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Featured The mistake of interpreting holy books literally.

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Subduction Zone, Jan 28, 2021.

  1. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    I was going to limit this to Abrahamic religions, but the problem almost certainly exists for other religions as well. At least when it comes to the Abrahamic religions reading the Old Testament, Torah, or whatever name it goes by in Muslim sects literally can only refute those particular beliefs. For example the mere fact that ice floats (and a thousand other scientific facts) refutes the Old Testament if one interprets it literally. Other examples are welcome or an explanations of why the refute those books are welcome. Also questions about how the books are refuted is welcome too.

    There is an out, at least for Christianity, and probably one for Judaism and for others religions as well. Many Christians misinterpret the following verse:

    "16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

    Please note, it does not say that the Bible is literally true. It does not even imply that it is . It merely states that it is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training. If one treats the stories of Genesis, Exodus, and other parts of the Bible as being instructional and not factual they still "work". It is so odd that so many Christians do not understand this.

    Okay, have at it. Bring up any stories myths etc. from your various holy books and tell us how they cannot be taken literally
     
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  2. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Advaita Vedantin
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    How many holy books of Hinduism have you read?
     
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  3. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    I have read the Gita, and I really liked it, and now I am currently reading the Upanishads. Very interesting.
     
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  4. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    well.....ok
    the author telling the story of the Flood
    did say it covered the whole of the earth

    that is a bit much to consider
    especially coming from a era in which the earth was believed to be flat
    and the center of all things, the sun ,the moon ,the stars......etc

    from a time when evil things could be controlled by prayer and ritual

    but hey......if a flood was sufficent to spoil fertile ground
    followed by difficulties of food shortage and other strife
    most humans would fail to survive

    exaggeration does spoil the text
    in current knowledge we do know better......BUT

    is it not primarliy a story of morality?

    rather than history
     
  5. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    None, that is why I asked about literal interpretations in other religions. Who knows? There may not be any stories that are easily refuted. I am interested in learning about other religions since this is one trait that may be common to all of the them.
     
  6. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    And like I said, it does not refute the Bible if one does not interpret it literally. There are quite a few Christians that insist that it was a historical fact. That all of the Earth was flooded. In fact they appear to think that refuting the flood myth is "refuting God". It is of course only a refutation of their personal version of God.
     
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  7. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    well....

    do we then say?......God didn't do it
     
  8. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

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    Where it is said in OT that ice doesn’t float?
     
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  9. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    The passage below I do believe to be symbolical but many actually believe it literally.

    The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
    and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
    and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
    and a little child shall lead them.
    And the cow and the bear shall feed;
    their young ones shall lie down together:
    and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
    And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp,
    and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.
    They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain:
    for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD,
    as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11: 6-9)

    A far more reasonable meaning I believe is this...


    “Religious and sectarian antagonism, the hostility of races and peoples, and differences among nations will be eliminated. ..contending kindreds and hostile nations—which are like the wolf and the lamb, the leopard and kid, the lion and the calf—will treat one another with the utmost love, unity, justice, and equity.

    This is one of the meanings of the fellowship between the wolf and the lamb, the leopard and the kid, and the lion and the calf. (Abdul-Baha)

    So basically I believe this verse refers to a future time when people of all nations, cultures and races will be at peace. Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists, Americans, Chinese, East and West will all mix together in perfect harmony, friendship and love with no more wars or hostilities.


    Otherwise, of what benefit to humanity would it be for these animals to lay down and feed together?
     
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  10. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    We just say it did not happen. The story is a morality tale and not history.
     
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  11. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    What? Now that is some poor interpretation.

    You do not seem to understand. The fact that ice floats refutes the flood myth.
     
  12. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    As a Catholic I was never taught that the Bible was written by God.
    I was taught it was written by men, inspired by God. Which implies, they wrote what they understood God told them.
    So with this premise, literal or not literal, we know men are not God and are fallible.:)
     
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  13. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    The reason that interpreting these kinds of text "literally" is so problematic, I think, is the reason that people do it. That is they desire to eliminate the possibility of confusion, and of error, and of doubt. They want to avoid the messy reality of linguistic interpretation and of the possibility of relative righteousness. They want their righteousness to be certain. They want God's will to be absolute, and unequivocal.

    And, although I can understand people's desire for this kind of clarity, I don't think they see the horrific danger involved in a human being presuming himself to know, with clarity and certainty, what God wants of him. Because that, in effect, makes what that person thinks God wants, and what God wants, one an the same. With no possibility of error, or doubt or divisibility. And that is a very dangerous state of mind for any human being to adopt. As they then have no means of checking themselves, and perceive no personal responsibility for what they do.
     
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  14. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Same goes for me.
     
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  15. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    We've actually seen instances where some of this is true where predator mothers literally did what the Bible points to

     
  16. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    One other point from the Bible about literalism:

    Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
     
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  17. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    The Catholic Church learned a lesson from their opposition to Galileo. Now they treat literalism as it should be, as blasphemy.
     
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  18. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    I suspect the was an event

    it might not have been global
    but God must have done it

    or leave God out of the story altogether
    and the morality comes into play by .......Whose hand?
     
  19. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Why would there be any need of the event? As told God is an immoral monster that kills guilty and innocent. It would be better to focus on the faith of Noah as the lesson.

    Please note. This is not an anti-religion thread. It is an anti-literalism thread, regardless of religion.
     
  20. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    the lion shall be nutritionally deficient
     
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