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fullywired

. - Understanding religious delusion

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fullywired

I believe this site isn't bad.... it has articles on almost every period of history the bible touches.

http://www.biblehistory.net/

Since I haven't read it, just glanced at one or two sections, I won't put my hand in the fire for it, but it seems interesting and correct in the parts I read.

I have had a brief glimpse of the site but it is hardly encouraging ,it cannnot be called unbiased ,itt's called the "Bible Believers Archaeology".it seems to be preaching to the converted .However I will persevere with it for a little while

fullywired

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Jor-el

I have had a brief glimpse of the site but it is hardly encouraging ,it cannnot be called unbiased ,itt's called the "Bible Believers Archaeology".it seems to be preaching to the converted .However I will persevere with it for a little while

fullywired

Yes that's true, but I did check up on the facts they are quoting, and at least in regards to The tower of Babel and the Flood, they are correct... there really are Sumerian clay tablets with some very interesting things to say.

PS - Now that doesn't mean they are correct in every single article, I just wanted to make that clear, but this seems to be a good starting point.

Edited by Jor-el

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Sthenno

I find it odd that this issue seems to divide people in to two camps: the scientifically-minded who dismiss religion as delusion, and the religious who insist that science cannot measure or quantify matters of faith.

Things that seem magical and impossible now may be explained by future science, much as we now understand many things that were attributed to supernatural forces in the past. Therefore, it seems that no scientific evaluation of religion can be complete without at least considering that some of its more implausible elements may have an explanation somewhere. It doesn't feel very scientific to dismiss everything we cannot explain as delusional. In the same way, when religions claim that god is a real and tangible force in the real world, they must allow us to examine it with the same tools we use to study and define other real-world forces.

Trying to understand 'religious delusion' by saying it's just like believing in Santa Claus feels like it's missing the point somewhat.

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questionmark

Trying to understand 'religious delusion' by saying it's just like believing in Santa Claus feels like it's missing the point somewhat.

Yes, but in as far as psychologically quantifiable absolutely correct.

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Llucid

You can't back the bible with the bible.I would like some unbiased historical examples

fullywired

I'm asking you to be more specific. I'm assuming that you're not asking for accuracy of the text, but outside collaborating evidence for the Bible. I could go into the disputes about the Hittites, Pontius Pilate, Israelites in Egypt and other examples that, at one time, people used against the historical accuracy of the Bible, only to have the Bible proven correct as time when on and more discoveries were made.

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Tiggs

I'm asking you to be more specific. I'm assuming that you're not asking for accuracy of the text, but outside collaborating evidence for the Bible. I could go into the disputes about the Hittites, Pontius Pilate, Israelites in Egypt and other examples that, at one time, people used against the historical accuracy of the Bible, only to have the Bible proven correct as time when on and more discoveries were made.

London exists. Kings Cross Station exists. Even Platform 9 3/4's exists.

Therefore, Harry Potter exists?

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Jor-el

I'm asking you to be more specific. I'm assuming that you're not asking for accuracy of the text, but outside collaborating evidence for the Bible. I could go into the disputes about the Hittites, Pontius Pilate, Israelites in Egypt and other examples that, at one time, people used against the historical accuracy of the Bible, only to have the Bible proven correct as time when on and more discoveries were made.

I remember one argument a few years ago when someone stated that Numbers was only written during the babylonian exile or later and was not written by a man called Moses who had never existed, he didn't know that the oldest inscription of the Torah was found on an amulet which predates the exile itself... so much for his claims...

Numbers 6:24-26

“The LORD bless you, and keep you; the LORD make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.

http://archaeologynewsreport.blogspot.com/2007/03/archaeologist-recounts-discovery-of.html

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Llucid

London exists. Kings Cross Station exists. Even Platform 9 3/4's exists.

Therefore, Harry Potter exists?

I am not trying to prove that the Bible is true. I am stating that the manuscript evidence supports that our modern day Bible contains the same content it did almost two thousand years ago. I am also stating that the historical details that are written about in the Bible are accurate and that any claims against the Bible's historicity are for lack of collaborating evidence and not evidence against.

People can claim that the Christian worldview is wrong for different reasons, but they cannot make that claim based upon either of the above two reasons.

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Llucid

I remember one argument a few years ago when someone stated that Numbers was only written during the babylonian exile or later and was not written by a man called Moses who had never existed, he didn't know that the oldest inscription of the Torah was found on an amulet which predates the exile itself... so much for his claims...

Numbers 6:24-26

“The LORD bless you, and keep you; the LORD make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.

http://archaeologynewsreport.blogspot.com/2007/03/archaeologist-recounts-discovery-of.html

I like the "mythical" stories about Jericho and Sodom and Gomorrah. Those fanciful accounts were nothing but make-believe.. until they discovered the ruins of Jericho complete with walls falling outward and the ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah covered in millions of tiny balls of pressed pure sulfur.

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I like the "mythical" stories about Jericho and Sodom and Gomorrah. Those fanciful accounts were nothing but make-believe.. until they discovered the ruins of Jericho complete with walls falling outward and the ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah covered in millions of tiny balls of pressed pure sulfur.

With the little flaw in the history that the fallen wall were due to an earthquake that happened about 1000 years prior to any meaningful Jewish settlement of Israel. The first Jewish traces found in or around the place date from about 536 BC.

And as far as Sodom and Gomorrah...could you show me the place the archeological remains were found?

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Llucid

With the little flaw in the history that the fallen wall were due to an earthquake that happened about 1000 years prior to any meaningful Jewish settlement of Israel. The first Jewish traces found in or around the place date from about 536 BC.

And as far as Sodom and Gomorrah...could you show me the place the archeological remains were found?

We aren't entirely sure when exactly the Israelites came into the land because "It is impossible to differentiate these 'Israelite' villages from Canaanite sites of the same period on the basis of material culture - almost the sole marker distinguishing the two is an absence of pig bones, although whether this can be taken as an ethnic marker or is due to other factors remains a matter of dispute." [source - Anne E. Killebrew, "Biblical Peoples and Ethnicity" (Society of Biblical Literature, 2005) p.176].

Sodom and Gomorrah were found southeast of the Dead Sea, their modern names being Bab edh-Dhra and Numeira. Here are some pretty pictures.

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Tiggs

I am not trying to prove that the Bible is true. I am stating that the manuscript evidence supports that our modern day Bible contains the same content it did almost two thousand years ago. I am also stating that the historical details that are written about in the Bible are accurate and that any claims against the Bible's historicity are for lack of collaborating evidence and not evidence against.

People can claim that the Christian worldview is wrong for different reasons, but they cannot make that claim based upon either of the above two reasons.

Well, I'd agree that post Codex Vaticanus (circa 350 AD) there are few major changes to the message of the New Testament. There are some instances, however, such as the Pericope Adulterae, the Comma Johanneum, Matthew's Sign of the Times and the rather shockingly obvious addition to the ending of Mark, to name but a few.

Prior to Codex Vaticanus, however - there is evidence of several changes and additions being made to the gospels which materially effect their message, namely the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection.

As for the Bible's historical accuracy - in my opinion, the Old Testament tends to be more accurate than the New Testament, though neither of them should be treated as anything other than a secondary source of information, at best.

Just to clarify - do you believe that everything in the New Testament is historically accurate?

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We aren't entirely sure when exactly the Israelites came into the land because "It is impossible to differentiate these 'Israelite' villages from Canaanite sites of the same period on the basis of material culture - almost the sole marker distinguishing the two is an absence of pig bones, although whether this can be taken as an ethnic marker or is due to other factors remains a matter of dispute." [source - Anne E. Killebrew, "Biblical Peoples and Ethnicity" (Society of Biblical Literature, 2005) p.176].

Sodom and Gomorrah were found southeast of the Dead Sea, their modern names being Bab edh-Dhra and Numeira. Here are some pretty pictures.

Quite to the contrary, all you have to do is examine the garbage dump sites of the villages. Where there were Jews you do not find any pig bones, where there were not you do. The pig was common cattle in the mid East.

Until about the mid of the 6th century BC pig bones were common everywhere. That makes the date of a predominantly Jewish settling of Israel quite evident.

And yes, there are nice pictures on the site you recommended up there, but its archeological quality is about the same as Mr. Sitchin's rantings: It falls under the chapter Brain m********ion.

Edited by questionmark

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Llucid

Quite to the contrary, all you have to do is examine the garbage dump sites of the villages. Where there were Jews you do not find any pig bones, where there were not you do. The pig was common cattle in the mid East.

Until about the mid of the 6th century BC pig bones were common everywhere. That makes the date of a predominantly Jewish settling of Israel quite evident.

And yes, there are nice pictures on the site you recommended up there, but its archeological quality is about the same as Mr. Sitchin's rantings: It falls under the chapter Brain m********ion.

Well I guess you and Ann Killebrew, Associate Professor of the Department of Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies Program/ Jewish Studies at Pennsylvania State University will have to be at odds on this one. According to the Biblical account, it took quiet some time for Israel to fully conquer the land. It is fully explainable that there would be some pig remains in the land while they were there, belonging to the various different people that remained there throughout the time of the Judges and into the time of the Kings (which started around 1047 B.C.).

I linked you that site for the pictures. For a more in-depth look you are welcome to read Rast and Schaub's publication concerning their work at Bab edh-Dhra or view the artifacts they discovered which are located at the Karak Archaeological Museum and Amman Citadel Museum.

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Llucid

Well, I'd agree that post Codex Vaticanus (circa 350 AD) there are few major changes to the message of the New Testament. There are some instances, however, such as the Pericope Adulterae, the Comma Johanneum, Matthew's Sign of the Times and the rather shockingly obvious addition to the ending of Mark, to name but a few.

Prior to Codex Vaticanus, however - there is evidence of several changes and additions being made to the gospels which materially effect their message, namely the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection.

As for the Bible's historical accuracy - in my opinion, the Old Testament tends to be more accurate than the New Testament, though neither of them should be treated as anything other than a secondary source of information, at best.

Just to clarify - do you believe that everything in the New Testament is historically accurate?

I won't disagree with you about Codex Vaticanus, but the changes you speak of are well known to New Testament scholars. This is why we don't rely on that single document, but rather use all the available manuscripts to create our modern day translations. Sections of text such as the Comma Johanneum are also well known, and that is why disputed text like this are marked as such in our modern day translations (separated with brackets and footnoted). None of these disputed texts effect the primary doctrines of the Christian faith.

The question you ask me feels to be a loaded question. I do believe that the New Testament is historically accurate. I am aware that there are some problems, such as the Census of Quirinius, but there have been reasonable explanations proposed.

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MARAB0D

I won't disagree with you about Codex Vaticanus, but the changes you speak of are well known to New Testament scholars. This is why we don't rely on that single document, but rather use all the available manuscripts to create our modern day translations. Sections of text such as the Comma Johanneum are also well known, and that is why disputed text like this are marked as such in our modern day translations (separated with brackets and footnoted). None of these disputed texts effect the primary doctrines of the Christian faith.

The question you ask me feels to be a loaded question. I do believe that the New Testament is historically accurate. I am aware that there are some problems, such as the Census of Quirinius, but there have been reasonable explanations proposed.

Lucid, its, honestly, quite funny to watch you going around and around and around. Just for a second, forget codex vaticanum, this is not what we all read today anyway. Just get to the point, can't you? Do you insist all new testament which we have is a plain truth and a confirmed factual history? Be boolean - yes/no. Very interesting to hear your opinion.

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Paranoid Android

Your just trying to rationalize your belief .The believers in the other stories say the same thing

fullywired

I'm not saying believers in other religions don't also say the same thing. I'm simply pointing out that the premise of the article in the OP is completely flawed and far too limited to be of any real value in discussion of this topic.

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Paranoid Android

I won't disagree with you about Codex Vaticanus, but the changes you speak of are well known to New Testament scholars. This is why we don't rely on that single document, but rather use all the available manuscripts to create our modern day translations. Sections of text such as the Comma Johanneum are also well known, and that is why disputed text like this are marked as such in our modern day translations (separated with brackets and footnoted). None of these disputed texts effect the primary doctrines of the Christian faith.

The question you ask me feels to be a loaded question. I do believe that the New Testament is historically accurate. I am aware that there are some problems, such as the Census of Quirinius, but there have been reasonable explanations proposed.

What I find funny is that some people point to these sections that we can identify as edits or additions as somehow proof that the Bible isn't reliable. As far as I see, the opposite is true - I think the fact that we have so many ancient copies that we can clearly identify the edits and additions (footnoted as such in our modern Bibles, as you say) is a great positive for the text. Personally, I'd be more worried if we couldn't identify where an overzealous scribe had edited or added a line or scene.

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MARAB0D

What I find funny is that some people point to these sections that we can identify as edits or additions as somehow proof that the Bible isn't reliable. As far as I see, the opposite is true - I think the fact that we have so many ancient copies that we can clearly identify the edits and additions (footnoted as such in our modern Bibles, as you say) is a great positive for the text. Personally, I'd be more worried if we couldn't identify where an overzealous scribe had edited or added a line or scene.

What you find funny is no more than a response of these people to YOUR religious propaganda. No one of "these people" comes to your church, trying to prove that there is no God. YOU come to them, trying to prove there is one (or two, as you insist) - so they simply point to the discrepancy in the book you are trying to shove them. It is this way! Not any other way around!

Forget about their resistance, make your own arguments straight! Otherwise we just have this comedy of errors, oh, sorry, that was editing, we know about this... If you know, then why the ...Christ do you come up with this edited book?

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fullywired

I'm asking you to be more specific. I'm assuming that you're not asking for accuracy of the text, but outside collaborating evidence for the Bible. I could go into the disputes about the Hittites, Pontius Pilate, Israelites in Egypt and other examples that, at one time, people used against the historical accuracy of the Bible, only to have the Bible proven correct as time when on and more discoveries were made.

Pontius Pilate is a good example of independant evidence because he is recorded by several contemporary historians His name is found on Roman coins and on a stone dug up in Caesarea which read "Pontius Pilatus Praefectus Provinciae Judeaeae" We don't have to depend on the bible to prove is existence.and the fact he was mentioned in the bible does nothing for the authenticity of the bible

quotation from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1273594.stm

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Pontius Pilate is a good example of independant evidence because he is recorded by several contemporary historians His name is found on Roman coins and on a stone dug up in Caesarea which read "Pontius Pilatus Praefectus Provinciae Judeaeae" We don't have to depend on the bible to prove is existence.and the fact he was mentioned in the bible does nothing for the authenticity of the bible

quotation from http://news.bbc.co.u.../uk/1273594.stm

In fact, Pontius Pilate and that he lived and worked in Caesarea Maritima kind of throws a major wrench into some NT accounts.

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fullywired

I'm not saying believers in other religions don't also say the same thing. I'm simply pointing out that the premise of the article in the OP is completely flawed and far too limited to be of any real value in discussion of this topic.

Point out the flaws ,they are the stories of three beliefs ,you might not like the way they are told but the basics are there .Why are yours better than theirs

fullywired

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Well I guess you and Ann Killebrew, Associate Professor of the Department of Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies Program/ Jewish Studies at Pennsylvania State University will have to be at odds on this one. According to the Biblical account, it took quiet some time for Israel to fully conquer the land. It is fully explainable that there would be some pig remains in the land while they were there, belonging to the various different people that remained there throughout the time of the Judges and into the time of the Kings (which started around 1047 B.C.).

I linked you that site for the pictures. For a more in-depth look you are welcome to read Rast and Schaub's publication concerning their work at Bab edh-Dhra or view the artifacts they discovered which are located at the Karak Archaeological Museum and Amman Citadel Museum.

First, it is not my theory but the evidence found in the last 30 years by archeologists in Holy Land who have thrown the Bible baggage over board and checked the evidence. That is diametrically opposed to the bible accounts and the time lines don't match.

There are only two explanations for this:

1.) The Bible narration is not based on history but on the myths history left in people's minds

2.) Sometimes during the transcription from memory and the last edition of the OT (about 100 BC) it was intended to include a pseudo history for propaganda purposes.

The evidence that exists prior to about 600 BC is some Bedouin tribes in the Sinai highlands who had a God named Yahwe...alongside with about ten others and this Yahwe was not even the main god, it was the weather god... for cattle herders somebody of lower importance.

And no, those never went into Babylonian captivity but melted with the "released" after Israel was converted into a Persian province. Because the release did not really happen as accounted in the Bible either. While it is true that the "Israelites" "returned" to Israel it was not an independent nation as claimed. Cyrus the Great did not release them into freedom but send his son in law along as governor of Yehuda, as the Persians called Israel. That status did not change until Alexander the Great took over the Persian empire and with it Israel.

The only time that Israel could have been an independent nation prior to '49 is after Alexander's death (and that is not assumed because it can be archeologically or historically proven, but due the absence of anything stating otherwise) and the conquest by the Romans.

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Br Cornelius

Explain to me how the Bible is incompatable with scientific reality?

Prove the Noahs Ark story is wrong for example. You cant.

I could sit here and invent 101 million theories which allow science and the Bible to both be correct. We dont understand the nature of reality therefore for someone to claim religion is wrong is being very narrow minded. They dont have the right to make such a claim.

I am not saying that belief in a Divine influence is impossible (I even subscribe to the notion of a Divine force), it is the belief that the Divine works through supernatural miracles, and that the supernatural elements of the Bible are true accounts of actual events.

The existence of the Divine is a personal position we all have to take, but no-one has to accept belief in supernatural mumbo Jumbo as peddled about a historical personality called Jesus.

I actually firmly believe that the story of Noah is a condensed account of the end of the last ice age, a mythical story with roots going back to the dawn of civilization in the far east. I can point you to a very scholarly book which supports my position. So I am fully willing to accept that Noah maps to a real event, but it exists as a myth which functions to support a religious world view. I can distinguish between the historical event and the superstitious dressing, and am always willing to entertain the possibility that evidence will prove me wrong . Its seems that Christians find this beyond themselves, they cannot distinguish between the historical and the impossible.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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MARAB0D

I am not saying that belief in a Divine influence is impossible (I even subscribe to the notion of a Divine force), it is the belief that the Divine works through supernatural miracles, and that the supernatural elements of the Bible are true accounts of actual events.

The existence of the Divine is a personal position we all have to take, but no-one has to accept belief in supernatural mumbo Jumbo as peddled about a historical personality called Jesus.

I actually firmly believe that the story of Noah is a condensed account of the end of the last ice age, a mythical story with roots going back to the dawn of civilization in the far east. I can point you to a very scholarly book which supports my position. So I am fully willing to accept that Noah maps to a real event, but it exists as a myth which functions to support a religious world view. I can distinguish between the historical event and the superstitious dressing, and am always willing to entertain the possibility that evidence will prove me wrong . Its seems that Christians find this beyond themselves, they cannot distinguish between the historical and the impossible.

Br Cornelius

A good example! I fully agree that Noah's story presents nothing supernatural in itself - just a story about a person who survived a flood. And we have scientific evidence that there was indeed this flood, even two. But the reader certainly has to take into account the mentality and the level of knowledge of the narrator of it, as this story is told by someone who believed that a rainbow is the bow, which God hanged in the sky. This sets up a perceptional filter, assisting to understand the text of it. If the reader takes for a fact all explanations which some Neanderthal provided to the encountered natural events, then the precondition of such direct understanding is for the reader to acquire the mentality similar to that of this Neanderthal, this is necessary to "resonate" with a 14,000 old message.

Same relates to the Jesus story, told by a person of late Bronze age/early Iron age. To believe in it one must reduce the own knowledge base to the one of Bronze age. One can "trust" Homer regarding where the city of Troy was located, but hardly regarding Athena flying over the battlefield!

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