The Bible Thread: Help Fight Redundancy

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Lord Bane, Apr 10, 2002.

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  1. Mister_Bunny Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2001
    star 3
    Christianity has lots in common with other religions, any one who does the research can plainly see. Any one who says they have researched and not seen the similarities is a liar.
  2. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    Or in denial. I guess it also depends where your research comes from.
  3. phantom31415 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2002
    star 1
    I'm glad to see you are still interested, if not quite in agreement with me. (Yet!) At least the two of us can keep things on a civil and intellectual level. Maybe some of the others around here will catch on. ;)

    It seems we'll have to agree to disagree about the number of animals; all I'll say is that if animals diversified as quickly as you're talking about, why did they suddenly stop doing so?

    Two reasons: First, the local environments would eventually settle into equilibrium after the flood, and whatever species had survived in that area would continue to do so. Second, there is a genetic limit. For example, while there are many different skin tones for people, you will never see a purple-skinned person. Once you hit the limits for variation, they are not passed.

    See also http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/1332.asp
    for modern evidence for rapid non-evolutionary adaptation of species.


    There may be [fish] hybrids out there, but that doesn't change what happens when you throw a saltwater animal in a freshwater lake or vice versa.

    No it doesn't. However, the idea is we started with a greater variety of more adaptable fish. Eventually they lost the ability to survive in other conditions. Also, it is demonstrably possible that the flood waters were not of uniform salinity. Some fish could have survived in some areas, whili other fish survived in others.

    You raise a good point about the proportion of land/sea fossils. It is possible that the differing proportion simply does not intrinsicly support or contradict either side.

    I am not an expert of the care and feeding of elephants. But I do know, for example, that a horse needs much more grass to survive than if it is fed oats. Possibly the 60 tons of elephant feed can be reduced into just a few tons of grain.

    Many animals that need a special diet can survive with less, if necessary.

    That sentence seems to contradict itself; Panda need bamboo to live, but don't need bamboo to live?


    My wording was not very clear there. How about "Many animals that usually only eat one thing can, when the situation requires it, eat other things." But there is an even better solution. Bring the special foods on the ark. Most Flood-supporters believe that the pre-flood geography was not even close the the post-flood geography. Many of the plants that are now isolated may not have been before the flood.


    ...what about penguins, seals, walruses, and all the other arctic/antarctic creatures? None of them could survive in the heat of the Middle East.

    Really? There are tropical as well as polar varities of penguins. Same goes for seal and walruses. The way I figure it, there was a group of post-flood penguins. Some went to cold areas, others went to tropical ones. The ones that couldn't survive in a particular area died. After a number of years, the situation had deteriorated to the point that penguins that had lived in one area could no longer survive in another area.


    Now why bother saving animals that would end up going extinct anyway? Well, there was no way of knowing beforehand what would survive and what would not. It's like a being a doctor. Not all your patients will live, but at least you will have saved many of them.

    Besides just the Psalms, most theories of the flood have the earth's landmass originally concentrated in one continent. After the rain stage of the flood, movement of the land masses draind the water into the ocean basins and formed features like mountains.

    Now here's a puzzle for you: The longest wooden boat on record, at 329 feet long, was the U.S.S. Wyoming. It required diagonal iron strapping, suffered constant, enormous leaks, and was in itself the biggest reason the Navy abandoned wood for metal. Yet the Ark is said to have been over 100 feet longer, and sturdy enough to float for half a year?

    The Wyoming was a warship, built for manueverability and speed. The ark was a flat-bottomed barge.

    Korean naval architects have confirmed that a barge
  4. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    I'll have to get back to most of your points later, but I will say this:

    After the rain stage of the flood, movement of the land masses draind the water into the ocean basins and formed features like mountains.

    If anything, that much water would have lowered the mountains. Erosion'll do that, ya know. ;)
  5. kerregor Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 14, 2002
    Disclaimer- I am much too lazy to read through any of the copious amount of posts on this thread. Therefore, if I repeat anything anyone else has said, too bad. :D
    Also, you don't have to believe anything I write here. Just think about it.

    Ahem- To begin: there are several problems with christianity- the actual value of the bible as historical evidence, the existance of evil, and the all-powerfulness of the judeo-christan god, for starters.
    First off, the existance of evil. The basic atheistic argument on this is that god is supposedly 100% pure premium Goodness. However, there is Evil in the world. An all-good god could never permit the existance of evil. Therefor, God (meaning the judeo-christian god) cannot exist. The first argument against this is one from St. Augustine, the 'official philosopher' of the Catholic Church (for more on him read "The Confessions"). He said that Evil does not exist. Instead, evil is nothing, or a lack. An axe murderer is not evil, he merely lacks goodness. Since 'creating nothing' is a contradiction in terms, god did not create evil, and is therefore legitimate. This issue did not die here. In the Enlightenment (c.1700), a counter to this was proposed. It went as such: Even if god did not create evil, why does he permit it to exist (or not exist)? Surely an all powerful god could wipe evil off the face of the earth. Since He hasn't done so, he either does not exist, or is evil himself, or is impotenet. No matter what, the christian god is not true. The wiley christians, of course, answered this charge as follows, via the philosopher Lebiniz (sp?)- This is the best possible world. Out of all the possible worlds to create, this one contains the most good. Therefore, god can still be benevolent and the J-C model still stands. This idea was countered by many thinkers with a rebutle that has not yet been answered: ridicule. For example, Voltaire in his book "Candide" (read this- its funny)gave many arguments along the line of "rape/murder/hanging/mutilation/drowning/burning is the best possible thing to happen to person X". Thus, the best possible destruction of the WTC happend on 9-11, the palistinians and the isralies killing each other is the best solution to the problem, etc. So long God.
    The Bible as historical evidence- This is a very brief problem. Christians claim that the events in the new testiment happened, such as miracles and christ rising, etc. Now, whenever someone makes a claim, the have to prove it. Climbing everest is proved by photos and other accounts, for example. The Bible claims remarkable things, like people returning from the dead. Logicaly, these should be backed up by remarkable evidence coming from multiple sources. However, only the bible acknowledges these events, and the bible as we know it was compiled by a council of bishops in 1555 CE. Moreover, all the books of the new testiment were written between 50 and 200 CE, more than 20-170 years after Christ's supposed death. Moreover, the people who wrote the books had their own agendas, and the bible was constantly edited. One man by the name of Erasmus ;) even compiled a list of contradictory lines in the bible, enough to fill a book. Wow. There goes god again. My, my, can he fly.
    This is the most basic assault on faith, and to my knowledge has no counter: God is all powerful. Therefore, God can do ANYTHING he wants. However, we have a problem: Can god create 1) a rock he cannot lift or 2) a being more powerful then himself. If you answer either yes or no to either question, you acknowledge a deficiancy in god.

    Whew. That was fun. Write me and tell me if you think I have too much time.
  6. TreeCave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    I am curious about something, and swear this is not a trick question. I would like to know precisely why it matters (to those of you who care) whether or not the Bible is historically accurate in terms of specific miracles, events or the life of Jesus.

    The reason I'm asking is this: I haven't met anyone yet who says they would recant their belief in a religion if its scriptures turned out to be historically inaccurate. I also don't know of a reason why the events in the Bible would affect your basic mandate as a Christian (i.e., following the commandments, repenting of your wrongs, etc.).

    Nor should the Bible's accuracy dissuade anyone from being a follower of Christ. Even if the whole story turned out to have been fabricated by bored pagans in 200 BC, I would suggest that anyone who finds Christianity a benefit in their lives go right ahead believing - you could even argue that the mere popularity of the story throughout so many cultures is a miracle in and of itself, and the deeper "truths" beyond the historical events are intact.

    So, is the debate over historical accuracy and world religion similarities just interesting, or does it actually make a difference to those who believe in the Bible?

    Nothing in here should offend - it certainly wasn't intended to. If anyone finds anything offensive, please ask me to clarify. :)
  7. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
  8. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    TreeCave- because there are those of us who believe the Bible is the inerrent word of God. I wouldn't need to refute my beliefs, because the Bible hasn't been proved historically inaccurate. Sure, miracles are a hard thing to understand but I don't think we're really supposed to.

    In regard to Christianity v. other religions... I resent being called a liar, thank you. And I get my information on other religions straight from those religions, their information, books, etc. Name a large world religion and I'll show you point by point how they are totally different from Christianity.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  9. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    How about pagan religions that are basically gone these days but flourished before the time of Christ?
  10. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Haven't gotten into Pagan religions just yet, but I will eventually. Will you explain basically what they believe?

    Would you say that Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism are "the same" as Christianity?

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  11. TreeCave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Well, but what I was saying is that IF the Bible turned out to be something Shakespeare wrote in his spare time, and the whole thing was just a big joke, would that make you stop believing? If you have experienced a one-to-one connection with Jesus, the Bible should be secondary to that, if there comes a time you need to choose.

    I got a PM that made me realize maybe I need to clarify. I am not suggesting that Christians refuse to believe the evidence of science and history. Neither am I suggesting that scientists and historians can't also believe in a religion. Faith is MEANT to be irrational - and there's nothing inherently wrong with that. Love is irrational, too, and most people agree it's generally a good thing.

    It's the point of faith to fly in the face of reason, isn't it?

    What I'm trying to get at is the difference between faith and empirical proof.

    The problem with empirical proof is that it would ideally not rely on human perception at all, but it's impossible to take human perception completely out of the equation. Science and history both have to revise themselves for accuracy as our understanding or available knowledge changes. This means there's always room for doubt.

    The problem with faith is that it should rely entirely on human perception, but the perceiver invariably feels pressure from objective reality to make the faith conform to that reality - or, more dangerously, reality conform to that faith.

    What I'm trying to say is, you can have faith - even irrational faith - within you while still living in a world where there are at least attempts to determine objective reality. One shouldn't depend on the other.

    I have a feeling this isn't clear at all.
  12. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    It depends, TreeCave. There are some religions and ways of thought out there that say that faith means discovering things for yourself, relying entirely on intuition. But more Christianity is not faith in one's own ability to determine right from wrong, truth from fiction, but rather faith in a higher power. And along with that faith comes the belief that the higher power, God, has sent his word to us to guide us along the way. So to us, they go hand in hand.

    And I know that scientists can be believers, too. I am on my way (hopefully) to becoming a doctor, but to me that might mean something different than to a non-believer. To me, it's a way of exploring the wonderful things God has created, not a way of trying to figure out what happened.

    I hope this makes sense :)

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  13. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    They aren't necessarily the same. But you need to start looking at pagan history. You might not like what you find.
  14. phantom31415 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2002
    star 1
    Darth, I'll get to the erosion thing later. First I have to respond to this joker.


    Ahem- To begin: there are several problems with christianity- the actual value of the bible as historical evidence, the existance of evil, and the all-powerfulness of the judeo-christan god

    Hmm. We shall see.

    First off, the existance of evil. The basic atheistic argument on this is that god is supposedly 100% pure premium Goodness. However, there is Evil in the world. An all-good god could never permit the existance of evil. Therefor, God (meaning the judeo-christian god) cannot exist.

    One of your postulates is wrong. "An all-good god could never permit the existance of evil." God didn't create evil. He gave man the option. He basically said: "I don't want you to be robots, I want you to have a choice. But if you eat the fruit, really bad things will happen. So don't eat it." But they ate it anyway. And sure enough, bad things happeded. But God, being the good guy he is, set im motion a plan to save anybody who would let Him.

    The Bible as historical evidence- This is a very brief problem. Christians claim that the events in the new testiment happened, such as miracles and christ rising, etc. Now, whenever someone makes a claim, the have to prove it... However, only the bible acknowledges these events, and the bible as we know it was compiled by a council of bishops in 1555 CE. Moreover, all the books of the new testiment were written between 50 and 200 CE, more than 20-170 years after Christ's supposed death. Moreover, the people who wrote the books had their own agendas, and the bible was constantly edited. One man by the name of Erasmus even compiled a list of contradictory lines in the bible, enough to fill a book.

    You show a lack of research here, to put it mildly. Before you argue against the secondary attestation of miracles, see the very comprehensive argument at http://www.christian-thinktank.com/5felled.html

    With regard to the compilation of the bible, here's a good quote from a different page on the same site. (Yep, that site is one of my favorites!)

    "As far as modern historical methods, the curious thing about this book is that the farther away in history we get from the actual events it portrays, the higher our confidence grows that the record is correct! In other words, in generations past, scholars would have a list of passages in the Bible that they thought contained errors. But as time went by, and we learned more about ancient civilizations and cultures, and as we did more archeological excavations, the more those passages were found to be true. For example, for the longest time we believed that camels were not domesticated in the times of Abraham. But in the early 20th century, we discovered archeological remains that clearly demonstrated that the Bible record was historically accurate. So, as we learn more about history, the more our confidence in the historical accuracy of the Bible increases.

    " Your question about the translations is a natural one, for if the bible we had today was a translation of a translation of a translation (and so on), we COULD have a problem. Fortunately for us, archeology works FOR us again. Each year we find more and more copies of the original manuscripts, from earlier and earlier dates. We even have manuscript fragments that date to the time of the apostles' deaths--LONG before we got into the 'translation business'! So each year provides us with better data about what the original authors wrote (and a way to check the modern translations for accuracy).

    "And, even though this is going to sound strange, the very WEIRDNESS and DIFFICULTY of the Bible's content is a witness to the reliability and trustworthiness of the record. Let me explain. There are many passages in the Bible that are difficult to understand, easy to be offended at, or an embarrassment to the early church leaders. But these passages were NOT altered, omitted, or diluted! The emphasis on faithful recording and reporting was ETHICALLY HIGH
  15. phantom31415 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2002
    star 1
    You know what? While I'm here, I think I do the erosion thing now. Basically, the catastrophic movement of the tectonic plates caused mountains during, and after the flood, when the waters had already receeded.

    Here is a good summary of the basis theory that most flood-believing scientists subscribe to.
    http://www.icr.org/research/as/platetectonics.html
  16. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Cydonia- why don't you link me to a good article about paganism? That would be helpful, thanks :)

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  17. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
  18. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Thanks.

    Realize that much of what the New Testament says about Jesus is direct fulfillement of things written in the Old Testament. So actually, those things were already written down and believed by the Jews. So how do you know the pagan myths aren't their own view of how those prophecies would be fulfilled?

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  19. sleazo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    Thats what this article is trying to point out, christianity is a synthesis of Pagan and Jewish traditions. Th einner and outer mystery portion of the above article explains this.
  20. phantom31415 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2002
    star 1
    Christianity is not a fusion of Judaism and Pagan beliefs. It is really more of a branch of Judaism that considers Jesus to be the Messiah. Most of the rest of Judaism's believers think that the Messiah hasn't come yet.

    Paganism (at least the variety I am familier with) is more of a pantheistic religion.

    Christianity/Judaism = Personal God
    Paganism = Nature is god.

    Please don't eat me if that's not what you believe, that's just what a pagan friend of mine believes.
  21. sleazo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    The word pagan means basically not a judeo christian religion. The particular Pagan Mystery Religion swere not pantheistic in their beliefs
  22. phantom31415 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2002
    star 1
    By Judeo-Christian you basically mean monotheistic, right? As far as I know, the only other major monotheistic religion is Islam. The other religions are essientially polytheistic (many gods), pantheistic (nature is god), or don't really believe in a "god" as such at all.

    The friend of mine who I mentioned is a Wiccan. Wicca is a subcategory of paganism, he tells me.
  23. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    Dictionary.com

    pa·gan   Pronunciation Key  (pgn)
    n.
    1. One who is not a Christian, Muslim, or Jew, especially a worshiper of a polytheistic religion.
    2. One who has no religion.
    3. A non-Christian.
    4. A hedonist.
    5. A Neo-Pagan.

    adj.
    1. Not Christian, Muslim, or Jewish.
    2. Professing no religion; heathen.
    3. Neo-Pagan.

  24. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    The pagans were the precursors of christianity. They believed in a divine saviour. Most of the things that happened to Jesus happened to their God men first, just the names and locations have changed.

    Side note, do you know why christmas is on Dec.25?
  25. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    Yes, it was a pagan holy day that was incorporated into Catholic Christianity...similar in fact to Easter.

    This shouldn't be confused with the idea that Christianity is a dirivitive of a Pagan religion. It is simply the result of the Catholic sect of Christianity (which some other Christian sects believe to be "the beast" ) attempting to draw in the Pagans and convert them to their religion.
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