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Author Topic: Why I am an athiest  (Read 4887 times)

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Offline Rhapsody

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #175 on: May 03, 2014, 11:32:37 PM »
EDIT: On second thought, my tone was a bit harsh here. I apologise.

That may be as a technical matter, but in practical terms, the Levitical Holiness Code is still Levitical a problem.

Are there good Christians? Oh, hell yes. Does the arc of the Bible, taken as a whole, bend toward justice and love? Oh, hell yes. Are the specific books cited still a huge problem and worthy of rejection and condemnation? Oh, hell yes.

I'm going to go off on a tangent here. Leviticus makes sense when you put it into context. To a desert-dwelling tribe some thirty-five hundred years ago, they were worried about population growth, tribal identity and disease management. They may not have couched it in those terms, but that's basically what they were doing.

Gay sex is an abomination, because they needed babies, and lots of them, in order for the tribe to survive. Sperm wasted was chance at babies wasted. Polygamy was fairly common in the Bible, so two women having sex didn't seem like that big of a deal, since it was possible that multiple wives would be in the bed at the same time. For practicality reasons alone, this would have been a pain in the ass to declare anathema.

Touching the dead, eating certain foods (some of which we now know today, thanks to science and observation, cause debilitating illnesses like food poisoning when cooked improperly), and bodily functions were regulated under Levitical law for the purpose of trying to minimize exposure to deadly pathogens. Even the parts about women menstruating could be construed as this, because I'm fairly positive that early civilizations didn't quite grasp the concept of "she's not pregnant this month, so she's not really sick, she's just shedding her uterine lining because she didn't need it", and segregation during this period was for cleanliness reasons.

The bits about how to dress and groom were equally important. "Look like this, not like this. This is good, because we all look like this. That's bad, because that's how our enemies look, and we might not be able to tell you apart from them if it came down to a fight". And the bits about God's will and appeasing him with sacrifice were mostly about making sure the people stayed in line and did as they were told.

Because the tribe had to survive.

The problem with Leviticus now is that it's Holy Scripture, and people cherry-pick the shit they like from it without regard to the rest. My favorite Levitical meme is the one that quotes 18:22 on a bicep tattoo. I think it's hilarious, because of Leviticus 19:28 - "Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos."

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #176 on: May 04, 2014, 12:00:19 AM »
Well... that's the core problem with "traditional morality" in general. Moral codes age poorly - it's pretty much a given that any historic code you look at will codify somethng we now recognize as immoral as a good thing, and I have no doubt future generations will have similar issues with the codes of today. A morality which does not change and update as new information becomes available is almost inevitably going to support immorality in one form or another, and so we should be consciously and deliberately updating or replacing them on a regular basis. And... well, treating them as holy is extremely harmful to that exercise.

Offline ladia2287

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #177 on: May 04, 2014, 12:08:27 AM »
I'm going to go off on a tangent here. Leviticus makes sense when you put it into context. To a desert-dwelling tribe some thirty-five hundred years ago, they were worried about population growth, tribal identity and disease management. They may not have couched it in those terms, but that's basically what they were doing.

Gay sex is an abomination, because they needed babies, and lots of them, in order for the tribe to survive. Sperm wasted was chance at babies wasted. Polygamy was fairly common in the Bible, so two women having sex didn't seem like that big of a deal, since it was possible that multiple wives would be in the bed at the same time. For practicality reasons alone, this would have been a pain in the ass to declare anathema.

Touching the dead, eating certain foods (some of which we now know today, thanks to science and observation, cause debilitating illnesses like food poisoning when cooked improperly), and bodily functions were regulated under Levitical law for the purpose of trying to minimize exposure to deadly pathogens. Even the parts about women menstruating could be construed as this, because I'm fairly positive that early civilizations didn't quite grasp the concept of "she's not pregnant this month, so she's not really sick, she's just shedding her uterine lining because she didn't need it", and segregation during this period was for cleanliness reasons.

The bits about how to dress and groom were equally important. "Look like this, not like this. This is good, because we all look like this. That's bad, because that's how our enemies look, and we might not be able to tell you apart from them if it came down to a fight". And the bits about God's will and appeasing him with sacrifice were mostly about making sure the people stayed in line and did as they were told.

Because the tribe had to survive.

The problem with Leviticus now is that it's Holy Scripture, and people cherry-pick the shit they like from it without regard to the rest. My favorite Levitical meme is the one that quotes 18:22 on a bicep tattoo. I think it's hilarious, because of Leviticus 19:28 - "Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos."

In this context, you have a very good point. Most of the laws of the Old Testament were in relation to these very factors. No different to when a bizarre 'new' illness begins to spread; local, national and international medical authorities encourage certain measures to try to contain the illness until the cause, and therefore the prevention and the cure, can be determined.

The Bird and Swine Flu pandemics of recent years are a perfect example. People were advised to avoid travel to heavily infected parts of the world, it became commonplace in some countries to wear surgical masks if leaving the home and governments placed pressure on schools and workplaces to change their policies to effectively force into quarantine anyone who was suspected to have come into contact with the relative viruses.

So, as archaic as they seem, I have to agree that Leviticus was intended as a set of guidelines to ensure that the society at the time (and the people who made up that society) were kept as healthy as possible.

I will disagree slightly with one point, at being that people at the time didn't know that menstruating was not a symptom of serious illness. At that point, mankind would have been able to work that much out. I think the rule of 'not knowing' a woman during her menses is for a different reason.

Looking at the context of the term 'knew her not' as used in the New Testament, this phrase is used to describe the fact that, even after Joseph and Mary were officially and legally married, Joseph didn't 'consumamate' the marriage until after Jesus was born (and even then, it's not truly known if he ever did). So the phrase 'he took Mary to be his wife, but knew her not' means, quite simply, that Joseph and Mary didn't have sex for almost a year, probably even longer.

Remembering that in the eyes of most cultures at the time, sex was purely for reproductive purposes. After several hundred years as a fledgling nation, the Israelites would have noticed that women mostly conceived during a particular phase of their menstrual cycle, and simply banned them from sex on the days when it was known they couldn't possibly conceive a child. I rather think this is what the Bible refers to when they advise men to 'not know' the women during their period.

And just from a slightly misogynistic point of view, even without that rule, I think we can agree that most men are well advised to give their girlfriends/partners/wives a wide berth during that particular week anyway ;)

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #178 on: May 04, 2014, 12:26:00 AM »
I will disagree slightly with one point, at being that people at the time didn't know that menstruating was not a symptom of serious illness. At that point, mankind would have been able to work that much out. I think the rule of 'not knowing' a woman during her menses is for a different reason.
Well, yeah; the laws can be broadly divided into categories f "practical, for surviving as desert nomads" and "ritual, for reinforcing both the unity of the tribe and the authority of this law and its interpreters". Menstruation, single-fiber clothing with tassels at the corners, sidelocks, etc were all about the latter; in particular, menstruation is about ritual cleanliness, which is a topic that is fairly heavily woven throughout the old testament. There is occasionally some blurring of lines between ritual and practical cleanliness - kosher food rules, for instance, fall into both categories - but it's fairly easy to see the threads of ritual and in particular ritual cleanliness if you go looking.

Old Testament identity appears, to me at least, to have been about setting the Israelites apart from the cultures they found hemselves interacting with and immersed in, while New Testament identity appears very much about welcoming all comers to the tribe.

(I am not a Biblical scholar by any stretch, and will gladly defer to any corrections, but the above seems broadly correct to me.)

Offline Rhapsody

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #179 on: May 04, 2014, 01:08:12 AM »
I will disagree slightly with one point, at being that people at the time didn't know that menstruating was not a symptom of serious illness. At that point, mankind would have been able to work that much out. I think the rule of 'not knowing' a woman during her menses is for a different reason.

Just a slight correction, because you misunderstood me (because I was vaguer than I wanted to be): I didn't say they didn't know menstruation wasn't a sign of disease. I said they "hadn't quite grasped that" a woman was not necessarily sick. A little more extreme better-safe-than-sorry route than modern methods. :) Blood-borne illnesses were probably known, as some of them are pretty ancient, and the risk of transmission drops when no one can accidentally touch menses. Segregating women for cleanliness in this respect was disease control, even if it seemed a natural function of the human body.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #180 on: May 04, 2014, 01:25:10 AM »
There is a reason the old testament, and thus the covenant between Jehovah and man, was replaced with the new testament. Sacrifices were no longer needed because Jesusí blood sufficed, thus cute and cuddly lambs and hulking bulls were saved as much as man was. All of the old testament eye for an eye crap and warmonger in his name were replaced because Jesusí message was a message of love and tolerance (except for those in the temple).

As was pointed out above, a lot of the laws in the old testament were there for a reason but are not relevant now and really shouldnít be used for more than a history lesson on what life was like during that time.

Trying to say the whole of the religion is bad based on text that isnít even relevant anymore is, well, silly. Especially when all it takes is a little research to find out that the books in the bible were not chosen by Jehovah. Matter of fact, there are quite a number of gospels that are not included in the bible. It was the council of Nicea that chose which books would go in the bible and become ícanoní so christians arenít even getting the full picture (though Iíd not recommend trying to tell them that).

I do get it about getting upset at having someone elseís beliefs pushed on you. I live in the bible belt, I hear it all the time. But I still do not understand the stance of absolute hate - and yes, that is exactly what comes across in rants like this. Not aggravation with a situation. But unadulterated hate for something that is not agreed with. Yes, some followers go way above and beyond to make life miserable for others. But for every one of those kinds of people there are hundreds that donít. The comments of saying that people should stop following the bible because of irrelevant books in the bible totally ignores the absolutely beautiful messages of the second half of the book - you know, the parts of the book that says love everyone, help those around you. Show kindness and compassion. Live an honest life. The things we as humans SHOULD be doing.

Offline ladia2287

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #181 on: May 04, 2014, 01:49:41 AM »
Well, yeah; the laws can be broadly divided into categories f "practical, for surviving as desert nomads" and "ritual, for reinforcing both the unity of the tribe and the authority of this law and its interpreters". Menstruation, single-fiber clothing with tassels at the corners, sidelocks, etc were all about the latter; in particular, menstruation is about ritual cleanliness, which is a topic that is fairly heavily woven throughout the old testament. There is occasionally some blurring of lines between ritual and practical cleanliness - kosher food rules, for instance, fall into both categories - but it's fairly easy to see the threads of ritual and in particular ritual cleanliness if you go looking.

Old Testament identity appears, to me at least, to have been about setting the Israelites apart from the cultures they found hemselves interacting with and immersed in, while New Testament identity appears very much about welcoming all comers to the tribe.

(I am not a Biblical scholar by any stretch, and will gladly defer to any corrections, but the above seems broadly correct to me.)

These are the kinds of arguments I love to see in a debate :)

Gushes aside, it could also be argued that particular clothing or hairstyles were for practical as well as for ritual. If you're wandering around in the desert for 80 years (remember, the Israelites, upon leaving Egypt, took forty years to reach the borders of Canaan but were then ordered back into the desert for another forty years), you want to be wearing clothing that will a) keep the sand from getting into your body because that is just uncomfortable, and b) not make you too hot. Tassels can help hold garments down during a sandstorm (a weak argument I know, but bear with me). Styling your hair a particular way can make it less of an inconvenience during a sandstorm and also help manage such nasties as lice and ticks, which love to live in our hair.

I'm not a biblical scholar either, but I'm absolutely fascinated by ancient Mediterranean history, having studied almost obsessively since I was little. I look at the books of the Old Testament with the eye of a historian reviewing a particular record or archaeological find; I say, based on existing knowledge as well as this new evidence that A, B and C are probable, D is possible but unlikely and E and F are complete and utter rubbish.

Strip away the visions of God and the apparent 'higher purpose' of the Israelites, and the Old Testament is essentially a History Textbook with a social code attached Most of the stories are probable even if unproven for the most part. And like the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians, the Persians etc, the Israelites associated many of these stories with the being(s) that they believed to be in charge of the universe, adding a moral/purpose to each tale for good measure so that the story instilled in its students the need to behave according to the ideals set out in the aforementioned code.

Offline consortium11

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #182 on: May 04, 2014, 02:15:55 AM »
Matter of fact, there are quite a number of gospels that are not included in the bible. It was the council of Nicea that chose which books would go in the bible and become ícanoní so christians arenít even getting the full picture (though Iíd not recommend trying to tell them that).

This is a bit of a misconception. The topic of Biblical canon wasn't really dealt with at the first Council of Nicea (in fact from the records we have it was barely mentioned). Instead the major issue Nicea dealt with was the divinity of Christ and what form this divinity took (largely to deal with Arianism) which was dealt with via a creed (and at most expunged one statement) and what amounted to essentially administration issues. It was the Council of Carthage in 397 which dealt with Biblical canon, although our records of it are fairly incomplete. That said, there's evidence that this was in essence a codification of what was already basic practice.

That said, on the wider point, isn't the doctrine here that in the same way the "official" gospel writers were inspired by God (so essentially wrote with the voice of God and thus the gospels became the Word of God) that those who made the decision as to which gospels to view as the Word of God (be it at Carthage or elsewhere) were also inspired by God and thus made the "right" choice?

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #183 on: May 04, 2014, 02:48:53 AM »
There is a reason the old testament, and thus the covenant between Jehovah and man, was replaced with the new testament. Sacrifices were no longer needed because Jesusí blood sufficed, thus cute and cuddly lambs and hulking bulls were saved as much as man was. All of the old testament eye for an eye crap and warmonger in his name were replaced because Jesusí message was a message of love and tolerance (except for those in the temple).

The problem here is that the Old Testament wasn't replaced with the New Testament. It may have been intended to be, the New Testament may have said it  was, but even the most cursory glance at the landscape of fundagelical Christianity will show you that (EDIT: some) Old Testament morality is very much alive and well.

As was pointed out above, a lot of the laws in the old testament were there for a reason but are not relevant now and really shouldnít be used for more than a history lesson on what life was like during that time.

Trying to say the whole of the religion is bad based on text that isnít even relevant anymore is, well, silly. Especially when all it takes is a little research to find out that the books in the bible were not chosen by Jehovah. Matter of fact, there are quite a number of gospels that are not included in the bible. It was the council of Nicea that chose which books would go in the bible and become ícanoní so christians arenít even getting the full picture (though Iíd not recommend trying to tell them that).
Here's the thing, though: thesunmaid never said that the whole religion was bad. She said that people should stop following specific demonstrably faulty moral guidelines. Whiile I do not speak for her, I would be extremely surprised if she had any particular issue with, say, Fred Clark's brand of Christianity.

I do get it about getting upset at having someone elseís beliefs pushed on you. I live in the bible belt, I hear it all the time. But I still do not understand the stance of absolute hate - and yes, that is exactly what comes across in rants like this. Not aggravation with a situation. But unadulterated hate for something that is not agreed with. Yes, some followers go way above and beyond to make life miserable for others. But for every one of those kinds of people there are hundreds that donít. The comments of saying that people should stop following the bible because of irrelevant books in the bible totally ignores the absolutely beautiful messages of the second half of the book - you know, the parts of the book that says love everyone, help those around you. Show kindness and compassion. Live an honest life. The things we as humans SHOULD be doing.
The only reason I can see that "absolute", "unadulterated hate" might come across in thesunmaid's posts is because you are unprepared to see an atheist's position any other way. There is frustration there, yes. There is condemnation of frankly shitty morals. But you seem to be forgetting that she explained, at length in the opening post, that she had no particular problem with religion that was not hateful and intrusive.

(There is an interesting discussion on the basically agreeable moral principles of the New Testament and whether it actually contains a good moral code, but that is a separate topic.)



These are the kinds of arguments I love to see in a debate :)

Gushes aside, it could also be argued that particular clothing or hairstyles were for practical as well as for ritual. If you're wandering around in the desert for 80 years (remember, the Israelites, upon leaving Egypt, took forty years to reach the borders of Canaan but were then ordered back into the desert for another forty years), you want to be wearing clothing that will a) keep the sand from getting into your body because that is just uncomfortable, and b) not make you too hot. Tassels can help hold garments down during a sandstorm (a weak argument I know, but bear with me). Styling your hair a particular way can make it less of an inconvenience during a sandstorm and also help manage such nasties as lice and ticks, which love to live in our hair.
This strikes me as a weak position. Tassels are ornamental; straps allowing clothing to quickly and easily be cinched tight, and especiallyscarves that could easily cover the nose and mouth, are the sorts of things I would expect to see from people optimizing for a sandstorm. Similarly, short hair, not long curly sidelocks and a full beard, is more conducive to hygiene and less conducive to whipping in the wind.

Strip away the visions of God and the apparent 'higher purpose' of the Israelites, and the Old Testament is essentially a History Textbook with a social code attached Most of the stories are probable even if unproven for the most part. And like the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians, the Persians etc, the Israelites associated many of these stories with the being(s) that they believed to be in charge of the universe, adding a moral/purpose to each tale for good measure so that the story instilled in its students the need to behave according to the ideals set out in the aforementioned code.
Ehhh... not as much as you think. The accuracy of the names attached to the stories is spotty, never mind the stories themselves, and last I heard there was a simmering debate among historians of the era as to whether Jesus of Nazareth's existence could even be confirmed from primary sources.

This is not to say that the books contain no truth (there is truth in them, and not all of it about things that happened), but that there was no real division between "history" and "myth" back then, which means we can't really trust them to paint an accurate picture.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 03:02:57 AM by Ephiral »

Offline ladia2287

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #184 on: May 04, 2014, 03:46:02 AM »
Ehhh... not as much as you think. The accuracy of the names attached to the stories is spotty, never mind the stories themselves, and last I heard there was a simmering debate among historians of the era as to whether Jesus of Nazareth's existence could even be confirmed from primary sources.

This is not to say that the books contain no truth (there is truth in them, and not all of it about things that happened), but that there was no real division between "history" and "myth" back then, which means we can't really trust them to paint an accurate picture.

Note I said the stories were probable. There isn't enough evidence either way to say whether they did occur or not, but culturally and historically, it is reasonable to say that there might be a grain of truth to them. It is also reasonable to assert that culturally, the stories of the Old Testament would have been treated as a historical reference by the Israelites.

Also, with regard to my clothing reference, my main argument was in relation to the instruction to wear 'single-fibre clothing with tassels on the corners', as mentioned in a previous post. My comment about the tassels was a side comment, and it should be noted that the tassels referred to in this rule and the tassels we think of in a modern sense are not the same thing. But back to the initial point of that particular argument, single fibre cloth breathes more easily than thicker fabrics and so it is easier to keep cool when wearing them.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #185 on: May 04, 2014, 06:54:47 AM »
This is a bit of a misconception. The topic of Biblical canon wasn't really dealt with at the first Council of Nicea (in fact from the records we have it was barely mentioned). Instead the major issue Nicea dealt with was the divinity of Christ and what form this divinity took (largely to deal with Arianism) which was dealt with via a creed (and at most expunged one statement) and what amounted to essentially administration issues. It was the Council of Carthage in 397 which dealt with Biblical canon, although our records of it are fairly incomplete. That said, there's evidence that this was in essence a codification of what was already basic practice.

The synods of Carthage aren't ecumenical and their canon isn't binding on anyone - they're little more than "meetings where some stuff was said" with no more weight than the numerous other early canons.  De jure listing of the canon wasn't until Trent, though there was definitely a de facto acceptance long before then. 

Ehhh... not as much as you think. The accuracy of the names attached to the stories is spotty, never mind the stories themselves, and last I heard there was a simmering debate among historians of the era as to whether Jesus of Nazareth's existence could even be confirmed from primary sources.

Mythicism is very much a minor position.  Calling it a simmering debate is overstating it a little, it's a minority strand not accepted by the mainstream.  Acknowledging it isn't on "teach the controversy" levels, but there's still not much of a debate. More here

Also, mythicism is one of those areas like Quantum Physics that just plain attracts nutjobs.  Certainly not all mythicist scholars are nutjobs - I've mentioned before I have a lot of time for Richard Carrier - but the tinfoil hat brigade to tend to taint the entire field.

EDIT: Sources added
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 07:23:31 AM by Kythia »

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #186 on: May 04, 2014, 09:47:07 AM »
She said that people should stop following specific demonstrably faulty moral guidelines.

Actually, she said ...

Quote
So really what I am saying is...we need to stop following a book that really has parts like Deuteronomy and Leviticus and its OK to follow them to the letter and not be called a psycho? If you are good with not following these books good for you. Apparently you are a rational human being who can think for themselves and have faith in your life.But if you are...yikes.

Which is also an insult towards people who do believe the bible is the infallible word of God.

The only reason I can see that "absolute", "unadulterated hate" might come across in thesunmaid's posts is because you are unprepared to see an atheist's position any other way. There is frustration there, yes. There is condemnation of frankly shitty morals. But you seem to be forgetting that she explained, at length in the opening post, that she had no particular problem with religion that was not hateful and intrusive.

And yet I've read another thread thesunmaid had where she actually reveled in the fact that she and a friend openly mocked and ridiculed a christian. (thread found here: https://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=184284.0 ) Not a far stretch for me to read this thread and see it as yet another instance of her spewing hate about something she doesn't like. If this were the first post she had ever made about it I'd have taken her explanation that she didn't have a problem with christianity. However, when I've already read her posting ridicule towards christians I'm not going to buy her saying now that she has no issue with the christian religion. It's called trying to defend against any potential backlash.

Note I said the stories were probable. There isn't enough evidence either way to say whether they did occur or not, but culturally and historically, it is reasonable to say that there might be a grain of truth to them. It is also reasonable to assert that culturally, the stories of the Old Testament would have been treated as a historical reference by the Israelites.

They've found ancient Sumerian texts that tell the same stories as the bible does (the great flood comes to mind) and that seems to imply that the stories are parables and not grounded in truth. It also implies that the Israelites were just repeating the stories they have heard before and crediting it to their deity.

Offline Sabby

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #187 on: May 04, 2014, 09:51:36 AM »
Which is also an insult towards people who do believe the bible is the infallible word of God.

I have to say it... so what? You act as if no one can cause offense. What if I find anyone who holds the Bible as infallible as offensive to me as a bisexual? Will you defend my supposed right to never be offended?

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #188 on: May 04, 2014, 09:57:49 AM »
This will be the last time I address you Sabby (and you know why) but there is such a thing as being civil. Openly insulting people of a specific faith is not civil. I do not give a shit how offended you are by something, it doesn't give you the right to be uncivil towards others.

Offline Sabby

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #189 on: May 04, 2014, 09:59:17 AM »
How was I uncivil? How is anyone being uncivil by saying that that the Bible is a poor moral code? Explain to me how THAT is offensive, but calling for my death you could care less about?

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #190 on: May 04, 2014, 10:02:10 AM »
Now you are being obtuse. You know damn well what part of that quote (ironic by the way that you zeroed in on the only part you could argue with) I was saying is an insult. And it wasnt the part where she disagreed with the bible. Now kindly do me the favor of putting me on ignore kthnxbye.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #191 on: May 04, 2014, 10:05:42 AM »
They've found ancient Sumerian texts that tell the same stories as the bible does (the great flood comes to mind) and that seems to imply that the stories are parables and not grounded in truth. It also implies that the Israelites were just repeating the stories they have heard before and crediting it to their deity.

To my mind this implies the exact opposite - when unconnected sources tell the same tale there's a pretty good case that tale is true.  In this case, when your entire world consists of a few villages along the banks of a river, occasionally a great flood will cover the world.  Couple that with the fossils of shellfish and the like that can be seen inland and bam.  You got yourself a flood myth.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #192 on: May 04, 2014, 10:09:23 AM »
To my mind this implies the exact opposite - when unconnected sources tell the same tale there's a pretty good case that tale is true.  In this case, when your entire world consists of a few villages along the banks of a river, occasionally a great flood will cover the world.  Couple that with the fossils of shellfish and the like that can be seen inland and bam.  You got yourself a flood myth.

Never considered the fact that the world to them was a relatively small area. Though I dont take the fossils of shellfish as proof since at one time the whole earth was covered in water.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #193 on: May 04, 2014, 10:12:34 AM »
Never considered the fact that the world to them was a relatively small area. Though I dont take the fossils of shellfish as proof since at one time the whole earth was covered in water.

No, sorry.  I phrased that badly.  You're a bronze age storyteller who has noticed that there are fossils of fish in your house, fucking miles away from the sea.  How do you explain that?  Well, obviously the area used to be covered in water.  Why isn't it now?  Well, floods happen - water levels rise, bring fish, recede, strand fish.

I'm not claiming fossils are evidence of a great flood, I'm claiming its easy to see how fossils could be viewed as evidence of a great flood.

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #194 on: May 04, 2014, 10:15:48 AM »
This thread is becoming hostile on both sides.  If it doesn't settle down, it will be locked, especially as the original poster has bowed out of the 'discussion' due to the hostility.

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #195 on: May 04, 2014, 10:23:19 AM »
No, sorry.  I phrased that badly.  You're a bronze age storyteller who has noticed that there are fossils of fish in your house, fucking miles away from the sea.  How do you explain that?  Well, obviously the area used to be covered in water.  Why isn't it now?  Well, floods happen - water levels rise, bring fish, recede, strand fish.

I'm not claiming fossils are evidence of a great flood, I'm claiming its easy to see how fossils could be viewed as evidence of a great flood.

Ok that I can see and agree with lol.

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #196 on: May 04, 2014, 12:00:11 PM »
Mythicism is very much a minor position.  Calling it a simmering debate is overstating it a little, it's a minority strand not accepted by the mainstream.  Acknowledging it isn't on "teach the controversy" levels, but there's still not much of a debate. More here

Also, mythicism is one of those areas like Quantum Physics that just plain attracts nutjobs.  Certainly not all mythicist scholars are nutjobs - I've mentioned before I have a lot of time for Richard Carrier - but the tinfoil hat brigade to tend to taint the entire field.
Fair enough. It's not something I follow terribly closely - Carrier is actually my primary source on the subject, and I've seen him making a pretty solid case that mythicism is nowhere near as weak as historicists tend to assert. That said, he's one voice with a stake in the fight.

Important note: The fact that quantum physics tends to attract nutjobs doesn't stop it being correct.



Actually, she said ...

Which is also an insult towards people who do believe the bible is the infallible word of God.
I can see how that might be construed as insulting. Given that infallibility only works by violating its own principles, though, it is also true. It's also worth noting that inerrancy is the theology of hatred, exclusion, and racism.

EDIT to clarify: I am not saying that finding morality in the Bible is irrational. I am saying that arguing that the Bible is infallible, and therefore all of it applies (except the overwhelmingly huge majority that talks about love and acceptance and tolerance (except where that acceptance and tolerance applies to me)) is irrational.

And yet I've read another thread thesunmaid had where she actually reveled in the fact that she and a friend openly mocked and ridiculed a christian. (thread found here: https://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=184284.0 ) Not a far stretch for me to read this thread and see it as yet another instance of her spewing hate about something she doesn't like. If this were the first post she had ever made about it I'd have taken her explanation that she didn't have a problem with christianity. However, when I've already read her posting ridicule towards christians I'm not going to buy her saying now that she has no issue with the christian religion. It's called trying to defend against any potential backlash.
First: Pretty far stretch to get hatred from either of those things, let alone "absolute" "unadulterated" hatred. Second: You clearly did not read that whole thread, or you might have noticed that she made the very same point I called out in the OP of this thread, and stated that she had prior personal experience with this person's obnoxious and insulting evangelism. It seems pretty clear to me that this, not Christianity in general, is what she has an issue with. Even if it's not clear to you... perhaps yoou could ask, instead of assuming the worst possible interpretation yet again?



To my mind this implies the exact opposite - when unconnected sources tell the same tale there's a pretty good case that tale is true.
I'd say that this is true if they corroborate each other in details unrelated to the central point (for instance, who were the major players? Does the description of the Ark match? How about the olive-branch bit?), or if the two cultures can be demonstrated to have no contact. If those conditions don't hold, though, all it's really evidence of is memes.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 12:03:11 PM by Ephiral »

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #197 on: May 04, 2014, 12:06:26 PM »
Since we're on the subject of not reading the entire thread:

This thread is going to be locked, for the previously mentioned reason.  It will not be reopened.