It's a question that has come up more than once and I have a preconceived notion about it. Do you know the Bible? Have you read it? How "advanced" is your study of the subject? Is it a 'know thy enemy' thing, or an interest in theological studies with belief absent?
I love this question. I'm not going to answer it because I'm not an atheist, but it's always been a question that I've found intriguing. And I like the tone in which you asked it - very objective and with genuine interest.
Yes the majority of Atheist do know the bible. Very well. "Advanced study"...A large part have years of formal study and even more years of informal study. It is not so much a "know thy enemy" as it is the interest in the studies (of course it helps to defend against the serious bible thumpers)...The study of religion can fall into the philosophical and social sciences when applied to the human mind and society.
For some, the belief was there until serious open-minded study removed it due to the actual logical and facts of religion and the bible. Not the "belief facts"...
I'm not sure I believe that a majority of atheists do know the Bible, I'm afraid. I'm of a mind that for every one well-informed atheist, there's probably a dozen people who label themselves as atheists because it's "cool".
Now, I do believe that the atheists you cite do probably know the subject of religion better than most Christians, as studies have shown, for the same reason. How many theists really study the teachings of their church? I mean REALLY study, in order to comprehend them, not just for "compliance'?
Well perhaps someone can give some actual statistical sources on that? Atheists are very good at using statistics unless it is inconvenient to do so. It does beg the question, however if you don't believe in God how do you justify the 'know thy enemy' reason...an enemy who doesn't exist? It's like saying I'm going to study all about Santa Clause so I can "know my enemy", an enemy who doesn't exist. If you were an atheist would you waste time reading a fantasy story about a God who doesn't exist?
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/201 … -religious
http://www.pewforum.org/2010/09/28/u-s- … ge-survey/
http://theweek.com/article/index/207591 … christians
Here are a couple sources that speak on This topic...
Interesting study and this is probably not the place to critique it but it does not support in anyway your assertion that "Yes the majority of Atheist do know the bible. Very well. "Advanced study""
This study only compares the Atheists tested to other religions and in no way represents anything about the majority of atheists compared to the rest of that group. But this is a typical tactic I've seen atheists use to deceive their critics. They make statements that are questionable without proof, then when tasked for the evidence use faulty "proof" to support their statements. I guess they misinterpret their own evidences or think believers are just so stupid they'll believe anything. I don't see any other explanations for that behavior but if you do enlighten me...but the pew study does not support your assertions and I am surprised that any "serious open-minded" (to use your phrase) person would draw that conclusion. To assert that atheism doesn't require more faith to believe than the belief in the God of the Bible (I am not talking about theists but true Christians and the Bible is the reference in this forum topic) shows a lack of open-mindedness and frankly flawed reasoning.
First...I am not atheist.
Second the study was in answer to someone asking for stats...
My comment earlier to this was strictly from my opinion. not based on anything else..
And judging from your response...I would venture to say I was correct.
What I meant by "know thy enemy" isn't knowing God, it's knowing theists. A lot of the atheists I know seem to live for religious debate with Christians.
This is an easy fix...Let's start asking Atheist questions...And you may be correct, I am sure there are those who claim to be atheist because it is the "Cool?" thing (not sure I agree with this) to do... But what is it the Christians always say....They are not True Atheists...LOL...There is a big difference between not having a belief in God and pretending to not have a belief in God. But as the Atheist say, If you claim to be something, then you are that something... But I would say, that these two things are slightly different, lack of a belief is one thing...Having a belief but not living by it is another. Atheist study teaching of "Their" church? An Athiest would study the faith of a religion...Say..Catholic, Baptist, Islamic, Protestant... How many Christians do the same?
Fascinating thread you started, JG. I don't know how many theists study the Bible and try to understand it, but it's obvious that many are caught up in swallowing poor interpretations of scripture. Those interpretations are not only logically empty, they create an unnecessary enemy of science.
I've studied a number of religions very deeply. Before I was a teenager, I rejected my grandfather's church; he was a Southern Baptist minister. I studied science, but also Eastern philosophy. Then I studied Scientology for several years. That was a blast, until internal politics made the organization crazy and prices skyrocketed.
As a scientist, I always want to understand the things I study. With an IQ of 139, I've been given skills that most others don't have, but I also try to stay humble. My youngest brother has an IQ far above 200 (untestable). One time, I was in a discussion with him about adiabatic lapse rates in atmospheric pressure, and he took the conversation to levels that left me in the dust.
After Scientology, I studied Buddhism. I even became a student of Rinpoche Gyaltsen (supposedly 3rd after the Dalai Lama).
Later, I became interested in Judaism, Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah) and then Christianity. I studied the Bible extensively, coming to understand it in an entirely different light than I had experienced as a child. Things were suddenly making sense. After all the miracles I've discovered, the understanding of the mechanics of creation, and the real relationship between science and religion, I attempted to resolve some of the apparent rifts between science and religion.
I discovered in Genesis a timeline compatible with those of science. Not only that, the timeline led me to the identity of the culprit behind God's need for Noah's Flood. You see, at the new date for the Flood (27,970 BC), one very important species was rubbed out of existence. Now, the reason is obvious to me, because I can now see how Noah's Flood was only an act of love. Why? Because I now "know" that God created us in His image and likeness and He is not Homo sapiens. God doesn't care about these human bodies -- only the spiritual children who wear them.
Um... you're incredibly interesting and you're right, this is a really good thread.
Your killing me. You've been unsuccessful in your attempt to stay humble. A humble person doesn't start by stating his IQ and then boasting that he have been given skills that most other don't have. One would think a highly intelligent person would know that.
Sorry, but studying Scientology does not make you a scientist.
I think an atheist does not have to know the Bible, just as much as they don't need to know the Quran or any of the many religious scriptures available for the many religions and gods purported to exist. Why should they?
A more important question is how well do the folks who support a religion and it's god know their own scriptures and the other religions scriptures they reject? They are the ones who are making the positive claims of the their religions and their gods existence.
ATM, if you were to use more logic and less condescension, you might actually make an okay discussion member.
You spend so much time on religious forums, it would seem to make sense to know more about the subject before you make a fool out of yourself by saying things that make no sense from a religious perspective.
I applaud those atheists who have at least studied the religions they discuss.
But you, ATM also make generalities about the religious that are not true. That makes you automatically a lousy discussion member. Such generalities are frequently based on logical fallacies. I, for one, do not reject other religions. I've been a Scientologist, Buddhist, Kabbalist, Taoist and Christian. I've learned a great deal from each of them. I'm also a scientist and I've learned from there, too.
I knew enough of my Southern Baptist minister grandfather's take on biblical scripture to reject it by age 9. And I know much more about Christianity and the Bible now to have researched the Bible and to have found a biblical timeline embedded in Genesis compatible with those of science. It reveals a very interesting back story on the ongoing rescue mission. The collection of clues are also interesting, one of which is the Kabbalist's "Tree of Life" embedded in two chapters of Genesis.
Okay, I doubt if this will blow up your skirt. I'm already cringing for the inevitable ATM smirk and inane quip. Such is arrogance. Only with humility and a hunger can anyone ever learn. Perhaps someone else reading this will become interested.
You would too, if you didn't constantly fabricate lies all the time.
I can only take that as a compliment, coming from you. Thank you.
No, I make observations based on the behavior of the religious.
You have yet to ever point out a logical fallacy, but you use them extensively yourself and they are pointed out to you.
Yes, you love to fabricate fictional stories about yourself.
I seriously doubt you are a scientist. That is one obvious whopper of a tale.
Thank you for providing hard evidence that you are not a scientist.
An atheist doesn't have to know the Bible any more than a car mechanic needs to study engineering. Perhaps it isn't necessary, but it can sure as heck come in handy from time to time.
I would guess that the majority of atheists at least in America have a Christian background - by that, I mean, their family or extended family was Christian and probably at some point in their life went to church, if not regularly. It'd be pretty hard to be ignorant of Christianity or the Bible in America today, at any rate.
As far as reading/studying the Bible, I'd wager that most Christians don't do that either, lol. No offense meant, but I think it's the truth. People who study it academically, or if you will, "religiously" but with an intent to understand beyond just listening and half-dozing while someone reads it in Church are fewer.
I actually studied it academically in university. I took a bunch of religion classes, though I was more interested in studying East Asian religion (because I lived there for years) I also studied Abrahamic religion. I was required to read and analyze the Bible, as well as portions of the Koran. We studied the Bible from a historical perspective more than a religious perspective, but I still of course had to be aware of the imagery and symbols that the religion uses. A lot of the themes were important from a historical and cultural perspective, too.
It's certainly not "know thy enemy" because Christians are not my enemy? I don't like a lot of the stuff in the Bible, true - I don't like the Old Testament at all - but that's my own opinion. Since it was academic, I didn't read the Bible out of any ulterior motive but to study religion. It's probably silly to try to say either atheists or Christians on average know the Bible better - that would depend entirely on background, after all. Though I suppose a lot of atheists become that way because they've read the Bible and disagree with a lot of what it says? Still, I think the majority of atheists simply are uninterested in following religion, and probably have a neutral-to-negative opinion of organized religion, neither of which has any bearing on actual holy texts.
I don't doubt that many Christians read the Bible. I do question how much some of them comprehend what they're reading rather than just regurgitating the "accepted" messages that they are told to take from it.
I'm not saying that most Christians don't understand the Bible, mind you. I just suspect that a fair take the message handed out by the papacy or their priest/minister/reverend/etc. as the gospel.
On the atheist side of the coin, I also suspect that many of the moral values and real lessons that can be learned from religious texts are lost on those who immediatley discard the texts as fantasy as well.
I'm breaking a sweat trying to keep up with all these posts. Holy cow, I think I opened a floodgate.
"Whatever you do, don't read the Bible for a moral code: it advocates prejudice, cruelty, superstition, and murder. Read it because: we need more atheists — and nothin' will get you there faster than readin' the damn Bible."
"Reading the Bible is the fast track to atheism. Reading the Bible means starting at "In the beginning..." and throwing it down with disgust at "...the grace of the lord Jesus be with all. Amen." I'm sure there are lots of religious people who've read the Bible from start to finish and kept their faith, but in my self-selected sample, all the people I know who have done that are atheists."
Well that's all I've got to say on that.
That's a matter of interpretation, and frankly I'm not about to let an illusionist comedian do my interpreting for me.
For the record, folks, I am an atheist, and a vocal one at that.
Sure it's a matter of interpretation. That's why nobody agrees.
Didn't mean any offense by that, by the way. I just re-read my post and realized it seemed a bit uppity. My apologies.
That disagreement is what makes it an interesting discussion topic, so long as the discussion stays fairly civil.
Civil discussion isn't possible with Rad Man. He's so mean. Right, Rad?
So far, JG, the thread has held onto a very civil tone, IMO. And it's been interesting.
I'm pleasantly surprised that it has stayed as civil as it has.
I didn't sense any thing I should take offence to.
Ah, good. Maybe I'm just hypersensitive. Too used to arguing and not discussing.
The truth is I don't think biblical knowledge is as important as what is done with the knowledge. Some read the bible and justify half of it while others look at it critically.
I have read the Bible several times and written hubs about some aspects of it because it is an important book in my culture.
My father, a professed atheist, knew some about the bible. He could paraphrase little bits of it when it suited his purpose. His parents, especially his mother, were religious, and I’m sure she gave him religious training at home and made him go to church when he was young. He got into the Atheist movement somewhere after the Scopes Monkey Trials. This was a very active movement and many young people his age gravitated to it.
One of his friends in the movement was my history teacher in high school. Back then our state law mandated reading a bible verse every morning before school started. Mr. F. read us the same verse every day, and I got really tired of hearing it over and over again. I always wondered if there was some significance to that verse to him or did he read it because he didn't want to find another. I still don’t see what it may have been.
It's hands down that Atheist read and know World religious than any other group. Imagine 85% of Religious people attacking atheist from all sides. Just go to an atheist forum, it's far more about Religion than about Science.
Again what do you base that upon, anecdotal evidence? - well my anecdotal experience with atheists is just the opposite - the atheists I know and have met through a whole lifetime of involvement and interaction with scientists and all kinds of unbelievers tells me as a rule they know very little about true Christianity, have no desire to even hear about it (can't blame them, who wants to listen to dogma from a fictitious being they don't believe even exists) or if they do have any Biblical knowledge they don't even begin to understand it probably for the very reason the Bible clearly explains in many places " without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." You can't convince me that most Atheists have studied the Bible, not just read it, but studied it like theologians have studied it. Just show me some proof - you can't. And if, like Double Scorpion you want to compare the knowledge that the few atheists who have studied it to the knowledge of Christians you need to compare apples to apples. The two groups being compared need to be similar in intelligence, social status, degree of their belief, even gender etc. I am sure if the "clergy" of the atheist community were compared to the clergy of the Christian community (and not the laity) there would be no comparison as found in the Pew study. If the comparison were between the laity of both groups I'd bet the Christians would be more informed of Biblical facts and better yet their meaning which Atheists in general have no concept of.
The best evidence I can give that Atheists for the most part don't understand Christianity or the Bible is that when they do actually open their minds and seek God this is what happens to them. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/201 … paging=off
A couple quick observations about your post.
Can you think of any other book in the world that you have to believe it to be true prior to reading it in order to fully understand what it says? Why would you believe something is true before reading it? Do you accept that the koran is true, and if not, how can you hope to understand and investigate its claims. If you're in a class, reading the material allows you to gain knowledge, and is through learning and challenging your perceived ideals that allows growth.
Secondly, what about all the former Christians that are now atheists/agnostics? If you say they were never true Christians to begin with, you run into the no true scotsman fallacy, and you have absolutely no basis for that claim. You do not know them, or the process that they went through to get where they are now. Jerry Dewitt and Dan Barker were former pastors, now atheists. Bart Ehrman is a renowned biblical scholar who was a believer and now labels himself as an atheist leaning agnostic. There are scores of others. It seems as if you are unable to account for these people, unless you just attempt to dismiss them completely.
Just because I am now an atheist does not mean that I'm not open to other possibilities. If what you claim is true and I won't be able to understand the Bible anymore (like a power that magically got snatched away at some point) what else do I have to examine for evidence? Certainly not believers who, depending on the denomination, can't even agree on what's necessary for salvation.
It never fails, whenever I have this discussion with an atheist they put words in my mouth, twist what is said and make conclusions that aren't relevant, wrong or not supported by any facts.
"Can you think of any other book in the world that you have to believe it to be true prior to reading it in order to fully understand what it says?" I never said anything like that and whether I can "think of any other book in the world that you have to believe it to be true prior to reading it in order to fully understand what it says" is totally irrelevant to any discussion of the existence of God- what I said is that the Bible says "without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." So you start by arguing against something I never said. And besides if we are talking about the Bible why would you even think it has to be like any other book. There is no logic to your statement and as a matter of fact if the Bible is the inspired word of God I wouldn't expect it to be like any other book and neither should an Atheist. If it was just like any other book it would be in support off an atheistic view, that is that there is no God and so it must have been created by humans (lying humans to be exact).
I said nothing about any former Christians - so you bring up a point I haven't mention and you know nothing about what explanation I would give for that (and there is one). But you assume what I think and wrongly conclude I have no answer to your question when you have absolutely no idea at all what I would say to that question and it has never even been discussed here. So you try to put words in my mouth. Why? Because you think you have all the answers, and sadly you actually have none. I never suggested anything about Christians that are now atheists/agnostics, didn't dismiss them or anything else yet you project that on me.
You are the one claiming to be an atheist. If you are "open to other possibilities" you are not an atheist - you are an agnostic, unless by other possibilities you mean other than believing in a God. Then I'd say you are an atheist open to other possibilities except God, maybe aliens? witches? ghosts, I don't know, you brought it up.
I never said you couldn't understand the Bible so why do you insist on twisting what I said. Examining the Bible will not necessarily convince you there is a God. If you understood the Bible, you'd understand what "without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."means.
Maybe another way to put it is in order to understand anything you have to believe that it is. This doesn't really do the quote justice but in order to understand physics you must believe that it exists. Before physics was discovered mankind had no understanding of the laws of physics. Once mankind believed that there were laws that governed the material world they could understand it, gravity, space, time etc. and discover knowledge they could never have gained if they didn't believe there are laws that govern the universe.
It doesn't matter whether denominations (denominations don't disagree on salvation, they have minor doctrinal differences which if serious do not qualify them as a denomination but a cult) differ on belief, what matters is who is true to the Word of God, the BIBLE which says we are living in a fallen world, a different world than God originally created, a world in sin and God being a just God must punish sin (similar to you not allowing your child's obedience to go unpunished..neglect that and good luck with that kid). His only perfect son Jesus paid for our sin and just as sin entered the world through one man, Adam, so is mankind's sin forgiven by the sacrifice of one perfect man Jesus. But you must accept his sacrifice, God will not force it upon you. Truth is unless you believe that there is an omnipotent, omniscient infinitely intelligent God who created the universe and have the right perspective of yourself in that creation (you are not wiser than God) you cannot comprehend what he has done nor what he will do. It will never make sense to you and it shouldn't because it is supernatural and as long as you bound yourself by the natural you are blind. That is why Jesus said "Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again." John 3.3
Okay. Whatever you say. If I misunderstood your point, I apologize but it would appear that I wasn't alone, and I attempted unsuccessfully apparently to ask questions so you could clarify if necessary.
For future reference, however, responding to a potentially silly misunderstanding, it doesn't help to go off on a rant about "without fail, whenever I do this, atheists yadda yadda". It doesn't encourage future communication.
I am an atheist agnostic, actually. Atheism is a lack of a belief in a god. I'd appreciate it if you would not attempt to tell me, a stranger, what I am or define me. I'm perfectly capable of doing it myself. It's impolite.
Of course you weren't alone - Atheists often get it wrong because they don't pay attention to what is said and often put words into the speakers "mouth," as you did.
Excuse me for misunderstanding that when you clearly say and I quote "I am now an atheist" you really mean you are an "antheist agnostic", whatever that is. I've heard of agnostic atheists but... oh do you mean of the Iranian atheist/agnostic movement? I'd appreciate it if you would not expect me to read your mind. That is impolite.
BTW Atheism is not a lack of a belief in a god, it is a belief that there is no God or deity, slight difference but then you really don't seem to care at all about details or real meanings, do you.
a) tone down the sarcasm if you want to continue to converse
b) strong atheism is the belief that there are no gods, "weak" atheism is a lack of belief in a god/gods until sufficient evidence is presented. I really don't care what your definitions say, since I am an atheist and you are not and I am perfectly capable of explaining my lack of beliefs whether you like it or not.
c) 'atheists this' and "atheists that" is not going to get you very far. Atheists are as varied and different as christians are, and painting all of us with the same broad brush is not conducive to intelligent dialog - but you know that, don't you?
d) as I'm sure you're know, there are gnostic believers and agnostic believers. There are also agnostic atheists and gnostic atheists. Gnostic atheists are content to say that no gods exist. I do not hold that position. Once you assert a positive statement, you are required by the burden of proof to back that claim up, and it is impossible to prove that something (anything) does not exist. I am an atheist (because I do not hold a belief in god or gods) and I'm agnostic since I also believe that it is impossible to either prove the existence of a god or disprove it. I can examine the evidence like everyone else and draw conclusions from that evidence.
You seem to have quite a chip on your shoulder. While I can certainly understand the animosity that some believers have against atheists, it is not exactly fair to take that out on every atheist you meet. I apologized for misunderstanding you, if that's what happened, and instead of graciously accepting that apology and moving forwards, you wanted to continue your rant against atheists as a whole. I try to approach theists of all stripes by the same manner that they approach me. If you want to be respected, you have to show respect. While I may have misconstrued your original post, I was not disrespectful or intentionally rude. I acknowledged the possibility of my error and apologized. Your demeanor, however, tends to make me want to avoid further dialog. If you want to discuss things calmly and leave broad stereotypes at the door, fine. If not, good day.
You certainly go to great lengths to try and control everything - you appear more interested misrepresenting anything I say and in dictating how we should converse than actually discussing the topic at hand and that is exactly what I have come to expect from people like you. You have turned a discussion about atheists and Bible study into a soliloquy about yourself. And on top of it all you act like conversing with you is some sort of privilege you bestow upon people - news alert - it is painfully exasperating, an experience I will be glad not to repeat, so thank you for graciously making that possible your highness.
From how I see it, she just handed you back what you handed her...
And then she set boundaries. Boundaries are good. They keep the conversation from getting out of hand. Those who simply wish to argue don't like them though. Which, I would guess, is the reason her post made you angry.
Since you seem to LIKE being angry, then maybe you should thank her.
I must've set some kind of record for longest non-argument on religion.
You likely did, at least quarterly.
I wouldn't grow too attached to it though... someone always wants to be an ass, and someone will always be there to call them on it.
And off we go again
It would appear that it is YOU who doesn't seem at all to care about details or real meanings...
"Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist." ~ Wiki
That's one of the many problems I have with the Bible, that it makes the claim that God cannot be pleased by works alone. That would show Him to be vain, selfish and superficial.
Whether God exists or not, it isn't possible to know or prove the Bible was written by "inspired" men or "lying" men, one way or the other. And, since scholars have already denoted many contradictions contained in the Bible and the fact we no longer behave like those folks did back then, it would appear the evidence suggests it was not written by inspired men.
That is not true, an understanding of physics precludes the need to believe in it, just like everything else.
Actually, once mankind understood there were laws governing the universe, they began to shed their beliefs about the world around them.
Ah, the No True Scotsman fallacy, well placed.
Sorry, but we don't live in a fallen world of sin, that is just nonsense and ignorance or rejection of reality.
Sorry, but we don't send our children to fry in hell for eternity when they are disobedient.
But, I can understand how a religious person would treat their children if they believe such things.
That is just a nonsensical fairy tale.
Sorry, but nothing supernatural has ever been shown to exist, hence you nor anyone else can use it as an argument, especially when you make claims others cannot comprehend it.
Did I get this right? Are you stating that one must believe in the God of the bible before reading it or one won't understand the bible? This leave you open to a whole new set of problems. Do you read the Quran only when you accept that Muhammad was the true prophet? What about the book of Mormon? It also suggests that no one will convert to Christianity by simply reading the bible.
I'm an atheist now, but I was adopted into a fundamental, Baptist home as an infant and was raised with the Bible and Christian culture. My parents became missionaries when I was a teen, and I loved abroad with them for periods of time. I went to bible college where I studied the Bible and theology and apologetics. I still read the bible now, and I think it's safe to claim that many of my atheist associates, me included, reads the Bible more regularly than your average Christian. Why? Because I grew up with it. Ive studied it. I've examined it and it would be a Shame to let that knowledge and history go to waste just because I no longer believe it to be true. So I write, research, debate and discuss. It's a fascinating piece of literatyre and it demonstrates cultural mindsets and ideals long past.
Don't you think the same can be said for many theists? A lot of Christians seem to live to convert everyone to their beliefs, and insult and degrade what others think. It may be annoying when atheists seem to want to pick fights, but non-Christians deal with the same thing from Christians just as often, if not more often, considering there are a lot more Christians out there. The point is, there are jerks everywhere, certainly among atheists, but among Christians, too. And for atheists, it's often a reaction from constantly being told the are going to hell, etc. If they are bitter toward religion, certainly there is some room for understanding why?
I don't want to get into a debate about religion, per se, but I just feel compelled to point out that I doubt there are very many credible scientists who believe a flood wiped out the entirety of humanity and spread across the world. Genesis compatible with science? maybe if you don't take the Bible literally, again, the whole creation story, etc., doesn't fit in with science at all unless everything is a metaphor.
I have to say, the Noah story, imo, is one of the most horrible stories in the Old Testament. Well, there's a lot of stuff in there that makes me want to gag (who knew there was so much rape and murder? and sanctioned by God, at that!), but I don't get how this story is so popular. An angry god murders everyone, even children and babies, and all the animals, too? Again, I'm not trying to get into Bible-bashing because that's not my intent, there's a lot of great stuff in any holy text, just that I am an atheist, and reading/studying the Bible made me even less likely to convert to Christianity. Maybe the devout can interpret the flood story as something of "love", me, I guess my thinking is too concrete for that. lol Apparently there's a "Noah" movie starring Russell Crowe coming out, I just saw an article on it today, and I have no desire to see it because it sounds too violent and terrible for my tastes. haha
anyway, back on topic - I've basically been a spiritual atheist since I was a teen. I just lack the feeling of necessity to believe in a god, and am content with the world without those beliefs (I can sympathize with a "spiritual belief" in a god more than a "literal" one, if that makes sense). I don't judge people who prefer to believe in gods, it just doesn't work for me. I studied the Bible, but as I said, I didn't really like it - there were some great lines in it, stuff about love, forgiveness and peace that are values that are really important to me, too - but I didn't like a lot of the stuff in there (for example, Noah.) I think there are a lot of atheists out there who have similar feelings.
Nicely said. I'm glad to have read that today.
Yes, that is very nicely said. Is it possible that the story of Noah could have been a natural disaster and the primitive remnants of society only thought that it was wrath of an angry god? What will history have to say about the Tsunami if all our computer records are destroyed and word of mouth is relied upon. Not arguing, just bringing out a thought.
Even the story of the flood, by all appearances, draws heavily from the epic of Gilgamesh. Just throwing it out there.
Yep, that's true, and it's been theorized that is where the story of Noah came from.
I tend to think just that of the flood story.
Its worth looking into if you're the type that is interested enough to read one of the oldest prices of literature yet discovered.
I may be. That question would take a week for me to fully analyze and answer properly.
While I don't deny the possibility of a higher power, it's not that I have any reason to believe it is possible, it's the fact that I refuse to deny any theory until completely disproved. Of course, by it's very nature, the religions in question are too intangible to disprove, so my personal version of a scientific approach doesn't allow me to discard it as fantasy.
However, I do not believe that there is a higher power of any variety at work. I merely refuse to deny it as a possibility for lack of evidence.
Or something like that. It's late, I'm not sure.
Sounds pretty agnosticy to me. But to be certain, maybe Emile, our resident Agnostic could say for sure.
Perhaps so, but it's so hard to say with all the self-imposed variations. Funny how atheism and theism manage to evolve so similarly into denominations, isn't it?
I'm always interested in that kind of thing. I've heard several people make reference to it in the past, but haven't yet looked into it. I feel that it's often proposed in an effort to "falsify" the bible (I don't feel that way about the way you guys have presented it today), and resist it a bit for that reason because of my personal take on scripture. But I am open minded and always interested in learning, so I'll likely take the suggestion.
I don't consider it to be any more damning to the bible than any of the other early literature or mythology that Christianity shares imagery with. Greek/Roman mythology, Norse mythology, Zoroastrianism, etc., all offered up something, after all.
And, that is exactly the point entirely, that many philosophies and mythologies may have added some things that are well worth listening and understanding. Aesop's Fables offer a tremendous amount of lessons to be learned, but we don't need to treat it any more or less valuable than any other philosophy. And, we certainly don't need to pick out any given one and hold it up as a universal truth amongst all others.
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