MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:33 pm UTC

c_programmer wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:Biblical literalism as it is understood today is a fairly recent phenomenon. Catholic and Orthodox traditions have very different views about inerrancy and literalism that date back to nearly to the founding of Christianity. Although I can't find a good source for it, my recollection is that Jewish tradition has a similar view of the Torah.


I have seen their doctrines but see no reason other than science that they accept certain parts as metaphors. If there is significant internal reason I'd like to see that perspective.


Well, such arguments date back to the 3rd or 4th Century, or even earlier, so presumably modern science wasn't really a factor.

"For example, many early Christian writers were well aware of minor contradictions within the Scriptures, even in the gospels, and did not seem too bothered by it. Tertullian (AD 200) said, "Never mind if there does occur some variation in the order of the [gospel] narratives. What matters is that there is agreement in the essential doctrine of the Faith" (Against Marcion, IV:2). St. John Chrysostom (AD 390) was even bolder (at least to modern ears) to suggest that contradictions in the gospels actually strengthen the conviction that Christianity is true. If the gospel authors agreed in every small detail, then it was obvious that the stories were forgeries by a group of dishonest early Christians in collusion with one another. He even says, "the discord which seems to be present in little matters shields [the authors] from every suspicion and vindicates the character of the writers" (Homilies on the Gospel of Matthew, I:6). Even today, we Christians are far more credible if we admit to minor Biblical contradictions rather than trying come up with absurd, non-realistic stories designed to make the gospel accounts completely harmonize. So without denying the Bible's inspiration or essential accuracy, many Church Fathers recognized minor contradictions and variants in the text."


c_programmer wrote:Having looked further into [1] that does make sense, I had always been shown it the other way. As for the rest, Jesus spoke of them as fact. The parables were close metaphors to the point, they always were relevant to people of that time. Genesis was cited as history, not a metaphor. Still, they could have just been stories but I see no positive reasoning to interpret it as such. Had genesis been presented as a metaphor there might be basis, but I see no indication that Bible accounts for any of it as anything except history.


Oh, I don't know if the Bible itself treats these events as anything except history. That does not mean that such things have been traditionally interpreted as historical, and, in particular, as literal. I would say that there has always been some tension in religious circles over how literally a passage ought to be treated--if my memory is correct, even Jesus on occasion admonished the Pharisees for focusing on some particular literal element of the text, rather than understanding the significance of the concept being conveyed. Things like dietary laws, doing work on the Sabbath, etc.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby DSenette » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:34 pm UTC

TrlstanC wrote:One part of the debate that I never really understood was the switch from calling it "creationism" to "intelligent design." I mean, I understand why using the term "creationism" ran in to all sorts of legal troubles starting in the 80's because it was a term/belief of only certain religions. What I don't understand is why anyone thought "intelligent design" would be a better name? I think that the term actually describes the concept very well (living organisms were designed and created in a similar way to how people design things they create), but if the goal is to teach this to children as an alternative to evolution it doesn't seem like a strong argument to make. If you show any school-age child some things that are intelligently designed (cars, books, pencils, etc.) and any living organism (grass, slugs, cows, etc.), it will be clear which was the product of intelligence, at least human intelligence (which is the only example we have). No one would ever confuse something that was designed with something that's alive.

If you're going to come up with a new name for creationism, why give that process the same name as what people do? If it's something god did, shouldn't it be called something else, something that people can't do?

well, it's not "intelligently designed by humans" it's "intelligently designed by god", so you can't actually compare the results of human intelligence to god's intelligence. the entire concept is just to say "nuh uh!!!!" to people who believe in evolution, and that attempt to use evolution as a suggestion that god doesn't exist. it's basically a group of people saying "sure, evolution and all that, but GOD did all that stuff in his infinite mysterious ways". so ID isn't really an alternative to evolution itself, it's an attempt to make god responsible for evolution.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby c_programmer » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:01 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
c_programmer wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:Biblical literalism as it is understood today is a fairly recent phenomenon. Catholic and Orthodox traditions have very different views about inerrancy and literalism that date back to nearly to the founding of Christianity. Although I can't find a good source for it, my recollection is that Jewish tradition has a similar view of the Torah.


I have seen their doctrines but see no reason other than science that they accept certain parts as metaphors. If there is significant internal reason I'd like to see that perspective.


Well, such arguments date back to the 3rd or 4th Century, or even earlier, so presumably modern science wasn't really a factor.


Rational thought wasn't really a thing in those days either so it is unlikely they had a logical argument for it. It could easily have boiled down to "I want to do X, lets call the Bible a metaphor so I can." If I recall an entire church was founded just so a certain king could get a divorce.

LaserGuy wrote:
"For example, many early Christian writers were well aware of minor contradictions within the Scriptures, even in the gospels, and did not seem too bothered by it. Tertullian (AD 200) said, "Never mind if there does occur some variation in the order of the [gospel] narratives. What matters is that there is agreement in the essential doctrine of the Faith" (Against Marcion, IV:2). St. John Chrysostom (AD 390) was even bolder (at least to modern ears) to suggest that contradictions in the gospels actually strengthen the conviction that Christianity is true. If the gospel authors agreed in every small detail, then it was obvious that the stories were forgeries by a group of dishonest early Christians in collusion with one another. He even says, "the discord which seems to be present in little matters shields [the authors] from every suspicion and vindicates the character of the writers" (Homilies on the Gospel of Matthew, I:6). Even today, we Christians are far more credible if we admit to minor Biblical contradictions rather than trying come up with absurd, non-realistic stories designed to make the gospel accounts completely harmonize. So without denying the Bible's inspiration or essential accuracy, many Church Fathers recognized minor contradictions and variants in the text."


c_programmer wrote:Having looked further into [1] that does make sense, I had always been shown it the other way. As for the rest, Jesus spoke of them as fact. The parables were close metaphors to the point, they always were relevant to people of that time. Genesis was cited as history, not a metaphor. Still, they could have just been stories but I see no positive reasoning to interpret it as such. Had genesis been presented as a metaphor there might be basis, but I see no indication that Bible accounts for any of it as anything except history.


Oh, I don't know if the Bible itself treats these events as anything except history. That does not mean that such things have been traditionally interpreted as historical, and, in particular, as literal. I would say that there has always been some tension in religious circles over how literally a passage ought to be treated--if my memory is correct, even Jesus on occasion admonished the Pharisees for focusing on some particular literal element of the text, rather than understanding the significance of the concept being conveyed. Things like dietary laws, doing work on the Sabbath, etc.

Jesus was abolishing the priestly laws that mediated man and God since the situation was changing. Once he died on the cross man could directly talk to God so none of it was necessary. He did not think that those scriptures were wrong, he was teaching that they were no longer relevant since people could now be saved though grace.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Jave D » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:28 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:I think the point is that there's no reason to assume that everything in the Bible ought to be taken literally. Indeed, many parts of the Bible make no sense whatsoever taken completely literally.

True, but that doesn't stop a certain brand of Christian from believing it.
LaserGuy wrote:The Parables of Jesus, for example, are clearly not talking about real events, but are simply illustrating some theological or moral point.

The parables are explicitly parables. Jesus tells an illustrative story to the deciples and then usually explains what it mean immediately after. Genesis is not like that. Genisis reads like a historical record and was treated as such for centuries. There's no real textual justification for treating like a parable, except that we now know it to be false.


Something does not have to be explicitly a metaphor for it to be a metaphor.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:30 pm UTC

c_programmer wrote:Rational thought wasn't really a thing in those days either so it is unlikely they had a logical argument for it. It could easily have boiled down to "I want to do X, lets call the Bible a metaphor so I can." If I recall an entire church was founded just so a certain king could get a divorce.


You might be interested in checking [url=en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegorical_interpretations_of_Genesis]here[/url] for some discussion of the subject. Biblical literalism is essentially a Protestant invention. The idea that Genesis in particular ought to be treated metaphorically has been discussed in biblical circles as part of theology at least since the times of the early church. Some of the most important early Church figures, such as Saint Augustine, did not believe in a literal Genesis creation.

c_programmer wrote:
Oh, I don't know if the Bible itself treats these events as anything except history. That does not mean that such things have been traditionally interpreted as historical, and, in particular, as literal. I would say that there has always been some tension in religious circles over how literally a passage ought to be treated--if my memory is correct, even Jesus on occasion admonished the Pharisees for focusing on some particular literal element of the text, rather than understanding the significance of the concept being conveyed. Things like dietary laws, doing work on the Sabbath, etc.


Jesus was abolishing the priestly laws that mediated man and God since the situation was changing. Once he died on the cross man could directly talk to God so none of it was necessary. He did not think that those scriptures were wrong, he was teaching that they were no longer relevant since people could now be saved though grace.


Not in every case, no. See Luke 13:10-17 for example, where Jesus specifically calls out the Pharisee's narrow, literal, interpretation of not doing work on the Sabbath as incorrect, and which broader principles should apply. There are similar examples in Matthew 2 and Luke 6.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Xeio » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:56 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:Something does not have to be explicitly a metaphor for it to be a metaphor.
The problem arises of course, that how could we possibly determine in a non-arbitrary fasion which parts are metaphor and which parts are literal?
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Jave D » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:00 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
Jave D wrote:Something does not have to be explicitly a metaphor for it to be a metaphor.
The problem arises of course, that how could we possibly determine in a non-arbitrary fasion which parts are metaphor and which parts are literal?


Well, what works for me is using my reason.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Xeio » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:05 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:
Xeio wrote:
Jave D wrote:Something does not have to be explicitly a metaphor for it to be a metaphor.
The problem arises of course, that how could we possibly determine in a non-arbitrary fasion which parts are metaphor and which parts are literal?
Well, what works for me is using my reason.
That the parts that were proven to be incompatible with reality are metaphor? I'm not sure what you mean, because that's the kind of logic that lead to dozens/hundreds of sects of Christianity, and doesn't give us any particularly meaningful answers.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Jave D » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:14 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
Jave D wrote:
Xeio wrote:
Jave D wrote:Something does not have to be explicitly a metaphor for it to be a metaphor.
The problem arises of course, that how could we possibly determine in a non-arbitrary fasion which parts are metaphor and which parts are literal?
Well, what works for me is using my reason.
That the parts that were proven to be incompatible with reality are metaphor? I'm not sure what you mean, because that's the kind of logic that lead to dozens/hundreds of sects of Christianity, and doesn't give us any particularly meaningful answers.


Dozens and hundreds of sects doesn't strike me as a bad thing. We all have our own perceptions and worldview. And we all make sense, or try to, of what is or isn't "incompatible with reality" or for that matter "proven." What I know is that my "logic" (and it's not strictly logic) does give me meaningful answers, and that's sufficient for me and my faith. If a member of a sect derives meaning from the answers they find or believe in, that's sufficient for theirs too. And if someone rejects all religious scripture and derives meaning from elsewhere alone, that works for them. It's an entirely subjective thing; I don't go around basing my belief or my reason on what anyone other than me thinks, possibly because I'm incapable of using anyone else's brain other than my own. (Too bad. I could double my processing power with just one more!)

In short, I reject what is incompatible with reality as I understand it, I accept what fits in with reality as I understand it, and my understanding is just that: my understanding.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby DSenette » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:17 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:
Xeio wrote:
Jave D wrote:
Xeio wrote:
Jave D wrote:Something does not have to be explicitly a metaphor for it to be a metaphor.
The problem arises of course, that how could we possibly determine in a non-arbitrary fasion which parts are metaphor and which parts are literal?
Well, what works for me is using my reason.
That the parts that were proven to be incompatible with reality are metaphor? I'm not sure what you mean, because that's the kind of logic that lead to dozens/hundreds of sects of Christianity, and doesn't give us any particularly meaningful answers.


Dozens and hundreds of sects doesn't strike me as a bad thing. We all have our own perceptions and worldview. And we all make sense, or try to, of what is or isn't "incompatible with reality" or for that matter "proven." What I know is that my "logic" (and it's not strictly logic) does give me meaningful answers, and that's sufficient for me and my faith. If a member of a sect derives meaning from the answers they find or believe in, that's sufficient for theirs too. And if someone rejects all religious scripture and derives meaning from elsewhere alone, that works for them. It's an entirely subjective thing; I don't go around basing my belief or my reason on what anyone other than me thinks, possibly because I'm incapable of using anyone else's brain other than my own. (Too bad. I could double my processing power with just one more!)

In short, I reject what is incompatible with reality as I understand it, I accept what fits in with reality as I understand it, and my understanding is just that: my understanding.

i think the problem with dozens of hundreds of sects is taht they all claim to be the RIGHT one, and quite frequently try to impose their correctness on people they feel are wrong.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Jave D » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:32 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:i think the problem with dozens of hundreds of sects is taht they all claim to be the RIGHT one, and quite frequently try to impose their correctness on people they feel are wrong.


I don't think they all necessarily do that. Of course many people, regardless of their beliefs, tend to assume their belief (whatever it is) is the right one, and this is a human ego trip thing and is a problem. However many believers and organizations take a more ecumenical approach, and there are plenty of interfaith movements and truly open-minded persons out there. One trouble is when the group-think us-versus-the-world type mentality takes over in people and they begin loudly representing "their" belief and acting basically like assholes; another trouble is when those looking on from the outside at that noisy spectacle assume the loud, angry and ignorant voices represent the entire faith or belief system and dismiss entire religions that way. It can be really hard to remember that even a lot of bad apples doesn't mean apples suck. Especially when such bad apples are waving their bad apple taste at you and trying to get you to eat them. But it's important to try to do, I think.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby c_programmer » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:53 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:
Xeio wrote:
Jave D wrote:
Xeio wrote:
Jave D wrote:Something does not have to be explicitly a metaphor for it to be a metaphor.
The problem arises of course, that how could we possibly determine in a non-arbitrary fasion which parts are metaphor and which parts are literal?
Well, what works for me is using my reason.
That the parts that were proven to be incompatible with reality are metaphor? I'm not sure what you mean, because that's the kind of logic that lead to dozens/hundreds of sects of Christianity, and doesn't give us any particularly meaningful answers.


Dozens and hundreds of sects doesn't strike me as a bad thing. We all have our own perceptions and worldview. And we all make sense, or try to, of what is or isn't "incompatible with reality" or for that matter "proven." What I know is that my "logic" (and it's not strictly logic) does give me meaningful answers, and that's sufficient for me and my faith. If a member of a sect derives meaning from the answers they find or believe in, that's sufficient for theirs too. And if someone rejects all religious scripture and derives meaning from elsewhere alone, that works for them. It's an entirely subjective thing; I don't go around basing my belief or my reason on what anyone other than me thinks, possibly because I'm incapable of using anyone else's brain other than my own. (Too bad. I could double my processing power with just one more!)

In short, I reject what is incompatible with reality as I understand it, I accept what fits in with reality as I understand it, and my understanding is just that: my understanding.

Then why have a religion at all? If set A is different than set B and you see any part of set A as wrong unless it matches set B there is no reason to have set A. Why not be a non-conformist theist and take things though science, why hang on to every part of a book you haven't written off? Is this more cultural than factual to you?
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby lutzj » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:05 pm UTC

Regarding biblical literalists: An additional facepalm-inducing aspect of this movement is that most literalists in America insist that the King James Version is the only true version of the Bible (which is necessary to support a consistent literalist viewpoint since different translations differ). People like Jack Chick contend that all other versions, including earlier ones and translations closer to the original languages, were actually planted by Satan to trick people.

c_programmer wrote:Rational thought wasn't really a thing in those days either so it is unlikely they had a logical argument for it. It could easily have boiled down to "I want to do X, lets call the Bible a metaphor so I can."


Rational thought's been around in the West since Socrates, and definitely informed the arguments involved in early Christianity. People like this guy were already arguing that observed events can trump biblical accounts (because, like the Bible, the Earth was created by God) and that it would be a disservice to God to not use our human ability to reason. This had less to do with "how can we rectify doctrine with science" and more with "how can we ensure we're interpreting God properly."
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:53 am UTC

TrlstanC wrote:If you're going to come up with a new name for creationism, why give that process the same name as what people do? If it's something god did, shouldn't it be called something else, something that people can't do?
The purpose was to resell creationism as a secular, non-religious concept (to work around the establishment clause), so it had to sound non-religious. 'Intelligent Design', ideally, doesn't promote the idea that 'God did it', just that something intelligent did it. Aliens? Humans from the future? Magical sky-wizards? Who knows! But obviously, it was someone intelligent, not just a number of natural pressures exerted over a long period of time.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Diadem » Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:28 am UTC

- In the human eye, the nerves from the retina first go inwards, into the eyeball, then pass through the retina on the way to the brain, leaving a permanent blind spot in our vision.
- The most important recreational area of the human body is located next to the toxic waste disposal plant.
- The opening a baby has to pass through on birth is too small for the baby to pass through, resulting in major skull deformation on the part of the baby, and excruciating pain on the part of the woman.
- Our spinal column is badly designed, leading to lots of problems

Or my favorite example, from plants
- The key enzyme in photosynthesis, RuBisCO, and thus the key enzyme in supplying energy for every living thing on earth, has a major design flaw. It is the first step of the Calvin Cycle, which fixates CO2. The enzyme's function is to bind CO2 and pass it on to the rest of the cycle. A waste product of the Calvin Cycle is oxygen. CO2 is bound, the C is used, the O2 is discarded. So what is the problem? RuBisCO can not distinguish between CO2 and O2. It will sometimes bind O2, causing the entire cycle to break down and requiring a major energy investment to fix. All plants have huge amounts of machinery devoted solely to fixed the consequences of this error. Even then, plants often spend over half their total energy budget on reversing the effects of this flaw.

If life was designed, it was by unintelligent design.

On a personal note: After spending half a year and half a dozen meetings on trying to find a name for our Biology Olympiad alumni group, we finally settled on Rubisco. We figured it was the perfect name for us, because we're a pretty awesome group, but horribly fucking inefficient.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby ztmario » Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:56 am UTC

Jave D wrote:
DSenette wrote:i think the problem with dozens of hundreds of sects is taht they all claim to be the RIGHT one, and quite frequently try to impose their correctness on people they feel are wrong.

What is the "correct" definition of the Constitution of the United States? does the right to bear arms pertain to every citizen, or is it intended to represent the right to a standing militia? what exactly does the general welfare clause entitle Congress to spend money on?

it seems to me that with such a vague document you might end up with multiple political parties that have different interpretations and yet think that they're right and try to impost their correctness on people they feel are wrong.

going by your logic, the United States should have only one single political party with one single interpretation of the Constitution. unfortunately, human nature doesn't work that way.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby DSenette » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:34 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:
DSenette wrote:i think the problem with dozens of hundreds of sects is taht they all claim to be the RIGHT one, and quite frequently try to impose their correctness on people they feel are wrong.


I don't think they all necessarily do that. Of course many people, regardless of their beliefs, tend to assume their belief (whatever it is) is the right one, and this is a human ego trip thing and is a problem. However many believers and organizations take a more ecumenical approach, and there are plenty of interfaith movements and truly open-minded persons out there. One trouble is when the group-think us-versus-the-world type mentality takes over in people and they begin loudly representing "their" belief and acting basically like assholes; another trouble is when those looking on from the outside at that noisy spectacle assume the loud, angry and ignorant voices represent the entire faith or belief system and dismiss entire religions that way. It can be really hard to remember that even a lot of bad apples doesn't mean apples suck. Especially when such bad apples are waving their bad apple taste at you and trying to get you to eat them. But it's important to try to do, I think.


i'm not sure what religions you've been exposed to, but you're being awfully generous with your assumptions of cooperation between cristian sects. and it's not just arguments between sects, it's arguments between religious and not religious, or christians and not christians. it also doesn't have to be some huge book burning ceremony, it can be as simple as one group talking badly about another.


ztmario wrote:
Jave D wrote:
DSenette wrote:i think the problem with dozens of hundreds of sects is taht they all claim to be the RIGHT one, and quite frequently try to impose their correctness on people they feel are wrong.

What is the "correct" definition of the Constitution of the United States? does the right to bear arms pertain to every citizen, or is it intended to represent the right to a standing militia? what exactly does the general welfare clause entitle Congress to spend money on?

it seems to me that with such a vague document you might end up with multiple political parties that have different interpretations and yet think that they're right and try to impost their correctness on people they feel are wrong.

going by your logic, the United States should have only one single political party with one single interpretation of the Constitution. unfortunately, human nature doesn't work that way.

and you don't see a problem with any large groups of people claiming they're correct without any actual evidence that they are, and then trying to force other people into that same "correctness"? i haven't said anything about religion needing to only have one group. Jave D said that he saw the presence of multiple sects was a good thing, as long as those multiple sects kept to themselves. which COMPLETELY ignores the fact that as a general rule, most of them don't keep to themselves.

so, to go to your "constitutional" example, Jave D's statement would have been "it's perfectly fine for republicans and democrats to interpret the 2nd amendment differently, as long as the republicans don't expect the democrats to apply the second amendment in practice the same way as the republicans do". with the constitution, that's kind of NOT a thing that's possible. with religion, that's TOTALLY possible, but it doesn't happen as frequently as you'd like to hope.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Jave D » Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:12 pm UTC

c_programmer wrote:
Jave D wrote:
Xeio wrote:
Jave D wrote:
Xeio wrote:
Jave D wrote:Something does not have to be explicitly a metaphor for it to be a metaphor.
The problem arises of course, that how could we possibly determine in a non-arbitrary fasion which parts are metaphor and which parts are literal?
Well, what works for me is using my reason.
That the parts that were proven to be incompatible with reality are metaphor? I'm not sure what you mean, because that's the kind of logic that lead to dozens/hundreds of sects of Christianity, and doesn't give us any particularly meaningful answers.


Dozens and hundreds of sects doesn't strike me as a bad thing. We all have our own perceptions and worldview. And we all make sense, or try to, of what is or isn't "incompatible with reality" or for that matter "proven." What I know is that my "logic" (and it's not strictly logic) does give me meaningful answers, and that's sufficient for me and my faith. If a member of a sect derives meaning from the answers they find or believe in, that's sufficient for theirs too. And if someone rejects all religious scripture and derives meaning from elsewhere alone, that works for them. It's an entirely subjective thing; I don't go around basing my belief or my reason on what anyone other than me thinks, possibly because I'm incapable of using anyone else's brain other than my own. (Too bad. I could double my processing power with just one more!)

In short, I reject what is incompatible with reality as I understand it, I accept what fits in with reality as I understand it, and my understanding is just that: my understanding.

Then why have a religion at all? If set A is different than set B and you see any part of set A as wrong unless it matches set B there is no reason to have set A. Why not be a non-conformist theist and take things though science, why hang on to every part of a book you haven't written off? Is this more cultural than factual to you?


I see more correlations between sets A and B than contradictions. Why not have religion? When I was without religion, and without faith, I saw only contradictions. Of course I am indeed a bit of a non-conformist in the sense that I do not cling to every part of any particular book. But taking things through science only goes so far for me, just as taking things through any specific sect can go so far. My faith is broad and all-encompassing, and there's very little I reject at all. Even those things that do not have much or any meaning to me personally, I do not reject in an absolutist sense. To quote Gandhi,

"I believe in the fundamental truth of all great religions of the world. I believe that they are all God-given and I believe that they were necessary for the people to whom these religions were revealed. And I believe that if only we could all of us read the scriptures of the different faiths from the standpoints of the followers of these faiths, we should find they were at bottom all one and were helpful to one another."

Of course, I do read the scriptures from my own standpoint too. And my efforts intellectually are in unifying in my worldview, rather than picking out differences from, what I read.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Jave D » Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:27 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:i'm not sure what religions you've been exposed to, but you're being awfully generous with your assumptions of cooperation between cristian sects. and it's not just arguments between sects, it's arguments between religious and not religious, or christians and not christians. it also doesn't have to be some huge book burning ceremony, it can be as simple as one group talking badly about another.


Well, there are always arguments as long as people are feeling argumentative. This applies both in and out of religion. Everyone has their particular beliefs about anything, and it's rare that they'll be always accommodating to those whose beliefs are in apparent opposition to them, even in the best of times and among the best of people. I'm certainly not suggesting everyone does get along and never disagrees. Even within one single sect or belief. But that's just how people tend to be. However there is also cooperation, and while the human mind focuses on differences a lot of the time it's also true that we tend to ignore, or take for granted, or dismiss as not so important, those commonalities. Especially if we personally do not like that Other Group for whatever reasons... then we want nothing in common! But there are these commonalities whether people want to admit to having them or not, and the core teachings of every faith emphasize these - at least I think so. Others prefer to feel separated. At least, I used to. And I know of others who have the same experience. That's all.
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