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Messages - xasop

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Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Bye Bye Abortion
« on: August 03, 2022, 03:56:16 PM »
I never would have guessed Kansas would vote No considering how red the state is...It's like the inverse of 2020...
It's almost like a two-candidate election is an atrocious way to represent nuance in political beliefs.

The thing is that anyone can pick up any version of any Bible and interpret it in any way they choose. What they get from the Bible is a reflection on them and not a reflection on the Bible.
They say that God created Man In His Image but people grab the Bible and create a God in their image.

A racist, Trumpian shithead will read the Bible and find a racist, Trumpian shithead God.
And I have no problem with that. My problem is when they indoctrinate children with their garbage ideas using the Bible as justification.

Interesting point of view.  My perspective is a little different.  I was educated in a fundamentalist Christian school up until high school.  Obviously the indoctrination didn't stick but I believed it at the time.  So when it comes to stories like the Binding of Isaac my opinions on them are pretty intense.

You may read a story like that the same way you might watch an episode of Evangelion.
Sort of. My view of the Binding of Isaac is that it must be read in the context in which it was written — that is, the ancient Near East at a time when it was dominated by polytheistic cultures that routinely performed ritual sacrifice. In that context, the story makes perfect sense as a way of differentiating Yahweh from the other gods of the time. This isn't even a great leap of faith, as the Pentateuch makes frequent explicit references to the polytheistic cultures of the time and the fact that their practices were viewed as wicked by Yahweh. That is what the Bible says its context is.

Once you read it in that context, it follows that it has absolutely no moral value in the modern world. I don't think that contradicts belief in God at all; it merely requires acknowledging that Genesis, as a legitimate account of God's early interaction with humans, was authored by humans in a specific time and place and cannot be removed from that context or the embellishments that go with it.

I read a story like that with the understanding that it's taught at every Christian Sunday school in a very uncritical way.  In a Christian school the moral of that story is if God tells you to commit an atrocity then you must commit an atrocity.
And that, to me, is a problem. Not the story itself, which is perfectly harmless if viewed in the proper context, but the insistence that there is one correct interpretation. Supposedly God gave us free will, so why not let children use it when learning about him?

You must have had a different religious education than I did.
I have had almost no religious education at all. I am discovering the Bible as an adult, having lived almost all of my life as an atheist. My reflections on the Bible are thus entirely my own and have little to do with conventional Christian interpretation.

In my religious education, The Moral of Job is that if life give you a complete beat down then just take it with a smile. Because it's God's will.  I doesn't matter that it was just to prove a point to Satan.  As a human our place in the world is to withstand any suffering and explain it away as God's plan.

Something similar to how a human trafficker should not only be obeyed but revered.  Because the human trafficker can inflict great violence and pain upon the trafficked.  And this ability to make your final moments horrible and snuff out your life at a whim is indistinguishable from God.
This is what I mean by Christians not reading the Bible critically. Sure, that is a valid interpretation (albeit a morbid one), but in a supposedly enlightened society, students of the Bible should be encouraged to reflect on the story of Job for themselves and not simply accept what somebody else tells them it means.

It's difficult to interpret the book of Job charitably.
On the contrary, it is one of the few books of the Bible that is openly critical of God, even if it does backflip in the last couple of chapters, and as such is very thought-provoking. Unlike most books, which merely expound on God's love and generosity and his punishment of human wickedness, a critical reading of Job encourages the reader to consider whether Job's arguments against God are reasonable, and perhaps relate them to suffering in the reader's own life. It is just a pity that so many Christians do not read the Bible critically.

Suggestions & Concerns / Re: Automatic Logout while submitting a post
« on: July 31, 2022, 08:53:37 PM »
When logging in, you can tick the box "always stay logged in" if you don't want the forum to log you out. As for restoring your draft, you can log back in in another tab, and then use your browser's back button in the original tab to go back to the new post page — most web browsers these days will save the content of the text fields.

They're the words of a human character who is shown to be mistaken by the end of the story.
Actually, he isn't shown to be mistaken. God simply says "I'm right and you're wrong" and Job responds with "yes sir, I'm sorry sir". No actual refutation is given to anything he said.

God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked
No, only in the death of the innocent.

"If the scourge slay suddenly, He will laugh at the trial of the innocent." — Job 9:23


The system works! Good guys with guns ftw!
In a tweet on Monday morning, the National Rifle Association, a gun lobby, said: "We will say it again: The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
They're right. That's why the USA, where good guys have easy access to guns, has the lowest rate of gun violence in the world.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: What is the Gospel?
« on: July 17, 2022, 10:44:17 PM »
Something that cannot be explained by any other means might work.
Everything can be explained by other means. When all else fails, there's the good old brain-in-a-jar explanation. Nothing can ever be absolutely proven.

Like, I agree with all this. I think it's more than fair enough to ask this weird argument to be wrapped up. You didn't need to come in here swinging and taking weird, unnecessary potshots at me.
Please stop. There is nothing to be gained by perpetuating this discussion any further.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: What is the Gospel?
« on: July 17, 2022, 12:57:03 PM »
Maccabees seems to be only a Catholic thing.
No, Orthodox Bibles have it too, and Martin Luther advised reading it, while emphasising that he did not consider it scripture. The practice of omitting it entirely is a very recent and very dubious phenomenon within Protestantism.

KJV got rid of it.
Incorrect. What you mean to say is that most modern printings of the KJV omit it. The original KJV translation had it, and it is still possible to find the KJV with it if you really want your Bible to sound like Shakespeare for some reason.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: What is the Gospel?
« on: July 16, 2022, 07:42:52 PM »
I feel like I agree with this, but I also can’t help but feel like there are elements in the Bible that are there only to benefit people in positions of power. There are too many things left out in not the OT and NT for it to be just the attempts of a few people to describe and catalog their brushes with the divine.
Well, yes, the Bible is a collection of many different types of literature, by many different authors with many different motivations over many centuries. My previous post was specifically replying to the way in which God inspired the Bible, not necessarily an attempt to describe all of its contents.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: What is the Gospel?
« on: July 16, 2022, 07:18:28 PM »
To be clear, I'm really asking for your personal take here (and the personal takes of anyone else who feels like sharing)
Since you asked, my view is that if there is a God, then the Bible is the words of human beings trying their best to describe their interactions with a divine being, with all the flaws that humans have when they write about things. This explains all of the inconsistencies and difficulties in interpretation, while being perfectly consistent with a supernatural deity who created all of us and everything around us.

I also believe that if there is a God, he would want us to use the brains he gave us and analyse the Bible critically instead of taking it at face value (either what it contains or what others tell us it contains). He should be pleased when we find faults in it, because that means our understanding of the moral issues it addresses has developed beyond that of our ancestors. A God who gave us free will, but expects us not to apply it in our interpretation of scripture, is no God I would want to worship.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: What is the Gospel?
« on: July 16, 2022, 04:38:57 PM »
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”

So yes, it was obviously written by humans but the Christian belief is that it was inspired by God.
Which scripture are we talking about here? Different Christian denominations have different accepted canons. Are the deuterocanonical books only partially inspired by God? Inspired by a different God? Is one side wrong and going to hell for either claiming God inspired something he didn't, or claiming he didn't inspire something he did, and how do we know which is which?

This doesn't even start getting into the minefield of Isaiah 7:14 and its quotation in Matthew 1:23, which requires God to have inspired writing in Hebrew that means something other than what he intended to say, knowing that it would be mistranslated into Greek to render the correct meaning centuries later.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: What is the Gospel?
« on: July 16, 2022, 01:30:36 PM »
We all know the bible was supposedly written several thousand years ago by a bunch of goat fu... ahh, herders in long lost dialects of ancient languages of various kinds, cherry picked, translated, then re-translated, then subject to multiple interpretations.  So we have proof it is complete BS without even having to open the covers.  Then when we do open it up we find, to no surprise, it is incoherent, inconsistent and self contradicting.
That's not entirely fair. The Bible is a fine historical document and contains many fine works of literature, as well as being a fascinating case study in how ancient texts changed over time before the printing press was able to standardise copies. The problem is not the Bible; it is the reverence that humans give to the Bible, usually while ignoring the bits of it that they don't wish to revere. You would have exactly the same problem if somebody decided that Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was a holy book and should be studied deeply and followed to the letter.

Incidentally, being "re-translated" is not exactly accurate either. Almost all modern translations of the Bible are from the original languages, with very few exceptions for books and passages for which the original language has no surviving manuscripts, or for which the text in the original language is unclear or an obvious scribal error. But this doesn't actually matter very much because of the aforementioned phenomenon of ancient texts changing over time on the whims of scribes ­— there is no reason to believe that the 11th-century Masoretic Text in Hebrew is a better representation of the original than the 4th-century Septuagint manuscripts in Greek.

Whether to favour the original language or the older manuscripts is an ongoing topic of debate in Biblical scholarship, with no clear consensus. The good news is that they agree most of the time, so this only matters for very small portions of the Bible.

Technology & Information / Re: Speeding will be harder...
« on: July 15, 2022, 04:22:26 PM »
It is worth noting that there are a variety of factors to consider other than road safety. Even if the current speed that people drive isn't unsafe, that doesn't mean it isn't causing too much noise pollution, or emitting too much CO₂, or creating congestion problems in urban areas as traffic has to slow down to city speeds. All of these factors, and probably others that I am unaware of, need to be modelled and taken into account when setting speed limits.

Technology & Information / Re: Speeding will be harder...
« on: July 15, 2022, 09:08:45 AM »
My point is it actually wouldn’t be an abrupt change. All it would do is reflect the reality of what already happens.
You mean what actually happens when the speed limit is 113 km/h. Just because people aren't adhering to the speed limit doesn't mean it isn't a factor in their decision of how fast to drive. Human psychology is not that simple.

It is a basic scientific principle to make small adjustments and find out what effect they have before trying larger ones, especially where safety is concerned. So, even if the ultimate goal is a speed limit of 145 km/h, such a large step should not be the first.

Technology & Information / Re: Speeding will be harder...
« on: July 14, 2022, 07:24:08 PM »
Pretty much everyone goes faster than 70 and there's no serious enforcement. IMO they should make it higher (I reckon 90) and then enforce it properly.
145 km/h would make it the highest posted speed limit anywhere in Europe. (It is legal to drive faster on some German autobahns, but only because they lack any limit whatsoever.) An abrupt switch from one of the lowest motorway speed limits in Europe to the highest on the entire continent does not sound like a very wise idea.

121 or 129 km/h would be more in line with international norms, and be a smaller change to measure the effect of as a first step. You could even try using the nicer round numbers of 120 or 130 km/h, but that might be too tough a pill for the British to swallow.

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