scoffers, mocking Christ's "failure" to come (when in reality, he tarries in grace-- read veres 8ff, if you're interested) are deliberately ignorant of the 'fact' of the flood, that is evidence of the same word bringing another imminent judgement upon the world.
First off, I thought we were talking about Genesis 1, not Genesis 6-9.

Secondly, DTE's summary does not demonstrate necessity.  There is no reason that someone who takes the flood story symbolically cannot relate it to Christ's return in the last days and understand the point that Peter was making.  The text provides no evidence that the flood story must be taken literally by either Peter or his followers.  Maybe some did, maybe some didn't, but there's nothing in the text that precludes them from either view.

Quote
Your comment below shows more of your dodging by redefinition.
What word was redefined?

We were discussing whether the bible was intended to be read literally in ancient times and you bring in all this irrelevant prattle about modern schools of thought. Ancient ideas about the nature of text were not the same as modern ideas about it.
Again, you brought up the modern idea.  Right here:
Quote
You might think that Genesis should not be taken literally but other Christians such as Shep disagree with you and there is no doubt that he and they are right.

Your entire argument is that the modern position that Christians such as Shep allegedly adopt is the only correct way to read Genesis 1.  If you would like to retract that claim, I am more than happy to stop addressing it.

Would you like to retract that claim?
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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #101 on: August 10, 2014, 09:44:13 PM »
I think what some of us are saying is that Christians don't agree on the correct way to read the bible.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #102 on: August 10, 2014, 09:45:33 PM »
Genesis as a whole is not considered to be a prophetic book. 

You should buy this guy's 60 minute audio tape.
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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #103 on: August 10, 2014, 09:47:45 PM »
I think what some of us are saying is that Christians don't agree on the correct way to read the bible.

Yes. The only way to interpret it, is your own personal way, so you can make 60 minute audiobooks, and bore your family with shit.

My personal way of interpreting it, is that Genesis is a load of shit, that proves the Bible (no matter how sophisticated the deception is, on the upper levels) is standing on feet of clay, as well.
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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #104 on: August 10, 2014, 09:51:01 PM »
Here is a summary of bare assertions that Foxy Freedom has made and is either avoiding or refusing to defend with any evidence whatsoever:

  • No spatial coordinates = no state of being (Reply #73)
  • There is no doubt that literalist Christians, who disagree with "Genesis should not be taken literally," are correct (Reply #77)
  • Genesis 1 was meant literally (Reply #77)
  • The creation myths in Genesis 1 and 2 were not clearly distinguished in the minds of religious people (Reply #85)
  • Mooby has shifted goalposts (Reply #95)
  • Mooby has attempted to redefine at least one term (Reply #95)
I will try to keep this list updated as we move forward.
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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #105 on: August 10, 2014, 10:15:58 PM »
I am not sure where Mooby gets his figure of 90% of Christian history or of the majority of Christians today not reading the bible literally
The sources I cited showed that literalism became a major player around 150-200 years ago.  So for about 1800-1850/2000 years literalism was not prominent, which is 90%-93%.  I did mention at one point that if you wanted to really stretch it to 500 years per my first source on the subject, then you would have 75% of Christian history before the seeds of literalism ever started to take root.

Per wiki, the denominations that take Genesis 1 literally,Wiki which is a small minority.  Technically, any position not found within the Catholic Church is likely to be a minority because Catholics are ~50% of Christians, but once you add to that the Greek Orthodox and progressive denominations (or really, anyone other than the fundamentalists and some evangelicals), the minority becomes rather small indeed.  Per WikiWiki, in America alone the split is 30% literalist vs. 50% non-literalist, and America has the highest concentration of literalists.  Add in all the Catholic, Orthodox, and liberal Protestant dominated countries, and the proportion is going to be a lot lower.  So yeah, minority.
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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #106 on: August 11, 2014, 01:06:59 AM »
I would appreciate it if you actually read my posts before commenting on them. I have added below, for you, some of what I wrote.

I would appreciate if you afforded yourself the same courtesy.  If all you really wrote was that "metaphorical interpretations provide a convenient excuse for modern christians when they need them" then that claim would have been fine.  Rather, you personally accused Mooby of seeking out such an excuse for that very reason without any evidence to support your accusation.

If you want to pretend you wrote something different, that's fine I guess.  Do you.  If you did mean something different, then you shouldn't blame others when you fail to express yourself clearly. 

As for this:

Added note: As it became integrated in to the Roman Empire, Christianity developed different levels of interpretation for the text, literal and metaphorical, which could be written together on the same page, for the whole bible not just the creation story. The creation story is not a special case of metaphorical interpretation, it is just a convenient excuse for modern christians who compromise with modern knowledge on the creation story.

Is this really even true, though?  As far as I can tell Christians and Jews have long argued for varying levels of interpretation, long before Christianity being adopted by the Roman Empire, anyway.  Origen, for example, wrote over a hundred years before that.  And Philo espoused allegorical views of scripture a few hundred years before that.  Furthermore, there's all sorts of interesting schools of thought that went on in the early Church and in the intertestamental period before that.  My favorite example, Marcion, actually believed that Jesus was the son of a different god than the god of the Old Testament.

Furthermore, the creation accounts aren't the only stories that are believed by many Christians and Jews to be figurative.  For example, Christians that claim that there are prophecies that anticipate the coming of Christ can't do so without arguing for an interpretation of a given passage that is separate from its original context and often its plain reading.

And on a side note, I think that nogodsforme brings up a great point with respect to lay interpretations.  I'd wager that many if not most lay people throughout the history of the Abrahamic religions thought that Adam, Eve and sometimes Lilith were real people.  However, for most of our history most people were also illiterate and isolated.  Now any idiot with a computer, for example me, can make his or her writing accessible to the rest of the world.

Why did the compilers of the NT not harmonize the miracles of Jesus in the gospels if they were supposed to be taken literally as miracles, rather than as the literary device of illustrations through action?

For a lot of reasons, I'd say probably not.  But I obviously don't know.  Here's how I look at it.  There are some details about Jesus' life like his crucifixion and honorable burial and the empty tomb that almost all Christians seem to have believed to have been literally true.  But even that can get kind of sketchy if you sit down and think about it.  For example, there are people here that argue that there was no historical Jesus.  What then would we make of the author's possible intentions if that were the case? 

As for what I think actually happened, I'd say it's a bit murky.  We don't know who wrote the Gospels.  They're only attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John based on tradition.  But we do know that people had no problem editing the Gospels to their liking.  Matthew and Luke even use Mark (and probably Q) as a source.  And then there are the interpolations.  In John, for example, there's the story of the woman taken in adultery.  This was inserted in the text and doesn't appear in the earliest manuscripts.  It's no wonder then that Revelations 22:18 warns against potential edits on the penalty of damnation.  So anyway, do I think that the communities that were doing this with the text were attempting to create something that was literally true?  Probably not.  I think that they thought that what they were writing was true as far as it goes though.

Also, with respect to contradictions in the Gospels, it's important to remember that each Gospel tradition was associated with different factions of early Christians.  It's actually not unlike some of the theories about the editing of the Hebrew Bible, with Genesis 1 representing the newer priestly source and Genesis 2 representing an earlier Yahwehist tradition.

Also also, I liked the post you dug up from DTE but really I think that the only passage that I found to be absolutely persuasive is 1 Peter 3:18-20.  The genealogies contradict each other and really, the point there is mostly that Jesus belongs to David's line.  Similarly, they can't agree on why he was born in Bethlehem but it was important to them that he was born there because that's where they thought the Messiah should be from.  And I think that Mooby is basically right in that it's not all that uncommon to use mythical or fictional but familiar characters to make a point.  For example, a quick google search yielded this:

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-25058575

We can make literary allusions without claiming that the stories we're alluding to are literally true.  Also, on a literary level I think that the movement from the primordial waters to the windows of heaven opening to flood the earth to the fire that the heathenly heathens are going to burn in just works for me.  Still, the easiest way to read Peter claiming that Jesus ministered to those that died in the flood is to presume that he believed that there was an actual flood that people died in.
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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #107 on: August 11, 2014, 01:47:24 AM »


1. What in Mooby's last two replies do you find dishonest?
2. What in particular did you find absurd about what you quoted?

He took the time to acutely defend his position on an allegorical Genesis interpretation. I disagree with him but I can still appreciate the effort he put into it, plus I understand his position on the topic more clearly. I just don't understand what part of his quoted post is deserving of derision.

I respect the fact that he has at least researched his opinions to a higher standard than most theists I encounter. the derision and disgust is that as a whole you can combine any aspects of scripture you want to support your own personal view of it and scripturally speaking you could be correct, this includes theists with diametrically opposed views ie the bible is the literal, infallible and inerrant word of god to be read as a collection of facts on how one must get to heaven and a factual account of the creation of all energy, matter, life etc VERSUS a bunch of allegory and metaphor.

that is the absurdity, evil and danger of it all.

the fact that moob has a higher standard of scholarship does in no way negate the absurdity just defined and only reinforces the untruth and falsehood of it all from my perspective.

furthermore it reinforces the concept of SPAG as the only viable conclusion.

as one theist group I encountered that set me on this path stated 9paraaphrasing) , "if the first chapter of the bible is not true/factual/historical then the rest of it is not viable". the first chapter has to at all costs be true to make any of it defensible.

that's why I am here, that's why I think the whole concept is a dangerous delusion and a mistake that negates the truth, whatever the truth happens to be.

hope you get the point I am trying to make.
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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #108 on: August 11, 2014, 02:27:17 AM »
Maybe you're right that current "scholarship" (whatever the hell that means) doesn't suggest that... But if so, current "scholarship" is wrong.
Quote from: 2 Peter 1:20-21
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
EDIT: Almost forgot - found on TTA.
The way I see it, Mooby, you have few choices. Maybe Peter was lying/wrong, in which case you'd have to wonder why your god allowed for lies to be placed in the Bible, and what else in the Bible is unreliable. Maybe Peter was telling the truth, in which case your god was an idiot. These are just the main ones.
Irrelevant.  We're talking Genesis 1, not prophets.  The first prophet doesn't show up for another 10 chapters, and Genesis as a whole is not considered to be a prophetic book.  Thus, 2 Peter 1:20-21 does not apply to Genesis 1.

Then who wrote Genesis 1? Was someone who was present at the time of creation? Or did they get inspired by YHWH, since there weren't any humans at the time? Also, what about Genesis 2, which contradicts Genesis 1?
Cue rationalizations.
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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #109 on: August 11, 2014, 06:08:00 AM »
Here is a summary of bare assertions that Foxy Freedom has made and is either avoiding or refusing to defend with any evidence whatsoever:

  • No spatial coordinates = no state of being (Reply #73)
  • There is no doubt that literalist Christians, who disagree with "Genesis should not be taken literally," are correct (Reply #77)
  • Genesis 1 was meant literally (Reply #77)
  • The creation myths in Genesis 1 and 2 were not clearly distinguished in the minds of religious people (Reply #85)
  • Mooby has shifted goalposts (Reply #95)
  • Mooby has attempted to redefine at least one term (Reply #95)
I will try to keep this list updated as we move forward.

Stop dodging by distraction.
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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #110 on: August 11, 2014, 07:28:08 AM »
We were discussing whether the bible was intended to be read literally in ancient times and you bring in all this irrelevant prattle about modern schools of thought. Ancient ideas about the nature of text were not the same as modern ideas about it.
Again, you brought up the modern idea.  Right here:
Quote
You might think that Genesis should not be taken literally but other Christians such as Shep disagree with you and there is no doubt that he and they are right.

Your entire argument is that the modern position that Christians such as Shep allegedly adopt is the only correct way to read Genesis 1.  If you would like to retract that claim, I am more than happy to stop addressing it.

Would you like to retract that claim?

Stop dodging by redefinition.

I have made no claim based on any modern christian reading of the text. You know I was just giving an example of Christians who believe different things to you. You might not like it that other Christians have different moralities, but there is nothing you can do about it. The ancient text, not a modern school of thought, proves that Shep is correct in reading Genesis literally and rejecting evolution, for anyone who is consistent in their Christian beliefs.
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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #111 on: August 11, 2014, 07:43:19 AM »
Quote from: Mooby
we have no evidence of literalism ever being a requirement of Christianity prior to some denominations claiming so in relatively recent history, and we have no evidence that the original authors meant it to only be read literally without any symbolic interpretation.  In short, we have no reason to conclude that it is illegitimate to read Genesis 1 non-literally, which is the point that your entire objection is resting on.

Where did this "to only be read literally" come from? I don't care about "only". We are talking about "literally" as the defining factor in the ancient religion. You are trying to shift the goalposts again. Your original comment was that "they were likely never intended to be read literally." Can you stop dodging by redefinition? Keep to the literal reading of the text as the defining factor.
"To only be read literally" comes from the definition of literalism.  As you may recall, "literalism" figures into both points one and two of my argument.  As a review, here are they are again:
  •     Non-literalism is not novel
  •     Non-literalism has been acceptable throughout Christian history
  •     Current scholarship does not suggest that the original authors intended it to be read literally

No goal posts have been shifted.  In addition, no terms have been redefined: a careful analysis will show that I have been using "literalism" consistently in my post.

As a refresher, the reason my first two points mentioned literalism is that you cited a literalist, stated that there is "no doubt" that the literalist is right in that regard.  Thus, while we are indeed discussing the literal intent of the original author, whether literalism should be a standard within Christianity is also relevant.

If you wish, I will readily agree to exclude Biblical literalism from our discussion.  Is that something you would like to do?

I would like you to stop dodging.

I have already said that I know alternative non literal readings were used. That is not the issue. The issue is whether Genesis was accepted as a literal text.
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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #112 on: August 11, 2014, 07:52:05 AM »
I'm not going to go point for point on a post from another thread an entire forum ago, so I'll just quote the part you're citing:
Quote
Scoffers, mocking Christ's "failure" to come (when in reality, he tarries in grace-- read veres 8ff, if you're interested) are deliberately ignorant of the 'fact' of the flood, that is evidence of the same word bringing another imminent judgement upon the world.
First off, I thought we were talking about Genesis 1, not Genesis 6-9.

Secondly, DTE's summary does not demonstrate necessity.  There is no reason that someone who takes the flood story symbolically cannot relate it to Christ's return in the last days and understand the point that Peter was making.  The text provides no evidence that the flood story must be taken literally by either Peter or his followers.  Maybe some did, maybe some didn't, but there's nothing in the text that precludes them from either view.

This is the real issue. Did the author of 2 Peter mean what he said or was he just pretending, when he said that scoffers of religion lose sight of the fact that Yahweh created the world in the way Genesis said?
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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #113 on: August 11, 2014, 10:04:40 AM »
To be fair, most scholars agree that the author of 2nd Peter was pretending to be Peter.  So he was pretty big on pretending.
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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #114 on: August 11, 2014, 12:02:26 PM »
....the point that Peter was making.  The text provides no evidence that the flood story must be taken literally by either Peter or his followers.

To be fair, most scholars agree that the author of 2nd Peter was pretending to be Peter.  So he was pretty big on pretending.

Mooby, Take into account what Timo says here. I have been careful to call him the author of 2Peter, but apparently you have not done your homework since you are calling him "Peter and his followers." Your understanding of this letter has no credibility if you don't know that.
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Re: Prove Satan is Evil
« Reply #115 on: August 11, 2014, 02:38:17 PM »
As the faithful belief in the OT became less and less desirable it went from being the absolute word of God to being metaphorical,and was no longer to be taken literally. It is a beautiful cop-out,because as science could explain away myth,Christianity also had to evolve itself. What better way to do it than separate yourself from ignorant goat herders and their crazy fucked up God,than to make any and all passages that don't match common knowledge as "metaphorical".

 It's an absolute win/win for Christianity,because any crazy notion,that fails to match the science or knowledge of the day can now be translated as metaphoric,how can the Christian possibly lose in this situation?
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