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Old 03-19-2013, 01:05 PM   #26
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The problem with Judiac-Christian miracle stories, of course, is that when you try to give them scientific explanation, you negate the miracle aspect, which destroys the point of them.
I have a problem with people who try to say that, because some stories reference observed phenomena, it must mean that the Bible has a scientific basis.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:07 PM   #27
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The problem with Judiac-Christian miracle stories, of course, is that when you try to give them scientific explanation, you negate the miracle aspect, which destroys the point of them.
There are always going to be diehard believers, regardless of whatever "proof" is shown them. Besides, some things simply can't be proven or disproven, such as the Resurrection. You either believe it or you don't.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:08 PM   #28
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I have a problem with people who try to say that, because some stories reference observed phenomena, it must mean that the Bible has a scientific basis.
Some of it does. Remember, the Bible is a collection of accounts, myths, stories and historical documents from hundreds of sources. Some of it is verifiable, some of it isn't.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:12 PM   #29
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I have a problem with people who try to say that, because some stories reference observed phenomena, it must mean that the Bible has a scientific basis.

Stories that have been culled, heavily edited, modified, suppressed, etc. by a bunch of fundie dudes with a SERIOUSLY self-serving agenda.

Bottom line is that putting the Bible in the non fiction section of a bookstore or library is absolutely comical.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:16 PM   #30
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STELLA

Recall that in the 60s Gay was a mental disorder and moms made their boys schizophrenic, and it was the scientists saying such shit. Kay?
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:17 PM   #31
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Stories that have been culled, heavily edited, modified, suppressed, etc. by a bunch of fundie dudes with a SERIOUSLY self-serving agenda.

Bottom line is that putting the Bible in the non fiction section of a bookstore or library is absolutely comical.
See my comment above.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:21 PM   #32
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Again, the purpose of miracles in the Judiac-Christian tradition is to present events that could only have been produced by God--as in marked by being otherwise unbelievable/unexplainable. If you believe God is behind all science (which is fine if you do), then you're safe looking for the scientific explanation, but you run up against another basic Judiac-Christian tenant--that God is beyond the scope, unknowable (which is what gives me heartburn whenever a "Christian" tells me what God wants). So even there if you wanted to be a true believer, you wouldn't go looking for a scientific explanation (or, at best, you'd be looking for "just how did God do this using resources available?).

Of course if you were a true Christian believer (which on this point separates from Judiasm, in which when you die, you're just dead), you'd welcome death/heaven and celebrate giving up life on earth. And how many "true" Christian believers do you know who do this?

It's a religion that gets you coming and going--from the get go. If it started with one man, then one woman, and then only sons, who did those sons marry and procreate with? Do we start with an incest story and a very busy Eve? So, it gets you from the get go (not to mention that the Bible starts off with two different versions of the creation story to begin with).

The only real way to stay on beam with a religion that does have the redeeming feature of giving you good guidance on how to live and relate to others (whether or not you take the guidance) is just to believe and not to play God by trying to explain and control her or him or whatever.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:23 PM   #33
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Some of it does. Remember, the Bible is a collection of accounts, myths, stories and historical documents from hundreds of sources. Some of it is verifiable, some of it isn't.
It (the Old Testament section) also is the reference point for three, distinct, major religions, with interpretation splintering in many directions even within those.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:49 PM   #34
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I was under the impression that a miracle, by definition, is a suspension of the laws of nature, and therefore completely unscientific. If you can't reproduce it, it's not scientifically verifiable, and if you can reproduce it, it's not miraculous.

This is also why I hate when medicine is called a miracle. No it's not. It's science and it's pretty insulting to the professionals who cooperated to save your life to ascribe it to something that would have been impossible for them to do without an omnipotent superbeing.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:55 PM   #35
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I was under the impression that a miracle, by definition, is a suspension of the laws of nature, and therefore completely unscientific. If you can't reproduce it, it's not scientifically verifiable, and if you can reproduce it, it's not miraculous.

This is also why I hate when medicine is called a miracle. No it's not. It's science and it's pretty insulting to the professionals who cooperated to save your life to ascribe it to something that would have been impossible for them to do without an omnipotent superbeing.



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Old 03-19-2013, 02:41 PM   #36
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STELLA

Recall that in the 60s Gay was a mental disorder and moms made their boys schizophrenic, and it was the scientists saying such shit. Kay?


Back to the original topic-- the archeological study of the Dead Sea is a perfect example of this.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:43 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewVett View Post
I was under the impression that a miracle, by definition, is a suspension of the laws of nature, and therefore completely unscientific. If you can't reproduce it, it's not scientifically verifiable, and if you can reproduce it, it's not miraculous.

This is also why I hate when medicine is called a miracle. No it's not. It's science and it's pretty insulting to the professionals who cooperated to save your life to ascribe it to something that would have been impossible for them to do without an omnipotent superbeing.
This goes to show that many people don't understand what the word "miracle" means. There's miracle in the sense of "that shouldn't have happened, but it did happen," and then there's miracle as in "oh my God! How did you do that?" People have a tendency to apply such terms to things they don't personally comprehend, without realizing that just because they don't understand it, that doesn't mean it's not understandable.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:45 PM   #38
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Back to the original topic-- the archeological study of the Dead Sea is a perfect example of this.
Thanks for getting us back on track.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:51 PM   #39
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This goes to show that many people don't understand what the word "miracle" means. There's miracle in the sense of "that shouldn't have happened, but it did happen," and then there's miracle as in "oh my God! How did you do that?" People have a tendency to apply such terms to things they don't personally comprehend, without realizing that just because they don't understand it, that doesn't mean it's not understandable.
Lots of words in common use like that. "Love."

"Science."

"Faith."

"Common Sense."
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:04 PM   #40
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Back to the original topic-- the archeological study of the Dead Sea is a perfect example of this.
Sure. Regardless of whether an idgit scientist or an idgit fundie steps on your foot, the pain is the same.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:09 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by slyc_willie View Post
This goes to show that many people don't understand what the word "miracle" means. There's miracle in the sense of "that shouldn't have happened, but it did happen," and then there's miracle as in "oh my God! How did you do that?" People have a tendency to apply such terms to things they don't personally comprehend, without realizing that just because they don't understand it, that doesn't mean it's not understandable.
Stealing original definitions/meanings doesn't throw out the original context if someone wants to use it (and this was a biblical phrase). The first Webster's definition (and God plays in the third definition too) is "an extroadinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs." And the origin is Latin, 12th century, in the Catholic church.

So, I'd say you had less ground to stand on on your understanding of the word "miracle" as someone who wanted to go with word origin and dictionary definition. To stay closer to origins, your second connotation should be "Oh, my God! How did You [capitalized, with "You" meaning the diety] do that?"

To understand a miracle in the context of wanting a rational explanation for it is an attempt to control God (at least if you follow Christian doctrine), which would be trying to make yourself God. OK to do, of course, if you weren't trying to profess to be a Christian.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:10 PM   #42
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I watched a vid about the early Irish Church and how St. Pat changed Ireland from pagan to Christian, by teaching things that improved the life of the Irish. He brought the knowledge of civilized life and improved the lot of the down trodden.

The Irish Church sent missionaries to western Scotland and they set up a Monastery, before long folks there realized that stone buildings and running water were good and so they adopted the new religion.

It wasn't until the Irish Church had gotten to northern England that the Pope decided to send a Bishop to England to enforce Papal authority.

From then on, the Church focused on psalm singing and pin head dancing, as per RC doctrine rather than education of the pagans.

Once the RC had exerted control and the Vikings had plundered the Monasteries, things started down hill.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:02 PM   #43
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Stealing original definitions/meanings doesn't throw out the original context if someone wants to use it (and this was a biblical phrase). The first Webster's definition (and God plays in the third definition too) is "an extroadinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs." And the origin is Latin, 12th century, in the Catholic church.

So, I'd say you had less ground to stand on on your understanding of the word "miracle" as someone who wanted to go with word origin and dictionary definition. To stay closer to origins, your second connotation should be "Oh, my God! How did You [capitalized, with "You" meaning the diety] do that?"

To understand a miracle in the context of wanting a rational explanation for it is an attempt to control God (at least if you follow Christian doctrine), which would be trying to make yourself God. OK to do, of course, if you weren't trying to profess to be a Christian.
Thanks for the clarification.

Hopefully we'll just leave this as the last of the spiritual/religious discussion and stick to what the thread was originally about. I can already see the winds starting to blow.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:56 PM   #44
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I haven't seen the series and I don't want to get the thread off track again, but I'm reading about Orthodox Judaism where they believe everything in the Torah is true. Then I tried to read about archeology and the Bible, and the things they have verified are only after the time of the judges and the Babylonian exile. Abraham and family, Moses leading people from Egypt, taking over Canaan, and the great king Solomon have not been verified.

I don't think it's useful to try to prove that something in the Bible really happened in order to believe in the story. But from my reading, Orthodox Jews twist themselves in circles making everything fit modern ideas.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:15 PM   #45
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Remember, the Bible is a collection of accounts, myths, stories and historical documents from hundreds of sources. Some of it is verifiable, some of it isn't.
That's pretty much my take on it.

I watched one of the episodes the other night. Not content with the account in the Gospels, the scriptwriters added quite a few scenes (Jews tearing down the Roman eagle, getting hauled before Herod and knifed; Mary beset by a mob but rescued by Joseph; the guy that didn't like Daniel being thrown into the lion's den in Daniel's place, etc.) that weren't in the original Bible. In that sense, the series was historical fiction, using historical and semi-historical accounts onto which their fictional components were grafted. But there are quite a few who believe that the Bible itself can be considered historical fiction, in that sense.

The fact that there really was a Roman empire, a Persian conqueror named Ahaseurus (better known outside the Bible as Xerxes), a real town named Sodom, doesn't make everything else factual as well. From what I can tell, most Bible stories conflate a lot of different incidents to make one narrative, throw in a miracle here and there to explain what was inexplicable when the Bible was written, and slant the stories to favor one particular theological point of view or another. In that respect, the TV series carries on a long tradition.

For my money, the best book on the Bible is Isaac Asimov's two-part Guide to the Bible. It's also possibly the best book on the Bible written by an atheist.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:34 PM   #46
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For my money, the best book on the Bible is Isaac Asimov's two-part Guide to the Bible. It's also possibly the best book on the Bible written by an atheist.
I agree. Asimov filtered out a lot of nonsense.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:00 PM   #47
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That's pretty much my take on it.

I watched one of the episodes the other night. Not content with the account in the Gospels, the scriptwriters added quite a few scenes (Jews tearing down the Roman eagle, getting hauled before Herod and knifed; Mary beset by a mob but rescued by Joseph; the guy that didn't like Daniel being thrown into the lion's den in Daniel's place, etc.) that weren't in the original Bible. In that sense, the series was historical fiction, using historical and semi-historical accounts onto which their fictional components were grafted. But there are quite a few who believe that the Bible itself can be considered historical fiction, in that sense.

The fact that there really was a Roman empire, a Persian conqueror named Ahaseurus (better known outside the Bible as Xerxes), a real town named Sodom, doesn't make everything else factual as well. From what I can tell, most Bible stories conflate a lot of different incidents to make one narrative, throw in a miracle here and there to explain what was inexplicable when the Bible was written, and slant the stories to favor one particular theological point of view or another. In that respect, the TV series carries on a long tradition.

For my money, the best book on the Bible is Isaac Asimov's two-part Guide to the Bible. It's also possibly the best book on the Bible written by an atheist.
The Bible as any kind of factual or historical document is contradictory and problematic due to the numerous translations from various languages (anyone who knows linguistics and has tried to translate even modern languages from one language to another knows how much dialect influences meaning), the cultural /pagan influences that determined which books were selected and which the books that were left out, and finally, the realization that the Roman Empire (the persecutors of Jews and Christians) ultimately determined the cannons of Christianity via the Emperor Constantine. One of my sisters converted to Judaism about twenty years ago when she married a Jewish man. She didn’t want their children raised as both Christian and Jewish, so she decided to convert. Through her I gained a valuable perspective upon Christianity. It was fascinating learning experience for me as well. Some have argued that the Bible speaks an emotional truth rather than a historical or factual truth. As for faith, I personally find it wrong to think that one man died for my sins. In a moral sense, shouldn’t everyone be responsible for their own sins and their own atonement? The older I become, the more that I realize that I am more of a Gnostic, and that blind faith is useless commodity in the world. Wrong must be addressed now on this Earthly plane and not some ephemeral distant dimension. As I get older, I am more comfortable with being a woman of doubt. If God and Heaven does exist, then whether or not having faith in their existence should not be a determinate in their existence. Gravity exists whether or not I believe it exists, then why shouldn’t God and the Heavenly plane conform to some type of physical laws too. Drawing upon the logic of Christianity, if Adam and Eve’s disobedience condemned humanity then Christ’s sacrifice was meant to save humanity; therefore, then we are all saved. Endgame—if that’s what you believe.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:25 PM   #48
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In researching Mesopotamia and their gods, I found that a lot of Genesis fit their creation myths.

It was during the Babylonian exile that the Jews learned to write and they may have adopted the flood story, and other bits of Babylonian lore.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:58 PM   #49
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In researching Mesopotamia and their gods, I found that a lot of Genesis fit their creation myths.

It was during the Babylonian exile that the Jews learned to write and they may have adopted the flood story, and other bits of Babylonian lore.
You have a source for this? My Bible references have the Jews operating with the Pentatuch (the first five books, including Genesis) for 800 years before the destruction of the temple in 587 B.C. (the claim) and start of the Babylonian exile. Which would also scotch the notion that the Babylonians taught the Jews how to write in some form.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:41 PM   #50
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You have a source for this? My Bible references have the Jews operating with the Pentatuch (the first five books, including Genesis) for 800 years before the destruction of the temple in 587 B.C. (the claim) and start of the Babylonian exile. Which would also scotch the notion that the Babylonians taught the Jews how to write in some form.
I'd have to look it up again. I didn't keep a source because it wasn't important to my research. I'll take your info as gospel though.
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