Interpretation & Meaning in Genesis + Sabbath


(Oliver van der Togt) #82

The problem with Christians that in order to be religious they are expected to believe in a Christian concept of God and the bible to be the Word of God.


(Mitchell W McKain) #83

The problem with that is that not all people who believe WERE indoctrinated as children or in fact indoctrinated by anyone at any age. I stand as an example of this, and was raised by extreme liberals highly critical of the Christian establish, so much so that I tend to astonish atheists by being even better able to criticize some of the nonsense even better than they can. And when I did consider Christian beliefs, I made my own decisions on each and every one of them on my own for my own reasons. To be sure, it can be considered a minor miracle that I am as orthodox as I am (in the sense that I am within the whole worldwide spectrum of Christianity, though not within any particularly sector of it). One result is that the way I explain things tends to put those who have been indoctrinated a little on edge or confused, because it is not the way they are used to hearing it, even when it is essentially the same. Though there are some important differences in fundamental philosophical areas often because I am and always have been a scientist first, not only by training but even being an ingrained part of my perceptual process from childhood.

Yes!

I do not find that to be a problem. What is more of a problem is anti-intellectual (and anti-science) strains in Christianity that insists on twisting the Bible to make it incompatible with the findings of science or rational coherence. It is like they feel they have to pay for their salvation with a sacrifice of their intellectual integrity (and in some cases even a sacrifice of their moral integrity). But this is actually a huge distortion of Christianity because the whole idea of paying for salvation is an anathema and contrary to the central teachings of the religion.


(Oliver van der Togt) #84

Well that is remarkable. For in science don’t we follow observations, reason, and logic, but don’t apply that to the theory of God.


(Tim) #85

If we view God as a theory, science would be the approach. If we reason there is a God, philosophy would be the approach. If we view God as divine and a figure of worship, then religion would be the approach. For all other experiences involving God, God is just God.


(Mitchell W McKain) #86

God is NOT a valid scientific hypothesis, let alone theory (which is entirely the WRONG word to use here). A valid scientific hypothesis must be testable or falsifiable for otherwise the methodology of science would not be applicable. This is one of my few criticisms of “The God Delusion”, which is one of the very few books by Dawkins which is worthless, most being quite excellent.

Everyone “follows” observations, reason, and logic. That doesn’t come even close to the epistemological superiority of science and sounds like a preposterous excuse for calling ones own assertions by the name of science. Science is founded on two fundamental principles:

  1. Honest inquiry which is embodied in the scientific method where you TEST an hypothesis rather than trying to prove it like every lawyer, politician, preacher, and used car salesman does (and yes they use observations, reason and logic too).
  2. Objective evidence which is embodied in written procedures which anyone can follow to get the same result no matter what they believe. (Religion generally asks you to believe or have faith first)

(Bill Wald) #87

The Bible doesn’t “say” anything. We think we interpret the Bible. Me, I think it is koan.
See google.


(Mitchell W McKain) #88

No. That goes too far. It is much like the other extreme, being that the Bible interprets itself. Both are absurd. It is much like other extreme positions like reality is all in our mind versus reality is purely objective. The absurdity of such extremes are self-defeating and meaningless. You might as well say that any human communication doesn’t say anything because it is always interpreted – in which case your statement doesn’t say anything either.

To be sure there is no way of taking interpretation out of the equation even when it is in same language and culture. After all, we have to recognize that human languages are a very blunt tool, with dictionaries giving many definitions to most words and a lot of them some circular. So people do not take away the same things from a lecture, sermon, book, movie, etc. We give meaning to the words by making connections to our own experiences. And yet there there is a consensus on a lot of things, the meaning of words and the meaning of particular passages. Consider the fact that we use this same blunt tool of language to communicate a lot of the things of science, though to be sure the precision of mathematics helps a great deal. And the meaning of science can be very concrete in our technological applications. Though a lot of the precision in science is allowed because of the subject matter and other things in life are not so amenable to this.

So… to sum things up, …balance… find the more balance view which is more reasonable than the extremes.


(Earl L Dunn) #89

Hello Mitch,

Here are Your quotes:

@mitchellmckain
God is NOT a valid scientific hypothesis, let alone theory (which is entirely the WRONG word to use here). A valid scientific hypothesis must be testable or falsifiable for otherwise the methodology of science would not be applicable. This is one of my few criticisms of “The God Delusion”, which is one of the very few books by Dawkins which is worthless, most being quite excellent.

Everyone “follows” observations, reason, and logic. That doesn’t come even close to the epistemological superiority of science and sounds like a preposterous excuse for calling ones own assertions by the name of science. Science is founded on two fundamental principles:

Honest inquiry which is embodied in the scientific method where you TEST an hypothesis rather than trying to prove it like every lawyer, politician, preacher, and used car salesman does (and yes they use observations, reason and logic too).

Objective evidence which is embodied in written procedures which anyone can follow to get the same result no matter what they believe.

God is concretely known and has no need to be hypothesized or theorized.

Thanks for the two requirements you listed along with the word “honest” you included. Does that include how knowledge that’s already revealed and known is handled? What do we seek with scientific effort? Will it glorify God?

@mitchellmckain
(Religion generally asks you to believe or have faith first)

What is faith but trust? We buy from the merchant that we trust but doesn’t the trust come first? God out of His sovereignty has His sovereign right to command us to trust Him that’s true despite the multitudes of false claims, beliefs and philosophies around us.

We are made aware of God not as one concocted by assertions or the like, but by knowledge passed to us by trusted authority. We gain knowledge from the word of mouth, experience, and from various ways of inquiry that includes scientific inquiry.

Acceptance is based on trust (faith). Are any of us islands? What can we do without personal relationships? People need people and as children need their parents, so do people need God. We learn and know of God the person the way I learn and know of you as a person–by communication and interaction by which you prove yourself by your replies and God personally proves Himself as He responds to us.

As we know that rules without relationship leads to rebellion, so is religion minus a meaningful, personal, and knowledgeable relationship with God ineffective and that all that’s done in life is likewise compromised. At this point, inform me of ways someone may trick me into believing that you are a figment of imagination so that I would avoid him. Neither do we want to be tricked into thinking of God that way.

Both science and religion are served with observations, reason, and logic. But what is reason and logic based on? Are there any laws involved? Science is governed by natural laws and you and I are governed by natural and moral laws. Who originated these unchangeable laws? Only persons do things for purposes. Is it possible to change the commandments not to lie or steal?

The good tree is known by its good fruit that we are daily exposed to despite the adverse effects of the fall. The Source of the good we know of is knowable. Is it not written that the fear (reverential respect)of that person is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10)?

Earl


(Mitchell W McKain) #90

Has religion glorified God? Not that most people can see. What people mostly see is lip service. So I would answer YES, science has and does glorify God. By reading the book of God’s creation with more faith than most of the religious, science has VASTLY improved human life and dragged it up out of suffering and despair and YES that has glorified God better than anything we see in religion.

Don’t get me wrong. What I said was not meant as a critique of religion but only an explanation of the difference from science. Science is founded upon objective observation but life requires subjective participation. Science is wonderful about finding new and unexpected things about the world around us, BUT it is no replacement for life itself where we have to make choices to which science can give us no answers. So there is no suggestion here that we can do without faith. Even science requires faith so it was not my intention to suggest otherwise.


(Oliver van der Togt) #91

In that case one can never have come to accept this view of God through Reasoning or Science. What remains is uncritical faith.


(Oliver van der Togt) #92

It is my contention that Humans by acquiring Sentience/Sapience, constituted the Original Sin. Genesis refers to this as ‘eating from the Tree of Knowledge’. This resulted in Humans being evicted from the Garden of Eden.(Being integrated in Nature as are our closest relatives [Simians] still to this day). The Simians do not live in Sin as they lack the Knowledge (Sentience) to radically transform their environment. Through this Knowledge Humans have developed agriculture and husbandry; in essence destroying God’s work for one’s own benefit. We are now living with the consequences of our ‘sinful’ existence: ecological degradation and intraspecies strife (Cain and Abel, Tower of Babel).


(Tim) #93

You do realize that attempting to gain knowledge from the source of knowledge as being a sin is a contradiction? It would be a sin if one ate of the fruit of ignorance. But then your scenario of someone who wanted to advance in knowledge would not be tempted to gain ignorance, what is the point, they are already ignorant. Gaining knowledge would not lead to destruction. It would be to avoid destructive “behavior”. I think we need to agree that knowledge and advancment will never be synonymous with destruction and violence. Knowledge and technology are only tools, not behaviors. Would you refer to your arms and legs as being destructive? If so you should probably remove them. Otherwise controlling one’s thoughts would be a more resourceful way to address behavioral issues. Even Jesus pointed out that letting one’s own body parts offend the one they are part of should be removed. Do you think Jesus really wanted us to walk around handicap, or are we smart enough to know the difference between what a tool is and what behavior is?


(Oliver van der Togt) #94

Well yes. Compared to the Simians we are extremely sinful. We are the ones fighting ever increasing destructive wars (WWIII coming along nicely), degrading our environment to the extent that we are threatening our own existence on this planet.


(Tim) #95

Sure if you relate destruction to human thinking in ignorance. But if you say destruction comes from knowledge and advanced technology, then no. Ignorance is going around with brute force tearing everything to pieces to get a small return.

Knowledge gives us the means to be resourceful and more responsible with what we have to work with.

But if we do not manage our mental state, as in behavior, it does not matter what level of knowledge we have. We are going to be self-destructive.


(Oliver van der Togt) #96

Knowledge has placed us in the predicament we now find ourselves. Human ingenuity has caused the environmental destruction we now witness. That the same ingenuity will save us is a belief I don’t share with you considering our history since discovering the KNOWLEDGE of Agriculture.


(Oliver van der Togt) #97

Sounds time memorial we have been trashing the planet and you think that is now going to change all of a sudden? People are going to stop eating meat, destroying our forests and wetlands, become carbon negative? Fighting wars? You may believe in a Utopia all I see is Dystopia. And all religion is interested in is being nice to other humans.


(Tim) #98

Let’s see how humans measure up to volcanic activity when it comes to trashing the earth and polluting the air. By the standard claimed volcanoes must be well educated with knowledge.


(Earl L Dunn) #99

@ovdtogt
It is my contention that Humans by acquiring Sentience/Sapience, constituted the Original Sin. Genesis refers to this as ‘eating from the Tree of Knowledge’. This resulted in Humans being evicted from the Garden of Eden.(Being integrated in Nature as are our closest relatives [Simians] still to this day). The Simians do not live in Sin as they lack the Knowledge (Sentience) to radically transform their environment. Through this Knowledge Humans have developed agriculture and husbandry; in essence destroying God’s work for one’s own benefit. We are now living with the consequences of our ‘sinful’ existence: ecological degradation and intraspecies strife (Cain and Abel, Tower of Babel).

 
Let me think. . .

Is there any item anywhere in the picture called rebellion–rebellion against knowledge? The knowledge attained from the forbidden fruit was not just knowledge, but knowledge of good and evil. Evil was experienced as consequences of the fall ever since.

Where in scriptures were we told that we are related to Simians (monkeys)? What do we do with Genesis 2:7 that tells us that we humans were independently created from scratch from the dust of the earth?   Eve was created from Adam’s rib. What bone from a monkey was man created?

Earl


(Oliver van der Togt) #100

Well consider humans as a permanently erupting volcano. Humans are the cancer in total body of life on this planet. A volcano with intent.


(Oliver van der Togt) #101

Late stone age humans (who authored Genesis) had no idea they had evolved from their closest relative: the great ape.