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Old 05-08-2013, 12:11 AM   #141
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How do you prove metaphorical intent?

You single out one religion, why? Do you realize the OT asks for "rebellious sons" to be stoned to death? And why just the son, what about the daughter, how come they don't lay out the full road map? Shit, what are those "purest form" simpletons supposed to do? "Punishable by death", oh that only has to mean by man and not by God, I'm so glad you have deciphered all of these religions for us.

The truth is that you know little about the certain religions, you just want to insult the intelligence of those that believe and characterize those that distort as the "true believers". Your approach is the intellectual dishonesty that you are accusing others of having.
I thought we were finished talking like assholes? Guess not.

And you've only seen me criticize one religion in here? Interesting
Why the sons and not the daughters? Because religion has a long and well documented tradition of sexism.
"punishable by death"? Where's this phrase you're citing?
Once again, there is no distortion in the fundamentalism we're talking about. Give it up with your intellectual dishonesty argument. Stop defending "religion". I thought you were leaving anyway?
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:21 AM   #142
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But you didn't answer my first question, how do you prove metaphorical intent?
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:26 AM   #143
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Well no, come on... I know I'm veering close to a 'no true Scotsman' fallacy, but do Christ's recorded teachings seem to you to advocate the lack of charity and abundance of hatred that the likes of Westboro (or Falwell after 9/11) exhibit? There are ambiguities in religion but it doesn't mean just anything.

I'd say the same for the, perhaps less bigoted but certainly more avaricious, 'Prosperity Gospel' types. They're free to call themselves Christian, but I say they are its exact antithesis.
So because these groups don't follow the recorded teachings of Christianity, they're the antithesis of Christianity... but when Muslims follow the recorded teachings of the Quran, they're..... the antithesis of Islam?

And defending religion is one big No True Scotsman fallacy
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:28 AM   #144
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But you didn't answer my first question, how do you prove metaphorical intent?
Because we're not talking about parables, we're talking about direct direction. As I've stated multiple times in this thread... like I seem to be doing a lot of with you.

Still here, are ya?
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:55 AM   #145
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Because we're not talking about parables, we're talking about direct direction. As I've stated multiple times in this thread... like I seem to be doing a lot of with you.

Still here, are ya?
You are basically proving INDY's point about athiests. Thanks
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:57 AM   #146
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You are basically proving INDY's point about athiests. Thanks
And what would that be, BVS?

I gotta say, I think your tactic of trying to use phrases I've used in the past against me and bringing up Indy at every opportunity is amusing
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:04 AM   #147
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And in regard to metaphor, I'll add this:

When there is no evidence that a piece of writing is meant to be interpreted as metaphor, it's on you to prove otherwise (I've decided that the bible is meant to be read as a satire. Anyone not reading it as a satire is twisting its original intent). As we've seen throughout history, religious text only becomes metaphor in light of contradictory indisputable evidence. 500 years ago, it wasn't metaphor to believe in a first human. But now that we know how evolution works and how the biology works, Adam and Eve have been relegated to metaphor. 500 years ago, it wasn't metaphor to believe god created the world (which was the center of the universe) in 7 days. Now that we know more about cosmology and know the Big Bang happened, "god created the world in 7 days" and the Geocentric Universe are relegated to metaphor. 150 years ago, it wasn't metaphor to believe that god created humans, as we are, in his image. Now that we know about Natural Selection and again, evolution, "god created humans in his image" is relegated to metaphor. All these things today, people would argue don't disprove the bible; they're meant to be read as metaphor! But no. they weren't originally meant to be read as metaphor. Metaphor is the retreat of religion in the face of evidence. And the more the evidence keeps stacking up, the more metaphor we seem to find in religious teachings. So your arbitrary decision to label verses of your choosing as 'metaphor' is completely that: arbitrary
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:33 AM   #148
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But the premise you're basing the points on is not accurate. You claim that fundamentalists practice the purest form of religion, but that is simply not something that is provable. I'm sure the fundamentalists agree with you, but I doubt you would get the same consensus if you were to poll a roomful of religious scholars, priests, imams, etc.

The Quran says lots of things, as do all holy books, but I don't believe any of them say "only those who follow everything in this book literally are true believers."
And I know this is an old post, but I meant to add this:

If you're right, and the fundamentalist reading of any holy, and in this case, disproportionately violent, text is not the way the author intended, then it is at best grossly irresponsible. I'm not sure that's much of a consolation
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:35 AM   #149
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And so as not to look like a hypocrite question dodger


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Why do you hate cats so much?
I don't hate cats! Mine sleeps on the pillow beside me
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:14 AM   #150
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So because these groups don't follow the recorded teachings of Christianity, they're the antithesis of Christianity... but when Muslims follow the recorded teachings of the Quran, they're..... the antithesis of Islam?

And defending religion is one big No True Scotsman fallacy
Yeah but there's more to Islam than killing people. There are also the injunctions to prayer, to charity, to modesty (and not just in dress), the prohibitions on ursury...
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:11 AM   #151
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Yeah but there's more to Islam than killing people. There are also the injunctions to prayer, to charity, to modesty (and not just in dress), the prohibitions on ursury...
I'm not denying that (see: shit sandwich¹)
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:58 AM   #152
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And in regard to metaphor, I'll add this:

When there is no evidence that a piece of writing is meant to be interpreted as metaphor, it's on you to prove otherwise (I've decided that the bible is meant to be read as a satire. Anyone not reading it as a satire is twisting its original intent). As we've seen throughout history, religious text only becomes metaphor in light of contradictory indisputable evidence. 500 years ago, it wasn't metaphor to believe in a first human. But now that we know how evolution works and how the biology works, Adam and Eve have been relegated to metaphor. 500 years ago, it wasn't metaphor to believe god created the world (which was the center of the universe) in 7 days. Now that we know more about cosmology and know the Big Bang happened, "god created the world in 7 days" and the Geocentric Universe are relegated to metaphor. 150 years ago, it wasn't metaphor to believe that god created humans, as we are, in his image. Now that we know about Natural Selection and again, evolution, "god created humans in his image" is relegated to metaphor. All these things today, people would argue don't disprove the bible; they're meant to be read as metaphor! But no. they weren't originally meant to be read as metaphor. Metaphor is the retreat of religion in the face of evidence. And the more the evidence keeps stacking up, the more metaphor we seem to find in religious teachings. So your arbitrary decision to label verses of your choosing as 'metaphor' is completely that: arbitrary
Jive, I don't know what books or authors you've read regarding religion, but I suggest reading "The Case for God: by Karen Armstrong. I know I've brought up this book before and even what she said about interpreting the Bible several times, but I just want to reiterate that she said the creation story was seen as allegory until recently. And she's well respected when it comes to discussing faith and religion.

As for religion being the cause of violence, sexism, etc., I wouldn't put the blame solely on religion. There was misogyny in Ancient Greece and Rome before Christianity came around. FGM dates back to before the Roman Empire. The Chinese practiced foot binding for centuries without the pope or an imam's decree. Violence and war is practically human nature. Religion may have exacerbated these problems, but it wasn't like religion introduced them. Human beings are an irrational specie, we'll do crazy crap for numerous reasons.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:47 PM   #153
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I haven't read any if her stuff. I'll look into it. I'm not sure how impartial a former nun can be, however. Do you remember any specifics?
As far as making a case for god goes, I'm not sure she'd be presenting us with anything other than the usual tropes the Dinesh D'Souza's of the world constantly do.

And I've never claimed religion is the source off all of societies woes.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:21 PM   #154
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Jive, I don't know what books or authors you've read regarding religion, but I suggest reading "The Case for God: by Karen Armstrong. I know I've brought up this book before and even what she said about interpreting the Bible several times, but I just want to reiterate that she said the creation story was seen as allegory until recently. And she's well respected when it comes to discussing faith and religion.
I haven't read the book, but the claim that allegorical interpretations of Judeo-Christian scriptures are the historical norm is disputed by numerous medieval and early modern efforts from the Catholic Church to censure astrologists and philosophers who were challenging the narrative of Genesis. And Jive, yes, Ms Armstrong is far from an impartial observer of religious history.

I'm struggling here to see what is wrong with Jive's statement that "fundamentalism" is best defined as strict adherence to the literal word of scripture. I've read a lot of religious scholarship, and that seems to be the accepted definition there as well. I'm also with Jive that it is giving the authors of religious scripture a bit too much benefit of the doubt to say that they wrote initially with an allegorical or metaphorical purpose. Is it possible that, for example, the author of Luke saw Jesus's resurrection as a rhetorical point? Maybe, but I would think it is more likely that the author was looking to present that "supernatural" occurrence as historical narrative, as ancient historians had a tendency to do.

My take on this whole discussion is that institutional religion can often be a conduit for extremist tendencies rather than the root cause. Historically speaking, both Christianity and Islam initially spread among marginalized groups in society - people looking for some kind of voice. I think we still see this today in terms of religiously-motivated terrorism, but the people primarily at fault there, in my opinion at least, are the cell organizers who prey on people's frustrations through appeals to religious devotion. Similarly, much of the hard-line attitudes involving apostasy in that link Jive initially posted can be attributed to Sharia governments who use Islam as a means of simultaneously oppressing people politically and giving them a (what I would see as) false sense of empowerment through adherence to Islamic scripture.

All this is to say that I see any organized religion as a conduit for or facilitator of extremist behavior, and for that it deserves criticism. But I would not say it is the root cause.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:36 PM   #155
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This is the most interesting discussion produced in FYM in years. Really enjoying reading this. (This is sincere, by the way.)
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:15 PM   #156
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Originally Posted by Jive Turkey
I haven't read any if her stuff. I'll look into it. I'm not sure how impartial a former nun can be, however. Do you remember any specifics?
As far as making a case for god goes, I'm not sure she'd be presenting us with anything other than the usual tropes the Dinesh D'Souza's of the world constantly do.

And I've never claimed religion is the source off all of societies woes.
She was a nun, but became disillusioned and left, ending up with years in doubt. She now considers herself simply a monotheist with no religious affiliation.

And please don't jump to conclusions that someone is a conspiracy wacko because they defend God. It sounds judgmental based on bias. Her book explores where atheism came from, how it developed and how religious persecution led to it for some. While her book leans toward theism and raises an eyebrow at Harris and Hitchens, she's not condemning atheists to hell. She has sympathy because she was once like them.
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:56 PM   #157
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This is the most interesting discussion produced in FYM in years. Really enjoying reading this. (This is sincere, by the way.)
Seconded.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:36 PM   #158
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This is the most interesting discussion produced in FYM in years. Really enjoying reading this. (This is sincere, by the way.)
It has been awhile since we've seen a discussion like this - one we can learn and share thoughts with each other.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:57 PM   #159
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I'm struggling here to see what is wrong with Jive's statement that "fundamentalism" is best defined as strict adherence to the literal word of scripture.
I'm not sure that was the issue people had, at least that's not the issue I had with it. My issue was with him calling that the 'purest' form of religion and everyone else was just watering it down. I think it's very difficult when an outsider claims with absolution the intent of texts when even scholars who have dedicated large chunks of their lives to understanding their religions don't even always agree on intents.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:56 PM   #160
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My issue was with him calling that the 'purest' form of religion and everyone else was just watering it down. I think it's very difficult when an outsider claims with absolution the intent of texts when even scholars who have dedicated large chunks of their lives to understanding their religions don't even always agree on intents.
Well yeah, that's an unanswerable question, because in my understanding of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim tradition or whatever one wants to call it, there has always been significant tension between the dictates of the institution and the practices of those who claim adherence. Institutional Christianity for a long while tried to stamp out any deviation from those dictates - I'm not as familiar with Muslim history, but it wouldn't surprise me if Sharia countries tried and try to do the same. The Sunni-Shi'ite tension would suggest persecution of unorthodox practices as well. "Purity" in religion might just come down to whoever has the power to define it at any given moment.
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