Author Topic: Dangers of quoting the bible.  (Read 7892 times)

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August 07, 2008, 07:02:21 AM
Reply #15

`Nazukarr

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The arguments being made here are as follows; 1) humans are more sophisticated than their ancestors because of technological and social advancements, and 2) humans are as primitive their ancestors because of the way they behave. Sophistication is not, however, determined by maturity, since that seems to be the focal point of the latter argument. It is determined by technology and growth in effectiveness. On an intellectual level, I do believe that our minds tick exactly like those of our ancestors, but I also believe that technology is slowly ebbing away our lack of resources, which is ultimately curbing the suffering in our world. This causes society as a whole to "transcend" the trivialities of its past. Our technology  reinforces our sophistication, which makes sophistication itself circumstantial rather than innate. But we are sophisticated, nonetheless. We are not primitive, and our societies as a whole have evolved to a point where much of the cultural practices ("an eye for an eye") of past cultures do not really apply to us. That immediately strikes out Leviticus and passages similar to that book in content, but the Bible still holds a lot of value some of its more general overtones of love and as a piece of literature.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2008, 07:04:55 AM by `Nazukarr »
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August 07, 2008, 06:38:05 PM
Reply #16

Steve

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What societies are you all living in, and how do I join?

Seriously, you're ignoring the shit portions of our cultures and exagerating the positive qualities until it seems like our societies are ONLY good things. If you do the same with previous cultures, the Chinese, the Mayans, the Greeks, the Egyptians, then you could make the case that any of those societies was heaven on earth. It's the shit compared to the flowers that determines whether a society was really great.

And if you think America is great... then I can't argue with you. Not because there's nothing to argue about, but because such things will just spark a massive argument about how big america's collective penis is. That goes the same with Britain, Canada, and any other modern country.

We only think we're the best because we're living our life and not someone else's.

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Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

August 07, 2008, 09:17:46 PM
Reply #17

Jeckel

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Hi, I'm a concept called natural selection. You may have seen me in your highschool textbooks. I also get tossed around with the slogan "Survival of The Fittest" which is pretty neat. Something that people don't know though is that this also applies to human societies and social interactions.

BTW Steve...have you noticed that you can READ?!. Yeah...you want to say all of our societies are primitive? How about you'll usually meet someone who can read in a developed nation...even in the rural areas.

Now lets rewind....

Oh hey...only the noble classes can read..(and not all of them) or how about this...we don't even have to go that far...slavery? lol yeah.

Seriously.....you just don't want to admit to how good you got it.
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August 07, 2008, 11:51:57 PM
Reply #18

Watchtower

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Seriously, you're ignoring the shit portions of our cultures and exagerating the positive qualities until it seems like our societies are ONLY good things.

It sounded to me like they (Silver Archer in particular) are saying that if you take everything, both the good and bad from all the societies (or at least a sizable portion of the major ones) together and average it out, we're better off in modern times.  I didn't once see anyone say that our societies are ONLY good things, or that everyone in the modern era lives in paradise, merely that on the average, it's better to live in the modern era than most if not all of the past ones.  Hence "aggregate."

Besides, as Nazukarr points out, the argument isn't so much about whether a society is great or not, but whether it is primitive, and there's a big difference between the two.  Strictly speaking, most of our societies are less primitive than most of those of the past.  Perhaps not by leaps and bounds (depending on which specific societies you're comparing), but there is an overall trend of greater sophistication, and the world as a whole has become more sophisticated with the advancement of communication, transport, and other technologies.  Whether they're great or not is a matter of opinion.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2008, 12:04:37 AM by Watchtower »
"For no matter how holy works may be, they do not make us holy because we do them, but in so far as we within ourselves are as we should be, we make holy all that we do, whether it be eating, or sleeping, or working, or what it may."

-Eckhart von Hochheim

August 08, 2008, 03:13:50 AM
Reply #19

Faijer

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One word: medicine.

Enough said.
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August 08, 2008, 06:17:31 AM
Reply #20

`Nazukarr

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Medicine. Yes, that is one word. But Steven, do you realize how rampant war, torture, death, injustice and death was? We live in a relatively peaceful era. We can communicate on a global scale today and we have the United Nations overlooking all of the fighting of the world. Even 500 years ago, we had nothing, and you can bet that the whole world was constantly at war due to various power struggles, whether it be some form of imperialism or tribal conflict. For injustice in particular, we don't have to use America as a model. Let's just look at the Middle East.

They say that   most countries of the Middle East are highly sexist and extremist due to the prevailing conservative beliefs there. Believe it or not, they were much worse a few hundred years ago. Women had -no- value at all,  so when a family gave birth a female child, they would bury her, alive, in a desert to get rid of her. In today's more civilized society, they just can't get themselves to do that, and at this point, women are at least starting to receive some degree of respect. There are several very prominent women leaders in the Middle East, despite the misogyny. 

You bring up countries like Egypt, China, and Greece, which history elevates as the most sophisticated in those times. How did they treat women? Like property without citizen rights and the power to even speak up to men. Our societies are patriarchal now but women are gaining a prominence they never historically throughout all of the world.  As for the violence - well, its easy to conclude that the extremists of today are nothing compared to the fighters of the past in their war-ridden environment. First world countries, and hell, even most third world countries have at least transcended the vices of past cultures by words. Sure, things happen when big brother isn't looking, but acknowledging that violence or injustice is not condoned by society is a colossal step.

Do we think this way because we live our lives as pampered first-worlders? Well, it sure as hell makes us more enthusiastic about the good we live in. But I dont think anyone who is suffering even in the best of times would get himself to admit what a good place the world is. Bitterness and anger blinds people.

The truth is all in the facts, and the facts point to evolution and sophistication. While our impulses are still the same, the construct of society has empowered us to use our mind and solve our problems more productively. And that's what we're doing.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2008, 06:26:42 AM by `Nazukarr »
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August 08, 2008, 04:09:33 PM
Reply #21

Steve

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The only reason you think we're so much better off now in any way is technology.

Humans as people, however, are a different matter. We're still just as snobby, always pointing out faults in others that we have in ourselves, degrading others based on a few points that whatever group(s) we belong to tell us are "bad", hating others because our parents/leaders/musicians/who-ever-we-idolize tells us to, arrogant, self-centered, selfish, greedy, etc as you read about various people in stories from ancient times. Technology has evolved quite a bit in the past 2000 years, but humans have not.

And for the reading comment: yes, more people can read at a grade 6 level now than could back then, but that's less because humans are smarter and more because we have educational schools that teach reading. But you know what's funny about that? The greeks had schools too, so where do you think our idea for it came from? Even the Jews has educational centers for both children and adults, though they were more limited in number and scope than we have today, less because humans were "primitive" and more because technology was "primitive".

And for slaves and women's rights: come ON! LESS THAN 200 YEARS AGO AMERICA HAD SLAVES AND LACK OF WOMEN'S RIGHTS. Try reading up on history.

~Steve
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

August 08, 2008, 04:20:09 PM
Reply #22

zpo

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Naz- Your right about China, not Egypt and Greece.

August 08, 2008, 08:23:23 PM
Reply #23

Silver_Archer

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Just as Steven conveniently chooses to only look at the bad in today's world, he also conveniently chooses to only look at the good in the past. If you dislike the ugly side of humanity today, well, it was far uglier and far more common in the past. Selective bias might help you believe your stance, but it hardly makes it valid. :)
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August 08, 2008, 10:29:34 PM
Reply #24

Watchtower

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LESS THAN 200 YEARS AGO AMERICA HAD SLAVES AND LACK OF WOMEN'S RIGHTS.


Uh, yea, but it's not the case any more.  200 years still counts as the past, and the fact that it's changed at all makes the timing a moot point.  Progress is progress, whether it happened last week or last century.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2008, 10:35:18 PM by Watchtower »
"For no matter how holy works may be, they do not make us holy because we do them, but in so far as we within ourselves are as we should be, we make holy all that we do, whether it be eating, or sleeping, or working, or what it may."

-Eckhart von Hochheim

August 11, 2008, 12:45:03 AM
Reply #25

Jeckel

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I think what may trip up people about the motivations and the thoughts of of our ancestors in any given situation is media saturation with stories of characters that take place in these ancient settings. What they forget is that we apply our modern thought processes to these scripts, people watch the movies or read the books without being able to fully understand the world in which our ancestors lived.

The world back then was horrible, and honestly it is our ability to increase our scientific and technological efforts that have allowed our every day thought processes as a society to change. Yes, I am only looking at the developed nations because they were once undeveloped festering hellholes like the rest of the world. If you are to judge humanity you are to judge them by the shining examples who have battled their way out of the muck.

That is the problem of quoting the bible today to impressionable young minds, it is a book detailing the struggle of the ancestry.

It would be as silly as teaching our doctors the practices of 30 years ago. (hell, half the stuff they learn by the time they leave medical school is obsolete anyway)
Just a wishful thinker with the worst intentions.

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September 16, 2008, 05:13:08 PM
Reply #26

Fortuna

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You need to study up on the Romans :)

They had a sort of democratic oligarchy which only switched to an autocracy in times of war (though I would question whether the "democracies" in modern civilization are true democracies or merely the illusions of such). Some of their philosophers were of the best in human history, displaying an understanding of logic and wisdom beyond their factual data, and of which most modern "philosophers" and philosophies do not even compare. Their women were equal to men, even taking on political offices and being trained in mandatory military duty in the same regards as men (women equality today does not truly exist either, except among the groups of people who voluntarily mandate it amongst themselves).

Hi Steve, Although I find many of your post compelling, I have to disagree with the equality that you say women had in Rome.  Before Julius Caesar women had virtually no rights whatsoever.  After Julius Caesar, women were given the right to own property only if they had born at least three children for her husband.  Women were given the seats farthest from the arena at the Colliseum.  Slaves were given better seats.  Many baby girls were thrown upon the trash heapsw of the cities and children were not even considered human until they could speak.  Please check your facts as I once belonged to a Roman society and these issues were often spoken about.

"Citizens of the present era are far more secure and free than those from the past." Are they, now? The SS of Germany. The KGB of Russia. The CIA, and now Homeland Security Agency, of the USA. It is wishful thinking to believe that such organizations only work in the best interest of the people, or even in the guise of Justice while protecting the nation. Power corrupts.

Much of the USA culture is based in Roman culture, even if the citizens don't yet know it.

As for minor events in history like the Crusades, such things are still happening today, in our "evolved world"; Rwanda, Afghanistan, the one in the Bulkans that I can't recall the name of the country (was it Yugoslavia where they began the ethnic cleansing?), the invasion of Iraq for oil, World War 1 and 2 (in the past 100 years, so they are quite modern), Russia under Stalin, etc.

For all the technological changes you see around you, humans remain quite similar to our ancestors.

Human nature appears to be directed by many things, society, culture, immediate family and an idividual's predispostion.  We are nothing like the ancient Romans and as far as I can tell, extremely removed from biblical figures.  The "virtues" they valued in ancient times, especially in Rome, are substantially different, and especially for Christians.  Western culture is still primarily based on Christian ideals which are not dissimilar from those of the Buddhists and particularly the sect that I once was a member of.  The problems seem to lie in anomalies of behavior rooted in selfish desire by individuals who misinterpret or deny the tenants that they purportedly agree upon.  There are as many interpretations of any given religious text as there are people in the world, however, what makes the texts cohesive, valued and relevant are the number of people that agree with and understand their meaning.  For any religion to survive, there must be agreement among large segments of individuals who attempt to fulfill and practice the tenants that they agree with.     Fortuna

~Steve

September 16, 2008, 05:21:12 PM
Reply #27

Fortuna

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Vivi: Though our knowledge and factual data of the universe and ourselves has increased greatly over the past three or four hundred years, I'm afraid to say that the way that the majority of the human race thinks has likely not.

We are still deluded about how self-important we are, and are willing to fight others in order to foolishly "validate" our beliefs or ways of life, and there is little that can be said about human habits and interactions today that has not already been known by scholars of millenia past.

~Steve

I disagree. While we still 'fight others in order to foolishly validate our beliefs or way of life', we're not quite as blatant about it as we were , say, during the crusades. Human society has evolved a lot since the time of the scholars of millennium past.

The standard form of government in those days was monarchy. These days, it's democracy. While there exist many oppressive regimes even today,viewed as an aggregate, we have more freedom and power in government than people did in societies of millennium past. .

I recall no society in those days even recognizing women as equal in capability to men (heck, people like Confucian even considered women sub-human). This is not the case today.

In ancient times, the Egyptians were probably the most democratic of civilizations.  Women could have their own business, marry and divorce as they chose.  People were apparently not judged according to their sexual preferences nor thier skin color.  Part of the problems may have been in too much liberality and extremely bad leadership.  18th dynasty was probably the most evolved and prosperous because of good leadership.

Citizens of the present era are far more secure and free than those from the past. While there are still many appalling breaches of human rights around the world even today, when viewed as an aggregate, we definitely have a better record than the societies of millennium past.

Law and order is another important sphere where we've made considerable progress. While there continue to exist many regimes where law and order remain a joke, viewed as an aggregate, legal framework in today's day and age is far more sophisticated and just than those in societies of millennium past.

There are probably more examples of how we've developed as a society, but I can't quite remember them at the moment, so I shall stop here.

Ever hear of the "Me" generation?  The politics in lasrge corporations and even among individuals shows an apalling lack of courtesy and more and more treachery as in the ancient Roman times.  Politics rule an individual who works in any large corporation.  There is and continues to be more and more back stabbing as time goes on and less of love thy neighbor as thyself.  Fortuna

September 18, 2008, 02:27:01 PM
Reply #28

Sethair

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September 18, 2008, 08:17:15 PM
Reply #29

ChezNips

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I actually bought a book tonight called "misquoting Jesus" by Bart D. Ehrman just so that I can self educate on the subject more, it looked pretty neat.
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