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On the Bible and History
seeker
As most of you know, I'm a history geek. I've spent a lot of time (the last ten years) studying particularly biblical history and comparing it to archeology. All of this study has led me to some pretty good discussions over the years with some fairly smart people. My pet peeve (and the point of my rant) is why do otherwise intelligent people still think any of the bible reflects any real history?

I mean could see it if say half of the bible were reliable, or a third or even a tenth but we don't even have that. The bible begins with outlandish tales of the creation, beginning of mankind, flood etc that are absurd. More believable things like the Exodus, Conquest, United Monarchy are provably false and when there are stories that seem like they might fit into history they are either completely unverifiable or contradicted by outside sources.

A good example is the tale of Josiah, the pious reformer who was cruelly killed by Pharoah Neccho at Meggido except that Pharoah Neccho, who never misses an opportunity to brag mentions other skirmishes on that campaign but makes no mention of Meggido or killing Josiah. Why do people still thinkJosiah existed and was some kind of great reformer?

I recently had a discussion with a guy on another forum who insists that the Merneptah stele has an inscription that refers to Israel (the actual reference is to an 'ysrir', a reference that appears nowhere else and could mean Israel or might not). When I asked him why he thought the reference was to Israel his answer was 'because of the resemblance' even though he reference predates even the bible's claim to when Israel supposedly existed by a couple of hundred years and is nott exact.

Furthermore... is that snoring? Are you asleep? Damn, I hate when that happens.
 
Skeeve
LOL, I'm out of practice, sorry. I could sleep standing up while I was in the Army. But seriously, I was listening, honest! Wink
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
seeker
At least that's your story now.
 
RayvenAlandria
I think people choose to believe the BS in the bible because they live in fear and have a strong desire to believe some magical being is overseeing everything and "protecting" them, which is kind of silly when you think about it. In truth IF the God they believe in existed, he's an ass and allows bad things to happen anyway, so why would they feel safe? It some kind of strange delusional, living in denial kind of thing.

They can't accept the fact that the bible stories are absolute fabrications because then they have to admit the whole religion is a crock of shit. Most people are too cowardly to deal with the truth.
 
Bob of QF
Been "debating" believers over on Topix since 2005-ish.

One thing I've come to realize about fundamentalists, is that they have little or no curiosity.

And, they are very NOT into introspection: that is, whatever they had rammed into their skulls as children remains there, unexamined and assumed to be 100% correct.

As anyone knows who's been around kids younger than, oh, roughly 7-ish or so, they are usually very trusting of authority. It's literally in the nature of young children to be so.

And that is where they are brainwashed into thinking the bible is 100% true-- it slips into their basic mind-framework, before ANY skeptical skills are acquired.

And, to remain a fundie, one has to avoid looking too deeply at one's basic belief framework-- and they don't. They are so used to thinking of that as "normal" that they don't even realize how ludicrous it sounds to a rational person who looks at it objectively.

Then, there are the "partial-thinkers". These poor saps never question their bible stories, either. But, they do manage to think somewhat (in spite of that handicap).

Now, they must go to extreme lengths to justify the ludicrous bible stories--- and some of those extremes are quite funny*. Or, they would be, if they were not the actual serious ideas of real people-- that makes them sad.

__________

* one of the funniest/saddest is how some fundies "explain" fossils. They claim that all fossils were created by the world-wide flood. No, really! They completely ignore the simple physics of water-sorting: large objects on bottom, next largest next, etc, to the finest particles on the top layer. Any child with muddy water in a jar knows this-- but somehow the magical waters of the flood sorted fossils into species, from simplest species to the most complex.....

And the lengths they go to "explain" the flood, too! One creationist told me that prior to the flood, the world was featureless, like a plain. No mountains, no oceanic depths, no valleys, flat as a cue-ball. That way, the apparent water on the earth, with ice caps included, could cover the earth-- to a depth of about 10 feet or so.... but, it "gets the job done". So I asked him how did the mountains form, then? His excuse--err--reply? The rocks were "soft" just post-flood, and the weight of the water deformed them....

*sigh*

No curiosity. Or he'd realize the energy release of re-shaping the earth to what we see today in a matter of days, would've melted the crust into lava....

Another problem with a global flood: in order to get enough water to cover the earth (flat or not) in just 40 days, the water would have to fall such that it would be more-or-less solid. Akin to pouring from a bucket-- except globally!

Every air breather would've drowned from that degree of rainfall, and the ark would've filled in minutes and sank...


Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
RayvenAlandria
I heard Satan put the fossils there to trick us. *sigh*

Anytime they come across indisputable proof of evolution, they just claim the-evil-magical-made-up-guy did it. Since he's magicalicious like the gawd fairy dude, all debate stops at that point. They are satisfied with that rediculous answer...GODDIDDIT, or SATANDIDIT.

How sad.
 
Bob of QF
RayvenAlandria wrote:
I heard Satan put the fossils there to trick us. *sigh*

Anytime they come across indisputable proof of evolution, they just claim the-evil-magical-made-up-guy did it. Since he's magicalicious like the gawd fairy dude, all debate stops at that point. They are satisfied with that rediculous answer...GODDIDDIT, or SATANDIDIT.

How sad.


What's worse, is that by giving Satan creative powers (as would be needed, if Satan could create fossils) they elevate Satan to the level of god.

And since the bible was supposedly written by "god's people" who knows if it's biased?

Satan could win, in the end.... ! They never EVER consider the consequences of their "excuses"....

...as you say, sad, indeed.

But, I've heard even worse than that: "gawd put them there fossils as a test o'our faith, don'cha know. It's a test, t'see if'n we're faithful enough."

And, again, they fail to see the consequences of god deliberately placing fossils as misleading information: that puts god firmly in the role of a liar.

Nice.

Not a deity I'd want to be close to... what ELSE did he lie about? <eyeroll>
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
seeker
Of course if we are talking Christians we are talking about people that couldn't work up enough logic to figure out some of the serious inconsistancies in the bible. What child couldn't poke holes in most of the bible stories?
 
neilmarr
***I've spent a lot of time (the last ten years) studying particularly biblical history and comparing it to archeology ... My pet peeve (and the point of my rant) is why do otherwise intelligent people still think any of the bible reflects any real history?***

Perhaps the first part of this paragraph, Seeker, answers the question in the second.

In my limited experience, the religious ask no questions and do no research into the very heart of the writings that drive their lives.

This could be down to fear of discovery, as has been noted, but is just as likely to be down to sheer laziness. To those who follow 'religions of the book', there is no motivation to read further. In fact there is active discouragement by those in whose interest it is to do your reading and interpretation for you. How many Christians have even read their own bible ... or even, fully, the NT, come to that? How many Moslems feel that to open any book other than the Koran is a sin?

Popular learning, as all theologians know (Luther is a prime example of their open admission to the fact) are fully aware that a little learning is a dangerous thing as far as religion is concerned.

Just imagine the result if Michel Onfray's Atheist Manifesto was to be left alongside the Gideon Bible in hotel rooms. Such well-packaged and near poetic encouragement to question would soon deplete the sheepish flocks.

Neil
Edited by neilmarr on 08/05/2008 02:38
 
seeker
The problem is that even fairly well read people, who have studied in the firld, are so brainwashed because the momentum of a couple of thousand years of belief have created this paradigm that the bible is history.
 
neilmarr
I guess we're all guilty of that, Seeker. Hands up all those who were atheists BEFORE they questioned the actual historical existence of Jesus Christ, Paul and the OT prophets.

I certainly assumed their earthly existence as established (though not their divine claims) for many years before I began to have doubts and put together the evidence and lack of evidence.

Neil
 
seeker
Its hard to blame anybody when they are told all their lives this or that happened they start looking for those things instead of considering other alternatives
 
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