• Hanover
    7.5k
    And some of them say "Democraps" instead of "Democrats".baker

    I once heard that Catholic priests were raping children and the Church covered it up. That's a worse misdeed. And there's even worse than that by many other religions. Even worse by many governments.

    Link this back to what we're talking about.
  • baker
    3.7k
    Yay, a revised edition of god's final and infallible word! The irony is endless.
  • baker
    3.7k
    The question of whether a religious institution can be determined as per se evil from a cursory and decontextualized reading of their religious doctrine remains in the negative.Hanover
    Link this back to what we're talking about.Hanover

    The currency of religion is trust.

    Learning things like mentioned before (from aggressive proselytizing strategies to priestly abuse of minors) undermines one's trust in a particular religion, or in religions in general.

    We are justified to expect a measure of purity and straightforwardness from the very people who promote them.

    For me as an external observer (who is perhaps on a spiritual quest), the religious institution has one chance to prove itself trustworthy. Approaching a religion should not be an exercise in ignoring red flags or inventing excuses as to why said religious institution is justified to do whatever it's doing.

    If some religious institution truly holds the keys to heaven, then it shouldn't have any blemishes. And by this I mean primarily blemishes that the religious institution itself recognizes as such (e.g. the way the RCC did, by apologizing on numerous occasions by now; I'm not even talking about things that I may consider red flags and blemishes).

    If the religious institution wants total trust from us, it needs to earn it. If it wants us to stake our eternity on its teachings, it needs to be flawless (which was actually the line of reasoning for why the RCC denied any wrongdoing for so long).

    So it's not about whether a religious institution can be determined as per se evil, it's about whether it earns a particular person's trust or not.
  • Isaac
    5.9k
    Your first question ("who says?") is answered by yourself in your response to me.Hanover

    No. The first question is about the meaning of texts, the second about the observed consequences. If I wrote, at the top of my 'Rules of My Gang' - "Everyone must have a skinhead", and no-one on my gang has a skinhead, that doesn't change the meaning of the expression "everyone must have a skinhead", it's still an ordinary expression in English with a fairly uncontroversial meaning that any English speaker could have a crack at. The adherence, or not, of my gang members to that instruction isn't what all that determines it's meaning.

    Every document can be hypothesized into a bad document.Hanover

    Nonsense. A document which said nothing but "You ought to be kind to others" is not on an equal footing with a document which says nothing but "you ought to rape children". It's utterly absurd to suggest that the former is no better a document than the latter because "Every document can be hypothesized into a bad document.". Yes, every document can be interpreted badly, what matters is the ease with which that can be done.
  • baker
    3.7k
    Yes, but that's because a Ugandan, like it or not, is not under the jurisdiction of the US constitution and you, like it or not, are.

    This is not the case with the Bible, which is just a book and people voluntarily follow some, all, or none of it's edicts as they see fit.

    The difference is one of pragmatism. I can quite legitimately, intervene in people's interpretation of religious texts. I might say to the Pope "look at this line from the bible, isn't this all nonsense", and he could say "yes, you're right, sod this for a game of soldiers". In contrast, I could provide the best argument in the world to a judge about some line in a legal document and he'd still have to say "well, that's the way the legal community have interpreted it so there's little I can do".

    Each individual member of the legal community is constrained to some extent by the others and subject to their interpretation regardless.

    Each individual member of a religion could make up a new rule, walk away entirely, or not as they see fit and they'd be in no way bound by traditional interpretations. They could invent a new church, a new cult, an entirely new religion, or abandon the project entirely.

    You're treating biblical law as if it applied in the same way as actual law. It doesn't. Biblical law is entirely optional. Take all of it, some of it, none of it, as you see fit. Make it up as you go along, stick to 2000yr old edicts, listen to your pastors, ignore them entirely, whatever you like. As such, there's no reason at all why a complete outsider might not take part in the discussion on the basis of what each line/section/story means to them, it's possible that their unique take might change the understanding of any individual, since there's no practical constraint on what the 'right' interpretation is.
    Isaac

    The question of what a document means is interpreted by the method agreed upon by those who use the document as to what it means.Hanover

    This is just incorrect and largely why you're not afforded a seat at the table when offering interpretations of biblical sources. There's nothing meaningfully distinct between how legal documents are interpreted as opposed to religious except for the fact that you have respect for the Anglo tradition of legal interpretation, but not for the systems in place for biblical interpretation.Hanover


    Both of your points apply.

    On the one hand, there are the Protestants and the Born-Again Christians, for example, who, basically espouse a DIY view of what should count for God's word and God's law. Or, if we look at the multitudes and versatility of religions, there ensues a relativism on account that religions espouse all kinds of views.

    On the other hand, there are the Jews, and the specific schools within Judaism, for example, with their very definitive understanding of what should count for God's word and God's law.

    We, as outsiders, are exposed to both views and practices by the religious people.
    So the Protestants, for example, want us to consider ourselves subject to God's law and that everything said the Bible applies to us. Also, just yesterday, the head of the Orthodox church in his Orthodox Christmas speech on national television, spoke in a manner that his message applied to everyone, not just the members of the Eastern orthodox Church.
    While on the other hand, there are those religious people who maintain that outsiders have no business even reading scriptures.

    So what are we, as outsiders, supposed to do?
  • baker
    3.7k
    The difference is one of pragmatism. I can quite legitimately, intervene in people's interpretation of religious texts.Isaac

    In the name of pragmatism, why would you intervene like that?


    I might say to the Pope

    No, you couldn't. You can't just get an audience with the Pope.
  • baker
    3.7k
    There is no one true faith or one interpretation.Ennui Elucidator

    And pretty much every religion/spirituality categorically disagrees with your claim.
  • Ennui Elucidator
    359
    And pretty much every religion/spirituality categorically disagrees with your claim.baker

    Sure, but my religion does agree with me. And has for a few thousand years. People’s inclination towards certainty isn’t new, but it doesn’t mean that it dominates all traditions.

    The claim of being “right” for all of time lacks the sort of humility required from fallible people in an ever changing world.
  • baker
    3.7k
    Who is writing your posts? [...]
    — baker

    You need to differentiate the writer and what's written (the topic at hand).
    jorndoe

    No, it's crucial to the topic at hand.

    E.g. Banno's take on it:

    You have to then insist on the authority of your own conventions over those of the folk who would stone adulterers.Banno

    If arguments or words alone could settle things on their own somehow, people would be redundant.
  • baker
    3.7k
    This is just incorrect and largely why you're not afforded a seat at the table when offering interpretations of biblical sources. There's nothing meaningfully distinct between how legal documents are interpreted as opposed to religious except for the fact that you have respect for the Anglo tradition of legal interpretation, but not for the systems in place for biblical interpretation.Hanover

    I want you to acknowledge the following point:

    I agree with your take, and I believe in the supremacy of the emic. I think other people's religion is other people's religion and none of my business. However, usually, they don't think this way. No. They expect me to believe that their religion is the one and only right one and that I need to convert to it, or at least bow to it. They are the ones who don't respect the boundary between church and state, they are the ones who don't respect the boundary between their ingroup and the outgroup.

    This has been very obvious in this time around Christmas, when high Christian clerics gave their Christmas speeches on national television in what is a nominally secular country. In those speeches, they did not address only the members of their ingroup, but everyone. They spoke as if Jesus' birth was a source of hope for everyone, and so on. There was also no warning from the national television that the speeches of these clerics were addressed only to their respective ingroups.

    Why not? Are we, as outsiders to religion, and as viewers of national television, somehow supposed to understand that these clerics are addressing only their respective ingroups and that we should tune out for the time their speech is being televised?

    And why do those clerics talk as if what they say applies for everyone, and not just their respective ingroups?

    I don't watch Christian channels because I don't feel addressed by what they're saying there. But I expect that national, secular television should uphold the proper boundaries as far as religion goes; or else, what the clerics say there should be taken at face value (and thus subject to legitimate criticism).
  • baker
    3.7k
    Sure, but my religion does agree with me. And has for a few thousand years.Ennui Elucidator

    What "religion" would that be??

    The claim of being “right” for all of time lacks the sort of humility required from fallible people in an ever changing world.

    The whole point of religion is about being right, for all times!!
  • baker
    3.7k
    My interest here is as to the extent to which Christians (and Muslims) ought be allowed at the table when ethical issues are discussed.Banno

    But realistically, how much say do we have in such situations?

    When you're actually on a board or a committe that discusses ethical issues, I imagine that at that level, there are going to be so many legal and procedural restrictions and guidelines in place that your objection to the effect of "But this person worships an evil god!" is misplaced. Perhaps if you're powerful enough, you can vote to remove the person in question from the board or committee, but beyond that, it's not clear how much you can actually do or how much your opinion of their religious status matters.

    As for discussing ethical issues in a less formal setting: In such settings (such as between friends and family), the nature of the relationship between those involved is likely to be primary. For example, if you and your religious brother need to decide whether to place your elderly parents into a facility for the elderly, will whether your brother is religious or not really matter in your decision, or will it be the case that what will matter more that he is your brother?
  • baker
    3.7k
    Sure, but the point is that there is a whole culture of people refusing to play by the rules. We cannot just ignore them, nor their success.
    — baker

    OK, what is it you suggest?
    Isaac

    I don't know what the solution would be. But for starters, better boundaries, holding back, less communication, fewer attempts at communication, more of minding one's own business. And I mean all this is a good sense, in the sense of protecting one's time and resources.

    Then you don't have much of a case for fairness.
    — baker

    I don't see how. Are you saying that I can only make a case the we ought have something if it's actually indispensable. That seems like an unreasonably high threshold.

    Your stance strikes me as unduly idealistic, bound to fail in the real world.
    You expect Christians to openly engage in discussion of their beliefs, including justifying them to outsiders. I point out that Christians are loathe to do that. They simply won't engage in discussion the way you think would be fair. So it's on us to do something differently, lest we end up at a disadvantage (which usually comes in the form of wasted time and resources).

    I think it's reasonable for people to venture an opinion on the contents of the bible as any other book, without needing to become part of some peculiar game of make-believe.

    I'll argue that it is reasonable _not_ to venture an opinion on the contents of the bible as any other book, unless one is part of the epistemic and normative community associated with that book, or unless one otherwise becomes part of some peculiar game of make-believe.
  • baker
    3.7k
    ( 1 ) Christians act as if X is good.
    ( 2 ) X is bad.
    ( 3 ) If someone acts as if X is good when X is bad then their judgement should be questioned.
    ( 4 ) Christians' judgement should be questioned.

    Which is a perfectly valid argument. I don't think it's currently sound though, as premise ( 1 ) seems insufficiently justified. The reason being that despite the sophistication of the belief account you've provided, there currently isn't an articulated link between why worshipping an entity which approves of X means acting as if X is good.
    fdrake

    (I'm reminded of a scene from Wuthering Heights where a young woman, infatuated with Heathcliff, giggles as he tortures her dog. Heathcliff later criticizes her severely for that.)

    It's your second premise that isn't sufficiently justified. In a Christian setting (or, for the quibblers, in some Christian settings), eternal damnation is _not_ a bad thing. It just isn't. It's righteousness.
  • Ennui Elucidator
    359
    The whole point of religion is about being right, for all times!!baker

    There is no “point” to religion.

    Religions are not static and change over time. Some religions are more willing to acknowledge that change than others. At any moment in time, there are diversity of opinions among adherents. Some of those opinions are deemed “orthodox” and others “heterodox”, but that doesn’t mean that all disagreements require that there be only one answer.

    When dealing with religions that are more rules based, e.g. Judaism and Islam, c.f. Christianity, the rules have to be applied to novel circumstance and as such different people may apply the rules differently and come to different interpretations - all within the confines of orthodoxy. By way of pointing to a much more established “religion” than mine, you may want to look at things like a fatwa, faqih, and ulama. Here is a random article discussing difference of opinion within Islam.

    There also religions that are more loosely hobbled together such as Hinduism and therefore must have a wider tent of “orthodoxy.” This is Wiki on Orthodoxy with reference to Hinduism.


    Orthodoxy does not exist in Hinduism, as the word Hindu itself collectively refers to the various beliefs of people who lived beyond the Sindhu river of the Indus Valley Civilization. It is a synthesis of the accepted teachings of each of thousands of gurus, who others equate to prophets, and has no founder, no authority or command, but recommendations. The term most equivalent to orthodoxy at best has the meaning of "commonly accepted" traditions rather than the usual meaning of "conforming to a doctrine", for example, what people of middle eastern faiths attempt to equate as doctrine in Hindu philosophies is Sanatana Dharma, but which at best can be translated to mean "ageless traditions", hence denoting that they are accepted not through doctrine and force but through multi-generational tests of adoption and retention based on circumstantial attrition through millennia.
    — “Wikipedia on Orthodoxy”

    Between Islam an Hinduism, you’ve got around 3 billion people out of a world population of 8 billion. Go tell them what their “religion” is supposed to be.

    P.S. The random article I linked has a section entitled “Ontology of truth: How many answers are ‘correct’ in the sight of God?” that you may find of interest.
  • Ennui Elucidator
    359
    @baker,

    Additionally, since this is a philosophy forum and all, maybe you should consider the religion of the ancient Greeks and see if you can suss out some “one truth faith” or “one true interpretation” that is about being right for all of times.
  • Isaac
    5.9k
    So what are we, as outsiders, supposed to do?baker

    Engage as the context determines. If I can't see a way in which someone's belief could harm my community, then I've no business interfering. If I can, I've reasonable ground to interfere.

    Same for states of affairs, behaviours, books, laws...whatever.

    What's not reasonable is suggesting that I ought to base my interference on someone else's judgement of whether the belief/text/law might harm my community. That would be absurd. We don't routinely act on the basis of other people's beliefs.
  • frank
    9.6k
    We don't routinely act on the basis of other people's beliefs.Isaac

    You can go on a philosophy forum and whine about it, though.
  • Hanover
    7.5k
    @Banno@IsaacJust to throw in this anecdote to maybe clarify my prior points. I went to a bar mitzvah service this weekend at an Orthodox synagogue with my non-Jewish wife.

    All along the fence surrounding the synagogue were signs warning you not to carry beyond the fence. My wife asked why the Jews were so concerned about the open carry laws currently being debated n the Georgia legislature related to the carrying of guns.

    The sign actually was a warning caused by the eruv having fallen down due to recent storms. Under Jewish law, you cannot carry objects on the sabbath, as that is considered work and the sabbath is the day of rest. You are, however, permitted to carry within an enclosed area. Within the fence is OK, outside not. You can expand your enclosed area however with an eruv, which is simply a string from one telephone pole to the next, enclosing the entire Jewish community. The eruv was down though, so now no carrying beyond the fence.

    What does this show?

    1. Biblical law is not vague and ambiguous within the communities that use it as law but very specific with consistent methods of interpretation.

    2. The religious community adheres strictly to the law without there being any legal method of enforcement but entirely from respect for the law.

    3. Those outside the community who interpret the rules using a foreign context arrive at incorrect (and sometimes humorous) meanings that are obviously incorrect to those within the community.
  • Banno
    15.7k
    At first I thought that "not to carry" referred to guns....

    I haven't been following this thread for a fee days; so there may be something I missed, but I don't see what it is you think i would find either objectionable, unreasonable or puzzling.

    The eruv is a fine example of a pragmatic accomodation to an impractical interpretation of a law.

    Your example instantiates PI 201, which I've long and openly advocated.
  • baker
    3.7k
    Engage as the context determines. If I can't see a way in which someone's belief could harm my community, then I've no business interfering. If I can, I've reasonable ground to interfere.Isaac

    Have you ever tried this, and have been successful with your intervention?

    Because from what I've seen, people act like this --

    What's not reasonable is suggesting that I ought to base my interference on someone else's judgement of whether the belief/text/law might harm my community. That would be absurd. We don't routinely act on the basis of other people's beliefs.

    In other words, what I have seen is that people's concerns and interventions routinely get dismissed on account of "Well, this is just what you believe, your paranoid fear, not how things really are, so we don't have to do anything about it."

    And, of course, the very popular, "Look at the beam in thine own eye, instead of criticizing me!"
  • baker
    3.7k
    The whole point of religion is about being right, for all times!!
    — baker

    There is no “point” to religion.
    Ennui Elucidator

    Millennia of religion down the drain ...

    Religions are not static and change over time. Some religions are more willing to acknowledge that change than others. At any moment in time, there are diversity of opinions among adherents. Some of those opinions are deemed “orthodox” and others “heterodox”, but that doesn’t mean that all disagreements require that there be only one answer.

    Of course religions change over time (and place). But that never stopped their adherents from believing that their religion is the right one.

    Between Islam an Hinduism, you’ve got around 3 billion people out of a world population of 8 billion. Go tell them what their “religion” is supposed to be.

    What on earth are you talking about??! If I were to go and talk to pretty much any religious/spiritual person, as soon as they would find out I am not a member of their religion, they would tell me, in less or more direct terms, that they are right and I am wrong, and that their religion is the one and only right one.


    P.S. The random article I linked has a section entitled “Ontology of truth: How many answers are ‘correct’ in the sight of God?” that you may find of interest.
    I can't find it.
  • Ennui Elucidator
    359
    I can't find it.baker

    Here is a snip-it.


    Ontology of truth: How many answers are ‘correct’ in the sight of God?
    When scholars differ on a matter, is there only one true answer in the sight of God or are there multiple correct answers? There is agreement that in the case of differences in the canonical modes of reciting the Qurʾan (qirāʾāt) there are multiple correct answers,[79] and in differences in doctrinal fundamentals, there is only one correct answer.80 But what about differences in jurisprudence or secondary matters of the religion that are open to interpretation (furūʿ)?81 There is considerable discussion of this topic in the Islamic tradition and the two competing camps are called muṣawwibah (those who affirm multiple true answers; i.e., truth pluralism)82 and mukhaṭṭiʾah (those who affirm only one true answer). . . .
    — Difference of Opinion: Where Do We Draw the Line?

    that they are right and I am wrong, and that their religion is the one and only right onbaker

    Repeating this time and again isn't all that helpful. If you ask a certain sort of religious person, that is the answer you will get. If you ask a different sort, they will give you a different answer. Unsurprisingly, Catholics and a broad swath of Protestants will claim exclusivism.

    Here is a bad Wiki article on the topic.


    Religious exclusivism, or exclusivity, is the doctrine or belief that only one particular religion or belief system is true.[1] This is in contrast to religious pluralism, which believes that all religions provide valid responses to the existence of God.[2] . . .
    — Wikipedia on Religious Exclusivism

    And here is something that sounds more in Philosophy when speaking about pluralism.


    2. Religious Pluralism

    A theory of religious pluralism says that all religions of some kind are the same in some valuable respect(s). While this is compatible with some religion being the best in some other respect(s), the theorists using this label have in mind that many religions are equal regarding the central value(s) of religion. (Legenhausen 2009)

    The term “religious pluralism” is almost always used for a theory asserting positive value for many or most religions. But one may talk also of “negative religious pluralism” in which most or all religions have little or no positive value and are equal in this respect. This would be the view of many naturalists, who hold that all religions are the product of human imagination, and fail to have most or all of the values claimed for them. (Byrne 2004; Feuerbach 1967)
    — IEP on Religious Diversity

    I'm happy to discuss the topic if you like, but I can't help but feel that you are more interested in maintaining a view in support of your religious politics rather than learning something about religion. Just let me know which direction you want to go in.

    If you are curious about a Christian view on pluralism, here is a random site.

    The resources are out there if you care to find them. I'd rather not have to curate the internet for you.
  • baker
    3.7k
    Here is a snip-it.Ennui Elucidator

    Strange. I copy-pasted “Ontology of truth: How many answers are ‘correct’ in the sight of God?” and googled it, and nothing.

    I'm happy to discuss the topic if you like, but I can't help but feel that you are more interested in maintaining a view in support of your religious politics rather than learning something about religion. Just let me know which direction you want to go in.

    I'm interested in how to deal with the situation at the ground level, ie. day-to-day life, about peacefully and hopefully, meaningfully coexisting with religious/spiritual people. Of course religious academics will provide all kinds of theories. But those theories, just like the notions of religious freedom, religious tolerance, or religious pluralism are useless when, for example, one has to deal with a coworker (or worse, a boss) who aggressively proselytizes during workhours or in the times immediately preceeding work and after work. Or when your kid, who goes to a secular public school, is targeted for religious bullying by his religious classmates.
  • Ennui Elucidator
    359


    I don't know where you live, but my guess is that you live in a Christian culture surrounded by people that wouldn't identify as Progressive Christians. There is no easy answer at the ground level. People typically know little more about their religion than they do their government or political party - they are just engaged in tribalistic behavior where their tribe is the best and you are either in it or an enemy. My personal experience (both as a child and now with children in the "secular" school system in the US) is not good when it comes to keeping Christianity out of the classroom. Christianity is just the background of the living in the US - be it secular or religious. You can't get around it and people who are Christian have a hard time seeing how pervasive it is (though some see it and intentionally promote it). By way of ludicrous example, the assistant superintendent responsible for curriculum in my district said that Santa Claus is not a Christian symbol/character because he is not in the Bible.

    My issue, and the motivation I engage with these sorts of topics, is not in order to give Christianity anymore legitimacy or reasoned defenses. It is, however, to point that religion writ large is not the bogeyman that people make it out to be. When critiquing particular sorts of Christians (even if it is the overwhelming majority of Christians), that critique is expanded to "religion" as if all religions are identical. Religion can be good or bad - they are, after all, created by people engaged in social behavior with all of the attendant perils. Because religion is popularly conceived so poorly in more educated crowds, there is no room for discussing religion in positive terms or even exploring why religion should persist.

    My arguments (about religion) are met as poorly by the proselytizers as yours. We can yell and scream all we want, but they don't care and are glad to continue their bad behavior. For as much as people speak of special pleading around religion, it is pervasive. Anti-religion folk want to treat religion uniquely (consider legislation aimed at limiting religious expression specifically while freely permitting other types of speech) just as Christians want Christianity to receive special positive treatment. In either case, religion is deemed a relevant factor when there are fairly limited circumstances in which that is true.

    Stop trying to fix religious bad behavior as if that will fix society generally. Issues like bullying are systemic/cultural issues and the systems/culture that permit bullying are indistinguishable from those that permit religious bullying. Focusing on preventing bad religious behavior (religious bullying) to the exclusion of others (bullying for having the wrong physical features) is, on my view, in error. Don't want school yard bullying? Do X. Don't want religious school yard bullying? Do... something other than X?

    Want to hate Christianity? Go for it. Want to exclude people because they are Christian? Take a moment to consider whether their specific form of Christianity is relevant to your goals/agenda unless the mere inclusion of a "Christian" would compromise your other goals/agenda. But no matter how you feel about Christians, stop dictating what religion is, was, or can be. Especially stop questioning the legitimacy of someone's religion because it doesn't comport with your understanding of bad religions.

    Religion will long outlive us both, maybe we should be fostering better religion (however you understand that) and not just kicking it.
  • Gregory
    4k
    Christianity promotes a unique psychology in people. For women Jesus is the perfect protector they won't find in the real world. He is an ideal of their make believe. For males Jesus is an elder brother whom they united with in a marriage. "Don't you know the Church is the bride of Christ?" The men of Christianity are the substance of the Church, being Jesus to the women. Last supper communion is how the men consummate their union by swallowing Jesus's body into their own "so they may be one" (as in "one flesh"). Just as the Bible says the Jews are the head of the Gentiles, it says man is the head of woman. Christian humility in Christian men is their pride in being submissive to Jesus as head of their body. They have literally created an ideal and separated it from themselves in order to be submissive and assertive in different respects. I find the whole think rather strange...
  • Banno
    15.7k
    A succinct summation of the actual article by one Brendan Shea:

    David Lewis on Divine Evil

    A small counter to the oddly reactionary and defensive response that dominated this thread.
  • Hanover
    7.5k
    It's not reactionary and defensive, but I'd describe it as your providing an attack against a position that is not held by anyone in this thread. As I've noted, you have thoroughly defeated a certain sort of religious fundamentalism that you believe to be the most commonly held, yet I contend is just the most poorly formulated and unsophisticated form.

    I do realize that Lewis addresses my complaint here, but he misses a most critical point and he goes on to say the sophisticated theist isn't immune from the attacks because it's impossible to ignore the literal meaning of some of the passages.

    You guys point out that God is terrible for having advocated stoning, but a few stoned little girls is child's play when compared to the story of Noah, where all inhabitants are eradicated, and we're not really sure why such a punishment was necessary.

    So then I say there absolutely was no ark, no Noah, and surely not a mass migration of every animal on earth to the near east so that they could hop aboard the boat and avoid death. This isn't defensive to protect my sacred book from ridicule. It's because I don't believe it actually happened, but I still think the book has value, as terribly factually false as it is.

    And so I draw you a distinction between mythos and logos, with the former being the mythical interpretation and the latter being the literal. These ancient cultures, and even modern religious ones, did not, and do not, suggest that the purpose of any of the Biblical stories was to provide an accurate historical account of anything (i.e. the logos), nor were the purposes of the myths purely ethical. The myth was to provide an understanding of the world in a mode that is entirely foreign to you (as @Ennui Elucidator has repeatedly said). That is, when the story of Adam and Eve is recounted, the writers never meant to suggest there was an Adam and Eve, and they never even committed to a single creation story in the Bible itself. It attempted to offer, among other things, a reason we must toil for all we earn, and to provide a teleos for our existence. We also learn we don't toil on the sabbath, but reserve that day to enjoy the rewards of our labor, but let us not get caught up into that being only a single, actual day.

    If the Bible were written by a culture focused on the logos, I guess they could have just written what they meant and enumerated each claim as P1, P2 and so on, and then we could then debate what each meant. Perhaps they'd have even provided us a picture of a duck rabbit to better explain that sometimes people have entirely different interpretational schemes.

    Your pointing out plain (and I mean screamingly obvious) absurdities in the Bible, as if believers could not have seen them as absurdities had it not been for your helpful guidance, must be missing something, unless you truly are baffled as to why such a large segment of the population could be so very blind to the obvious.

    The best source I can cite to you for the position I'm arguing is The Case for God, by Karen Armstrong, which I've begun reading recently, whose position seems very much aligned with what I've been arguing.

    From a review of her book at: https://religiondispatches.org/religion-is-not-about-belief-karen-armstrongs-ithe-case-for-godi/

    “Until well into the modern period,” Armstrong contends, “Jews and Christians both insisted that it was neither possible nor desirable to read the Bible literally, that it gives us no single, orthodox message and demands constant reinterpretation.” Myths were symbolic, often therapeutic, teaching stories and were never understood literally or historically. But that all changed with the advent of modernity. Precipitated by the rediscovery of Aristotle and the rise of scholasticism in the late middle ages, rational systematization took center stage, preparing the way for a modern period that would welcome both humanistic individualism and the eventual triumph of reason and science."
  • Banno
    15.7k
    As I've noted, you have thoroughly defeated a certain sort of religious fundamentalism...Hanover

    So you agree with the argument in the article cited in the OP.

    The rest is in your imaginings, and after 27 pages of stuff which is not related to that argument, can quite fairly be summarised as reactionary and defensive.

    As can your need to reply to a simple link to a summary. You are engaged in special pleading on a grand scale: an oddly reactionary and defensive response.
  • Hanover
    7.5k
    As can your need to reply to a simple link to a summary. You are engaged in special pleading on a grand scale: an oddly reactionary and defensive response.Banno

    Very poor response, but thanks anyway.
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