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Old 06-27-2014, 12:12 PM #43
Iamamartianchurch
 
 
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Originally Posted by PBOldTimer View Post
I thought that Christians claimed the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Some do. What's your point? Inspiration implies something far different than authorship.
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:19 PM #44
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^^ There is a great amount to disagreement within the church as to how literally "inerrant" and "infallible" the bible is to be interpreted.

I would suggest that this is a trending view in the modern church:
http://goodfaithandthecommongood.blo...interpret.html
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:41 PM #45
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What about the two versions of the ten commandments? Are they believed to be inspired or authored? Or maybe the 'story' of the ten commandments is just considered inspired?
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:55 PM #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iamamartianchurch View Post
Some do. What's your point? Inspiration implies something far different than authorship.
So how is the average person supposed to determine which stories within the Bible are meant to be literal, and which are meant to be parables? Who gets to choose which is which?
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:04 PM #47
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Who gets to choose which is which?
You do.
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:32 PM #48
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You do.
... And that's why many denominations exist.
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:26 PM #49
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So how is the average person supposed to determine which stories within the Bible are meant to be literal, and which are meant to be parables? Who gets to choose which is which?
Depends. If you want to be part of a specific type of church they may require that you affirm certain stories are literal or if not or at least teach that it is that way. Or you can go by "whats the least I can possibly believe but still be called a Christian" that I see many do, then its a "whatever you want" religion. Or some mix in between those. Some claim to belong to religions that are quite strict in their interpretation of the their books but don't really believe it themselves but keep up the quise for social reasons and such.
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Old 06-27-2014, 06:46 PM #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBOldTimer View Post
So how is the average person supposed to determine which stories within the Bible are meant to be literal, and which are meant to be parables? Who gets to choose which is which?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iamamartianchurch View Post
You do.
This reminds me of a thought I had a while back.

The Bible, with it's assorted history mixed with parables mixed with metaphor mixed with a few contradictions, might have been written that was intentionally, as a test (whether by divine inspiration or some very clever early church leaders doesn't matter in this idea, both would work). Sort of a written Rorschach test to bring a persons true nature forward.

If you read it and walk away with hatred ("God hates gays" "lets justify slavery", etc) you failed. If you walk away with love ("love thy neighbor as yourself" "turn the other cheek" etc) you passed.

Just a idea, only half fleshed out really.
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:46 PM #51
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Most religious texts are meant to promote peace and love. Its just people reading between the lines and taking things extremely literally that causes hate. For example the Quran is a book of peace yet there are islamic extremists who think it means to kill all non believers.
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:15 AM #52
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Ok, I have to start out by addressing a few things that i noticed in the original post.
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For getting rid of religion: religion has a long history of neglecting and sometimes outright condemning scientific and/or social progress. You can point to two examples being the Christian dark ages and the current state of education and healthcare in radical countries. Even in America, on several occasions religion has denied scientific progress because of unfounded "moral" implications, such as stem cell research which could cure many illinesses but "abortion is bad mmmkay" so it has come to a grinding hault and aborted fetuses are basically thrown away as opposed to being used for the betterment of healthcare.
That's not entirely true, as the church can actually be credited with preserving texts from the Romans and having an educated class to help preserve it (monks) as well as founding universities such as Cambridge and Oxford. All of this led to future developments in education/science. Religion has caused many issues with science as well, but to say that the "Dark Ages" (which never really existed) was due to the church, and that the church hasn't also helped the progress of science and education would be false.

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For keeping religion: Despite what people think, empathy doesn't seem to be a very common trait among humans and it appears as if it must be taught. While it seems like it doesn't, as portrayed by many atheist that are very "good people" despite a lack of any religion. However, the concept of sharing, waiting your turn, apologizing when you do wrong, taking care of other's things, etc must all be taught to children. I say this because just about everyone is likely to put his needs above others as a natural reaction...........
To respond to this, I will bring in what i have said in another thread about where morality comes from:

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Math. One person can bring home much more food than he will eat. If you kill that person, they can no longer bring home food. You are hurting the tribe. Wronging others will always hurt the tribe, and thus it doesn't add up to wrong the others in your tribe. If someone is wronging others, it does not make sense to keep them in your tribe. This is the base of morality. This is also why genocide, an example you were so fond of, is never justified among us. Religious morals are just an extension of this.
The way I look at it, this is how we started out. Empathy is natural but varies from person to person. You can even see empathy in animals other than humans. However, the main thing that makes empathy worthwhile to us is that it helped to keep us alive. It's much more advantageous to have empathy than to not have it at all. You can even see that in society today.

However, when you get to a certain size population, the above model easily falls apart. With agriculture there can be those that are more prosperous, and a rudimentary class system can emerge. This means there will be poorer people who will be inclined to steal. It also means that the society is large enough that not everyone in the society will know if you do something to harm another. This is where religion really showed what it can do, as it was the first police force. Religion helped us on our way to develop bigger societies until we could form an actual way to police the population and ensure people were not harming one another.

We quickly (relatively) outgrew this though. For a while both were working in conjunction with each other. Now the main punishment isn't a fear of a vengeful god or hell, it's fear of imprisonment and losing years of what you know for sure you have.

That brings us to today. We have outgrown religion for this purpose. However, is it still something that should go away? I wouldn't be sad if it went away, but the main thing that religion has to contribute to society is now more than ever on a personal level. Religion can do great things for people, especially people who need something bigger than themselves to take action. Sure religion can be used for terrible things, but at the end of the day I don't know that our world is worse off for having religion. That, and I think that everyone should be free to live their life as they want, so if they want to practice a religion, it doesn't matter what I think about it. If they use that religion to hurt another person they will likely be punished by a government system, so it's still got nothing to do with me.


Fubarius: That's not a terrible way to look at it in my opinion, and was pretty close to the way I personally saw it when i was a theist.
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