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Old 03-05-2004, 06:46 AM   #76
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Shouldn't this be in the thread on the subject?

I have to say I don't find the argument very compelling, but perhaps I'm missing the point. You claim the verses you quote from Timothy "predict" the condition of the world today, and yet they contain nothing specific, they are merely a series of observations which could have been made by anyone.

In any case, if a very tenuous "prediction" such as that is evidence that the Bible is true, then presumably the fact that a few of Nostradamus' "prophecies" have come true is evidence that he could predict the future?

The quote from Matthew...you believe that is true because you have faith in it. There is nothing in the quote to prove it is true, but your faith leads you to accept that it's true. It's not any sort of argument that the Bible is true.

The quote from Revelation...it's hardly only in the last century that there "nations became wrathful" -- a quick glance at any history book will tell you that (not that you'd actually need a history book, I'm sure everyone here can think of examples for themselves).

Finally, I appreciate there might be contradictions in different translations, but "circle" does not mean "spherical" and it's perfectly possible that the earth could have been perceived as flat and shaped as a circle. In any case, even when the predominant opinion was that the Earth was flat, there were those who argued it was spherical. In other words, I don't think those verses are a compelling argument for the Bible being "true" either.

Feel free to disagree.
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Old 03-05-2004, 06:53 AM   #77
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I am sad...I thought this was going to be a thread on the "Q" Gospel.
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Old 03-05-2004, 06:54 AM   #78
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Originally posted by bonosloveslave
1. I do believe the dinosaurs existed, just not that they were around 2.4 billion years ago
How do you explain away all the evidence that dinosaurs did indeed exist that long ago? Is it falsified? And in your belief, when did dinosaurs exist?

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2. Genetic impossibilities w/ Noah's ark? With God, all things are possible, so I'm not sure what you're calling impossible - something with the people, animals, both?
For me, this sums up why it's pointless trying to debate whether the Bible is true or not. You accept this as a matter of faith, despite all the evidence to the contrary. The fact is that it would be impossible to have all the species known today (to say nothing of those unknown and those which are now extinct) if at some point a "flood" had killed off all but two or seven of each species. You reject that because "with God, all things are possible" which is a statement of your faith.

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Again, I think this topic would be better suited for it's own thread...
Please, no! We've had enough spin-off threads for one night. I think it would break up the discussion too much to divide this discussion up again.
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Old 03-05-2004, 06:56 AM   #79
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We have not yet discovered the scientific proof that may negate that last statement.

But as of today...I believe what Melon said.
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Old 03-05-2004, 06:58 AM   #80
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I thought it was about Q magazine.
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Old 03-05-2004, 07:05 AM   #81
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1. I do believe the dinosaurs existed, just not that they were around 2.4 billion years ago

2. Genetic impossibilities w/ Noah's ark? With God, all things are possible, so I'm not sure what you're calling impossible - something with the people, animals, both?

3. I think it's possible that Adam and Eve had more children than the Bible specifically names, and it's more likely that Cain ended up with one of his sisters as a wife. Still not an ideal pairing compared to today's standards, but how do you explain the initial beginnings of the human race without some close pairings regardless?

I 100% agree with you Dinosaurs did NOT exist 2.4 billion years ago. Unfortunatly I don't share a belief in dinosaurs because I know that they existed from their fossilized remains, nor do I belive in science or the theory of evolution. Belief is a dangerous concept because it is inherently incompatible with variation and change. Science is not a Belief system and it is not designed to be, it is a system of understanding the nature of the universe with observation and fact without preconcieved notions of what to know or expect. I am just going to remind you that 2.4 billion years ago the only "life" we had were single celled organisms, the first Dinosauria only appeared on the planet in the Triassic period 248 MYA (Million years ago). The problem I have with any literal creation/Intelligent Designer argument is that there is no evidence of such an event ever occuring. There is however significant evidence for an ancient earth. I will point to the stars for a very obvious proof of this, how is it that there are stars in the night sky are billions of light years away that show the universe is older than 6000 years (since a light year is the distance light travels in a year 13 Billion light years away shows stars that existed 13 billion years ago) , an unknown creator placed the stars and all the photons in the light cone there at once some time in the last 6000 years? could it simply be that the stars were created when clouds of hydrogen and helium Coalesced due to gravity and the pressure and friction began fusion reactions that powers the stars?

I have absolutely no problem if someone was to prove evolution completely and utterly wrong and a literal biblical creation totally 100% right totallly messing up all of the accumulated knowledge over the last few hundred years provided creation has objective evidence that can support their claim and disprove others. The reason is that evolution is a scientific theory. As a scientific theory it must be able to explain observations and be falsifiable, Evolution is a scientific theory because it looks at life on earth in all of its diversity and explains how such a complex system could come about, it also makes predictions about how changes within an environment will force populations of creatures to change (if an animal has a particular mutation that gives it an advantage it will live longer, if it lives longer it will breed more, if it breeds more there will be even more animals with said mutation that breed more until the entire population has absorbed this genetic material, this doesnt happen overnight or in a single creature, it happens over generations. The ammount of variation withing a population has innumerable factors that can alter it so we can see different populations of species (with different environments, or not remember mutations are quite random) evolve in entirely different ways, we see it in the fossil record and we see it on a microscopic level (bacteria reproduce quicker hence evolution is an observable phenomena). Evolution is also falsifiable, if it were proven that life on earth is entirely static then evolution wouldnt work however because it explains life in such an understandable and obvious way that is supported by observation and predictions its confidence level is 100%, that means it is a verifiable fact, hence evolution is both a theory AND a fact. Creation is unfortunately not a particually good theory to explain the earth, life and the universe. literal creation is really more of a hypothesis because it lacks any evidence to support it, when you look at the fossil record you can see extinct forms of life and they can be accurately dated to millions of years ago, we see individual strata containing simmilar life forms that match the world over. We can see the steady progression and diversification of life and it is really spread out over geological time (that being millions of years). This spread disproves the idea of a global flood that could just bury all previous life in a single homogenous layer of silt.

As for laying genetic diversity back to God you are just pulling a reason out of thin air to support your contention that god had to have created it all at once, its the cosmological constant all over again argh!. Really though genetic diversity is a wonderfull thing and it just makes so much sense in the context of a natural world ruled by basic rules. Very basic and nearly identical self replicating molecules cover the planet, these molecules are spread across different environments and over time individual and seperate populations of basic life forms settle around the planet. Random genetic mutations will invariably change these populations of identical species into new forms that in turn change themselves creating diverse life across the planet. Mass extinctions and population pressures will ensure that diversity of life has a point of maximum rather like dumping sand on a sand castle, it will stay solid until it collapses and begins to rebuild and find a new point of criticality. Basically we see diversification every day be it in a social, political or economic context, we can use these trends to understand how a biological system could work and eliminate the need for the undefined in the machinations of the universe.

As for Cain taking a sister (or mother, uh) for his wife, have you considered the posibility of a pre-Adamite man? Since the old testament is written for the Hebrews could it be that other Homo Sapiens did walk the earth however they werent imbued with the soul that Adam and Eve had, although that explaination may seem weak it makes sense considering who the target audience was, why should the entire human race be so great when the Jews are the proper decendants of Adam and Eve. In response to a scientific view of the world, at some point millions individual populations of our common ancestors to the apes began to adapt to changing environments, some species were able to continue to survive in the same basic way and hence any mutations wouldnt grant too large an advantage however for some populations the changes would be more pronounced, as jungles receeded and savannah expanded perhaps for our ancestors communication became critical to protect to group from danger, therefore proto-humanoids that could communicate better because of a larger brain or more varied vocal range would survive and eventually the entire population would have absorbed these mutations. Such stresses from predators would force them to develop a more complex social system of codes and behaviour and eventually language. Same type of trimming goes for standing upright and the gradual loss of fur (does fur offer any dicernable benefit in the open plains, no however if you had less fur you could dissipate heat more effectively and travelling bodies of water also becomes easier (aquatic apes type theories) hence animals with less fur survive longer, breed more and pass their genes on while furry proto-humanoids dont, eventually one trait can become prevailant) This gradual process of change that brought human beings into the world took millions of years and yes there would have been inbreeding just like you do with any wild animals. The theory of evolution again provides a reasonable and rational explaination for the existence of humans that matches the fossil record and makes a lot of sense. In any event[BONES MCCOY VOICE]I am a scientist not a theologan[/BONES MCCOY VOICE] and I just think if a middle ground could be reached it would make the world such a better place.

Ultimately the issue of creation comes down too how we wan't too think, literal creation doesnt require one to think or to be "too-cerebral" because it is all there in front of you, the word of god simple anyone who disagrees can go to hell. We dont gain knowledge by doing this and society as a whole suffers, there seems to be a situation where people are becoming bibliotheist's. Willing to use the "word of god" to justify any postition under the sun provided nobody looks deeper. Science is not something to be feared, since the dawn of time man has searched for answers, to understand the universe, to understand creation. Science is a powerfull tool that we use it is not shaped by social connotations when used properly and it helps us every day. If it werent for quantum mechanic's (within the universe) then life as we know it wouldnt exist (no QM, no H bond), you are reading this post on a computer a device that was designed from scientific principles with a tremendous degree of accuracy. To turn away from science is to deny the progression of man from a race of savages to truly enlightened beings. It is truly depressing to live in a world where ignorance perpetuates violence. We see religion warped into a weapon of war and used to divide, this is an example of where ignorance of religion in its truest form (respect, tollerance, love) is twisted to bring about a violent solution. This example is shown throughout history and is seen through the looking glass when we see the crimes of the Nazis, they used science as a means to justify euthenasia of the mentally disabled and systematic extermination of those deemed racially impure. Here we clearly see how much Science and Religion have in common, they both strive to bring meaning to the world and universe as a whole, science through the natural world and religion through the spiritual. They can both be used for great good and great evil and they are both equally important parts of this thing we call humanity. The problem arises when religion or science seek to demean or misinform sections of the population deliberately to perpetuate divisions in knowledge and understanding. Science doesnt take anything away from religion as it deals with the world and universe as it is seen, it doesnt say how people must live their lives or how to deal with powerful emotions. By presenting science as something strange and different, something that takes glory away from god by removing him from everyday life creationists do themselves a disservice. They restrict the oppertunities that their followers have to learn and make up their own minds and exercise their free will and do science a diservice by taking away the raw human potential to think about the universe, many of the greatest scientists were deeply religious (Isaac Newton anyone?) and it is criminal that the would misses out on the contribution of someone who could have the greatest mathematical mind in the world but not use it for the btterment of mankind because they were raised to accept and not question. This ultimately leads to ignorance and ignorance will lead to violence of one form or another in the end.

In order to preserve humanity both science and religion must become more accessable, people need religion to affirm their place in the universe however to affirm ones place is no reason not to understand it. We need to encourage people to learn about science, go out and read a science book (quite a few good popular science ones out there), then humanity as a whole could come a lot closer to understanding the world a lot faster. Ultimately science cannot answer the ultimate question, why? Science adresses how things occur but at the most fundamental levels it cannot ever answer why the universe was created, science cannot anthropomorphize the very beginning into a concious reason for that is where the domain of the natural world drops away to the supernatural which is strictly the domain of thelogy and not science. The bible is not the word of god, it is the flawed works of man, however the works of god are all around us and we allready know the language, mathematics, all we have to do is unravel it and then we shall truly know the works of god.
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Old 03-05-2004, 07:35 AM   #82
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It's such a general "prediction" that it really isn't one: the world he is describing is within his midst, as the Roman Empire was guilty of everything you described. In spite of a religious obsession with this time being "especially evil," that view doesn't take into the account the fact that we are living in the most peaceful time the Earth has ever known. Prior to World War I, Europe was embroiled in constant wars for centuries, and, often, monarchs would start a war just for the hell of it. To say that only "we" are "ruining the Earth" is highly romanticist and blatantly false.

Also, I should mention that Timothy didn't write that epistle; St. Paul wrote it directed to him. St. Paul has, effectively, described every empire that has existed for the last few millennia. It's hardly a prediction.

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Old 03-05-2004, 07:38 AM   #83
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Everything is too mathematical to have been an accident.
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Old 03-05-2004, 07:38 AM   #84
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For the record I am a studying for a science degree (undergradute) and am aiming to be a paleontolgist (still got a few more years for that goal). I am an atheist however I strongly argue for preserving the freedom to think/worship the way they wan't if it doesnt harm anybody. I have a moral compass and yet I lack religious belief, I dont like to see people die for no reason but I think that there are ideals that are worth protecting and dying to protect, I know that the world can be a better place however because I do not belive in some divine being that will sort it all out when we are dead so the task rests with humanity alone to fix the problem. We only have a short time on this mortal coil so we must make the most difference because that is the only damn way life will ever get any better. If I am wrong then hey I wouldnt mind spending eternity philosophising with Homer and Aristotle in the first level of Dante's inferno
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Old 03-05-2004, 09:00 AM   #85
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I think the title of this thread sets up a false dichotomy. You can believe that the Bible is not *always* meant to be taken literally without consigning it to the pile of "interesting reads."

For example, it is highly unlikely that the Creation stories are meant to be taken literally, as the Creation stories in Genesis 1 & 2 are both strikingly similar to Babylonian and Mesopotamian creation myths (respectively) that the writer of Genesis would have known, and might have used them to cast the Creation in the context of devotion to the God of Israel because he knew his readers would also be familiar with them. And keep in mind that Genesis 1 & 2 give different accounts of how humans were created; they can't *both* be literally correct. (An example of a contradiction for BLS. )

That having been said: the Bible does contain everything one really needs to know about Jesus. The official line of the Catholic Church is that the Bible contains "all that is necessary for salvation," which I think is true.
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Old 03-05-2004, 11:16 AM   #86
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Originally posted by Screaming Flower
that article just makes the story more impossible to me. noah spent 100 years of his life planning and building the ark?

Nothing is impossible for God. Also, if you read through Genesis, you see age spans growing progressively shorter and shorter. Moses only lived 120 years, but did his biggest work after age 80.
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Old 03-05-2004, 11:49 AM   #87
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My rule for interpreting the Bible is basicaly the same as Melon's, the guiding directive of Love. Or as Augustine put it, evaluate your interpretation against the great commandment, love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself. If you do that honestly asking the guidance of Spirit teh Bible is an indispensible tool to having a proper relationship with God. It is the relealed word of God yet we do know that God has often spoken in parable. the whole of reality can in one sense be seen as an overarching parable. Thus the lineline between lieral fact and allegory is not an overly inmportant one. We have the Creation stories (there are 2) because of what they say about God and his creation. It is orderly and it is despite all of its flaws at its roots good. Given the timescale and the nature of these stories I think it is fairly clear that they are allegory or allegorical representations of real events, like the Flood (which is also the adaptation of a traditional story to communicated information about God) as teh OT goes on there is more and more mixing of real events with allegory and it is impossible to distinguish the two. But it doesn't matter, the thruth that the stories express is the crucial element. That is teh Truth communicated, not so much the specific details of the stories, but rather what it says about God, God's relationship with humanity within the microcausum of his relations with a specific chosen people and specific individuals within that people. The NT is composed of three theologically directed historical accounts of Jesus (the Synoptics), an early Christological account of Jesus. (John), a history of the earliest Church and then letters containg basic theology of Christian belief by people who had direct contact with Jesus (be they the apostles or someoen who had direct spiritual contact like Paul) or had contact with these people. I believe the selction of Canon while of course influenced by politicswas in the end directed by God. Cannon stands as it stands for a purpose, creating a compelation which through informed and enlightened honest use can aid a person in their journey into a right relationship with God as nothing else can.

As to the formation of Christianity, it should be noted that Constantine never directed the Churches to a specific Christianity rather he demanded a single form of the religion which was what he needed as a tool for the Roman state. He wasn't a theologian, he was a soldier and an administrator. While probably not the dope some historians have made him out to be (in the climate in which he lived on only became Emperor and survive the process to die of natural causes required a rather remarkable individual who was no fool) he has always struck me as a utilitarian pragmatist for whom the finer points of doctrine meant nothing. It was the council of bishops who decided the form which the new united form of Christianity would take. And not all Emperors afterwords were Catholic (in this context this means Christianity in the Nicene, Trinity based, fully God full man sense). There were Arian Emperors, Nestorian Emperors, Monophysite Emperors, but after all of the political and theological turmoil Catholic Christianity which had its roots in the thread of belief going back to Paul and the Christianity of Antioch was the Christianity which in the end proved to be the dominant form. Constantine didn't cause this. The actions of thousands of people over two centuries did. No one at the time knew how it was all going to play out, hence the violence of the times and extremism as all involved belived that it was essential that their truth became the definitive one. The whole context must be seen. Modern Nicenean Christianity is not the mechanations of one man, which is what you seem to be claiming Dread.
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Old 03-05-2004, 11:51 AM   #88
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Originally posted by melon
It's such a general "prediction" that it really isn't one: the world he is describing is within his midst, as the Roman Empire was guilty of everything you described. In spite of a religious obsession with this time being "especially evil," that view doesn't take into the account the fact that we are living in the most peaceful time the Earth has ever known. Prior to World War I, Europe was embroiled in constant wars for centuries, and, often, monarchs would start a war just for the hell of it. To say that only "we" are "ruining the Earth" is highly romanticist and blatantly false.

Also, I should mention that Timothy didn't write that epistle; St. Paul wrote it directed to him. St. Paul has, effectively, described every empire that has existed for the last few millennia. It's hardly a prediction.

Melon

would you not agree though that on on a wold wide scale the earth is now a much more dangerous place to live.. yes prior to WW1 there were constant wars.. but now they are on a world wide scale in that they have nuclear and biological weapons that destroy all human live on the planet if they wished to.. also only lately is the planet threatened from the ozone layer deforestation
pollution on a grander scale, as well as the threatend extinction of many animals.
atrocities such as two world wars, sucide bombings ect also the increase in lawlessness crime keeps going up not down here inside the past five years attacks on eldery people have encreased, this would not have happened when I was younger now elderly instead of being respected are beaten to a pulp for what little money they have.. I wouldnt say the world was that peaceful
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Old 03-05-2004, 03:45 PM   #89
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Modern Nicenean Christianity is not the mechanations of one man, which is what you seem to be claiming Dread. [/B]
Not really. I think it is foolish to ignore the fact that POLITICS and his vision were NOT a part of it. Are you saying that the Bishops were satisfied because the Emporer persecuted Christians opposed to their view of the Church was divinely inspired too? I mean really if the group that became dominant in choosing the scriopture was divinely inspired, the persecution must have been too.

I also find it interesting that many of the early writers, who were with the APOSTLES and learned directly from them were NOT inculded. Instead we have Gospels written years later by people not there.

But, no, I never said it was done by one man. A convenient Political/religious bond maybe.
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Old 03-05-2004, 06:52 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally posted by paxetaurora
I think the title of this thread sets up a false dichotomy. You can believe that the Bible is not *always* meant to be taken literally without consigning it to the pile of "interesting reads."

For example, it is highly unlikely that the Creation stories are meant to be taken literally, as the Creation stories in Genesis 1 & 2 are both strikingly similar to Babylonian and Mesopotamian creation myths (respectively) that the writer of Genesis would have known, and might have used them to cast the Creation in the context of devotion to the God of Israel because he knew his readers would also be familiar with them. And keep in mind that Genesis 1 & 2 give different accounts of how humans were created; they can't *both* be literally correct. (An example of a contradiction for BLS. )

That having been said: the Bible does contain everything one really needs to know about Jesus. The official line of the Catholic Church is that the Bible contains "all that is necessary for salvation," which I think is true.
I agree with this.
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