Sunday, December 2, 2007

the flaw in the skein

Hmm I know this is a blog devoted to context and in that light I suppose I shall chalk this up to a small peek at my religious views since these comments sprang from them. Still I apologize for those expecting more baby sloth pictures. so adorable!! Also as a note to Andy and DJraindog, I attempt this only as a outsider trying to use your reason to justify your own beliefs and I think you are both fine men, whose blogs i have long bookmarked. Andy's more than DJ's.

Okay context, it started with Dagon posting pictures from the creationist museum and led to a comment by Andy and DJRaindog both nice enough fellows who are as I later term "philosophical christians" Their logic is thus, Each realizes that the bible if read literally or as direct divine transcription can lead to a host of issues not the least of which several apostles condemning homosexuality, and the old testaments instructions to stone them, right after admonishing people not to eat shellfish. Thus they each create a mental framework in an attempt to justify their faith regardless of the inconsistency of their belief in the book that spawned the religion. To cruelly paraphrase, neither is willing to stake their lives to the truth of the written word, but both of them are willing to risk their eternal souls to it's murky guidance.
Andy begins his logical shenanigans by declaring the bible, "false but accurate" both inherently true and yet not to be taken literally. He declares, "There are limitless riches in the text of Genesis, all of which are cheapened and reduced to complete rubbish by this discussion of whether they are "true" in a scientific sense" . I take it they are cheapened because they are examined and tested? What moral code shouldn't be? To him these lessons are true in a moral way. So when faced with a flood that will wipe out your species except for your family, it is important to stick to your religious convictions and let your fellow man drown. This is a moral lesson? When man attempts to reach for divinity such as in the story of the Tower of Babel, it is God's duty to confuses them and keep them from reaching by inflicting them with broken languages that lead to war and conflict. This is a moral lesson? When dealing with your older brother whom you loathe you should trick him into giving you his birthrights. This is a moral lesson? I'm sorry but if this is the moral lesson than I can do the same on my own without tying myself to an ancient and confused moral code that doesn't accept me.
DJraindog starts a similar thought by also declaring the followers of Jesus that don't see the Word as he does, false Christians, thereby trying to wash his hands of their attempts at religious understand, and defiantly NOT accepting that the Word might be the problem and easily given to any number of definitions. DJ claims that his higher education allows him to properly understand the word unlike the billions of others who might have read it and got a different idea. He admonishes these others , "I'm doing the same, but I actually have a substantial education. I would suggest that if they want to make sense of these fractured disciplines, they should get their facts from well-established and well-respected scientists, historians, and theologians". Like perhaps the Pope? Ahh but these are Anglicans! to hell with the Pope he can't be right (haha just a little joke guys). They will attempt to explain the stories as moral parables that teach us lessons, but as I mentioned earlier these are sad sad moral lessons.
I believe that if you want to live by a moral code you need to think it out in your own mind, you need to weigh your choices out by what you believe not what a book teaches you is right or wrong. Billions of people thru out the word each give up their personal responsibility of moral questioning to follow their perceived religious duty's. Muslims kill apostates and unbelievers because it is better to be dead than to wrong or unpure to them. Hindus and Buddhist developed the caste systems that lock millions into poverty and despair because they believe that former sins call for them to be punished in this life. These poor people are spit upon and beaten down because of who they were born to. Christians believe that a better world will come from a stricter following of the Bible, after all if everyone followed Jesus than it would truly be a better world, right? At least in their defense most Christians have accepted the plurality of belief that springs from having a confusing book to follow. and their religious wars are now a point of history not current conflict. The facts remain, however, that by trying to follow a book instead of figuring out right from wrong in their own lives and practices, they stunt their mental growth by never developing a strong personal view of the world and their place....And this my friends is my problem with all religions.

now as for my beliefs, I do believe in souls, and I do believe in the transcendence after death. Beyond that I have little faith or belief in the gods of today and think that the afterlife will take care of itself. I believe in souls because I think consciousness has developed to the point that it can exist without a body (after all it seems reasonable to suppose that if our consciousness's were downloaded into a computer they would still exist and have free thought) and if that is the case it seems likely that quantum space will somewhere keep a copy of that state in which it can interact with it's environment.


Jason said...

Hey tim. Thank you very much for all your advice. We are indeed a very stunted bunch. How absolutely unfortunate.

Tim said...

we just have to face up to it and realize our own weakness's it's not like we can't catch up!

Dagon said...

The part of the intellectual Christian view I find weakest is the assertion that the Bible wasn't meant to be read literally and that the current metaphorical reading is the only way to access the Truth. This viewpoint poses lots of sticky problems: what about all the Christians who lived and died over the last 2000 years--were they all wrong? Are they still to be considered Christian, having made the foolish mistake of taking the Bible literally (and it DOES seem to demand a literal reading--there are tons of rules, behavioral injunctions, for example, that simply make no sense as metaphor).

There seems to be something like a metaphor creep--more and more of the Bible becomes metaphorical over time...

Tim said...

religionist's views on our ancestors was the first thing that made me question the entire concept. Here are people saying and believing that they are the only "saved people" disregarding everyone else. all the Abrahamic religions do it too. a total disconnect with their past. it struck me as incredibly wasteful of a god to construct a religion that didn't account for that.
DJ was the one that took the view the furthest, and it made little since from a debate form since the people that wrote the book DID NOT seem to take it metaphorically as you mentioned.
But these are not debates we can solve nor even win at once faith enters the equation reason is tossed out the door