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Featured Bible & Critical Thinking

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by AT-AT, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. Road Warrior

    Road Warrior Seeking the middle path..

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    Obviously we're discussion the veracity of the Genesis stories, taking them literally. Do you believe the world is only 6000 years old? Do you believe that God created man wholly formed in the Garden of Eden then created Eve out of his rib? Who did their sons marry?
     
  2. Road Warrior

    Road Warrior Seeking the middle path..

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    Virtual ratings are virtually worthless. :D
     
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  3. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Online ratings = Dopamine
     
  4. Road Warrior

    Road Warrior Seeking the middle path..

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    Only for the idiots people who believe those ratings mean anything. It's not Critical Thinking to believe giving someone a positive rating has tangible value.
     
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  5. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    Please. You make it sound like people do it for the e-peen and not because ratings are a mild form of self-moderation on most sites where it tells people the way to post in which people find valuable.

    :)
     
  6. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Ah, I stand corrected. Not just vacuous.
     
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  7. dianaiad

    dianaiad Well-Known Member

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    I believe that the story of the Garden of Eden was metaphorical.

    I believe that the earth is about 4.5 million years old, give or take,

    and yes, I believe that God created mankind in His image. I'm not going to dictate to Him HOW He did that, however.

    My beliefs regarding this are irrelevant, however. The OP wasn't clear. "Critical Thinking" as a concept can be used for more than simply establishing the factual nature of a narration. Indeed, I don't think that there IS such a thing, push come to shove.

    No human looks at the same event and then describes it in the same way. Eye witness testimony is different from every observer. As an English, English literature major and a teacher, I deal with words and the way people report things, and tell stories, all the time. I have spent, too, many hours doing technical writing for people who are publishing scientific papers. The use of one word here and another there can change a great deal in the intention of the writer and the perception of the reader....and scripture, whether it is the Bible or something else, is written by PEOPLE.

    Perhaps one can depend upon mathematical equations to be uniform and uniformally understandable, but then I have to remember that Einstein did most of his thinking with thought experiments that he described, first, in WORDS, and only when he solidified those concepts in his mind, did he boil them down to equations.

    Which have to be explained to the rest of us in words. We all can follow the story of the two guys and the train, or the man in the elevator...but we tend to be stopped cold at E=Mc2 (OK, I don't know how to insert the superscript '2'..sorry). Or at least, I do.

    On the other hand, when I read his thought experiments, I GET it.

    The biblical writers wrote in parables and analogies a LOT. Jesus used them extensively...but nobody is worried about whether the 'good Samaritan' had a name and actually existed. The point was the lesson of the story, not whether there really was an injured man on the side of the road aided by this Samaritan.

    Critical thinking skills are necessary when examining these things from the angle of 'what is this story teaching?" The lesson isn't destroyed if the story is not factual.

    So, when someone wonders about Balaam's donkey or Onan's 'minor infraction' (and I still have to shake my head over that 'minor infraction' thing) I have to ask for clarification. Is it about whether the donkey talked or there was a man named Onan?

    Or is it about the lesson taught in those two stories, factual or not?

    If the stories are not fact, does that mean that their morals/lessons are not valuable, or even somehow disproved?

    (shrug)

    People who examine literature do critical thinking ALL the time. They sometimes even get university degrees and get paid good money for doing so.

    All I wanted to know is...in what manner is 'critical thinking' being used?

    Because if someone decides that these stories are not literal, are the stories then not worth examining for their lessons?

    If someone does think that they are literal, does any examination by them OF those stories automatically become suspect, because of course they can't think critically about anything?

    Just asking for clarification here, is all.
     
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  8. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    Well unless I'm thinking of someone else, you seemed to assert earlier that the definition of Critical Thinking can be bent easily. I don't think it can. I think it's concise. This matters because if it was concise, the OP is more on-point than if it isn't.
     
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  9. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Would you agree that a superficial approach is the opposite of critical thinking?
     
  10. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    You got me there, more or less. Since open-mindedness is one of at least three traits of Critical Thinking.
     
  11. dianaiad

    dianaiad Well-Known Member

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    Concise to WHAT?

    Critical thinking is about the process of examining a thing, concept or idea.

    It has nothing whatsoever to do with what one is thinking critically about.

    For instance, one can think critically about whether a rock in your path actually exists.
    One can think critically about what that rock in your path is composed of.
    One can think critically about why there is a rock in your path...how it came to be there, and if it was placed there purposely, who, or what put it there and if there was a motive for doing so.

    All paths of critical thought...and yes, all about the rock, but addressing very different things ABOUT the rock, and all of 'em appropriate for using 'critical thinking' upon.

    All I wanted was clarification about what he wanted to apply critical thinking to.

    Oh, and to argue that one CAN use critical thinking on things other than whether something actually exists.
     
  12. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    The Bible has so many gross exaggerations in it... don't you wonder how much of it is actually true?
     
  13. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    I do. Though I sometimes now question that my views on any subject, and worldview, are a bit closed-minded as it is. I don't have to be a Christian to see that.
     
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  14. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    King Solomon: Fact or Fiction
    www.sidneywoolf.com
    King Solomon and his empire never existed. In desperation, Israeli archaeologists have dug through and below his alleged period and found nothing. There is a conspiracy of silence by Israeli archaeologists and the Jewish press in Israel and abroad.
     
  15. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    There may be some confusion. I'm budging on my view on Critical Thinking, but currently not the Bible.
     
  16. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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  17. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg A World Citizen
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    The key is to look for the Spiritual Message and how that will unfold in the material world.

    Two great examples are;

    First why Jesus is called Christ, which we know means 'Annointed One'. Thus now we can see the reasoning of the Virgin Birth. Jesus was born of Mary, a man like us, but Jesus is the embodiment of the Holy Spirit, Annointed of this Spirit from God to the Messenger He selects. When Jesus asked Peter who he was, Peter understood and answered you are the 'Christ', that means annointed of the Holy Spirit. If we know Christ (Holy Spirit) can be given by God to His chosen Messenger, we can then understand how Christ is the First and the Last and is not a flesh body. All of Gods Messengers are in fact the 'Christ'.

    Knowing this we can then understand many important metephors, like the 2nd example of Christ returning upon the clouds.

    We know clouds are vapors that rise to form the density of the cloud and that in turn produces darker clouds until the brightness of the sun is obscured.

    Thus the clouds Christ returns upon, signify the things that prevent us from seeing Gods 'Annointed' Messenger. The dark clouds of false doctrine, ignorance, predudice.

    The Bible can be relied upon 100% to guide us to find 'Christ' returned, but not if we do not see with new eyes and hear with new ears, as to what the Spirit says to the churches, the Spirit promised to guide us unto all Truth.

    Who is looking for 'Christ' with a 'New Name' who will then burn those clouds away?

    Regards Tony
     
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  18. Road Warrior

    Road Warrior Seeking the middle path..

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    I think you're overthinking this. (joke) :)

    Critical Thinking is "the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment." It doesn't matter what is being analyzed: the Bible, a news story, a rock in the road. It's just a tool to "form a judgment".

    In the case of the large rock in the road, the specifics of the situation can be analyzed to determine if it can be moved, gone around/over or if one must find another route. Just standing there angry about it and cursing at it does nothing.

    In the case of the Bible, claiming that each and every word is the inerrant word of God doesn't stand up to analysis. A person who claims "The world is only 6000 years old" isn't using critical thinking since the facts prove the Earth is, as you mentioned earlier, over 4.5 Billion years old. Now some people, usually angry teenage atheists, will claim that since the Bible has flaws there is no God. That's not critical thinking either since God obviously didn't write the Bible, men did....and men are more screwed up than a football bat.

    FWIW, I do think Critical Thinking can be applied to faith simply by recognizing what is factual and what is in the realm of faith. Jonah living inside of a whale for three days doesn't pass critical thinking analysis. Now, either it's a story about space aliens who took Jonah into a sub or, as you mentioned, it's a parable to teach a particular lesson. Either way, anyone who says Jonah actually lived inside of a whale is taking the story more on pure faith and very little Critical Thinking analysis.
     
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  19. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily so.

    Not human language, at least.

    It may look small to a person looking through a small frame, and not seeing the big picture.
     
  20. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Active Member

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    Balaam's ***:

    Hilarious story. I always wondered why the book shows Balaam reacting as if it was normal instead of acting surprised. From a religious perspective, if the book said that the donkey spoke as if it was normal then that raises questions. But since it does say that God opened the donkeys mouth then that means it was a miracle and, if a God does exist, he can pretty much make anything happen.

    Pulling out:

    This was Judah's son I think. And the Messiah came from the line of Judah so it seems like Onan was inadvertently attempting to foil God's plan by doing this. Therefore God got ticked off and killed him. The story doesn't reveal whether God warned him about it or not. Also, clearly the guy wasn't aware that one only has to leak for a chance to impregnate a lady. The real freaky aspect of the story is when the daughter in-law tricks Judah into impregnating her.

    p.s. Is it me, or does the Bible portray women as the cunning ones while the men are pretty dumb?
     
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