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What really pisses me off about athiests
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Boss Cat
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:13 pm    Post subject: What really pisses me off about athiests  Reply with quote

is that they keep telling me what I believe.  And they get it wrong.

I had one only on Friday telling me I have to be a Bible literalist and looking aghast when I told her I don't know anyone who is.

Then she got upset when someone else pointed out that lots of Christians aren't literalists and she got upset and accused us of all picking on her because two other people listening agreed with me.

What crud.
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Shaker
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bible literalists get the lion's share of attention precisely because their stance is so utterly, utterly insane. Theists who take a sophisticated, nuanced and subtle view of their scriptures just don't make for such good copy, in a nutshell. It's far easier, and in my view far more right, to point and laugh at the likes of Ken Ham than at Richard Holloway, Desmond Tutu or Rowan Williams.

However - there's always a however - there remains the very pertinent question as to how far the sophisticated, nuanced and subtle believers can be considered to be true to their religion compared to those who take a different view. The atheist you encountered recently wasn't exactly without point, however poorly couched.
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northernstar
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's atheist, simple enough to spell. Yes, always wondered why some Christians tend to pick and choose the best bits from their bible, you either believe all of it or none of it. As Shaker points out, we atheists prefer the likes of Ken Ham and fundamentalist preachers as they are certainly certifiable.
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cyberman
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

northernstar wrote:
you either believe all of it or none of it..


What a stupid notion! Why should we either believe all of it or none of it?
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Shaker
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cyberman wrote:
northernstar wrote:
you either believe all of it or none of it..


What a stupid notion! Why should we either believe all of it or none of it?

I suppose what northernstar was getting at is that if you don't accept everything in Bible literally and at face value, and therefore you hold that some parts are literally true whereas others are mythological (in the strict sense) which have to be interpreted symbolically and allegorically, there must be an extra-Biblical rationale for doing so: some other standard for making such a judgement which cannot come from the Bible itself.

This in itself raises a welter of questions: where does such a standard come from and on what is it based? What is the yardstick for deciding which bits are literally true and which bits merely symbolic? And so forth.
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cyberman
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shaker wrote:
cyberman wrote:
northernstar wrote:
you either believe all of it or none of it..


What a stupid notion! Why should we either believe all of it or none of it?

I suppose what northernstar was getting at is that if you don't accept everything in Bible literally and at face value, and therefore you hold that some parts are literally true whereas others are mythological (in the strict sense) which have to be interpreted symbolically and allegorically, there must be an extra-Biblical rationale for doing so: some other standard for making such a judgement which cannot come from the Bible itself.

This in itself raises a welter of questions: where does such a standard come from and on what is it based? What is the yardstick for deciding which bits are literally true and which bits merely symbolic? And so forth.


To argue that we have to accept all of it as true is as lazy as arguing that we have to reject all of it as false.

It is not a question of picking and choosing. It is a question of doing some work and using your brain. Treat each book of the Bible as we would treat any other document from the ancient near east. That's how we do history. That's how we do textual criticism. The books are separate works, written by different people for different reasons.

Imagine I compiled an anthology of ancient Greek works. I included Herodotus, Homer, Thucydides and Aesop.

Herodotus claims to be history, has some things which are accurate but includes much rumour and fantasy. Thucydides claims to be history and is fairly accurate, but as with any source we have to be aware of inaccuracy and bias. No human historian is infallible. Homer is written as fiction but does contain some actual events. Aesop makes no pretence of being true stories, but can nevertheless be said to contain 'truths' about relationships etc.

Imagine two thousand years after I make this compilation, many of the original sources are lost. Historians find and peruse my compilation. An historian reads Thucydides and says "Ah, this is interesting - it confirms that the unrest in Sparta preceded the battle of something-or-another"

Would it make any sense to reply to that historian "You can only believe that if you also believe that the Hare and the Tortoise is a true story."?
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Lexilogio
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Cyberman here.
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Boss Cat
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, to be fair to this woman, who I don't know very well, just socially, she is courteous and good natured.  We had all had a drink and to her credit she phoned early Saturday morning  to acknowledge that it was the drink and to hope she hadn't offended anyone.

Which she hadn't of course.  In all honesty, we were surprised by her slightly over emotional response, nobody minded at all.  In fact I was rather enjoying it.

Thanks for pointing out my spelling error, northern, I should proofread more thoroughly.  I think you are posting bilge when you say all or nothing though.  Do you really believe that?
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northernstar
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose not, after all, it's just a collection of STORIES, right? None are real?
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Boss Cat
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Er, that sounds as though you DO mean it's all or nothing - 'just a collection of STORIES, right? None are real?'.  That sounds as if you are saying 'nothing'.

I think the Bible is a collection compiled over centuries telling the developing understanding of humanity's relationship with God, from the god of a tribe on a mountain to the God of all the people in our lives.

Some myth, some allegory, a lot of rules that gave meaning perhaps to people whose lives were hard, some history...I think an all or nothing mindset is a bit limiting.

Do you take Shakespeare's Henry V as literal fact?  Or is it JUST a story with no relationship with what really happened, and therefore with no value (apart from some nice lines)?

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