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What does God really say on the shape of the world? (From the Biblical Perspective)


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#41 PhillyB

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 11:06 AM

Can someone explain to me why something someone wrote over two thousand years ago is still relevant?


i think you have to create a sort of hierarchy of importance, existentially, for lack of better terminology. in other words, there's no sense determining if the bible is relevant or not if you haven't first determined if you believe there could exist a god or gods, which would give it meaning in the first place.

if you decide there is no god, then something written 2k ya is not relevant as it relates to existential concerns.

if you decide there is a god, then something written 2k ya in this case is worth examining more deeply, if only to weigh it against other religious texts claiming to understand this deity.

i do not think flippant dismissal based on age alone is wise.

#42 NanuqoftheNorth

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 11:49 AM

We all use reasoning with regard to every religion and every area of life – except our own dogma. The same Christians who reject the Hindu milk miracle (which was attested by thousands of living witnesses, written about in hundreds of surviving original documents, and captured on video) will happily accept the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (which was attested by a few ancient dead writers, from whom we have no original documents or video evidence).

A Christian may read in the Muslim scriptures that Mohammad flew on a winged horse, and he will dismiss it. He may laugh when he reads the Roman historian Suetonius say that Caesar Augustus ascended into heaven after he died. But he reads in an ancient book that Mary gave virgin birth to a man-god who walked on water, died, came back to life, and flew off into the sky – and he believes.

It is this double standard that I’m calling attention to with the quote at the top of my site:


When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=2998

#43 rodeo

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 12:12 PM

It does teach some good lessons.


Proverbs has some great things.

It teaches some good lessons, but teaches far more terrible, absolutely immoral lessons.

And this is what gets me about the people like OP; young Earth creationists who insist we take the Bible literally, when it's full of stuff like this:

"If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives."

"Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ."

If you think we should take the Bible literally, why do we only take some parts literally, but don't think people should be stoned to death for minor things anymore?

#44 venom

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 12:40 PM

I believe the earth is 7,000 years old, give or take.


Haha what? Try 4 billion years.

#45 Panthro

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 12:47 PM

Glad someone has a direct connection to him

#46 Matthias

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 12:50 PM

No. Joshua didn't stop the Earth, he stopped the Sun.



The sun was stopped from his perspective. It's like people today who say they want to see the sun set, are they criticized for saying such tripe? So from the people's perspective, and if that occurred today, from our perspective, the sun stayed in the same spot in the sky. Also worth noting, whether the earth orbits around the sun (and of course we know it does) or the sun orbits around the earth, neither determines the position of the sun in the sky. That is determined by the earth's rotation on it's axis. With that in mind, it ultimately says nothing on the sun going around the earth or vice versa.


interestingly darwin was hesitant to release origin of species in the mid 19th century because he, a theist himself who'd set out to prove creationism by way of his observations of a naturalist, was terrified of the response he'd receive in victorian-era england. and much to his surprise, once he decided to release it, there theological response was pretty underwhelming, largely because most of the geologists who'd worked as darwin's contemporarys were themselves members of the clergy and were able to soften the blow considerably.

in fact through the last hundred years, with the exception of the scopes trial and all that loopy mess (it's tennessee, what do you expect) it's pretty much been accepted that a non-literal translation of genesis synthesizes well enough with evolution... but in the 60's and 70's the whole intelligent design movement was birthed and started a new wave of frenzied defense of literalism because of what are ultimately philosophical arguments masquerading as scientific ones gaining traction with an uneducated public starving for scientific legitimacy. so it's really only been in the last thirty or forty years that we've seen a resurgence in this nonsense

I don't know if Darwin set out to prove a creator with his "Origins of Species", but he lost his beliefs before he published his book. I believe he even didn't want to be buried around a church, someone correct me if I'm wrong.

With all that said, I do believe in evolution. It's 100% proven, and believe it or not, you can see evolution within the Bible! Within Genesis! Yet the clear difference between what Genesis says and what scientists believe, is that all life descended from a common ancestor or ancestors. That we descended from single-celled organisms. The Bible states that life evolved from the first set of creatures that God created.


more thoughts: mathias, i believe you are well-meaning. you're clearly not coming in here with an ideological axe to grind at the expense of everyone else's freedoms (at least i hope you're not.) you seem to come in with a mind open to free discourse and the exchange of ideas, which is noble, and conducive to good discussion, even if people disagree with your ideas.

honestly you remind my of myself a number of years ago. i was raised in a fundamentalist background, measured my christianity by the fact that i didn't swear, wouldn't drink, knew my baptist theology, registered as a republican when i turned 18, etc. i used to belong to a number of online forums that had a pretty good cross-section of belief systems and spent hours rhetorically grandstanding on political issues and creating ardent, heartfelt, well-written pieces in defense of the faith, usually related to the age of the earth and that great big lie that satan came up with called evolution, meant to deceive the masses into falling away from God.

nothing really could convince me otherwise. i had already decided on my worldview, and instead of using new information and data to shape my worldview, i instead filtered it through what i already believed to be true. i believe most of us do this; it's part of socialization, and it's rare that someone is conscious enough of these processes to transcend them. this does not make me special, or some kind of genius; i was lucky enough to undergo a series of circumstances in my life that led to great existential doubt, and then searching, and in the process of searching for answers about the universe and my place in it i found a great thirst for knowledge and a complete abandonment of the status quo insofar as it related to paradigms.

i believe the fundamental mistake you and other christians make in examining the bible is that you are coming from a place of already assuming it's true. you can't make an unbiased judgement because you're not measuring its veracity by the standards of historical texts, or by historical context, or bronze age historiography, etc. to be truly unbiased you must examine it from an outside-in perspective. have you ever wondered why so few people ever switch religions? it's because the vast, vast majority of individuals within a certain religious influence are taught that their version of god(s) is inherently correct, not really questionable, and that's all there is to it.

if the christian god was the right way, and the jews have a conversion rate of .0005%, does that mean an inordinately high level of jews just aren't smart enough to figure out the truth? or is there some deeper sociological scheme at play here?

I'm definitely not your average creationist. In other words, I'm not a "The Bible says it, and that's that" type person. Even people like that, don't truly understand a lot of things the Bible says. In fact, just as I said the people who wrote the Bible didn't understand a lot about the world around them, it's really only in this scientific age we are living in, that we can now understand what Genesis truly states.

I'm simply a person who believes if God is true, if He truly inspired people to write the Bible, there ought to be credence to it. It should be that for a scientist who follows the Bible, should be making all kinds of discoveries in his field, that go way beyond what we know today. That goes way beyond what Einstein could have ever imagined. Why? It's because of God who created everything, and obviously knows what happened in the past. Scientists don't know everything, but if the christian God is true, a christian scientist knows the Person who knows everything. (Even if Genesis isn't true, because we know God, that kind of knowledge should be evident in those who know Him)

So I'm not a cop out guy, and I believe when it comes to things like this, Christians have been overwhemingly cop out-ish. We put more trust in our ability to understand, and not the Lord's. Again with all that said, I personally don't like talking about what kind of person I am compared to others, because I never want to give off the impression I'm somehow better than others. All I want to speak about is what God knows, and that I trust what He's told us. Some would say that makes me bias, because I already trust God. (Essentially making me one of those who say "The Bible is true, that's that!") Yet I believe if God is true, I should be doing better science. The truth itself would be self evident, as evident as evolution. The better science should be the evidence.


your methodologies need work too. i think it's critical that you study methods of research, hypothesizing, placement within historical context, and other such disciplines in order to become familiar with the boundaries and parameters with which you are working. there are certain rules you have to follow to retain credibility; they have nothing to do with outcome and everything to do with your methods.

lastly, i think you need to come to terms with the place of science and the place of philosophy and realize that the two are different animals. you can not shove god into a test tube.

I definitely have a lot to study, but I also see most do not see where my arguments are coming from. I think they rehash me as another fundamentalist wack job, but in reality I have a new mindset altogether. One thing I notice about those who don't particularly believe in God or a god, is when they criticize the existence of a creator, they hardly consider a possible history with Him. They don't consider if a personal God exist, what is His history with creation or mankind? They always jump to if God exists, why do we have pain/suffering/etc. That because these things exist, God cannot exist. Yet again, have you considered a possible history, that would explain those things. They may say to this that the history should be evident if God exists. Well, the human race have ancestors that exist in the past, do we know everything about what they did? Is everything they did evident to us? Yet we know they existed. So it could be that we lost our history with God, just as much as we lost history with a lot of our human ancestors. This is just one example of a viewpoint I come from in my method of arguments.

To your second point, you may not be able to shove God into a test tube (or as I like to say, put God in a box), but are you not doing the same with limiting God to only a philosophical idea? You don't think God has a place in everything we do, including science? You don't think God can increase our understanding in every subject we have a question on? If God created us, He should be able to tell us about our past as well.


lastly, matthias, if you are interested in an introduction to some of these ideas, you may find this video illuminating. it's worth an hour of your time. i hope you'll watch it.


A very intersting video, I love documentaries like these. I'm puzzled on his view of God. At one point in the documentary, he states his particular dislike in intelligent design (I'm not an intelligent design advocate by the way, it literally says nothing) because it makes God to be almost evil. That He designed a world full of death and so on, that He has the power to make things right but doesn't. Yet as a Christian who believes in God, doesn't he have the same problems as intelligent design advocates? If God created this place, why would He create it like this? With all the suffering and so forth? Then he said something interesting which confuses me on his views of God. He defined God in part, as existence itself. What did He mean by that? Is God just a creative force, or is He a person?

My view is if God is just a creative force, who in the world was Jesus? Yet ultimately this is the problem for Christians who don't take Genesis literally. Just recently (I believe), Bill Nye talked about his thoughts on creationism and it's denial of evolution. He said that for those who deny evolution, their world becomes increasingly fantastical and hard to explain. Like doing geology without tectonic plates. In the same way, this is the Christian version of the same problem. To deny that God created us perfect, without death, and deny the history of mankind as presented in Genesis, all this stuff about Jesus saving us becomes extraordinarly fantastical. How in the world would you explain Jesus, what was the point of Him dying for something that didn't exist? If God created us through common descent process, and billions of years of natural processes, then what's the problem?

Why judge us for killing one another? Why judge us for having so much sex? Why judge us for enslaving free men and women? Most importantly, why send Jesus to save us from a judgment that doesn't make sense? In the end, you would almost have to make up something that you have no evidence for, to explain sin and salvation. You end up with the same problem, you accuse creationists of having, only you would have this problem toward Chrsitains. (While creationists have the problem of explaining, to those who are not Christian)


Too rap up, I know this post was extremely long, yet I wanted to respond to what I miss. I didn't get to everyone's responses by the way, but hopefully you can find an answer to your response in my responses that I wrote. ^_^


Zod to answer your question, it's funny that in a book that is 2,000 years old (4,000 since the oldest book in the Bible was written), the history of the entire universe can be found. So only the humble will look for the truth, no matter where it is. The Bible is more relevant in this age, then in the ages it was written. This is what I have reason to believe. To prove it, I'll need further evidence. That is what I'm working on, and I don't expect anyone to just take my word for it.

#47 venom

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 01:03 PM

It teaches some good lessons, but teaches far more terrible, absolutely immoral lessons.

And this is what gets me about the people like OP; young Earth creationists who insist we take the Bible literally, when it's full of stuff like this:

"If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives."

"Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ."

If you think we should take the Bible literally, why do we only take some parts literally, but don't think people should be stoned to death for minor things anymore?


...gotta love the church. Just goes to show how much they've screwed with and manipulated what Christianity should've been about. Jesus had spoken of love, while the Church speaks of fear...it's quite the oxymoron.

#48 Harris Aballah

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 01:08 PM

I believe in god because I don't really trust those that don't. Its easier to not believe because theres no responsibility. Theres no god to answer to and that means the consequences are meaningless. for those who don't believe, imagine sandusky had never been caught in this life. he would have gotten away with a clear conscience, while ruining all those kids lives. and though he was caught there are probably 10 who haven't. And maybe they don't believe in sin either. maybe they see no reason to fear the consequences of thier actions. So your kids are fair game to a guy like that. as odd as it may sound to some of you...., I think believing in god keeps you grounded.

#49 SZ James (banned)

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 01:20 PM

I believe in god because I don't really trust those that don't. Its easier to not believe because theres no responsibility. Theres no god to answer to and that means the consequences are meaningless. for those who don't believe, imagine sandusky had never been caught in this life. he would have gotten away with a clear conscience, while ruining all those kids lives. and though he was caught there are probably 10 who haven't. And maybe they don't believe in sin either. maybe they see no reason to fear the consequences of thier actions. So your kids are fair game to a guy like that. as odd as it may sound to some of you...., I think believing in god keeps you grounded.


I knew when I noticed this boldface moron posted in the thread there'd be some stupid poo about to go down.

#50 Matthias

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 01:23 PM

It teaches some good lessons, but teaches far more terrible, absolutely immoral lessons.

And this is what gets me about the people like OP; young Earth creationists who insist we take the Bible literally, when it's full of stuff like this:

"If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives."

"Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ."

If you think we should take the Bible literally, why do we only take some parts literally, but don't think people should be stoned to death for minor things anymore?


You brought up some interesting things, but left out a lot as well. Firstly, you have to look at the translations of the Bible. The King James version takes out some meaning of the original language, and even adds a couple of things as well.

Secondly and most importantly, do you have an understanding on what the Bible says about slavery? First look at how God created us. Where was Adam's slave, if God intended for men to have slaves? Don't you think God would have created a slave for Adam? This tells me the only persons who wanted slaves, were mankind. God allowed for Israel to have slaves, but He made rules for slavery to ensure they wouldn't abuse people. One of those rules were, you couldn't kidnap a person to make him a slave. Anyone who did that, were automatically put to death, and the slave would be set free. With that in mind, all those who were involve in the african slave trade for instance, would have been put to death according to the laws God gave. Next, if you injured a slave to where he couldn't work, that slave was to be set free. For instance, if you hurt their hand, they would be set free for account of their hand. Eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, ear for ear, if the master injured his/her slave, that slave would be set free. (All slaves would have been those who sold themselves into slavery, or prisoners of war according to how God governed slavery)

When it comes to the virgin who was rape, the punishment on the rapist was that he marry the one he raped and take care of her for the rest of his life and beyond depening on his wealth status. Is that a conventional punishment? Concerning how society was back then, for instance no one had the romantic idea we have today about finding someone we love, it was the optimal thing to do. Most men and women back then didn't marry for romance, but for other things, particularly status. The punishment was to keep a rapist from raping, and it probably worked. If someone was raped, it is insured they will be taken care of no matter what, that was the focus of the judgment.

Of course there is a lot more that the Bible has said on these matters. Limiting them to a couple of quotes is misleading to the extreme.


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