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04-13-1999, 10:57 AM
I have always been puzzled by the story of creation in the bible. I believe in evolution, but it seems like there is a flaw in the creation story that is so glaring I don't know how the believers could have believed it for 2,000 years, and how they can defend it now.

According to Genesis, God created Adam and Eve who were the first humans. Then Adam & Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel. Unfortunately, Cain killed Abel, so God gave them another son to replace Abel. From this, how did the human race continue? The sons of Adam and Eve never had a woman to breed with, right?

Answer #1 from a liberal priest at my University:
The story should be taken figuratively, not literally.

Answer #2 from a religious grad student:
I've always assumed that Adam and Eve had many children, both girls and boys, and that Cain and Abel are given special mention because of the spiritual lessons they provide us. So, Cain probably married one of his sisters. If so, that probably would not have the harmful genetic consequences that inbreeding does today, because human biology and genetics were fresh from the hand of the Creator, with no "bad" genetic material to pass on. And, for all we know, Cain may not have even grownup with this sister.

However, it seems like creation is a foundation for the entire bible and the Judeo-Christian faith. It seems too important for believers to brush off as just a story not to be taken literally. Also, the answer about breeding with un-mentioned sisters because inbreeding was not a genetic problem then seems like stretching it a lot. If that was the case, the bible should have mentioned it.

Does anyone else have any other answers/explanations to contribute?

04-13-1999, 11:02 AM
2000 years? No,no, sorry but you are off by quite a few thousand years....The bible, 2000 years perhaps... Eve, much much longer back.

'Stand back, I don't know how big it'll get"

04-13-1999, 11:13 AM
Ok, plain and simple, Adam had a lot of children, we don't know how many, but he did have quite a few. Look at Genesis 5:4-5

4 And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:
5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

Adam had sons and DAUGHTERS, you may notice a trend throughout the whole Bible that it never mentions the names of the daughters of a man, it might mention that he had a daughter, but usually not their names.

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~Trig~

04-13-1999, 11:15 AM
I'll try to keep this short (for a longer explanation of my beliefs, see my recent posts in "non-Christian Creationists?").
Adam and Eve proably existed between 6 and 7 thousand years ago. Jesus Christ existed close to two thousand years ago. At least in theory a lot of people who don't accept Jesus as the Son of God might accept Adam and Eve.
I interpret the Bible literally, because I have a hard time understanding how you can interpret one portion literally and dismiss another portion as figurative.
I agree that Cain and Abel (or at least Cain, and Adam and Eve's other sons) married sisters and Adam and Eve and many other people mentioned early on in the Bible may have had many more children than are specifically mentioned. People in biblical times did not have our understanding of genetics. AS the number of people on the earth increased, it became more important that you marry someone who is not a close relative. The people who first heard the stories of Genesis may have been more willing to accept that what they were being told might not be the whole story, but was the most important part.

04-13-1999, 11:41 AM
Or, you know, maybe the story is an attempt by relatively primitive people to explain their own origin and existence, and is best viewed in the context of the unifying value of shared myth and culture, and its place among the creation myths of other cultures. But I guess it would take a truly stupid person to believe something like that.

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** Phil D. **
"Not only is the world queerer than we imagine,
it is queerer than we can imagine."
--J.B.S. Haldane

04-13-1999, 11:59 AM
I interpret the Bible literally, because I have a hard time understanding how you can interpret one portion literally and dismiss another portion as figurative.

So you think that mustard seed story was really just about mustard seeds?


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"For what a man had rather were true, he more readily believes" - Francis Bacon

04-13-1999, 01:04 PM
Mythology as mythology.

04-13-1999, 01:27 PM
Fairy Tale as Fairy Tale

04-13-1999, 01:59 PM
Jesus and His disciples didn't take the Creation story as mythology, in fact they seemed to believe it. (obviously this means nothing to a non-Christian, but to a Christian it should mean something). The first 9 books of Genesis (from creation to the flood) is referenced 71 times in the NT, 10 references are made by Jesus Himself.

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~Trig~

04-13-1999, 02:19 PM
For the sake of the new people, I should point out that Ian Rey and Phil D are atheists, and probably do not believe that any portions of the bible should be taken seriously.
(If either of you two wish to dispute this, then you'd better have one heck of a good explanation for your posts in previous threads.)

I myself believe that most of the bible should be taken as written, but some portions of it were not intended to be historical texts. Revalations is obviously written in a highly symbolic style. On the other hand, many other books clearly describe actual people and events. As Trigger said: you interpret history as history, proverb as proverb, prophesy as prophesy, and parable as parable.
However, Archimedes made an important point in the "Non-Christian Creationists" thread. It was that most people claim that something is figurative because they don't WANT to believe that it could be literally true. It's easier to live a promiscuous, irresponsable lifestyle if you believe that Sodom and Gomorrah weren't REALLY destroyed.

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"I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms." -The Secret of Monkey Island

04-13-1999, 02:38 PM
[[[For the sake of the new people, I should point out that Ian Rey and Phil D are atheists, and probably do not believe that any portions of the bible should be taken seriously.]]]

Taken seriously or taken literally?

In either case, whether I am an atheist has absolutely no bearing on my ability to speak on matters of evidence concerning events described in the Bible or any other text.

[[[Revalations]]]

Revelation. Singular.

[[]]

Really? So why is Genesis not symbolic?

[[[On the otherhand, many other books clearly describe actual people and events.]]]

Clearly? Come on. If it were that clear, everyone would believe it.

[[[As Trigger said: you interpret history
as history,]]]

Except where it clearly conflicts with the written histories of extraBiblical cultures. Say, for example, most of the first few chapters of Genesis.

[[[However, Archimedes made an important point in the "Non-Christian Creationists" thread. It was that most people claim that something is figurative because they don't WANT to believe that it could be literally true.]]]

Or because it's, you know, mythoogical.

[[[It's easier to live a promiscuous, irresponsable lifestyle if you believe that Sodom and Gomorrah weren't REALLY destroyed.]]]

I don't believe Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed and I'm neither promiscuous nor irresponsible. Remarks like the above are clear evidence of people who believe others should be bullied into behaving the way [i]they would prefer by boogeymen and shaggy dog stories.

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** Phil D. **
"Not only is the world queerer than we imagine,
it is queerer than we can imagine."
--J.B.S. Haldane

04-13-1999, 03:06 PM
Archimedes said:
I interpret the Bible literally, because I have a hard time understanding how you can interpret one portion literally and dismiss another portion as figurative.


Have you considered taking the opposite side? In other words: Interpret the Bible figuratively because it is hard to understand how you can interpret one portion literally and one portion figuratively?

Trigger33 added:
The Bible must be taken how it is written

Why? It is a work that has been passed down, among men, written and rewritten in a number of different languages. How do you know that it should be taken the way it is written?


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"It's a very dangerous thing to believe in nonsense." -- James Randi

04-13-1999, 03:12 PM
Does anyone else have any other answers/explanations to contribute?...Cheese Head
Are you kidding? :)

I usually shy away from "God threads", but I'd just like to point out that The Bible isn't a science text. Some folks seem to read it as such and get very confused.

I suppose you could say The Bible is a book of moral teachings but, in places, even this gets confusing. Even the "experts" disagree on some important points. You knew that, though.

Wanna read a good book? Try The Prophet by Gibran. It's well written and a heck of a lot shorter than The Bible.

One good thing about being an agnostic is you don't have to drive all over the county on Sunday afternoon telling everyone about it. :) Good luck.

Ron
"After two six packs, all these things will become clear."...Ron

04-13-1999, 04:01 PM
I don't believe Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed
Perhaps you should. Their ruins have been rather convincingly identified. I think they are beneath the Dead Sea, but it could be the Sea of Galilee or another nearby body of water. In any event, the ruins lie on an underwater shelf that used to be above the sea's surface.
{quote]Clearly? Come on. If it were that clear, everyone would believe it.[/quote]
We still have people who don't believe the Holocaust happened! Nothing's good enough for some people. Also, as Archimedes stated, most people call things symbolic not because of any logical reason to doubt it, but because it cramps their style to believe it. It's only illogical because they want it to be illogical. Aside from Genesis, there really is very little that can't be tied to extra-Biblical sources. I'm not saying I have all the answers here, but it's painfully obvious that you don't either.

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"I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms." -The Secret of Monkey Island

04-13-1999, 05:31 PM
[[I interpret the Bible literally, because I have a hard time understanding how you can interpret one portion literally and dismiss another portion as figurative.]] Arch


It's really easy if you have the ability to make rational distinction.

04-13-1999, 05:34 PM
[[For the sake of the new people, I should point out that Ian Rey and Phil D are atheists, and probably do not believe that any portions of the bible should be taken seriously.
(If either of you two wish to dispute this, then you'd better have one heck of a good explanation for your posts in previous threads.) ]]Diceman


Can you comprehend the possibility of seeing meaning in a story (and thus taking it seriously) and not believing that the story actually happened?

04-13-1999, 05:37 PM
It was that most people claim that something is figurative because they don't WANT to believe that it could be literally true. ]] Diceman


In fact, the exact opposite is true.


[[It's easier to live a promiscuous, irresponsable lifestyle if you believe that Sodom and Gomorrah weren't REALLY destroyed.]]


That approach will surely gain you a lot of respect among intelligent and educated people. <g>

04-13-1999, 05:44 PM
{{[[I don't believe Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed]] PLD


Perhaps you should. Their ruins have been rather convincingly identified.}}Diceman


Source? This is completely implausible Hal Lindsay type nonsense, right?

{{ I think they are beneath the Dead Sea, but it could be the Sea of Galilee or another nearby body of water.}}


Very convincing.


{{In any event, the ruins lie on an underwater shelf that used to be above the sea's surface.}}


Yeah, right -- again, source?

{{We still have people who don't believe the Holocaust happened! Nothing's good enough for some people.}}


True, but this isn't one of those caases. Rather, you nuts display the "anything's good enpough for some people" attitude toward evidence of Biblical inerrancy.


{{ Also, as Archimedes stated, most people call things symbolic not because of any logical reason to doubt it, but because it cramps their style to believe it. It's only illogical because they want it to be illogical. }}


Not just a lie, a damned lie. I thought lies made the baby Jesus cry?

04-13-1999, 06:25 PM
Big Iron: Go watch a "scientific" debate on the effects of global warming. You'll be amazed at how flexible the rules of logic will become. This should convince you that what people consider reasonable evidence is often worlds apart, and is almost always a direct function of what they WANT to be proven at the end of the day.

Re: Sodom and Gomorrah. I've seen maps before. They showed exact locations where ruins have been found. I'll try to find the source again.

{{ Also, as Archimedes stated, most people call things symbolic not because of any logical reason to doubt it, but because it cramps their style to believe it. It's only illogical because they want it to be illogical. }}---Me
Not just a lie, a damned lie. I thought lies made the baby Jesus cry?---Big IronAww, come on. Don't give up without at least an argument. What would Phil D think? :)

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"I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms." -The Secret of Monkey Island

04-13-1999, 06:45 PM
A few clarifications:
- The dating of the written text of Genesis (in the form we have it) is uncertain, but somewhere from about 1200 BC (if it was written by Moses) to about 700 BC (with far older components, if it was edited by a J/E redactor). Thus, closer to 3,000 years old than to 2,000 years old.

- Other parts of the Bible (Old Testament) were written at other periods of time, from 1000 BC to about 150 BC. New Testament was pretty much written from about 80 AD to about 150 AD. The point is: we have different authors and different centuries for different sections of the Bible. Why is it so hard to think that Genesis creation stories are poetry (not literal science texts) and that stories from Kings are history?

04-13-1999, 07:08 PM
[[[Also, as Archimedes stated, most people call things symbolic not because of any logical reason to doubt it, but because it cramps their style to believe it. It's only illogical because they want it to be illogical.]]]

Nonsense. I can come up with about a million and one reasons why it is illogical to insist on a literal interpretation of the Genesis myth.

[[(Alex:Jesus and His disciples didn't take the Creation story as mythology, in fact they
seemed to believe it.]]]

So what? 150 years ago, many people believed the universe was filled with an invisible fluid through which light waves propagated, but we're pretty sure that isn't true, either.


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** Phil D. **
"Not only is the world queerer than we imagine,
it is queerer than we can imagine."
--J.B.S. Haldane

04-13-1999, 07:42 PM
Diceman said, "We still have people who don't believe the Holocaust happened! Nothing's good enough for some people:" With all respect, this is a lousy comparison. Sure, there are some people who don't believe the Holocaust happened. These people, by the way, tend to have other pretty strange beliefs. There is evidence on film that the Holocaust happened, in addition to millions of Nazi document and eyewitness testimony (including people who are alive today).
There is no evidence that Jesus was any kind of deity except that in the Bible, which is obviously a biased source. Don't compare the truth of the Holocaust with the idea that Jesus was a god. One has been determined to be true, the other is simply a religious belief.

04-13-1999, 08:13 PM
[[[quote:

I don't believe Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed

Perhaps you should. Their ruins have been rather convincingly identified. I think they
are beneath the Dead Sea, but it could be the Sea of Galilee or another nearby body
of water. In any event, the ruins lie on an underwater shelf that used to be above the
sea's surface.]]]

I'm not sure why you would think that the possible discovery of Sodom and Gomorrah demonstrates that they were destroyed as described in the Bible any more than the discovery of Troy demonstrated that the Iliad really happened, but whatever. That's *precisely* the kind of illogical thinking I'm talking about. I wouldn't expect that the Bible writers made up place names for their stories. I read a Stephen King book once that took place in Las Vegas and Boulder, but I'm fairly sure it didn't happen.

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** Phil D. **
"Not only is the world queerer than we imagine,
it is queerer than we can imagine."
--J.B.S. Haldane

04-13-1999, 10:19 PM
I'm not sure why you would think that the possible discovery of Sodom and Gomorrah demonstrates that were were destroyed as described in the Bible
Gee, I dunno...Maybe because this is at least the third thread where you've asserted that noone in the bible can be proved to exist?

Also, I do not claim that I believe Genesis is historical truth, at least not the parts in question. I stated that I believe most of the bible should be taken as is. More specifically, this includes pretty much the whole bible after the beginning of Genesis (the Primeval History, the first few chapters) In preparation for this post I read my bible, the "Fireside Study Edition" of the Catholic bible. It has an introduction to every book and footnotes throughout, to clue the reader in to things like historical context, underlying themes, and when info. may have been lost in translation. I'd recommend it to anyone. Anyway, Genesis has deep seated underlying truths, that remain true whether you believe the details or not. In creation, the main points are [1]The pre-existance and trancendence of God (ie, He existed before time or space) [2] His power and wisdom [3] Everything owes its existance to God [4]People were created in His image and likeness. You can believe that Creation is literally true, or you can believe that it is a myth told because quantum physics was still 10,000 years away. The above four points don't change one iota.

As for Noah, I have no idea whether he actually put two of all the animals into an ark. No matter what he did, the lesson is that God will punish us for our wickedness, but He is always ready to save us if we are willing. Flood myths go back a loooooong way, and exist in many cultures. What we know about the dawn of humanity suggests that a catostrophic flood could easily have endangered our earliest ancestors. Dunno about you, but if I got a divine warning of a catostrophic flood, I'd be more than happy to build a boat, and put anything God wanted in it :)

After the Primeval History section, the bible shifts from myth-and-legend-type stories to historical accounts. Why are people like Phil D so loath to believe that Abraham and Moses existed? You can easily contine to claim that the bible is not divinly inspired while granting that these guys probably lived and breathed. Anyway, from here Genesis begins to explain the special relationship God has formed with us. This continues right through to the end of the bible. Most of the events from here on out can be identified historically. We know when the conquest of the holy land occured (I don't have the exact dates with me, maybe someone else does), and historians have a pretty good idea which pharoic dynasty the biblical Pharoh must have belonged to. (Don't bother looking in Egyptian history; the Egyptians always omitted any kind of defeat from their records. The Hebrews were somewhat unusual in that they did not do this. The exception to this is that they never recorded who destroyed the Ark of the Covanent)

In conclusion, the bible has much history. It has much wisdom. It may have some myth. It has truth throughout.

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"I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms." -The Secret of Monkey Island

04-14-1999, 12:18 AM
Diceman: For the sake of the new people, I should point out that Ian Rey and Phil D are atheists,
Phil is a self-professed atheist. I'm pretty sure that Ian is a Christian (if somewhat skeptical of myth foisted off as fact).
Archimedes: I interpret the Bible literally, because I have a hard time understanding how you can interpret one portion literally and dismiss another portion as figurative.
Well, you could do as most Catholic scholars do and not "dismiss" the figurative and allegorical sections. Are you familiar with Mircea Eliade's statement that "Myths tell only of that which really happened."? The point is that the stories of myth, while usually fanciful and often wildly improbable, express profound truths about the human psyche or the growth of a people. In this context, one would not expect the Bible to be a literally accurate history of events, but one would expect the stories of the Bible to explain the relationship of man and God (as viewed through 800-1800 years of Jewish experience in the Old Testament and as viewed by a fairly small group of followers of Jesus (and their immediate successors) over 40-50 years in the first century. There are historical elements in Scripture. The way to discover the historical facts, however, is to compare the texts (of Kings for example) against the archaelogical evidence (for a Jewish dynasty near that period). The Truth of the Bible is not found in its facts, but in its True Stories.
Triggerz33: Jesus and His disciples didn't take the Creation story as mythology, in fact they seemed to believe it.
OR, they treated it as Scripture, which is entirely different than treating it as historical fact. As a matter of fact, to the extent that they treated it as True, they very much took the Creation story as myth.

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Tom~

04-14-1999, 12:38 AM
Leviticus 18 22
"`Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable."
Deuteronomy 14 8
"The pig is also unclean; although it has a split hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses."

I'm sure some of you have seen or heard these two together before.
If the first says it's understandable to beat the shit out of a homosexual, then the second must also say you cannot play football.

O.K. now. Are we literal, or are we figurative.
I do not mean to offend anyone.
Are these unfair examples?

Peace,
mangeorge

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"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything" Mark Twain 1894

04-14-1999, 12:44 AM
So you think that mustard seed story was really just about mustard seeds?}}}

The Bible must be taken how it is written,

Historical text must be taken as written,
Prophecy as prophecy,
Proverb as Proverb,
Parable as Parable.

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~Trig~

04-14-1999, 01:28 AM
In Chapter One of Genesis it claerly states that God created all the animals and then created man. In Chapter Two of Genesis it clearly states that God created man and then created all the animals. In my mind this is God's way of telling future readers of the Bible they shouldn't take everything the Bible says literally. The Bible is a moral message not a textbook.

04-14-1999, 01:54 AM
[[Big Iron: Go watch a "scientific" debate on the effects of global warming. You'll be amazed at how flexible the rules of logic will become.]]


I don't know where to start with that one. How about, just because there is controversy doesn't mean there is legitimate dispute?

[[ This should convince you that what people consider reasonable evidence is often worlds apart, and is almost always a direct function of what they WANT to be proven at the end of the day.]]

Yes, people aften see what they want to see, but that mundane observation in itself carries no weight. Again, I think the burden of that tendency rests a lot more on you.


[[Re: Sodom and Gomorrah. I've seen maps before. They showed exact locations where ruins have been found. I'll try to find the source again. ]]


Please do.


[[quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
{{ Also, as Archimedes stated, most people call things symbolic not because of any logical reason to doubt it, but because it cramps their style to believe it. It's only illogical because they want it to be illogical. }}---Me

Not just a lie, a damned lie. I thought lies made the baby Jesus cry?---Big Iron


Aww, come on. Don't give up without at least an argument. What would Phil D think]]


How am I giving up? The statement is self-evidently idiotic, and a slander. I'm not wasting my time reinventing the wheel here, at least not right now.

04-14-1999, 02:15 AM
After Cain slew Abel wasn't he banished to live with another tribe? I think they were the Caananites or something. Who were they? Does Genesis state God only created Adam and Eve? I'm not anything close to a bible scholar so I really don't know.

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Has anyone seen my keys?

04-14-1999, 05:25 AM
[[[Gee, I dunno...Maybe because this is at least the third thread where you've asserted
that noone in the bible can be proved to exist?]]]

Please quote to me any assertion I made which directly says or can reasonably be interpreted as "Noone in the Bible can be proved to exist." I never said any such thing and you damned well know it.

Also, rather than dodging the question, please explain how the existence of Sodom and Gomorrah "proves" the Biblical story or the same, in a way the the existence of Troy does not "prove" the Iliad.

[[[Also, I do not claim that I believe Genesis is historical truth, at least not the parts in question.]]]

Backpedal, backpedal . . .

[[[ I stated that I believe most of the bible should be taken as is. More
specifically, this includes pretty much the whole bible after the beginning of Genesis
(the Primeval History, the first few chapters)]]]

Oh, geez, you're gonna strain a calf pedaling that hard.

[[In preparation for this post I read my
bible, the "Fireside Study Edition" of the Catholic bible.]]]

I prefer the online edition, personally.

[[[Anyway, Genesis has deep seated underlying truths, that remain true whether you believe the details or not. In creation, the main points are [1]The pre-existance and trancendence of God (ie, He existed before time or space) [2] His power and wisdom [3] Everything owes its existance to God [4]People were created in His image and likeness. You can believe that Creation is literally true, or you can believe that it is a myth told because quantum physics was still 10,000 years away. The above four points don't change one iota.]]]

If you happen to believe they are true, which I obviously do not.

[[[[Dunno about you, but if I got a divine warning of a catostrophic flood, I'd be more than happy to build a boat, and put anything God wanted in it ]]]]

I suspect our definitions of "divine warning" differ significantly.

[[[[Why are people like Phil D so loath to believe that Abraham and Moses existed?]]]

Please quote any post where I claimed that either of these two men did not exist.

Oh, yeah, Tom, if death and disease entered the world as the result of Adam and Eve's sin of disobedience, then logically speaking, deformity is the manifestation of sin. Not one's own personal sin, necessarily, but sin in an abstract way. You, personally and as a Catholic, may view the Adam and Eve story as allegorical, but I bet more American Christians believe it as literal.



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** Phil D. **
"Not only is the world queerer than we imagine,
it is queerer than we can imagine."
--J.B.S. Haldane

04-14-1999, 06:11 AM
By the way, one thing I don't think anybody has mentioned so far is that Cecil went over this topic in his first book. He showed that the first part of Genesis was remarkably similar to an earlier Sumarian myth.

04-14-1999, 07:29 AM
When people have problems about taking the Bible figuratively or literally, I just say this: Hey, the Bible was written by human beings. Human beings are flawed and apt to make many misjudgments. Genesis was written by Moses, and Moses was no scholar.
If God were to suddenly talk to me, I would try to write down as much as I could. I might even write about the big bang theory or evolution. Who knows, in 5000 years these theories might be laughable and thought of to come from a superstitious and totally ignorant people.
Like somebody here said, the Bible is no science book. A lot of people today seem to want a sure thing. Nobody seems to want to take things on faith anymore. The only sure thing in life is death and taxes. So take my advice: Don't try so hard.

04-14-1999, 07:35 AM
Sorry, one more thing. If you were living circa 5000 BC, the Bible, or what was there of it, would have probably made more sense than anything else around.

04-14-1999, 07:48 AM
I know it's not a definitive answer, but here is what I gathered from Genesis...

So Cain went out from the presence of the LORD; and he lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

Cain lay with his wife, and she conceived and gave birth to Enoch. <etc>

Now, at this point, there is no mention of Adam and Eve having other children, but it is possible. Would then Adam and Eve's daughter have run off with Cain after he was cast out of God's presence? Unlikely.

So obviously, Cain found his wife in the land of Nod. Also interesting is the mention that Cain went out 'from the presence of the LORD'. So much for omnipresence...

An interesting hypothesis is that God created the first Man (i.e. Homo Sapiens), but that other lesser primates were around. I guess Cain just took a fancy for a cute chimpanzee, whereas Abel just prefered his sister...

Alright, so it is hard to take this literally. :)

04-14-1999, 09:07 AM
Also, rather than dodging the question, please explain how the existence of Sodom and Gomorrah "proves" the Biblical story or the same, in a way the the existence of Troy does not "prove" the Iliad.
We know they existed, and we know they were destroyed. This is more than you were willing to admit when you said: "I don't believe Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed." I realize that this doesn't prove how they were destroyed but, to use your Troy example, please remember that most historians thought the Illiad had to be fictional for the sole reason that there was no proof that Troy existed. When Troy was dug up, historians worldwide had to eat crow, and admit that their cheif argument had been refuted. Now that I have refuted your initial belief concerning S&G, you are backpedaling and saying that their existance is irrelevant.
[[[Also, I do not claim that I believe Genesis is historical truth, at least not the parts in question.]]]
Backpedal, backpedal . . .
Please show me where I asserted that the creation myth is real. Please notice that, in my earlier post, I specifically did not include Genesis is either the "literal truth" or "obvious symbolism" category. You are attacking a straw man here. Also, I suggest that you follow my advice to Big Iron. It should disabuse you of the notion that there is such a thing as an objective standard of proof. BTW, myth and symbolism are not equivalent. Symbolism is used to make abstract concepts more concrete (ie Revalation). Myth is used to embody and explain a culture's beliefs.
I suspect our definitions of "divine warning" differ significantly.What's your definition?
[[[[Why are people like Phil D so loath to believe that Abraham and Moses existed?]]] Please quote any post where I claimed that either of these two men did not exist.
I was not referring to a specific quote here, but to a general trend I've noticed in your posts. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I get the impression that you are of an extremely skeptical nature. You will deny that the bible could be right even when there is no clear reason to. Earlier, you denied my assertion that the bible's historical texts are clearly historical. Why? What do you gain by attacking a culture's historical records as false? Are there inconsistencies? Sure. Show me two nations who's histories are in perfect agreement. But if the historical books are not history, then what are they?

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"I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms." -The Secret of Monkey Island

04-14-1999, 09:26 AM
Mangeorge,
In response to your two selected verses. The first verse from Leviticus seems to me to state that homosexuality is wrong. In and of itself, this does NOT give me the right to beat someone up just because that individual is homosexual. (Although there are people who call themselves Christian who my disagree with me).
As for your second verse, there is nothing wrong with playing football with a "pigskin" or with eating bacon made from pigs. but, that is because when Jesus came to earth, he declared that all foods are clean, it is not what goes into the body but what comes out from it that makes a person unclean.
(If you asked someone who is Jewish, you might get different answer, particularily to the second part.)

04-14-1999, 09:43 AM
Part of me really wants to just avoid getting myself any further into this whole debate. But, my name and veiws have been mentioned so often, it makes it hard to just walk away.
When I said that I interpret the Bible literally, I really meant that to mean that I interpret the first few chapters of Genesis as having occured basically as described in Genesis, rather than as being mythology.

The trouble with comparing scripture to archeological evidence to prove that events either occured as written or did not occur as written is that we all bring so much of our own beliefs into the discussion. Were we able to prove that Sodom and Gomorrah existed at spot X and were destroyed in a manner consistent with Genesis, someone like Phil would still be justified in saying "OK, so the author(s) of Genesis saw that happen or heard about it happening and wrote it down. That still doesn't PROVE that some omnipotent God destroyed them because they were so full of sin." (I'll admit, I don't know that much about specific archeological finds. Still, this is one of those issues in which it seems like faith and proof are incompatible. What seems like "proof" to one person, seems easily dismissable by another.)

04-14-1999, 10:08 AM
[[For the sake of the new people, I should point out that Ian Rey and Phil D are atheists, and probably do not believe that any portions of the bible should be taken seriously.
(If either of you two wish to dispute this, then you'd better have one heck of a good explanation for your posts in previous threads.)]]

Not that I want to encourage ad hominem attacks, or feel that I must answer to Diceman or anyone else for my views, but I will respond for the sake of clarification. As Tom said, I am a Christian (specifically, a Catholic), but not an unthinking one. I do believe that spirituality and religion are benficial to people and to mankind in general. I do not, however, believe that any religion has any more insight into the truth than any other, or that religion is in any way scientific. The purpose of religion is not for dealing with natural matters, but supernatural. Thus, even though I use Christianity in my personal life, I see no reason why the Judeo-Christian mythology is any more relevant than the Norse or the Hopi mythologies, or why any of them should be considered anything more than attempts by ancient people to explain the world around them.

04-14-1999, 10:15 AM
[[[We know they existed, and we know they were destroyed.]]]

If they were where you think they were, they were on a fault line. How terribly shocking that they no longer exist.

[[[ This is more than you were willing to admit when you said: "I don't believe Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed."]]]

Did I really need to specify "by fire and brimstone for being populated by deves"? I thought that was pretty clear. Sheesh.

[[[Now that I have refuted your initial belief concerning S&G, you are backpedaling and saying that their existance is irrelevant.]]]

No, I'm saying that the fact that mythological stories take place in real locations lends zero credence to the idea that said stories are factual. Cripes, Bullfinch's Mythology mentions Athens, Delphi, Crete and any number of places repeatedly. Did those really happen, too?

[[[Please show me where I asserted that the creation myth is real.]]]

As soon as you show where I said that noone in the Bible can be proven to exist.

[[[You are attacking a straw man here.]]]

Well, tit for tat, you know.

[[[Also, I suggest that you follow my advice to Big Iron. It should disabuse you of the notion that there is such a thing as an objective standard of proof.]]]

Oh, please. There is certainly a level of proof at which logical people are comfortable, and certainly OT mythology, much of OT history (and, incidentally, NT theology) fail to meet that level, overwhelmingly.

[[[{I suspect our definitions of "divine warning" differ significantly.}

What's your definition?]]]

A concrete physical manifestation of God in person.

[[[quote:

[[[[Why are people like Phil D so loath to believe that Abraham and Moses existed?]]]

{{ Please quote any post where I claimed that either of these two men did not exist.}}}

I was not referring to a specific quote here,]]]

Backpedal. You have accused me of asserting that Moses and Abraham did not exist and I'd like some evidence that I said that. Otherwise you can retract that. I have no doubt that most of the NT folks really existed, although I strongly suspect that many of them were other than depicted in the Bible. OT, not only skeptics like me but great men of faith differ as to whether some of them really existed. Adam and Eve almost certainly did not.

[[]]

Right about what, and where are the clear reasons? Is there some manifestly clear reason I'm supposed to believe that there even [b]is a deity, let alone believe the specific theological and/or mythological points of any part of the Bible?

[[[Earlier, you denied my assertion that the
bible's historical texts are clearly historical. Why?]]]

I note that no contemporaneous cultures, many of whom were meticulous astronomers, made note of the fact that the earth ceased rotating for a day, an event, we can assume, of overwhelming significance. I also suspect that certain figures relating to numbers of armies, numbers of men slain by single figures at once, etc., are so unlikely as to be dismissed as hyperbole. And just what is the current state of thinking on the Exodus? I honestly have no idea.

[[[What do you gain by attacking a culture's historical records as false? Are there inconsistencies? Sure. Show me two nations who's histories are in perfect agreement. But if the historical books are not history, then what are they?]]]

Some history mixed with shared myth as a method of cultural unification, just like pretty much anything else of the period.

------------------
** Phil D. **
"Not only is the world queerer than we imagine,
it is queerer than we can imagine."
--J.B.S. Haldane

04-14-1999, 10:25 AM
[[[Part of me really wants to just avoid getting myself any further into this whole debate. But, my name and veiws have been mentioned so often, it makes it hard to just walk away.
When I said that I interpret the Bible literally, I really meant that to mean that I interpret the first few chapters of Genesis as having occured basically as described in Genesis, rather than as being mythology.]]]

Eh, see, I tire of having these same discussions over and over with people who seem to think there's some special nobility in believing things that are demonstrably silly . . .

Let's look at it from this perspective: As I mentioned in the other thread, either the language and methodology of science are useful, or they are not. Given that language and method, then well-designed experiments and repeated consistent observation yield useful results, or they do not.

If they do, then to say, "Science can accurately describe what goes on in my television, my car and my body but cannot accurately describe astronomical phenomena" makes no sense. You need a better reason than "It says so in the Bible" to simply dismiss the results of centuries of observation and experiment using better and better methods, and expect reasonable people to agree with you.

We have a pretty good working hypothesis of planetary and star formation, and can observe them taking place, and it takes significantly longer than six days. We also ave good working theories of genetics and speciation, and those take a lot more than a single day. If all you can come up with to dismiss those as regards the earth and its inhabitants is, "My particular holy book says so, even though both science and other holy books disagree," well, as Spike Lee says, "You got nothin'." If that's how you go about deciding what is and isn't true, please remind me not to drive over any bridges you design.

------------------
** Phil D. **
"Not only is the world queerer than we imagine,
it is queerer than we can imagine."
--J.B.S. Haldane

04-14-1999, 11:39 AM
[[[Please show me where I asserted that the creation myth is real.]]]
As soon as you show where I said that noone in the Bible can be proven to exist.
I'm not following your logic here. Admittedly, the alluded-to statement was poorly worded, but I do not see how "you believe noone in the bible is real" equals "I believe everyone, and everything is literally true." It does not follow.
Oh, please. There is certainly a level of proof at which logical people are comfortable, and certainly OT mythology, much of OT history (and, incidentally, NT theology) fail to meet that level, overwhelmingly.
Not so clear as you think. As an engineer, I have had the experience, if not the pleasure, of attending numerous discussions on the scientific and/or technical merit of some idea or other. I can think of dozens of instances in which the same evidence was interpreted in completely different (and sometimes mutually exclusive) ways by highly intellegent people. What you already believe certainly influences your standards of logic and proof. Objectivity is far more difficult than most scientists are willing to admit.

I'm not going to attempt to debate faith versus proof right now. Entire libraries could be filled with what has already been written. I never believed that the bible was a science book, but I do not dismiss myths off-hand either. Myths were created to explain beliefs. Since I believe in Divine Inspiration, I believe that the creation myths were inspired to impart the points I previously listed. Even though we probably evolved from apes, God still created us. Whether the Earth was created in six days or millions of years, it is still a creation.

I am an engineer. I know well what science is. I know what it is useful for and, just as importantly, I know what it is not useful for. It is useful for determining if something is physically possable. It is not useful for determining if there was a greater meaning to an event. It is useful in understanding how stars form. It is not useful for understanding why stars were formed.

As an engineer, I see a universe that is a marvenously designed creation. It runs flawlessly, far more dependable than anything humans have ever designed. Divine intervention occurs when God sees fit to remind us that he is still around, and has not abandoned his creation.

Like Phil D and Archimedes, I am really getting tired of arguing with everyone to no effect. I suspect that we are all still posting because we have invested too much of our respective egos to back down now. I am beginning to understand why the NATO chiefs are still mucking around in the Balkans, even they haven't changed a thing.

------------------
"I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms." -The Secret of Monkey Island

04-14-1999, 01:04 PM
Archimedes said:As for your second verse, there is nothing wrong with playing football with a "pigskin" or with eating bacon made from pigs. but, that is because when Jesus came to earth, he declared that all foods are clean, it is not what goes into the body but what comes out from it that makes a person unclean.

So are you saying God was originally wrong? How do we know which part of "God's word" to believe?

The other question is whether you are willing to accept the possibility that such laws were removed so it would be easier for non-Jews to accept Christianity (Jews were already following Kosher laws, so it wasn't an issue to them, but it might have been an issue to others).


------------------
"It's a very dangerous thing to believe in nonsense." -- James Randi

04-14-1999, 01:46 PM
Diceman, my problem is not so much with intelligent, thoughtful people like you and Tom, who are intellectually honest enough to say, "Yes, evolution is the most likely explanation for speciation and extinction and development, and yes, the universe is around 15 billion years old," and consider religion and its associated myths to be some means of investigating the bigger picture. I disagree strenuously that your method provides any useful results; or that there even are questions in some cases. (Why even ask a question like "Why do stars form?") (And I also disagree that the universe runs flawlessly and is particularly "well-designed," whatever that means.)

My problem is with people like Trig and Archimedes, who, in the face of all reason and logic, resort to special pleading to make some unlikely theological point; and insist on the literal interpretation of what are obviously mythological and symbolic stories. There has been a treacherous move in this country, over the last few decades, towards superstition, anti-intellectualism, and anti-reason, and frankly I don't care to see it continue.

You want consolation in the face of death or to be told you are a good person or you're forgiven for your bad deeds? Great, fine, go see a priest. You want to know where planets come from or how life develops? Look elsewhere. People like Trig are proud of their ignorance--they wear it like a badge. Well, sorry, but I will combat such ignorance wherever possible. That's what the Straight Dope stands for, and I happen to agree that it's a useful thing.

------------------
** Phil D. **
"Not only is the world queerer than we imagine,
it is queerer than we can imagine."
--J.B.S. Haldane

04-14-1999, 01:51 PM
Oh, almost forgot--my other point about Sodom and Gomorrah, in case you missed it, is that an equally likely explanation is that the cities, if they are the cities located on said fault line, were destroyed in some catastrophe and the Biblical myth grew around it. Not an uncommon occurrence in writings from 4,000 years ago.

You are of course free to go down whichever explanatory path you feel is necessary, but you are not free to insist that others follow and modify their behavior because of some lesson you think it teaches.

------------------
** Phil D. **
"Not only is the world queerer than we imagine,
it is queerer than we can imagine."
--J.B.S. Haldane

04-14-1999, 02:18 PM
David,
No, God was not originally wrong. However, the lessons that people were to learn from the laws dictated as part of the Pentateuch had become lost amid traditions insisted upon by Pharisees. When Jesus came, he tried to put the focus on salvation by grace rather than by earning heaven by appearing to be perfect. Thus, Jesus ignored a lot of laws and got himself in trouble by appearing to party with the sinners.
As for which part of God's word to believe, read all of it. Then, decide whether you believe Jesus to be the son of God. If you agree, follow his commandments. If you don't, decide whether you believe the Old Testament to be the word of God. If do, you can follow the laws laid out there. If you don't, you can still choose to follow some of the guidelines laid out (in either testament) or you can choose to look elsewhere to find guidance on how to live your life.

04-14-1999, 02:20 PM
I got your point. I'm just too tired of this thread to start a debate over it.

------------------
"I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms." -The Secret of Monkey Island

04-14-1999, 02:21 PM
My last post is for Phil. Archimedes beat me to the gun.

------------------
"I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms." -The Secret of Monkey Island

04-14-1999, 02:58 PM
Oh, and FTR to both Dice and Arch, I have read the Christian Bible cover to cover, twice, and re-read many parts in many translations. I am also, according to my confirmation certificate (received of my own accord in the 10th grade), an Episcopalian; and was also a longtime member of a charismatic evangelical church. I don't want either of you thinking I haven't investigated this stuff from both sides.

------------------
** Phil D. **
"Not only is the world queerer than we imagine,
it is queerer than we can imagine."
--J.B.S. Haldane

04-14-1999, 04:38 PM
I am finally begining to understand why you find science and religion so incompatible. -- Archimedes
I like Ron usually stay away from threads of this sort, as there is generally just too much disparity of views to make any meaningful progress.

However, as a highly spiritual person who finds great interest in physics, this statement stuck me though as rather myopic. It is totally false to say that science is incompatible with religion. It may be true to say that science it rather incompatible with conservative christian views, but conservative christianity hardly represents all world religion.

04-14-1999, 06:30 PM
The issue is not, IMHO, whether science and religion are compatible. The question -- and a burning, critical question it is -- is whether science and morality are compatible.

The argument that science is correct in all things, and that religion is wrong, can (and has) lead all too easily to the argument that science transcends morality. Then we get the Nazi "scientists" throwing people naked into freezing water to see how long it takes them to die; or withholding antibiotics from blacks with syphilis to see the progress of the disease; or....

04-14-1999, 07:48 PM
The question -- and a burning, critical question it is -- is whether science and morality are compatible. -- CXDextHavn
This question was very important to Einstein, and he spoke eloquently about it. I agree with his view that religion and the values it brings are very important, and must work in concert with science. He didn't agree with highly dogmatic religion that refused the contributions of science, but saw the values and the sense of meaning that comes from religion as important.

"science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind" -- Albert Einstien, 1941

04-14-1999, 09:28 PM
I am both an engineer and a practicing Catholic. I don't think that religion and science are incompatable. As I said above, science has great use, but is limited in application to physical reality. Scientists that believe that science can be used to make moral decisions are using science as a religion, which is a clear distortion of it's nature and purpose.

------------------
"I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms." -The Secret of Monkey Island

04-15-1999, 12:16 AM
Phil D,
Thank you for your last post directed at me. I am finally begining to understand why you find science and religion so incompatible. (I still don't agree with you, and probably never will).
I think Diceman's comments on the roles of science and religion express my basic reaction better than I would have been able to do, had my first intended reply not been interupted.

04-15-1999, 09:20 AM
The argument that science is correct in all things, and that religion is wrong, can (and has) lead all too easily to the argument that science transcends morality. Then we get the Nazi "scientists" throwing people naked into freezing water to see how long it takes them to die; or withholding antibiotics from blacks with syphilis to see the progress of the disease; or....

Science is a TOOL -- a method for finding out about the world and universe around us. What somebody DOES with the science is another issue.

In other words, science does not "trascend" morality so much as it has nothing to do with morality. Is withholding vaccine in a double-blind test a scientifically valid way to examine something? Yes. Is it a HUMANE way to do it? No. But one can be humane and have morals without also having religion. In fact, some of the most moral people I know are atheists, while I know very religious people who hate gays and see no problem with messing around on their wives...


------------------
"It's a very dangerous thing to believe in nonsense." -- James Randi

04-15-1999, 10:35 AM
Never once in this thread did I claim that science is useful for making moral decisions, so I hope noone thinks I was suggesting anything of the sort. I was claiming the converse, that religion is not useful for explanations concerning the physical world--geology, astronomy, biology, genetics, and what have you.

Moral decision should be made based on that which benefits the greatest number of people while causing the least amount of suffering. Anything else is window dressing.

------------------
** Phil D. **
"Not only is the world queerer than we imagine,
it is queerer than we can imagine."
--J.B.S. Haldane

04-15-1999, 10:38 AM
There are a number of liberal theologians commenting in this area. None of them are sufficiently connected to the real world. Christian doctrines that conflict with reason should not be revised, but rejected. Intellectually honest people know that the Bible is factually incorrect. Atheists, therefore, say that there's nothing more to argue, and that further "interpretation" by the liberal theologian won't move him or her one inch closer to refuting atheism. No kidding! Theologians spend far too much time defending a set of beliefs, and far too little time searching for truth. As usual, the atheists have all the best arguments.

04-15-1999, 02:08 PM
I am surprised that with all the bible "scholars" in this board noone pointed out that S&G in the myth were not destroyed for getting all freaky and Jiggy with it. They were destroyed for forcing their moral beliefs on others. Being inhospitable to guests is and always will be one of the greatest crimes in subsistance level societies.

------------------
&lt;insert witty sig here&gt;

04-15-1999, 03:10 PM
I am surprised that with all the bible "scholars" in this board noone pointed out that S&G in the myth were not destroyed for getting all freaky and Jiggy with it. They were destroyed for forcing their moral beliefs on others.
Uh, have you read this story lately? When God's (male) messengers show up at Lot's house, the townsmen gather outside and demand that Lot send the visitors outside to "have intimacies with them" [Genesis 19: v1-11]. Translation: "those guys have nice asses!" Of couse, the angels will have none of this, and blind the guys. This is attempted rape, not just inhospitablility.

------------------
"I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms." -The Secret of Monkey Island

04-15-1999, 03:58 PM
Okay, Diceman. You brought up the passage. I feel the full passage should be given for the record:

19:6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,
19:7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
19:8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.


Translation:

Lot: "I have to virgin daughters. I'll bring 'em out and you can have your jollies with them. Just leave our guests alone."


I must say that this guy is not a paragon of virtue.


That being said, I don't see what problem there is about a logical inconsistency in the Adam/Eve/Cain story. It never said God didn't create *other* people. Same for Noah. Nothing says he didn't do some creating himself after that.

Personally, I'm agnostic and treat it as mythology, just like other religions (ancient and contemporary). It's got a lot of bad stuff in it (like the above story with Lot, and a particularly nasty bit where God sends a couple of bears to maul 42 kids who made fun of a prophets baldness [2 Kings 2:23,24]). But a lot of it can be "explained" if you make the small concession that it's not supposed to be an all-ecompassing account and can leave stuff out (like God creating other humans).

04-15-1999, 05:04 PM
I must say that this guy is not a paragon of virtue.
Yeah, I know. I'd love to know what the daughters had to say about that idea. :)
However, God didn't save Lot & family because of any special redeaming values in Lot. He saved them for Abraham's sake.

------------------
"I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms." -The Secret of Monkey Island

04-15-1999, 07:19 PM
I only got about halfway through this thread, partly because, as one poster stated, I don't want to get involved in God threads, partly because I see much of these types of arguments as tail-chasing, without any resolution; in short, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing.

It also dismays me to see the snide and hurtful things written by people whose other posts I've found to be witty, good-natured and informative. IMHO, this type of thing only brings out the worst in people, and both sides come across sounding petty, defensive and superstitious.

To get my own feelings on the matter into the mix, I believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God, written by individuals (hence the different literary styles). It is a moral, spiritual guidebook for life. I am not interested in scouring the world for facts to back up my faith. There are many things I don't understand in my religion; however, I don't believe that my relationship with God depends on my being able to fully understand everything. That's why it's based on faith. If it were fact-based, then all questions would be erased. Two plus two equals four, and that ends the debate, but there is no equation which equals God. If that makes me foolish or superstitious, so be it.

Scientists, when faced with something unexplainable, say they don't know the answer yet. That's admirable for a scientist. Christians say we see now as through a glass darkly, but one day we will see face to face. That's bloody foolish.

I don't claim to have all the answers, but it doesn't hamper my ability to believe that my faith is placed in One who does have them.



------------------
The Dave-Guy
"since my daughter's only half-Jewish, can she go in up to her knees?" J.H. Marx

04-16-1999, 12:41 AM
quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The question -- and a burning, critical question it is -- is whether science and morality are compatible. -- CXDextHavn
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Are religion and morality compatible?
Peace,
mangeorge

04-16-1999, 01:21 PM
Did anyone notice Cheese Head didn't post after his first post? Does this mean something?

I always see posts about the bible going on forever......

04-16-1999, 09:19 PM
Warning! This link is l-o-n-g. Those of you used to reading comic books had best not click on it. Those who read it will have to admit the guy has some points.

http://www.humanism.net/religion/thebible.html

+Ron
"After two six packs, all these things will become clear."...Ron

04-16-1999, 11:11 PM
{After TWo six packs, all things will become clear in the end...} Egads Ron.

I think this sums up this theological debate perfectly.

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You have no one to blame but yourself and everyone has you to blame, too. - From Taxi Driver Wisdom

04-23-1999, 03:45 PM
There's another confusing section. I think it is Seth who says he is afraid to leave Eden because of the "other people" outside. Who are they and from where did they come... if they were the product of Adam and Eve, why would they have left Eden?

------------------
"[He] beat his fist down upon the table and hurt his hand and became so
further enraged... that he beat his fist down upon the table even harder and
hurt his hand some more." -- Joseph Heller's Catch-22

04-23-1999, 07:00 PM
The Bible took quite some time to write.Were there 50 authors?Maybe more?What are the chances they all got their story dictated correctly(by God, presumably)AND that nobody edited it later?
If you decide to believe in the God of the Bible, the general principles are drawn out somewhat consistently.Pretty good for such an old story.Most mythology, for example, is just a fairy tale after a similar process.
----------
We'll burn that bridge when we get there

04-26-1999, 08:23 AM
I'm a biologist and RC. correct me if I'm wrong, it says some where one of God's years is equal to 1000 of a man. Isnt it possible that the creation story is on the smae kind of time scale, ie each stage took place in one of His days rather than one of ours which is how we have taken it. God must have created time at some point but it doesnt mention any where that one day of creation makes one of our days. Anyway thats one way I can continue to have my faith and my work. :)

04-26-1999, 08:33 AM
Oh I forgot, in genesis one, it doesnt mention the number of humans created by God, it just says He created men and women in the image of Himself. it could be that Adam and Eve were just used as an example of how all the men and women had sinned in Genesis two

04-26-1999, 09:11 AM
I'm a biologist and RC. correct me if I'm wrong, it says some where one of God's years is equal to 1000
of a man. Isnt it possible that the creation story is on the smae kind of time scale, ie each stage took
place in one of His days rather than one of ours which is how we have taken it. God must have created
time at some point but it doesnt mention any where that one day of creation makes one of our days.

Oh, fer . . .

1) The Bible specifically says "days," and refers to "the sunrise and sunset being the [x]th day." If that doesn't mean a literal 24-hour day, I don't know what does.

2) It really doesn't matter, the time scale is still off by a factor of many millions of years using your idea.

3) As is the order of when certain living creatures arose, and as a biologist, you know that.

------------------
** Phil D. **
"Not only is the world queerer than we imagine,
it is queerer than we can imagine."
--J.B.S. Haldane

Markxxx
08-23-1999, 05:38 AM
Interesting thread

First) You cannot take the bible to be literal. Example shown two stories of creation. In the gosples one says BOTH thieves taunted Jesus. Another says only ONE thief did. IT DIDN'T HAPPEN BOTH WAYS. It was one or the other.

Second) The bible, by it's very name means books. It isn't ONE book it is many.Psalms is poetry. Revelations is imagry these are books unto themselves. Reason demands you don't take a psalm with the same force of a comandmet.

Third) Meanings change over time. Who knows what "cool" "hip" and other slang will mean 2000 years from now. The best interpetations are that interpetations.

Finally) Regarding incest. There are many examples of children born between brothers and sisters, fathers and daughters and cousins.These kids are in everyway normal. Incest doesn't mean you will have a "Monster" for a kid. It just means the chances for genetic flaws are multiplied much.

David B
08-23-1999, 08:48 AM
Mark, as you might have noticed, this thread is somewhat old (it dates back to before the Great Debates forum existed). You're probably better off jumping into one of the several related threads currently active in Great Debates.