General Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Should those who comment on faith or spiritual matter (especially concerning the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) educate themselves on the subject before commenting as if they know?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26821points) October 29th, 2016

Over the years I have heard the bemoaning and griping (as you will) of people making comments or believing things about science and sometimes other things, that are supposedly in error or inaccurate. Should those people of science apply their own reasoning to matter of faith and God (just the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, this question deals with NO OTHER gods) and better educate themselves before trying to comment, or critique it?

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58 Answers

Sneki95's avatar

Yes.
But a layman’s opinion can get interesting and provide some new perspective too.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

No. How would you measure what is enough knowledge to be sufficient? I would like to talk about esoteric questions without being trolled by non believers.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Sneki95 But a layman’s opinion can get interesting and provide some new perspective too.
Then it should apply to science, genetics, astronomy, evolution, etc., if it is just for perspective, but if no other perspective will be entertained as if it was as foreign as trees conducting electricity like copper wire, then once given the same with faith, that the perspective however novel, is implausible, either except it or learn how to make it work, get better educated on the subject from a spiritual angle.

@RedDeerGuy1 How would you measure what is enough knowledge would be sufficient.
Most given factions of science have reports, briefs, studies, etc. that allegedly set a standard for them, spiritual matters have the Bible so what is in it when used in context is sufficient when dealing with matters of faith in God.

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

Sure. But realize that an educated opinion won’t necessarily agree with your opinion. In fact, people who really educate themselves on the topic (learning the historical languages and context) are unlikely to agree with anyone whose primary “education” on the topic has been reading a translated version of the Bible over and over again without the wealth of context available.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central That sounds like an elitist power grab. Too much effort for a social community. Most of us are here for fun. I would not want to have to bow down to another adult. As long as we are not trolling then no harm no foul.

Rarebear's avatar

“believing things about science and sometimes other things, that are supposedly in error or inaccurate.”

Like what?

“Just the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, this question deals with NO OTHER gods”

So you admit there are other gods?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Most given factions of science have reports, briefs, studies, etc. that allegedly set a standard for them, spiritual matters have the Bible so what is in it when used in context is sufficient when dealing with matters of faith in God. It is difficult to quantify divinity ,because It could all be ‘God did it’. It takes hutzpah to give any more detail.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@JeSuisRickSpringfield But realize that an educated opinion won’t necessarily agree with your opinion.
There is a difference in not agreeing totally on the application of interpretation of something in the Bible as long as it is agreed it is in the Bible. To manufacture truths or content as true that is not in the Bible or simply not presented completely would be another story.

@RedDeerGuy1 Most of us are here for fun.
If that is all people wish this site to be, if search engines place it no better than some game site for Candy Crush, etc, and no one takes it serious, there should be no ill feelings.

Its difficult to quantify divinity because I could all be God did it.
If one tries to use a secular standard, it will always elude a person.

@Rarebear Like what?
Some things that have floated about for decades, I have not investigated it myself as it was of no importance, that humans cannot survive the radiation from the Sun once you get beyond the Van Allen belts, etc.

So you admit there are other gods?
Of course there are other gods, man has created them for centuries, there are so many created gods I do not even know how many there are. But this question is not dealing with created gods, so before anyone got lost and tried ti include them, I placed a disclaimer so they know which God the question deals with.
Rampant

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Maybe you would be more happy in a scholarly society. Like an university or think tank.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central What’s wrong with Candy Crush?
It makes people happy for little cost.
and no one takes it serious, there should be no ill feelings. Not everyone is here for fun. Some take Fluther serious as if it is life or death or as a career spokesman. Also they might believe that if they lose an argument that there will be real life effects. Like they will get punished or sued or defeated. Or have the laws in their local government changed.

zenvelo's avatar

I don’t disagree with you, except for the issue of ”:definitive” authority. There are many versions of the Bible, and many interpretations of those different versions.

Throw in the Talmud for a deep understanding, and the Quran, too, since the concept of God the Muslims came from Abraham.

If you rely only on one version of the Bible, it’s like you’ve only taken a course ii Intro to God 101.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

The name or breed of bull does not in any way negate the fact that one has stepped in its feces.

Sneki95's avatar

If you want to discuss religion, a layman, a person of different faith, or a non religious person can offer their own understanding and perspectives. They may not be 100% right ( there is no such thing as 100% right when it comes to humanities anyways) , but their point of view can be interesting, and it can help you clear your own views. Of course, a talk with a theologian or someone else who has studied religion should be taken seriously into account. That doesn’t necesserily mean they are right either.
If you really want to get understanding on the subject, then experts’, opposers’ and laymen’s opinions are all precious, because they see it from different angles.

olivier5's avatar

The Bible contradicts itself almost constantly, and therefore cannot serve as a coherent corpus of texts underwriting one’s faith. It’s more like variations on a theme, a set of varied POVs about the relations between God and His creatures. It’s not really normative, or not good at being normative, though it can be inspirational.

Darth_Algar's avatar

As soon as you can establish which version (and which interpretation of that version) of the Abrahamic mythology is empirically correct then we can addressing this question.

LostInParadise's avatar

You don’t need to be a physicist to have a general knowledge of Newtonian physics or be a biologist to have a general knowledge of how evolution works. The problem is that there are people who talk about physics or evolution who don’t even have this general knowledge. They will say that Occam’s razor proves the existence of God, because giving God as the cause of everything is the simplest explanation. Or they will say that evolution is wrong because the chances of molecules coming together to form a plant or animal is infinitesimal.

Similarly, you don’t have to be able to quote chapter and verse to have a general knowledge of biblical stories or biblical commandments. I am sure there are people who twist the bible, but there are plenty of people who know just enough about the bible to discuss relevant features. There are additionally many religious people who are not all that familiar with what is written in the bible.

cazzie's avatar

When trees start conducting electricity like copper wire I’ll have another look at this Jesus thing you’re so fond of. Opinions are not facts. All gods are made up.

CWOTUS's avatar

Well, it would certainly be nice if anyone of faith who commented on “what atheists think” had a clue, so it’s not such a bad idea on its face.

However, most of the people I know in the USA (those who were not raised in other faiths such as Judaism, Hinduism or Islam, that is) were raised in one or another Christian faith: Catholicism or any of various flavors of Protestantism. So those who have become atheists since their childhood (that is, those few who were not raised as atheists) already do know something of one or another Christian faith. And atheists from other religions probably know what their religion teaches, too.

Now, granted, depending on when people became atheists after a youthful indoctrination in some other religion, their knowledge of the religion may have become degraded over time, and may have been fairly elementary to begin with. Sort of like a lot of people of faith who have some kind of quaint – and completely false – notion that “atheists are Satan’s minions” or some such nonsense.

The final point that should be made is that the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, share common roots up to the time of Abraham. After that point the chain of beliefs and myths changes – and that change is also reflected in how the pre-Abraham myths are interpreted, too.

Rarebear's avatar

“that humans cannot survive the radiation from the Sun once you get beyond the Van Allen belts, etc”

Like the moon?

“Of course there are other gods,”

So is your god the boss of the other gods?

Seek's avatar

Well, I spent 22 years as a Christian, and five of those in ministry, and you still presume me uneducated, so…

No, I don’t agree with limiting responses based on some random person’s mistaken perception of education.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Why? Ministers don’t seem to bother to do that before they start preaching. What makes you think random people on the internet would?

janbb's avatar

I’m surprised you didn’t mention Jesus since I didn’t think you were Jewish. I don’t claim to be an expert but my brothers are two of the top Jewish scholars in the world and if I need interpretations, I can ask for their opinions. And it would be opinions since Judaism has mainly been a dialogue across the ages between scholars and rabbis. Have you read the Mishnah and Gemara?

If you’re asking about Christianity, I have never claimed to be an expert and wouldn’t venture to offer scholarly interpretations. That doesn’t mean I can’t have opinions on any religion.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@zenvelo There are many versions of the Bible, and many interpretations of those different versions.
One can use the tired argument of many translations as a premise to say none of it is accurate, but one can use the same modus operandi for science in the fact that if one could hang around long enough, portions of it were inaccurately figured. There is more independent manuscripts to attest to the Bible and its accuracy than the Iliad, etc. yet people want to take those at face value.

However, if you can’t roll with the integrity of the Bible and split hairs over if it is a word for word, phrase for phrase translation, etc. then one probably is not going to get far.

If you rely only on one version of the Bible, it’s like you’ve only taken a course ii Intro to God 101.
I do not rely on just one translation, the translations I do use I researched the accuracy of them, and investigate it against the Greek and Hebrew on certain online sites where I can access it.

@Sneki95 If you want to discuss religion, a layman, a person of different faith, or a non religious person can offer their own understanding and perspectives.
If it generic religion, it might work, but if speaking of a specific faith based on Christ, then it really doesn’t had much, as opinions is not the accurate truth of Christ or God, unless They and the Bible are used as the base.

They may not be 100% right ( there is no such thing as 100% right when it comes to humanities anyways) , but their point of view can be interesting, and it can help you clear your own views.
If it is in the Bible and it is actual scripture, then there might be something they can illuminate me to, I have something to test, if it is something taken out of context because of ignorance of the scriptures, if I say, that was inaccurate, if they can’t point out that was an incorrect assessment then we go into an area of uselessness.

@olivier5 The Bible contradicts itself almost constantly, and therefore cannot serve as a coherent corpus of texts underwriting one’s faith.
If you have no knowledge of spiritual matters, you will not have the wisdom to use it. It would be the same as manufacturing something attaining to science that the science community doesn’t recognize.

@Darth_Algar As soon as you can establish which version (and which interpretation of that version) of the Abrahamic mythology is empirically correct then we can addressing this question
It is about understanding what one reads and how to apply it, otherwise the translation has little value. Later when it is about fluff, we will talk as there will be no accuracy to worry about.

@LostInParadise You don’t need to be a physicist to have a general knowledge of Newtonian physics or be a biologist to have a general knowledge of how evolution works. The problem is that there are people who talk about physics or evolution who don’t even have this general knowledge
Even a rudimentary understanding of evolution is an idea, even if incomplete, but from what I have seen here over the years, that is not enough, likewise it would be the same with someone trying to use a secular understanding of scripture but in reality it amounts to knowing nothing about how it works as to even make use of it.

@LostInParadise Similarly, you don’t have to be able to quote chapter and verse to have a general knowledge of biblical stories or biblical commandments.
Just as a person could name of something off the table of elements and not know what it is or what it does. Being able to apply the tenets of Christ is more than just remembering some scripture. Many people remember E=Mc2 and have no idea what it is or means.

@cazzie All gods are made up.
Who’s arguing against that? All gods are made up, they are the creation of men, they are not sovereign, omniscient, omnipotent, all powerful, as the One who created the minds that thought up those other gods; there is no dispute with that from me.

@Seek Well, I spent 22 years as a Christian, and five of those in ministry, and you still presume me uneducated, so…
No, you ask a question and when you did not get an answer that satisfied you, you rejected it or left the ministry, if I heard you correctly from the comments you made. If I wanted I could twist scripture to make is say, or not say what I wanted, but it is what it is and says what it says.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central “One can use the tired argument of many translations as a premise to say none of it is accurate, but one can use the same modus operandi for science in the fact that if one could hang around long enough, portions of it were inaccurately figured.”

Yes, and science is self-correcting. That’s part of what makes it reliable. The scientific method involves always asking questions, re-evaluating when new discoveries are made, and discarding that which has been shown to be false.

Contrast that to religion, which insists that it is always right, that it is unerring, infallible, and denounces any ideas or evidence to the contrary as heresy (and, historically, has tended to cast out, imprison or execute those who openly spoke anything contrary to the dominant religion’s claims).

“There is more independent manuscripts to attest to the Bible and its accuracy than the Iliad, etc. yet people want to take those at face value.”

What? Nobody takes the Iliad at face value. No one has considered it to be anything more than mythology for thousands of years. It’s hard to take you seriously when you make comments like this. You almost sound like a parody of an evangelical Christian, rather than a sincere one.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ Contrast that to religion, which insists that it is always right, that it is unerring, infallible, and denounces any ideas or evidence to the contrary as heresy (and, historically, has tended to cast out, imprison or execute those who openly spoke anything contrary to the dominant religion’s claims).
That is why I do not mention religion when speaking of a relationship with Christ/God. Religion is about doctrine, and there are religions that have no connection to Christ, God or any real divine deity. Surely, I will not say mere men have adulterated the gospel or even tried to game it for their own gain; as I said, I can manufacture fact out of context from the bible to make it say or not say what I wanted. Like math, no matter how I wish to deviate it, it is still what it is. If I have two pair, it will be four. If I have a trio of items and add one, I will have four. When it comes to God, there might be more than one way to perceive Him, but in the end there is only one correct conclusion. If you think you can have three items, add two more and still get to four, it would show a lack of concept with math, which would parallel the person who tries to manufacture something from the bible when the Bible is already done, and inspired by God for men to write, it would not be inaccurate.

What? Nobody takes the Iliad at face value
It is in regard to no one I have ever spoken with or read about dispute whose name is attached as the writer wrote it. I have not met anyone who would dispute that when the book is translated or reprinted that it was done wrong, or even purposely manipulated. It might be fiction, but the fact no one questions who wrote it and when, shows a willingness to believe something with way less evidence to even match up with from independent sources over time

Seek's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central No, you ask a question and when you did not get an answer that satisfied you, you rejected it or left the ministry, if I heard you correctly from the comments you made. If I wanted I could twist scripture to make is say, or not say what I wanted, but it is what it is and says what it says.

Case in point. Besides the fact that what you just said isn’t even close to summarizing the many reasons I separated myself from religion, it serves to further illustrate that you’re operating under the delusion that you, personally, are not even aware that your interpretation of scripture is a twisting game worthy of an Olympic floor exercise.

cazzie's avatar

@Seek I’m sure there is something written about pride and hubris and self righteousness in that book that he really doesn’t understand.

LostInParadise's avatar

You have to understand HC’s underlying assumption: Anyone who truly understands scripture would be a believer. Therefore anyone who is critical of it clearly does not understand it.

I have asked HC to tell why he is so certain of his beliefs, but so far he has not provided an explanation.

cazzie's avatar

Oh, @LostInParadise that assumption is a given. That was my immediate thought when I read the question. Any other point of view or suggesting that the world is ‘secular’ and that there are actual scientific principals, he just loves to dismiss, but we can’t dismiss his fantasy world.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Well my first assumption was that anyone who is concerned that there might be critical opinions of their beliefs isn’t a very devout believer.

zenvelo's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central *When it comes to God, there might be more than one way to perceive Him, but in the end there is only one correct conclusion. *

Can you state that one “correct” conclusion in a couple of sentences?

Seek's avatar

Sure he could. And so could any believer.

The problem is, they’d all have a different answer, and each one would be equally valid.

olivier5's avatar

Me think HC should educate himself a little more before commenting as if he knew on faith or spiritual matters… :-)

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central “That is why I do not mention religion when speaking of a relationship with Christ/God. Religion is about doctrine…blah…blah…blah…blah…”

Dance around terms all you want, but at the end of the day your religion is still religion.

“It is in regard to no one I have ever spoken with or read about dispute whose name is attached as the writer wrote it. I have not met anyone who would dispute that when the book is translated or reprinted that it was done wrong, or even purposely manipulated. It might be fiction, but the fact no one questions who wrote it and when, shows a willingness to believe something with way less evidence to even match up with from independent sources over time”

I like how you doubled down and the inanity there and came up with an even more ridiculous statement.

tiedyedshop's avatar

I suggest anyone should have a working knowledge of a substantial subject before commenting as an expert.A substantial subject certainly includes a religion.

olivier5's avatar

@tiedyedshop yes. The problem here is that HC, the OP author, seems to lack any critical understanding of the Bible as a set or corpus of texts that can contradict one another or ofer varied POVs on various subjects. He sees it as one unique text, if i understood well.

He also lacks a critical view on his own personal reading of scripture. It’s as if he was saying: “i understand the text the way I understand it, therefore my personal understanding should be obvious to all. It should be the only correct understanding of the text. That just isn’t true. All texts are always ambiguous, or if you like fancy words, polysemic. Especially texts written in ancient script without voyels, as the torah was.

Seek's avatar

I’ve yet to see sufficient evidence that HC has actually read scripture. I bet he couldn’t pick a fake passage out of a lineup.

Strauss's avatar

Let him who is without eyes cast the first stone.

Seek's avatar

If thy penis offend me, pull it out

janbb's avatar

It’s harder for an orange man to fit through the eye of a needle than for a camel to become President.

Seek's avatar

One of the more relevant scriptures to our little community here:

A guy asks an angel how to get his wife pregnant. The angel replies:
And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed”

Basically, “Shut up, you idiot.”

cazzie's avatar

You will never convince me that ‘facts’ of ‘faith’ are the same as facts in science. The two can never logically be compared and anyone who tries to do such a thing suffers greatly from cognitive dissonance, and I mean suffers.

klem's avatar

An alternative way to view this is by changing the factual standard. This quote provides an alternative and indirect answer.

A “scientific” explanation of the world, as you understand, might therefore still be one of the most stupid of all possible interpretations of the world, meaning that it would be one of the poorest in meaning. This thought is intended for the ears and consciences of our mechanists who nowadays like to pass as philosophers and insist that mechanics is the doctrine of the first and last laws on which all existence must be based as on the ground floor. But an essentially mechanical world would be an essentially meaningless world. Assuming that one estimated the value of a piece of music according to how much of it could be counted, calculated and expressed in formulas: how absurd would such a “scientific” estimation of music be! What would one have comprehended, understood, grasped of it? Nothing, really nothing of what is “music” in it!—-Friedrich Nietzsche

SavoirFaire's avatar

@klem What, precisely, do you think that passage is saying? (When answering, please keep in mind that you’ve quoted less than a third of the section from which it is drawn.)

klem's avatar

In between the absolutism of monism, as a beyond, above, underneath, and one of a projected utopia, an immanent oneness, we exist.

Nihilism has two poles, one I call pure, or negative, it makes of world into a no-thing, The other is “positive” using words to replace deeds, actions, creating linguistic paradoxes as the effect of its hypocrisy, and this is Modernity, Americanism, Judeo-Christianity <> Secular Humanism/Marxism, 1/0, one/nil, both sides representing a different take on the same absolute nullification of existence, as dynamic, fluid, (inter)active, uncertain, fluctuating…

Moderns are trapped within the binary dialogue between the two poles of Nihilism, thinking they are making progress. This creates an artificial space, a noetic universe, a man-made cosmos. A matrix around reality with no contact with it, hovering above it, separate, detached, concealing it.

cazzie's avatar

I’m not binary. I just don’t want spiritual or religious ideas confused with the process of science. I think we should,at this stage, be able to agree about properties of electricity. Stating that we should accept falsehoods about science because we don’t agree with someone’s religious ideas is a false argument. It lacks logic and critical thinking. Science doesn’t care if you believe in it or not. Its never tuned anyone’s wife into a pillar of salt or flooded the planet out of spite.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@klem […both sides representing a different take on the same absolute nullification of existence, as dynamic, fluid, (inter)active, uncertain, fluctuating…
Are you saying that Believers and the lesser self-named Christians do not believe in a certain future and expected outcome, that the end of time had no plan, rhyme, or reason? If so, I would like to know where you came up with that. From the Bibles I have read, even the poorly translated ones I never got that message.

@cazzie Its never tuned anyone’s wife into a pillar of salt or flooded the planet out of spite.
Another example of speaking on biblical precepts, and issue you have no grasp on, but manufacture and try to float as truths.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@klem Okay, so you don’t have any idea what it is saying beyond a collection of buzzwords. More importantly, your interpretation doesn’t actually have much to do with the question. The question is about people who discuss subjects without knowing anything about them. The Nietzsche passage is about people who focus on the quantitative aspects of the universe while ignoring—or even devaluing—its qualitative aspects. While both problems could be described in terms of ignorance, they involve ignorance of different types. Put another way, Nietzsche is addressing people who might be correct in everything they say, but what they say addresses but a fraction of the world. But the question is aimed at people who are not even correct in what they say because they do not understand even the fraction of the world they are discussing.

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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@janbb Your comment about the reasons not to answer or comment on abortion, gun rights, and s few other subjects was because no one will have a mind change, for the most part, or it would end un futility. Why do you suppose some people do not adopt the same course of action when trying to comment on spiritual matter, especially when they believe such matters to be so in error or false there is no way there can be any plausible truth to it? Why try and manufacture something to pass as truth if you do not care to learn what the real truth is?

janbb's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I rarely do argue religion either unless I feel someone is trying to shove their views down my throat. I don’t think there is one “real truth” about religion and I am quite happy to let people have their own beliefs.

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