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savafan
06-27-2005, 10:33 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/27/AR2005062700416_pf.html

The Associated Press
Monday, June 27, 2005; 10:11 AM

A split Supreme Court struck down Ten Commandments displays in courthouses Monday, ruling that two exhibits in Kentucky cross the line between separation of church and state because they promote a religious message.

The 5-4 decision was the first of two seeking to mediate the bitter culture war over religion's place in public life. In it, the court declined to prohibit all displays in court buildings or on government property. Justices left legal wiggle room, saying that some displays - like their own courtroom frieze - would be permissible if they're portrayed neutrally in order to honor the nation's legal history.

But framed copies in two Kentucky courthouses went too far in endorsing religion, the court held.

"The touchstone for our analysis is the principle that the First Amendment mandates government neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion," Justice David H. Souter wrote for the majority.

"When the government acts with the ostensible and predominant purpose of advancing religion, it violates tha central Establishment clause value of official religious neutrality," he said.

Souter was joined in his opinion by other members of the liberal bloc - Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer, as well as Reagan appointee Sandra Day O'Connor, who provided the swing vote.

Dom Heffner
06-27-2005, 11:35 AM
There is not a better justice on the court than Souter. Amen. :)

This isn't even a third grade law question, but Scalia and Thomas would like to make you think it was.

I was adding the votes last night and the court came down exactly like I thought.
The good thing about Rehnquist retiring is that you can't replace him with someone worse. Although Bush has astounded me before. Never thought someone could be worse than Reagan, either.

RedsBaron
06-27-2005, 02:20 PM
Actually the deadline on the story is misleading, and article left out the second case decided today, which, in another 5-4 decision, ruled that it was constitutional for Texas to have the Ten Commandments displayed outside on government land, since in that instance they were part of a more neutral historical display. In the Texas case a majority found the display did not have the primary purpose of advancing religion.
I haven't followed either case closely enough to make a final decision as to how I would have voted if on the Court, but, based on news accounts of the facts of the two cases, I may have very well voted with the majority in each case.

GAC
06-28-2005, 10:03 AM
It has never mattered to me, and I believe a vast majority of evangelicals, whether it is permissible (or legal) to post the 10 Commandments in a court room or on government property. That has not been the real issue at all.

It's if they are written in your heart, and not on granite, that matters.

I think what has alarmed alot of relgious people in this country, is not so much this issue, but that it is part of an assault on religion as a whole in this country by atheists/secularists.

Lets face it - how long have such items as the 10 Commandments, and other religious artifacts, been openly displayed on public property in this country? Maybe close to 200 years?

All these lawsuits and court cases were not instituted by religious people to try and put them there, nor force them down people's throats (as some like to contend)...because they have always been there all along!. ;)

It's to get them removed because some how we need to be re-educated as a nation that we've been doing it wrong for the last two centuries.

I simply laugh when I here this "I'm offended" and "second class citizen" arguments. There's alot of stuff going on in our society that offends me too. But I practice tolerance (and I also have thick skin).

Guys like Michael Newdow, whose hatred of religion (and God) runs so deep, have only one agenda - to remove every vestige of religion from American public life. When the guy sues to try and keep Bush from placing his hand on the Bible during the Inauguration, then what does that tell everyone? Pretty petty IMO.

These atheists are a sue-happy bunch. :lol:

And they are not in any way dumb. They know that their only hope/chance is through litigation and using the court system to force their own agenda on a majority of Americans who do not agree with them.

So what is next? Do we now have to sand blast all scripture off the government buildings and monuments in D.C.? How about the "In God We Trust" on our currency?

I could care less if people in this country do or don't want to believe in God. Jesus never forced himself on anyone; but he did place the choice before them (with eternal consequences).

It will be a sad day when Mr Newdow stands before that same God some day (regardless whether he wants to currently believe in him or not -that is irrelevant IMO), and God says to him... You offend me!

savafan
06-28-2005, 11:24 AM
Excellent post GAC, on all points.

savafan
06-28-2005, 12:52 PM
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20050628/D8B0NAUO0.html

By HOPE YEN

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court, a day after sending a mixed message about the constitutionality of religious displays on public property, let stand several lower court rulings outlawing these exhibits on school grounds and in courtrooms.

Without comment, justices declined Tuesday to review four cases involving displays in Kentucky and Ohio. A fifth appeal, involving a ruling that barred a South Carolina town council from opening its meetings with a prayer invoking the name of Jesus Christ, also was rejected.

The move came a day after the high court offered a pair of 5-4 rulings amounting to a split verdict on the permissibility of Ten Commandments displays, striking down framed copies in two Kentucky courthouses but upholding a 6-foot granite monument on a 22-acre lot surrounding the Texas Capitol.

The court had held in Monday's decisions that exhibits would be upheld if their main purpose was to honor the nation's legal, rather than religious, traditions, and if they didn't promote one religious sect over another. For example, justices said their courtroom frieze is OK as a mural of "lawgivers," which includes Moses holding the tablets with no text on it.

How long an exhibit has stood - as well as its location - also will determine its constitutionality, with wide-open lots more acceptable settings than schoolhouses filled with young students, the justices held.

In one case announced Tuesday, justices let stand a Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that ordered Judge James DeWeese of Richland County Common Pleas Court in Ohio to remove a poster of the Ten Commandments in his courtroom.

The display, which includes text of the Ten Commandments, is next to a poster of the Bill of Rights, with the words "the rule of law" above them to indicate the documents are part of the historic foundation for modern law.

But the 6th Circuit struck it down, ruling that DeWeese must remove the display because it was overly religious. The lower court said he had failed to establish a legally permissible secular reason for displaying the Ten Commandments there.

The Supreme Court also let stand a 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that barred the town council of Great Falls, S.C., from using the name Jesus in its prayer before the start of its meetings, finding that it favored one religious denomination.

The remaining cases involved stone monuments with inscriptions that school officials erected outside four high schools in Adams County, Ohio, as well as framed copies that were posted in schools in Harlan County, Ky.

The cases are Johnson v. Baker, 03-1661, Adams County v. Baker, 04-65, Harlan County v. ACLU, 03-1698, DeWeese v. ACLU, 04-841, and Great Falls v. Wynne, 04-1052.

---

CrackerJack
06-28-2005, 01:23 PM
think what has alarmed alot of relgious people in this country, is not so much this issue, but that it is part of an assault on religion as a whole in this country by atheists/secularists.

What has alarmed "spiritual" people in this country is the "assault" on those of us who choose not to make religion/spirituality an exclusive and political tool of law that is creeping back into society over the airwaves, via politically motivated community groups, large land masses being purchased for evangelical advertising, huge, cultureless churches and bogus museums, and how the religious right has hijacked the republican party out of some irrational fear of this country becoming "non-religious" in order to force people to recognize their views and hold on to some out-dated facist beliefs exclusive to their holy book.


All these lawsuits and court cases were not instituted by religious people to try and put them there, nor force them down people's throats (as some like to contend)...because they have always been there all along!.

Well you know, segregation had "always been there" before it was abolished, but that wasn't a good enough reason to keep it around eh? Maybe we should keep the "whites only" drinking fountain signs since they really didn't bother people back in the 50's? So why should they now? It was just those minority black people who were offended by it...(race is just an example and by no means am I implying you are racist in the least of course, but the parallel is there)

As our country becomes more diverse, you are going to find more and more of this where people are increasingly intolerant of government sponsored religious practices, and demand accountability by local and federal governments to be consistent and uphold the basic fundamental strengths of our constitution...which does not include making exceptions for Christianity because the world was a different place back then or just keeping things "the way they are because they've always been that way."

alex trevino
06-28-2005, 06:05 PM
Thank God! (no pun intended).

Falls City Beer
06-28-2005, 06:18 PM
What has alarmed "spiritual" people in this country is the "assault" on those of us who choose not to make religion/spirituality an exclusive and political tool of law that is creeping back into society over the airwaves, via politically motivated community groups, large land masses being purchased for evangelical advertising, huge, cultureless churches and bogus museums, and how the religious right has hijacked the republican party out of some irrational fear of this country becoming "non-religious" in order to force people to recognize their views and hold on to some out-dated facist beliefs exclusive to their holy book.



Well you know, segregation had "always been there" before it was abolished, but that wasn't a good enough reason to keep it around eh? Maybe we should keep the "whites only" drinking fountain signs since they really didn't bother people back in the 50's? So why should they now? It was just those minority black people who were offended by it...(race is just an example and by no means am I implying you are racist in the least of course, but the parallel is there)

As our country becomes more diverse, you are going to find more and more of this where people are increasingly intolerant of government sponsored religious practices, and demand accountability by local and federal governments to be consistent and uphold the basic fundamental strengths of our constitution...which does not include making exceptions for Christianity because the world was a different place back then or just keeping things "the way they are because they've always been that way."

Argument from tradition.

Logic 101. ;)

But I guess that's God-less Enlightenment stuff, logic and all.

MuEconRedLeg
06-28-2005, 07:09 PM
Interesting.

So, the 1st amendment can be used agaisnt state and local determism, yet the 5th cannot?

The problem is not necessarly held within either ruling, but within the paradox.

GAC
06-28-2005, 09:14 PM
What has alarmed "spiritual" people in this country is the "assault" on those of us who choose not to make religion/spirituality an exclusive and political tool of law that is creeping back into society over the airwaves, via politically motivated community groups, large land masses being purchased for evangelical advertising, huge, cultureless churches and bogus museums

bogus museums and large land mass purchases for advertising? You got me scratching my head on that one. :lol:

So what you are saying is that every other type people/ideology can and should get involved and practice activism in this democracy; but religious people shouldn't or can't organize, form politically active community groups, and be involved in society? Their voice should be somehow quelched?

So you basically believe in discrimination also.

Funny. The Establishment clause in our Constitution says differently when it comes to freedom of religous expression within the public discourse. It doesn't mean you should be forced to believe or accept it. But it should not be excluded either just because you don't like it or have a different opinion.


and how the religious right has hijacked the republican party out of some irrational fear of this country becoming "non-religious" in order to force people to recognize their views and hold on to some out-dated facist beliefs exclusive to their holy book.

Totally inacurate and ridiculous accusation and "fear" by those on the left. I, and a vast majority of evangelicals could care less if you, or anyone else, wants to recognize our beliefs. What I don't want to see is having my expression of those beliefs suppressed in the public forum, or told they are to be excluded in any public debate, because of some sort of misguided political corrrectness or a minority may be offended. If all you are is offended, then that should be the least of your problems. Deal with it.

And there's that favorite term from the left again... fascist!

I've yet to goosestep in church in over 20 years. :lol:

Those who misunderstand and have no grasp of what Christianity is, or what it believes, always love to throw out misguided terms like this.

Ever read/studied the teachings of Jesus? I garner you haven't, or else you wouldnt be using the term fascist so readily.


Well you know, segregation had "always been there" before it was abolished, but that wasn't a good enough reason to keep it around eh? Maybe we should keep the "whites only" drinking fountain signs since they really didn't bother people back in the 50's? So why should they now? It was just those minority black people who were offended by it...(race is just an example and by no means am I implying you are racist in the least of course, but the parallel is there)

IMO - a simply ridiculous analogy. First off, you are not being oppressed, falsely arrested, segregated, and seen by anyone (including evangelicals), as a second-class citizen simply because you aren't religious.


As our country becomes more diverse, you are going to find more and more of this where people are increasingly intolerant of government sponsored religious practices

And of course diversity means pushing others out right? Thats some diversity.

What government sanctioned religious practices are you referring to? I don't really know of any? Where has this government forced you to adhere to religious practices? Does even having the 10 Commandments on display in a courthouse (which by the way is still on display in the Supreme Court as an example of law) force you to adhere to them. Ever been arrested or stood before a judge because you violated one of them?


and demand accountability by local and federal governments to be consistent and uphold the basic fundamental strengths of our constitution...which does not include making exceptions for Christianity because the world was a different place back then or just keeping things "the way they are because they've always been that way."

I'm sorry, but our history shows that religion was influential in the forming of this country and it's laws. It does not mean that it is to be a theocracy, or that religion should be legislated and forced on the people. It simply means it was one of those influences.

You are promoting a fear of religion, and it's involvement in the forming of this country over the last 200 years that is totally without merit. You obviously believe that religion is standing in the way of progress and is preventing this country from reaching it's fullest potential as a society. So basically, what you and so many advocate is that we'd be a better nation without any relgious input or influences.

But our history and development as a nation differs with that assessment. ;)

GAC
06-28-2005, 09:27 PM
Argument from tradition.

Logic 101. ;)

But I guess that's God-less Enlightenment stuff, logic and all.

My argument wasn't solely from a tradition standpoint. But you are saying that what we have allowed and practiced for the last 200 years, with the open display of religion in various areas of the public domain as simply one aspect of it, has been wrong and a violation of the Constitution?

Wow! I'm glad we have this new "enlightenment" to finally straighten us all out. Everyone before were ignorant buffons when it came to interpreting the Constitution. :lol:

It's that new "living document" argument all over again. translation? - each generation interprets the Constitution and makes it say what they want in order to meet the changing demographics of society.

Falls City Beer
06-28-2005, 09:56 PM
My argument wasn't solely from a tradition standpoint. But you are saying that what we have allowed and practiced for the last 200 years, with the open display of religion in various areas of the public domain as simply one aspect of it, has been wrong and a violation of the Constitution?

Wow! I'm glad we have this new "enlightenment" to finally straighten us all out. Everyone before were ignorant buffons when it came to interpreting the Constitution. :lol:

It's that new "living document" argument all over again. translation? - each generation interprets the Constitution and makes it say what they want in order to meet the changing demographics of society.

I don't think you get the irony of your statements: the framers of the Constitution were deeply influenced by Enlightenment thought--logic and reason were an enormous part for the Scientific Revolution that gave rise to Descartes and Locke, the latter of whom is the author of Two Treatises of Government, a work integral to the drafting of the U.S. Constitution.

The Enlightenment I'm talking about isn't "new," it's 300-350 years old.

GAC
06-29-2005, 08:21 AM
I don't think you get the irony of your statements: the framers of the Constitution were deeply influenced by Enlightenment thought--logic and reason were an enormous part for the Scientific Revolution that gave rise to Descartes and Locke, the latter of whom is the author of Two Treatises of Government, a work integral to the drafting of the U.S. Constitution.

The Enlightenment I'm talking about isn't "new," it's 300-350 years old.

I'm not simply referring to the framers of our Constitution. I'm referring to how it was interpreted and displayed from that time, and consistently throughout the next two centuries. How do you explain away all those examples and situations where it was and has been on display, and where government officials and leaders openly endorsed religion and acknowledged it's influence on this land and it's laws? We're now being told that those previous generations were misguided and had it all wrong. And somehow it took this recent new enlightenment (a term used on here in the past by someone else, not me by the way) to give reason as to why they need to correct these errors of the past and to straighten it all out and tell us what those framers really meant. And I think if any of them were alive today they wouldn't be agreeing with the Michael Newdows. They wouldn't be agreeing with the religious right (whatever or whoever that is) either in alot of instances (and neither have I).

The fact is - the Supreme Court's two rulings were very ambiguous. On one hand, government cannot openly endorse any religion and must remain neutral (I agree). In the other case (Texas), they said they're historical and welcome on the grounds of the Texas Capitol.

So they are still being displayed. ;)

As far as I'm concerned the Supreme Court was endorsing religion by speaking in tongues with these two renderings. :lol:

savafan
06-29-2005, 09:54 AM
GAC, have you ever thought about running for political office? You probably wouldn't win, but you'd have my vote.

registerthis
06-29-2005, 10:08 AM
I agree that the 10 Commandments needed to come down fromt he Court rooms...I wouldn't want to be a practicing Muslim, Buddhist, agmostic or atheist in front a judge sitting in front of an enscription which reads "Thou shall have no other gods before me." That decision is entirely understandable.

However, while I am an avowed secularist when it comes to government and politics, I do believe some carry the torch too far. The banning of Christmas trees and displays on government property, for example.

I remember, last Christmas, my girlfriend and I did one of those "drive-through" Christmas light displays out here in D.C. The lights were very well done and pleasant, but there were NO Christmas references at all--it featured scenes like polar bears and penguins, Santa, elves, etc. The light display was in a public park, so all vestiges of religion had been removed from display. It had the effect of rendering the entire display very sterile.

And while I wholeheartedly support the separation of church and state, it seems unreasonable to put forth all of these decorations, holiday sales, federal holidays, etc. and subsequently deny that the holiday is in fact a Christian one (and, yes, I am familiar with the commercialization of Christmas...) Surely, I think, this isn't what the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they established that church and State should be separate entities.

On the White House lawn every year, local Jewish groups also put up a Menorah, in celebration of Hannukah, directly next to the National Christmas Tree. It doesn't bother me one bit, nor, do I think, should anyone be bothered by it.

Eventually, I suppose, we'll find out exactly how to acknowledge that the U.S. is a predominantly Christian nation without infringing upon the rights of those who do not consider themselves such.

savafan
06-29-2005, 10:27 AM
http://www.barefootsworld.net/consti11.html#am1

Article I

"Congress shall make no Law respecting the Establishment of Religion, or prohibiting the free Exercise thereof;" 141

141 In the reign of Charles II, Parliament, for the purpose of compelling all persons to attend the established Church, passed (1665) The Conventicle Act making every one over sixteen years of age who attended a conventicle (any meeting for religious worship at which five persons were present besides the household) subject to imprisonment, with transportation beyond seas for the third offense. During the same reign it passed the Test Act requiring oaths in support of the established religion. Under those acts, which were not repealed until recent times, all nonconformists of whatever religious belief were very severely dealt with. Those acts hastened emigration to America, as did intolerance in continental countries.

"It is strange indeed," says Ridpath (Popular History of the United States", p. 128), "that the very men who had so recently, through perils by sea and land, escaped with only their lives to find religious freedom in another continent, should have begun their career with intolerance and persecution."

The established Church of England had been set up in several of the Colonies and taxes were levied for its support.

Madison and Jefferson had waged (1784) a battle in Virginia against the establishment, finally securing the passage of a law declaring that any interference by the civil authority with religious opinion is against natural right.

A clause like this failed of adoption in the Constitutional Convention. As a member of the first House of Representatives under the new Constitution, Madison brought up this Amendment. After the House had adopted it the Senate rejected it, but it was later re-instated by that body.

When Madison became President he vetoed (1811) a bill passed by Congress for incorporating a church organization because he held it contrary to this Amendment, and shortly thereafter he vetoed another which would make a gift of public lands to a church.

Before the Constitutional Convention sat several of the States had put in their constitutions clauses for religious freedom. All of them have such clauses now. The prohibition under consideration is against the Nation and not the State.

In 1890 the Supreme Court of the United States, concluding a great contest begun in the District Court of the Territory of Utah in 1887, held that the National Government had "a perfect right to prohibit polygamy and all other open offenses against the enlightened sentiment of mankind, not withstanding the pretense of religious convictions by which they may be advocated and practiced." c84, c95

It is of great interest to note that in the ensuing years since this Amendment was ratified that in the wording of the First Amendment, the third of the first twelve Amendment proposals, that in the true bill submitted to the states for ratification "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, . . . " , not " . . . an establishment of religion, . . . " The word "THE" is definitely more "declaratory and restrictive" than "AN". This fraudulent deception has allowed misconstruction of a very explicit restriction on the legislatures and the government. This changed wording appears in virtually all presentations of the 1st Amendment today, including the official NARA presentation. It was correctly presented in history books prior to the Civil War. The correct wording as presented to the States for ratification is shown in this image of the "True Bill". See the discussion of the first twelve Amendment proposals.

http://www.barefootsworld.net/images/billofrt.jpg

savafan
06-29-2005, 10:30 AM
On the White House lawn every year, local Jewish groups also put up a Menorah, in celebration of Hannukah, directly next to the National Christmas Tree. It doesn't bother me one bit, nor, do I think, should anyone be bothered by it.



The Christmas Tree is not an exclusively Christian symbol.

http://www.christmas-tree.com/where.html

King Tut never saw a Christmas tree, but he would have understood the tradition which traces back long before the first Christmas, says David Robson, Extension Educator, Horticulture with the Springfield Extension Center.

The Egyptians were part of a long line of cultures that treasured and worshipped evergreens. When the winter solstice arrive, they brought green date palm leaves into their homes to symbolize life's triumph over death.

The Romans celebrated the winter solstice with a fest called Saturnalia in honor of Saturnus, the god of agriculture. They decorated their houses with greens and lights and exchanged gifts. They gave coins for prosperity, pastries for happiness, and lamps to light one's journey through life.

Centuries ago in Great Britain, woods priests called Druids used evergreens during mysterious winter solstice rituals. The Druids used holly and mistletoe as symbols of eternal life, and place evergreen branches over doors to keep away evil spirits.

Late in the Middle Ages, Germans and Scandinavians placed evergreen trees inside their homes or just outside their doors to show their hope in the forthcoming spring. Our modern Christmas tree evolved from these early traditions.

Legend has it that Martin Luther began the tradition of decorating trees to celebrate Christmas. One crisp Christmas Eve, about the year 1500, he was walking through snow-covered woods and was struck by the beauty of a group of small evergreens. Their branches, dusted with snow, shimmered in the moonlight. When he got home, he set up a little fir tree indoors so he could share this story with his children. He decorated it with candles, which he lighted in honor of Christ's birth.

The Christmas tree tradition most likely came to the United States with Hessian troops during the American Revolution, or with German immigrants to Pennsylvania and Ohio, adds Robson.

But the custom spread slowly. The Puritans banned Christmas in New England. Even as late as 1851, a Cleveland minister nearly lost his job because he allowed a tree in his church. Schools in Boston stayed open on Christmas Day through 1870, and sometimes expelled students who stayed home.

The Christmas tree market was born in 1851 when Catskill farmer Mark Carr hauled two ox sleds of evergreens into New York City and sold them all. By 1900, one in five American families had a Christmas tree, and 20 years later, the custom was nearly universal.

Christmas tree farms sprang up during the depression. Nurserymen couldn't sell their evergreens for landscaping, so they cut them for Christmas trees. Cultivated trees were preferred because they have a more symmetrical shape then wild ones.

Six species account for about 90 percent of the nation's Christmas tree trade. Scotch pine ranks first, comprising about 40 percent of the market, followed by Douglas fir which accounts for about 35 percent. The other big sellers are noble fir, white pine, balsam fir and white spruce.

westofyou
06-29-2005, 10:40 AM
The Christmas Tree is not an exclusively Christian symbol.

Just a co-opted one.

savafan
06-29-2005, 10:46 AM
Just a co-opted one.

It's origin is pagan.

westofyou
06-29-2005, 10:50 AM
It's origin is pagan.

What isn't?

traderumor
06-29-2005, 11:10 AM
Ah, more promotion of the religion of secularism (let the googles for definitions of secular begin ;) ).

FCB, you give me the impression that logic came out of the "Enlightenment" in the same way folks say Branch Rickey "discovered" OBP. Yet, what or whom is responible for the origin of what is deemed to be logical? What or whom ordered the universe from which that logic is derived?

traderumor
06-29-2005, 11:11 AM
What isn't?A Holy God? Scripture? ;)

Johnny Footstool
06-29-2005, 11:31 AM
Scripture?

That's open for debate. For example, doesn't the Flood story appear in many different sources?

savafan
06-29-2005, 11:38 AM
That's open for debate. For example, doesn't the Flood story appear in many different sources?

The Epic of Gilgamesh told of the flood. I believe every culture has a flood story.

westofyou
06-29-2005, 12:28 PM
For example, doesn't the Flood story appear in many different sources?

Big hello from Gilgamesh

traderumor
06-29-2005, 12:33 PM
That's open for debate. For example, doesn't the Flood story appear in many different sources?Sure it is, but not based on your example :) How does that make the Biblical Flood account a source of paganism? My textual criticism arrived at the conclusion that the other accounts likely copied from the Biblical account. Simple chicken/egg argument.

westofyou
06-29-2005, 12:47 PM
My textual criticism arrived at the conclusion that the other accounts likely copied from the Biblical account.

Gilgamesh predates the bible.

traderumor
06-29-2005, 12:57 PM
Gilgamesh predates the bible.In written form...

Falls City Beer
06-29-2005, 02:32 PM
Ah, more promotion of the religion of secularism (let the googles for definitions of secular begin ;) ).

FCB, you give me the impression that logic came out of the "Enlightenment" in the same way folks say Branch Rickey "discovered" OBP. Yet, what or whom is responible for the origin of what is deemed to be logical? What or whom ordered the universe from which that logic is derived?

No, of course not, the Enlightenment is known as the Age of Reason because many of its primary thinkers got itchy about the idea that the Universe and its fiunctions exist "because God said so." I'm giving the Reader's Digest watered down version so I don't have to go off on some screed that I don't have time to write. Frankly, there is nothing to argue in the God vs. logic debate because in the end you say "because God said so" and I say "there is no primary mover or final cause known yet" and the discussion comes to a screeching halt that says "we are just going to have to agree to disagree because faith and doubt exist in two ontological and epistemological universes."

As far as GAC is concerned I was merely clarifying which Enlightenment I was speaking of and pointing out that the framers of the Constitution were a bunch of doubting, rationalist Deists. That's all. Honestly, I'm totally confused by what GAC wrote in response because, frankly, it wasn't a response to what I was talking about, it was just screamed more loudly and voluminously.

traderumor
06-29-2005, 02:47 PM
No, of course not, the Enlightenment is known as the Age of Reason because many of its primary thinkers got itchy about the idea that the Universe and its fiunctions exist "because God said so." I'm giving the Reader's Digest watered down version so I don't have to go off on some screed that I don't have time to write. Frankly, there is nothing to argue in the God vs. logic debate because in the end you say "because God said so" and I say "there is no primary mover or final cause known yet" and the discussion comes to a screeching halt that says "we are just going to have to agree to disagree because faith and doubt exist in two ontological and epistemological universes."

As far as GAC is concerned I was merely clarifying which Enlightenment I was speaking of and pointing out that the framers of the Constitution were a bunch of doubting, rationalist Deists. That's all. Honestly, I'm totally confused by what GAC wrote in response because, frankly, it wasn't a response to what I was talking about, it was just screamed more loudly and voluminously.

I really wasn't arguing God vs. logic, I'm arguing that God is the Author of all that is "logical." I argue that faith and reason co-exist (see beautiful treatise on the subject by Christian philosopher Ron Nash by the name Faith and Reason ). Logic requires an ordered universe, a Sustainer (which the deists you refer to would deny). What happens when something defies logic? Enter the naturalist vs. supernaturalist debate, which is the one I think you may have thought we were having.

And you thought GAC had you confused :evil:

M2
06-29-2005, 02:49 PM
In written form...

In every form. Gilgamesh dates back to 2750-2500 BC. The most common target date for Abraham is about 19th or 18th century BC.

traderumor
06-29-2005, 02:57 PM
In every form. Gilgamesh dates back to 2750-2500 BC. The most common traget date for Abraham is about 19th or 18th century BC.Abraham? And that still does not answer the oral tradition argument, which is as convenient a defense for the Bible thumpers as it is for the skeptic.

M2
06-29-2005, 03:03 PM
Abraham? And that still does not answer the oral tradition argument, which is as convenient a defense for the Bible thumpers as it is for the skeptic.

The oral telling of Gilgamesh started long before there were Jews on this earth. In fact, being from Mesopotamia, Abraham, considered the founder of Judaism, probably would have grown up hearing the story of Gilgamesh.

Falls City Beer
06-29-2005, 03:06 PM
The oral telling of Gilgamesh started long before there were Jews on this earth. In fact, being from Mesopotamia, Abraham, considered the founder of Judaism, probably would have grown up hearing the story of Gilgamesh.

The Rig Veda predates most Jewish text (and almost certainly the Old Testament) as well and there are many correspondences between it and the Judeo-Christian Genesis.

M2
06-29-2005, 03:14 PM
The Rig Veda predates most Jewish text (and almost certainly the Old Testament) as well and there are many correspondences between it and the Judeo-Christian Genesis.

And if we're going to go east you've also got the Chinese who had a fairly advanced civilization (Xia and Shang dynsasties) while the good people of the Middle East were still in nomadic mode.

traderumor
06-29-2005, 03:15 PM
The oral telling of Gilgamesh started long before there were Jews on this earth. In fact, being from Mesopotamia, Abraham, considered the founder of Judaism, probably would have grown up hearing the story of Gilgamesh.

Why is Abraham the starting point of your argument? The Bible starts with "...in the beginning," when there were neither Jew nor Greek. Noah was not Jewish. The Bible is not a history of the Jewish people, it is the revelation of Almighty God, which includes the revelation of a people of Abraham.

And Abraham came out of a pagan culture, and is at least two generations removed from Noah, whom lived 900+ years. I am not following how all of that gives you enough information to claim which oral tradition came first, and then which one is accurate to boot. Now, I have the inspiration of Scripture to fall back on. What do you have? :)

RedsBaron
06-29-2005, 03:28 PM
The Epic of Gilgamesh told of the flood. I believe every culture has a flood story.
That doesn't prove or disprove the Biblical account. If a worldwide flood occurred, it is reasonable to expect that most cultures would then have a story of the flood.

M2
06-29-2005, 03:39 PM
Why is Abraham the starting point of your argument? The Bible starts with "...in the beginning," when there were neither Jew nor Greek. Noah was not Jewish. The Bible is not a history of the Jewish people, it is the revelation of Almighty God, which includes the revelation of a people of Abraham.

And Abraham came out of a pagan culture, and is at least two generations removed from Noah, whom lived 900+ years. I am not following how all of that gives you enough information to claim which oral tradition came first, and then which one is accurate to boot. Now, I have the inspiration of Scripture to fall back on. What do you have? :)

Oral tradition dates back to before the Bronze Age, to peoples and civilizations spread across the globe. All we've got is the fairly modern oral traditions that survived long enough to get recorded into books.

Is there even an argument anymore that when the Old Testament lists a person's age in years it means anything other than moons? That's how everyone in the Middle East was tracking time back in those days. I suppose there's an argument about everything, but that doesn't make it a good argument. Anyway, 900 moons would get you to age 69. Methuselah would have made it to about 75. Surely the people living alongside these biblical legends, like the Mesopotamians, would have taken note that they were living centuries longer than everyone else. I'm doubting they'd have missed that.

I start with Abraham because he's where the Jewish oral tradition starts and you seem to want to talk oral tradition here. It's impossible to say how much of the pre-Abraham story was handed down to him (though since he was the supposed founder of the religion it's fair to assume very little otherwise he wouldn't have really founded anything) and how much of it is post-Abrahamic construct, co-opting ancient tales like Gilgamesh along the way.

M2
06-29-2005, 03:53 PM
That doesn't prove or disprove the Biblical account. If a worldwide flood occurred, it is reasonable to expect that most cultures would then have a story of the flood.

What actually disproves the biblical flood account is science. We know no global flood has occurred since the appearance of humans on the planet. In fact, we know no global flood has occurred since the apprearance of land creatures on the planet during the Devonian Period 400 million years ago.

We know there'd been an abundance of animal and plant life for hundreds of millions of years predating the appearance homo habilis and we know at no point in fairly recent geological history (e.g. the last 50,000 or so years) has that variety and abundance of life been stamped out.

That doesn't mean there wasn't a big honking flood somewhere near the Middle East (the Black Sea most likely) that spawned all these flood stories from the civilations it affected. In fact, that's likely the answer. Of course, one of the most consistent features of the oral tradition is down-the-line exaggeration. Over time and multiple tellings the flood grows into a global phenomenon and the heroes get credit for saving animals that never stepped foot on their continent.

traderumor
06-29-2005, 04:26 PM
Oral tradition dates back to before the Bronze Age, to peoples and civilizations spread across the globe. All we've got is the fairly modern oral traditions that survived long enough to get recorded into books.

Is there even an argument anymore that when the Old Testament lists a person's age in years it means anything other than moons? That's how everyone in the Middle East was tracking time back in those days. I suppose there's an argument about everything, but that doesn't make it a good argument. Anyway, 900 moons would get you to age 69. Methuselah would have made it to about 75. Surely the people living alongside these biblical legends, like the Mesopotamians, would have taken note that they were living centuries longer than everyone else. I'm doubting they'd have missed that.

I start with Abraham because he's where the Jewish oral tradition starts and you seem to want to talk oral tradition here. It's impossible to say how much of the pre-Abraham story was handed down to him (though since he was the supposed founder of the religion it's fair to assume very little otherwise he wouldn't have really founded anything) and how much of it is post-Abrahamic construct, co-opting ancient tales like Gilgamesh along the way.

I'm not sure which Bible background commentaries you have been reading, but apparently the "moons" theory not accepted as the gospel truth snuck by you there. It is so widely accepted that I consider myself to be reasonably read on the subject and have never encountered the "moons" theory, and that includes a lengthy treatment in a seminary class on the subject of oral tradition and original sources of the Pentateuch.

However, not all have been so quick to accept the JEDP and other products of higher criticism that I would imagine you are using for the basis of your "common knowledge" assertions that are not commonly held at all.

registerthis
06-29-2005, 04:32 PM
Perhaps this link (http://www.edwardtbabinski.us/skepticism/age_patriarchs.html) will shed some light on the "age of the patriarchs" argument.

I had not, either, heard of the "moons" argument. the explanation given in the above link seems quite rational. At any rate, it's safe to discount the idea that Methusaleh truly did live 969 years. In those times, living to 50 was an accomplishment, and living to be over 60 was a minor miracle, as the average lifespan at that time was around 35.

traderumor
06-29-2005, 04:37 PM
Perhaps this link (http://www.edwardtbabinski.us/skepticism/age_patriarchs.html) will shed some light on the "age of the patriarchs" argument.

I had not, either, heard of the "moons" argument. the explanation given in the above link seems quite rational. At any rate, it's safe to discount the idea that Methusaleh truly did live 969 years. In those times, living to 50 was an accomplishment, and living to be over 60 was a minor miracle, as the average lifespan at that time was around 35.

Pre-Flood environment was different and the effects of sin are two major factors in the literal longer life. You'll notice the years gradually decline as you work your way through some generations, and decline relatively quickly in the post-Flood environment, making that explanation all the more plausible.

M2
06-29-2005, 04:48 PM
I'm not sure which Bible background commentaries you have been reading, but apparently the "moons" theory not accepted as the gospel truth snuck by you there. It is so widely accepted that I consider myself to be reasonably read on the subject and have never encountered the "moons" theory, and that includes a lengthy treatment in a seminary class on the subject of oral tradition and original sources of the Pentateuch.

However, not all have been so quick to accept the JEDP and other products of higher criticism that I would imagine you are using for the basis of your "common knowledge" assertions that are not commonly held at all.

As far as I know, you can't take a collegiate divinity course or a literary course in which the Bible is included and not run into the "moons" theory. IMO it would be a fairly shoddy course if it wasn't there as you'd be completely skating past the most obvious case questioning literalism (which is a subject you should be diving into when you make this a field of study).

We know the civilizations in that region of the world at that point in history marked time according to moon cycles. The modern concept of "years" is fairly new. If you lived in a warm-weather climate 3,000 years ago, you really didn't have much use for years anyway.

We also know that if you start dividing biblical age by the number of moon cycles in a given year, you end with a perfectly normal-looking set of ages.

If all you do is use the Bible in order to interpret the Bible, then obviously you're not going to run into thorny issues like this, no matter how obvious they are. FWIW, the first time I ran into it came courtesy of an Augustinian monk, who laid out both sides of the argument and concluded that if you're going to let facts seep into the argument you've really got no choice other than to go with the moons explanation. Given his avocation he chose to ignore the facts.

M2
06-29-2005, 05:02 PM
Pre-Flood environment was different and the effects of sin are two major factors in the literal longer life. You'll notice the years gradually decline as you work your way through some generations, and decline relatively quickly in the post-Flood environment, making that explanation all the more plausible.

What Pre-Flood environment?

There was no global flood. Period. Any date you want to give me that fits a biblical timeline for the flood I can knock out of the water with a planet full of humans immediately prior to and after that date. Don't even get me started on how Noah would have needed bison and platypusses on the boat and how they would have had to migrate back across oceans almost immediately to where they'd been living since before humans walked the planet.

And, once again, you're talking about people who'd have lived side-by-side with plenty of other civilzations. We've got a big, fat historical record on this stuff. The Jews were one of multiple civilations in the Middle East, many of whom, like the Mesopotamians, pre-dated them by centuries.

I know it's biblically inconvenient, but ancient civilizations had no way of knowing they'd be screwing things up for future civilizations who wanted to treat their legends and parables as historical and scientific fact.

IMO, anyone looking to have the Old Testament treated as incontrovertible fact is missing the point of the book and begging for it to be filed alongside Ovid's "Metamorphoses" in the library of time.

traderumor
06-29-2005, 05:16 PM
M2,

Your argument rises and falls with dogma as does mine. You have as high a view of science as I do of Scripture, and I will dismiss scientific arguments that require millions of years to work as fast as you do "literal" interpretations of Scripture (actually, plain reading when warranted, but I'll play along). Your science claims no global flood, and you dogmatically assert it as "truth." Scripture claims a global flood, I dogmatically assert it as "truth." I have my experts, you have your experts. Is there anything left to be said?

registerthis
06-29-2005, 05:38 PM
M2,

Your argument rises and falls with dogma as does mine. You have as high a view of science as I do of Scripture, and I will dismiss scientific arguments that require millions of years to work as fast as you do "literal" interpretations of Scripture (actually, plain reading when warranted, but I'll play along). Your science claims no global flood, and you dogmatically assert it as "truth." Scripture claims a global flood, I dogmatically assert it as "truth." I have my experts, you have your experts. Is there anything left to be said?
Traderumor, I say this out of a respect both for you individually and of your point of view:

I get so sick of people comparing a spiritual faith to an acceptance of scientific principles as one in the same. The two aren't even comparable. I could go through paragraph after paragraph explaining why this is so, but you can't simply wish away mountains of historical evidence by saying "No one alive now was there, science and faith both require belief, so either could be correct."

You can't say that something existed simply because it says it did--that's circular logic. Science has good reason to believe that a global flood of biblical proportions did not occur, in much the same way that they have indiputable evidence that the Earth is over 6,000 years old.

it's great to have a firm spiritual faith--I do, and I find that it's very valuable. But, please please PLEASE stop the comparisons between faith and science. They don't even inhabit the same universe.

M2
06-29-2005, 05:40 PM
M2,

Your argument rises and falls with dogma as does mine. You have as high a view of science as I do of Scripture, and I will dismiss scientific arguments that require millions of years to work as fast as you do "literal" interpretations of Scripture (actually, plain reading when warranted, but I'll play along). Your science claims no global flood, and you dogmatically assert it as "truth." Scripture claims a global flood, I dogmatically assert it as "truth." I have my experts, you have your experts. Is there anything left to be said?

I don't have dogma. I've got historical records from dozens of civilations (for instance, the ancient Egyptians apparently missed the worldwide flood, which technically would have interrupted their pyramid building efforts) and a massive spectrum of scientific evidence. Had there been a global flood, our science would be able to point directly to it. We know the Sahara desert was once underwater about 60 millions years ago. We've found the fossils of sea creatures in the sediment there. Yet we also know that when the Sahara was under the sea whole continents were above sea-level. Figuring this stuff out is Geology 101 stuff. Seriously, it's right up there with making a baking soda volcano.

This isn't cutting edge or hard-to-understand stuff. Simply put, when you start to stack the Old Testament up against other sources and what we've been able to learn for ourselves, it falls apart, completely. Doesn't mean you shouldn't be using it as a religious text, but if your view of it is that it only has value as a religious text if it's 100% scientifically and historically accurate, then you've got to get a new book. It's a compilation of legends and morality tales from an ancient civilization which contains all the foibles and well-meaning contrivance you'll find in every other set of legends and morality tales derived from the oral tradition. IMO, the best argument for the Old Testament is that it contains a deeper wisdom and insight than those other tales (e.g. it's primarly concerned with the internal rather than the external), making major theological leaps along the way.

There comes a point where this stuff reaches the incontrovertible stage. Essentially I have two choices. Either I've got to go with the overwhelming amount of evidence or I have to give up on the notion that humans can know anything that wasn't written in the Bible. In which case Dan O'Brien's doing just fine as a GM.

traderumor
06-29-2005, 09:52 PM
Traderumor, I say this out of a respect both for you individually and of your point of view:

I get so sick of people comparing a spiritual faith to an acceptance of scientific principles as one in the same. The two aren't even comparable. I could go through paragraph after paragraph explaining why this is so, but you can't simply wish away mountains of historical evidence by saying "No one alive now was there, science and faith both require belief, so either could be correct."

You can't say that something existed simply because it says it did--that's circular logic. Science has good reason to believe that a global flood of biblical proportions did not occur, in much the same way that they have indiputable evidence that the Earth is over 6,000 years old.

it's great to have a firm spiritual faith--I do, and I find that it's very valuable. But, please please PLEASE stop the comparisons between faith and science. They don't even inhabit the same universe.

Simply put, you don't understand the argument, so what you're sick of has nothing to do with what I am arguing.

M2,

Obviously you have formed conclusions about what science has "proven." That is dogma, whereby dogma means "An authoritative principle, belief, or statement of ideas or opinion, especially one considered to be absolutely true." I took Geology 101, Biology 101, Anthropology 101, they were full of theories, but I don't recall too many (well ok, any) absolute statements within those theories. What is the underpinning of Geology 101? Plate tectonics theory. Anthropology? Yea, evolutionary theory (and many are backpedaling on Darwin's evolutionary theory, in case you're not current on that aspect). Yet in your opening paragraph, you boldly assert that there is nothing discoverable that science has not discovered and used "know" . You don't see that as dogma? I don't even think a scientist would go that far.


Doesn't mean you shouldn't be using it as a religious text, but if your view of it is that it only has value as a religious text if it's 100% scientifically and historically accurate, then you've got to get a new book. It's a compilation of legends and morality tales from an ancient civilization which contains all the foibles and well-meaning contrivance you'll find in every other set of legends and morality tales derived from the oral tradition.

Nope, the Bible has value as absolute truth, God's revelation of Himself to his Creation. It is neither a science text nor a history text, nor do I look for it such matters. But, where those disciplines come into play, I contend that the Bible is scientifically accurate and historically accurate. Obviously, you know that your view is considered liberal in theological circles and that there are differing, legitimate points of view regarding the interpretation of Scripture which allows for a literal rendering when appropriate. That it is "a compilation of legends and morality tales" is your opinion based on evidence that you have examined and formed conclusions on. I have examined evidence on the same subject and come to a different conclusion. So, is the only argument that you have is that your evidence is incontrovertible, even though the scientists you rely on for your position to hold will likely be overturned by the findings of future generations? I mean, scientists once believed in spontaneous generation.

M2
06-29-2005, 11:14 PM
M2,

Obviously you have formed conclusions about what science has "proven." That is dogma, whereby dogma means "An authoritative principle, belief, or statement of ideas or opinion, especially one considered to be absolutely true." I took Geology 101, Biology 101, Anthropology 101, they were full of theories, but I don't recall too many (well ok, any) absolute statements within those theories. What is the underpinning of Geology 101? Plate tectonics theory. Anthropology? Yea, evolutionary theory (and many are backpedaling on Darwin's evolutionary theory, in case you're not current on that aspect). Yet in your opening paragraph, you boldly assert that there is nothing discoverable that science has not discovered and used "know" . You don't see that as dogma? I don't even think a scientist would go that far.



Nope, the Bible has value as absolute truth, God's revelation of Himself to his Creation. It is neither a science text nor a history text, nor do I look for it such matters. But, where those disciplines come into play, I contend that the Bible is scientifically accurate and historically accurate. Obviously, you know that your view is considered liberal in theological circles and that there are differing, legitimate points of view regarding the interpretation of Scripture which allows for a literal rendering when appropriate. That it is "a compilation of legends and morality tales" is your opinion based on evidence that you have examined and formed conclusions on. I have examined evidence on the same subject and come to a different conclusion. So, is the only argument that you have is that your evidence is incontrovertible, even though the scientists you rely on for your position to hold will likely be overturned by the findings of future generations? I mean, scientists once believed in spontaneous generation.

I know it didn't happen the same way I know there's isn't some guy with a chariot who pulls the sun across the sky everyday. Humans have populated the globe for a time period well outside the biblical timeline. Animals have populated it longer than that. Forget for a second that it would take a ship the size of Australia to carry every species on earth for 40 days and 40 nights, there's no way, none, zero, zilch, that they'd have been able to repopulate every corner of the globe in a few thousand years, let alone mysteriously all head back to their respective prior homes after they landed. Bison don't swim across oceans and plenty of other civilations who were around when this supposed global flood occurred and curiously missed out on all the water.

BTW, Evolution's as solid as Cell Theory and Gravity these days. Go to any decent natural history museum and they'll show you (using actual fossils) how creatures have evolved throughout the ages. Actually, with the latest advances in tracing mitochondrial DNA and the Flores discovery, Darwin's got humanity right in the crosshairs too. We're only going to find more offshoots who didn't make it as time goes on.

And before you trot out the Intelligent Design dips, you should know that they're talking about cell processes which actually SUPPORT Darwin's theory. Those same cell processes are common throughout the animal kingdom and in many cases credible scientists have been able to show how those processes EVOLVED. For instance, I can digest dairy products (perhaps you can as well) while people whose ancestry traces back to warmer weather climates can't thanks to a cellular mutation/evolution that allows me to get critical nutrients you need to be able to ingest in cold weather climates. Without it northern Europe never would have been populated and we might still have Neanderthals running around (instead of them getting out-competed).

Beyond plate tectonics, Geology 101 also teaches about how soil strata is used to date things and about how you can learn about the climate of a given place at a given point in history by studying the geological layers.

You're only fallback here is the "That science/history stuff is all crazy stuff that no one understands and someday you'll learn the error of your ways." They said to that Galileo too. Guess who was in error? I'll bet you already know.


Thing is I do undertand it. It's not that difficult to understand and the avalanche of evidence that continues to grow supports the sensible, responsible conclusions of the historical and scientific communities, not the desperate imaginings of the religious absolutists. I can think of no better way to turn Christianity into a mythology than by continuing on the "absolute truth" track you're going. From a theological standpoint, it shouldn't be hard to accept that God made humanity capable of digesting far more complexity than anyone could have stomached five thousand years ago. As such, some basic tales were needed to get the main behavioral points across and now we're figuring out more of the details for ourselves (which you'd think a creationist would welcome with awe rather than denial). Things in a box have a limited shelf-life and IMO that's where you're putting religion.

traderumor
06-29-2005, 11:45 PM
I know it didn't happen the same way I know there's isn't some guy with a chariot who pulls the sun across the sky everyday. Humans have populated the globe for a time period well outside the biblical timeline. Animals have populated it longer than that.
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth..." is the beginning of the biblical timeline. Prior to that "the earth was without form, and void" with "the spirit of God hovering above the waters."


Forget for a second that it would take a ship the size of Australia to carry every species on earth for 40 days and 40 nights, there's no way, none, zero, zilch, that they'd have been able to repopulate every corner of the globe in a few thousand years, let alone mysteriously all head back to their respective prior homes after they landed. Bison don't swim across oceans and plenty of other civilations who were around when this supposed global flood occurred and curiously missed out on all the water.

Just because it is outside the realm of your comprehension does not make it impossible.


BTW, Evolution's as solid as Cell Theory and Gravity these days. Go to any decent natural history museum and they'll show you (using actual fossils) how creatures have evolved throughout the ages. Actually, with the latest advances in tracing mitochondrial DNA and the Flores discovery, Darwin's got humanity right in the crosshairs too. We're only going to find more offshoots who didn't make it as time goes on.They'll show me nothing of the sort. You have fallen for a ruse, my friend. The fossil record is sorely lacking in transitional forms last I checked. I've always allowed for some evolutionary forces at work within species, but the development of a new species is certainly one of many problems with macroevolutionary theory.


And before you trot out the Intelligent Design dips, you should know that they're talking about cell processes which actually SUPPORT Darwin's theory. Those same cell processes are common throughout the animal kingdom and in many cases credible scientists have been able to show how those processes EVOLVED. For instance, I can digest dairy products (perhaps you can as well) while people whose ancestry traces back to warmer weather climates can't thanks to a cellular mutation/evolution that allows me to get critical nutrients you need to be able to ingest in cold weather climates. Without it northern Europe never would have been populated and we might still have Neanderthals running around (instead of them getting out-competed).

I don't need ID "dips." Science does not intimidate my Genesis hermeneutic.


Beyond plate tectonics, Geology 101 also teaches about how soil strata is used to date things and about how you can learn about the climate of a given place at a given point in history by studying the geological layers.

You're only fallback here is the "That science/history stuff is all crazy stuff that no one understands and someday you'll learn the error of your ways." They said to that Galileo too. Guess who was in error? I'll bet you already know.


Thing is I do undertand it. It's not that difficult to understand and the avalanche of evidence that continues to grow supports the sensible, responsible conclusions of the historical and scientific communities, not the desperate imaginings of the religious absolutists. I can think of no better way to turn Christianity into a mythology than by continuing on the "absolute truth" track you're going. From a theological standpoint, it shouldn't be hard to accept that God made humanity capable of digesting far more complexity than anyone could have stomached five thousand years ago. As such, some basic tales were needed to get the main behavioral points across and now we're figuring out more of the details for ourselves (which you'd think a creationist would welcome with awe rather than denial). Things in a box have a limited shelf-life and IMO that's where you're putting religion.

The thing is, I understand as well. I understand the limitations of Scripture and the natural world, but do not need to read the book different than any other work of literature simply because it is holy writ. I pay attention to genre, historical context, varying authors, etc. I understand the purpose of the Bible and do not need to explain away a worldwide flood as myth simply because the geologists have told me so. I don't need to turn the Creation account into a fable simply because a guy visited an island and wrote a book. Perhaps you're comfortable with being that easily swayed by the work and opinion of human beings, but I'm not.

M2
06-30-2005, 08:44 AM
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth..." is the beginning of the biblical timeline. Prior to that "the earth was without form, and void" with "the spirit of God hovering above the waters."

Hey, science agrees with that up to a point. It just took a lot longer than the primitive mind could register. Maybe God didn't want to feed people a pill they couldn't swallow?

Anyway, animals populated the land for a good 400 million years prior to the advent of anything that remotely resembled you or I. There's NO debate on that. There may be those who flatly refuse to accept it, but that one's a rock solid as knowing your heart pumps blood through your body.


Just because it is outside the realm of your comprehension does not make it impossible.

Oh, I can comprehend it, but it gets back to that choice I alluded to earlier. If you want to live and participate in the modern world, you're going to need to accept that we're smart monkeys. We've figured a lot of stuff out. The same argument you're making for the Old Testament could be applied to Norse mythology. Why wasn't the world created from the dead carcass of a giant? If I wanted to be obstinate about it I could cling to that the same way you're clinging to the worldwide flood that the Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Africans and everyone in the Americas missed. If all you're going to do is you the Bible to fact check the Bible, then of course it will keep its own internal logic. Then again, if you did that with every book you read there'd be no such thing as fiction. Evidence vs. obstinance.


They'll show me nothing of the sort. You have fallen for a ruse, my friend. The fossil record is sorely lacking in transitional forms last I checked. I've always allowed for some evolutionary forces at work within species, but the development of a new species is certainly one of many problems with macroevolutionary theory.

You simply don't know what you're talking about. They can track the evolution of the horse from eohippus to equine. They can outline the complex family tree of the rhino. They've found the fossils that definitively show whales evolved from squirrel-like tree dwellers. At this point it's a matter of understand the clear and compelling body of work that's been done or a blanket refusal to accept it.


I don't need ID "dips." Science does not intimidate my Genesis hermeneutic.

Good to hear that. They might be the most woefully misguided folks on the planet. Darwin never claimed to be a cellular biologist, but cellular biology is where we can best identiify and track adaptation in the human animal.

As for the hermeneutic, it's fine to delve into a given text to gain a deeper understanding of it. Certainly it makes sense for the devout to constantly contemplate the meaning of their holy texts (side issue - which raises the question of why so many of the devout insist they know the entire truth rather than admitting they're on a lifelong search for it - /side issue). IMO you jump off the rails when you only use one text to interpret everything, dismissing anything which doesn't jibe with it, in the case of the flood that's just about everything.

[quote=traderumor}The thing is, I understand as well. I understand the limitations of Scripture and the natural world, but do not need to read the book different than any other work of literature simply because it is holy writ. I pay attention to genre, historical context, varying authors, etc. I understand the purpose of the Bible and do not need to explain away a worldwide flood as myth simply because the geologists have told me so. I don't need to turn the Creation account into a fable simply because a guy visited an island and wrote a book. Perhaps you're comfortable with being that easily swayed by the work and opinion of human beings, but I'm not.[/QUOTE]

Easily swayed? I've got the sum total of science and historical research backing me up. You've got a book developed in the same method as "Beowulf." Again, you're putting me in the position of having to deny that humans can know. I'm not turning off the lights and living off the dirt. I know you're not either and that gives you an either/or conflict. It's a real artifical cutoff point to accept the learnings of mankind only to dismiss them when they become biblically inconvenient. Maybe that works for you now, but the next time you're buying into the latest scientific breakthrough ask yourself why this and not the mountain of other stuff you reject out of hand. IMO it's because you personally are basing your acceptance on how well it supports your metaphysical view of the world. That's way too solipsistic for me.

Anyway, I don't think it has to be an either/or choice. I don't understand why the reaction from the religious community to new discoveries about prehistoric creatures or the bacteriological oxyenation of the planet isn't "Wow, God's so much cooler than we'd ever imagined. The creation of life and eventually self-aware life was amazingly complex. If anything, we've underestimated God's greatness."

traderumor
06-30-2005, 08:53 AM
Nice discussion, M2. The only comment I have left to make is that there is a vast field of Biblical archaeology that has vindicated Scripture many times over. Some chose to come up with a gap theory that claims there is an infinite gap between Gen 1:1 and 1:2 to account for your millions of years and life on the planet. I have no need to do such a thing because only thousands of years need to be accounted for. Like I've said before, if that makes me some kind of intellectual peon in your eyes, or religious zealot, so be it.

registerthis
06-30-2005, 09:26 AM
Simply put, you don't understand the argument, so what you're sick of has nothing to do with what I am arguing.
Sure I understand the argument, I've heard it a thousand times. "You have your scientific dogma to back you up, I have my religious dogma to back me up...neither can ever be 100% conclusive, therefore our theories our equally plausible and no one can say who is right."

The thing is, that's simply not the case. People don't *believe* in science like people believe in spirituality. Science is based on observation of measurable data. No observation is considered infallible, and every scientific theory is placed under intense scrutiny from other members of the scientific community, who make every possible effort to discredit it. If a theory becomes "accepted", it is only because it is the *most likely* explanation for an observed occurence, and has withstood attacks from other members of the scientific community.

Spiritual faith is not like that at all--despite eyewitness accounts recorded in the Bible, faith does not rely solely upon observed data. Faith implies a certain element of belief in the unobserved.

When M2 claims that there are historical records and artifacts that indicate that there were human civilizations older than the Jews in Egypt, or who existed at the same time, it's not out of "faith" that he makes this claim. That's why comparisons between religion and science drive me nuts--the two do not exist in the same league.

traderumor
06-30-2005, 09:34 AM
Sure I understand the argument, I've heard it a thousand times. "You have your scientific dogma to back you up, I have my religious dogma to back me up...neither can ever be 100% conclusive, therefore our theories our equally plausible and no one can say who is right."

Nope, I wouldn't and didn't say that. I am making a truth claim, an absolute truth claim, and I can definitively say who is right when the Word of God is properly interpreted. I do not have a theory, I consider a literal interpretation of Genesis to be absolute truth and consider science to be dead wrong on millions of years, prehistoric civilizations prior to Adam and Eve, Creation and Flood as a myth, etc. So, like I said, you do not understand my argument.

GAC
06-30-2005, 09:37 AM
Faith implies a certain element of belief in the unobserved.

While there is truth to that. What about those who lived/existed during those times and were eye witnesses, and simply recorded their testimony, and what they saw, down as a matter of record for future generations?

Because you or I weren't alive then to be first hand witnesses, does that make it illrelevant and to be discarded?

Example: The situation when the resurrected Jesus appeared before the disciples a week after he was crucified. Our the accounts of his earthly ministry that this "inner circle" got to experience and witness firsthand for over 3 years.

We are asked to accept and believe what these saw and witnessed firsthand. We could no more be there then those disciples could when God called the universe into existence or breathed the breath of life into man.

And lets face it - even in scientific methodology there is that element of faith in that which they cannot as of yet explain or have enough tangible proof to solidy their arguments.

I respect the sciences. But they do not, nor cannot explain, how everything is or came into existence. The can try (and they do). And I don't fault or ridicule them for that effort. But they seem to lack humility when they hit a "bump in the road" and cannot find an answer.

They sometimes try to make things fit into their set standards of rules and what their ideology dictates to them of how it shoud be. And if something doesn't fit, even when testing say it won't, they simpy reject the test. It's sometimes like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

registerthis
06-30-2005, 10:06 AM
I consider a literal interpretation of Genesis to be absolute truth and consider science to be dead wrong on millions of years, prehistoric civilizations prior to Adam and Eve, Creation and Flood as a myth, etc. So, like I said, you do not understand my argument.
What I do not understand is how you can possibly ignore overwhelming evidence that completely contradicts a literal interpretation of Genesis. I suppose you think that this mountain of evidence has either been doctored or misterpreted in some way, or that the scientific community has a vested interest in disproving the existence of God, or whatever. What you're implying would be either a conspiracy the likes of which has never before been seen in human civilization, or millions of scientists, geologists, archeologists and anthropologists are either unbelieveably stupid or have been duped into believing in evidence which God intentionally put here to deceive us.

And while we're on the literal interpretation of the Old Testament, perhaps you can explain to me how it was that the "sun stood still" (as it supposedly did in Joshua 10), or where one might find the "4 corners of the earth" as mentioned in Ezekiel 7:2, or where one might find the body of water upon which the Earth rests, as discussed in psalms 136:6.

traderumor
06-30-2005, 01:45 PM
What I do not understand is how you can possibly ignore overwhelming evidence that completely contradicts a literal interpretation of Genesis. I suppose you think that this mountain of evidence has either been doctored or misterpreted in some way, or that the scientific community has a vested interest in disproving the existence of God, or whatever. What you're implying would be either a conspiracy the likes of which has never before been seen in human civilization, or millions of scientists, geologists, archeologists and anthropologists are either unbelieveably stupid or have been duped into believing in evidence which God intentionally put here to deceive us.

And while we're on the literal interpretation of the Old Testament, perhaps you can explain to me how it was that the "sun stood still" (as it supposedly did in Joshua 10), or where one might find the "4 corners of the earth" as mentioned in Ezekiel 7:2, or where one might find the body of water upon which the Earth rests, as discussed in psalms 136:6.

I have no need for conspiracy theories. I'm not sure what you're age range is, but I imagine the "mountains of evidence" you are referring to is what you were taught in school. I would be surprised if you have researched and investigated beyond what was presented to you as the way it was unless you are in a science field. If you have done that much, I'd be even more surprised if you had researched and investigated to the depth of a scholar the Biblical claims which you reject because of "mountains of evidence" that was presented to you as fact throughout your schooling. If I'm wrong about either of those, then you are the exception rather than the norm.

As far as your last paragraph, I understand fully why you do not understand how one could render Genesis literal with the basic "four corners of the earth" mistake as a claim that Biblical writers are members of the flat earth society. When you gain a better understanding of literary devices strung throughout the Bible, you might not have such a problem with the ideas being conveyed. Also, it is hard to be a naturalist as you appear to be with not accepting that the sun actually stood still (something called a miracle) and properly interpret Scripture, unless of course you are reading Thomas Jefferson's paraphrase ;)

registerthis
06-30-2005, 02:30 PM
I have no need for conspiracy theories. I'm not sure what you're age range is, but I imagine the "mountains of evidence" you are referring to is what you were taught in school. I would be surprised if you have researched and investigated beyond what was presented to you as the way it was unless you are in a science field. If you have done that much, I'd be even more surprised if you had researched and investigated to the depth of a scholar the Biblical claims which you reject because of "mountains of evidence" that was presented to you as fact throughout your schooling. If I'm wrong about either of those, then you are the exception rather than the norm.
Perhaps the reason these "mountains of evidence" are taught in school is because...well, they are "mountains of evidence." They suggest the most likely path that allowed us to arrive where we are today. That evidence does not include a 6,000 year old earth, a 144 hour creation cycle or other 'literal biblical" beliefs. They are not founded in a text that was written allegorically 6,000 years ago, they are founded in well-documented data and observation.

As it just so happens, I have done a rather significant amount of reading into this subject--more than the typical layperson perhaps. So, if you're interested in finding out such things--an ambition I highly question, but I can be surprised occasionally--I would suggest the following list, all of which I have read and can recommend without hesitation:

"The God Hypothesis"
By Michael Corie

"Pale Blue Dot"
By Carl Sagan

"A Brief History of Time"
by Stephen Hawking

'Cosmic Coincidences"
By John Gribbin

...and if you find the subject matter and topics these books cover intriguing, there are plenty of other books in this field. Some of them are quite mind-opening, but well worth the journey. Coming from the Christian perspective, I would highly recommend "the God Hypothesis" first, penned by Christian physicist Michael Corie. It's perhaps the best work I have encountered that reconciles the universe we inhabit with the concept of a Supreme Creator.


As far as your last paragraph, I understand fully why you do not understand how one could render Genesis literal with the basic "four corners of the earth" mistake as a claim that Biblical writers are members of the flat earth society. When you gain a better understanding of literary devices strung throughout the Bible, you might not have such a problem with the ideas being conveyed.
So, some phrases are not meant to be taken literally as fact then? Ok.


Also, it is hard to be a naturalist as you appear to be with not accepting that the sun actually stood still (something called a miracle) and properly interpret Scripture, unless of course you are reading Thomas Jefferson's paraphrase ;)
Obviously, the implication in Joshua 10 is that the sun revolved around the Earth--hence, the sun stood still and the day continued indefinitely. Only, we know with absolute certainty that the sun does not revolve around the Earth--it is the opposite. So, if any miracle would have occured that would have allowed the sun to stay in the sky for an extended period of time, the Earth would have had to stop revolving around the sun. Now, Joshua could be forgiven for not writing it this way--clearly, at that time what celestial body revolved around what was not an established fact--so I won't hold it against him. But this clearly represents a situation whereby the scripture must be interpreted as it was written for its day.

You dismiss as a mistake the idea that some people would consider Biblical authors members of the flat Earth society, but in truth they most certainly were. Up until the 15th century, the Church excommunicated and put to death those that taught against its doctrine--and this included the idea that the Earth was flat. Those that dared to preach that the Earth was, in fact, round were deemed to be heretics--clearly disputing the infallible word of God, which states that the Earth has "four corners." It was obviously a "literary device" for its time because it represented something which was commonly held as fact--the Earth is flat.

Obviously, we don't jail or kill people for saying the Earth is flat anymore, as it has been proven beyond any doubt that it is round. However, the Church, and many Christians, sure do spend a lot of time disputing other scientific evidence and discoveries under the guise of being in contradiction with Biblical texts.

And this is really all I have to say on this topic. As I mentioned in a thread with GAC a few weeks ago, topics such as the age of the Earth are not something I am willing to debate--anyone with an open mind who has taken the time to review even the slightest amount of evidence on this topic will arrive at this conclusion. If you'd like to find out more, I provided a nice reading list to get you started.

traderumor
06-30-2005, 03:50 PM
Sagan and Hawking? :laugh:


anyone with an open mind who has taken the time to review even the slightest amount of evidence on this topic will arrive at this conclusionNice parting shot. My mind is wide open, but I do have convictions. I would contend that someone with an open mind would realize that they do not have mountains of evidence, but folks have accepted much of what they believe about the world around them in the same way folks accept their church's teachings. Fine if that's all the further you want to go, but don't accuse me of being close minded because I do not agree with you about all this alleged evidence. I can give you just as many thick books refuting your position. I did not grow up in church, I grew up learning the scientific dogma and just figured that's the way it was. I have examined evidence and come to a different conclusion. If it comforts you to write off a particular position as religious stupidity, I'd submit you have no business considering yourself open minded.

registerthis
06-30-2005, 04:19 PM
<sigh>

I could write a long-winded response to your post, but somehow what is about to follow just seems more appropriate.


> OPEN LETTER TO KANSAS SCHOOL BOARD
>
> I am writing you with much concern after having read of your
> hearing
> to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design to be
> taught
> along with the theory of Evolution. I think we can all agree that it
is
> important for students to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose
> for
> themselves the theory that makes the most sense to them. I am
> concerned,
> however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent
Design.
>
> Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent
> Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief
> that the
> universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who
> created
> all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the
> overwhelming
> scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is
nothing
> but a
> coincidence, put in place by Him.
>
> It is for this reason that I'm writing you today, to formally
> request
> that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with
the
> other
> two theories. In fact, I will go so far as to say, if you do not
agree
> to do
> this, we will be forced to proceed with legal action. I'm sure you
see
> where
> we are coming from. If the Intelligent Design theory is not based on
> faith,
> but instead another scientific theory, as is claimed, then you must
> also
> allow our theory to be taught, as it is also based on science, not on
> faith.
>
> Some find that hard to believe, so it may be helpful to tell
you
> a
> little more about our beliefs. We have evidence that a Flying
Spaghetti
> Monster created the universe. None of us, of course, were around to
> see it,
> but we have written accounts of it. We have several lengthy volumes
> explaining all details of His power. Also, you may be surprised to
> hear that
> there are over 10 million of us, and growing. We tend to be very
> secretive,
> as many people claim our beliefs are not substantiated by observable
> evidence. What these people don't understand is that He built the
> world to
> make us think the earth is older than it really is. For example, a
> scientist
> may perform a carbon-dating process on an artifact. He finds that
> approximately 75% of the Carbon-14 has decayed by electron emission
to
> Nitrogen-14, and infers that this artifact is approximately 10,000
> years
> old, as the half-life of Carbon-14 appears to be 5,730 years. But
what
> our
> scientist does not realize is that every time he makes a measurement,
> the
> Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His
Noodly
> Appendage. We have numerous texts that describe in detail how this
can
> be
> possible and the reasons why He does this. He is of course invisible
> and can
> pass through normal matter with ease.
>
> I'm sure you now realize how important it is that your students
> are
> taught this alternate theory. It is absolutely imperative that they
> realize
> that observable evidence is at the discretion of a Flying Spaghetti
> Monster.
> Furthermore, it is disrespectful to teach our beliefs without wearing
> His
> chosen outfit, which of course is full pirate regalia. I cannot
stress
> the
> importance of this, and unfortunately cannot describe in detail why
> this
> must be done as I fear this letter is already becoming too long. The
> concise
> explanation is that He becomes angry if we don't.
>
> You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes,
> hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the
> shrinking
> numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have
included
> a
> graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global
> temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a
> statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and
> global
> temperature.
>
>
>
> In conclusion, thank you for taking the time to hear our views
> and
> beliefs. I hope I was able to convey the importance of teaching this
> theory
> to your students. We will of course be able to train the teachers in
> this
> alternate theory. I am eagerly awaiting your response, and hope
dearly
> that
> no legal action will need to be taken. I think we can all look
forward
> to
> the time when these three theories are given equal time in our
science
> classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third
> time for
> Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism,
> and one
> third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable
> evidence.
>
> Sincerely Yours,
>
> Bobby Henderson, concerned citizen.
>
Here is an artistic rendering of the Flying Spaghetti Monster:

http://www.venganza.org/him.jpg

traderumor
06-30-2005, 04:25 PM
Yea, that added a lot to the discussion :rolleyes:

GAC
07-01-2005, 08:58 AM
I agree tr. And this is what I don't understand from him. He professes to be a Christian (i.e. a follower of Christ), yet denies pretty much every basic tenant of Chrisitianity as taught by Jesus. He not only denies them, but mocks and ridicules them (and those who believe in them). How can he follow a liar such as Jesus who spoke and confirmed the Genesis account in scripture? The Son of God was simply another misguided soul I guess.

I have no problem at all with someone disagreeing. But can't we keep it on a higher level? Obviously not.

It's his right to do so I guess. But it adds nothing to the level of the conversation. Simply childish IMO.

registerthis
07-01-2005, 09:33 AM
I agree tr. And this is what I don't understand from him. He professes to be a Christian (i.e. a follower of Christ), yet denies pretty much every basic tenant of Chrisitianity as taught by Jesus. He not only denies them, but mocks and ridicules them (and those who believe in them). How can he follow a liar such as Jesus who spoke and confirmed the Genesis account in scripture? The Son of God was simply another misguided soul I guess.
Your attempts to ridicule my faith are laughable, at best. I could go on and on pointing out things in the Bible that we do not follow anymore--they are almost too numerous to count--but I'm sure you both would simply explain them away as "literary devices" or metaphors or some other explanation...ANYTHING to keep from having to admit that some parts of the Bible ARE allegorical, not literal, and should be read as such. For some reason you both are very adamant about this, which leads me to question the strength of YOUR faith. If God came down right now, and spoke directly to you and said "GAC, you know...Genesis isn't meant to be read literally. Look around you--you think all of this appeared in 6,000 years? Please. I'm much better than that." Would your faith disappear? Would you stop believing in Him? Would it discredit the entire Bible to you?

My faith does not depend on the belief in a 6,000 year old Earth, or a literal interpretation of the flood, or a belief that the sun stood still....it's much stronger than that. My faith does not require me to turn off my brain and ignore overwhelming evidence that disputes a literal interpretation of the Bible. GAC, we've had this discussion before, and I provided a multitude of links to accredited websites with information concerning the age of the Earth, carbon dating, etc. Did you read any of them? Did you consider the information they provided? Or did you simply not want to face a reality different from one you have imagined?

Oh, wait, I know....you simply don't believe them. Millions of scientists over the past century just have it wrong. It's all a big misunderstanding. Besides, everyone knows that scientists hate God, right?


I have no problem at all with someone disagreeing. But can't we keep it on a higher level? Obviously not.
<woosh>

That is the sound of the Flying Spaghetti Monster flying right over both of your heads. If you honestly can't see what the author of that message is conveying...well, then, I guess it;s no surprise that the discussion has reached this point.

Chip R
07-01-2005, 10:07 AM
Easy, kids. I'm this close to closing this thread.

registerthis
07-01-2005, 10:14 AM
OK...I'm done. There's really nothing more that I can add at this point anyway.

Falls City Beer
07-01-2005, 10:27 AM
OK...I'm done. There's really nothing more that I can add at this point anyway.

I don't think there is anything else you could add. That was an excellent apology for your faith, however. I admire it.

M2
07-01-2005, 12:14 PM
Nice discussion, M2. The only comment I have left to make is that there is a vast field of Biblical archaeology that has vindicated Scripture many times over. Some chose to come up with a gap theory that claims there is an infinite gap between Gen 1:1 and 1:2 to account for your millions of years and life on the planet. I have no need to do such a thing because only thousands of years need to be accounted for. Like I've said before, if that makes me some kind of intellectual peon in your eyes, or religious zealot, so be it.

I hope you don't take it take it that way. The reason I'm punting this around with you is because I consider you someone who doesn't sit happily on pat answers.

And I fully appreciate your religious conviction. I would never suggest that you reconsider your views on creation if it meant a dimunition of that religious conviction. In fact I don't think it means giving up on creation, only that we understand the process of creation far better than we did centuries ago. God's always over the next hill. Take it back to the Big Bang and, even a scientist would have to agree, something's likely on the other side of it or outside the parameters of it.

In other words, I think your religious conviction and Darwin can co-exist. Evolution never was anti-religious and religion could stop being anti-evolution anytime it chooses. Not all that long ago it was pure sacrilege to suggest the entire universe didn't revolve around the earth. Supposedly it was a poison pill to Christianity were it to become a widely-accepted view. Well, it's a widely-accepted view and it turned out to have no affect at all.

registerthis
07-01-2005, 12:23 PM
In other words, I think your religious conviction and Darwin can co-exist. Evolution never was anti-religious and religion could stop being anti-evolution anytime it chooses. Not all that long ago it was pure sacrilege to suggest the entire universe didn't revolve around the earth. Supposedly it was a poison pill to Christianity were it to become a widely-accepted view. Well, it's a widely-accepted view and it turned out to have no affect at all.
Absolutely, positively dead-on. I couldn't agree more.

savafan
07-01-2005, 12:26 PM
Absolutely, positively dead-on. I couldn't agree more.

Neither could I. An excellent post, and words which I've always felt to be true.

GAC
07-01-2005, 06:41 PM
Your attempts to ridicule my faith are laughable, at best. I could go on and on pointing out things in the Bible that we do not follow anymore--they are almost too numerous to count--but I'm sure you both would simply explain them away as "literary devices" or metaphors or some other explanation...ANYTHING to keep from having to admit that some parts of the Bible ARE allegorical, not literal, and should be read as such.

And who determines that?... You or I? Sure, there are parts that are allegorical. Some of Jesus' parables as example. And whenever someone in the Bible was using allegory they identified it as such. You seem to assign it to anything you don't want to accept or believe. Hermaneutics is a very imprtant part of studing the Bible.


For some reason you both are very adamant about this, which leads me to question the strength of YOUR faith. If God came down right now, and spoke directly to you and said "GAC, you know...Genesis isn't meant to be read literally.

I got news for you - He already has. In his communication through the prophets and finally through Jesus and the apostles. He needn't make a second trip. ;)

But if he appeared before you and said the Genesis account is accurate you'd call him crazy because science says otherwise. And you can't argue with science. ;)


My faith does not depend on the belief in a 6,000 year old Earth, or a literal interpretation of the flood, or a belief that the sun stood still....it's much stronger than that.

Neither does mine and millions of Christians.

You beleive in God right? Do you believe that God has the capacity to perform miracles? Is he limited? If he couldn't, then he is't much of a God then is he? It sure doesn't say much for his sovereignity over HIS creation if he can't.

A miracle is the divine intervention in natural and phyical laws. It runs counter to observed processes of nature. So therefore, they cannot be explained scientifically. And because man's science cannot verify or reproduce them, they therefore are to reject and dismiss them.

Maybe they can't see the trees for the forest?

QUESTION: since you profess to be a Christian. Do you believe in the physical bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ? A central foundational truth to Christianity.

It cannot be explained scientifically, so I am assuming you reject it?

That is what I am getting at register. Any Christian is gonna readily acknowledge that there are parts/aspects of the Bible that must be accepted by faith. And you or I, and any scientist, are not, due to our limited intelligence/capabilities, and as parts of that creation, going to be able to explain them. We are not God.

The Incarnation (God became man - clothed his deity with humanity) is another example that cannot be explained scientifically.

I could sight many more examples.

Do you believe in heaven, the spiritual world (after-life)? How can you? It cannot be explained scientifically. You must reject it.



My faith does not require me to turn off my brain and ignore overwhelming evidence that disputes a literal interpretation of the Bible. GAC, we've had this discussion before, and I provided a multitude of links to accredited websites with information concerning the age of the Earth, carbon dating, etc. Did you read any of them? Did you consider the information they provided? Or did you simply not want to face a reality different from one you have imagined?

Neither does any other person who accepts/follows creationism turn off their brain. Anoter absurb accusation on your part. Why do you feel you must insult/demean those who you are in discussion with? What are your educational/academic credentials that qualifies you to be so judgmental of not only average lay people, but accredited scientists whom you disagree with? You label anyone who operates in faith in that which cannot be explained scientifically as intellectual morons. Many, many great men, in various fields, and throughout human history, were people who operated and accepted faith as an essential tool for that which they could not explain. And many accredited scientists, scholars, writers, leaders, etc, THEN and TODAY, and in various fields, and whose education far exceeeds anything you or I will ever attain were not/are not intellectual morons. You and I are in no position, as far as I'm concerned, to being labelling any of them. And I've never done so with those scientists that I happen to disagree with. You can't seem to refrain from that though.


Oh, wait, I know....you simply don't believe them. Millions of scientists over the past century just have it wrong. It's all a big misunderstanding.

Nope. Just imperfect mankind trying to explain the "mechanics" of something (God- creation) as best they can, and with whatever methods they can come up with with their limited and finite intellect. It's like an amoeba trying to carrying on an intellectual discussion with a man IMO.

cincinnati chili
07-01-2005, 11:45 PM
The Christmas Tree is not an exclusively Christian symbol.



The swastika (sp?) is not exclusively or originally a Nazi symbol either.

westofyou
07-01-2005, 11:48 PM
The swastika (sp?) is not exclusively or originally a Nazi symbol either.

Bierkenstocks are not and exclusive Trustarafian symbol either.

savafan
07-02-2005, 12:02 AM
The swastika (sp?) is not exclusively or originally a Nazi symbol either.

I'm aware of this. The meaning of the swastika changes depending on which way it is pointing.