The Bible is a really poor way to convey the message

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The Bible is a really poor way to convey the message

Postby DjVortex » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:55 pm

I know this topic isn't extraordinarily original, but nevertheless I thought I'd write a few thoughts about it.

Many Christians say that the Bible is the "perfect word of God", the source of absolute truth and morality, and which teaches us what is it that God wants from us and how we can be saved. Most of Christianity states that while it's not directly written by God, it's nevertheless directly inspired by God and contains exactly what God wants it to contain, no more, no less. (And in fact several passages warn about changing anything of its contents, implying that it's perfect as it is.)

However, if you think about it, the Bible is really, really poorly formatted in order to convey God's will and commands. In order to form a coherent set of basic tenets of the Christian faith, you have to take bits and pieces from here and there, individual passages and excerpts from wildly different locations from all around. There's no consistency, order or logic to it, and nothing forms a well-ordered hierarchy. The "will of God", all the basic tenets and commands, all the morality, is randomly placed and interspersed with unrelated narrative, anecdotes, fables and aphorisms, which often have little to nothing to do with them.

You can see this extremely well if you listen to typical sermons. The preacher will often quote the Bible to support his sermon, and the passages will invariably be from wildly different locations in the Bible, with no connection to each other, and no well-defined order.

Surely if the Bible were the word of an omniscient, omnipotent god, his message to us telling what we should do, he could have formatted it in a much clearer and unambiguous way, grouping different categories (such as the basic tenets of faith, the basic rights of people, the commandments, life instructions, historical background and narrative, aphorisms and so on) neatly into sections and subsections in a consistent and hierarchical manner. This isn't even a question of language and its expressiveness thousands of years ago. The expressiveness of the language doesn't stop the text from being ordered and formatted in a logical manner. (In fact, if the Bible were in a clear and strictly hierarchical format like this, it would give more credence to the claim that it is the word of an omnipotent god. Of course it's not impossible that people would have written such a thing even back then, but at the very least it would be a point in favor of the text being actually divinely inspired rather than being against it, like it is now.)

As it is now, every person can pick the bits and pieces that they want and form a theology of their own. No wonder there are 30000+ denominations of Christianity in the world.
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Re: The Bible is a really poor way to convey the message

Postby sepia » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:45 pm

I can't understand if you want to discuss something. Du you want more arguments against it or what?

By the way: even if we can't find flaws inside the bible, it wouldn't proof the bible a perfect message from god. And I have never found any way to proof, that it ist even a perfect book about morality and knowledge. I don't know how a perfect text about this would look like.
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Re: The Bible is a really poor way to convey the message

Postby Lausten » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:56 am

sepia wrote:I don't know how a perfect text about this would look like.

And as Sam Harris recently proved, no one does. He got nothing but argument. I happen to agree with counter-arguments, that he was merely saying we COULD use science to help us sort out morality, not that he HAD completely worked them out, but anyway.

The only reason I can figure people say that the Bible is a source of morality is that someone tells them it is. Very few people actually think about it. The argument is basically this; morality is a topic that comes up often in the Bible, there are two or three lines that say the Bible is the word of God, the Bible is THE source of God's word on morality.

I will say one rather controversial thing, that the Bible can be used as a tool for discussing morality. I think story telling is a great way to begin a morality discussion and stories like Job are excellent examples. This is true if and ONLY if, you treat it as a story, written by men. When you close the book, all the characters and all the magic stays inside the book.
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Re: The Bible is a really poor way to convey the message

Postby sepia » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:59 pm

Lausten wrote:And as Sam Harris recently proved, no one does.

Where is this proof?

Lausten wrote:I will say one rather controversial thing, that the Bible can be used as a tool for discussing morality. I think story telling is a great way to begin a morality discussion and stories like Job are excellent examples. This is true if and ONLY if, you treat it as a story, written by men. When you close the book, all the characters and all the magic stays inside the book.

I agree. The bible contains stories and we can judge the actors. But I think real historical or actual events will be better for this purpose, because they affect us more and some people find the morality or immorality of an event important.
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Re: The Bible is a really poor way to convey the message

Postby Lausten » Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:43 pm

sepia wrote:Where is this proof?

In the many and varied responses that criticized his book "The Moral Landscape". Even the warm responses were luke warm

sepia wrote:But I think real historical or actual events will be better for this purpose, because they affect us more and some people find the morality or immorality of an event important.
Sometimes maybe, but they always have mitigating circumstances and unclear motives of the actors. A story can craft the character to express the meaning the author wants. Also, you can have people speaking from beyond the dead or getting a second chance of some kind that is not possible in real life.
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Re: The Bible is a really poor way to convey the message

Postby Fyrebrand » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:25 pm

If I were God, and I had an absolutely imperative message of love and peace and morality that I wanted to communicate to everyone, I wouldn't relay it through a bunch of text documents cobbled together by various authors and editors. For that matter, I certainly wouldn't hide myself from all detection and remain a complete mystery, and leave that text as the only remaining trace of my existence. Even if the Bible were amazingly well written and organized, a book is just a book.

If there is a God, I hope one of his angels pulls a prank on him and writes an even bigger "Bible," about how an even greater being created God -- but that this being is invisible to God, unless he has enough faith. Maybe then he'll get it.
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