Andrew Parker, in his book "The Genesis Enigma" posits that if the biblical account of the creation of the universe and the subsequent explosion of life (specifically on earth) IS interpreted not literally but metaphorically, then it would jibe neatly with what we now scientifically theorize as "The Big Bang" and "Darwin's Evolution". He details exactly whence and where the congruence occur, so the question arises: How did the ancient writers/detailers of Genesis knew with certainty what they were writing about? Was it pure luck/guesswork, or were they divinely inspired? Parker is of the opinion that luck had nothing to do with it. Parker, a scientist of some renown, has been a non-believer all his adult scientific life, so now that he has injected God into the empirical model ....is almost too stunning to comprehend.
There could in fact be other explanation(s) aside from luck and Divine Intervention. Knowledge is neither solely derived nor is it purely a product of scientific/empiric examination and Divine intervention. A considerable amount of what we know and how we consequently act, is based upon intuition, instinct and imagination. The ancients must have had an abundance of these for them to write a Biblical narrative full of wisdom and great poetic beauty.
A Villarasa, one man looked up toward the heaven where Light is,
Another looked downward into the deep where darkness is.
Both ask the same question and both received their answer.
Each with his own answer have gone separate ways, for the answers lead to contrasting conclusions.
Now when you consider the nature of a lie, if it was complete without an iota of Truth, it will not serve it's purpose as a lie. So therefore it must imitate and integrate Truth to itself, so as to establish itself as a lie with intent to deceive.
I tell you, that any who understand the concept of origin, will not find it necessary to recount the event as an alternative, with the view to clarify or explain the genesis account. For genesis is the most complete and simplistic account ever written, and any who tries to better it, usually would find themselves merely repeating it.
I therefore tell you again, that those who postulate theories (modern or otherwise) despite of and in spite of the genesis account. Postulate their theories because they have not understood the Genesis, and they have understood the Genesis because they do not have a clue concerning Origin.
Finally, remember this statement, " A man never understands until he does understand" so therefore "Genesis is never understood until it is understood".
Seeking after Theorist usually hinders the way of understanding.
Quick! Explain how a floating sphere of water (a.k.a. the firmament) could possibly exist and/or how it didn't immediately turn the Earth into an uninhabitable sauna!
You seem to adhere to the strict literal interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2. However the geologic/fossil record of earth just does not support, time-line wise, the narrative of an earth that is only 6000 years old, as the literal interpretation of Genesis I and 2 would lead us to believe.
Thus the truth of the Biblical Genesis could only be found in its metaphorical interpretation.
Empiricists (linguists and social psychologists) have long recognized that cognition is inherently perceptual and the actions directly emanating from those perceptions are derived from the brain driving and controlling the actions of the rest of the body, thus it could be said that the mind (brain) thinks in EMBODIED METAPHORS. There is growing recognition that embodied metaphors provide a common language of the mind, and that conceptual derivation leads up both literally and metaphorically.
In humans cognitive operations typically and mostly leads to us solving certain adaptive challenges of the physical environment (objective reality) and embodied metaphors are the building blocks of perception, cognition, and action.
I think it is presumptuous of you to conclude the way did concerning my interpretation of genesis 1+2, simply because I responded to your query, which was not exactly asking how genesis should be interpreted.
Nevertheless, how ever it is interpreted, the literal interpretation at least should be valid.
Consider these few things:
Whose record of an event is more believable, the one closer to it or the one further away?
What it's time?
How can one accurately determine time line when they themselves are within out and whilst using the things that are found therein?
What is the length of a day?
Was it determined by the things accomplished or the things accomplished determine the day...
How do you determine the difference between the age of the first tree and the first tree that came from it's seed?
You see my friend lots of hole can be seen, which raise doubts as to the conclusions which the modern man makes concerning history, especially since the nullify/ modify the record of the ancient historians. Who were in the best position to record history.
You see Villarasa timelines of the nature as you inquired, cannot be determined unless you understand time and get outside of it.
Vibrating rocks and heavenly bodies can help, but their story will be limited until you know what time is.
I will ask you again, how long is a day?
If you answer referencing a ticking clock or revolutions of the earth, it means you did not understand the question.
Your point is well taken. But going to your question:"How long is a day? Should I answer that metaphorically or literally.?
"Science" and "Biblical Genesis" have no business being in the same sentence, unless the sentence is "There is no logic, reason, or science in the Biblical Genesis."
There you go again making blanket statements. It might be to your intellectual advancement if you open your eyes/mind to other points of view that are to say the least challenging. But I suppose you are not into bending your preconceived ideas/ideologies once in a while. A pity.
This argument is so nonsensical, I'm not even going to use anything serious and I'll still debunk it.
And so on and so forth...
The last poster above may actually make sense (no matter how much you say it as non-sensical). According to what Professor Parker is proposing in his book, the "first" day of creation as per the bible, involved God saying: "Let there be light"...: which ties neatly with the scientific theory of the Big Bang... an event so blindingly and energetically explosive that even now (some 13.5 billion years later) we are still able to detect remnants of that explosion, not with our own eyes but with devices that measures the spectroscopic signature of the light and energy that emanated from that explosion.
About our eyes....Professor Parker theorizes that the living entities that started to colonize the water on earth (pre-Cambrian period) did not have eyes(visual acuity) , thus even if there was a light source i.e. the sun, during the day; the moon and stars during the night, it would not have been perceived and interpreted by those living entities as light. It was only during the immediate pre-Cambrian period ("Day 4") that those entities started to develop vision (thus perceive light) that then led to them and evolving into more complex entities... a period on earth that we now scientifically term as the Cambrian explosion of life on earth.... billions of years before the first dinosaurs ever made their appearance... and way down the line mammals including humans.
The 5th Day had birds and fish. And, if I recall, the Cambrian Explosion was during a time when the Sun's UV radiation was still too high for anything to really survive outside the ocean, so...the fish are obvious, but where were the birds?
Also, Old-Earth Creationism clashes with the genealogy of Genesis, which is where the laughable 6,000 year timeline comes from. So, by accepting the fact that the Earth is much older than that, you've already accepted that the Bible is full of crap.
Sorry to disappoint you but I'm not one of those who insist that the Bible should and could only be interpreted literally. In fact that's the major point in Prof. Parker's book that he emphasized i.e. if you interpret the Bible(Genesis I and II) literally, then you could and would not be able to reconcile it with the earth's fossil record. Thus his insistence that Genesis, at least, be interpreted metaphorically.... and when you do that the bible and science are in congruence.
Yes, but can Prof. Parker explain why the Creator(an omniscient being) would deliver his message in the form of metaphors instead of just being forthright? Or do you think something may have gotten lost after the many translations? Was it fallible human's fault? Is the Creator omniscient, and capable of creating perfect humans but, instead, created defective humans, who had to decipher metaphors....in order to find Him? Or do you see God as just a maladroit Extraterrestrial, who botched His science project(us) ...however, He's still mightier than us.....so we'll call Him....GOD, and worship Him?
Rhetorical questions may deserve rhetorical answers... unhappily I don't deal with those. But here's a thought: When the Omniscient Being that you were referring to in your first question got to decide to create the universe and everything in it (seen and unssen; perceived and unperceived; imagined and unimagined) he let loose the laws of nature that ultimately resulted in life in all its simplicity, then complexity, and everything else in between from the perfect to the imperfect, from the literal to the metaphor. It is for us, human beings,( of all the living entities that have and will inhabit earth) having developed the cerebral capacity to ask rhetorical questions to look for answers to those questions anywhere you may find those answers, be it in religious/philosophic belief or in scientific relief(empiricism).
In other words, you choose to evade facing the plethora of questions that you have produced by your assertion that the bible, when taken metaphorically, is somehow in sync with scientific facts.
Yet you have absolutely no evidence to support such an elaborate, whimsical assertion. Good try though. But truthfully, this is just based entirely upon your indoctrination, which states that you must accept the ancient imaginations of unknown writers, and instead of questioning them, objectively, you must MAKE this fairy tale corroborate REALITY....no matter what! Metaphorically?! What a fantastic delusion.
Try sending or aiming that accusative arrow to Prof. Parker...after all he was the one who wrote the book of which assertion we are now discussing.
He will probably give you a loadfull of scientific data that may (or may not, I am being realistic here) convince you of the validity of his theory/opinion.
I think that one can sum up the book by looking at this quote in the chapter on birds: "When the biblical text is taken literally, it is left in the wake of an advancing science. But when it is read figuratively, as here in the case of birds, it becomes a great unknown in the way it keeps pace with modern science". In other words, "I will interpret the text in such a manner as to agree with my thesis, and ignore the obvious problems with a literal reading."
Well, yes. As soon as we decide that the bible is full of "metaphor" then it can actually mean anything. Anything at all with just the right twist to the metaphor.
Which is, of course, the only way it can be considered to be true and real.
I noticed that you did not write:"...the bible is ALL of metaphor" , which leads me to conclude that you do agree that some of it could in fact be interpreted literally. So is there really a conundrum? If moderns scientific explanation run smack against a literal interpretaion of those parts of the bible, then a metaphorical explanation could and should be adhered to... unless one believes that the Bible is a total lie and fabrication of deluded ancient minds. Which I seriously doubt.
If Science doesn't match something in the bible and the literal has to be made metaphorical for it to match...Then it stands to reason that the whole of the bible (message wise) is metaphorical and can be interpreted to match whatever agenda placed beside it.
And just like any other fiction book...There are bits of truth in each story as this help solidify the base of the story.
You're getting into matters of opinion here, but I'll give you mine.
When you decide the bible is true as written until proven it is not, then deciding what is written is a metaphor describing what is actually true, you have a major problem. The entire book is not only suspect, but cannot be relied on for any truth at all, while at the same time you are making excuses for believing it to be true.
IMHO the bible is either taken as the word of God, true as written, or every word is suspect and may or may not have a connection to truth. And I will go so far as saying that deciding false statements were meant as metaphors for something that is actually true is crap. Such a call is nothing more than a rationalization, a game played to show the bible is true rather than a lie.
You should direct your accusative arrow to Prof. Parker, since he was the one who opined or theorized, in his book, that interpreting the Biblical Genesis as metaphor is a way to come to the truth of Creation. Of course, another way is scientific empiricism, but that was obviously not a tool that the ancient writers had when they wrote the verses. Luck and guesswork? perhaps, but improbable, as Prof Parker insisted. So he came to the conclusion/opinion (stunning to atheists and empiricists alike, since Prof. Parker is one of them) that those ancient writers were Divinely inspired.
The question now is:, Does Prof. Parker have the science to back his opinion up? That's for you to decide after you read his book.
IMHO, one could take the middle road and say that neither science nor Divine inspiration has the sole purview on how humans gain knowledge of his existence and the world around him. Man has developed the cerebral capacity to instinctively, intuitively and imaginatively come to grips with the reality of his existence.
"Does Prof. Parker have the science to back his opinion up?"
I simply do not recognize that "science" has anything to do with deciding that a writers words do not mean what they say, but something else instead. Therefore, science does not accommodate the idea of changing the words in the bible to more properly align with reality and truth, while still calling the book truth OR divine inspiration.
If the book is wrong, it is wrong. If it is right, it is right and does not need modified to become so.
Finally, divine inspiration has never been shown to provide ANY knowledge whatsoever, mostly because it cannot be shown to exist at all. Nor has man "developed the cerebral capacity to instinctively, intuitively and imaginatively come to grips with the reality of his existence" - while man can certainly imagine possible answers, and even intuit them, he cannot use any of those things to find truth. Only rational thought, coupled with experience, can provide knowledge of what is and what is not.
What good is rational thought and experience if they are not undergirded or subsumed by instinct, intuition and imagination. If you are proposing that instinct, intuition and imagination are irrational, then I suppose, we are all irrational beings because evolutionary theory tells us that the reason why humans evolved the way they did was because of their instinct, intuition, and imagination. Making evolutionary theory irrational, by the logical extension of your proposition.
Ungirded. As in controlling? No, rational thought does not need to be controlled in any way by imagination. Or intuition or instinct.
Those things are not irrational, but neither do they necessarily produce truth, even when used correctly. That's what thought and experience are for. One could for instance, imagine flying on a broom, Harry Potter style, but it is not truth and never will be. Thought tells us that and thought is correct.
Humans evolved to grow brains because of their instinct and imagination? Or have ears on the sides of their head because of instinct? Somewhere along here we are simply not communicating.
We humans, of all the living entities on earth, evolved with a brain that is the most neuronally integrated because our hominid ancestors instinctically intuited into that cerebral mass their experiences (positive or negative) dealing with a not too friendly world. Having to deal with a hostile world demanded that a comparatively frail and fragile hominid anatomy from the neck down, develop something from the neck up that would in fact accomodate their survivalist instincts and insure that the specie not only thrive, but actuallydominate the natural landscape. The instinct, the intuition, and the imagination to survive has been ingrained experientially into that brain , down the generation of hominid specie , that in turn made homo sapiens, .....the ultimate hominid specie, one of the most succesful in terms of modifying its environment according to its specific needs, not only to surivive but also to explore beyond what is immediately inferred by out 5 physical senses.
You are putting your wants and desires, and it sounds like your spiritual likes and dislikes, into nature via mostly buzz words that are either just plain wrong or mean nothing.
One does not "instinctively intuit" anything. Intuition comes mostly from experience, as well as reason and observation. Not from instinct.
Having to deal with a hostile world did not "demand" we develop a brain; if it did the lemur would be just as smart - the big brain is just one of many, many possible answers for survival. Nor did anything demand that we dominate the natural landscape - a great many animals survive without dominating. There is neither intuition nor imagination to survive and it has not been ingrained experientially into our brains. We have an instinct to survive, provided by evolutionary factors.
Nor is there anything point to Home Sapiens as the ultimate hominid; most of our close cousins have physical attributes far beyond ours. We are the smartest (we think, although there is competition we don't understand) and thrive in more environments, but only if you define "superior" as having those traits rather than strength or long hair are we superior. Give it a million years and there will be something different and if we still survive we will have evolved into something "superior" to what we are now.
And finally, there is certainly nothing "beyond" that is inferred by our 5 senses. Those senses do NOT point to another universe, another dimension, a god, or anything else. They do not infer anything of the sort; that would be the work of imagination, not senses. Imagination, given free rein, can and will infer nearly anything at all and whether it makes sense or not is immaterial.
We have had discussions on these topics before... suffice it to say that you are looking at experiential existence purely via the prism of the physical and material. But are there any other prisms out there that one could view human neuronal connections, and its ability to instinctually, intuitively and imaginatively interpret/experience existence? Of course there are... and to deny that valid assumption is obstructionist, at the least, and nihilist at the most.
Absolutely there are other prisms - the problem is that they cannot be depended on to produce truth as the use of the is entirely subjective. Subject to the emotions contained in your brain, which care not whether something is true or not, just whether it feels good or not.
The result is that those prisms produce answers which may be true, but are usually not. Useful for imagining possibilities that can then be checked with the prism of reality, useful for coming to "feel good" conclusions where truth doesn't matter much and useful for entertainment. Not for making conclusions concerning reality.
Jacob Uexkull, the Estonian biologist and founding father of biosemiotics, proposes two kinds of reality, the subjective and the objective. The subjective is the environment that is perceived and acted on by an a living entity; the objective is the environment which encompasses and acts on all the living entities within it.
It is that subjective environment where perception of reality is mediated via the living entity's intuition, instinct and imagination. So to interpret that reality only through the prism of the objective environment is eliminating half of that entity's existence.
From your description, Uexkull is an idiot. That simple.
Renaming an imaginary world as something else, in this case a "subjective reality" simply does not make it real. Nor does a living entity "act on" an imagined reality; eating an imaginary steak will not satisfy your bodies need for nourishment. That imaginary steak does not exist, and all the interpretation you can put into a lifetime of looking through your subjective prism will not make it exist.
Because the environment which acts on the living entities is the only one we can act on. We cannot act on a reality that exists only in our imagination. It is only from the cow that steps on our foot that we can get a steak, not one we imagine flying by in the air.
So look down your nose at me, claim that I look only through the objective prism and thus miss out on all the other "realities", but I will not starve by doing so. You on the other hand, will definitely starve if you refuse to use the objective one in favor of using your perception of an imagined world to guide your life choices.
The subjective lenses, most of them, have a place in our life - of entertainment, of imagination to grow and learn truth from - and I have said that already. They DO NOT have a place in running our life or in thinking they are real in any sense of the word.
This "subjective reality" is not reality at all, but only a perception. And when that perception is hallucination, physical or reasoned, it has no connection with "reality" anywhere. When found with the wrong prism it is not real, regardless of what Uexkull chooses to label it.
Isn't it interesting. You and your objectivist/materialist cohorts on HubPages are always singing the praises of the empirical model as the ONLY way to discern the TRUTH, about man, his earthly existence, and the universe around him. Now when I quote or put as my source an empiricist that has done extensive research on the subject, and the quote or the opinion being offered run counter to your pre-conceived ideas and ideologies, you and your cohorts immediately attack the empiricist source as an IDIOT, a recedevist, and a rogue.
That my wild friend is hypocrisy of the highest order.... so in this instance, I am putting my lot on the biologist and biosemioticist, than on your bloviating hypocrisy.
It is possible that I did not understand your comment about what that empiricist with extensive research into reality said, but I doubt it.
You seemed to say that he has declared that a person's perception of reality determines what that reality is. Now, that is total nonsense of course - if you hallucinate a unicorn in your dining room it is not there no matter how much you think it is. This researcher has decided that changing the name from imagination to "perceived reality" will somehow make that unicorn appear, to be real, but it won't. And if he isn't saying that, then he has no reason to change the term to anything that has anything to do with reality.
You may find it hypocrisy to call a spade a spade, but I don't - it is hypocrisy to say that imagination is actually reality.
Who said anything about unicorns... neither I nor Uexkull is hallucinating about unicorns or any such mythical and phantasmogorical entities. So for you to inject that into the conversation is really grasping at argumentative straws, that will not save you from falling into the abyss of debating incoherence.
Should you look carefully at the statement from the post, that "if you hallucinate a unicorn in your dining room it is not there no matter how much you think it is." you will see an "if" in there. Uexkull is stating, as near as I can tell, that IF a hallucination occurs, producing a false perception of reality, THEN that false perception is actually true.
Or do you read his/your statement some other way? That your perception does NOT determine reality?
You might want to read my answer to Kess (close to the top of this forum) about the problem with interpreting Genesis as a purely literal narrative.
I read it before. I agree that the only way make Genesis read true to fact is to change the meaning from what it says to something else. No problem there.
I also understand that many people think in metaphors - it makes things easier to understand in many cases. It does not, however, change reality no matter how things are said, described or explained. It can only change the individual perception of reality, not reality itself.
And specifically, using a metaphor to make understanding easier does NOT make an imagined reality, perceived or not, real.
In his essay titled :"Metaphors are in the Mind", Benjamin K. Bergen, an associate professor in Cognitive Science at UC San Diego posited the following observations that are empirically derived and proven:
(1) A lot of what we say is metaphorical; (2) Metaphor is not simply a linguistic device (despite what Aristotle said); instead real metaphorical language as actually used isn't haphazard, that is, it is systematic and coherent and unidirectional; (3) In the specific example of "understanding" and "seeing", one always describe the "understander" as the seer, the understood idea as the seen object, the act of understanding as seeing, the understandability of the idea as the visibility of the object--thus seeing and understanding stand in a fixed mapping(or relationship) to one another. (4) The reason metaphorical language exists and is systematic and coherent is because people think metaphorically. And it is because people think metaphorically i.e. because they systematically map certain concepts onto other concepts in their mind, the they end up speaking metaphorically; (5) Recent empirical work in the field of cognitive psychology prove that people think metaphorically EVEN in the absence of metaphorical language. The utility of this "conceptual-metaphor" explanation has generated extensive interests in fields as diverse as linguistics, psychology and neuroscience; (6) This conceptual-metaphor explanation is transformative because it does away with the centuries old idea that metaphor is just a linguistic device based on similarity.
It would seem simpler to just say there is reality and there is perception, and perception is sometimes biased or otherwise flawed. But perception does not "create" some parallel kind of reality.
Reality is shared. If your perception of some concrete aspect of the world (like whether a 6 foot rabbit is currently in the room) is unique to yourself alone, it is by definition not reality but a delusion.
Why is it so difficult to understand that simple concept? The "spiritual", with their dozens/hundreds/thousands of different perceptions and delusions, all calling it a different "reality", just don't make sense.
When I write/talk about imagination I am referring to that which is securely attached to reality, and by reality I mean substantial and subsistent factuality. Imagination that is unhinged from reality is delusion. What might be factual reality for one might be delusion for another, thus there is no absolute truth or reality to existence except as it relates to the subjective perception or interpretation of that existence or reality.
by heavenbound5511 10 years ago
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