A Question For Supernaturalists

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Calilasseia's picture
A Question For Supernaturalists

Several of us here have repeatedly observed the phenomenon, of supernaturalists treating their various choices of mythology as not merely containing scientific and historical fact, but as the product of a fantastically gifted entity (invariably the entity in question being asserted to exist in the self same mythologies) purportedly responsible for fabricating an entire universe and its contents.

For those supernaturalists who wonder why we regard this treatment of mythology as fact with deep suspicion, you might want to ponder the following.

The mythologies you adhere to, contain assertions about the natural world and its contents, that are not merely wrong in the light of modern scientific knowledge, but fatuous and absurd in that light. As a corollary, not only is the provenance of those mythologies as a purported source of genuine "knowledge" extremely suspect, but so is the assertion that said mythologies were in any way connected to any genuinely existing fantastically gifted entity.

First, if supernaturalists were presented with any other body of text, purporting to contain genuine knowledge about the universe and its contents, but which was found upon close examination to contain elementary and ridiculous errors, the same supernaturalists would dismiss any claims from that text in an instant. Yet they manifestly do not apply the same judgement to their chosen mythologies. Apart from being a brazen double standard, and a direct violation of any proper approach to discourse, this dichotomy is itself manifestly absurd.

Second, do supernaturalists really think, that any genuinely existing fantastically gifted entity, would allow manifest errors of this sort to appear in any "sacred" work attributed to it? Because if they do, they are not only amplifying the absurdity already cited, they are, by their own standard, cheapening their gods.

Third, and worse still, in the case of fantastic entities asserted to be "omniscient", and in particular, to possess perfect foreknowledge of the future, an entity of this sort would know in advance that allowing such errors to appear in any "sacred" work attributed thereto, would be subject to later dissection by the scientists that said entity must surely have known would arise. Such an entity would know in advance, that errors of this sort would be discovered and exposed in the future.

One cannot even resort to the excuse, that these erroneous assertions constituted purported "simplifications" of relevant concepts aimed at an audience with limited understanding, and in need of accessible analogies. Because genuine analogies do not present within them assertions that are plain, flat, wrong, at least not if constructed competently. Given that scientists in the modern era have been able to make difficult concepts, such as, for example, Calabi-Yau manifolds, accessible to a public with only an elementary level of education, surely it was not beyond the remit of any genuinely existing god-type entity to do the same, and in the process, perform at least an elementary proofreading of whichever mythology is attributed thereto?

The fact that said proofreading and elimination of manifest, absurd error observably did not take place in the requisite mythologies, on its own renders several supernaturalist assertions null and void. This appearance of manifest error, renders null and void any assertion that the mythologies in question are repositories of genuine, substantive knowledge about the universe and its contents. It renders null and void any assertion that the mythologies in question were the product of a fantastically gifted entity, with an intellect far surpassing that of even our greatest scientists.

Indeed, the whole idea that a god type entity would need to communicate via mythology, on its own is suspect. Why not simply arrange for the requisite information to be presented in a straightforward work of non-fiction, one that could be cross-checked and verified with respect to its concordance with observational reality? One that, furthermore, provides instructions on how to bootstrap the scientific endeavour from scratch, and determine for ourselves that the contents of this work are indeed something special?

I have yet to see any supernaturalist address this issue with anything other than the usual apologetic fabrications and rhetorical spells. Consequently, any amongst that ilk who think they can do so, are advised to toss said fabrications and spells into the bin before posting, because their appearance here will be treated by many with well-deserved scorn and derision.

Now, can any supernaturalist come here and address this embarrassing issue?

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Algebe's picture
I think the existence of the

I think the existence of the pseudo discipline called "theology" is itself glaring evidence of the fallacy of superstition. An omnipotent, omniscient god of pure intellect would surely have made its message absolutely clear and unmistakable to every one of its creatures, regardless of their language or intellectual capacity. Yet we have generations of priests and monks poring over ancient scrawls and arguing and prosing on about how many angels can stand on a pinhead.

But reason and science are such hard work, and mythology is so easy.

Sheldon's picture
"reason and science are such

"reason and science are such hard work, and mythology is so easy."

Now that's the absolute truth. The often dry and hard slog of scientific rigour is never going to impress the uneducated hoi polloi as much a damn good yarn involving magic.

Cognostic's picture
@Calilasseia, I'm betting

@Calilasseia, I'm betting you are a killer conversationalist at a dinner party. My science professor would have loved me had I the scholarly command to write as succinctly while maintaining a well read, thought out and scholastic air. I would hate to be the fool to challenge you on anything having to do with the written language. I might be able to help you loosen up a bit at a party though? Then again, you just might be a wild man and I am simply responding to a forum persona. Regardless, keep up the great posts. They are always a pleasure to read.

Tin-Man's picture
@Cali

@Cali

Yeah, what Cog said. Also, while it is rather difficult to follow up on your posts sometimes because of how incredibly thorough and precise you are, I find myself always looking forward to your masterfully crafted prose. While I may not always be able to add to them, I at least have the satisfaction of being able to learn from them.

doG's picture
@ cal

@ cal

You da shiznit...working C-space cogently into THE key sentence of your post...makes you a god. Pun intended.
I love reading your posts...big fan.

I think that, from an observational view alone, a general lack of theists knowledge base and ignorance of basic concepts, leads to repeated failure in reason. I am not as eloquent as you cal, but stupidity breeds stupidity.

LogicFTW's picture
@Calilasseia OP

@Calilasseia OP

Great post, well written.

Unfortunately I suspect this level of writing will fly right over the head of most all supernaturalist that visit these boards. These people cannot even understand that true omniscience = no free will. Even after multiple attempts and examples by us to explain this simple concept.

If supernaturalist understood the concepts you presented truly, I don't think they would be supernaturalist anymore, or at the very least not ascribe to any religion.

 
 

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Jo's picture
@ Calilasseia

@ Calilasseia

I guess I am a glutton for punishment, but I am going to try and address the embarrassing issue you mentioned. I am sure I will not be as eloquent and concise as you, but I am going to give it a try.

I think one of the main issues is a misunderstanding of the intent of the Bible. The first couple of chapters in Genesis are not trying to correct, explain, or educate the audience on cosmology. On the surface it may seem that way, but that is forcing something on the text that is not there. I could say that Genesis gets a surprising amount right and even has some knowledge that was not known until modern science. Such as the universe having a beginning and there being light in the universe before the sun was formed. But I would be making the same mistake by trying to shape it into a scientific document.

The Bible is not intended as a document to explain or educate us in science, history, or geography. It may contain some information on those subjects, but that is not its purpose. So if you judge it based on the assumption that it is a document about those subjects, you will be misjudging it.

It had to be able to be comprehended, remembered, and easily passed on. So it was more of a poem with meter and rhyme and other literary devices. It is also very short. When you take out all the words that are not part of the actual details of the story, you are left with only about 100 words covering about 14 billion years. So there was not a lot of words dedicated to how it all happened. I guess God could have explained the big bang, or evolution, but his purpose was not to teach science. It is more about the reason and purpose. More about the why than the how.

It is more like the following scenario than a scientific treatise. If your great Grandfather built you a magnificent place to live, but was not around to explain everything to you, he might leave you some notes. If he only had 100 words to leave you, and the information had to be easily remembered and passed on. If you had no knowledge of engineering and architecture, and were illiterate. He wouldn't waste words trying to explain precisely when each part was built, how it was built, and what it is made out of. He would focus the information he provides you with, on the purpose and significance. He would not waste words trying to educate or correct any misunderstanding you have about architecture. His notes might say, "this room is the kitchen, to be used to prepare food." He would not waste words explaining with what and how the kithcen was made. Especially if its construction was every complicated and lengthy.

I know this only addresses some of the issues you brought up, but I will try to address more of them in the near future.

Calilasseia's picture
It's time to launch another

It's time to launch another sortie, methinks ...

I think one of the main issues is a misunderstanding of the intent of the Bible.

I assure you, I have no misunderstanding of the intent of the authors of its various parts. Their intent, clearly and explicitly, was for readers of their output to treat all of the assertions contained therein as fact. Which happens to be the intent of every author of mythological texts. I'm also aware of a critique that Nietzsche applied to contemporary philosophers, that is also applicable here, but I'll ask you to be patient for a moment.

The first couple of chapters in Genesis are not trying to correct, explain, or educate the audience on cosmology.

No, those chapters simply assert that the universe and its contents appeared in the manner described in those passages. Which, of course, is the entire problem with mythologies. Mythologies are replete with assertions, but precious little support for those assertions is present.

The second problem you have, is that numerous supernaturalists regard these passages as scientific and historical fact. This phenomenon is most floridly observable among polemical creationists, of the sort that have a habit of turning up on rationalist forums, intent on trying to tell those of us who paid attention in class, that the world's most educated scientists got it wrong, and that a bunch of piss-stained nomads 3,000 years ago somehow magically got it right. You have this observable data set to address.

On the surface it may seem that way, but that is forcing something on the text that is not there.

And now, it's time to pull back the curtain, and reveal the Nietzsche connection I alluded to above. In his work Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche included a scathing castigation of those philosophers who imposed a metaphysic upon the world, in order to usher in an ethic via the back door, regardless of whether or not reality agreed with the idea that it purportedly contained any intrinsic ethic (a matter on which I've written much elsewhere). The relevant passage from Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil reads as follows:

It has gradually become clear to me what every great philosophy has hitherto been: a confession on the part of its author and a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir; moreover, that the moral (or immoral) intentions in every philosophy have every time constituted the real germ of life out of which the entire plant has grown. To explain how a philosopher's most remote metaphysical assertions have actually been arrived at, it is always well (and wise) to ask oneself first: what morality does this (does he - ) aim at? I accordingly do not believe a 'drive to knowledge' to be the father of philosophy, but that another drive has, here as elsewhere, only employed knowledge (and false knowledge) as a tool.

I commented elsewhere that this, of course, is one of the reasons that the fundies find science so disturbing, because - gasp! - it does not even try to impose an ethic upon the world. How dare it not do that, and even more, how dare it not impose their ethic upon the world, would seem to be their position from the standpoint of a genuinely Nietzschean analysis.

Of course, it's worse than this: the whole scientific enterprise appears to demonstrate pretty conclusively that imposing a metaphysic in order to impose an ethic, has zero utility value when it comes to actually understanding how the real world works. Conversely, not bothering to impose a metaphysic (and therefore not bothering to impose an ethic) is spectacularly successful. If you're committed ideologically to a doctrine of the sort that the fundies are committed to, that is about as subversive as it gets.

In the introduction to my copy of the book in question, the translator provides this insight, which is additionally illuminative to the point I am making:

Nietzsche is not claiming that we do, or should, embrace judgements that we know to be false - it is not even clear that such a suggestion makes sense. His point is rather that many of the judgements to which we subscribe most firmly may in fact be false, but that it is better that we should not discover this, or that it may be better. We should, that is, be very careful about where our philosophers are leading us. Actually, he would have made his point more effectively if he had spoken of scientists rather than philosophers, for the latter have not been notably successful in uncovering any concrete truths, palatable or the reverse, at any stage in the history of the subject. But the search for truth at any cost, though it is inspired by a philosopher, has been carried through with terrifying success by scientists; admittedly more so in the century since Nietzsche than in all preceding times.

And, in the process of performing the above task, science has also been devastatingly destructive to mythological assertions. But I digress. Nietzsche continues in the same vein, as follows:

What makes one regard philosophers half mistrustfully and half mockingly is not that one again and again detects how innocent they are - how often and how easily they fall into error and go astray, in short their childishness and childlikeness - but that they display altogether insufficient honesty, while making a mighty and virtuous noise as soon as the problem of truthfulness is even remotely touched on. They pose as having discovered and attained their real opinions through the self-evolution of a cold, pure, divinely unperturbed dialectic (in contrast to the mystics of every rank, who are more honest and more stupid than they - these speak of 'inspiration'): while what happens at bottom is that a prejudice, a notion, an 'inspiration', generally a desire of the heart sifted and made abstract, is defended by them with reasons sought after the event - they are one and all advocates who do not want to be regarded as such, and for the most part no better than cunning pleaders for their prejudices, which they baptise 'truths' - and very far from possessing the courage of the conscience which admits this fact to itself, very far from possessing the good taste of the courage which publishes this fact, whether to warn a foe or a friend or out of high spirits and in order to mock itself. The tartuffery, as stiff as it is virtuous, of old Kant as he lures us along the dialectical bypaths which lead, more correctly, mislead, to his 'categorical imperative' - this spectacle makes us smile, we who are fastidious and find no little amusement in observing the subtle tricks of old moralists and moral-preachers. Not to speak of that hocus-pocus of mathematical form in which, as if of iron, Spinoza encased and masked his philosophy - 'the love of his wisdom', to render that word fairly and squarely - so as to strike terror into the heart of any assailant who should dare to glance at this invincible maiden and Pallas Athene - how much personal timidity and vulnerability this masquerade of a sick recluse betrays!

In short, Nietzsche is not only castigating the mutation of philosophy, in certain hands, into an assertionist process, but the peddling of apologetics. His prose is somewhat florid, but the point is duly made.

Now, about that connection. Quite simply, mythologies are never written in a vacuum, and if they are to be something other than a stream of consciousness exercise, conducted on a level of abstraction that would quickly become tiresome to even the most esoteric of literary tastes, they have to exhibit at least some attempt at forging a connection, however tenuous, with the real, observable world. The best fiction is the best, precisely because it integrates known fact with the products of the imagination, in a manner that results in a compelling narrative - enough fantasy to be entertaining, enough reality to avoid being risible. As a corollary, anyone seeking to write a mythology, and who intends for that mythology to be something other than obvious fantasy, has to include in that narrative something that at the very least resembles history. Creation myths are pretty much an essential tool in the literary toolbox for this purpose, and the near-ubiquity thereof in human mythologies is wonderfully educational here. But, a modified version of Nitezsche's critique applies here: namely, that in many cases, a creation myth and an accompanying metaphysics, was erected for the purpose of imposing an ethic upon the universe and its contents, and implanting in the mind of the reader, that said ethic was an intrinsic part of the fabric of the universe.

At this point, I need only make some elementary observations, in order to render this exercise futile. Namely, that the existence of an ethic only makes sense, when there exist entities capable of the requisite thought. The idea of an ethic being an intrinsic part of the fabric of the universe makes no sense, when one understands that in the past, the universe was hostile even to the existence of neutral atoms, let alone any more complex compound entities. What's the point of having an ethic embedded into the fabric of the universe, if nothing capable of abiding by that ethic will exist for 13.4 billion years? Another of those elementary concepts I find frequently to be beyond the understanding of many supernaturalists.

But there are two issues here. One, that a creation myth was included, albeit with an ulterior motive other than that of scientific education, as I have explicitly recognised above, and two, that creation myth was intended to be treated as factual, precisely because the ethic that was the primary motive of the author thereof, depended upon this creation myth being true, in order for that ethic to be disseminated successfully. That second issue strikes to the heart of the matter here, namely that assertions about the physical world and its operation were erected not as an attempt to understand observational reality, but to prop up a set of rules for controlling human behaviour, regardless of whether those assertions about the physical world were actually correct.

The big problem with this approach being, of course, that the moment said assertions about the physical world are demonstrated not to be correct, the entire edifice collapses. Which is the real reason religious fundamentalists in particular are so zealously motivated to oppose any science that falsifies even peripheral assertions of their mythologies. That falsification is devastating to their entire enterprise. The moment modern scientific theories gain wide public acceptance, religions dependent upon a metaphysic at variance with those scientific theories to support their ethics, have an earthquake bomb detonated under their foundations.

Choosing this route to give longevity and hegemony to one's mythology is seductive, but dangerous to the very mythological enterprise that is being conducted, because failure to be diligent with respect to the creation myth, destroys your work wholesale the moment science finds out your assertions are wrong.

I could say that Genesis gets a surprising amount right

No it doesn't. Anyone who has paid attention in a science class, is well placed to know that the assertions in Genesis are frankly ludicrous. The entire order of events is ass-backwards with respect to the findings of modern science. Such as Earth being purportedly "created" before the Sun existed, except that oops, modern astrophysicists not only know that planetary accretion requires a star to be present first, they now have direct observational evidence of the process underway. Likewise, asserting that plants were purportedly "created" before there existed a light source to power photosynthesis, is an elementary error discoverable by reasonably astute 11 year olds today. The whole business with the rib-woman is likewise risible for several reasons.

and even has some knowledge that was not known until modern science.

Oh really?

Such as the universe having a beginning

This was merely asserted. The assorted authors of this mythology had NO way of genuinely knowing if this assertion was something other than the product of their rectal passages. Additionally, the very concept of the universe having a "beginning", is itself one that needs to be treated with care, in the light of modern cosmology. Not least because whilst the observable universe we see today may have had a "beginning" in its current form, there are numerous cosmological hypotheses in existence that involve eternally existing entities.

and there being light in the universe before the sun was formed.

Actually, any photons that existed for the first 300,000 years didn't travel very far. Radiation wasn't decoupled from matter until that time. Furthermore, in the earliest epochs, that radiation wouldn't have been in the visible spectrum, but somewhere at the high end of the X-ray/gamma ray part of the spectrum.

But I would be making the same mistake by trying to shape it into a scientific document.

So don't even go there. :)

But, my essential point remains intact. Namely, that a genuinely existing fantastically gifted entity, one capable of fabricating an entire universe and its contents, would surely possess the power to ensure that any "message" it sought to disseminate to us, would not contain manifest and discoverable errors?

LogicFTW's picture
@Calilasseia

@Calilasseia
Another excellent post Calilasseia.

The best fiction is the best, precisely because it integrates known fact with the products of the imagination, in a manner that results in a compelling narrative - enough fantasy to be entertaining, enough reality to avoid being risible.

I realized something reading that. I have noticed for the last 10 years or so I increasingly analyze everything I read and watch, even fictional stories. Worse it oftentimes ruins the movie/book for me. Some glaring reason or logic flaw or contradiction, I thought I was just growing older and these books/movies were written for people in their 20's or younger when people simply did not investigate as much, in a sense I thought I grew out of lots of books and movies even if they were intended for adults, just young adults. Now I realize as my critical mind sharpens, the balance, the equation for me is different then it is for many other folks, I demand much more reality in a fiction book so it does not become risible. I still do try to enjoy the books/movies.

One easy example for me is the well known game of thrones books/tv series. In the books written by George R. R. Martin and the earlier seasons that stuck to the books closely, while there was magical flying dragons, people immune to fire etc everything else made sense, why people did things made sense. George took the time to write a book that despite it fantasy origin everything in a sense had its place and purpose, it much closer matched reality even if it was a fictional magical world. As the TV series progressed it moved away from the books and much of the purpose and reasoning and reality started to crumble. I would shout at the screen and say something like: "that makes no sense! Why would it happen X way when Y way is much easier, more reliable and far more likely outcome?? I can then trace it to the screen writers trying to move the plot forward in the direction they want to take it, they are manipulating reality to tell a story and my mind rejects it as improbable, too much fantasy and essentially, lying.

Don't get me wrong though I still watch the latest episode of game of thrones the day it comes out, even if the story is not as good, (and more predictable to me,) the sets, the special effects, the costumes, make up etc are all still top notch.

What's the point of having an ethic embedded into the fabric of the universe, if nothing capable of abiding by that ethic will exist for 13.4 billion years? Another of those elementary concepts I find frequently to be beyond the understanding of many supernaturalists.

Very well stated. This too is one of the most powerful reasons why I am so utterly confident that the various god ideas are pure works of fiction by humans. An entity that cares greatly about humans but waits 13.4 BILLION years to do anything, then briefly reveals it self but in a way that cannot be verified later? It is little wonder some religions go the route of "no the universe is really only thousands of years old not billions." Even if the evidence is badly stacked against such a statement.
 
 

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Please include @LogicFTW for responses to me
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rat spit's picture
@Cali

@Cali

“I commented elsewhere that this, of course, is one of the reasons that the fundies find science so disturbing, because - gasp! - it does not even try to impose an ethic upon the world. How dare it not do that, and even more, how dare it not impose their ethic upon the world, would seem to be their position from the standpoint of a genuinely Nietzschean analysis.”

Hmm. But what about my fellow Englishman, Sheldon? He is adamant that good and bad, right and wrong, fall out of the process of evolution. If this is the case then science has woven an ethics into the Universe.

Calilasseia's picture
Hmm. But what about my fellow

Hmm. But what about my fellow Englishman, Sheldon? He is adamant that good and bad, right and wrong, fall out of the process of evolution. If this is the case then science has woven an ethics into the Universe.

This is completely wrong. Science hasn't imposed an ethic on the universe, instead, it has provided a body of evidence to the effect that [1] our capacity for ethical thought, and the motivation to act thereupon, has an evolutionary and biological basis, and [2] that whatever ethical principles emerge from that thought, are the product of the need to maintain social cohesion in species with social structures. Once again, science is descriptive here, not prescriptive. Failure to notice this essential difference is an elementary error that many commit. Scientific findings in this vein do not involve an "ought", rather an "is".

rat spit's picture
@Cali

@Cali

Precisely as I thought. Sheldon was wrong.

Some clarification? I’ll presume the answer is no, but I’ll ask anyway. Do you hold that good and bad are absolute structures beyond animal conception?

Do you hold that good and bad are relative social or cultural concepts? And if so, do they arise on a genetic basis through evolution? Or do they arise on a philosophical basis?

Also, are we to assume that philosophical thought is rooted in our evolution? And if so, is there a large gap of understanding between the way that man thinks and ponders - and how this might be rooted in our genetics? Or has that question been answered sufficiently?

Thanks

Cognostic's picture
Good and bad are labels we

Good and bad are labels we apply to actions and activities. Absolute structures? WTF? Relative social constructs? "Many times but not always." Genetic Basis? "All animals have a sense of appropriate and inappropriate behavior. The higher the cognitive function the more complex the interpretation of behavior. The actual application of labeling things good and bad seems to belong to the human species."

Genetics and philosophy. The brain evolved, philosophy evolved, Monkeys do not sit about contemplating the color of bananas and then write books about their discoveries.

rat spit's picture
@Cog

@Cog

They don’t? What about that documentary “2001: A Space Odyssey”?

https://youtu.be/cHWs3c3YNs4

Clearly this is where are morality is derived from. Not genetics. Not evolution. But merely the environment. The sun and the moon. Night and day. Good and evil. Light and Darkness. A big black rectangle in the desert. Let’s not forget about the environment altogether. Am I right?

Cognostic's picture
@rat spit: Not one book.

@rat spit: Not one book. Not one banana. Derived from? It derived from the mental capacity to problem solve. Genetics - mental capacity. Problem solving - environmental. Were it simply environmental, aardvarks would have built the first rockets and beat us to the moon.

YOU WERE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING MORE LIKE THIS.....

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rat spit's picture
@Cog

@Cog

Lol. WTF? That’s pretty creative. I have a feeling you made that your self. Anyway. I can see I’m clearly beat here. So I’ll resign.

One question though. Is there a little parasite that lives in the seed of the banana? My wife told me there is and now I don’t eat that part but I think she was fucking with me.

By the way. Eastern European bananas are far more tasty than North American bananas. The same goes for tomatoes - BY A LONG SHOT!

Cognostic's picture
FUCKING BANANA PARASITES!

FUCKING BANANA PARASITES!

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rat spit's picture
@Cog

@Cog

LMAO - you’ve got some crazy photoshop skills there!!!

Cognostic's picture
@Jo "I think one of the

@Jo "I think one of the main issues is a misunderstanding of the intent of the Bible." For FK SAKE. The bible is a collection of books. It is an ANTHOLOGY. To even begin discussing 'INTENT' you must separate out all the books and look at each one separately. John's Intent - to turn Jesus into a God is no place near Paul's intent . You don't get to collectively talk about "Intent of the Bible without sounding ignorant.

RE: "The Bible is not intended as a document to explain or educate us in science, history, or geography." And yet it does contain information in all these areas and frequently gets the information WRONG! How is anyone to trust such a source in the modern world when the CORRECT information is at our finger tips. You would think a book inspired by the all powerful God and creator of the universe would have gotten a few things right.

RE: "It is more about the reason and purpose." As you are focusing on the book of Genesis, what reason or purpose does god give for the creation of the universe in Genesis? Genesis says nothing at all about "WHY GOD CREATED THE UNIVERSE." "NOTHING!" Genesis is in fact an early scientific explanation that explains in ignorant Iron Age scientific terms 'HOW THE UNIVERSE CAME TO BE." There is no "WHY" in Genesis.

RE: FALSE ANALOGY Grandfather is not the same thing as the all powerful and mighty creator of the universe. The mental masturbation you have to do to get her is astounding. You are making the assertion that an all powerful creator god, could not, in 100 words or less, clearly state how and why he made the universe. 1. How do you know that? 2. Why are you limiting god's ability? I LOVE THIS PART " If you had no knowledge of engineering and architecture, and were illiterate. He wouldn't waste words trying to explain precisely when each part was built, how it was built, and what it is made out of. He would focus the information he provides you with, on the purpose and significance." GENESIS SAYS NOTHING AT ALL ABOUT PURPOSE OR SIGNIFICANCE.

What does Genesis actually do?
It fucking explains the engineering and architecture to the illiterate Iron Age population of the time. It wastes words trying to explain precisely when each part was built and how it was built and what is made out of. It provides no information about PURPOSE OR SIGNIFICANCE. NONE!!!

1 WHAT HAPPENED: In the beginning [before the creation] God created the heaven [the expanse of empty space] and the earth [the planet earth].
2 HOW DID IT HAPPEN?: And the earth [the planet earth] was without form, and void [empty and dark - there was nothing alive on it, and there was no light of the sun to shine on it]; and darkness was upon the face of the deep [the waters]. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 HOW AND WHAT? And God said, Let there be light [the light of the sun - which he created]: and there was light [the sun shined brightly - on earth].
4 HOW LIGHT AND DARKNESS ARE DIVIDED: And God saw the light [the sun], that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 HOW LIGHT AND DARK GOT THEIR NAMES: And God called the light [the light side of the revolving planet] Day, and the darkness [the dark side of the revolving planet] he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day [as the world turned (figuratively)].
6 HOW THE FIRMAMENT CAME TO BE: And God said, Let there be a firmament [an expanse of empty space] in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters [a gigantic bubble - the vacuum of empty space].
7 HOW THE WATERS WERE DIVIDED: And God made the firmament [the expanse of empty space], and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament [the waters above and below the bubble]: and it was so.
8 HOW THINGS GOT THEIR NAMES: And God called the firmament [the expanse of empty space] Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day [as the world turned (figuratively)].
9 HOW DRY LAND WAS MADE: And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
10 HOW THE EARTH GOT ITS NAME: And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas [the oceans]: and God saw that it was good.
11 HOW GRASS AND SEEDS BEGAN GROWING: And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind [each kind of plant makes it's own kind by it's own seed], whose seed is in itself [plants reproduce by replanting and growing their seeds - by wind and water], upon the earth: and it was so [all plants were (created, formed, and made) from the elements in nature, and abundantly filled their place of destination - the earth - and of course also the oceans and rivers (which are not mentioned)].

THIS IS BORING AS HELL - I HAVE A LOT BETTER THINGS TO DO WITH MY TIME THAN DEBUNKING IGNORANT THEIST ASSERTIONS. AS FAR AS THIS ONE GOES, YOU ARE THE ABSOLUTE WINNER OF THE MORONIC ASSERTION OF THE YEAR CONTEST, I LOVE THE FACT THAT THIS POST WILL SURVIVE FOR YEARS AND POSSIBLY BE READ BY HUNDREDS OF THEISTS AROUND THE WORLD WHO WILL WAKE FROM THEIR RELIGIOUS STUPORS AND REALIZE THE THINGS THEY BELIEVE ARE UTTERLY AND COMPLETELY NONSENSICAL.

12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
13 And the evening and the morning were the third day [as the world turned (figuratively)].
14 And God said, Let there be lights [the stars, the planets, and the galaxies, etc.] in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years [the constellations and planetary objects - which change form in time, and give us a way to measure the seasons, days, and years]:
15 And let them be for lights [the stars in the night sky] in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth [at night]: and it was so.
16 And God made two great lights [the sun and moon]; the greater light to rule the day [the sun], and the lesser light [the moon] to rule the night: he made the stars also.
17 And God set them [the sun, moon, stars, etc.] in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth [both day and night],
18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day [as the world turned (figuratively)].
20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven [all creatures of the water and sky were (created, formed, and made) from the elements in nature, and abundantly filled their place of destination - the oceans, rivers and sky].
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth [all creatures who live in water], which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind [each kind of creature is makes it's own kind by procreation], and every winged fowl [birds of the air] after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful [productive], and multiply [have offspring], and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply [have offspring] in the earth.
23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day [as the world turned (figuratively)].
24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind [each kind of creature is makes it's own kind by procreation], cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so [all creatures of earth were (created, formed, and made) from the elements in nature, and abundantly filled their place of destination - the dry land].
25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26 And God said, Let us [the Lord as one God] make man in our [the same Lord as one God] image [spirit], after our likeness [holiness]: and let them [the man and woman] have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth [man and woman were given power over all living creatures - large or small (nothing could harm or frighten them in any way)].
27 So God created man in his own image [spirit], in the image of God created he him [man and woman]; male and female created he them [both man and woman were created by God (who is one God) in "his" (Gods) "image" which is spirit - therefore like the other creatures; man was formed from dust, made alive, but man alone was given the spirit of God upon him on the condition of obedience to his word].

NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE!!!!!!

Jo's picture
@ Cognostic

@ Cognostic

You are right that there are a lot of "how's" in Genesis and I did not do good job of explaining my point. I should have said that when I mention the Bible I was primarily referring to the first couple of chapters of Genesis.

Yes, there are a lot of "how's" in Genesis 1, but is the main point to teach a lesson in cosmology? Just to explain scientifically how everything came to be? What is the theme or what is the story leading up to? One of the primary themes it is leading up to is why all this was done. Genesis 2:8 "Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made."

The theme is that God prepared a paradise for us to live in and to have a relationship (communion) with him. This theme is repeated in other stories in other books of the Bible, such as in the Tabernacle, the Temple, and as Jesus "God with us" living and communing with us. The ultimate goal is to make this complete as in Rev 21:3+4. ... "God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

The theme is more about God preparing a paradise for us to live in, to be part of his family, and to commune with him. It is not to just teach science or history. There are a lot of how, when, and wheres in Genesis, but they are given as groundwork towards a larger theme and not just to give facts.

Cognostic's picture
@Jo

@Jo
"Genesis 2:8 New International Version (NIV)
8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed." And then he planted two trees and forbade the man to eat of one of them, (and he did all that without indicating a reason or purpose) And then he created Eve who he knew full well would eat from one of them. And then he threw Adam and Eve out of the Garden for gaining the knowledge of good and evil. Just like he knew he would because he is omniscient. "Why" is not there.

Why do you get to stop here? There is no indication that this is the reason "why" God did anything. Perhaps he did it all so Cane could kill Able. Your claim is just not justified. Any point can be picked as the reason why. God did all this so he could throw the man and woman out of Eden. (My assertion is just as valid.)

The ultimate goal is to make this complete as in Rev 21:3+4 NOW YOU ARE CHANGING BOOKS and skipping around. Back to Genesis my friend. There is one book we are discussing, Genesis. Either Genesis says "Why god created everything or it does not." I am fully aware of at least 10 verses that indicate why the world was made. NONE IN GENESIS. It's not there.

The theme is about God preparing a paradise. Agreed. It is a story about how the first man and woman came to be.Agreed. At no point does God indicate why. (a reason or purpose) Genesis is a story about what happened and how it happened. No place is it indicated "Why."

God is omniscient, he could have done it all so he could later kill everyone in a flood. But then I would be referring to a source outside of Genesis as well. So, back to Genesis.,

I fully get Theists believe there is a why, a reason and purpose, in Genesis. But if you look for it, it just isn't there.

Diotrephes's picture
Jo,

Jo,

The theme is that God prepared a paradise for us to live in and to have a relationship (communion) with him. This theme is repeated in other stories in other books of the Bible, such as in the Tabernacle, the Temple, and as Jesus "God with us" living and communing with us. The ultimate goal is to make this complete as in Rev 21:3+4. ... "God's home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever."

How do you think Gentiles will get into the ethnocentric specific golden cube that is reserved for Jews? The place is called New Jerusalem. That should be a significant sign that Gentiles are not welcome. Do you think you will be able to walk through one of the gates that are dedicated to one of the twelve tribes of Israel? I don't see that happening.

Jo's picture
@ Diotrophes

@ Diotrophes

If it ever was "ethnocentric" it stopped being that 2,000 years ago.

Diotrephes's picture
Jo,

Jo,

If it ever was "ethnocentric" it stopped being that 2,000 years ago.

Who was the wiseguy who changed the rules?

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Jo

@ Jo

Once again your lack of knowledge puts you at a disadvantage: Matthew 10 5-6 5 These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

In fact all the early christians before 'Paul' became jews by conversion, the rite of circumcision and observance of the Law.

In fact Paul started his ministry in the same manner, and only after he realised that only women and slaves were joining him, he unilaterally changed the rules. Which got him in all sorts of strife with the Temple in Jerusalem. Circumcision for an adult is a messy and painful business and not attractive, never mind the deep rooted Graeco Roman antipathy to bodily mutilation.
So Paul had a very convenient (for him) revelation (we are expected to believe) that allowed him to preach and convert the gentile to christianity without the need to convert to Judaism. Within a very short time gentiles (naturally) outnumbered jewish Christians although some sects to this day still practise infant and adult circumcision, or genital mutilation as it should be termed.

Nowhere in the Matthew version does Jesus directly command his disciples to preach to the gentiles. Many apologists bend various verses to justify their missions but Jesus was pretty much adamant if we believe the reports of Matthew.

Are you closer to living your life by truth yet Jo? Reading your conversations you seem intent on being an apologist instead of taking a clear eyed look at yourself and your beliefs.

(Edit to reflect meaning and explicatory additions re Paul)

Talyyn's picture
@Old man shouts...

@Old man shouts...

I like the "very convenient" revelation, how people can be so gullible that the claim for a revelation, that as far as we know happens only in the mind of the person in question.7

Same thing for the arabian bedouin who meet angels in a cave... alone...

Jo's picture
@ Old Man Shouts

@ Old Man Shouts

I agree that all the early Christians were Jews.

Didn't Jesus grant the request of the Canaanite women, when he was in her land (not Israel). Wasn't the Roman centurion also granted his wish in Matt. Didn't he tell his disciples in Matt 28:19 to make disciples in all nations.

Diotrephes's picture
Jo,

Jo,

Didn't Jesus grant the request of the Canaanite women, when he was in her land (not Israel). Wasn't the Roman centurion also granted his wish in Matt. Didn't he tell his disciples in Matt 28:19 to make disciples in all nations.

You are ignoring what the Jesus character said. He stated that he had only been sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He told his apostles to stay away from Gentiles and Samaritans. Jews were scattered from Spain to India and all around the Mediterranean Sea to Ethiopia. Those were the lost sheep that the dummy apostles were to go find and convert to Jesusism.

There is not one verse in the book of Revelation about Gentiles getting into the golden cube called New Jerusalem.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Jo

@ Jo

Hi instructions to his disciples were very clear. No gentiles, no Samaritans (a jewish sect). Please do not bring isolated examples of his own rule breaking to the table and then use that as an argument.

The unspoken instruction to the centurion was to become jewish and then follow him. As ALL those who lived by the Law had to do. Think of context and the times Jo. The ONLY christians were jewish, they had to convert to judaism, obey the laws, observe the holidays and only then could they accept Jesus as a messiah.
He first called the Canaanite woman a 'dog' and only when completely humiliated did he grant her request to heal her daughter.
Again the subtext in context is convert to Judaism and "follow me"

The meaning of the verse in Matthew 5-6 is clear. Jews only.

You seem to be more and more an apologist Jo, where is the acknowledgement of truth you said you craved? Why are you avoiding this question?

Cognostic's picture
@Jo Jo Jo.... You are a lying

@Jo Jo Jo.... Your statements are the lies of Christians who want to select bits and pieces of the bible to justify their prejudicial beliefs and condemnation of all non-believers, even those among their own families.

Do not turn Angry Jesusyour steps to pagan territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel” (Matt. 10:6, NJB.)

I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel” (Matt. 15:24, NJB.)

“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matt. 6:7–8, NJB.)
----------------------------------------------------------------------- This one is a bit long -----------------
He left that place and set out for the territory of Tyre. There he went into a house and did not want anyone to know he was there, but he could not pass unrecognized. A woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him straight away and came and fell at his feet. Now the woman was pagan, by birth a Syrophonecian and she begged him to cast the devil out of her daughter and he said to her ‘the children should be fed first, because it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house dogs’. But she spoke up ‘Ah yes sir’ she replied ‘but the house dogs under the table can eat the children’s scraps’. And he said to her ‘for saying this, you may go home happy; the devil has gone out of your daughter.’ So she went off to her home and found the child lying on the bed and the devil gone” (Mark 7:24–30, NJB.)

Jesus was drawing an analogy. The children were his fellow Jews, who were to be fed first. Gentiles were referred to as dogs, (when Jews wished to insult someone they often referred to them as dogs) whom Jesus would rather not help. Jesus hesitated before healing jesus do you reallye girl because her mother was not Jewish. The woman had to remind Jesus that he should love his neighbour.
-------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 7:6 - Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them
under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Cities that neither "receive" the disciples nor "hear" their words will be destroyed by God. It will be worse for them than for Sodom and Gomorrah. And you know what God supposedly did to those poor folks (see Gen 19:24). Matthew 10:14-15

Families will be torn apart because of Jesus (this is one of the few "prophecies" in the Bible that has actually come true). "Brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death." Matthew 10:21 (Deliver up your own non-believing family members. Jesus is a fucktard.)

Jesus says that he has come to destroy families by making family members hate each other. He has "come not to send peace, but a sword." Matthew 10:34-36

YOU ARE BEING DISINGENUOUS AND DISHONEST, OR YOU ARE JUST COMPLETELY UNFAMILIAR WITH THE BIBLE. JESUS WAS A BIGOT. HE WAS NOT ALL LOVING. HE GAVE NOT A SHIT ABOUT NON-BELIEVERS.

Luke 14:26 "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. BIGOT!

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