View Poll Results: How much of The Bible have you read?
Never touched the Bible 5 2.78%
Skimmed the Bible 55 30.56%
Read the Bible 105 58.33%
Other 15 8.33%
Voters: 180. You may not vote on this poll

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  #51  
Old 02-08-2019, 06:15 PM
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I've skimmed it, it is a pretty terrible read.
  #52  
Old 02-08-2019, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Assuming you don't want theists to vote in the poll, so I didn't. If you do, I have read the entire Bible including the begots. As a matter of fact, I just finished listening to the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles on audiobook. I used to be able to read Greek, so I read the New Testament in the original language, although I can't any more.

I have read the Old Testament probably a dozen or more times, and the New Testament more like fifteen, end-to-end. The lectionary of the Lutheran church goes on a three year cycle, and I have been going to church all my life, so do the math if you like. I have also read about the Bible, devotional, textual criticism, all that.

FWIW.

Regards,
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Trouble finding a cite for it, so take it for what it's worth, but, I was raised Lutheran, and I do remember my pastor talking about many parts of the bible that are never used in Lectionary Readings.


Hmmm, not specific to Lutheran, but this talks about the lectionaries in general.

Quote:
There are no Lectionary Readings from the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Obadiah, and Nahum. Readings from the Apocrypha are not included.
Someone else can do the math to see how much of the rest is covered. For instance, I am not seeing kayaker's favorite passage, in fact, it seems to go straight from Ezekiel 18 to 33, skipping over everything in between.

You've read it cover to cover a bit, so you've got it covered, but anyone who just shows up and listens is only getting a part of the whole.
  #53  
Old 02-08-2019, 06:27 PM
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What about people who were raised in a faith other than Christianity who later profess atheism, or at least no specific religion?
  #54  
Old 02-08-2019, 06:49 PM
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Call me atheist adjacent; I'm agnostic.

I was also raised Catholic from birth, spent 12 years in Catholic school, and was even an altar boy. So of course I am closer to skimmed than reading the entire thing. I've read both the Quran and Tao Te Ching though.
  #55  
Old 02-08-2019, 07:01 PM
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I put "other" because I've certainly never read it all the way through, and I wouldn't say I've skimmed it either, because that means that you've at least briefly looked over all parts of it. I've read selected bits of it over the years, various specific stories and such, but that crap is so badly written I could never subject myself to reading the whole thing. I have better fiction to read.

And for the record, my reasons for being an atheist are not the sort of thing that any amount of additional reading could squelch - unless the book has the power to brainwash or something.
  #56  
Old 02-08-2019, 07:04 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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I cannot say I never touched it, but I also cannot say I ever skimmed it. I've read a few verses, including the beginning of genesis and the description of the kashruth a few times and I had ten verses from the bible read to me 190 days a year for 12 years, as required by commonwealth law at the time. I probably got the 23 psalm several hundred times. My family didn't own a bible as I discovered one day when we got a school assignment to read something in the bible and ??? (don't remember what I was supposed to do). While my parents would not have identified as atheists, there was just no religion in our lives. Of myself I say that as far as certain knowledge, I am an agnostic, but as a matter of belief I am an atheist.
  #57  
Old 02-08-2019, 07:20 PM
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I went to Sunday School starting when I was 8 years old.
When I was 15 (having read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and the Gospels thoroughly), I asked my teacher if there was any proof of God. He admitted there wasn't (he was a decent chap) and I became an atheist.

I did win the Religious Education prize at school about that time (mainly tested on Acts in the New Testament) - even though I don't believe in God I still read the Bible and answered questions on it.
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  #58  
Old 02-08-2019, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post

But the same is true for people being familiar with, say, Romeo and Juliet without having ever watched the play (either as written by Shakespeare, or any of its cinematic redos), or with Don Juan without really knowing anything about him beyond his name. Or knowing that "the number of the beast" is the name of a song by Metallica... all three of which I've encountered.

All those are expressions people know because they're part of our popular culture, without necessarily being familiar with the background.
[my bold]

Sorry, I have to nitpick, it was an Iron Maiden song. It's what we dopers do .

As for reading the Bible. Three times, cover to cover, special parts like the whole New Testament, Genesis, Exodus, Kings, Chronicles, Samuel and Judges more often, those are my favorite parts. But let's not talk about the minor prophets and, heaven (heh!) forbid, Maccabees ever again (hint: booooring). Doing all this reading long after I had become an atheist (or rather, after realizing the concept with about 12 years, seeing that I am one), out of general interest (I had learned bits and parts through Catholic upbringing and certainly knew about parables like the good Samaritan and others), I couldn't help but wonder every time how a coherent religion or even a moral code could be derived from this hodgepodge.
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  #59  
Old 02-08-2019, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
Obviously never in Hebrew.
Arabians learn Arabian with the speed of summer lightning
And Hebrews read it backwards which is absolutely frightening.
- Prof. Henry Higgins

I did read the creation story in Hebrew. I've read many good translations, but the original is far more beautiful than any of them.
  #60  
Old 02-08-2019, 07:31 PM
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When debating atheism on line in 1975 (on PLATO) I said that I'd read the Bible cover to cover and report if someone sent me one. Someone did, and I did.

Reading the naughty parts not often mentioned by believers certainly helped me to reinforce my atheism.
There are many tropes known to the general public who have never read the original, like the good Samaritan story. How many who know "to be or not to be" have read Hamlet?
  #61  
Old 02-08-2019, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
What about people who were raised in a faith other than Christianity who later profess atheism, or at least no specific religion?
I put "read the Bible" but I guess there are different levels of reading the Bible.

I grew up in a non-religious household with Chinese immigrant parents, and first encountered a Bible in the form of a "Good News Bible" given to me by a door-to-door missionary when I was about 10 years old. I read it cover to cover, because hey, this book is FAMOUS, right? I didn't realize it wasn't the whole Bible until later.

How much later? I'm going to guess I was 12 or 13 years old, because I started listening to rock radio in 7th grade after a school bus I took for a while had a driver that regularly put on the NY station WNEW-FM while driving, and I was familar with the Jethro Tull song "Aqualung" which mentioned picking up "Gideon's Bible, open at page one". The next time we were in a hotel or motel room while traveling, I looked in the bedside drawer and found a Gideon's Bible, and hey, it had both "Old" and "New" Testaments in it!

The book said to take it, so I did. I still have it.

I have read the first five books of the Old Testament in detail (the Pentateuch), but sort of petered out after that, as the begats and the prophets of the doom of Israel and the Babylonian Exile and so on didn't really speak that much to me.

Frankly what's in Leviticus and Deuteronomy can be pretty scary. Try reading "Ken's Guide to the Bible" sometime, it really boils it down.

Last edited by robardin; 02-08-2019 at 09:08 PM.
  #62  
Old 02-08-2019, 09:15 PM
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Several times, for various reasons of academics and curiosity. It's not the sole reason I'm an atheist, but it's pretty much why I'm not a Christian. As I've said before -- if you changed the setting and names enough that they weren't obvious, nobody would ever take the "Lord" character for anything other than a villain based on the actual text, and many, many characters in the book wouldn't be thought of in the same way as the pulpit suggests.
  #63  
Old 02-08-2019, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Saw this in another thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth
Everyone, even those atheist and who have never touched a Bible understands what is meant by "A Good Samaritan". It's part of our culture.
, and I was wondering if "People that are atheists because they never touched a Bible" is an actual thing, so I created this poll.
This is the reason that I rarely venture into GD. I agree with the argument that the Kentucky law appears to be a pretense at allowing an openly religious class in school and probably an end run around the prohibition against displaying religious symbols in schools. Iím not impressed with DrDethís arguments in the thread.

However, the use of quotes around "People that are atheists because they never touched a Bible" is simply not justified. DrDeth did not say that nor did he imply that.

Anyway. Growing up Mormon, I read parts of the Bible. Our main focus on the Book of Mormon and other modern revelations. We would read various stories and sections without reading it from cover to cover. Mormonism believes that modern prophet trump ancient ones so there was less urgency in studying the Bible for clues to Godís will.
  #64  
Old 02-08-2019, 11:40 PM
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I read somewhere the the bible should be republished as an old fashioned Ace double. One side would be, "War god of Isreal," and the flip side would be, "The thing with three souls"
  #65  
Old 02-08-2019, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
When debating atheism on line in 1975 (on PLATO) I said that I'd read the Bible cover to cover and report if someone sent me one. Someone did, and I did.

Reading the naughty parts not often mentioned by believers certainly helped me to reinforce my atheism.
There are many tropes known to the general public who have never read the original, like the good Samaritan story. How many who know "to be or not to be" have read Hamlet?
For the benefit of anyone who ISNíT familiar with the story of the Good Samaritan...
  #66  
Old 02-09-2019, 12:40 AM
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Skimmed it. I used to have a Bible where I'd highlighted various evil or contradictory passages that I'd happened upon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
He certainly implied that an atheist would not know what a "good samaritan" was, were it not part of our culture.
Hah, I've seen a priest complain about his parishioners not knowing what a "Good Samaritan" is. Oh, they know the parable but entirely miss the point, they just parrot it and think it was a story about how Samaritans were good people.
  #67  
Old 02-09-2019, 03:23 AM
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Always been an atheist and the skimming of the bible as a child never convinced me. A fuller reading later on revealed literature, poetry, wisdom and harmful bullshit in equal measures but nothing to suggest a divine or supernatural source.

On the subject of the good Samaritan, it is always nice to point out to Christians that even Jesus is saying that Christianity is not needed to be a good person. Time for a Mitchell and Webb sketch.
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  #68  
Old 02-09-2019, 03:49 AM
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Thanks for sharing that.

Your friend,
Chopped Liver
  #69  
Old 02-09-2019, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
Thanks for sharing that.

Your friend,
Chopped Liver
Is that to me? If so, I don't get the reference.
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  #70  
Old 02-09-2019, 09:07 AM
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Wow, a lot of people are taking "reading the Bible" to mean a lot more than I thought it meant. I have read the Torah (5 books of Moses) several times. I've read several of the prophets, including all of the historical books that are called "prophets". I read the New Testament from cover to cover when someone gave me one in college. I've read scatterings of other parts. Sure I've read the Bible. It's not a novel that was designed to be read in order.
  #71  
Old 02-09-2019, 09:35 AM
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Wow, a lot of people are taking "reading the Bible" to mean a lot more than I thought it meant. I have read the Torah (5 books of Moses) several times. I've read several of the prophets, including all of the historical books that are called "prophets". I read the New Testament from cover to cover when someone gave me one in college. I've read scatterings of other parts. Sure I've read the Bible. It's not a novel that was designed to be read in order.
You just hit on something interesting to me. There's a difference to me between "read the Bible [present tense]" which means you regularly read part of it, and "have read the Bible," which to me implies having read the whole thing at least once (though not necessarily in order).

I'm not an atheist, but a few more options might have been nice for those who have read some full books, and for people who have read through more than half. For me as a Christian, there's also "Have almost certainly read through the whole thing by now," which includes intentionally reading parts that I know don't come up much, like Job and Song of Solomon, or quickly reading through the lesser prophets.
  #72  
Old 02-09-2019, 09:47 AM
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I'm considering attempting to read the whole thing again. Here's my strategy:

Step 1: Pentateuch

Step 2: ???

Step 3: Prophets!
  #73  
Old 02-09-2019, 09:48 AM
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I've read only a few books of the Bible. Most of the well-known stories I picked up other ways, in many cases via Sunday School. Put me down as an "uninterested agnostic" ó so uninterested that I've not Googled to see if there's a word that describes my views slightly better than "agnostic."

Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker
I do know how to find Ezekiel 23:20, and usually underline or highlight that part in hotel bibles.
Which version do the Gideon's use?
Quote:
[King James] For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses.

[Douay-Rheims] And she was mad with lust after lying with them whose flesh is as the flesh of asses: and whose issue as the issue of horses.
Either way I don't get it. Ezekiel 23 has verses that seem stranger and lewder than this one.
  #74  
Old 02-09-2019, 10:01 AM
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I'm your garden variety agnostic--Damned if I know how we got here and where we go when we die and doubly damned cause I do not care.

But I have read the Bible, mostly so I can argue with the rah-rah's (really religious) about the parts they don't follow; i.e. why aren't you out killing witches or Do you think women speaking in church are a disgrace?
  #75  
Old 02-09-2019, 10:14 AM
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I'm studying it because I plan to go on Jeopardy

Stupid Jeopardy.
  #76  
Old 02-09-2019, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicks Ate View Post
I'm considering attempting to read the whole thing again. Here's my strategy:

Step 1: Pentateuch

Step 2: ???

Step 3: Prophets!
  #77  
Old 02-09-2019, 10:29 AM
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I also consider myself agnostic and did not fully grasp from the wording of the poll nor the OP that only atheists were supposed to vote.

I read the New Testament when I was in college. I was raised Southern Baptist and have read large parts of the Old Testament, but at that point in my life I didn't consider it particularly relevant, since so much of what Jesus preached was variations of "the old covenant isn't the deal any more."

Last edited by KneadToKnow; 02-09-2019 at 10:29 AM.
  #78  
Old 02-09-2019, 11:35 AM
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I...

I can recall the exact time I became convinced of the reason of atheism. Somewhere around 4th-6th grade in catechism class. I even recall the lay teacher's name - Mrs Beers. One day she was going on about heaven and who gets to go, and it just struck me as ridiculous that millions/billions of fine upstanding Indians and Chinese couldn't go to heaven, no matter how nice they were. The rest of the blocks soon fell as well.

....
I questioned that myself and it lead me away from christianity but not away from God. Also I found the answers to your questions in the bible among with other places (yes they go to 'heaven'). The vary nature of the question infers that they too have a valid faith, as they too should be accepted into heaven. So why throw the baby out with the bathwater? That leap , rejecting God because you reject/find flaws with a religion, I never understood.
  #79  
Old 02-09-2019, 11:39 AM
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Also I didn't vote because I am a theist but read the Bible several times, prayed for understanding, received revelation about it and God, saw the errors and reason for religion, saw a much more glorious and loving God in scriptures hidden in plain sight, never read it continuously Genesis to Revelation but chose/lead by God to books of the Bible which were often read in completion.
  #80  
Old 02-09-2019, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Sicks Ate View Post
I'm considering attempting to read the whole thing again. Here's my strategy:

Step 1: Pentateuch

Step 2: ???

Step 3: Prophets!
This works every time
  #81  
Old 02-09-2019, 11:59 AM
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I'm actually looking for a non-smarmy* audiobook of old and/or new testaments, but I want a more accurate translation than King James, and not one that interpolates its interpretations without noting this. Recommendations from among these, or others?

*fakey pompous religious radio voice
  #82  
Old 02-09-2019, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Tatterdemalion View Post
I read somewhere the the bible should be republished as an old fashioned Ace double. One side would be, "War god of Isreal," and the flip side would be, "The thing with three souls"
I love it! Don Wollheim is smiling down on you.

Voyager, who has 2 shelf fulls of Ace Doubles.

(Now, who does the covers?)
  #83  
Old 02-09-2019, 05:16 PM
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There's an ocean of options between "skimmed" and "read" an 800,000-word compilation.
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  #84  
Old 02-09-2019, 06:00 PM
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Is that to me? If so, I don't get the reference.
Post 65.

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  #85  
Old 02-09-2019, 06:56 PM
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I voted ďotherĒ. Iíve read the Gospels and Acts out of curiosity, and dipped into the Torah, just to find out what the fuss was about. But for shits and giggles in college, I chose Biblical Hebrew as my foreign language requirement, and by the fourth semester was reading bits of Kings, Chronicles, and Samuel in the original.

Canít say that reading the Bible made me an atheist - Stephen Jay Gould, Terry Pratchett, and Mircea Eliade are more responsible for that - but seeing how parts of the Hebrew texts are corrupt, and having to do my own research as to what the text was actually saying, certainly put paid to any notion that it was of divine origin.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:01 PM
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Trouble finding a cite for it, so take it for what it's worth, but, I was raised Lutheran, and I do remember my pastor talking about many parts of the bible that are never used in Lectionary Readings.


Hmmm, not specific to Lutheran, but this talks about the lectionaries in general.



Someone else can do the math to see how much of the rest is covered. For instance, I am not seeing kayaker's favorite passage, in fact, it seems to go straight from Ezekiel 18 to 33, skipping over everything in between.

You've read it cover to cover a bit, so you've got it covered, but anyone who just shows up and listens is only getting a part of the whole.
The Episcopal Church does occasionally have readings from the Apocrypha.
  #87  
Old 02-10-2019, 02:14 AM
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I'm closer to read than skimmed, so that's what I put. I've read the entire new testament a couple of times and a lot of the old, but I skimmed a lot of the genealogy and Jewish law.

I'm kind of with EscAlaMike on the historical fiction bit. How can you say that the Psalms, for example, are historical fiction? That's like saying Leaves of Grass is historical fiction.

If anyone is interested, I found This book to be a great way of getting at the meat of the Bible without having to deal with the repetitive boring bits or the inexplicable tiny print and numbering system.
That page says it has a "new introduction." How do you update "In the Beginning...."?

And thanks for that link, Larry. I like that it's KJV, which is what I grew up with. I expected something more modern.
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Old 02-10-2019, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
Post 65.

I just assumed yours was sober explanation of the theological issues and that no-one else would be as flippant as me.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:53 AM
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I actually became an atheist as a result of reading the bible for confirmation class when I was about 14. (More accurately, I realized that I had always been an atheist, but had previously been repeating what I'd been told to when asked if I believed in God). We read the entire New Testament, and parts of the Hebrew Testament, over the course of a year and a half. We also memorized passages like the 23rd Psalm, the Apostles' Creed, and First Corinthians 13. The latter fascinated me, because of the similarity of "without love I have nothing" to the Beatles' "all you need is love".

The dealbreaker for me was the magic: I didn't have a problem with (most of) the moral arguments, but I saw no evidence for the supernatural claims, just like I'd never believed in ESP, astrology, ghosts, etc.

Last edited by F. U. Shakespeare; 02-10-2019 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:38 AM
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I voted 'other' because there was no 'less than skimmed' option.


mmm
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:13 AM
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Read it once, when I got a Kindle so I could pick up exactly where I left off. It took almost three years. I term myself a strong agnostic (tr. a pedantic atheist*)
Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
He certainly implied that an atheist would not know what a "good samaritan" was, were it not part of our culture.
When I was active in the Libertarian Party, our county put on the state convention one year. I don't know if one of the members of the committee was an atheist -- the subject never came up -- but he was definitely counter culture. His father was with Jack Kerouac when he was "on the road." Anyway, With Meals was an option offered and when the budget was getting tight for the biggest meal, the Saturday banquet, somebody made a crack about loaves and fishes. The guy in question had no idea why the rest of us were chuckling.

*I find the proofs some atheists put up for the non-existence of any gods to be less than convincing (it is hard to prove the negative) but find the evidence provided by theists to be specious, to the point where I have stopped looking.
  #92  
Old 02-10-2019, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by EscAlaMike View Post
Hmm...you might want to learn a little bit more about it before claiming that a collected library of 73 separate books can be classified under one genre, not to mention a genre that, for all intents and purposes, didn't even exist until the 17th century (historical fiction).
No thanks. I don't watch RomComs, but people are always suggesting a movie that I know I won't like because it's a RomCom. "But (famous actress) shows some boob!" Heh, I don't like RomComs.

I am so thankful that I was raised without religion. My mom was Jewish, my dad was P-something (Protestant or Presbyterian I never get it right). They exposed me to a bit of all religions and it all seemed nuts to me.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:39 AM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is online now
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Post 65.
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I just assumed yours was sober explanation of the theological issues and that no-one else would be as flippant as me.
Donít worry about it; itís completely understandable. Iím famous for those...
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:14 AM
Napier Napier is offline
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Waded through it because it's significant in my society, but, the begats and all the violence are certainly tedious. It was decades ago and I retained little.
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:30 AM
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Parable: every summer, my best friend and I travel around, stop off the beaten track and collect stones that are there. She mostly focuses on the ones that are prettiest, whereas I am attracted to the ones that tell a story. The language of the million/billion-year story that a particular stone reveals may, possibly, be translated into text, but it is much easier to reach without that investment. It is better to let the ages and torments of which it speaks to just wash over you in a vague sense.

The concepts held by a deity would have a similar relationship to human language. It would lose way too much in translation for the translation to have any useful value. I have read and perused many parts of the bible, and if the words claim to be the wisdom of a superbeing, the translation is terrible.
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:35 AM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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That page says it has a "new introduction." How do you update "In the Beginning...."?
String theory?

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Read it once, when I got a Kindle so I could pick up exactly where I left off. It took almost three years. I term myself a strong agnostic (tr. a pedantic atheist*)When I was active in the Libertarian Party, our county put on the state convention one year. I don't know if one of the members of the committee was an atheist -- the subject never came up -- but he was definitely counter culture. His father was with Jack Kerouac when he was "on the road." Anyway, With Meals was an option offered and when the budget was getting tight for the biggest meal, the Saturday banquet, somebody made a crack about loaves and fishes. The guy in question had no idea why the rest of us were chuckling.

*I find the proofs some atheists put up for the non-existence of any gods to be less than convincing (it is hard to prove the negative) but find the evidence provided by theists to be specious, to the point where I have stopped looking.
I've worked with a number of ignorant theists.

A joke that I sometimes tell, that is actually kinda pro-religion, is about the scientists competing with god. They say that they can do anything that God can do. When god challenges them to make man as he made man, they begin gathering dirt, at which point god interrupts, and says, "No, you get your *own* dirt."

To which, an ignorant theist co-worker of mine responded, "That's sacrilegious, besides, god made Adam from a rib."

Another time, when I had asked this same person if he had swept the walk-in, and he replied "Yes." even though I could still see the broom in the same spot that I had left it, I said, "Doesn't that bible thingy have some mighty strong words about lying?", "No." , "Nothing in the Ten Commandments about bearing false witness?" "Huh, what does that mean?"

But he took his religion very seriously.
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:05 PM
robardin robardin is online now
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That page says it has a "new introduction." How do you update "In the Beginning...."?
Interesting question. It reminds me of the pic I have somewhere on my iPhone of leatherbound new editions of the Bible on a shelf at a Barnes and Noble reading "Signed By Author".
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:41 PM
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I tried reading it a few years back, figuring it's something everybody should do once, even if I don't believe what it says.

Never even got through Genesis. Man, is that a dry read.
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:47 PM
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Never even got through Genesis. Man, is that a dry read.
Dry, except for that one extremely wet part.
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:54 PM
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I tried reading it a few years back, figuring it's something everybody should do once, even if I don't believe what it says.

Never even got through Genesis. Man, is that a dry read.
Try this version of Genesis.
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