Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.
Oh the earth really did flood. It was only 10,000 yrs ago that the last Ice Age ended, with sea levels rising as much as 20 feet when the great northern ice sheets melted. Land bridges between Alaska and Siberia, between the British Isles and Europe, and in the Meditteranian disappeared.teach kids that the earth really did flood
As far as Biblical lands in the cradle of civilization, the Fertile Crescent...
...is surrounded by several large contained water bodies -- the Black Sea, the Caspian, the Meditteranean Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea -- that easily could have been subject to dramatic flooding in the millenia leading up to record civilization.
The Black and Caspian seas in particular have been the subject of considerable research regarding catastrophic flooding that wiped out many human cultures on their shores.
LATE GLACIAL GREAT FLOOD IN THE BLACK SEA AND CASPIAN SEA -- "At the Late Glacial time (16-13 ka BP; 14C on mollusk’s shells) a Great Eurasian Basin System (~1.5 million km2, ~650,000-700,000 km3) developed due to a climate warming, the melting of the Scandinavia Ice Sheet and massive river discharge."
(16-13 Ka BP meaning 16-13,000 years 'Before Present')
The Truth about Noah's Flood - Scientific American Frontiers, PBS
Explorer Finds Evidence of Life Before Great Flood - "U.S. explorers said on Wednesday they have found signs of human habitation hundreds of feet below the Black Sea where a catastrophic flood occurred about 7,500 years ago, which some scientists say is linked to the biblical story of Noah."
Any of these represent potential catastrophic and nearby flooding events that could very easily have been huge events in the oral histories of the regional cultures, and thus a perfectly rational historic basis of the globally universal Noah/Great Flood myth.
I don't suffer from insanity... I thoroughly enjoy it
C'mon, Cephus, use your head. Of course they're wrong.Quote by: Cephus
George Washington didn't actually chop down a cherry tree or throw a dollar across the Potomac either. I suspect most myths and legends began from a basic true event, but over the centuries the big cultural stories, especially pre-writing oral histories, tend to take on lives of their own, get exaggerated and transformed into mystical events.
Imagine how tales like the Sirens, or the Cyclops, or Paul Bunyan or a thousand other tales might have started from some grain of truth told over and over like a game of telephone.
Looking up the Black sea flooding, I came across a creationist rebuttal to the scientific flood theory. What was that rebuttal? That Noah's flood was caused by 40 days and nights of rain, and there was no scientific evidence of extraordinary rain events during that time period.
Who said the floods had to be caused by rain? That's simply a naive guess passed on by centuries of ignorance...
Shaman -- "Our people came to this land after the great floods two thousand years ago"
That's 50 generations of oral tribal histories.
Child -- "Where did the floods come from, Holy One?"
The Shaman, descendng from the human populations living in southern Eurasia and having never heard of the great Ice Age glaciers, has to think quick...
Shaman -- (Thinks: Hmmm, why does it flood? Because of rain, right?) "Because the gods sent a great rain."
Voila, Noah's flood is born.
And if the post Ice Age floods affected primitive civilizations throughout Europe, from Britain to Persia, those oral histories would eventually travel, and after a few thousand years, the oral history would simply translate as "it flooded everywhere", which easily gets transformed to "God flooded the whole Earth". Where'd Atlantis go? Perhaps swallowed by post Ice Age sea level rises or the flooding of the Mediterranean 30 to 10,000 years ago.
British Isles - "Around 10,000 years ago the ice age finally ended and the Holocene era began. Temperatures rose, probably to levels similar to those today, and forests expanded further. By 9,500 years ago, the rising sea levels caused by the melting glaciers cut Britain off from Ireland and by around 6500 to 6000 BC continental Europe was cut off for the last time."
I don't suffer from insanity... I thoroughly enjoy it
Yet that doesn't change my point. Sure, at the core of the myth is a kernel of truth, but everything that surrounds it is a complete myth, invented and embellished over the years by humans. There was no God-sent worldwide flood. It never happened. It was a local flood that was blown way out of proportion. Therefore, what was written in these religious books is fantasy, not reality, with very little truth anywhere within.
Religion doesn't help us understand the world. It helps us develop and understand myths about the world. Look at it this way: There are countless religions and interpretations of religion, each one claiming to be correct. So which version is the one with no flaws? Really, of all the common arguments I have seen against religion, this is one of the strongest.
Post by post, building his arguments by smashing a couple of theirs -- for America.
That's exactly right. So? I suspect mostly Biblical mythology -- from Adam and Eve, to the 10 Plagues in Egypt, to the Burning Bush, to the Loaves and Fishes all began as rationally explained events that got turned into miracles through scientific illiteracy and repeated retelling. Hell, I bet even Jonah and the Whale had some initial, rational story that got blown out of all reality through generations of retelling.Quote by: Cephus
Why are you arguing with me about it?
So? I'm an atheist. All I'm saying is that myths, legends and fantasies often start from a seed of truth. Why is that a problem? Did you imagine I was trying to confirm the existence of god because there really was a great flood of some sort? Quite the opposite... I'm trying to tell believers that just because there may actually have been something akin to Noah's 'Great Flood', it doesn't mean it happened the way the Old Testament says it did.Quote by: Cephus
As I've said before, I have no problem believing that people like Moses and John the Baptist and Jesus actually existed and did essentially the things they were credited with. Just not the miraculous stuff... that's simply PR fluff and exaggeration that got added on with constant retelling of oral histories and village tales.
Johnny Appleseed meets God.
I don't suffer from insanity... I thoroughly enjoy it
We reject the supposedly absolute morality of 2000 year old societies as irrelevant to our modern one.
2,000? Isn't most of this older than that? No matter what anyone thought of Jesus, as portrayed in the Bible, or what changes he made, wasn't much of his ministry and many of his teachings based on what went before?
I'm not arguing with your position, I'm arguing with the implications. Certainly, we understand that these bronze age myths represented some of the best thinking of the day, they simply did not have the knowledge or methodology to rationally evaluate the world around them, therefore when they came across something they could not understand, they just made something up to alleviate their discomfort with their ignorance. They heard a story about a burning bush, which may have been something naturally occurring like Dictamnus. They didn't understand it, therefore they made up a story about it, which over the years took on religious overtones. Or they took stories they heard from other cultures and modified them to be more culturally significant for their own people. This kind of thing is very, very well known among cultural anthropologists.Quote by: Sonart
However, while the initial kernel of the story may have been factually true, the story that erupted was complete nonsense. It went from seeing a bush on fire through completely natural means to a god talking out of an eternally burning bush. We can't say that there isn't some small bit of truth buried inside somewhere, but the stories that came from them are laughably false and we shouldn't say otherwise. We ought not say that just because somewhere there might be something worthwhile, therefore we cannot criticize the almost entirely false story that came later. The Bible, for whatever tiny bits of real observation that might have been made thousands of years ago, is still a load of fetid donkey droppings taken as a whole.
So? The event that Genesis describes never happened, period. Just because the people who wrote the story may have had an experience which, over time, has become the myth in the Bible, that doesn't make the myth in the Bible any more worthwhile. It's still crap and we need to call it such.So? I'm an atheist. All I'm saying is that myths, legends and fantasies often start from a seed of truth. Why is that a problem? Did you imagine I was trying to confirm the existence of god because there really was a great flood of some sort? Quite the opposite... I'm trying to tell believers that just because there may actually have been something akin to Noah's 'Great Flood', it doesn't mean it happened the way the Old Testament says it did.
Moses was a mythic character taken from the Syrian Mises, from whom many of the stories were taken wholesale. Other parts came from Hindu mythology, the tales can be found across large portions of the Middle East. Moses was never a real person, any more than Noah was, etc. Even if more recent characters like Jesus and John the Baptist were based on real people, certainly the stories about them in the Bible, especially the miracles as you note, are mythic. Just because George Washington was a real person doesn't mean he chopped down the cherry tree. We need to be careful to separate fact from myth.As I've said before, I have no problem believing that people like Moses and John the Baptist and Jesus actually existed and did essentially the things they were credited with. Just not the miraculous stuff... that's simply PR fluff and exaggeration that got added on with constant retelling of oral histories and village tales.
Of course it's complete nonsense. So what? I'm an atheist. You've agreed that many myths and legends begin as truths that either changed over time or were misunderstood or probably both, were never clearly understood in the first place and then exaggerated over time into some incredible tale.Quote by: Cephus
So? Why are you arguing with me?
And again, we understand that. So what? Is that supposed to be news?Quote by: Cephus
Do we? Those who believe Genesis happened aren't going to change their opinion simply because you say it's crap. They MAY, however, begin to wonder about it if it can be shown that some Biblical legends were based on rational, historic facts that can be scientifically supported.Quote by: Cephus
You know better than that, Cephus. You want to state this as a fact, show me a source. Beyond which it doesn't matter. All I said was that I have to problem believing he did exist. I have no problem finding out he didn't, either. I'm good either way because in the end it doesn't matter... there's no such thing as gods.Quote by: Cephus
Abraham real, Abraham not real, Moses real, Moses not real, Noah, Jonah, Joshua, Adam, Jesus... doesn't matter to me one whit if they actually existed or not. I'm simply saying that if they did exist, their miracles were simply rational events that became exaggerated to miraculous over time.
That's the first thing I said to you not 6 posts ago.Quote by: Cephus
Perhaps we should get back to the top... moral authority.
I don't suffer from insanity... I thoroughly enjoy it
It's not a matter of what you're saying but how you're saying it. By saying that there's a kernel of truth at the center of the myths, you give theists an opening to say "see? they admit what I believe is true!" No matter what initial minuscule sliver of truth might have originally existed at the center of the story, what remains today is complete and utter BS. It doesn't really matter if it was based on some poorly understood experience way back in the day. Vampire stories were based on a primitive understanding of human physiology and drawing faulty conclusions between natural phenomenon and that primitive understanding. We can recognize that's true, but what's come down through the centuries is complete and utter nonsense today.Quote by: Sonart
I don't believe in calling a spade anything but a spade. The Bible stories are nonsense. Period.
The problem is, no Biblical legends were based on rational, historical facts. The flood, as described in the Bible, never happened. Sure, there was a flood that the distant ancestors of the people who wrote the Biblical narratives experienced and that dimly remembered story, passed down for generations verbally, was embellished with a lot of made-up nonsense to become the story we have today. The problem is, the core part of the belief isn't the initial flood experience, it's all of the nonsense that's been added. If we just go back to the real part of the story, the flood in the Middle East at the end of the last ice age and cut out everything that's extraneous, we're left with nothing that Christians would recognize. No Noah. No ark. No animals. No rainbow. It's no different than telling them that the whole thing is nonsense because you're still telling them that all the parts they care about, all the parts they have an emotional attachment to, are nonsense.Do we? Those who believe Genesis happened aren't going to change their opinion simply because you say it's crap. They MAY, however, begin to wonder about it if it can be shown that some Biblical legends were based on rational, historic facts that can be scientifically supported.
And they are.
I've done it in the past, but you're right, it doesn't matter one way or the other if it was some guy that existed, upon whom myths were heaped or not. We know that the same stories that were told about Moses appear in other local mythologies to which the early Hebrews had access much, much earlier than the Hebrews attributed them to Moses. That's true of a lot of Bible myths though. Many of the miracles attributed to Jesus were present in Greek mythology, for example, long before Jesus ever supposedly lived. The Jews simply "borrowed" the stories and tacked them onto their Jesus narrative. Whether Jesus existed or not is really irrelevant, the "real" Jesus, if there was one, is nothing like the stories about him in the Bible.You know better than that, Cephus. You want to state this as a fact, show me a source. Beyond which it doesn't matter. All I said was that I have to problem believing he did exist. I have no problem finding out he didn't, either. I'm good either way because in the end it doesn't matter... there's no such thing as gods.
Or they were stories, copied from other cultures, designed to make their "miracle-workers" more miraculous. That's how things were done back in the day, people weren't all that concerned about fact and truth, they just wanted the stories to sound good.Abraham real, Abraham not real, Moses real, Moses not real, Noah, Jonah, Joshua, Adam, Jesus... doesn't matter to me one whit if they actually existed or not. I'm simply saying that if they did exist, their miracles were simply rational events that became exaggerated to miraculous over time.
I don't buy that there's any such thing as moral authority, certainly not from adults who still have imaginary friends.Perhaps we should get back to the top... moral authority.
There is an assumption here that bothers me. The assumption is that "moral authority" comes direct from God. No filtering. No altering. None of this either on the part pf those who attempted to pass it on to us, or those who claim this is what God meant. I don't mean this as an atheistic, or agnostic, comment... but a comment regarding the ego of some who makes such assumptions.
Let's say the Bible is "God's word." Personally I believe the Bible is man's word that may, or may not, have been inspired and, to be sure, I don't mean in either case all of the Bible. Some may be. Some may not be. But let's stick with the assumption "all," to get back to the argument.
The person who proclaims absolutely what God's morality is is also claiming they have the perfect interpretation of those words. Essentially, in this specific proclamation, they are without sin, they are perfect, they know God's mind. They have the perfect pipeline to God.
Anyone who has studied Communications knows it can be quite tough, even between two humans from the same culture. But between deity and human? Wow, what a jump that is in logic.
Solution to this Communications conundrum? "It's a miracle!" God didn't even have to snap his "fingers." POOF! And God did that just for you, and/or for those who agree with you. Now if he suddenly did that for a huge group of disbelievers, that might be a "miracle." Or if a whole congregation of Methodists suddenly had divine insight: "God agrees more with the Lutherans!"
But no: for you and/or those you agree with.
As a theist, of sorts, I would tend to believe someone might have a direct line to God, or the perfect understanding of words from a holy book, if they said that about someone else claim they usually disagree with who made a great point. But it's always, it seems, only those they agree with; and more often: themselves.
How convenient is that?
How much is theism mere worship of self and disconnected from the divine?