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Bible vs Darwin

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Re:

Postby David George » Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:19 am

alextemplet wrote:Good point, mcar. Archaeology can't really tell us much about how people lived, and it certainly can't capture the thoughts and emotions that dominated their actions. That's the beauty of the written word, it can tell us all those little details that make up the whole picture.


The problem comes in the writing dude.You see when an egyptian writes abt his countries history he tries to modify history as much as possible.Like even if the egyptians never won a war they writer claims a major victory.The opposite party also does the same and this is where archeology comes to play its part.Although may not be a 100% correct but still better to believe it than the scripts of ancient egyptian or meroitic.
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Postby alextemplet » Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:33 am

You have to understand the perspective from which Biblical history was written. "History" as we know it today simply didn't exist in ancient times. Almost all history was told through oral tradition, and this combined with the fact that most Biblical authors were writing a generation or two (or more; some scholars have even suggested that Genesis may be post-exilic) after the fact, meant that history in the modern sense of accurate reporting of facts simply didn't happen. Rather, most Biblical authors were more concerned with explaining a religious or moral meaning based on oral history that their intended audience already knew. This explains why, for example, Joshua paints a much more idealized story of conquest, without set-backs or failures, than probably actually happened.

If the Old Testament were to be categorized today, I would consider most of it to be historical fiction. That is, it dramatized events that actually happened in such a way to present some moral lesson. This is why Chronicles gives such an idealized portrayal of Kings David and Solomon, neglecting to mention the moral failings of the two rulers explained in the books of Samuel and Kings. The author of Chronicles wanted to show the benefit of obeying God's law, not just for an individual (here represented as the king) but also for the entire Jewish nation.

Almost all of Biblical history starting with Abraham (which would exclude the first eleven chapters of Genesis) has been solidly verified by historical and archaeological evidence. Did these events happen exactly as portrayed in the Bible? Probably not. However, there is no doubt that Abraham existed, as did Moses, King David, Elijah, etc. Their lives were probably similar to their Biblical biographers, which the Biblical authors then dramatized to get their moral points across. Just like a Hollywood movie, which might dramatize historical events, sometimes even fictionalizing certain elements, to tell a good story.

FYI, this is not only true of Biblical history; almost all of ancient history was written the same way, as a dramatization based on actual history. Consider, for example, Homer's tale of Troy, which was very heavily dramatized into lyrical form. Another good example is Julius Caesar's histories of the conquest of Gaul and the civil war against Pompey, which manages to both tell the story of history while also pushing Caesar's political agenda.

In conclusion, I think you're making the mistake of interpreting ancient literature from a modern perspective. Like all literature, ancient writings must be understood from the perspective of the author, keeping in mind the point he wished to convey.
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Re: Re:

Postby alextemplet » Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:35 am

David George wrote:The problem comes in the writing dude.You see when an egyptian writes abt his countries history he tries to modify history as much as possible.Like even if the egyptians never won a war they writer claims a major victory.The opposite party also does the same and this is where archeology comes to play its part.Although may not be a 100% correct but still better to believe it than the scripts of ancient egyptian or meroitic.


The Egyptians were notorious for writing history based solely on their political agenda, sort of like modern day US presidential candidates. Other cultures were a bit more true to facts.
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Postby David George » Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:53 am

Alright so Alex the theist,christian is saying that the bible is flawed but not a fraud.Right????
And don't be so skeptical about the egyptians.I don't think any ancient civilization was any different.Besides all civilizations have tried to cover up many issues.
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Postby alextemplet » Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:55 pm

I'm not saying any other civilization was perfect, but we know most cultures weren't nearly as "propagand-ish" in their writings as the Egyptians. The Greeks and Romans, for example, although not completely non-biased either, were at least reasonable enough to write about their defeats as well as their victories, and wrote enough detail into their histories so that, even today, we can reconstruct ancient battles involving thousands of troops with a high degree of accuracy. The Egyptians, on the other hand, wrote almost only about their pharoah, and when it comes to reconstructing Egyptian battles, all we know about is the pharoah and the role he played. The thousands of soldiers fighting for him didn't seem to matter at all to the Egyptian historians.

To be fair, though, much of modern history is just as biased in its writing and interpretation as anything the ancients ever wrote. Consider, for example, the differences in how World War II history is taught in schools in the US and in Japan. You almost wonder if they're both talking about the same war.

Getting back to archaeology, it's got its value, no doubt, but most of what we know about ancient history is based on what the ancients wrote, not on what we've been able to dig up.
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Re: Bible vs Darwin

Postby David George » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:41 am

alextemplet wrote:To be fair, though, much of modern history is just as biased in its writing and interpretation as anything the ancients ever wrote. Consider, for example, the differences in how World War II history is taught in schools in the US and in Japan. You almost wonder if they're both talking about the same war.


Thankfully i am an Indian where the perspective is more neutral.Like the book never supports anyone[int he world wars].The scenario becomes different in the regional wars.
But infact one of our freedom fighters recieved aid from the japanese.But unfortunately he was not recognized like Gandhi.So the books are not biased.
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Postby alextemplet » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:37 am

Almost everything is biased, to some extent. Since we humans always have opinions, we always have baises. Some of us are just better at admitting it than others.
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Postby David George » Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:20 am

Very true
But if you support a Pakistani anytime,in India its not so good for your health especially if your a north indian.Thankfully i am a South Indian.
But here[My state Tamil Nadu] the news is a bit pro LTTE[so called tamil terrorists in Sri Lanka].
So each one just does not want to give up[accept the fact]....................
And the never ending war goes on and on....
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Postby alextemplet » Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:44 am

That's the nature of humanity. We care so much about pride and vengeance that we forget how easy it is to have peace. The great tragedy of the world.
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Postby David George » Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:46 am

Can't agree with you more.....
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Postby alextemplet » Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:54 am

Good to see we finally agree on something. ;)
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Postby David George » Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:01 am

Well I was expecting you would say this. :wink:
But still are stance on "Religion" is still vastly varied :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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