What if we're all wrong!

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Nyarlathotep's picture
Jo - Why do you, and so many

Jo - Why do you, and so many other on AR, default to assuming the worst about me?

Sadly, I was impressed by you when you first started posting here. Then came the genocide apologetics, hypocrisy, and lying. It appears that giving you the benefit of the doubt was my mistake. Lesson learned; I won't be doing that again.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Nyar

@ Nyar

My thoughts exactly, as I have expressed them directly to Jo.

Anyone who can defend the indefensible is morally and ethically indistinguishable from the perpetrator.

I also note that playing the victim card is endemic amongst theists when their behaviour, excuses and lies are called out.

Jo's picture
@ Nyarlathotep

@ Nyarlathotep

Thanks for helping me understand.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Jo - Is it just the nature of

Jo - Is it just the nature of a blog where people say what they would never say in person?

Some of the users here would be in serious jeopardy if it was even known that they where members of AR (just an example). Luckily I'm not in that boat; although I have no doubt I'd lose my job if it was known I am an atheist.

Tin-Man's picture
***Note: This post

***Note: This post transferred to here at the end of the thread from a congested area, just in case Jo may have missed it in the clutter.***

@Jo Re: "It is not nearly as easy to know exactly what is meant, as some make it out to be. There are literary devises that are used, it is a poem, and it designed to be easily memorized and repeated. The original audience were mostly illiterate. What is literal, figurative, literary devices, common understandings of the time, and other questions, are all hard to say for sure."

(Hmmm.... Hold on to your hats, boys and girls, because as tempting as it may be to totally cut loose on this one, this will be one of those rare moments where I refrain from being my usual smart-ass sarcastic self.... *mumbling to self*... I must have a fever or something.) Anyway...

Jo, for the time being, please put aside all the science and evidence claims and all that other crap. I'm not the least bit concerned with that at the moment. Now, do me a favor and carefully read over again that paragraph you wrote. And as you read that paragraph, please think very carefully about how that would sound to anybody who has grown up being told that the god who was supposedly responsible for the writings in the bible was an absolutely perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful entity. In other words, this god that supposedly had the ability and knowledge to create EVERYTHING in the known universe could have very easily delivered his vitally important message to Mankind by simply "programming" it into their brains at the moment he created them. But, no. That did not happen. Instead, this reportedly PERFECT god decided the best way to spread his precious message to the ILLITERATE masses HE CREATED was to use a BOOK. And this particular book was written by numerous different authors (many of them anonymous) over a period of several centuries, and then pieced together, re-translated across multiple languages, and then edited countless times primarily by individuals and/or groups who held high places of power with personal and/or national agendas. And this same "PERFECT" book has spurred thousands of different sects/denominations, all of which claim to know the TRUE meaning(s) of that book based on how THEY interpret it. Honestly, how can anybody, anywhere, in any way, shape. or form declare this book to be perfect??? Because, as you just now claimed yourself, "It is not nearly as easy to know exactly what is meant, as some make it out to be." And you are seriously trying to tell us that THIS is a PERFECT book inspired by a PERFECT god that somehow deserves to be followed and worshiped??? C'mon, man... I'm not even a great writer, MUCH LESS all-knowing and all-powerful. Nevertheless, given a few days, I am rather confident I could come up with a better instruction manual for humanity, regardless of the time period or culture. Again, though, WHY would a being/entity capable of creating the ENTIRE UNIVERSE not be able to devise a better method of delivering such an incredibly important message to the humans it created???

Brother, whether you believe me or not, this is actually something I figured out when I was just a little kid, no more than eight or nine years old. The problem at the time, however, was that I was a respectful and obedient child and I did not have the education nor experience to fully understand what I knew. Therefore, I trusted my elders, and the concepts of heaven and hell got deeply embedded into my psyche long before I had the mental tools to combat it. As a result, I spent a vast majority of my life struggling almost daily with doubt and regularly second-guessing myself due to the conflict between what my logical/rational mind was telling me, and what I was taught to believe as a kid. To put it mildly, it was miserable. Even worse, I look back sometimes and realize how badly I ended up treating a few people over the years due to that conflict in my brain. Thankfully, now that I have finally put the ridiculous concepts of heaven and hell behind me, it is as if a smothering blanket has been lifted from my face. My life is better now than it has ever been. But I digress...

As I said, you can take all the science and stuff like that and throw it out the window, as far as I am concerned. About the only thing they provide for me is to simply reinforce something I figured out as a very young child long before I ever knew anything about modern scientific advancements. So, if a child can figure out that the whole concept of the Christian religion is a hot steaming pile of excrement, why is it so difficult for a grown and educated adult to determine this?

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ TM

@ TM

Loved that exposition of yours mate, 10,000 agrees, the contradictions and plain idiocy of some of the theist claims are breathtakingly simple to observe.

The thing is TM, Jo is studying and applying Hermeneutics...or particularly Biblical Hermeneutics whereas you are applying common sense and a critical thinking. Those are anathema to faith....here is a taste:

How to apply Biblical Hermeneutics..(This is from a biblical website)

1.The most important law of biblical hermeneutics is that the Bible should be interpreted literally.
2.The second crucial law of biblical hermeneutics is that passages must be interpreted historically, grammatically, and contextually.
3.The third law of biblical hermeneutics is that Scripture is always the best interpreter of Scripture.

The three laws can be illustrated thusly: If the scripture says one thing and history another then the history MUST be wrong unless it is scriptural history then it trumps the other and we have a contextual issue that can easily be resolved by comparing other unrelated scriptural entries until a satisfactory resolution is achieved. If there is still an issue then go to a translation that agrees with your view and use that instead of the one that is causing you angst. Do not, under any circumstances look for confirmation of anything outside the bible, and never accept it unless it agrees with your preconception. It is important to remember that nothing trumps scripture, if you look hard enough you will always find scriptural evidence for a scripture passage that agrees with your original supposition and all other passages can be disregarded as failing, however contradictory, under contextual, grammatical or literal error. .

That, my friend is Biblical Hermeneutics in a nutshell.
Not to be confused with actual hermeneutics which deals with interpretation of texts....and is a branch of knowledge that has an illustrious history, as opposed to the variety of deception that Jo practises.

It is called "living in truth" according to our resident Captain of Mendacity....and don't get me started on apologetics.

Calilasseia's picture
That reads exactly like the

That reads exactly like the output I've seen from presuppositionalists, who, along with creationists, are simply the most florid and overt adherents of the position, "if reality and doctrine differ, reality is wrong and doctrine is right".

Which leads to the following being apposite:

Apologetics - the business of making shit up to prop up unsupported mythological assertions, in the hope that your audience is too stupid to notice that you're making shit up;

Hermeneutics - the business of conducting apologetics from under a stolen academic cap and gown, but with a better vocabulary and shell games that are better concealed from the radar.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Calilasseia -

Calilasseia -
Apologetics - the business of making shit up to prop up unsupported mythological assertions, in the hope that your audience is too stupid to notice that you're making shit up;

Hermeneutics - the business of conducting apologetics from under a stolen academic cap and gown, but with a better vocabulary and shell games that are better concealed from the radar.

Well that certainly matches my experience, and even offers an explanation as to why it is so difficult to find an honest apologist.

Tin-Man's picture
@Nyar Re: Honest apologist

@Nyar Re: Honest apologist

Ummmm.... Pretty sure that could be considered an oxymoron.

Tin-Man's picture
@Old Man Re: "1.The most

@Old Man Re: "1.The most important law of biblical hermeneutics is that the Bible should be interpreted literally.
2.The second crucial law of biblical hermeneutics is that passages must be interpreted historically, grammatically, and contextually.
3.The third law of biblical hermeneutics is that Scripture is always the best interpreter of Scripture."

... *quickly grabbing sides of desk to keep from falling out of chair*.... Oh, holy fuck! That shit is so damn circular I got dizzy just from reading it!... *quickly reaching for waste basket*... Oh, damn... *dry heave*... Motion sickness.... *gag*...

Calilasseia's picture
Exactly the points I've been

Exactly the points I've been making in several previous posts ...

Jo's picture
@ Tin-man

@ Tin-man

I will try to answer your question - "WHY would a being/entity capable of creating the ENTIRE UNIVERSE not be able to devise a better method of delivering such an incredibly important message to the humans it created???"

One reason is because you start your evaluation of the Bible with myths surrounding the Bible - "grown up being told that the god who was supposedly responsible for the writings in the bible was an absolutely perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful entity."
You have to look at what it actually says, the message contained in the text, so you can understand the authors intent.
This is not easy.
But also not so hard that we cannot reach a level of comprehension and comfort, that answers the questions we ask.

Often people summarize or characterize the Bible in ways that are simple answers, but are not completely accurate. Such as "THIS is a PERFECT book inspired by a PERFECT god that somehow deserves to be followed and worshiped?"
We would tell a small child when he asked who wrote the Bible, we would say God wrote it.
The child grows up and sees imperfection in the Bible and cannot reconcile how a perfect God could write an imperfect text.
The answer he was given as a child is and oversimplification that later can engender doubt.
God has to use the language of the original audience, and the knowledge of the original audience, to communicate his message to us.
God is perfect, but the people, the language, and the mode of transmission are far from perfect.

Why does God not use a better venue than us imperfect people and our flawed methods to convey his message?
I cannot comprehensively answer that question, but here is what I know.
God works through people. He entrusts us with his message as a partnership.
He makes a covenant with us that we can reject and gives us power we an misuse.
If he did what you think he should do it would diminish and ultimately invalidate the enterprise.

Look at Jesus and imagine for a moment everything in the Bible is true.
Why didn't he have chroniclers following him and recording his every word.
Why didn't he commission some coins and stones to be engraved with his message?
Why didn't he come as a King instead of a pauper in an occupied country?

I like you, could think of many ways I would do it different.
It is a testimony to the validity of the message that it worked in spite of everything.
Here we are 2,000 years later discussing it.
God is playing the long game.
His will is being accomplished when you look at the macro level.

As to "why is it so difficult for a grown and educated adult to determine this?" Here is an oversimplification of my story.
Because I did not just go with what my elders told me, get conflicted and reject it all and not look back
I did get conflicted and did reject at one point. I worked through my inner conflicts and reconciled them.
I looked past the imperfect people and the imperfect understanding we all have.
As I cleared away all the mess and confusion I was left with a profound insight and connection to the messenger.

Tin-Man's picture
@Jo

@Jo

Hey there. Thank you for responding to my post. And in the interest of fair play, I will once again do my best to curtail my natural tendencies for sarcasm and just plain ol' ass-holiness. That being said, there are a couple or three things or so I would like to point out in your response that - quite honestly - do not make very good "arguments" for your cause. Matter of fact, some of them even do more harm than good. Here goes nothin'...

* Re: "One reason is because you start your evaluation of the Bible with myths surrounding the Bible - "grown up being told that the god who was supposedly responsible for the writings in the bible was an absolutely perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful entity."

Sooooo.... You are saying that the god of the bible is NOT perfect, all-knowing, and all-powerful? Those claims are just a MYTH?... Fascinating... In other words, millions upon millions of people in this day and age and throughout history are actually wrong about those particular characteristics that make their god the ONE TRUE god. Well, I have to admit, that is definitely news to me. Which begs the question: If that god is NOT perfect, all-knowing, and all-powerful, then WHY worship it in the first place? (Granted, I would not worship it one way or the other, but that's beside the point.)

* Re: "You have to look at what it actually says, the message contained in the text, so you can understand the authors intent. This is not easy." Along with: "God has to use the language of the original audience, and the knowledge of the original audience, to communicate his message to us."

Once again, you are saying a being/entity that was capable of creating the entire known universe (to include the humans it created and put on Earth) is not capable of making its human creations understand (clearly) a very important message that will determine whether or not its precious pets will join it in its heavenly paradise or be tossed down into a pit of unimaginable torture for eternity. This supposedly all-knowing god should be FULLY CAPABLE of speaking/writing ANY LANGUAGE across ANY AND ALL cultures/societies despite the time period. That message should be EASILY UNDERSTOOD without any confusion or misinterpretations by EVERY SINGLE PERSON on this planet, regardless of age, race, gender, or educational/mental status. Period. Honestly, how do you NOT see that?

* Re: "God is perfect, but the people, the language, and the mode of transmission are far from perfect." As opposed to your very first statement of: "One reason is because you start your evaluation of the Bible with myths surrounding the Bible - "grown up being told that the god who was supposedly responsible for the writings in the bible was an absolutely perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful entity."

Hmmm... At first it is a myth, and now god is suddenly perfect again. Ummm... Okay... Anyway, if this god is once again perfect, then PLEASE tell me why its chosen method of spreading its incredibly VITAL message to humanity is to use its OBVIOUSLY imperfect humans in such an overly-complicated and inefficient way as to make a Rube Goldberg machine look like one-step process? Like I have said many times before, even if this god was real, I would want absolutely nothing to do with it. Because it is either the most pathetically blundering bumbling IDIOT in all of history, OR it is one of the most pernicious and sadistic monsters one could ever imagine. Either way, I wouldn't even hire it to cut my grass for fear it would totally fuck it up.

* Re: "Look at Jesus and imagine for a moment everything in the Bible is true."

This one is too simple. Hate to break it to you, but the reason MANY atheists are now atheists is because they did exactly that.

* Re: "It is a testimony to the validity of the message that it worked in spite of everything...... His will is being accomplished when you look at the macro level."

It worked??? HOW, exactly? By causing more deaths of innocent people over the centuries than I care to imagine? By causing good people to ridicule and ostracize other good people based simply on a person's race, gender, sexual preferences, and/or opposing religious preferences? By demeaning people into believing they are dirty and worthless if they do not believe in a particular god in a particular way? Well, I must say, if that is how it was suppose to work, then it has turned out perfectly. Mission accomplished! Oh, by the way, exactly how do you know what god's will is and whether or not it is being accomplished?

Aaaaaand I'm spent. In all seriousness, it truly does baffle me as to how you do not see these things for what they are. But if you actually do, then it baffles me even more as to how/why you are so determined to ignore it all, and even go so far as to try to rationalize and defend them. Oh, and please keep in mind, I am not even trying to be a smart-ass right now. I'm really not. My concern and confusion is genuine. Here's the thing, though... When it comes right down to it, I quite frankly do not care what you do or do not believe. Whatever floats your boat, dude. No skin off my nose. You do whatever you have to do to get through your life the best way you can as long as you are not harming anybody else in the process. Cool with me. Remember, though, YOU came HERE supposedly wanting to find "the truth." Yet, from what I have seen so far, you have done absolutely everything possible to avoid the truth and/or excuse it away. Just an observation...

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
ahahhaha, oh fuck me dead

ahahhaha, oh fuck me dead with a purple umbrella...classic. Looove your work TM......ka ka ka boom.... and there we have it. Clear, concise and...if anyone was actually looking to "live in truth' laid out like a roadmap to clear thinking avoiding the potholes of hypocrisy. Great stuff..

Man if you weren't so cold to the touch I would smooch you but *hands TM a can of 20w40*...get wasted you old clanker. Love your work.

Jo's picture
@ Tin-man

@ Tin-man

I forgot to include these in my previous post.

I can't find the quote, but someone once explained that if we had perfect or complete knowledge of both science and the Bible we would see no contradictions. I would add that the same for logic.

I think part of what you are doing is making an argument from incredulity.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Jo - Lying is something very

Jo - Lying is something very different than bad grammar...I should have said scientists and not science.

Jo - The Bible says there was light in the universe before there was the sun or stars. Until about 60 years ago [scientists] did not know this.

That is still a lie, even correcting for your bad grammar. Worse, I explained that to you already; and Calilasseia went to even greater lengths.
----------------------------------------------------------

Jo - Here is a reference from NASA that talks about light in the universe after just 300,000 years.
https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/science/firstLight.html

If you read that article closely, you'll discover that it contradicts its own title (a common feature for material written for the layman); it discusses what light was doing before this "first light". I know you don't know me from Adam, but you linking me this would be like me linking you an article on how to tie your shoes. This is kids stuff.

ferguson1951's picture
God's message is transmitted

God's message is transmitted in an impefect way so as to keep rationalist atheists away from the believers' community.
Hermeneutics? Theology? I never gave a damn about that. It is just wasting time trying to get the rationalist atheists to believe and join the community.
Rationalist atheists? Let them continue to be immersed in the ever-changing, ever-conflicting, ever- more contorted scientific theories, desperately looking for that just one piece of hard evidence (that they will never get) that there is no God.
We have enough problems in the believers community. We don't need any more.

Tin-Man's picture
Re: Fergie - "God's message

Re: Fergie - "God's message is transmitted in an impefect way so as to keep rationalist atheists away from the believers' community...... We have enough problems in the believers community. We don't need any more."

ROFLMAO...... Bwaaaaa-haaaaa-haaaaaa!....... I want to..... *gasp*.... congratulate.... *cough-cough-gasp*.... Fergie.... *gasp*... on posting the.... *deep breath*... FUNNIEST post...... *gasp-gasp*... in all of... *gasp*... internet history!.... Bwaaaaaa-haaaaaa-haaaaaaa-haaaaaa....!!!

Sheldon's picture
ferguson1951 "We have enough

ferguson1951 "We have enough problems in the believers community."

Well you're all delusional and gullible, and many like you are bat-shit crazy to boot, so yeah I can see what you mean.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@Fergie

@Fergie

God's message is transmitted in an imperfect way so as to keep rationalist atheists away from the believers' community.

‘Anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming Me…’ John 13:20 NLT

Hermeneutics? Theology? I never gave a damn about that. It is just wasting time trying to get the rationalist atheists to believe and join the community.

Then you are in opposition to your church viz: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/37b7/7ad199054c8d591819b8f17350c7939898...

If you actually READ this you will find the good Bishop contradicts you completely and maintains the Hermeneutics and Theology are the basic tools of faith and conversion.

"desperately looking for that just one piece of hard evidence (that they will never get) that there is no God.

Who the fuck is looking for that? I got better things to do than prove your particular fantasy being exists or that Rainbow Farting Unicorns, or Leprechauns or Banshees exist....nobody is wasting their time on your idiocy.

We have enough problems in the believers community. We don't need any more

Wow, ain't that the truth...you and Jo should get in a ring and start sparring....you have more differences than we do. You don't even believe in the same god/bible or interpretations...so funny....

ferguson1951's picture
Matthew 11

Matthew 11

25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do."

The Curate of Ars, my favourite Saint, is the Patron Saint of all Parish priests.
He was not rational at all and had a lot of trouble trying to become a priest because he was very weak in theology and Latin.
When eventually he managed he was told that "with the theology you know, you should never set foot in a confessional" and was sent to the small village of Ars up on the mountains to get him out of the way.
Yet he was so good at confessiong, people would come by the trainload from all over France just to be confessed by him.

xenoview's picture
@ferguson

@ferguson
So The Curate of Ars is the one that taught the priest how to prey on little boys?

ferguson1951's picture
I could not care less what

I could not care less what any Bishop says. The Church is in disarray.
I am even wary of what the Pope says. Many prelates in the Vatican are against him.
I have my Bible and my Catechism of the Catholic Church and that is enough for me.
Religion has to be simple.

Calilasseia's picture
Oh dear, look who's come to

Oh dear, look who's come to pollute this thread with the contents of his soiled intellectual nappies.

If your religion is so fucked up that you can't even keep mythological adherents in a straight line, despite 1,500 years of Inquisitions and Crusades, then you might want to think about a better alternative.

Oh, and "simple" doesn't mean "facile and absurd". Just ask any actual properly tenured mathematician.

Meanwhile, I have to give a special hat tip to Tin-Man, for finally teasing some prize statements out of Jo ... that was truly special to behold. I know this place is intended to be a serious discoursive arena, but there are times when I really wish Navabi had supplied some in house smileys for the occasion.

Now ... some issues are still outstanding ... * starts tending the ordnance * ...

ferguson1951's picture
You, like your company,

You, like your company, always speak because you do not know.
I could not care less about the rest of us believers either.
Salvation is an individual responsibility: we do not go all together to Heaven or Hell.
Each one answers for his own way of believing.
It still strikes me that you, with all your logic, your degrees and your prersumed knowledge, do not get it even after having told so many times.

Sheldon's picture
ferguson1951 "You, like your

ferguson1951 "You, like your company, always speak because you do not know."

Calilasseia'a posts have definitively shown he is extremely erudite on a very wide range of subjects. Your posts on the other hand have shown unequivocally you know fuck all about fuck all across the entire spectrum of all knowledge. So ironically you're wrong here again, ipso facto proving my point.

Calilasseia's picture
Ok, let's take a look at this

Ok, let's take a look at this shall we? JDAMs are now loaded, and all systems are green ...

I will try to answer your question - "WHY would a being/entity capable of creating the ENTIRE UNIVERSE not be able to devise a better method of delivering such an incredibly important message to the humans it created???"

Strange that you chose to answer Tim-Man asking this, and not me about two months earlier. Thought he might be easier to fool, did you? Well we all saw how that one panned out.

One reason is because you start your evaluation of the Bible with myths surrounding the Bible - "grown up being told that the god who was supposedly responsible for the writings in the bible was an absolutely perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful entity."

Except that, oh wait, this happens to be a part of the canon of numerous Christian denominations. In particular, this is a part of the canon of every American evangelical sect that espouses Biblical inerrantism. Can I therefore assume you're not a member of one of these denominations, on the basis of your above statement? Because if you are, you've just exposed yourself as a heretic in the eyes of your congregation. Not something a sensible person would do, given the propensity of these people to react violently to non-conformity ...

You have to look at what it actually says, the message contained in the text, so you can understand the authors intent.

Except that whenever we've accepted supernaturalist assertions on this matter, and addressed those assertions as stated by the requisite supernaturalists, your response has been, all too frequently, the tiresome "wrong interpretation" apologetics. But the problem with that is, as I've already noted, that since supernaturalists cannot agree among themselves what this mythology is supposed to be telling us, how the fuck are we supposed to know which supernaturalists are right, and which are wrong on this? Given that all of them have the same amount of supporting evidence for their assertions - i.e., zero?

It's a bit much asking us to plough your quicksand for you.

This is not easy.

No kidding? Apparently it's so difficult, that even adherents of the mythology in question cannot agree what it's supposed to be telling us. Yet we're supposed to genuflect before the assertions of this mythology, despite the gigantic level of anti-consilience surrounding its assertions. Hmm ...

But also not so hard that we cannot reach a level of comprehension and comfort, that answers the questions we ask.

Here's a clue for you. We're not interested in "comfort", we're interested in conceptual rigour. Thus far, none is visible in the world of supernaturalism.

Often people summarize or characterize the Bible in ways that are simple answers, but are not completely accurate. Such as "THIS is a PERFECT book inspired by a PERFECT god that somehow deserves to be followed and worshiped?"

And, once again, I have to remind you that a large number of supernaturalists adhere to this view, and we're simply taking their adherence thereto at face value. Which one again brings us back to the anti-consilience problem endemic to supernaturalism. If none of you can agree what this mythology is purportedly telling us, what makes you think we're obliged to do your fucking homework for you?

We would tell a small child when he asked who wrote the Bible, we would say God wrote it.
The child grows up and sees imperfection in the Bible and cannot reconcile how a perfect God could write an imperfect text.
The answer he was given as a child is and [sic] oversimplification that later can engender doubt.

Well once again, we're back to that anti-consilience problem, aren't we? An anti-consilience problem that arises from one incurable defect endemic to the entire supernaturalist enterprise, namely, it's ALL blind assertions and NO data. And as a corollary, it's become increasingly a home for made up shit. We're back to that paragraph from that essay you foolishly linked to, in an attempt to hand-wave away my awkward objections, viz:

Theologians and religious philosophers may have their champions in the quest to understand values and "spiritual meaning" (whatever that may mean!), but they will never have any champions who displace former champions because they have no way of falsifying each other's claims. Scientific theories and beliefs about the empirical constitution of the universe can be tested and the false ones removed from contention. Theological or philosophical theories about values and "spiritual meaning" can't be tested (beyond the obvious tests of being free from conceptual contradiction and being consistent with known facts).

Which of course brings us back to all those cans of worms about observability and the ramifications thereof, but I'll leave those aside.

Moving on ...

God has to use the language of the original audience, and the knowledge of the original audience, to communicate his message to us.

Funny how I, possessing far fewer abilities than this entity is asserted to, can do a better job in many cases. For example, I would have no difficulty whatsoever, informing a small child that most freshwater fish can't live in salt water, and vice versa, but that there are a modest number of fish species that can move from one to the other. I can simply present this as a brute fact to begin with, until the child has learned enough basic biology to understand osmoregulation. If necessary, I can back up that brute fact with experiment, though it would be hideously cruel to the fish involved to perform some of those experiments. I'm aware, for example, that even as little as 5% marine strength salt water will be enough to kill certain species with specialised requirements, such as Sphaerichthys osphronemoides, and many scaleless freshwater fishes such as loaches and the hillstream-dwelling Corydoras catfishes such as Corydoras panda, a species, incidentally, I've bred in the aquarium successfully. Later on, I can start explaining the details of osmoregulation, and the fact that stenohaline fishes are restricted to either fresh or salt water, because of the nature of their osmoregulatory machinery. The euryhaline species, on the other hand, have greater flexibility in this regard. By the time the child reaches undergraduate studies, it's then time to start looking at the fine detail of sodium channels and ion pump proteins, and their interactions in environments of differing osmotic pressures, along with the minutiae of renal function in these environments, which is a lifetime's study in its own right.

Likewise, I would probably have relatively little problem explaining calculus or even differential geometry to any offspring of mine, and I'd probably have them happily writing JavaScript code by the time they were six.

But, I don't have to dumb down to the point of being misleading, in order to do this.

So if I can do this, why can't your fantastically gifted magic entity?

God is perfect, but the people, the language, and the mode of transmission are far from perfect.

Ah, the inevitable "blame the humans who were made that way, not the entity responsible for making them that way" apologetic excuse.

Wondered when this one would rear its ugly head.

But then the entire mythology is one grand exercise in blaming the manufactured stool pigeons for the failings of the manufacturer.

Why does God not use a better venue than us imperfect people and our flawed methods to convey his message?
I cannot comprehensively answer that question, but here is what I know.

Know, or merely assert? Why do I suspect the latter?

God works through people. He entrusts us with his message as a partnership.

Oh, you mean the stool pigeons being blamed for the manufacturer's defects? But which are still trusted enough to do the manufacturer's fucking homework for him?

Yes, you can hear a chorus of laughter echoing in the distance at this point ...

He makes a covenant with us that we can reject and gives us power we an misuse.

And we're back to blaming the manufactured stool pigeons for the failings of the manufacturer ... quelle fucking surprise ...

If he did what you think he should do it would diminish and ultimately invalidate the enterprise.

In short, it's "I rule around here, do as you're fucking told and shut up" with your magic man. Which was asserted to throw some gargantuan fucking hissy fits the moment the first stool pigeons exhibited the defects it built into them.

Look at Jesus and imagine for a moment everything in the Bible is true.

What, including that hideous episode of mass extermination known as the "global flood"? Only a psychopath would wish for that to be true. Oh wait, perhaps I've just figured out what drives creationists ...

Why didn't he have chroniclers following him and recording his every word.

Heh, your mythology contains assertions about conversations your magic man had with one of his split personalities when they were purportedly alone with each other. Wonder how that was turned into faithful reportage?

Why didn't he commission some coins and stones to be engraved with his message?

Er, I thought he did at one point? Those stone tablets handed to Moses? Ten Commandments and all that?

Why didn't he come as a King instead of a pauper in an occupied country?

Perhaps he needed to find out for real what it's like to live as one of the plebs? Which might have been a tad difficult if he'd turned up Sultan of Brunei style? Though it doesn't appear to have detracted from the essential thread of blaming the manufactured stool pigeons for the failings of the manufacturer ...

I like you, could think of many ways I would do it different.

Weeding out those absurd errors being one?

It is a testimony to the validity of the message that it worked in spite of everything.

Er, no. What happened was that adherents of the requisite collection of mythologies, brought to the table ruthless enforcement of conformity to doctrine. The mythologies in question didn't achieve socio-political hegemony on the basis of their merits, they did so because adherents thereof were willing to engage in large scale torture and murder to exterminate opposing ideas and the people who held them.

Here we are 2,000 years later discussing it.

Only because of the previous 1,500 years of internecine warfare.

God is playing the long game.

Which appears to consist of "keep the rubes confused and squabbling among each other, while I make up my mind whether I'm going to answer their questions once and for all" ...

Mushroom theory of personnel management again?

His will is being accomplished when you look at the macro level.

How? Does any supernaturalist have anything other than yet more blind assertions, with respect to what this "will" actually IS?

As to "why is it so difficult for a grown and educated adult to determine this?" Here is an oversimplification of my story.

Ah, the subsitution of anecdote for data ... here we go ...

Because I did not just go with what my elders told me, get conflicted and reject it all and not look back
I did get conflicted and did reject at one point. I worked through my inner conflicts and reconciled them.
I looked past the imperfect people and the imperfect understanding we all have.
As I cleared away all the mess and confusion I was left with a profound insight and connection to the messenger.

Did this "reconciliation" involve, perchance, the business of "Let's fabricate something to deal with A, then fabricate something to deal with B, without worrying if it's directly contradictory to whatever I fabricated to deal with A earlier?" I've seen this happen on numerous occasions with supernaturalists. Namely, the fun process of making up apologetic shit on a per-convenience basis, without worrying if what is being made up today flatly contradicts the shit that was made up yesterday. I can point to some exquisite examples elsewhere courtesy of a specimen called Robert Byers, who acquired a singular reputation on several rationalist forums with his semi-literate excrement. Some of the regulars here may already have heard of this individual, who may single-handedly be Canada's biggest embarrassment right now. His handiwork can be found al over the place - The Panda's Thumb, Rational Skepticism, the now-defunct Richard Dawkins Forums, oh he was prolific if nothing else. But he was also a purveyor of weapons grade tard.

Trust me, you do NOT want to go down the same route as this individual.

Jo's picture
@ Calilasseia

@ Calilasseia

"Strange that you chose to answer Tim-Man asking this, and not me about two months earlier. Thought he might be easier to fool, did you? Well we all saw how that one panned out."
I did not think either of you could be fooled. I was just responding to his question. I have tried to answer yours before but you did not like my explanation. There is no contradiction between science and the Bible when the necessary amount of knowledge and understanding is present.

"Except that, oh wait, this happens to be a part of the canon of numerous Christian denominations. In particular, this is a part of the canon of every American evangelical sect that espouses Biblical inerrantism. Can I therefore assume you're not a member of one of these denominations, on the basis of your above statement?"
Yes, I am a member of one of those dastardly organizations.
Our understanding of the Bible is imperfect.
The people inspired to write it were imperfect.
The language it was written in and translated into are imperfect.
Our understanding of science is imperfect.
But God is perfect.
Even though it seems incredulous. We can effectively understand and know him through the Bible.

"Ah, the inevitable "blame the humans who were made that way, not the entity responsible for making them that way" apologetic excuse."
I am not blaming the humans. Just explaining that God works through humans.
God choose to do it this way and includes us in the enterprise.
God does not make us a certain way and then blame us for being that way.
We only answer for the choices we freely make.

Sheldon's picture
Jo "There is no

Jo "There is no contradiction between science and the Bible"

What utter drivel Jo. The global flood science can find not one piece of geological evidence of . The Exodus, and Hebrew captivity in Egypt science can find no evidence of, nor for the decades in the desert.

DNA showing unequivocally that the human genome could simply not have been derived from just two human beings, or anywhere near such a small bottleneck of the human population. Thus directly contradicting the idea of Adam & Eve, and with it original sin.

Humans created within days of the universe forming, as opposed to evolving just 200k years ago, over 13.4 billion years after the universe formed, and over 3.5 billion years after our solar system formed. Humans created instantly in the image of a deity from clay, when in fact they're the end result of billions of years of evolution.

I shan't bother with every example of a biblical claim for supernatural miracles, just point out that each and every one BY DEFINITION contradicts known scientific facts about the physical natural universe.

No contradiction my arse. What a breathtakingly dishonest claim Jo.

Jo's picture
@ Sheldon

@ Sheldon

Since you are making claims about the Bible I have some questions for your apologetics.
It sounds like you are more certain of your apologetics than most fundies are.

How are you so certain the Bible means what you say it does?
Where in your mythology does the Bible indicate there were no other people around before Adam and Eve?
Where in your mythology does the Bible indicate the earth is not billions of years old?
According to your mythology, how would a supernatural miracle contradict scientific facts about the natural universe?
Is name calling part of your mythology? Sarcasm

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