In our continuing discussion of the false foundational premise, here are two more.
FALSE FOUNDATIONAL PREMISE THREE
The Bible is the living word of God and should be obeyed.
The Bible was written by 40 men. The old testament was written beginning in 400 BC. The new testament was written beginning about 15 years after Jesus died.
The men who wrote the Bible believed that when bad things happened which people didn’t understand, God was angry, or God works in mysterious ways. These bad things included disease and natural disasters. They believed that when good things happened which they did not understand, they were miracles from God. Now, one has to realize that in those times people didn’t understand a whole lot.
They were men of their times and they did not understand a fraction of what we understand today, such as:
- How the human body works
- How the weather works and what causes hurricanes
- The causes of diseases and as a result the treatment of disease
- Earthquakes and tsunamis
- Biology and biological history of creatures on Earth
- Geology and geological history
- Celestial events such as meteor showers, eclipses and supernovas.
The Bible is replete with historical, geographical and scientific errors, as well as contradictions.
God’s values, as revealed by the Bible, are not compatible with our value system today. He is an angry vengeful killer. God tells a man to kill his son. He demonstrates his love for Man by allowing his son to be tortured and killed. He tells the elders to stone a woman who was found to be a non-virgin on her wedding night. He ripped babies out of the wombs of women. He threatens to lay waste to towns and kill everyone including children. Slavery is permissible and it’s OK to beat the slave and even kill them. It’s forbidden for women to have power over or even teach men anything. And the most perplexing for me, God is so needy that he tells man that he must worship and obey him, or he will kill him. The Bible is a very violent book.
Now the New Testament portrays a loving God, although if you don’t believe in Jesus you are going to be tortured for eternity. And I understand there are many passages in both the Old and New Testaments that convey great wisdom and provide solace for those who believe. The values expressed by Jesus are wonderful.
The Bible might be the inspiration of men who believed in God, however it is not the word of God, nor should one obey all of it tenants.
“Religious traditions portray holy books as the ‘word of God’. But God doesn’t speak to us. God is the primal silence that speaks through us. All words are human words and conditioned by the human experience of living in time. They are at best partial expressions of a truth that can never be articulated. There is no ‘word of God’, but if there were it would be only one word. And that word is ‘love’.” Tim Freke
So, my contention is that the Foundational Premise that the Bible is the living word of God and should be obeyed is false.
Now when you are talking to someone who believes that the Bible is the word of God, you will find that they justify their view by quoting the Bible; just the good parts. There is no other way they can have a discussion because that foundational view is essential to their thinking. No wonder you are going to get a fight.
FALSE FOUNDATIONAL PREMISE FOUR
A rationalistic scientific way of thinking is the only way to the truth of reality.
Ha! Bet you did not see that coming. Is it false? Hell, I don’t know. A term for this way of thinking is physicalism. The premise is that all reality is based on material things.
Am I willing to examine whether or not it is false? Of course.
So, what are your thoughts on the Bible?
Am I being too harsh or am I just calling it the way it is?
5 thoughts on “THE FALSE FOUNDATION PREMISE-PART TWO”
If your foundation premise includes a belief that the words of the writers of the books of both old and new testaments were given to them by God, then the F.P. remains on solid ground.
I remember when the King James Version was the Real Word, and the subsequent revisions were suspect.
The thing that I am amazed about is how a person can cling to the foundations of their current beliefs about everything related God as taught by their (usually childhood) religion, and at the same time admit that there is abundant evidence that the concept and nature of God has been subject to all sorts of changes through out human history, and at every step of the way, the believers were convinced that they had the final, correct word. So, what’s so special about our version?
So much of life and its experiences are seemingly inexplicable. Those who read the “word” and miss the message often allow their negative biases to accentuate inconsistencies and errors. If you believe God to be a punitive being looking to catch us at our worst and punish us, these biases increasingly skew our assessments.
You are correct that, as a christian, the first premise is that the bible is the “inspired” word of God delivered through those “made in His image”. The overall message of the bible is one of love and the prophesies of the messiah as outlined in the old testament and fulfilled in the new are far too many to conclude that Jesus was not the Messiah. Is belief in this simply faith or a desperate need to create a sense of belonging and security?
Faith is having hope in things unseen and we all yearn for something to fill or complete us, for the Christian it is a belief in the bible and a loving God where others believe in money, status, self, etc., none of which can fully satisfy the yearning of the soul. So the real question is, What do you believe? If you choose science and only those things that are seen, how do you explain the inexplicable i.e. creation, miraculous healing, etc. Its a rhetorical question, but one to ponder.
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One explanation for the presence of inexplicable things about the world is that there must be a creator. Our language is made up mostly of active voice sentences, in which there is an actor for every subject. We are much more likely to say, “He hit the ball well” than we are to say, “The ball was hit well.” Speakers of languages which usually use the passive voice set up the speaker to be less focused on the actor, and their Gods receive less credit for the creation of our world. For them, things simply are.
Another explanation for the presence of inexplicable things is simply to acknowledge that their presence in our world is an indication about our incomplete understanding of our world.
I agree with Matt, above, that the bottom line is the foundational belief, which usually is handed to us as children and becomes such a solid base from which we interpret our world, that we never question the validity of that core belief. Beliefs are not reality. They are creations of the human mind, based on the culture and state of knowledge in which we live. Who are we, therefore, to question another person’s beliefs, as long as they work for him/her and enable comfortable living among fellow human beings? My beliefs are very comfortable for me, and I have no need to quarrel with another person’s beliefs. It is only when we challenge the validity of another person’s beliefs that conversations about religion (and politics) don’t go well. Rare indeed, is the conversation in which each person expresses an uncritical interest in the other person’s views and beliefs.
I’m wondering if you have conflated the idea that — the The Bible is the living word of God and should be obeyed — with those that use The Bible that way. Many Christians are inspired by the words in the bible and more fundamentalist tend to more black and white. My concern is that your premise is also rather black and white and I’m wondering if that is really your intent?
Of course, your pieces about conditional premises are themselves conditional premises. Your logic is sound, with support from a variety of sources. Perhaps you leave readers with more questions to ponder than you answered. This is good to the evolved human, but this logic will be abandoned by many before they get too deep in your train of thought. Personally, I understand and agree with your stated premises. Smart people like you will got it.