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Is the BIBLE GOD'S word?

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  • Is the BIBLE GOD'S word?

    Hi

    Do you think it is?

  • #2
    I don't see how anybody in this day and age could possibly believe that the bible is literally the word of God.Biblical criticism in recent times has completely undermined the credibility of this idea.It has revealed that there are many contradictions and inconsistencies throughout the bible.The pentateuch for example was always ascribed to Moses however it is clear to anyone who reads it that it was in fact written by more than one person over a long period of time.The findings of modern science cast further doubt on the credibility of the bible.Geology reveals that the earth has existed for billions of years yet if the bible is to be believed it has existed for around 6,500 years.The world clearly was not created in six days,there is no evidence of a universal flood and mankind has not evolved from Adam and Eve.The overwhelming mass of evidence favours Darwin's theory of evolution by means of natural selection.Clearly an infallible God could not have given mankind a holy scripture with so many falsehoods and contradictions.I believe that the bible is primarily a historical record of the Israelites and it give us a fascinating insight into how their culture developed and how they interacted with the other Bronze Age cultures which evolved in the fertile crescent.

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    • #3
      every part of the bible which is not true on a literal level is true on another level, or was true in a certain time frame.

      There are a few definite guidelines to follow which tell us how different parts of the bible are meant to be interpreted.

      1. Stories which illustrate a point:

      Many stories in the bible are like parables: they are meant to teach a lesson. So, they are true in a way even though they aren't historical fact. The most obvious example of this is the creation story in Genesis. Science has shown that God did not create the universe in the method that Genesis says He did. However, He did create the universe one way or another, which is really the point that Genesis is trying to get across.

      2. The progressive revalation:

      Throughout the millenia, God has been gradually civilizing us. He has revealed each part of the Truth to us as we became ready.

      In the times of the Old Testament, the Hebrews were like children, so God gave them huge lists of laws and rules to follow. These laws were meant to morally uplift the Hebrews, and to make them a more Godly people. God was preparing them for Christ, and the ultimate Truth of His Word. He had to prepare them, because if He had sent Christ during the time of Moses, they would not have been ready and all of them would have rejected His teachings.

      Now, Christ gives us the path to Eternal Salvation and teaches us how to treat each other, but He never says that the old rules don't apply anymore. In fact, Chirst Himself said, "Do not think that I am here to change one letter of the law, for whosoever does will be last for the Kingdom of God."

      Thankfully, for lobster lovers like myself, Christ was referring specifically to God's Moral Law, which is eternal, and not to God's ritual/cleanliness Law, which I will adress next.

      (By the way, this line of reasoning leads to an apparent contradiction where the morality that Christ teaches is in fact in conflict with the old laws, which He says He is not changing. The example that comes to mind is "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" versus "turn the other cheek." However, this is easily resolvable. "Eye for an eye" refers to how a government should do justice (not literally take out eyes, but punish criminals proportionally to how bad a crime they committed), and "turn the other cheek" is a guide for indiviual relationships.)

      3. Insight into God's Intent:

      If you examine the circumstances of the time in which God gave the Hebrews their ritual law and cleanliness law, they aren't nearly as arbitrary as they appear at first glance. The whole purpose of Kosher was to prevent the Hebrews from contracting diseases. At the time, pigs were infested with trikonosis, and likewise shellfish were very dangerous to eat. Kosher was a great act of compassion on God's part, but now the danger is passed so we don't have to follow it anymore.

      Also, many of the most ridiculous sounding laws in the Old Testament (men are forbidden to shave, no one may eat an animal and drink it's milk at the same meal) were designed to separate the Hebrews from their Pagan neighbors. God forbid many things which were never sins in and of themselves, but which were part of Pagan rituals, and therefore led to idol worship and other sins. Again, the danger of God's people reverting to idol worship has passed, so there's no reason God would enforce these laws anymore. (By the way, Pict, these aren't Celtic harmony-with-nature pagans, these are idol worshipers and really should have a different name because their religion was completely different from your beleif system)

      Homosexual sex was a big part of the Pagan rituals of the Hebrews' neighbors, so God's ban on homosexuality might fall into this catergory of laws which don't apply anymore. However, I'm not so sure and the Holy Spirit isn't giving me a definite answer, so I'm going to take the safe road: tolerating homosexuality and refraining from judgement.

      4. Context

      There is a passage in the Old Testament which says men can't have long hair and women can't have short hair. At the time this was written, those hairsytles were the symbols that you were a prostitute. The pasage was really saying: thou shalt not be a prostitute. There's no sin in the hairstyles themselves. There are many such passages which are much truer in their context than out of it.
      "Pure religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." (James 1:27)

      www.personal.psu.edu/bmd175

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      • #4
        Tom Sawyer,
        I would take issue with your assertion that Darwinism has been heavily undermined.That comes as news to me.I am aware that an American scientist,a Doctor Spetner-who incidentally just happens to have extreme orthodox religious beliefs-wrote a work which was claimed to undermine one specific part of Darwin's theory however Spetner's theory has since been challenged.Only a very small number of creationist scientists reject Darwin's theory and most scientists do not dispute that the mass of evidence supports Darwin's hypothesis that evolution occurs by means of natural selection.

        [Edited by ANDY-J2 on 4th January 2003 at 17:50]

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        • #5
          Simply printing the names of various eminent philosophers and scientists doesn't impress me.Would you care to cite some specific texts to support your argument?Darwin's theory is so widely accepted because the overwhelming mass of evidence supports it.It is clear from fossil evidence for example that species adapt and evolve through time and those species which are best able to adapt to their environment survive at the expense of other species.It is clear from the physiological similarities between man and primates that they share a common ancestor.Only mankind and primates for example have a coccyx(the small bone at the base of the spine).Also mankind and primates are amongst the very few species in nature that are unable to synthesise vitamin c.A combination of such genetic characteristics could not occur in totally unrelated species therefore one must conclude that they did at some point share a common ancestor.There is therefore no debate that evolution occurs-there is only a debate as to the nature of the mechanism whereby any given species evolves.Life is indeed much more complicated than we ever supposed but the validity of Darwin's theory of evolution by means of natural selection is still accepted by the majority of evolutionary scientists.

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          • #6
            As a holder of a BA(hons) in history and humanities who has studied Darwin's work in some depth I can tell you that you are wrong in stating that Darwin's theory is not 'accepted',and yes simply printing a list of eminent thinkers without citing relevant texts does not impress me as being a scholarly approach to debate.Clearly your assertion that Darwin's theory is not proven is true,I didn't suggest that it was proven however the amount of evidence supporting it is overwhelming.Science doesn't pretend to deal in certainties.A theory is only as good as the challenges it has withstood and in spite of 140 years of rigorous scrutiny it is clear that the basic principles of Darwin's theory-inherited variation and natural selection-still provide the most convincing explanation as to how life on our planet has evolved.What is also clear is that certain parts of Darwin's theory are fundamentally flawed,his theory of pangenesis which he believed to be the mechanism for inheritence is now known to be wrong.All scientific theories evolve and the fact that certain of Darwin's conclusions have been subsequently undermined does not invalidate the entire theory.A greater number of people now have an understanding of Darwinian theory thanks to the works of the "ultra Darwinists" such as Richard Dawkins.His books such as the blind watchmaker and the selfish gene provide lucid and compelling arguments which make Darwinian evolutionary theory understandable to the average man in the street-which is why the religious zealots continually condemn his works.Dawkins is one of the best selling scientific authors on the planet so clearly he is providing arguments which a great many people find credible.You have cited some instances in nature which in your opinion fundamentally undermines Darwin's theory but again these examples can only challenge certain facets of his theory.In no way do they undermine the credibility of his theory as a whole.Obviously your distaste for Darwin stems from your religious beliefs but there is no escaping the fact that Darwin along with Alfred Russel Wallace provided a logical and coherent theory as to the nature of the mechanism by which evolution occurs.I suggest that you have a look at some of Dawkins' work and then perhaps you might reconsider some of your views on the matter.The following quote succinctly states what I believe to be true "Though there is much debate among scientists about the particular forces acting upon organisms in particular situations, and about the pacing, or timing, of changes, there is little or no debate among biologists regarding the idea that natural selection, basically as outlined by Charles Darwin, is working on all organisms at all times."

            http://www.interaktv.com/DARWIN/Darwin.html


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            • #7
              You state that "the most important thinkers of the last 100 years all reject Darwin".That is complete rubbish.How many great thinkers in recent times have provided a serious challenge which undermines the basic principle of his theory-that inherited variation and natural selection occurs?It is true that Darwin's theory was not taken seriously until long after his death-even Huxley his most prominent supporter rejected the idea of natural selection-and was flatly rejected by many scientists during the period known as the "eclipse of Darwinism" which lasted until the thirties,however since that time Darwin's theory has enjoyed unprecedented support amongst biological scientists.Research into the field of genetics revealed that mutation occurs within the genome which may be the mechanism whereby natural variation occurs which added credibility to Darwin's theory.I find it amusing that you should argue that Darwinism has lost credibility when the fact of the matter is that since the late eighties his works have enjoyed greater popularity than ever before,in Britain at any rate.In part this is due to the prolific writing of the ultra-Darwinists such as Dawkins.Darwin didn't come up with a theory that was perfect in every respect.However the basic principles of his theory are accepted by the vast majority of biologists today.You seem intent on a wholesale rejection of Darwin's entire theory which in my book makes you every bit as misguided as the creationists.You provided one or two examples which you claimed challenged the validity of Darwin's theory.How many examples do you think I could provide to support his theory,several hundred perhaps?How do we account for the similarities between lions,tigers and domestic cats for example or the similarities between man and primates,or the multitude of variations between the species of finch throughout the world?Does the theory of evolution by means of natural selection not provide a logical explanation for such phenomenon?Of course it does which is why no scholar worth his salt would simply dismiss it out of hand as you have done.Many of your points stated above are hardly worthy of a response-bacteria sensing consciousness?If you want to believe in stuff like that then that's your choice but I'm afraid such fanciful ideas don't cut much ice with me or the great majority of biological scientists.

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              • #8
                I don't deny the greatness of the thinkers whom you have cited.I cast doubt upon your assertion that they have specifically rejected Darwinism.How could Lamarcke have rejected Darwinism when he died 31 years before on the origins of species was published?Did Nietzsche know of the study of genetics which would reveal the mechanism which may account for variation between species.Of course not-he died in 1900 at a time when,as I have stated previously,Darwin's theory was not even taken seriously.There is something on which we agree however.We can take the basic foundations of Darwinian theory and use modern scientific techniques to move on to a greater understanding of the forces at work in the natural world.I stubbornly support Darwin because the basic principles of his theory are sound,it is ridiculous to suggest otherwise.

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                • #9
                  You see, many people try to promote evolution in their aversion to creationism. I think this approach should be abandoned.

                  On its own Evolution is still a theory. The so-called scientific evidence are all guesswork. No wonder a scientist called evolution "the fairy tales of adults".

                  These so called scientists are very generous in tossing guesstimates like 7 million years, 12 millions, etc. The tragedy is that many people absorb such garbage without asking those professors to resign for fraud.

                  Their guess is as good as anybody's, that means more than 5 billion people in the world. Five billion guesses. Now who will determine whose guess is the closest. For fun, I would put it to 2.8 million years.

                  Who knows, a five-year old from Afghanistan may beat us all in this competition.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Theja
                    You see, many people try to promote evolution in their aversion to creationism. I think this approach should be abandoned.

                    On its own Evolution is still a theory. The so-called scientific evidence are all guesswork. No wonder a scientist called evolution "the fairy tales of adults".

                    These so called scientists are very generous in tossing guesstimates like 7 million years, 12 millions, etc. The tragedy is that many people absorb such garbage without asking those professors to resign for fraud.

                    Their guess is as good as anybody's, that means more than 5 billion people in the world. Five billion guesses. Now who will determine whose guess is the closest. For fun, I would put it to 2.8 million years.

                    Who knows, a five-year old from Afghanistan may beat us all in this competition.

                    Theja,
                    I'm afraid such facile arguments won't convince many people.There may be dispute between scientists as to the mechanisms involved in the evolutionary process but only a very few creationist scientists would assert that evolution definitely does not occur.Christians like to use the argument that "it's only a theory" which is perfectly true because evolutionary processes occur over sucgh a long time period that they cannot be observed.There is however an overwhelming mass of evidence from fossil records etc. which seem to show that lifeforms are constantly evolving and adapting.Creationists tell us that the world was created in six days around 6500 years ago and that all humanity is descended from Adam and Eve and the only evidence they can provide is a holy scripture which is largely of unknown authorship.Modern science however tells us that the world has existed for eons and has been created by geological processes which occur over millions of years.It also tells us that mankind is the result of a long evolutionary process,our existence isn't the result of any supernatural influence.Science provides compelling evidence to back up it's findings,creationists on the other hand can provide not one shred of credible evidence to back up their arguments.

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                    • #11
                      That was a statement, not argument. These so-called scientist are functioning with a belief system, only they don't call it religion. I call it mystery religion.

                      The world was not created around 6500 years ago. The Bible never supported that.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Theja
                        That was a statement, not argument. These so-called scientist are functioning with a belief system, only they don't call it religion. I call it mystery religion.

                        The world was not created around 6500 years ago. The Bible never supported that.
                        A scientist sets out to determine as best he can the empirical character of the natural world in order to ascertain why our world operates as it does,he attempts to specify facts and validate theories.He cannot establish absolute truth and thus can only make tentative conclusions.However some facts can be designated as "true" in any legitimate vernacular meaning of the word.Evolution has been validated to such a high degree that very few people in this day and age would challenge the idea that it is true or factual.I saw a recent survey of American biologists which questioned their belief in evolution and those who claimed not to believe in it amounted to .5% of those questioned.These scientists are providing sound arguments and hard evidence to support their findings,something which creationists never do.We know from archaeological evidence when certain biblical figures ,King David for example,lived.If you read the bible you will find that the geneological evidence provided makes it relatively simple to trace back the timescale and it does indeed show that Adam and Eve apparently lived sometime around 4,500BC.Extreme christian fundamentalists accept this as fact.Of course we don't know how long the earth was in existence prior to Adam and Eve.

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                        • #13
                          Evolution has been validated? I see that you're into the same fairy tale affair. Please don't call something fraudulent as science.

                          Just find me a monkey that can speak a fine sentence, or has been recorded to have spoken a sentence in known human history, then I'll be convinced of your science.

                          Or, to lower the standard, find me a man who can hang and swing from tree to tree with ease like an Oranguatan. That'll do it.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TomSawyer


                            Andy's assessment of science is not very accurate. Science, like religion, is mostly belief. Scientists, like anyone else, make intuitive leaps. Many of them flatly ignore the paranormal: Duke University, for example, is one of the only academic settings for the paranormal other than the 'psyhic colleges' of England. Andy, for his part, has erroneoulsy ASSUMED there is no supernatural forces in nature. Obviously he has not heard of miracles, which are very well documented, or poltergeists, which are very well documented. Then there is telepathy, which I have attempted to show in the above undermining of Darwin. I have plenty instances of my life which contradict 'cold science.' Any natural clairvoyant has contradicted plain science. If you want science, look past the 'textbook' science of Andy and go into the real world science which, I may say, is mind blowing. The physical universe is by no means 'accidental.' The intrinsic organization is revealing of God.

                            "The more you look at science, the more you realize there is a God."
                            Again your indulging in the realms of fantasy.Coming up with these weird and wonderful ideas that aren't backed up by any kind of credible evidence.I've heard of poltergeists and I've seen convincing explanations that rely on natural phenomena such as electricity or geological anomalies.I've read the biblical account of miracles but given the fact that I have never witnessed a miracle,that I believe all things in the universe to be governed by cause and effect and that I don't regard the bible as a credible source of evidence I don't have any reason to believe that these events actually occured.Why look for supernatural explanations when there are perfectly logical natural explanations for such phenomena.I'll tell you why-fear.Because the fact that there is no benign supernatural force controlling our destinies is something which many people are unable to accept.They see science as something which subverts their spiritual hopes and needs.Darwinian evolutionary theory raises far reaching philosophical questions which many people such as Mr.Sawyer would conveniently ignore.But a deeper view should lead us to embrace Darwin's theory.After all truthfull science unlike "make believe science" is liberating in the practical sense that knowledge of nature's actual mechanisms gives us the potential power to cure and heal when factual matters cause us harm.We can for example combat diseases more effectively when we fully understand the mechanisms whereby disease causing organisms evolve.

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                            • #15
                              Tom Sawyer,
                              I was intrigued by your statement that Behe's Darwin's black box was a biological refutation of Darwin's theory and I think you must admit that you've been exagerating a little.Behe presents a number of examples of complex biochemistry which he declares could not have evolved but did you miss the part where he states "on a small scale Darwin's theory has triumphed".In other words in the world of intelligent design,things do evolve.Finches change the size of their beaks,HIV adapts to new hosts and of course a multitude of small changes over a long period of time adds up to big effects.He also offers no objection to the fossil record and isotopic dating which means he apparently accepts that the tree of life has branched out over the course of the last 4 billion years.

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