General Question

pikipupiba's avatar

What is wrong with the bible?

Asked by pikipupiba (1621 points ) July 7th, 2009

Anything and everything that is 100% proven wrong or anything that would cause you to dismiss parts or all of it.

!!!CITATIONS PLEASE!!!

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

261 Answers

Qingu's avatar

Well, we can start on page 1. The sky is not a solid dome that holds up an ocean of water. The sun, moon, and stars are not set inside the dome. Also, page 1 flatly contradicts page 2 (compare the order of creation in Gen. 1 vs. Gen. 2).

Morally speaking, I’m not a fan of the parts that condone slavery (Lev. 25:45, 1 Tim. 6:1) and genocide (Dt. 20:16, all of Joshua). Also not too keen on rape victims having to marry their rapists (Dt. 22:28).

I could go on, if you like.

pikipupiba's avatar

I would love you to.

I know what I’m goin to be reading tonight.

Qingu's avatar

I mean… there are huge lists of shit that’s wrong with the Bible on the internet. I usually don’t like to outsource my posts to websites, but if you’re asking for it:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/donald_morgan/

CMaz's avatar

Learn from the examples, understand the point that is being made. It was a different time. But, the lesson is still the same.

Qingu's avatar

@ChazMaz, what do you think the lesson is for having to marry an unbetrothed virgin if you rape her?

I think the lesson is “you break it, you buy it.” Since the Bible views women as property.

JLeslie's avatar

OMG! This thread will go on forever.

CMaz's avatar

Ok, then I think our forefathers should be stricken from the history books. All a bunch of slave owners.
Like I said, it was a different time. And different rules were in place. You have to understand where they were coming from at the time.

gailcalled's avatar

@ChazMaz : Um..there were more than four. (Forefathers).

Qingu's avatar

@ChazMaz, false analogy. What did you learn from slaveowners’ moral examples? What “point” were they making?

Incidentally, slavery is completely legal, according to the Bible. You could even legally beat your slave as much as the Romans beat Jesus before they crucified him (Exodus 21:20).

NuclearSnail's avatar

It’s not so much what’s wrong with the book itself… it’s how certain people interpret it that’s the problem.

Qingu's avatar

@NuclearSnail, similarly, it’s not so much what’s wrong with Mein Kampf itself. It’s how certain people interpret it.

Yeah yeah, Godwin’s law.

ratboy's avatar

Tacky faux leather cover.

Thammuz's avatar

In general: it is a holy book.

More specifically: The whole creation part, the idea that doing something against god’s will is wrong per se, even though adam and eve didn’t know what evil was and, thus, what “wrong” was. Furthremore they were told they’d die, without knowing what death was. (even symbolically this doesn’t describe a loving god, nor a moral one)

The whole triplet: Numbers, Deuteronomy and Leviticus (i love how literalists get pale as soon as they’re mentioned because they know those three are undefendable under any point of view) which again, depict a god which i wouldn’t worship even assuming i believed he existed. There is no moral standard that would accept this kind of teaching, not now, not ever.

Even the Jews avoided applying those laws, and they considered them the word of god as much as christians should.
The fact that god saves Lot after he’s offered his daughters to be raped by a mob, but he kills his wife for looking back on sodom and gomorrah.

I could go on but for now i’m too bored.

Thammuz's avatar

@ChazMaz The problem doesn’t lie within the behaviour of the people, which were humans, and humans did and do terrible things on a regular base, it’s that their barbaric, violent, mysoginistic behaviour is endorsed by what is supposed to be a transcendent, omnipotent and omnibenevolent being.

Oh and don’t forget he’s also “just”, disregarding that women who are victims of rape outside of a city are sold to their rapists. Or that people can be stoned for working on saturday, no matter what.

CMaz's avatar

It was a different time. And different rules were in place. You have to understand where they were coming from AT THE TIME.
This will go on for ever. Ignorance is bliss.

pikipupiba's avatar

You also have to keep in mind that things changed drastically after Jesus was crucified.

Qingu's avatar

@ChazMaz, I do understand where they were coming from at the time. The ancient Hebrews, like the ancient Babylonians and other Mesopotamians, believed women were property. That’s reflected in their laws.

So a virgin girl is the property of her dad, before she gets married. If you want to marry her, you have to pay her dad a brideprice, after which you become her owner. If you rape her, you decrease her brideprice value. So God, in His infinite wisdom, gave us this wonderful law that says the rapist should pay the victim’s father the brideprice he would have to pay if he had just married her the normal way.

I’m still waiting to hear what wonderful moral lesson you think we ought to draw from this divinely inspired law today.

Qingu's avatar

That said, it’s important to note that the whole “people back then!” excuse doesn’t really fly when we’re talking about the Bible’s commandments for genocide. The Bible is the only religious text to command genocide.

Other cultures, such as the Babylonians and Romans, would let people they conquered live and even integrate their gods into their own pantheon. The Bible, on the other hand, commands you to kill every man, woman, and child of people living in the holy land.

Thammuz's avatar

@ChazMaz: the time has no bearing on a religion. That is supposedly the will of God.

Society doesn’t allow that behaviour but if it did you’d see christians, or at the very least fundamentalists, applying that kind of shit. Why? because god doesn’t change, his will today is the same at the beginning (God’s plan, remember?).

I don’t have qualms iwht the hammurabi code, because people treat it as it should be, as a body of laws that is so ancient and unappliable that it results useless as anything but an historycal document, the bible is a religious text, and religions don’t change unless expressly stated, and this makes it potentially detrimental for any form of society, seeing how “moral” and “good” its teachings are

EmpressPixie's avatar

@ChazMaz Also, we don’t refer to the founders of this nation as infallible and do consider the Constitution a living document. This means if society evolves and we find something morally wrong with it, we can amend it.

CMaz's avatar

“I’m still waiting to hear what wonderful moral lesson you think we ought to draw from this divinely inspired law today.”
The problem is that you are looking for a “divinely inspired law.” That was the mindset of mankind at the time. Survival was a bit different then it is today.
So them seeing it as Gods way, worked for that time. We know better today. History is the stories of mans actions. We learn what to avoid.
You don’t hold fault to them, you just have to understand.
So maybe, the “divinely inspired law.” Is what not to do as far as how it relates to us today.

CMaz's avatar

EmpressPixie- I am with you there. We see the Bible with such power. People are afraid to see it for what it really represents and tells us. Don’t want to get hit by lightning.
The biggest problem is we tend to put mans face on God. That mucks everything up.

Ivan's avatar

“And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.”

- 1 Kings 7:23

Thammuz's avatar

@ChazMaz: that position can be applied to everything, mein kampf and the communist manifesto included, and it doesn’t change anything to the fact that people don’t see it like that.

Obviously the book per se is just a book, and people can grow by reading any book with the mindset you are suggesting, which by the way is very wise.

But that’s just evaluating the content and comparing it to your own already existing morality and principles, the bible attempts to replace them with its own, and many times it succedes at it.

So in a sense what’s really wrong with the bible is that people believe it.

NuclearSnail's avatar

@Qingu

That’s debatable. It depends on what your views are on morality being intrinsic to humanity or not. Ever heard of the Euthyphro Dilemna?

Qingu's avatar

Sort of a moot point if there are no gods, don’t you think?

eponymoushipster's avatar

did we have the same flame bait question yesterday? move on.

CMaz's avatar

“and it doesn’t change anything to the fact that people don’t see it like that.”
Yes, that is a sad point. And, plenty do see it that way.

“So in a sense what’s really wrong with the bible is that people believe it.”
People believe it in the wrong way. That does not make it not believable.

NuclearSnail's avatar

@Qingu Not necessarily. I believe in the case of the Euthyphro Dilemma, ‘God’ refers to religion in general. As in, does our morality come from civilisation based on faith (in a cultural sense), or is it intrinsic.

Qingu's avatar

@NuclearSnail, morality predates human civilization (see ape and monkey altruism and other social mores). Though it’s obviously informed by culture and technology.

Qingu's avatar

Also, I’m reading your statement again, and I think it’s even more wrong than I originally thought. Faith-based religions have never had a monopoly on human morality. That’s absurd.

galileogirl's avatar

@JLeslie Maybe this is the definitive answer

There is nothing wrong with the Bible. We would be hard pressed to find any book, essay, poem, play that was 100% factual and the Bible doesn’t even come close.

However that doesn’t mean it is useless or irrelevent. Most good written material is about expanding the human experience or making us think and every one, whether it is the Bible, Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat or Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, someone can learn and grow by reading them.

Where things go wrong is when people claim a superiority in defining writing and and insist their viewpoint is the only correct one.

Qingu's avatar

@galileogirl, do you think there’s anything wrong with any piece of writing?

Ivan's avatar

“And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls…And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.”

- Lev. 11:13, 19

NuclearSnail's avatar

@Qingu Regarding ’‘religion has never had a monopoly on human morality’’, I think the title and basis of this debate shows the level to which the contrary is true.

Fyrius's avatar

Another (nowhere near comprehensive) collection of things wrong with the bible: http://home.earthlink.net/~owl233/biblequotes.htm

Facade's avatar

Nothing, in my opinion

Qingu's avatar

Leviticus doesn’t get enough love.

The first chapters give detailed rules about how you’re supposed to leave the tastiest sacrifices from the choicest cuts of meat and the best flour. And don’t forget to season them with salt and herbs. “You shall not omit from your grain-offerings the salt of the covenant with your God; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.” (Lev. 2:13) Oh, and by the way, the priests happen to get a cut. Just sayin’.

Qingu's avatar

@NuclearSnail, I have no idea how you think the title and basis of this debate means that religion has a monopoly on human morality. Can you please explain what on earth you mean?

JLeslie's avatar

@galileogirl I completely agree.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Name_______ age
Methuselah__ 969
Jared _______962
Noah _______950
Adam _______930
Seth _______912
Kenan ______910
Enos _______905
Mahalalel ____895
Lamech _____777
Shem ______600

uhhhh what?

Qingu's avatar

@uberbatman, those guys were just babies compared to the dudes in the Sumerian Kings List… they lived for tens of thousands of years!

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Qingu Sweet Jesus! :P

Qingu's avatar

That’s basically what happens when you combine ancestor worship traditions, god-king traditions, and the idea that gods are immortal.

Fyrius's avatar

@galileogirl
Most books, essays, poems or plays are not supposed to be writ by an infallible deity. This one is, and therefore we should expect it to be completely factually accurate. Or even mostly.

Moreover, it’s not just on facts that there are things horrible wrong with the bible, as many posts in this thread attest to. Elsewhere I just enumerated slavery, mysogyny, genocide and the death penalty for nonsensical trifles.
It would surprise me very much if you think there’s nothing wrong with a book that orders you to put people to death for cheating on their spouse, sleeping with other men, performing the simplest task on the sabbath (my favourite forbidden task is “tying or untying a knot”; good luck with your shoe laces), or wearing clothes made of more than one kind of thread.

I bet that if it were up to the bible, every single one of us would have been put to death by now.

Qingu's avatar

@ChazMaz, which god do you believe in?

The one that ordered slavery and genocide in the Bible? Or some different god?

I’m having trouble parsing some of your statements.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

There is plenty of wrong that has been done by people using the bible’s scriptures as a justification.

sap82's avatar

@Qingu Ever been emotionally scared by something that made you forget who you were? Sure sounds like it. Logic and reasoning sucks and will not save you from anything.

Qingu's avatar

@sap82, I was with you up until “emotionally scared.”

CMaz's avatar

Yep, The one that ordered slavery and genocide in the Bible.
Seems that what went on during biblical times still goes on today.

So what is your point?

God put us into motion. We have all we need to move forward it this world. You looking for some magic power to deflect or guide us in the right direction?
If things are bad in this world, it is what we make it.

Qingu's avatar

@ChazMaz, do you think God was right to order slavery and genocide?

Would it be right to follow those commandments?

Zaku's avatar

It uses the phrase “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying…” WAY too much. ;-)

CMaz's avatar

God did not order it. Man orderd it, using “god” as a tool and for the wrong reason. As the big spirit in the sky.
God made the man. Man made the order.

“Would it be right to follow those commandments?”
It was right for the time.

ragingloli's avatar

“Yep, The one that ordered slavery and genocide in the Bible.”
“God did not order it.”

which one is it?

galileogirl's avatar

@Qingu Some things I find boring, but that is just me. They may be perfect for others.

@Fyrius I don’t accept your premise that anything was written by the hand of an infallible diety. We know that to be wrong because we know who actually wrote some parts of the Bible. At best they were humans inspired by God, but I also think Theodor Geisel was inspired, too

Qingu's avatar

@ChazMaz, Genocide was right for the time, hm? How delightful. I’m sure you’ll be teaching that lesson to your children.

When did it become wrong? And why?

Qingu's avatar

@galileogirl, the worst you’re willing to say about any text is that it’s “boring”?

What about something like The Turner Diaries ?

CMaz's avatar

You have got to be kidding me right? You do know the bible is like thousands of years old.
There was a time Man beat an animal down and just started to eat it. Raw and bloody, covered in ticks and the intestinal tract was also consumed. And he thought nothing of it.
And, I understand why he did it. Was no burger king close by. Only one was a few thousand years down the road.

Would you do that today? If your girlfriend liked to eat in that fashion would you be ok with it?

Qingu's avatar

No, I wouldn’t. But then I wouldn’t have eaten raw meat during Biblical times. They had fire back then. They also had non-genocidal societies back then.

You also ought to answer ragingloli’s question. You contradicted yourself earlier.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Hey! Leave me out of it. I don’t bring you into my ridiculous hypothetical situations.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@ChazMaz Man beat down the animal and just ate it to survive just like any other animal on this planet does. I hardly see how genocide is a comparable thing.

Fyrius's avatar

@galileogirl
Of course not. But the bible does hold that pretence, and since it’s so flawed, that is another thing that’s wrong with it.
A book inspired by a god too should consist of truth at least in those parts where man did not manage to screw it up. But it is inconceivable that Jehovah would tell anyone sane how the world really came to be and that his listener would write it down as in Genesis 1.

mammal's avatar

Necronomicon….

Every book is dead,
dead as the slaughtered calf
they used to skin them in.
And even the Good Book…
Reeking dust and churchyard gloom
Is merely the body of the teaching
and not its soul .
Paper, parchment tomb
catacomb of Saintly relics.
The Chronic remnants
of a once great revolution of the spirit,
a desert tornado.
A million miles from small town sermons,
Droning organs and Sunday best.

If we could but open our hearts as books
Or at least set them
as so many steps
to reach the stars
If we could…

if we could incinerate them all
lest they fall into the hands of;
Poison Preachers, Necromancers
and Bible thumpers
Drumming up the Zombies again…

Darwin's avatar

What is wrong with the bible is that the print is too small.

pikipupiba's avatar

@Qingu That whole sacraficing speil is completely un-neccassary now and the bible even says it, just sayin.

Qingu's avatar

@pikipupiba, I still think it’s hilarious that Yahweh demanded delicious, properly seasoned sacrifices… that the priests got to eat.

Really goes to the heart of how this religion got started.

pikipupiba's avatar

@Qingu yea, those were the good old days… hehehehe

galileogirl's avatar

@Qingu As a history teacher I find books like The Turner Diaries kind of interesting. You might be asked about some of these books and it is important to know what they are about so you can point out the fallacies. I also read Uncle Tom’s Cabin which was also written as propaganda.

whitenoise's avatar

The biggest problem I see with the bible is the way people use it. It is interesting literature and cultural reference. It is not a source of truth and should definitely not be a source of power. Alas….

Qingu's avatar

@pikipupiba, the good old days when corrupt priests made up religions to get food?

Don’t you believe in one of those religions?

CMaz's avatar

“Yep, The one that ordered slavery and genocide in the Bible.”
That was in response to your sarcasm. And God did not order it. Man said God ordered it.
And, no matter what. It is always about survival…

Peoples actions are relevant to the time period they live in. Like the man eating the animal. But, you go ahead and place that story on another time line then what it was apparently place in.

Here we go since you cant seem to see history as noting but in the “now” moment.

I want to make it simple, I do not want to type all day. So I will use this example. Slavery and the value of your daughter was normal practice of the time.
It was normal practice. Do not over think it. Backed by Gods blessing or not. That is how man operated in that time.
Do not compare it to toady’s standards as much as it might piss you off. Funny thing it still goes on today.

God created the heavens and the earth in 6 days. Many christians swear by that thinking. 6 days or 6 billion years. Want to know what the difference is? Nothing, story still makes a point.
6 days was much more comprehensible. Just like the world being flat at one time. Were they dopes for thinking they would fall off. Or there were monsters that would eat them?
No, very smart leaders, religious, and experts of the time felt the same way.

When God snapped his finger he put the universe into motion, every thing went into motion. You make a cake, yo you continually manipulate it? No you close the door, Action reaction take place. IN 20 min you have a cake. Weather you are an atheist or a Christian, the process works the same. The Christian believes in Salvation the Atheist believe in nothing.
Both can accomplish the same “thing” in life.
What the problem is are the people that act the same way people did 6,000 years ago. That there are spirits intervening there course in life. The holy spirit.
We want to see God behave as we behave. And, since he is God he can intervene.
If you scared easy, I could say do this because God told me to tell you to do it. The bible can be seen as God directly communicating to Man. I see it as he gave us a road map.
It the Biblical times. People needed to see Angles, and see signs that God existed. Those “sighs” were translated into a rather magnums image.
Christians still do it today. Gods divine intervention. Something supernatural out of the ordinary.
Funny thing is that the ordinary we see, is God. The Sun, the Stars, how our body heals itself. And how it sometimes does not. Process in motion.
Child runs into the road. Gets run over. Mother curses God for taking her daughter away. Ya know what, God gave you the ability to watch over your child. Or gave you the understanding that you should not have a child, ut you did any way. Gods fault? We do have free will. But that is another rant.
Life and death are inevitable. Both have its purpose. Take the Magic out of the Bible and see it for what it is.
Weather you want to believe it is God inspired or a piece of literature. But it is a historical document of the times. And what you do or do not like about it is the way it was no matter what.
Like I said before. We have not come that far from 4,00 years ago. There is still slavery and genocide in the world today.

Qingu's avatar

@ChazMaz, just to be clear, you don’t believe in the god of the Bible?

CMaz's avatar

Yes I do. I just do not belive in the Ghostly way that mankind has portraided “him” as.

Qingu's avatar

You believe in the god of the Bible… but not the god who commanded slavery and genocide as described in the Bible?

CMaz's avatar

Yes, it is like talking in a circle is it not?
One more time. God created man, put into motion all that was needed for him to learn and survive. Man commanded slavery and genocide. Using “God’s word” as authority. But it was still Man that pulled the trigger. That free will thing.

Qingu's avatar

So the Bible’s description of God is completely inaccurate?

El_Cadejo's avatar

@ChazMaz if “god” created man and thats all, why is the bible the one thats right? Why not any of the other religions? I mean after all, man just made up all that stuff about god anyway right?

Thammuz's avatar

@ChazMaz: Ok, now i have to ask, how do you decide what was actually said by the god of the bible and what was added/misrepresented by men? If you believe the bible then, my dear, you’ll have to tell me how you discriminate jesus’ word from the laws in leviticus and deutoeronomy… Unless you mean you believe in a creator god but not in the bible…

CMaz's avatar

It is not inaccurate. It is that people want the Supernatural God. So they inject it into it. When if you take the time you will see you do not need it. He is apparent enough.

CMaz's avatar

Here is where we have to carry our own cross. I do not have a problem if you believe otherwise. I would rather you always thought then just followed what people want you to think.

The bible says if you accept Jesus as your savior the Bible is written on your heart.
The bible I feel within me, is not the one we are reading. Or should I say I can see the misdirection of the writings in it. It is the closest available information. But I will not be ignorant to its history.
It is not hard to see, but it is hard to stand firm with your convictions with so many years of being beat over the head with it.
Then there are people that are just angry over the book. Well, in that case what ya going to do. ;-) Except love your fellow man.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@ChazMaz i still dont understand. Where do you draw that line as to what was said by man and what is said by god or jesus for that matter?

Qingu's avatar

@ChazMaz, I’m going to ask you some questions about this god you believe in. Please answer yes or no.

• Is his name Yahweh? (y/n)

• Did he create the heavens and the earth in 6 days? (y/n)

• Did he make human beings from clay to work in his garden? (y/n)

• Did he expel the humans after they ate a magic fruit at the behest of a talking serpent? (y/n)

• Did he wipe out the entire earth in a flood caused by opening windows in the sky to let in the above-sky waters? (y/n)

• Did he make a covenant with a Mesopotamian man named Abraham, after A. was willing to kill his son as a sacrifice? (y/n)

• Did he save the Hebrews from the Egyptians by making ten magical plagues? (y/n)

• Did he give a bunch of laws to the leader of the Hebrews, including ones commanding slavery and genocide? (y/n)

• Did he personally help the Hebrews in their genocidal warfare? (y/n)

• Did he threaten to make people who don’t follow his laws eat their own children and miscarriage afterbirth? (y/n)

• Did he make a bet with Satan that he could torture a guy as much as possible to test his faith? (y/n)

• Did he have a son, who is actually himself, and had this son killed as a sacrifice—to himself—to allow human beings to be more easily saved from being punished for breaking the laws that he gave them, which they are apparently predestined to break because of how their ancestor ate the magic fruit? (y/n)

• Did his son come back to life like a zombie, along with the bodies of many people in Jerusalem? (y/n)

If you answered “no” to most of the questions, you don’t believe in the God described in the Bible.

Thammuz's avatar

@ChazMaz i’ll just wait till you reply to @Qingu before going onwards with the debate, that will clarify most of the problems

CMaz's avatar

No to all
And yes only to “Did he have a son, who is actually himself,”

Qingu's avatar

So… if you don’t believe any of that, doesn’t that mean you think the Bible’s description of God is inaccurate?

El_Cadejo's avatar

@ChazMaz why do you believe he had a son who was himself if you disbelieve all that other stuff?

NuclearSnail's avatar

What people are forgetting is that God is defined as being ’‘just’’. All of ‘his’ actions are outside of human understanding, the good and the bad. So, regardless of what we see as morally right or wrong, God is not anthropomorphic and therefore his actions are neither negative or positive.

It also should be noted that in modern Christianity, the rules of the New Testament (i.e. the teachings of Christ) nullify the trivial rules of the Old Testament.

CMaz's avatar

What is said by God, can only be seen through what Jesus said, being a man that existed.
Weather you want to see Jesus as just a wise man or God in the form of man. You decide. Your cross to bare.

Bottom line. God has said nothing for the most part. Why should he? Does he need to second guess himself?

God gave us everything we needed. We just feel when we are down on our luck to curse someone. Or if we hit it but, we must be in favor.

Qingu's avatar

@NuclearSnail, if you define God as “just” that means his actions are within human understanding of good and bad. Namely that they are good, i.e. “just.”

Also, while Christianity makes it possible to get “saved” without following every single rule in the OT, that doesn’t mean Christianity teaches the OT’s rules would be wrong to follow. Jesus says that he has not come to abolish the OT laws but to fulfill them, and that people who teach others to follow them will be called “greatest” in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:17). Paul says the Law is “holy, just, and good” (Romans 7:12).

Surely you don’t think that a Christian would say it’s wrong to follow a commandment God gave in the Old Testament. Just that it’s unnecessary. How could following God’s commandments be wrong?

Qingu's avatar

@ChazMaz, are you saying that Jesus did not believe in the God of the Bible either?

CMaz's avatar

Because all the other stuff is so apparently bogus. Plenty of fluff to get to a point.
But God coming down to interact with man, in the form of man. Since any other way would be incomprehensible is doable.
I will not deny that possibility. But God in the form of man is now accountable but the rules that we all abide by. Physics, nature and such And in a sense God is in all of us any way.

Qingu's avatar

Why do I get the feeling that you’re making this stuff up as you go along?

NuclearSnail's avatar

@Qingu Category error.

You’ve also twisted what I said. Christianity doesn’t teach that the rules of the Old Testament are wrong, but I’m fairly sure that ’‘Love thy neighbour’’ covers just about every necessary one.

CMaz's avatar

BIble tells us Jesus knew he was God. But he was still man. As a Christian god is in me and I an God. Do you think when I die I will go to a town with all my friends and family hanging around. That is putting a face on God.
I go back to the body becoming one with God, there by being God. Ooooooo Spooky.

Qingu's avatar

@NuclearSnail, are you saying you made a category error? Okay, so does that mean you don’t think God’s actions are just (or unjust)? I’ve heard Jews argue this, that Yahweh is basically a force of amoral nature. Which is a different argument.

Also, I’m not sure what the point of your second statement is. If you don’t think it would be wrong to follow OT rules, does that mean you’re okay with making rape victims marry their rapists, or committing genocide against non-Christians living in Israel?

CMaz's avatar

“Why do I get the feeling that you’re making this stuff up as you go along?”
It is what it is. And, what ever helps you sleep easier at night. I sleep very well.
There is no right and wrong. Just what is right for you. That is the cross you bare.
Cant judge you, I do not know you. You do and think what you feel is best.
Just leave the anger and stress out of it. I am saying that in general.
Others opinions I learn from. THey do not get me angry or frustrated.

mzdesigns's avatar

its a book of parables, what is wrong is that people take it literally.

Thammuz's avatar

@ChazMaz How do you know Jesus is the one god personified? Couldn’t it have been buddha? or all the shitloads of other people who claimed to be god’s chosen ones, god’s son, god themselves and whatnot? There has to be some criterion other than “i believe so” (even though i get the feeling there will not be)

ragingloli's avatar

@Thammuz
Exactly. How does he know that Jesus is not just made up by Paul like, as he believes, the rest of the Bible by the religious elite?
or xenu and that thetan crap by Hubbard

Qingu's avatar

@mzdesigns, have you actually read the Bible? It’s not a book of parables.

mzdesigns's avatar

yes i have & went to a catholic school. what proof do you shockingly claim to have? not everything is but some of it is. that is what we was being taught anyway.

Qingu's avatar

So if you’re only familiar with the small part of the Bible that is parables, why in the hell do you feel you are qualified to make a comment about how to take the entire book?

I also don’t know what you mean when you asked for “proof.” Proof for what? That it’s not a book of parables?

mzdesigns's avatar

iam not “qualified” or whatever you are the one judging read your own words..lol Proof of the statements you are claiming are true.

Qingu's avatar

Which statement in particular would you like me to prove?

mzdesigns's avatar

Any of them

mzdesigns's avatar

indeed, some are facts, but others simply are not or haven’t been proven so ;yet;

Blondesjon's avatar

The only problem with the Bible is that it should be shaped like a spoon because of all the shit it stirs up.

mzdesigns's avatar

lol….true blondeesjon

Qingu's avatar

@mzdesigns, I asked you for a particular statement, you said “any of them.” You don’t really seem to get how this whole discussion thing works. Until you actually interact meaningfully with something I say, I’m going to ignore you.

mzdesigns's avatar

lol you cant seem to come up with one huh?

mzdesigns's avatar

while your at it read the 10commandments :)

charliecompany34's avatar

there is nothing wrong with the Bible. end of thread.

mzdesigns's avatar

nope its the interpretations of it.

Qingu's avatar

@charliecompany34, what do you think about the Bible’s commandments ordering slavery and genocide?

JLeslie's avatar

I knew it.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Qingu . . .What has the bible done to you personally?

I don’t mean it’s outmoded ideas or sexist, racist language. I don’t mean it’s contadictions or mythology.

I want to know what it has done, on a personal level, to you.

charliecompany34's avatar

ok, i’ll play fair.
the Bible to many is confusing. it does not seem to speak clearly, but to the believer it is quite clear. where you are spiritually helps you understand. all the answers to all of today’s life struggles are in it. all questions are answered, whether money, debt, life, death, adultery, passion, jealousy, grief, bereavement, morals, love, hate, anxiety, depression, even answers to how america can get out of debt.

what has the Bible done for me? here’s what: when all else failed, and i mean everything, the only peace i can find is what is in the Bible. it should be people’s first resort, but it always is the last resort.

probably the last words you speak before a head-on car collision will be either “JESUS!” or “oh shit.” where you are spiritually will determine who or what you call on in the time of need.

Ivan's avatar

You heard him. The Bible only makes sense if you already believe everything it says.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@charliecompany34 “probably the last words you speak before a head-on car collision will be either “JESUS!” or “oh shit.” where you are spiritually will determine who or what you call on in the time of need.”

I disagree. Id consider myself to be a quite spiritual person (not in the religious sense) but if i was about to get in a head on car collision id probably say something along the lines of “holy fuck balls!!”

charliecompany34's avatar

@uberbatman hmmmmmmmm, creative, but good.

mzdesigns's avatar

exactly ivan.

Blondesjon's avatar

@uberbatman . . .Isn’t that what Robin cried out when he and the Caped Crusader kicked in the door and the sex toy party?

El_Cadejo's avatar

BWAHAHAHAHA

Qingu's avatar

@charliecompany34, you said, all questions are answered, whether money, debt, life, death, adultery, passion, jealousy, grief, bereavement, morals, love, hate, anxiety, depression, even answers to how america can get out of debt.

Here’s a question for you: If my newlywed wife isn’t a virgin on our honeymoon, what should happen to her?

Here’s another question: What should I do if a family members tries to convert me to Buddhism?

mzdesigns's avatar

tell them your not interested in buddhism and move on

Qingu's avatar

@Blondesjon, what has the Bible done to me personally? I mean, I could give you a cute answer because it’s a cute question. But I think the root issue is “how does this book actually affect our daily lives?”

The most obvious way it does so is political. Evangelical Christians, who purport to live their lives by the Bible, voted for George Bush 80–20, largely because Bush wore his religion on his sleeve. The Bible is also used to justify homophobia and opposition to gay marriage; while I’m not gay, I do consider this an affront to the ideals of the country I live in.

More generally, I think the morals found in the Bible speak for themselves. Many of them are appalling. And a large number of people around the world take the Bible and its morals seriously—not just cherry-picked “love your enemy” morals that coincide with secular, enlightenment morality, but the whole thing. Some of them are actively trying to make the Bible’s morals into American law.

mzdesigns's avatar

Bush used it as a political tool for the narrow minded, who doesnt know this.

Qingu's avatar

@mzdesigns, incorrect.

If anyone secretly entices you—even if it is your brother, your father’s son or your mother’s son, or your own son or daughter, or the wife you embrace, or your most intimate friend—saying, ‘Let us go and worship other gods’, whom neither you nor your ancestors have known, any of the gods of the peoples that are around you, whether near you or far away from you, from one end of the earth to the other, 8you must not yield to or heed any such persons. Show them no pity or compassion and do not shield them. But you shall surely kill them; your own hand shall be first against them to execute them, and afterwards the hand of all the people. Stone them to death for trying to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. Then all Israel shall hear and be afraid, and never again do any such wickedness. –Dt. 13:6

mzdesigns's avatar

lol a quote

mzdesigns's avatar

*shakes head left speechless

ragingloli's avatar

@mzdesigns
why? that’s the bible’s answer to that problem.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Qingu . . .That is not the question I asked. I would prefer the “cute” answer as it would be in response to my question.

If it’s a matter of simple debate one can replace the word “religion” with “science” in any debate and come to the exact same conclusions.

Science has been manipulated by corrupt individuals as a means of control.

Science has been responsible for as many deaths as Religion.

Science excludes and scoffs at those who do not share its views.

…and so on and so forth.

I want to know, on a personal level, why it is so important to you to try and change something that is an individual’s choice.

have i mentioned that i am an atheist?

tinyfaery's avatar

There are just too many versions.

Qingu's avatar

@Blondesjon, that’s a ridiculous false equivalency.

The Bible is a book that explicitly commands these things. You don’t need to “manipulate” it to justify slavery or genocide. You just need to read it. It says, clearly and plainly, that God himself commands these things.

Science doesn’t have a doctrine. It isn’t a piece of writing that says certain things are good and certain things are bad. It’s not a code of law. It’s a method. And that method has helped us learn a lot about the natural world.

By definition, if you corruptly “manipulate” science, your’e not doing science correctly.

When you say that the Bible has been “manipulated” to justify all of these things that it explicitly says to do, that just seems inane to me. It’s like saying corrupt white supremacists “manipulate” the Turner Diaries or Mein Kampf to justify their warped views, when in fact those books explicitly support those views.

Usually people who say this simply have not actually read the Bible. Have you?

Blondesjon's avatar

@Qingu. . .Science and Religion have both been used as tools of control from their inception.

Mathematics are a code of law. They have helped us to create weapons that have killed hundreds of thousands of people throughout the ages.

Both the Bible (let’s say old testament/new testament) and Science (let’s say flat earth/round earth) have had to update their views over time even though to do so meant a great deal of danger to the updaters (Galileo/Jesus)

Science has also been used throughout history to “manipulate” the public. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that black people were “proven” to be inferior to whites through the application of “sound Scientific principles”.

Science and Religion(the Bible) are two sides of the exact same coin and we are the ones responsible for how either one are used.

Instead of wondering about my reading habits perhaps you could come down off of your high horse and realize most people can be dicks no matter which side they are on.

Ivan's avatar

“one can replace the word “religion” with “science” in any debate and come to the exact same conclusions.”

lol

Blondesjon's avatar

@Ivan . . .prove me wrong :)

Qingu's avatar

@Blondesjon,

1. You shall annihilate them—the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites—just as the Lord your God has commanded, so that they may not teach you to do all the abhorrent things that they do for their gods, and you thus sin against the Lord your God.

2. e = mc^2

You said that you can replace the word “religion” with “science” and come to the exact same conclusions. Please explain how one would come to the conclusion that you should kill everyone living in Israel from the scientific fact that energy is equivalent to mass times the speed of light squared.

You brought up “scientific” proofs of racism. In fact, such “proofs” were pseudoscience, not science. They were not based on the scientific method. And nearly all scientists today readily admit that such ideas are utter nonsense.

Science revises and corrects itself. Religion does not. The Bible is the same text now as it was 2,000 years ago. Religious people don’t “correct” the Bible for its errors. They ignore the parts they don’t like, but they don’t actually change the text itself.

Ivan's avatar

@Blondesjon

And in only three words, you completely discredit everything you will ever have to say about science.

tinyfaery's avatar

Religion does change, and it is corrected. I’m just following along but I wanted to make that point.

Qingu's avatar

@tinyfaery, can you give an example of what you mean?

Religious people interpret their religions differently in different eras. But the actual content of religious texts, like the subject of this question, do not really change much. The Bible today is the same as the Bible 1,800 years ago, with a few nitpicky exceptions.

And if you “correct” the Bible, you’re eroding its function as the foundation of your religion.

pikipupiba's avatar

@Qingu That is why I love whatever type of Christian that I am. We don’t pick and choose. We do everything that the bible says is required for salvation (or we at least try to).

Qingu's avatar

@pikipupiba, if you don’t pick and choose, why aren’t you trying to stone me to death right now like Deuteronomy 13:6 says you should?

Blondesjon's avatar

1 is an example of what men used (Religious Fervor) to help them eradicate a group of perceived enemies(the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites).

2 is an example of what men used (Scientific Method) to help them eradicate a group of perceived enemies (the Japanese).

I imagine, with the differences in historical populations, the death toll was probably the same. Neither women nor children were spared in either case if I am not mistaken.

oh yeah. you never answered my original question of you. what did the bible do to you?

pikipupiba's avatar

That is the difference between the old testement and now.

Before, you had to be sin free to get into heaven and you had to actually take steps to eliminate your sin (Like slaughter your best calf and what-not).

Now, you simply have to accept the fact that Jesus died for your sins and repent.

Jesus changed everything.

Qingu's avatar

@Blondesjon, similarly, the statement

“All Jews deserve to die”

is morally equivalent to

“the square root of negative one is the imaginary unit”

because both statements can be used by men to kill lots of Jews. Right?

Qingu's avatar

@pikipupiba, I understand you no longer have to follow every single law in the Old Testament to be saved.

But are you saying it would be morally wrong to follow those laws today?

pikipupiba's avatar

@Qingu Yes, it would be. An over-simplified explaination is that God used to smite his enemies, now he forgives them (not literally and I don’t know exactly what changed in that regard, but I will find out).

Qingu's avatar

So you disagree with Paul, who said “the law is holy, just, and good” (Romans 7:12)?

You disagree with Jesus, who said that anyone who follows all of the commandments will be called “greatest” in the kingdom of heaven? (Matthew 5:17)

pikipupiba's avatar

The ten commandments haven’t changed, how sin is handled has

Blondesjon's avatar

@Qingu . . .They didn’t drop crucifixes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

They also didn’t inject the Tuskegee Airmen with the Holy Spirit.

Qingu's avatar

@pikipupiba, I don’t see how that’s a response to my point. (Incidentally, the punishment for breaking any of the ten commandments is death.)

pikipupiba's avatar

There is salvation where there was death.

Qingu's avatar

@Blondesjon, I also have no idea what your point is.

You are confusing moral statements with tools. The existence of a tool is not a moral statement.

I’d like you to answer the question in my last response. Is the statement “Kill all Jews!” morally equivalent to “the square root of –1 = i”?

You can use the second statement to invent electric circuits, which in turn can be used to help make hydrogen bombs that you can then drop on Israel. Therefore, it’s morally equivalent to a moral statement calling for the death of all Jews?

Ivan's avatar

Science is not a fucking proper noun.

Blondesjon's avatar

My point is that when a person goes out of their way to show how “horrible” another group of people or ideas are they are being just as restricting, intolerant, and dicky as the group they are “debating”.

I could give a fuck less about either side, I just wanted an answer to my original question I put to you. What has the Bible ever done to you personally?

@Ivan. . .Pretend that it has a small S. I have faith in you. You are pretty good at seeing only what you want to see.

Ivan's avatar

This isn’t an issue of capitalization. Your understanding of what science is at a fundamental level is drastically incorrect.

ragingloli's avatar

@Blondesjon “What has the Bible ever done to you personally?”

Does it even matter? Chances are that the bible never did anything to anybody personally, because it is an inanimate object that can not do anything by itself.

Did Hitler ever do anything to you personally?

Blondesjon's avatar

@ragingloli . . .No he didn’t and you don’t see me on here railing against him every chance I get, now do you?

@Ivan. . .I understand what Science is perfectly well. Perhaps not as well as I know how to push your buttons, but well enough to get along.

Qingu's avatar

@Blondesjon, I understand that you like to feel “above the fray,” but not all ideas are equal. You demonstrate that you agree with this in your post, when you criticize intolerance and restriction. Aren’t you going out of your way to show how “horrible” intolerant and restrictive people/ideas are?

You’re basically criticizing people for being critical.

I didn’t answer your original question because your original question was dumb. Books are inert objects. Sort of like atomic bombs. I think I’ve demonstrated how the ideas in the Bible have influenced my life. (Incidentally, unlike the Bible, atomic bombs don’t come with moral ideas written out inside them.)

Ivan's avatar

@Qingu

The primary point to everything Blondesjon says is that discussion is bad. He goes into discussion after discussion trying to convince people to stop. Everything eventually boils down to this.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Qingu . . .I guess I missed the meeting where you were put in charge of which ideas are acceptable and which questions are “dumb”.

Don’t Christians do that to?

@Ivan. . .I’ve seen your idea of discussion.

Group A: Group B is wrong.

Group B: Group A is wrong.

Group A: Nope. Group B is wrong.

Group B: Nope. Group A is wrong.

Group A: No. Seriously. You guys are wrong.

Group B: No. Seriously. You guys are wrong.

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, ad infinitum…

EmpressPixie's avatar

@Blondesjon: I’ve seen @Ivan‘s idea of discussion too. He usually meets people at whatever level they want to fight at to discuss something. If you talk at a resonable level, he will too. If you insist on making a ridiculous argument, well…

Ivan's avatar

@Blondesjon

For some reason, in your eyes, we all sound like that. You come into every thread and paint us all as intolerant bigots while you are the enlightened one following the high road. In reality, you simply have no means to defend your beliefs in an academic manner, so you feel better by making fun of those of us who try to.

Qingu's avatar

@Blondesjon, it seems like Ivan has you pegged. You’re criticizing the act of criticism. Not only is it annoying, it’s hypocritical.

Here’s a thought: if discussing the merits of ideas bothers you so much, why don’t you… you know… not participate in such discussions?

Blondesjon's avatar

I have stated time and time again on Fluther that I am the biggest hypocrite I know. I also know that you can search high and low and see I have never insulted anyone’s intelligence or referred to their opinions as “dumb”.

And both of you boys need to settle down, it’s just an Internet Q&A site.

You two are acting like there’s money on the table.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Wow, just wow. @JLeslie, you were so right, this just keeps going, and gets nowhere. Sort of like driving around in a circle, hoping the scenery will eventually change.

EmpressPixie's avatar

It is absolutely not “just an Internet Q&A site”. It’s a community. Where people discuss things, learn, and grow. It is important to Qingu and Ivan to discuss this. Or just something they want to do. There is no reason to belittle that interest.

Qingu's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra, I wouldn’t say it’s gone nowhere. It appears that between this thread and the one about the ark, Pikipupiba has actually begun to doubt his/her faith. Regardless of whether you think this is a good thing or a bad thing, I wouldn’t call it “going nowhere.” :)

Blondesjon's avatar

I was unaware that Qingu and Ivan had more of a right to speak their mind in this community than I did.

I really gotta start reading that newsletter.

Ivan's avatar

What are you talking about? I have done nothing but encourage you to speak your mind on this site. You continually refuse and ridicule those of us who do.

EmpressPixie's avatar

You have every right to speak your mind. Just as I have every right to respond to you when you do.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

175 posts…. Sheesh…..

pikipupiba's avatar

I know! Right? Atheists sure do like to talk about religious stuff…

Ivan's avatar

headdesk

ragingloli's avatar

@pikipupiba
” What is wrong with the bible?”
Asked by pikipupiba

maryleedy's avatar

I rather liked this discussion. I got lost a few times, lol, but an interesting debate nonetheless. I think perception and interpretation play a big role when it comes to the Bible. I wasn’t surprised to see this thread be so long, lol, all the more reason to come and see what’s going on. :-)

Thammuz's avatar

Ok let’s have a roadmap here: this moved from a bible bashing thread to a debate on the bible, to a debate on religion and now to a debate on wether or not it is appropriate to debate.

WOW

Thammuz's avatar

My two cents on all this: @Blondesjon: if you have nothing to say about a discussion except “stop discussing” save your breath. If they didn’t want to argue they wouldn’t be arguing in the first place, if that bothers you don’t read their posts.

You’re entitled to express your opinion but don’t expect others not to tell you that you’re a dumbass when you argue against arguing.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

This is less than a fruitless endeavor. It doesn’t even qualify as a tree.

fireside's avatar

Is everyone having fun?
————
Simply put, the old testament is a collection of spiritual and cultural beliefs that were canonized for the people of the time. Sort of like a textbook that you get at school with knowledge that was intended to unite the people of the time around a particular culture.

This was done earlier in history as well with the Vedas and was done later in history with the collection of Buddha’s teachings and again with the collection of Jesus’ teachings and again and again..leading us to the teachings of Bahá‘u’lláh and his son `Abdu’l-Bahá.

The thing that you will notice is that the spiritual beliefs change very little over the centuries in terms of how to reconnect with the spirit. Hence the etymology – It is usually accepted to derive from ligare “bind, connect”; probably from a prefixed re-ligare, i.e. re (again) + ligare or “to reconnect.”

The fact that people with seemingly little education have this innate knowledge speaks to the understanding that they were connected to a higher consciousness. Hence the debate over which God is speaking at which time.

The cultural teachings change with the times, as they should.
When you guys argue, make sure you are pointing out whether or not you are disputing cultural or spiritual teachings.
————
Ok, back to your regularly schedule debate.

CMaz's avatar

“make sure you are pointing out whether or not you are disputing cultural or spiritual teachings.”

Both, they go hand in hand. And like I said, it all comes down to the cross you bare. How you want to live life. Hopefully it makes sence to you and you die confident you made the right decission.
Do not let people bully you, but, be openminded.

Qingu's avatar

@fireside, can you elaborate more on the difference between spiritual and cultural teachings?

It seems like any teachings that use language and metaphors are automatically “cultural,” since those things are cultural in nature. Many cultural teachings involve the idea of universality, or playing non-zero sum games with each other.

I guess I just don’t really understand what this category of “spirit” even refers to. The way I see it, human activities can generally be divided between biological and cultural activities. The very idea of “spirit” is a cultural invention.

CMaz's avatar

You got that right!

fireside's avatar

Sorry, no time for cyclical debate right now. Getting ready to go out of town.

Look up Progressive Revelation(Bah%C3%A1%27%C3%AD)#Religious_truth_is_of_two_kinds

Religious truth is of two kinds

Bahá’ís believe that religious teachings are of two varieties: essential spiritual truth, and ephemeral social constructs. The latter may include laws of conduct, diet, institutions, ceremonies, etc. These may change dramatically from Manifestation to Manifestation. The former, however, are essential and do not change, except perhaps in their cultural presentation.

A good example of this is the prohibition on the consumption of cloven-hooved animals in Judaism, which is seen by Bahá’ís as a sound teaching necessary for public health at the time. Modern hygiene and medical knowledge has given us better abilities to ward off the parasites and other harmful aspects of such consumption, and so such restrictions are not part of the Bahá’í Faith.

So the Manifestation of God is seen as at once restoring the essential truth, returning the faithful to the correct practice. Simultaneously, the Manifestation eliminates redundant or corrupt social structures and creates such social organization as will support the improvement of mankind.

CMaz's avatar

“There has to be some criterion other than “i believe so””
That is all we have to go by. No matter what.
Believe in yourself, and what drives you.
Now, what does drive you? That is the question.
And ya know what. How you think and how you live your life is your business.
If you are happy to believe in Jesus, Buddha or some other spiritual guidance or none at all. So be it.
As long as you are being honest and true to yourself. That means learn and always be open.
History shows us that what we did not see yesterday we walk right into today.
Don’t fight, be open to what people are saying. Use the good information and throw the rest away.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Qingu I don’t see the point in giving some one the opportunity to doubt their faith. What are you going to replace their god with? Science? Science is not a thing; science is a method. Science tries to explain why the natural world is as it is, it has nothing to do with things of a more spiritual nature.

I also don’t see the point in telling people that what they believe is wrong. It might not fit your world view, but people’s faith in things you cannot perceive or don’t believe in does not hurt you.

Personally, I think if people want to believe in gods, and they are not pushing it to the point of infringing on my freedoms, who cares? The only thing worse than an extremeist religious zealot, are the atheist kind. Of course, those who are extremeist i.e. militant atheists, never see themselves as such, and cannot understand the concept. Militant atheists and militant christians (or Muslims, or whatever) are two sides of the same mirror.

To think causing someone to doubt their religious beliefs is going to set them free is just pure hubris. or in the words of someone not likely to couch his terms in pretty language, it’s bullshit.

To answer the question, “What is wrong with the Bible?” the answer is: nothing, it only upsets you if you let it. It’s a holy book of a religion for a god-belief, and since there are 2,500 known gods in human history, I’m sure there are plenty of holy books out there.

Qingu's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra, I don’t think you need to replace god-belief with anything. It’s not like we draw the majority of our morals from God or the Bible.

As I said to fireside, I don’t know what you mean by “spiritual.” Do you mean like “wonderful”? There’s plenty of amazing things in the natural world; check out Planet Earth. There’s also amazing things that human beings invent, stories we write, feelings we experience together. It has nothing to do with religion. But then, maybe you mean something else with the word “spiritual.”

Also, you said “I don’t see the point in telling people that what they believe is wrong.” Aren’t you telling me what I believe is wrong in the same post? As I said to Blondesjon, I don’t really get this line. I understand if you don’t like being confrontational or whatever, but if two people actually want to debate their beliefs, what exactly is the problem? It’s not like I’m forcing anyone on Fluther to argue with me. I didn’t even ask the question!

Also, I don’t think it’s fair to characterize people like myself as “militant atheists.” I’m not advocating violence. I’m not even advocating political action. I’m just arguing on an internet message board. I have no idea why you feel that atheist zealots are worse than religious zealots who actually do all these things, it’s kind of an odd thing to say.

Finally, I’ll ask you what I asked someone else a while ago: if “nothing” is wrong with the Bible—if you don’t have any problems with the content of the book—then do you have any problems with the content of any book? What about the Turner Diaries, or The Protocols of the Elders of Zion?

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Qingu, thanks for making my point, you couldn’t have answered in a more suitable way.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Qingu, the Turner Diaries is a fictional novel, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a hoax. The bible has some historical significance, and since you don’t like what it says, then don’t read the damn thing. I read Mein Kampf, in its entirety and although it is the factual accounts of Hitler’s views, and his plans for world domination, like the Bible, it is rife of inconsistencies, and half-truths, and outright myths. Argue and debate all you want, I simply see no point in bringing up the parts of the bible you find disgusting to use as a weapon to dissuade others of their mostly harmless belief in Middle Eastern deities. I don’t see Christians killing people in the name of their god nowadays, sure they did it in the past, but so what? People kill people all the time, some just use religion to justify it. Even getting rid of religion wouldn’t solve that particular human trait. Hell, people kill each other over video game systems.

As for what you believe, I really don’t care what you do or don’t believe. Personal beliefs are simply that, personal. No one has the right to tell anyone what they believe is wrong. To assume I said that about you is erroneous.

And finally, debate away as long as you like. I for one find living my life more enjoyable than sitting in front of a computer and typing away about something that really has no real effect upon my life. Debate is like masturbation, after awhile, you are going to need to find something else to entertain you.

Winning an online debate about religion is like winning the Special Olympics. Sure you’ve won, but you’re still retarded.

Qingu's avatar

“No one has the right to tell anyone what they believe is wrong.”

So what gives you the right to tell white supremacists that their beliefs about the Protocols are wrong?

Or the right to spend several posts attacking me for my belief that the Bible deserves criticism?

Ridiculous. I mean, if you don’t like debating, why are you debating about debating? It’s weird. But don’t worry, you won’t see me arguing that you don’t have the “right” to make completely self-contradictory Fluther posts.

fireside's avatar

If someone doesn’t believe they have an ego, they will scoff at others who tell them they are acting out of their egotistical desires.

In the same vein, if someone doesn’t believe they have a spirit or a soul, then they will scoff at others who tell them about spiritual teachings or about how music touches their soul.

If someone wants to live their life scoffing at others, that is their choice.

Qingu's avatar

And if someone can’t define a term they’re using they will resort to personal attacks? Come on, man. I was asking you in earnest.

fireside's avatar

I wasn’t attacking you, Qingu. I just don’t have a lot of time today since I am going away for a few days.
But hey, what’s a few more minutes on Fluther going to hurt.

spir·i·tu·al
adj.
1. Of, relating to, consisting of, or having the nature of spirit; not tangible or material.
2. Of, concerned with, or affecting the soul.
——————
To me, the spiritual teachings are ones like prayer or meditation which frees up the conscious, grasping mind and connects you to a deeper sense of calm. This may be simply a biological function too, but the method of achieving it is rooted in spiritual teachings. Another would be various teachings on humility which enables a person to connect with others on a deeper level by letting go of the mental constructs that one builds up which keep others at a distance, consciously or unconsciously.

Cultural teachings are ones like dietary guidelines or ones related to marriage and divorce. They are the dogma that people cling to because they are tangible and outward. But the real core of the teachings and what I believe Moses, Jesus, Buddha and Baha’u’llah were describing is the non-tangible essence of a person, i.e. their spirit or soul.

Obviously, I never met any of them, so it is all pure speculation.
But that’s okay.

Finding a religion that worked for me and confirmed my beliefs gave me a sense of inner calm that nothing else in my life up to this point had done and it gave me to opportunity to meet my soon-to-be wife. For that I am grateful and content.

Plus I believe in the cultural directives which are unique to the Baha’i faith among other world religions. Such as the understanding that all religion arises from the same source, all people are equal and of the same human family and worthy of the same respect, the importance of consultation to arrive at decisions so that the wisest choice can hopefully be made, the idea that there should be compulsory education globally to help uplift humanity and create a common understanding of the world we live in and the challenges we face in building an ever advancing civilization, etc.

—————-
“Training in morals and good conduct is far more important than book learning. A child that is cleanly, agreeable, of good character, well-behaved even though he be ignorant is preferable to a child that is rude, unwashed, ill-natured, and yet becoming deeply versed in all the sciences and arts. The reason for this is that the child who conducts himself well, even though he be ignorant, is of benefit to others, while an ill-natured, ill-behaved child is corrupted and harmful to others, even though he be learned. If, however, the child be trained to be both learned and good, the result is light upon light.”

`Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of `Abdu’l-Bahá

Clair's avatar

Here’s another great question: What is wrong with The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales? or The Holiest of Holy Books.
Give it a rest..

Fyrius's avatar

@Clair
A lot less, because those are acknowledged to be works of fiction written by a human hand, and not taken to be, for example, the origin and foundation of all human morality. That makes their flaws a lot less important.

Clair's avatar

@Fyrius I see what you mean but I still don’t know just how to express my disinterest in the Bible as an ‘origin and foundation of all human morality.’ Therefore it may as well be Dr. Seuss to me. (Not saying it’s not a great book of many stories, life lessons and history references.)

Fyrius's avatar

@Clair
Your and my personal (dis)interest are irrelevant to the point I was trying to make. That point is that the bible is widely considered this and that by the Christian community, which makes it a quite more important document than Dr. Seuss, if only in a political and cultural sense.

For that matter, if the bulk of the most (politically and militarily) powerful nation on the planet would believe Dr. Seuss to be the origin and foundation of all human morality, that book would suddenly become quite important as well. Just by virtue of being the book that underlies the decisions of the people with their finger on the trigger of the largest arsenal of nuclear weaponry in the world.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Fyrius . . .You are selling fear to make your point.

What a modern Christian thing to do.

Thammuz's avatar

@Blondesjon: when there’s an actual reason to be worried what’s wrong with that?

Creating fear out of nowhere is one thing, pointing out that there’s an actual danger is another. I personally wouldn’t trust the likes of bush (fundamentalists) with a pop gun, let alone a nuclear arsenal. And i’m not the only one that’s worried about that, expecially seeing that there’s no actual competence coming with that flaw. If somehow Bush turned out to be a good resident or even an inoffensive one i’d be on your side wholeheartedly, because there’d be no reason to think that his idiotic religious belief had any negative influence on his actions. But he did attack iraq sending shitloads of soldiers to die for no reason other than economical gain for his BFF Dick Cheney and “God wants everybody to be free, and that’s part of my foreign policy”
Or at the very least he used that shit as a cover up.

Fyrius's avatar

@Blondesjon
Um… @Thammuz basically said everything I had to say.

What I could add is that “selling fear to make a point” is wrong if you use fear to pressure people into making rash decisions, but the only point I try to make here is that this is a serious issue, and not something as trivial as the flaws in Dr. Seuss.
Had I put this worrisome fact forward as a reason to act in any specific way (e.g. “we all need to become atheists right now or we’ll be destroyed, the clock is ticking”), then you might have had a point.

Blondesjon's avatar

There is no “button” and no single person can make the decision to call down a nuclear strike. Besides, Bush/Cheney and the lot are no more “Christian” than Osama Bin Laden. They simply used religious posturing to gain a position of power. This has been going on since man decided to band together and choose leaders.

If it’s a matter of sending young soldiers to their deaths in places we have no business being, well, presidents have been doing that since our nation was young. People need to wake up and realize that the whole religious, atheist, republican, democrat dynamic is a huge smokescreen to cover up what world politics and religion are truly about.

Money.

Thammuz's avatar

@Blondesjon: well, duh. But religion has always been one of the most effective excuses and catalysts for any conflict. And that’s why people who don’t accept it see it as dangerous.

mattbrowne's avatar

Nothing is wrong with the bible in general except maybe its complexity.

Abraham Lincoln once said: “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man.”

Ivan's avatar

@mattbrowne

That was (most likely) in response to the accusations that he was an atheist.

fireside's avatar

@Ivan – care to speculate on these other people’s intentions based on their quotes?

“The secret of my success? It is simple. It is found in the Bible.” George Washington Carver

“The existence of the Bible is a book for the people. It’s the greatest benefit the human race has ever experienced. Every attempt to belittle it is a crime against humanity.” Immanuel Kant

“The Bible has been the Magna Charta of the poor and the oppressed. The human race is not in a position to dispense with it.” Thomas Huxley

“The Bible is no mere book, but it’s a living creature with a power that conquers all who oppose it.” Napoleon

“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” George Washington

“Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people…so great is my veneration of the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read, the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens in their country and respectful members of society.” John Adams

“That Book (the Bible) is the rock on which our Republic rests.” Andrew Jackson

“The Bible is the cornerstone of liberty…students’ perusal of the sacred volume will make us better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands.” Thomas Jefferson

“Bible reading is an education in itself.” Lord Tennyson

“There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history.” …. “I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.” Sir Isaac Newton

“The New Testament is the very best book that ever was or ever will be known in the world.” Charles Dickens

“My advice to Sunday Schools no matter what their denomination is: Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet anchor of your liberties; write its precepts in your heart, and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this Book we are indebted for the progress made in true civilization and to this we must look as our guide in the future. ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34)’.” Ulysses S. Grant

“At this time I both read and studied all kinds of literature: cosmography, histories, chronicles, and philosophy and other arts , to which our Lord opened my mind unmistakably to the fact that it was possible to navigate from here to the Indies, and He evoked in me the will for the execution of it; and with this fire I came to Your Highnesses. All those who heard of my plan disregarded it mockingly and with laughter. All the sciences of which I spoke were of no profit to me nor the authorities in them; only in Your Highnesses my faith, and my stay. Who would doubt that this light did not come from the Holy Spirit, anyway as far as I am concerned, which comforted with rays of marvelous clarity and with its Holy and Sacred Scriptures.” Christopher Columbus

Ivan's avatar

@fireside

Of course, I was merely musing about an interesting fact to a friend of mine, so your attempt to refute a claim that you imagined me making was unnecessary. However, if the fact that a lot of (mostly) white males who grew up several generations ago believed something convinced me to agree with them, I would also be a racist, sexist child abuser.

fireside's avatar

@Ivan – I wasn’t attempting to refute anything, or trying to convince you to adhere to the beliefs of others. I was just in awe at your ability to (most likely) know why historical figures said what they did.

Ivan's avatar

sigh

“The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession.”

“What is to be, will be, and no prayers of ours can arrest the decree.”

“My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures, have become clearer and stronger with advancing years and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them.”

- Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln stated numerous times that he admired, followed, and believed in the scriptures but that he was not a Christian. He disagreed with most of the Christian tenants regarding prayer, salvation, etc, and his wife also said as much on numerous occasions. During his candidacy for senate, the competing parties used these comments to paint Lincoln as an atheist. I honestly don’t know what you find objectionable here.

fireside's avatar

“My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures, have become clearer and stronger with advancing years and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them.”

Watching a 12 year old son die from contaminated water must be a terrible thing.

Ultimately, I don’t have anything wrong with the sentiments expressed.
Lincoln and all people are free to hold their own beliefs.

mattbrowne's avatar

What if Lincoln said that the bible the best gift God has ever given to man, because he thought it would make people think? Some dogmatic Christians don’t like people to think on their own. They want people to obey and leave the thinking to the priests.

Fyrius's avatar

@mattbrowne
The bible to make people think? What a strange idea.
It seems to me the bible is much better at stopping thought processing than at starting them. So many just-so stories closing off fascinating mysteries.
One of the main purposes of religion has always been to answer questions people couldn’t really answer at the moment, so they could stop worrying about it. Whats happens to us after death, where did the world come from, what does the world look like outside what we can see, how does lightning work. Reincarnation, Genesis, Midgard, Jupiter. End of discussion.

Someone else made the same point thus.

Thammuz's avatar

@Fyrius I’m partly disagreein here.
The bibile did inspire a big deal of thinking, in order to reconcile all the contradictions within it. Theology has in fact been considered a teaching subject for well too many centuries.

The fact that this time spent thinking could have been better expended is another problem.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Fyrius – In fact, it’s my observation that atheists know far more about theism compared to the vast majority of (indifferent) people. Moreover, the rational atheist world view of atheists is also a result of engaging discussions with theists in particular when it comes to the content of the bible. Therefore, the bible is one of several important sources that makes people think, including atheists.

I agree with @Thammuz and would even go a step further and point out that modern science has religious roots. Even Richard Dawkins admitted this.

Thammuz's avatar

@mattbrowne Actually he did go a step further and say that modern society has religious roots. Science being one fo the many parts of it.

One thing science doesn’t inherit form religion is its method, though

Fyrius's avatar

@mattbrowne
That’s an interesting way to look at it. The bible inspiring so much thought just to expose it as rubbish. Religion as a disease that leaves your immune system stronger, if you ever manage to get over it. That’s an interesting way to look at it.
But alas, it seems that to most religious people it never even occurs to think much about religion. To so many it has only the originally intended effect of shutting up the pesky questions and allowing them to think they have all the answers. Thus their immune system never develops to a point where it can take on the pervasive parasite of religion. And as a side effect, they remain vulnerable too to all sorts of other superstitions and fallacious reasoning.

I suppose that growing up with religion challenges and strengthens rationality for some people and leaves it weak and underdeveloped for others. And I’m afraid most people who grow up with religion end up in the latter category.

No statistics available, but I think you’ll take my word for it.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Thammuz – Yes, scientific method is a brainchild of science. And a truly wonderful one!

mattbrowne's avatar

@Fyrius – Are you familiar with the term hermeneutics?

Fyrius's avatar

@mattbrowne
Not yet.
Brb, Wikipedia.
Okay, now I am.

Yes, what of it?

mattbrowne's avatar

It can help you develop a more sophisticated view of the bible (instead of seeing it as rubbish). An important method is trajectory hermeneutics.

Maybe this helps:

From Wikipedia: Postmodern Christianity is an outlook of Christianity that is closely associated with the body of writings known as postmodern philosophy. Although it is a relatively recent development in the Christian religion, some Christian postmodernists assert that their style of thought has an affinity with foundational Christian thinkers such as Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas, and famed Christian mystics such as Meister Eckhart and Angelus Silesius.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodern_Christianity

Liberal Christianity has an affinity with certain current forms of postmodern Christianity. Despite its name, liberal Christianity has always been thoroughly protean. The word “liberal” in liberal Christianity does not necessarily refer to a leftist political agenda but rather to insights developed during the Enlightenment. Generally speaking, Enlightenment-era liberalism held that man is a political creature and that liberty of thought and expression should be his highest value. The development of liberal Christianity owes much to the works of philosophers Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Schleiermacher. As a whole, liberal Christianity is a product of a continuing philosophical dialogue.

Christian existentialism places an emphasis on the undecidability of faith, individual passion, and the subjectivity of knowledge and relies on Kierkegaard’s understanding of Christianity, who argued that the universe is fundamentally paradoxical, and that the greatest paradox of all is the transcendent union of God and man in the person of Christ.

Hermeneutics is the study of interpretation theory. Contemporary or modern hermeneutics encompasses not just issues involving the written text, but everything in the interpretative process. This includes verbal and nonverbal forms of communication as well as prior aspects that impact communication, such as presuppositions, preunderstandings, the meaning and philosophy of language, and semiotics. Semiotics, also called semiotic studies or semiology, is the study of sign processes, or signification and communication, signs and symbols, both individually and grouped into sign systems. It includes the study of how meaning is constructed and understood.

There are several special literary aspects to look at when studying the bible, but the overarching theme is that each genre has a different set of rules that applies to it. Of the genres found in scripture, there are: narratives, histories, prophecies, apocalyptic writings, poetry, psalms and letters. In these, there are differing levels of allegory, figurative language, metaphors, similes and literal language. For instance, the apocalyptic writings and poetry have more figurative and allegorical language than does the narrative or historical writing. These must be addressed, and the genre recognized to gain a full understanding of the intended meaning. The hermeneutics of religion can be seen as another form of continental philosophical theology.

The system of hermeneutic interpretation developed by Paul Ricœur has heavily influenced the school of thought. A central theme in the hermeneutics of religion is that God exists outside the confines of the human imagination. Trajectory hermeneutics or redemptive-movement hermeneutics is a liberal teaching in postmodern Christianity that parts of the Bible can have progressive, different meanings as a culture unfolds, advances, and matures.

One teaching under this view is that homosexuality was once a sin, but has become acceptable due to cultural changes and advances in understanding of psychology and the social sciences. Proponents of trajectory hermeneutics may point to Romans 1:18–32 and explain that Paul has always been speaking to those who violate their sexual orientation, those that go against their natural desire. But a homosexual’s natural desire is for the same sex, which is now defended as natural.

CMaz's avatar

“But a homosexual’s natural desire is for the same sex, which is now defended as natural.”

I like your choice of wording. “defended”
And, “natural desires” is also an act of defence.

mattbrowne's avatar

@ChazMaz – Yes, it was taken from Wikipedia. Sometimes this online encyclopedia offers very good overviews.

Fyrius's avatar

@mattbrowne
Okay, thanks for the copypasta.
So hermeneutics is a field of scientific study that can concretely justify the ways Christians reinterpret the bible to adapt their religion to every cultural and political change that occurs in society, and still take their book seriously as a moral guide? Very well, then. If they’re there, bring on the justifications.
I read the final part about trajectory hermeneutics, yes. I didn’t read any reason to take it seriously. I still think it’s awfully convenient to just read into the bible whatever suits you at the moment; I still think a message that’s fickle enough to adapt itself to the Zeitgeist time and again is not a message at all. There is no meaning left but what you read into it.

@ChazMaz
It really is natural, though. It’s very common in the animal world.

CMaz's avatar

“It’s very common in the animal world.”
That is theory. Biased on the desire to inject humanism into animals.

Fyrius's avatar

Not at all. Animals have been attested to have sex with members of their own gender. It’s well documented factual data by now.

Take a look at this article.

CMaz's avatar

“The motivations for and implications of these behaviors have yet to be fully understood”
That is a quote from Wikipedia. And Wikipedia is not an authoritative and “absolute” resource for information.

A sexual act, though appearing sexual. Does not make it sexual. Especially in lower forms of species whose sole purpose is that of survival of their species.

“It’s well documented factual data by now.”

Their “actions” have been well documented. There by making it factual. But as to what they are really acting upon is still controversial.

Fyrius's avatar

“Such [documented] behaviors include sex, courtship, affection, pair bonding, and parenting.”
That’s also a quote from Wikipedia.

“Current research indicates that various forms of same-sex sexual behavior are found througout the animal kingdom. [6] A new review made in 2009 of existing research showed that Same-sex behavior is a nearly universal phenomenon in the animal kingdom, common across species.[7]”
And that’s another one.

“Roy and Silo, two New York Central Park Zoo male Chinstrap Penguins (...), became internationally known when they coupled and later were given an egg that needed hatching and care, which they successfully did.[1]”
And that too.

And while Wikipedia is indeed not the final authority on all things, the relevant claims here are well backed up by scientific references. If that doesn’t qualify as a reliable source of information, I don’t know what does.

Now why would these various kinds of homosexual behaviour in animals not count? Why would evidence of versatile homosexual relationships not be enough for their members to qualify as genuinely homosexual?
What is homosexuality if it is not what we can see among these animals? How can you know anyone is gay if this sort of data does not settle it?
Don’t you think it would be much more far-fetched to postulate that these animals stay together, do it with each other and act like partners in every sense for any other reason than that they actually feel attracted to one another? To postulate that what these animals do is caused by something that is completely independent of human homosexuality, despite manifesting in the exact same kinds of behaviours?

Yes, it’s still controversial. Among conservative politicians and religious bigots, whom these facts don’t suit. But the scientists seem to have long since stopped disagreeing.

CMaz's avatar

“What is homosexuality if it is not what we can see among these animals?”

As much as I respect your opinion. Really. That is just grabbing at straws.

“Don’t you think it would be much more far-fetched to postulate that these animals stay together, do it with each other and act like partners in every sense for any other reason than that they actually feel attracted to one another?”

That is you putting your humanism into play. Animals attract for the goal of survival of the species.

“despite manifesting in the exact same kinds of behaviors?”

Again, humanistic injection. We are not animals. I think therefor I am. With that, we now operate above pure survival and instinct.

“Yes, it’s still controversial. Among conservative politicians and religious bigots,”
Now you are just projecting your anger onto others to keep your way of thinking, that of you own sense of correctness.

For people like myself, I want the truth, honestly either way works for me. But I want a real and true answer. Not something based on how you feel, but how it works.

Ivan's avatar

“A sexual act, though appearing sexual. Does not make it sexual.”

“That is just grabbing at straws.”

lol

Thammuz's avatar

“But I want a real and true answer.”
Sure you do, sure you do.

“That is you putting your humanism into play. Animals attract for the goal of survival of the species.”
That is you putting your own preconceptions into play.
Dolphins don’t mate only for that, they mate because it’s fun. Many felines too.

If you really “want the truth” you really seem to be ignoring a shitload of facts in the meantime. Also what @Ivan said.

Blondesjon's avatar

You all are arguing about homosexual animals.

Wow.

If this is “intelligent discussion” show me the way to dumb.

ragingloli's avatar

would a mirror be to your liking?

Blondesjon's avatar

Sure. Perhaps you could even throw in some sort of juvenile insult with it.

I didn’t realize you all felt so strongly about lesbian seagulls. . .in a Bible thread.

Fyrius's avatar

@ChazMaz
“As much as I respect your opinion. Really. That is just grabbing at straws.”
I beg to differ. We will need an objective standard as to what does and does not qualify to be called homosexuality, and your point requires that this standard include human and exclude animal homosexual behaviour. I contend that no consistent definition could do this.

And for pity’s sake, don’t respect my opinion.
By all means, if you disagree with my opinion, please give it your all to criticise it, debunk it, drag it through the filth, murder it, rip it to bits and stamp on the crumbs, if you find yourself able to do so through solid argumentation. You would do me a far greater favour by showing me I’m wrong than by respecting my opinion.
Don’t handle my beliefs with kiddie gloves. If they’re fragile enough for you to break them, they need replacement.

“That is you putting your humanism into play. Animals attract for the goal of survival of the species.”
The goal?
Surely you can’t believe animals deliberately intend to have children when they have sex. I would be surprised if any species besides us even realised there’s a connection between sex and procreation. No, I would be more inclined to believe the reason why animals have sex is because their urges drive them to do so. As they drive us.

Animals do have non-reproductive sex, by the way. It doesn’t all serve reproduction. Observational data gives us no real reason to consider animals’ sexual behaviour less intricate than human sexual behaviour.

I’m not anthropomorphising animals. If anything I’m bestialising humans. The more one reads about ethology, the more one realises we have no right to this pedestal we built ourselves. To quote evolutionary psychologist Andy Thompson: “We are risen apes, not fallen angels.”

“Again, humanistic injection. We are not animals. I think therefor I am. With that, we now operate above pure survival and instinct.”
Only in certain fields are we above our primal urges. Sex is not one of these fields. Sex and violence are the two basic areas of our psyche where we are no different from all the other vertebrates.

And for that matter, we operate above our primal urges in any field only because we don’t need them. If in some situation we do need to worry about eating and dying (e.g. some natural disaster leaves a city without food), we ever so civilised people immediately revert back to our survival instincts. We operate above our survival instincts because (/when) we have the luxury to.
I wonder if captive animals in zoos are so obsessed with looking for food and watching out for predators.

Most differences between humans and animals are differences of intensity, not of fundamental nature. More intelligent, more inventive, more advanced use of tools, more advanced creation of tools or buildings. There is very little to the human mind that does not have a lesser animal analog.

And please don’t quote Descartes to illustrate the difference between humans and animals. The poor man has already been horribly misinterpreted so much.

“Now you are just projecting your anger onto others to keep your way of thinking, that of you own sense of correctness.

For people like myself, I want the truth, honestly either way works for me. But I want a real and true answer. Not something based on how you feel, but how it works.”
...

If I speak my mind now, this post is going to be deleted.

I’ll curb my indignation and settle for mentioning that you have not shown much open-mindedness for someone in search of the truth. The facts very plainly imply the opposite of what you cleave to, yet you refuse to consider the possibility.

Darwin's avatar

What is wrong with lesbian seagulls?

mally03's avatar

Thee bible was written by Men, ....to error is human..so therefor, the bible must be full of human error.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

well now that @ChazMaz is back to explaining why homosexuality is wrong…@darwin – lol

anywho, the bible is a book, a book that has a lot of things I don’t agree with in it…what is wrong with it are the people that think it’s true and the fact that it provides excuses for some…

gailcalled's avatar

What is wrong with the works of Shakespeare?

ilvorangeiceblocks's avatar

I don’t really think that there is anything wrong with the bible. I am a Christian but I’m sure that even if I wasn’t a Christian I still wouldn’t find it shitty or whatever. It has some perfectly good rules for living that any decent person could live by.

Thammuz's avatar

@Fyrius: I’m gonna write your “Don’t handle my beliefs with kiddie gloves. If they’re fragile enough for you to break them, they need replacement.” on the wall of my room, or somehwere.

pinkparaluies's avatar

eyerolling over here

Thammuz's avatar

@pinkparaluies: why?

@ilvorangeiceblocks Yeah, “stone gays” is a perfectly good rule. And “stone those who eat shellfish” even better one. Oh, and the rapist has to buy and marry the girl he raped, obviously, who cares what the girl thinks. Oh, and slavery is great.

Fyrius's avatar

@Thammuz
And working on the sabbath and making statues of other gods are two of the ten worst crimes a human being can possibly commit, but rape and torture don’t even make the list. And there’s nothing wrong with slavery.

If there are any perfectly good rules for living that any decent person could live by somewhere in this book, it’s like finding a discarded ballpoint that still works in a trash can. It doesn’t mean the rest is not rubbish. It’s not a redeeming quality for the contents of the bin.
And you’d be much better off just buying a box of new ballpoints that write better and do not smell like expired milk.

Where paying for the new pens translates to the effort it takes to reconsider.

ilvorangeiceblocks's avatar

@Thammuz nah not those ones. gays are fine. just don’t murder.

ps stop getting all worked up, you know what i mean.

Thammuz's avatar

@ilvorangeiceblocks I know what you mean, but you have to understand that “don’t murder” isn’t really original. EVERY civilization had a law against murdering way before christianity came up. Same goes for theft and often for adultery.

On the other hand the precepts that are characteristic of christianity (or at least not as wideaspread as those obvious three) are far from “perfectly good rules”.

To quote what @Fyrius said: If there are any perfectly good rules for living that any decent person could live by somewhere in this book, it’s like finding a discarded ballpoint that still works in a trash can. It doesn’t mean the rest is not rubbish. It’s not a redeeming quality for the contents of the bin.
And you’d be much better off just buying a box of new ballpoints that write better and do not smell like expired milk.

Besides the topic is “what is wrong withthe bible”. You are saying you “don’t really think that there is anything wrong with the bible.” And i submit to you that you’re giving your OK to the things i listed as well.

The bible is not just what you like in it, it’s the whole book.

Fyrius's avatar

@ilvorangeiceblocks
So, you’re just going to decide for yourself that being gay is fine but murder is bad, even though the bible condemns them both? Aren’t you just accepting the parts that suit contemporary cultural standards and ignoring the rest?
If so, if the good things the bible says are things we all already believe, does the bible really have anything worthwhile left to contribute where “good rules” are concerned?

And when I say worthwhile, I mean taking into consideration that you’ll need to plough through mountains of bronze age bigotry and superstition, in a writing style as exciting as chloroform, to get to the few bits you can read wisdom into. And taking into consideration that you could be reading contemporary philosophical works that a) actually have something original to say and b) have been handled by a competent editor.

As for getting worked up… well, this is a serious issue. It makes the difference between whether your beliefs are consistent or not. Isn’t that important to you? :/

Clair's avatar

Any work from a religion isn’t going to be consistent. That’s religion. cough*superstition*cough

wolfram's avatar

What is wrong with the bible? That’s a biased question. Nothing. Its great literature – christian mythology. What is wrong are those who believe it is the word of god. Why? Because some of these people are our leaders, teachers, scientists who make an imaginary space man the center of their lives and try to force the rest of us to believe as they do—or else. Our governors (having us pray for rain instead of making policy) or a president who leads us into a holy war. Because throughout history many have lost their lives, been burned at the stake, imprisoned for speaking the truth. You may say that Jews and Christians were also persecuted and you would be right. Except that we did not necessarily lose scientific knowledge in the process.

As an example, Galileo, an astronomer, mathematician, and physicist was prosecuted by the Church and condemned to die as a heretic for saying the Earth rotated around the Sun. To this day the Catholic Church though they admit errors do not admit they were wrong to convict Galileo for making this statement. This is why it is dangerous to think the bible is the word of god.

iamthemob's avatar

The question allows for an answer of “Nothing.” Therefore it cannot be biased.

wolfram's avatar

@iamthemob The question “what is wrong with the bible” assumes something is wrong. Many may think there is nothing wrong with it—as I do. So, in this context it is either right or wrong but the emphasis or characterization of the question is that it is wrong. Because it emphasizes one perspective (that it is wrong) over another (that it is not) it is biased.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@wolfram Well, if one wanted to know what’s wrong with the bible, how would one word the question? aside from the fact that I’d ask ‘what’s not wrong with the bible?’ but that’s just me.

wolfram's avatar

You would ask it the same as it is. My answer was in response to @iamthemob who said the question was not biased.

Fyrius's avatar

@wolfram is right – it’s a leading question, isn’t it? You’d get in trouble if you’d ask it of a witness in court. The answer “nothing” requires you to explicitly deny the underlying implication that there is something like that. A bit like answering “there isn’t any” to the question “who’s the queen of France?”
A neutral way to phrase it would be “is there something wrong with the bible, and if so, what’s that?”

iamthemob's avatar

“It’s a leading question, isn’t it?” is a leading question. “What is wrong with the bible?” read in a vacuum is not. “There’s something wrong with the bible, isn’t there?” would be. If there is bias in the reading, it is your own. The question doesn’t lead the reader to an answer, in this case, unless they already want to be lead.

Fyrius's avatar

@iamthemob
”“It’s a leading question, isn’t it?” is a leading question.”
Oh snap.
But to be accurate, that was actually just an explicit statement, with a tag question added for the rhetoric effect of explicitly giving the reader an opportunity to disagree.

”“What is wrong with the bible?” read in a vacuum is not. “There’s something wrong with the bible, isn’t there?” would be. If there is bias in the reading, it is your own. The question doesn’t lead the reader to an answer, in this case, unless they already want to be lead.”
I beg to differ.
Would you similarly contest that the question “who is the queen of France” implies that there is a queen of France, even if read in a vacuum? Or for a more bias-sensitive example, how about “which people did mister Smith murder” implying that mister Smith has murdered people?
The question might not lead you to a specific answer, but it does take for granted that another question is already answered – namely, “is there any such thing in the first place?” You could say it leads you to a class of answers that take that implied underlying answer for granted, and away from “there’s no such thing.”

Maybe the point of your disagreement is that having an implication like that isn’t the same thing as biasing. That seems to be only a semantic subject, but I’d be happy to discuss it all the same.

It’s awful reading in a vacuum, by the way. It’s dusty and cramped and you can’t see a thing.

iamthemob's avatar

@Fyrius

VERY good point. I think you’re right…my objections are semantic, mainly…but I think that sometimes semantic objections are important as differing interpretations of the connotations or denotations of the terms used can lead an entire discussion astray.

I think it’s particularly true when we discuss big “flame” issues, like the bible. I think that we need to approach questions regarding it as without bias (I think that in general, this should be the case, as bias comes from the asker or answerer as opposed to the question itself). Mostly, all baggage needs to be actively left at the door – or the attempt to do so is a necessary prerequisite to looking at these questions (the actual abandonment of baggage when it comes to religion from nearly any side is probably impossible).

So…looking at the question as implying a specific set of answers, I agree. But an implication doesn’t require that you choose only that answer set, and an implication is much easier to overcome than a bias. As much as the dust bothers the eyes, you should look at the question itself in the vacuum, without the implications associated with it.

Thanks – that was an incredibly helpful way of reframing this.

Fyrius's avatar

@iamthemob
Thank you too. :)
I think you’re right, semantics is important, if only to avoid getting hung up on words and losing sight of the substance.

And yes, being objective about something like this is difficult to anyone to whom it’s an important subject. And it’s also crucial to a serious discussion.
I think honestly wanting to be as objective as possible about such a loaded subject is a characteristic of exceptionally sensible people. Kudos to you for that.

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