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  1. #21
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    On the UNIQUENESS of the Bible? Of course.
    In reference to the neg rep - I am still looking for the "argument." I would think that the Bible uniqueness is a well established fact, just in content alone. So what exactly is the argument? My suspicion would be that by laying out all of this information, you will establish that the Bible must be true, because in part of its uniqueness. But then again, I ain't no mind reader.
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  2. #22
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Snacky, if it were an accepted fact, GP, TF, pika, and others, would not be disagreeing with it. I agree that it is well-established...but the acceptance of it being well-established is obviously under contention.
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  3. #23
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Snacky, if it were an accepted fact, GP, TF, pika, and others, would not be disagreeing with it. I agree that it is well-established...but the acceptance of it being well-established is obviously under contention.
    Who has disagreed? GP has not. TF has not. Pika has not. No one has the said the Bible is not unique. Again, what is the arguement that you are presenting?
    Only what can happen does happen. ~Watchmen
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  4. #24
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    From the op:

    It's a common belief that the Bible is just another "great works" of the ancient world, equal to that of Homer's Odyssey, Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, etc... Some think it fairy tale, nothing more than a book of stories not unlike the myths of Greece, Norwegian tales, etc... Some think it is equal to other "holy books" such as the Koran or Hadith. However, I propose that the Bible is unlike ANY other book in the history of man. It stands alone, with none other able to compare to it. If for no other reason, than that of its uniqueness.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; September 22nd, 2006 at 12:22 PM.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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  5. #25
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    From the op:

    It's a common belief that the Bible is just another "great works" of the ancient world, equal to that of Homer's Odyssey, Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, etc... Some think it fairy tale, nothing more than a book of stories not unlike the myths of Greece, Norwegian tales, etc... Some think it is equal to other "holy books" such as the Koran or Hadith. However, I propose that the Bible is unlike ANY other book in the history of man. It stands alone, with none other able to compare to it. If for no other reason, than that of its uniqueness.
    Just to be clear, are you saying that because the Bible is unique, it stands alone, and no other books can compare to it? Or are you arguing the Bible's uniqueness?

    And what do you mean by "stands alone" and "compare"?
    Only what can happen does happen. ~Watchmen
    When the Standard is defined you will know how right or wrong you are.
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  6. #26
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    I'm arguing that the Bible contains qualities that other books do not have, that make it unique. Or, another way to put it, is that the Bible is unique in a way that NO OTHER book is unique.

    Take books written by different authors for instance. In that respect, they are unique...but it isn't all that impressive is it? I mean, since ALL books have different authors, that's something they all share. No other book as the qualities of the Bible, that is what makes it so unique, moreso than any other book in history. It is the single most unique book.

    And since it is the single most unique book, it stands out above the pack. Other books can be unique, but be compared to one another in that they tell a story, have an author, share a literary style, etc... The bible, is quite different.
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  7. #27
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    I'm arguing that the Bible contains qualities that other books do not have, that make it unique. Or, another way to put it, is that the Bible is unique in a way that NO OTHER book is unique.

    Take books written by different authors for instance. In that respect, they are unique...but it isn't all that impressive is it? I mean, since ALL books have different authors, that's something they all share. No other book as the qualities of the Bible, that is what makes it so unique, moreso than any other book in history. It is the single most unique book.

    And since it is the single most unique book, it stands out above the pack. Other books can be unique, but be compared to one another in that they tell a story, have an author, share a literary style, etc... The bible, is quite different.
    Okay, so what's the significance of this? Jupiter is unique in the solar system in orbit, size, mass, composition, temperature, influence on the solar system, number of moons, etc. But it's still by definition a planet. Why is this uniqueness a virtue?

  8. #28
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Snacky, if it were an accepted fact, GP, TF, pika, and others, would not be disagreeing with it. I agree that it is well-established...but the acceptance of it being well-established is obviously under contention.
    That's bull, Apok, and you'd have known it if you hadn't been so hasty to delete my posts. I have agreed with everything you've said here, and so has everyone else.

    Our only point has been this:

    Apok, we are still waiting for the point of this thread that you promised. This is in poor form. You start a thread, and then you never finish it. That's like writing one proof of an essay while not stating a thesis --you'd fail if you were in college.

    The proper argumentation practice is this:

    Thesis statement -> Proof A -> Proof B -> Proof C -> Conclusion

    You've made your point, the Bible is unique. That's a fact, which is part of a proof.

    This was your thesis:

    Since we have been talking about God's existence, and the claims of the Christian God being real, I thought it best to discuss the source of the Christian claims...namely, the Bible. For if the Bible falls, then Christianity falls.
    Forgive our stupity, but when you say things like "If the Bible fails, then Christianity fails" and you name the thread "A case for the Bible".... And then your thread is filled with how unique the Bible is, and events that may or may not have been divinely inspired, the discussion of people who are unique themselves, and the how Christ was predicted for thousands of years, without admitting the argument that he could have take advantage of a situation, the only thing it has proven is facts that don't point or support your thesis. This isn't a case for the Bible; it is a discussion of the Bible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Okay, so what's the significance of this? Jupiter is unique in the solar system in orbit, size, mass, composition, temperature, influence on the solar system, number of moons, etc. But it's still by definition a planet. Why is this uniqueness a virtue?
    You can't ask that Dionysis, it's not germane to the thread.



    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    I'm arguing that the Bible contains qualities that other books do not have, that make it unique. Or, another way to put it, is that the Bible is unique in a way that NO OTHER book is unique.

    Take books written by different authors for instance. In that respect, they are unique...but it isn't all that impressive is it? I mean, since ALL books have different authors, that's something they all share. No other book as the qualities of the Bible, that is what makes it so unique, moreso than any other book in history. It is the single most unique book.

    And since it is the single most unique book, it stands out above the pack. Other books can be unique, but be compared to one another in that they tell a story, have an author, share a literary style, etc... The bible, is quite different.
    Like Dio said, what virtue is uniqueness? The Qur'an is just as unique and incredible as the Bible. So are the Bhuddist works.

    Uniqueness =/= truth

    Therefore, why are you trying to prove uniqueness? This is a thread called "A Case for the Bible" and your thesis is around proving that the Bible credible.

    Quote Originally Posted by snackboy View Post
    Who has disagreed? GP has not. TF has not. Pika has not. No one has the said the Bible is not unique. Again, what is the arguement that you are presenting?
    The most intelligent point made on this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    This is rather absurd. A neg rep for not finishing a thread? A thread that took hours to start and will require many more hours to get the the next point?

    This is beneath you GP (or at least it should be). I don't have the time to devote that much time to a thread atm. This is why this thread as of thus far, is purely a case for the Bible's uniqueness and the op and subsequent threads have explicitely detailed this fact. That you want to see that which another member cannot deliver due to time constraints, is not justification for negging other members.
    You've had two years, Apok. Not two days. Not two hours. Two years.

    If you put in half an hour once a week, you could have had 52 hours worth of content. Throw us a bone.
    Last edited by GoldPhoenix; September 22nd, 2006 at 04:58 PM.

  9. #29
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    I content it is unique because it's been picked by a religion that happened to become the world's largest. It is not inherently special in any regard other then it's being at the height of christianity.

    It's uniquely famous for it's fame. It's like the Paris Hilton of literature. It isn't particaularly interesting, it's just FAMOUS!

    Quote Originally Posted by apok
    It is unique in its continuity-
    Most fairy tales come from a myriad of perspectives. The bible is a collection of stories. Aka, an anthology. That it's written by many differnet authors over a long time makes it very special historically, but nothing more divine then a rather estensivily researched anthrology.

    1) Want me to make a 1500 year book? I can. I'll use ancient greek mythology, Don Quixote, Dickens, Robinson Curosoe. Is it that difficult to believe someone sat down and collected a thousand years of oral and verbal traiditon in a book? I'd also like some evidence that the majority of the stories are not just made up. I mean, any evidence for Jobe? Or the Egyptian slave revolt that made Isreal?

    Because if I can just make stuff up, I can make you a 1500 year-spanning book with ease. Every so often, I'll throw in a true story. Joan of Arc maybe, or Eisenhower

    2) Really? Written by kings, shepards, etc.? I'd like evidence it's not just written by the historians of those people. And even then, "Profiles in Courage" had US senators, engineers, soldiers, and it isn't divine
    3) We know this how? Just because the book says it's set in a dungeen dosen't mean it's happening in a dungeon
    4) Ya know, I can't seem to recall any other books taking place in war AND peace?.....Except every anthology I've ever read.
    5) Mr. Hyde writes from every mood imaginable, how does that effect the divinity of his work? Writers write, it is what they do. Happy, sad, viciously angry they write. And that's just one guy. Imagine the dozens of authors at various states of emotion
    6) Surprise, surprise, as it was written at the nexus of the ancient world with tavellers from everywhere
    7) Almost all documents like the bible are going to be translated to the new dominate language. They are important (espcailly for the bible, as it's a religion's key teaching guide)
    8) Wow, you continue to express amazement at the basis contsruct called an anthrology. Containing work from dozens of authors, in many different styles, on a vast arrey of subjects or all going around a central theme. It is not divine.
    9) You forgot 9
    10) Like......an SF anthology set in the same world. Varley being of particular note in this regard. I can make a persistent historical narrative if I get to play cookie-cutter with reality and make-believe
    11) Really? Because god being omnipresent didn't have anything to do with it? You can take any story, and say "He died because god wanted it" or "the adulterer was captured because god decided it was just", write in some dialouge for god, and it's a story.

    The uniqueness of the bible is that it got selected by a major religion. Without christianity, the bible would have died long ago as an ancient anthrology.

    Quote Originally Posted by apok
    Part I (B) : Unique in its circulation

    It is the focal point of a major religion. It's popularity directly correlates to it's being mandatory reading to about a billion people. "Spot" would be the most circulated book in the world today if it was the centre of the world's largest religion

    Quote Originally Posted by apok
    Part I (C) : Unique in its translation

    Again, key part of a major religion. A religion who has missionaries galour. One would assume that translations exist for every major modern religion on earth, as how do you convert someone to something they cannot read?

    Quote Originally Posted by apok
    Part I (D) : Unique in its survival
    Quote Originally Posted by apok
    Through Time:

    Popeye would have survived to this day if a billion people held it as there guiding principle through life's troubles. Any religion's primary text is given special consideration, even fleding ones like christianity in the 1st century AD

    Quote Originally Posted by apok
    Through Persecution

    For about 400 years, that's the date the bible was persecuted for. I'd like to see exactly when you place the bibles creation

    Quote Originally Posted by apok
    Through Criticism

    Because it's amorphous, preachy, and Christians have been historically pushy about it.
    I don't doubt for every attempt to crush it, there have been a dozen christian missonaries in villages trying to get the people to "follow christ's teaching"

    S'like a virulent illness. As are most memes I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by apok
    Part I (E): Unique in its Teachings
    Quote Originally Posted by apok
    Prophecy

    Reeee-aaaeaalllllyyyyy?

    Prophecies you say? I counter-argue that on the grounds of if you accept the bible's prohecy, with it's generalities and vagueness, you must also accept Nastradoumous, which is actually a bit clearer in it's meaning then the Bible. Eventually Apok, you will encounter a rather terrible quest, and your faith will be tested. But fear not, for HE is with you, and if you believe, he will guide you. It's not that hard to be clairyvoent when you don't have to give out any facts.

    Quote Originally Posted by apok
    History

    Christianity is an old religion. The book they follow would logically be just as old. That it is an anthology is really the only major differnece between it, and say a collection of stories about the Greek gods

    Quote Originally Posted by apok
    Character

    So basically it's got all the same qualites that make Tale of Two Cities such a good book?

    As for your quote, it's not written by one man. It's written by many, compilled into a single volume. It's like those multidisk CD packs of 80s Disco you can buy.

    [quote=apok]
    Quote Originally Posted by apok
    Part 1 (F): Unique in its Influence on Literature

    Because it's been the source of study, examination, and scholary interest for as long as christianity has existed. (hint-hint, longer then the bible). It's massive, containing many, many books, and it's gone through some selective edits. That a culture stemming mostly from Christianity would have it's literary circles greatly effected by the Bible is nothing amazing. The ENTIRE interpersonal socail structure of some Asian countries is STILL a handdown from Confucious.

    Quote Originally Posted by apok
    Part I [G] : Unique in its Influence on Civilization

    Because we're a CHRISTIAN people. Or, we all were at one point. A pope made our calender, what point do you THINK he's gonna use?

    The bible is interesting only in it's being so preveleant due to it's sorrounding cult, of about 1 billion people. It's also an interesting historical document. But it's far, FAR, FAAAARRRRRR from divine. Because if I felt like it, I could easily reproduce it.

    Quote Originally Posted by apok
    IV. Who decided what to include in the Bible?
    Tests for Inclusion in the Canon
    Quote Originally Posted by apok
    1. Was the book written by a prophet of God? If it was written by a spokesman for God, then it was the Word of God.
    Haha, what? How do you know? That's an entire mountain of evidence right there.

    Quote Originally Posted by apok
    2. Was the writer confirmed by acts of God? Frequently, miracles separated the true prophets from the false ones.

    Yesterday, I parted water with my hand. Prove me wrong.
    Can't? Looks like I get to be in the bible

    Quote Originally Posted by apok
    3. Did the message tell the truth about God? God cannot contradict himself, nor can He utter what is false. Hence, no book with false claims can be the Word of God (this will come into play when we discuss prophecy. For these reasons, the church fathers maintainted the policy "if in doubt, throw it out."

    So God would both be agianst killing (not murder mind you, just killing), yet openly invite his choosen people to kill?

    Still, this seems a pretty silly point. So long as he dosen't out and out verbally contradict himself, he can do literally anything, and it can be explained away as " god's plan is beyond the mortal's understanding"

    Quote Originally Posted by apok
    4.
    Does it come with the power of God? If the message of a book did not effect its stated goal, if it did not have the power to change a life, then God was apparently not behind its message.

    Huh, so it's basically retroactive editing eh? What's popular effects stuff and stays, what dosen't "Isn't god's word" get's tossed. Wow. You know this, and still believe?

    Quote Originally Posted by apok
    5. Was it accepted by the people of God? The people in the best position to know the book's prophetic credentials were those who knew the prophet who wrote it. Hence, despite all later debate about the canonicity of some books, the definitive evidence is that which attests to its original acceptance by the contemporary believers (those who knew the prophet/author). Onc instance is when the apostle Peter acknowledges Pauls' writings as Scripture on par with the OT Scripture. (2 Pet. 3:16).

    So that whole thing where Jobe gets eaten by a giant whale? Someone confirmed with Jobe? Because quite a bit of the bible happens when the main people can't acknowledge it.

    Even then, Peter's acknowledgement is far from unbiased. If a king of the time would have given the rendition his zeal of accuracy, then maybe it would be considered as evidence. But one of the mainstays of the religion?

    The below text has been automerged with this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post

    You've had two years, Apok. Not two days. Not two hours. Two years.

    If you put in half an hour once a week, you could have had 52 hours worth of content. Throw us a bone.
    I almost died laughing at that. 2 YEARS! 2 full-fledged, long-drawn YEARS! I'd assumed he'd started it like last week.
    Last edited by Turtleflipper; September 22nd, 2006 at 05:16 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  10. #30
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Okay, so what's the significance of this? Jupiter is unique in the solar system in orbit, size, mass, composition, temperature, influence on the solar system, number of moons, etc. But it's still by definition a planet. Why is this uniqueness a virtue?
    What is so unique about Jupiter that makes us say "Jupiter is truly, unlike any other planet, it stands alone when comparing it to other planets for these reasons: X, Y, Z".

    That the Bible is THE single most unique book in history, was to be a foundation for what is to come. You are reading far more into what has been posted thus far. It being unique as it is, does not support that it is divinely inspired. This has been stated numerous times.

    If you don't feel that the Bible being as incredibly unique as it is, is significant...super. Then this thread isn't of interest to you.
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  11. #31
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    What is so unique about Jupiter that makes us say "Jupiter is truly, unlike any other planet, it stands alone when comparing it to other planets for these reasons: X, Y, Z".
    *Ahem*

    "Jupiter is the largest planet, has the strongest magnetic field, fastest spin, biggest and most powerful magnetosphere, and has a very dense atmosphere...The mass of Jupiter is more than the total mass of all other planets. Jupiter, with a 10-hour day, is the fastest rotator among planets. The Jovian atmosphere is mostly made of molecular hydrogen and helium with sulfur, oxygen and nitrogen in small amounts. Jupiter's magnetic moment is about 20,000 times greater than that of Earth, with magnetic field direction opposite to that on Earth and inclination of 9.6, which is close to 11 tilt on the Earth. The general form of Jupiter's magnetosphere resembles that of Earth with dimensions about 1200 times greater...While the magnetic field of Earth is generated by the iron core, the Jovian magnetosphere is generated by the motion of magnetic material inside the liquid metallic shell. At about 1000 km below the cloud top, the hydrogen atmosphere becomes thicker and finally changes phase to become liquid hydrogen. Because of the tremendous pressure, under the liquid hydrogen layer, a layer of metallic hydrogen layer exists which causes the Jovian magnetic field. The Earth's field is reasonably well represented by a dipole but at Jupiter the quadrupole and octupole moments are significant producing a pointed and bullet shaped magnetosphere. The power for populating and maintaining the magnetosphere of Jupiter comes principally from the rotational energy of the planet and the orbital energy of Io, whereas the power source for Earth's magnetosphere is principally the solar wind."

    http://www.europhysicsnews.com/full/.../article1.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    That the Bible is THE single most unique book in history, was to be a foundation for what is to come. You are reading far more into what has been posted thus far. It being unique as it is, does not support that it is divinely inspired. This has been stated numerous times.

    If you don't feel that the Bible being as incredibly unique as it is, is significant...super. Then this thread isn't of interest to you.
    You're missing the point. I understand, just as everyone else so far does, that the uniqueness of the Bible is simply the foundation for a broader point you intend to make. What's missing from this foundation, however, is exactly why it is significant. So what if it is unique? Why is this uniqueness of any importance to your larger point beyond the fact that you feel like we ought to view it as such?

  12. #32
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    I will attempt to respond to the above posts w/i the next week.

    However, I will state very clearly and publicly and not repeat myself again, so please take warning.

    This thread's history


    This thread was a thread I started on another community in which we debated before ODN was founded. This thread is actually dated to about 2002, that is when it was created at EZCO (my first community). This disclaimer was at the top of the op only until a few days ago. I removed it because EZCO is no longer an active site and there is no content there.

    This thread took a lot of time to create. After I first completed it back in 2002, I took time off from this thread and debating for a while. I had intended to use the extra time I had back then and create all 6 parts w/i 6 months. This was to be an important, large project...my primary reference thread of the Bible, and I was going to "market" it as such on the site. However, by the time I came back, there was little interest there (at EZCO) in the topic and other issues (like the Iraq War) were more of a priority. This thread got put on the backburner.

    The winter of 2003, ODN was born. I copied some of the more important threads from EZCO's debate area to ODN. This was one of them (and thank goodness, as all of EZCO's content was deleted).

    Since 2002, interests and responsibilities have changed (including a new addition to the family and a new career that takes up considerably more time).

    The quality of this thread's argumentation

    This type of thread, is not such that is created in a single sitting. It is not a thread that is created w/o using reference materials and having a large block of time available to be able to write it.

    As the op says, it will eventually (hopefully, if I ever get that time) entail 6 parts. Only 2 are completed at this time, and they are the easiest of the 6. It is to serve as a focul reference point of what the Bible is and show that there is very good cause for considering it to be trustworthy and a Book unlike any other.

    UNTIL then however, until all 6 parts are completed, the "case" is not made. The only parts of the "case" that this thread concerns itself with are its uniqueness and how it was created (the latter of which is really just an informational section for those who wanted to educate themselves on the matter).

    This thread has only recently been resurrected, after sitting dormant for years. It's a PROJECT and work in progress. It isn't some quick debate topic thrown up on a whim and is able to be completed in an hour or two. This was always acknowledged to be a huge undertaking (for it to be done right)...and it still is.

    That being said...I have NO intention on continuing the other parts any time in the immediate future due to CHANGED REAL LIFE commitments. I'm lucky that I get to spend the time I do now working on ODN (debating and running the site/server).

    ALL that can be offered at this time, is the discussion on what is already written. The thread at this time more accurately reflects only the uniqueness of the Bible, giving no "case" for it other than it is the most unique book in man's history...that's it. There is nothing else to debate here other than its uniqueness. Some find it fascinating (it's uniqueness), some don't see it as a big deal, some prefer something meatier like the other 4 arguments stated in the op, etc... If this thread and what is written in it thus far isn't of interest, don't participate. It's that simple.

    What will NOT be tolerated, is the continuing of trolling re: the time involved in creating the thread or that it has not been completed as of yet.

    This next part is important

    Because I've given numerous warnings and posted its purpose as many times as I have, further trolling in this thread re: timelines and wanting more content, WILL result in a temporary suspension from ODN. This includes using the repuation system. If you feel this is too strict, as ignoring warnings and insisting that a long-term project that was started years ago be completed on YOUR timeline instead of its author's, then perhaps it is time to truly consider the idea that ODN may not be a compatible community for yourself, and it may be time to move on.


    I will offer no other warnings. This warning again, is specifically for those who insist that the thread be completed, question the fact that it has NOT been completed, or ignore the purpose of this discussion which is stated numerous times already.

    Stay on topic, deal with the issue of it being argued that the Bible contains a high degree of uniqueness, and is more unique than any other piece of literature in man's history. If this is too much to ask, then you will be shown the exit door. It's that simple. This is a point in which there will be no negotiation. Please stay on point people. I shouldn't have to be forced to make people take "vacations" here due to their conduct...but I've been known to do it from time to time, so take this warning seriously.

    TF, thank you for your response. As I said, I will try to address it this upcoming week.

    The below text has been automerged with this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    You're missing the point. I understand, just as everyone else so far does, that the uniqueness of the Bible is simply the foundation for a broader point you intend to make. What's missing from this foundation, however, is exactly why it is significant. So what if it is unique? Why is this uniqueness of any importance to your larger point beyond the fact that you feel like we ought to view it as such?
    Not ALL people believe it IS all that unique Dio (see TF's response). If you already accept it as being unique, great. It is a false assumption to believe that all do. Many people just like TF and GP believe that it is no different than any other historical piece of literature...at least, nothing note worthy or to be surprised or impressed about. For those who don't believe it is all that unique, or nothing impressive, then the thread will pertain more to them than one who believes the opposite.

    It being unique doesn't tell us that it is divinely inspired. It is merely an argument that it is the most unique book of all time...that it is the most impressive work of literature if using nothing else other than the quality of uniqueness.

    As stated above, some who enjoy history and literature, may find this fascinating, interesting, impressive. Others, could care less. If that's the case, then fine. This is merely a topic that isn't of interest to them. We have hundreds of topics here, not all are interesting to all people. We select topics of interest to each of us for a variety of reasons. The Bible's uniqueness, is just one of many topics discussed here at ODN.

    Some may be interested in HOW we got the Bible. Many were not aware of how it was written, or its history. Some just don't care how any ancient work of prose was written or compiled. Fine, I accept that, just as I accept that many people have absolutely no interest in European politics.

    To each his own Dio. It's like going into a thread where the topic is about the best form of government and asking: "So what?" If you aren't interested in theorizing about government, don't read it, don't participate in it. This thread thus far, is no different.

    If you it is already accepted by you that the Bible truly is unique, the most unique book in history...but you don't care about that...then don't participate in any discussions about its uniqueness. If you don't care about HOW we got the Bible, then don't participate.

    There is no "trap" here. There is no hidden "backdoor" being created through the Bible's uniqueness that will create a "gotcha" for when the rest of the thread is completed. The other parts of the thread could have been their own thread topics (and in fact, some are, or have at least been discussed in other threads). If those are more interesting discussions, participate in them...where your interests lie.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; September 22nd, 2006 at 08:42 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  13. #33
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Okie dokie. Since it seems to be verboten to ask why uniqueness is of any consequence when establishing the divine origin of the Bible, I’ll try a different tack. Bear with me. Debating the Bible isn’t something at which I excel. It’s usually good to try something new though, so here we go. Go easy on me Apok. I’m a Biblical debate padawan…

    I credit Farrell Till for much of what I will attempt to present here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Part I (A) : It is unique in its continuity


    The uniqueness of the Bible does not prove that it is inspired. It does, however, challenge any person sincerely seeking truth to consider seriously its unique quality in terms of its continuity.
    First, the Bible may not be as unified in its theme as the OP implies. In Old Testament times, prophets were commonplace. There were schools maintained for the purpose of training prophets who were called “sons of prophets” (2 Kings 2:3; 4:1; 9:1). They were so common in fact, that royal officials could call on them by the hundreds to give advice in emergencies. In one account (1 Kings 22:1-28) there were some 400 prophets caught up in disagreement when counseling king Ahab.

    In such conditions, it’s pretty ambitious to think that absolutely no conflicts of opinion managed to wind up in Biblical text. For example, in 2 Kings 9-10 Jehu’s massacre of the royal family in Jezreel is written with an air of approval by whoever authored that portion of the text. Witness:

    "Yahweh said to Jehu, 'Because you have done well in carrying out what I consider right, and in accordance with all that was in my heart have dealt with the house of Ahab, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel'" (10:30)

    The following chapters go on to relate the reigns of Jehu’s sons who were said to have “[done] evil in the sight of Yahweh”, but the author claimed that Yahweh allowed them to reign to the fourth generation to fulfill the promise to Jehu. When a fourth generation descendant of Jehu – Zecharia – was assassinated six months into his reign, the writer said in summary of the end of Jehu’s dynasty:

    "Shallum son of Jabesh conspired against him [Zechariah], and struck him down in public and killed him, and reigned in place of him. Now the rest of the deeds of Zechariah are written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel. This was the promise of Yahweh that he gave to Jehu, 'Your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.' And so it happened" (2 Kings 15:1-12)

    So whoever it was that wrote the chronicles of Jehu obviously felt that Yahweh approved of his killing of the royal family in Jezreel since he continued to make good on his promise in spite of Jehu's sons being sinful, but several years later the prophet Hosea seemed to express an entirely different opinion Jehu’s actions. When Hosea’s wife Gomer bore them a son, Hosea wrote:

    "Name him Jezreel; for in a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel" (Hosea 1:4)”

    So the author in Kings said that Yahweh approved of Jehu’s killing of the royal family in Jezreel, but Hosea said that Yahweh would avenge the act of killing the royal family in Jezreel and end the reign of Jehu. This clear difference of opinion among Biblical authors – as well as many others - brings doubt on the claim of reliable continuity in the Bible.

    Also, I don’t mean to beat a dead horse here, but although it’s been said time and again, here we see Apok beg the question in spite of the fact that he claims the very question it begs is irrelevant to the discussion. If uniqueness does not prove divine origin (or at the very least suggest it), yet we should “consider seriously [the Bible's] unique quality in terms of its continuity”, the question of course is: In what way should we “consider seriously its unique quality?” For what purpose? What does uniqueness prove, or failing that, what does it suggest?

    For all the work put into demonstrating its uniqueness, all we can conclude – since we cannot conclude by uniqueness alone that it is divinely inspired – is that the Bible’s uniqueness proves that it is unique. I have a difficult time swallowing that the whole purpose of this thread is to prove that. What’s more, all the talk about the long period over which it was written, the different continents, different languages, different authors, different styles, enduring persecution, widespread publication etc., etc., is nothing more than an attempt to suggest that such remarkable continuity cannot have been possible without divine guidance. It may not be specifically claimed that this is the case, but in light of such glaring evidence, the claim that this thread’s purpose is solely to demonstrate the Bible’s uniqueness and that any other meaning we may infer is just a figment of our collective imaginations - especially when one considers the title of the thread – is IMO disingenuous at best.

    TTFN
    Last edited by Dionysus; September 22nd, 2006 at 11:40 PM. Reason: clarification

  14. #34
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by Turtleflipper View Post
    So...can we debate you on this or not?
    Yes, of course the Bible (OT and NT), as with the Qu'ran or any other 'religious' text, can be debated; but don't expect to get any consensus! Human beans have a tendency to disagree; they even have a reluctance to 'agree to disagree'.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

  15. #35
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    PART I - Completely irrelevant / red herring.

    If I write on a scrap of paper "Invisible flying monkeys are real" and 1500 years from now, people are still waiting to see one, it doesn't matter how "unique" the claim is or how well it survived. Propaganda passed down accurately from generation to gneration is still propaganda.

    Prophecies, even if they are accurate which I'm very far from allowing, prove nothing beyond accurate prophecy. Demanding that we believe they're from a god is a leap of logic... one which Christian apologetics has never been able to bridge. "Well... where else could they have been from!?" is as close as anyone has come which is to say no where near close.

    This history of the bible is perhaps one of the most misleading parts. Like any good propaganda, mundane irrelevant facts rub elbows with outlandish fictions. Simply because we can verify the existence of Jews & Egyptians doesn't mean we have any reason to believe the one group escaped the other through a parted sea.

    Regarding part IV, the only test seemed to be weather or not the books agreed with the propaganda the early church wanted to project. The gospels which mostly agreed with one another were arbitrarily titled "divinly inspired" while the others were tossed aside.

  16. #36
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Zhavric, how does your argument show that the bible is not "unique"?
    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric
    If I write on a scrap of paper "Invisible flying monkeys are real" and 1500 years from now, people are still waiting to see one, it doesn't matter how "unique" the claim is or how well it survived. Propaganda passed down accurately from generation to generation is still propaganda.
    You do realize that in order to call something propaganda, you must first "Know" that it is false. I look forward to your thread, proving the claims of the Bible "False".
    To serve man.

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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    PART I - Completely irrelevant / red herring.
    Irrelevant to what Zhav?

    If I write on a scrap of paper "Invisible flying monkeys are real" and 1500 years from now, people are still waiting to see one, it doesn't matter how "unique" the claim is or how well it survived.
    Not a single person here has argued that it does.

    Thus, a strawman.

    Prophecies, even if they are accurate which I'm very far from allowing, prove nothing beyond accurate prophecy.
    An issue unrelated to the discussion.

    This history of the bible is perhaps one of the most misleading parts. Like any good propaganda, mundane irrelevant facts rub elbows with outlandish fictions. Simply because we can verify the existence of Jews & Egyptians doesn't mean we have any reason to believe the one group escaped the other through a parted sea.

    Regarding part IV, the only test seemed to be weather or not the books agreed with the propaganda the early church wanted to project. The gospels which mostly agreed with one another were arbitrarily titled "divinly inspired" while the others were tossed aside.
    Perhaps you did not read the op and the MANY posts that came after, where it was said that such arguments have NOT been made in this thread and the only argument thus far that is valid, would be to argue the Bible's uniqueness. You are arguing against something that does not exist.

    Perhaps since there is so much confusion (I personally do not understand why so many people are having such a difficult time with this, people who I considered to have a fair intellect), I should just rename the thread and remove the disclaimer, so it is merely "The Uniqueness of the Bible".

    I don't think I have ever seen so much confusion about what should be so elementary.
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  18. #38
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Not a single person here has argued that it does.

    Thus, a strawman.
    O RLY? It seems like that's indirectly exactly what Christians are stating:

    However, I propose that the Bible is unlike ANY other book in the history of man. It stands alone, with none other able to compare to it. If for no other reason, than that of its uniqueness.
    Perhaps you did not read the op and the MANY posts that came after, where it was said that such arguments have NOT been made in this thread and the only argument thus far that is valid, would be to argue the Bible's uniqueness. You are arguing against something that does not exist.
    I fail to see how the "uniqueness" of the bible is relevant. It's outlandish claims are either true or not true. There is no evidence supporting them and quite a bit opposing them.

    Perhaps since there is so much confusion (I personally do not understand why so many people are having such a difficult time with this, people who I considered to have a fair intellect), I should just rename the thread and remove the disclaimer, so it is merely "The Uniqueness of the Bible".

    I don't think I have ever seen so much confusion about what should be so elementary.
    The confusion, my friend, is not on our part. While I applaud your desire to keep a thread on-topic, the bit I quoted from your original post is quite misleading. You state that the bible is different from fairy tales and proceed to talk about things that are irrelevant to your claim.

    It's very simple: if the bible is true, then it's unique. If it's false, it's not. Most of your assertions are red herrings.

  19. #39
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    O RLY? It seems like that's indirectly exactly what Christians are stating:

    Apok
    : However, I propose that the Bible is unlike ANY other book in the history of man. It stands alone, with none other able to compare to it. If for no other reason, than that of its uniqueness.

    Where in my statement, am I saying that "Because it is unique, it is divine in orgin and everything in it is true." vs "It is unique, here is why: X, Y, Z"

    I fail to see how the "uniqueness" of the bible is relevant. It's outlandish claims are either true or not true. There is no evidence supporting them and quite a bit opposing them.
    Relevant to what Zhav? To the Bible being true? It isn't. I've not made any claim otherwise.

    The confusion, my friend, is not on our part. While I applaud your desire to keep a thread on-topic, the bit I quoted from your original post is quite misleading. You state that the bible is different from fairy tales and proceed to talk about things that are irrelevant to your claim.
    I stated that the Bible is unique. I explained HOW it is unique. I never once argued that it was true. In fact, I even stated that despite it being unique, it doesn't prove that it IS divine (or true).

    It's very simple: if the bible is true, then it's unique. If it's false, it's not. Most of your assertions are red herrings.
    Not true. The reasons for the Bible being unique have NOTHING with it being true or false.

    These are the reasons it is unqiue...

    It is unique because of it's:
    1. continuity
    2. circulation
    3. translation
    4. survival
    5. teachings
    6. influence on literature
    7. influence on civilization
    It being true or not, is irrelevant to it being unique. One can be an atheist and still believe that it is unique along these lines. One can be an atheist and still hold the position that a holy book, while not true, is a work of art, ahead of its time, contains remarkable teachings that last through the ages, etc...

    Merely because one is an atheist, doesn't mean one has to despise or disagree with EVERYTHING associated with a belief other than atheism.
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  20. #40
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by Turtleflipper View Post
    It's uniquely famous for it's fame. It's like the Paris Hilton of literature. It isn't particaularly interesting, it's just FAMOUS!
    Considering that I offered detailed support, I hope you are prepared to do so in return. Please demonstrate how it became famous and then it is only unique becaus it is famous. You, a non-authority, must support the claim. There is no reason for us to accept it merely "cuz you sez so".

    Also, I can tell from your response that you aren't taking the argument seriously, so I can't say that I will respond to your response in its entirety. I will however address your post in entire blocks of "uniqueness reasons" as it makes it easier to digest and discuss.

    Most fairy tales come from a myriad of perspectives. The bible is a collection of stories. Aka, an anthology. That it's written by many differnet authors over a long time makes it very special historically, but nothing more divine then a rather estensivily researched anthrology.
    As stated for perhaps the 15th time now...no one claimed it was divine in this thread. Please stay on topic. All off-topic posts and arguments will be deleted. This thread is about the Bible's uniqueness only. It's not difficult to discuss such an argument.

    1) Want me to make a 1500 year book? I can. I'll use ancient greek mythology, Don Quixote, Dickens, Robinson Curosoe. Is it that difficult to believe someone sat down and collected a thousand years of oral and verbal traiditon in a book? I'd also like some evidence that the majority of the stories are not just made up. I mean, any evidence for Jobe? Or the Egyptian slave revolt that made Isreal?

    Because if I can just make stuff up, I can make you a 1500 year-spanning book with ease. Every so often, I'll throw in a true story. Joan of Arc maybe, or Eisenhower
    Not a valid argument. These books are not in alignment with one another. That is, there is no connection between the storys, events, characters and authors. You have not demonstrated that the Bible is a random collection, which is what yours would be.

    Also, many of the stories in the Bible are indeed uncomfirmed. Many are confirmed. None are disputed or shown to be impossible or contrary to historical and archaeological data.

    It was once said that the Bible was inaccurate because the Hitites were a fictionalized nation/tribe. This claim was shown to be false once archaeological discoveries showed that the Bible's account for them, was accurate.

    2) Really? Written by kings, shepards, etc.? I'd like evidence it's not just written by the historians of those people. And even then, "Profiles in Courage" had US senators, engineers, soldiers, and it isn't divine
    Some of the professions of the authors of the Bible:

    David was a King, Peter was a simple fisherman, Solomon was a king, Luke was a doctor, Amos was a shepherd, and Matthew was a tax collector.

    Who said it would make it divine? Please stay on topic.

    3) We know this how? Just because the book says it's set in a dungeen dosen't mean it's happening in a dungeon
    Where do you think it is happening then? For what purpose, would the author lie? And what other book of antiquity do we hold the position that nothing it is true by default? Should we dismiss Caesar's Gaelic Wars or other works of history to be consistent?

    4) Ya know, I can't seem to recall any other books taking place in war AND peace?.....Except every anthology I've ever read.
    This is a demonstration that you are not wanting a serious discussion, and is the reason why after this section, I won't debate the rest of your post until you present more of a serious case against it. You aren't paying attention to what is said.

    It is not the case that the Bible was written ONLY during war and peace, but through nearly every sort of time imagineable. What other book can claim this?

    5) Mr. Hyde writes from every mood imaginable, how does that effect the divinity of his work? Writers write, it is what they do. Happy, sad, viciously angry they write. And that's just one guy. Imagine the dozens of authors at various states of emotion
    Who claimed it made anything divine? What other work has such a variety of moods and tones?

    6) Surprise, surprise, as it was written at the nexus of the ancient world with tavellers from everywhere
    What other works have done this?

    7) Almost all documents like the bible are going to be translated to the new dominate language. They are important (espcailly for the bible, as it's a religion's key teaching guide)
    What other works have done this?

    8) Wow, you continue to express amazement at the basis contsruct called an anthrology. Containing work from dozens of authors, in many different styles, on a vast arrey of subjects or all going around a central theme. It is not divine.
    1) What is an "anthrology"?
    2) What other works have done this?
    3) Who said it makes it divine?

    10) Like......an SF anthology set in the same world. Varley being of particular note in this regard. I can make a persistent historical narrative if I get to play cookie-cutter with reality and make-believe
    What other works have done this?

    11) Really? Because god being omnipresent didn't have anything to do with it? You can take any story, and say "He died because god wanted it" or "the adulterer was captured because god decided it was just", write in some dialouge for god, and it's a story.
    How is this a cogent response exactly? We have many authors of many backgrounds from many areas in 3 different continents holding different professions over 1,500 yr time span result in a central, linear message. What other works does this?

    The uniqueness of the bible is that it got selected by a major religion. Without christianity, the bible would have died long ago as an ancient anthrology.
    ROFL The Bible resulted in Christianity, not the other way around. TF, you haven't studied much history or theology have you?

    It is the focal point of a major religion. It's popularity directly correlates to it's being mandatory reading to about a billion people. "Spot" would be the most circulated book in the world today if it was the centre of the world's largest religion
    Yup. The problem however, no other book comes even close, not even "Spot". Thus, it is unique.

    Again, key part of a major religion. A religion who has missionaries galour. One would assume that translations exist for every major modern religion on earth, as how do you convert someone to something they cannot read?
    How does this refute the point that it is not unique because of the fact?

    Popeye would have survived to this day if a billion people held it as there guiding principle through life's troubles. Any religion's primary text is given special consideration, even fleding ones like christianity in the 1st century AD
    What other book has done this?

    For about 400 years, that's the date the bible was persecuted for. I'd like to see exactly when you place the bibles creation
    Re-read the section. You have fuzzy math there. Also, what other book has experienced this?

    To be honest TF, the rest is more of the same. You aren't refuting the facts that make the book unique. To someone who is not educated in literature and history the reasons for it being unique may appear unimportant or uninteresting, that's fine. But it doesn't remove the fact that the reasons for it being unique, still stand.

    I'm not arguing that the reasons for the Bible being unique are interesting, compelling, uber-cool, have daily significance in our lives, proves it is divine, etc... I've argued (and still have yet to be refuted) that the Bible IS unique for these reasons. No other book has the properties of uniqueness or as many, that the Bible does.

    The way to refute that claim, is to provide books that do. It's simple really, or at least, it should be.

    My suggestion would be to provide quality instead of quantity. Focus on a specific section, do some homework, provide proper support, etc... It looks like you just shot-gunned a response, hoping that something would stick TF.
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