Literalism and the Bible...a lawyer's pespective

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posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 08:15 PM
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reply to post by hotpinkurinalmint
 





In real life, of course, we will not face a situation that is exactly like Abraham's dilemma. An "invisible man" is not going to ask us to slit our child's throats.


No one can say this with absolute certainty, if this god is real you cannot know it's intentions. These ancient texts make it clear that this entity is predisposed to fits of murderous rage and bouts of maniacal jealousy.

There have been ample (as a studier of law you are no doubt aware) examples over the years of individuals committing violence murder and in their defense have claimed god told them to do it etc.

Thousands of people everyday do good things and many of them make the claim that an invisible man in the sky is the inspiration for their actions.

You simply cannot in any way accept that one of these groups of people are mistaken about the source of their actions when the evidence for both is the same and the attributes of the source is likewise.

I'm not in anyway educated in law (or even educated lol) however I could be called upon as a member of a jury and that is how reason would compell me to lean.




posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 08:46 PM
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reply to post by hotpinkurinalmint
 





Perhaps the question presented in the Abraham story is whether we should make seemingly self-destructive sacrifices? In the Abraham story, no harm came to Abraham as the result of his sacrifice. Perhaps we should learn that it is sometimes okay to take risks.

If you do pass the bar I hope for the sake of your clients that you look back and reconsider your attitude toward this.

If any normal human being is asked by a man in the sky to slit the throat of his own son he goes to the doctor for help.

The concept of making such a supreme sacrifice is completely repugnant and the only lesson to be learned is that our moral values (those of us who would not even consider this heinous act) are far superior bronze age deity.


Dude, I'm off to bed and as much as I would like to address your points am too tired but I'd just like to point out a thing or too.

You either accept the bibles as literally the word of a god or you don't if you do then your god has got some serious issues not unlike Ki Il Sung.

If you don't how can you possibly accept some of it's morals as valid and others not without cherry picking them to suit your own moral values.


Given that the bulk of the old testament is a garbled tale of perhaps substantial metaphor and historically confusion in relation to a peoples that were probably the remnant of an Egyptian civil war in relation to god worship. Why on earth would anyone in their right mind seek to perform cranial gymnastics in order find some obscure moral meaning in such a hotchpoch of moral redundancy.

Throughout the entire old testament this yahwhe entity does not have but one redeeming quality, it is an utter tyrannical monster., yet is the pivotal character of all of the books.

It is unacceptable to conclude that any "bad" bits about this god are the result of men not getting the message right and so the good bits should be sought and pondered upon.

If you actually collated some decent morals out of the bibles (I would perhaps plumb for a few word spoken by the jesus god character) you can readily get this information from philosophies like Buddhism and cut out all the blood shedding on behalf of yahwhe nonsense.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 09:01 PM
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reply to post by ExPostFacto
 





Straight out of the lord's mouth. He speaks figuratively and not literally. Read John 16 and you will glean that the end times may not be some disaster but rather a revealing of truth

Very briefly as I need to sleep, then who decides what is figurative and what is not ?

Example- the feeding of the five thousand .

was this just an example of a powerful god showing off his powers in front of some people who may or may not have been peckish and should be taken literally ?

I think not , the breaking of bread and sharing is quite symbolic of of the dispersion of knowledge and would appear to be possibly of Egyptian origin.

The fish are symbolic of the Pisces constellation.

There was much food (knowledge/wisdom) left over, why would a god create waste ?

The entire event would appear to be a symbolic representation of the instigation of the new age of Pisces the new age taking over from the age of Aries.

The food that is left over is symbolic of the knowledge that figuratively fell on deaf ears.

The next age is the age of Aquarius what message is imparted in relation to the water bearer ?

Right I'm off to bed.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 09:11 PM
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The ToRaH ('guidance'/direction-instruction) Scroll beside the LAw ("Not/No-Denial) written in Stone is a picture of precedence, just as the first five-books are having priority over all subsequent Bible (even the Lord put it before Him).

The Covenant Agreement at Sinai established a marriage in death, with His(Exo)-Ours(Deut) Tables of 613 inscribed letters each front and back laid together (Sabbath to Sabbath) in an Ossuary size 'Ark'. It is the declaration of what is Not to be 'granted continuance' by the Eternal -yet having promise. For founding the trust-worthiness of one arriving to standing thereon, it is then a platform for willful empowerment as that one has taken the step of putting those things beneath.

The Scrolls are accessory to that being the Testimony, and has the real "Commandments" ("thou shalt" and "thou shalt not") numbering 613 total, which are having award or penalty (rewarding or punishment, blessing or the curse) and these are as the OP has explained to be taken out and applied in the field of living and it also assumes the reader knows a simple 'Week-based' ancient Calendar all Hebrews kept that (thankfully) was preserved by the Dead Sea Scrolls (and was only recently resynchronized). Of these the Levitical ceremonial sacrifices and Priesthood ritual are the only part agreed to be annulled as 'opposed/against you'.

In both of these there is one critical requirement -to be able to read them, they require a Literal knowledge and understanding of their strict definition of terms. The origin and meaning of the Letters and Two-letter Etymons found from the Ligature phase Archaic Hebrew -besides their icon glyphs of the great symbols- have cleared up many misconceptions (and we now can show that "GOD" was not 'invisible' to the Biblical authors)! But these things come only to those who seek their proof, it's not for everyone to will to be perfected, and these things are generally considered but guidelines or as basic orientation for the 'advanced citizenship' social ideal we are living toward today.

It occurs to me, these things have been turned upside down in their interpretation previous! We are to uphold the "Law" (Torah) and Do the "Commandments" (Law tablet)! I get this picture of "Bible thumping" (and "bashing"), the threatening stance of their own platform, and the Priestly Tithe still being kept! If this were correctly understood to be upheld it would be the end of all legal practice for there would be no will to do wrong it would be a dead issue for the living pursuit of the elusive inexactness of Love ('EHaB' the favorable thing favored one or favorite for meeting the requirement of necessity) would be the directive as an internal constitution.

[edit on 2010/2/12 by YeHUaH ELaHaYNU]



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 10:18 PM
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@ Moocowman.

Well... You do point out to a very disturbing test of faith.

I think this is not how people should treat each other. Why is there a need for making sure if a follower has enough faith ? Ego, maybe ?




The number of questions (and perhaps answers) the Abraham story poses are numerous and there is no way someone like myself, who is not a biblical scholar, could discuss them.


What I see in history is, bible scholar or not.
People are not receiving the message.

The idea of discussing a millennia old story.makes all the difference somewhat disappointing and proof of an unreliable answer.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 10:32 PM
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Originally posted by moocowman
reply to post by troubleshooter
 

Deuteronimy22:13-21)
"If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her ... and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her ... and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city ... But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel ... Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die."

The penalty for lies and deception in a tough historical time hack...
...when paternity could not be easily established and hybridization a real possibility.

You can't judge the severity of the law unless you walk in their shoes.

The sad thing is some people would apply these historically specific laws in modern/post-modern times.


You may of course contest Alma, but to do so would immediately bring into question the designation of the mother of jesus.

What I said applies here...
...referred to as a virgin (young women)
Luke 1:34 "Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?


Either way the question in relation into the killing on the orders of an invisible man in the sky is still valid.

Abraham and Issac was a piece of 'theatre'...
...and the place where it was enacted was the exact place where Jesus was crucified...
...on Mount Moriah not far from the current Temple Mount.

Most other OT killings were actually cullings of hyrid Nephiyl...
...which were the very reason for the caccooning of Israel and the tough laws...
...to preserve the 'seed of men' from whom the Messiah would come...
...in fulfillment of...
"I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed;" Genesis 3:15




posted on Feb, 13 2010 @ 01:27 AM
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The bible actually teaches that the word of god, (the bible is refereed to as the word of god) is perfect, and no man has the right to change its wording or the meaning of such wording, therefore every disgusting thing the bible insists upon doing, do be part of the Christian faith, is to be taken literally. If the Bible is to be considered out of date, then there should be a new one, but you can't do that, because the word of god is perfect, and not allowed to be changed by man. The bible is IMO as in many others simply repulsive.



[edit on 2,13,2010 by neo5842]



posted on Feb, 13 2010 @ 04:36 AM
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You either accept the bibles as literally the word of a god or you don't

The typical Christian position is that the Bible is inspired by God, and written by human beings. The majority of Christians, to the extent such things can be censused, apparently belong to churches that are not sola scriptura. That is, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and some Protestants believe that the Bible as it now exists must be interpreted. There is often an accompanying story about an ongoing role of the Holy Spirit in scriptural matters, even in sola scriptura churches.

Islam does believe in divine Koranic dictation: Allah to Gabriel, Gabriel to Mohammed, Mohammed to his secretaries, and from the secretaries to the living faithful.

It would, of course, be convenient for the atheist faith if all other religions were like Islam. As with much of polemics, secular or religious, what would be convenient to be true is readily confused with what is true. Or, at least the convenient is presented as true for rhetorical effect, because it is easier to debate straw men than the substantive mainstream of opposing viewpoints.

The OP's take on literalism is interesting, but qualified literalism is not literalism, it is interpretation. Biblical literature is already viewed from a "case oriented" perspective. The Jewish faith maintains rabbinical traditions both of interpretation (midrash) and application to "case law" (talmud). These traditions are ditinct from the Hebrew Bible itself.

More generally, there are moral lessons throughout literature, both sacred and profane. I don't think the Bible is unusual in that regard. To use an example that has come up, if you hold that Abraham's compliance with God's directive to kill Isaac is "just a story" to make a moral point, then you have refuted the Biblical literalist claim, not accommodated it.

The lesson that people should defer to the guidance of gods in matters of behavioral choice, even when human moral sensibility is offended, is just as well illustrated by the Bhagavad Gita, for instance. I don't think any Christian advocates literal truth for that work. Thus, what is claimed by some Christians for their Bible is different in kind from what they claim for sacred writings generally, including other sacred works with a "historical" form.



posted on Feb, 13 2010 @ 05:15 AM
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reply to post by neo5842
 

The word of Neo5842 is not a book.
The word of God is also not a book.




posted on Feb, 13 2010 @ 07:57 AM
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reply to post by troubleshooter
 


but the word of neo5842 is a book according to neo5842. and according to neo, the word of neo is perfect
it makes perfect sense to me.



posted on Feb, 13 2010 @ 09:23 AM
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reply to post by troubleshooter
 





Abraham and Issac was a piece of 'theatre'... ...and the place where it was enacted was the exact place where Jesus was crucified... ...on Mount Moriah not far from the current Temple Mount.

You have evidence of this ? I'm kind of impressed if you have, I'd be even more impressed if you had evidence proving jesus was indeed a real person as the historical record seems rather in want of this.



posted on Feb, 13 2010 @ 09:33 AM
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reply to post by eight bits
 





That is, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and some Protestants believe that the Bible as it now exists must be interpreted.


"THE hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document instructing the faithful that some parts of the Bible are not actually true.

The Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland are warning their five million worshippers, as well as any others drawn to the study of scripture, that they should not expect “total accuracy” from the Bible.

“We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision,” they say in The Gift of Scripture.

But the first 11 chapters of Genesis, in which two different and at times conflicting stories of creation are told, are among those that this country’s Catholic bishops insist cannot be “historical”. At most, they say, they may contain “historical traces”.

Article link - www.timesonline.co.uk...


As ever, xtianity remains very much a make it up as you go along cherry pick the good stuff and make excuses for the rest religion.

This particular religion has had to continually concede to the voice of reason for a few centuries each step has been difficult and drawn out with very much a,"we knew that all along so we are still right" attitude.

I'm convinced that (but I could be wrong) the gay marriage issue will be the stake in the heart of this bronze age bloodsucker and look forward to its' demise.



posted on Feb, 13 2010 @ 10:04 AM
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As ever, xtianity remains very much a make it up as you go along cherry pick the good stuff and make excuses for the rest religion.

So, in civil words, many modern Christian churches admit their mistakes and apply scholarly critical thinking to the source documents of their heritage.

And that would be bad. Yes, I can see that.



posted on Feb, 13 2010 @ 03:24 PM
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reply to post by moocowman
 


One thing I would like to add is that in order to use the Bible as a teaching tool, you do not necessarily have to believe in God! I think in some instances a strong faith in God might be an impediment to learning the Bible's lessons.

Let us take the Abraham lesson. A person with a strong faith in God will probably read the story and think, "No big deal for Abraham. Abraham was a good man who had a strong faith in God. Abraham knew everything was going to be okay if he followed God's instructions."

The person with a relatively weak or no faith is troubled by this story and can draw insights that people with strong faith cannot. The people with weak faith can see and understand the numerous moral conflicts that exist in the story.

The people of "weak" faith believe that Abraham's conscience must have wrestled with his decision to sacrifice his son. They also must question if everything did turn out alright for Abraham. Although Abraham did not kill his son, the story is silent as to whether Abraham was still able to maintain a good relationship with his son.



posted on Feb, 13 2010 @ 03:31 PM
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reply to post by moocowman
 


I did pass the bar.

If someone came into my office claiming God is telling them to kill their son, I would have to turn that person into the police. Let us not be foolish. If you read my OP, I clearly state that the stories of the Bible contain many bizarre and difficult to believe fact patterns.

I do, however, see clients that come to me with help starting their own businesses. Most of these people are risking a lot in order to accomplish their dreams. In a way, these people are like Abraham. They have a compelling desire to accomplish their dream, but at the same time they also crave security.

As a lawyer, it is my job to help minimize their risks as much as possible, while also doing everything I can to help them succeed. It is also my job to point out all the foreseeable risks they may face, but it is not necessarily my job to tell them not to avoid certain risks.



posted on Feb, 13 2010 @ 03:58 PM
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reply to post by moocowman
 


I can think of three considerations you may wish to weigh.

When it comes to literalism, the first question you may wish to ask is "Does it matter?" Does a story in the Bible lose its instructional value if it contains biases or fabrications?

You will miss out on the instructive lesson of the story if you say, "that whole story seems fishy to me...no way it happened." If you went to law school, you would have read a case called Palsgraaf. As the story of the Paalsgraaf case goes, a railroad conductor was helping a man carrying a parcel board a train. The railroad conductor accidentally knocked the parcel out of the man's trains as he helped the man get onto the train. The parcel happened to contain dynamite. The dynamite exploded, causing an anvil that was a hundred feet or so away to fall on a woman's head.

A law school student could read the first page of the Palsgraaf case and say, "You got to be kidding! There is no way that could have happened!" They could shut their casebook and not read the case. Yet, the Paalsgraaf case is one of the most celebrated cases in the law and its decision is the basis of much of the modern law of torts.

You are saying, "This story seems silly! There are no talking invisible men! There are no fairies!" Your statement may very well be correct from a scientific or historical perspective. From a moral perspective, however, you are closing your mind to a valuable learning exercise.

Second, once you have determined whether it is important that the text be literally, perhaps you should ask yourself whether a literal interpretation would make more sense than a loose interpretation?

In order to do this, you may need to know the context in which the rule was made. You should keep in mind that the people of the Biblical era lived in a very different world.

For starters, life was very tough. People were often malnourished and worked very hard. Many people were slaves. People also had to worry about marauders. If the Bible were to create some sort of penal system that was based on deterrence, severe punishments were necessary because the average person lived a very tough life.

In modern times, cutting off a limb for a petty offense does not make sense because prison or fine may be enough of a deterrent. In ancient times, you could not fine people who had no cash. Prison would not be much of a deterrent because many people already had limited freedom due to slavery. Prison, as we know it, does not seem like such a bad place to somebody who is already malnourished, has few possessions, and lives a hard life anyway.

Third, you may also look to the Bible itself to see if a statement or rule has any caveats or exceptions. The Bible has many instances where characters are granted mercy or forgiveness. Perhaps a rule you read to mean, "Always do this" or "Never do that" really means "Always do this, unless..." or "Never do that, unless...."



posted on Feb, 13 2010 @ 04:33 PM
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Originally posted by hotpinkurinalmint
However, from the perspective of someone that is trying to learn the rules of conduct the Bible teaches, the Bible must be unquestionably true.


You should combine the lawyers' perspective with that of the psychologist or neurologist and see if you can maintain that stance in light of the fact that the lawgiver is insane.



Originally posted by moocowman
reply to post by hotpinkurinalmint
 





The question is not "did this happen?," but rather the question is "How should one behave under these circumstances?"

So how exactly should one behave when an invisible man in the sky tells your father to slit your throat and bleed you to death ?


And when should one commit genocide?



[edit on 14-2-2010 by Lilitu]



posted on Feb, 13 2010 @ 08:51 PM
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Originally posted by moocowman
reply to post by ExPostFacto
 





Straight out of the lord's mouth. He speaks figuratively and not literally. Read John 16 and you will glean that the end times may not be some disaster but rather a revealing of truth

Very briefly as I need to sleep, then who decides what is figurative and what is not ?


The churches have decided everything is literal. They have changed opinions on their interpretations throughout the years. We know there are many parables in the bible, and in ancient times maybe this worked better to inform people of the messages in the bible. Your points are well taken and I think your interpretation of the breaking of bread is probably the correct one. There are times when Jesus said it took wisdom to hear what he was saying. Jesus also said that he talks but they don't hear what he says. To me, Jesus was saying that what he was saying was not literal. He tells people to cut out your eye if you lust for something. Really does he want you to cut out your eye though? Or maybe just realize that through lusting you may forget or not be focused on loving others? I don't know but I think when reading scripture taking the spiritual interpretation over the literal interpretation is the correct route to take.



posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 06:02 AM
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reply to post by hotpinkurinalmint
 




One thing I would like to add is that in order to use the Bible as a teaching tool, you do not necessarily have to believe in God! I think in some instances a strong faith in God might be an impediment to learning the Bible's lessons.



Then you just as well throw it/them in the bin, the bibles are touted as commands and laws given by an invisible man in the sky that happens to be a nut job. If you don't believe in the sly man these books become junk as one would have to make a personal judgeship as to the moral value of any parts of these books.








Let us take the Abraham lesson. A person with a strong faith in God will probably read the story and think, "No big deal for Abraham. Abraham was a good man who had a strong faith in God. Abraham knew everything was going to be okay if he followed God's instructions."



That will entirely depend on whether one accepts the event actually took place or not. If one accepts that the incident did not take place and it is just a story then one has to decide the purpose of the story. It could be just a work of fiction to entertain and left to the reader to decide whether it was worth the read.

If it is presented as a "lesson" a piece of work designed to impart a message or value then it is down to the author to be reasonably adept enough at his task in order for the information to be imparted without confusion.

Again, it is the reader that will give it meaning if any is to be found, if we take Abraham on it's own and present it as a fable such as Aesops' what moral lesson is there to be learned from it ? Perhaps first off one could say never listen to voices in your head that tell you to slit the throat of your own child.






The person with a relatively weak or no faith is troubled by this story and can draw insights that people with strong faith cannot. The people with weak faith can see and understand the numerous moral conflicts that exist in the story.


Faith is faith, believing something regardless of the absence of evidence you either have it or you don't how is it possible to have half faith ? You either believe the event occurred or you don't.

In order to have faith that this Abram event occurred one must suspend critical thinking and just believe it because one has been instructed to believe it there's little evidence that it actually occurred.

Once you've decided to believe it then you're going down the road of your imagination to make whatever sense of it as you choose. Because killing your own child is mostly considered repugnant and hearing voices in your head delusional, one must then make excuses for this imaginary beings actions that you buy into.

On the whole, most people who believe this story to be true are told by other people what the "Lesson" is because deep inside themselves they know it is a disgusting crock of BS when considered as a noral lesson.









Although Abraham did not kill his son, the story is silent as to whether Abraham was still able to maintain a good relationship with his son.



If you look at this tale in the context of a description of the exodus and expulsion of the Hyksos (shepherd kings) of Egypt which to my mind is the more likely source of the tale. Things change dramatically and the story is definitely not silent.

However, most xtians are too indoctrinated and fearful to consider anything other than what they are told to believe so the thought of questioning the material simply cannot enter their heads.



posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 06:21 AM
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reply to post by hotpinkurinalmint
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If someone came into my office claiming God is telling them to kill their son, I would have to turn that person into the police. Let us not be foolish.


Clearly then you do not believe the god of the bible (yawhe jesus) is real or you wouldn't turn yourt client over to the police.

If you don't believe yahweh jesus is real why did yoou decide to start this thread ?




If you read my OP, I clearly state that the stories of the Bible contain many bizarre and difficult to believe fact patterns.

TextBut you did not state which ones are bizarre ( I would say insane) or difficult (I would say impossible) to believe did you ?







I do, however, see clients that come to me with help starting their own businesses. Most of these people are risking a lot in order to accomplish their dreams. In a way, these people are like Abraham. They have a compelling desire to accomplish their dream, but at the same time they also crave security.



If indeed these people are "like" Abraham then you have to accept they are willing to kill if a voice in their head tells them to do so. But there again if they crave security they obviously don't believe what the bibles tell them so are logically less likely to kill when a voice in their head tells them to do so.





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