Its impossible to prove Biblical claims

What needs do mythology and religion serve in today's world and in ancient times? Here we discuss the relationship between mythology, religion and science from mythological, religious and philosophical viewpoints.

Moderators: Clemsy, Martin_Weyers, Cindy B.

tat tvam asi
Associate
Posts: 470
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 11:49 am
Location: Eternity

Post by tat tvam asi » Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:49 am

Jufa, the above post is a good example of what we are talking about here.

In genesis 1 you have life originating in the sea and then moving outward to the air and land. In genesis 2 you have the above posted summary. Neither can be taken literally, in a literal 'day' sense, when there is no way of calculating evenings and mornings without a star. Day is simply facing towards an already existing star, and night is obviously facing away from the already existing star in the realm of the literal universe. Three literal days never occur in this universe without the pre-existing light of a star - a solar nucleus.

Nandu and others have pointed out that people will often try to say that a 'day' means something else, such as 10,000 years or something. Once again, there are no literal years without a pre-existing star either. The only option is to say that a 'day' means something other than a 'day'. At that point the literalism is already out the window.

But we do have very vague reflections that seem to show life coming out of the waters first and then going on to the land and air - that reflects the literal science of the origin of the species. I believe that the aboriginal myth starts out with sea creatures that dream of becoming land creatures and then become land creatures, and then the land creatures dream of flying and then become birds and so on. In genesis God speaks and things appear. But life originates from the sea just as evolution seems to literally suggest. This is very vague, I know. We must have sensed that the waters would be the logical source of life in some way in our past. Later, science would attempt to confirm it.

Because of the similarities between genesis and the literal process of evolution from the sea people tend to start thinking that genesis is literal, but having days without stars immediately curbs that assumption and puts it back into the realm of metaphor. Metaphor is the winner here. Even with a vague sense of being in the literal order of actual evolution from the sea, it's still metaphorical mythology in the end - not literal. Nandu and XsatanicYosef are correct.

Genesis is taken from earlier pagan myths so it only states the creation in a second hand format anyways. The perfectly created world after which an evil deity infused corruption is stemming from the older Zoroastrian creation myth of course. I understand that genesis is niether original, nor literal. Life coming from the water goes back even further to the cultures of which the genesis story was based on. These were pagan concepts originally. It's odd that life does seem to originate in the water after all, the early near eastern pagans guessed well on that one. Or rather, sensed well on that one.

quote:

"Now I'm interested in the biological thing because I think of mythology as a function of biology (which is in turn a direct function of cosmology, emphasis mine). Let's say that every organ of the body has its 'energy impulse', an impulse to action, and it is the 'human experience' of the 'conflicts' of these 'different energies inside', and this is what constitutes the 'psyche'. It's NATURE TALKING. And 'mythology' is the expression in 'personified images' of these ENERGIES." - Campbell

Mystery of being = Cosmological energies = Biological energies = Pagan mythologies = Monotheistic evolution = The rise of science = ?

tat tvam asi/space
jufa
Associate
Posts: 629
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:07 am
Contact:

Post by jufa » Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:39 am

Tat, you put forth a very good point if you were dealing from the inner structure of creation.

I maintain creation is created in the Creator. This is the point of all life.

To put creation where it belongs. That which is a metaphor to human understanding expressed itself. This means the 1st chapter of Genesis is a Spirit creation.
God has never been anything. God has never been nothing. God has always been God. And this means there is no beginning, no in between, and no end.

All visible and invisible forms are the infinite Spirit life of God made comprehensible to Himself as the whole, perfect, pure, and complete vision He visualized Out of Infinity.
Now to step upon your turf. How can man be the life universe as you state he is because you state man is the universe, and then evolve from the universe he is, or evolve from a creation within him within the universe?

jufa
tat tvam asi
Associate
Posts: 470
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 11:49 am
Location: Eternity

Post by tat tvam asi » Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:23 pm

That's a good question Jufa.

I just mean that I can look at myself and know that I am a collection of atoms existing in space, which is what we call the universe. I can look at the individual atoms that my body is composed of and see that only a small volume of each atom contains particles of matter, while the majority of each atom of my body is largely space - inner space/outer space, same thing. The universe is a vast space with matter spread around the vast space - even inside of the body. I am space and matter, therefore I am the universe that is space and matter. The universe of space and matter is always going through changes - evolving.

If one prefers to look at the universe as spirit, which is fine, then spirit is space and it's particles and it's motion as well. In that case I am certainly spirit. The universe/spirit, as the one thing that is all things, is always changing 'itself' from one form into another. Everything that exists, everything that has a finite form of any type that can be viewed in the universe/spirit, is the actual universe/spirit itself. We can't have an actual 'separation' between the universe/spirit and it's own properties - space and matter. So as we observe changes in nature and evolution and such, we are actually observing the universe/spirit engaged in a beginningless and endless process of constantly changing itself with no true rest - even in a big bang scenario where something had to pre-exist in order to expand and go through 'self changes' to become the world today. Campbell would say, "The Big Bang of creation, from what did it arise?"

This is why I find the aboriginal story so interesting. 'One' thing is continually changing itself to become the 'many' things. It starts in the water and then moves outward. There's certainly some inner sense of the universe going on there. I'm simply going over the issue of the 'one' and the 'many'. I could have just said, "of one many, and of many one" and left it at that. On this level self identification with the universe is a must. I like to try to simplify things. Hope this helps.

tat tvam asi/space
porcupine
Associate
Posts: 125
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2003 5:00 am
Location: Providence

Post by porcupine » Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:21 pm

To some extent we are chasing shadows here. Can God create a rock bigger than he can lift? It's a problem of logic not of divinity. It's very difficult to talk about God without imposing our own reality on the situation. I even had difficulty assigning a gender to God in the previous sentence, but what other point of reference do I have for my pronouns?

The same is true of this business with spirit. If there is a spirit it has to apply to all life, but somehow that doesn't sit well with a lot of people. The idea that a leaf, a bug, or a gopher has the same spirit as a human, modeled in God's image and all that, is hard to accept. Similarly I think a lot of people, myself included, have trouble with the idea that I am somehow equal with non-life forms just because we share the common ground of both being composed of matter. Not exactly a criteria that would warrant a family reunion.

To come up with an objective description of the nature of life, what distinguishes it from matter and spirit, and do it in terms that are not limited by recent scientific understanding or outmoded metaphors seems like a desirable goal, but in the end it satisfies neither the scientific or religious communities. At some point a person has to be satisfied with the answer that he or she does not know the answer and realize that all the beauty lies in the mystery. It's only the mystery that allows us to speculate and have enjoyable exchanges like this one. Who among us would trade our dreams for reality? Remember, he who thinks he Knows does not know, he who thinks he does not Know, knows. It's all in the capitalization.
Bryan<br><br>"My patron saint is fighting with a ghost. He's always off somewhere when I need him most."
jufa
Associate
Posts: 629
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:07 am
Contact:

Post by jufa » Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:11 pm

Tat, please do not misunderstand me, because I can taste the flavor of the meal you have presented. You did state;
It's survival of the fittest on these forums and when people make claims they are then in a position of having to defend those claims against those who will come along and challenge them. If the claims don't wash, then they don't wash.

I have a claim that I'm interested in seeing whether it will wash or not?
I claim "Creation is created in the Creator." The Creator is a metaphor. Show me what is physical or evolving about the metaphor that is an absolute mystery to the human mind.
There are no absolutes to the Creator's thought of vision which can beam in on the logic of assumption or indication. This is why there are "worlds without end." The Creators vision, although limitless, is the totality of that represented by the receptive Spirit of man. Totality of reception is cut short, stops by man's interpretation of the picture of the Word of that which is assumed to be the likeness and image of the Spirit forms of the Creator's vision.
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." I ask for anyone to take the metaphor out of this statement and place it in a universal concrete material, physical, mineral, organic, or atom stance.

If this can be done, then it would void the the notion that creation is created in the Creator. This would void the proposition that Genesis 1 is a Spirit creation, for it would nullify the statement "God is a Spirit." And this would nullify "in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," because everything created in Gen. 1 was created on the breath of Spirit's utterance "Let there be."

jufa
jufa
Associate
Posts: 629
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:07 am
Contact:

Post by jufa » Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:45 pm

Porcupine I agree we are chasing shadows to some extent. They are not shadows of reality though, they are shadows of our own individual interpretations of Something whiich is, yet is not, yet is. And as for the question you posed, the answer is no. Being God is all, how then can God create something greater than Himself out of Himself?

And you are correct. Spirit is all inclusive. It is the omniety of all that is. Allow me to illustrate. People do find it hard to equate themselves with anything of organic or inorganic matter which they believe do not rise to the level of what they deem to be the only image and likeness of God, and that is themself. But what is creation?

Creation is the mystery of God. However we know it is that Mystery creation is created from and of because in the beginning there was only God. Nothing else existed but God. So what is it that is not of the image and likeness of God, being all that is is an expression of God?

To truly answer this question, one must go beyond the shadows of 'I think ego' into the light which is equal everywhere. And when one does this, they realize they are the image of creation, and the likeness of all within creation, for all are the expression of the creation of the Creator. And the Creator cannot differentiate between Himself.

Hard as it may be to the 'I think ego' to comprehend, the consciousness of God fills all space, time, images, and thoughts. For when any man thinks upon anything, there is Consciousness life within all the space, time, images, and thoughts thought.

jufa
tat tvam asi
Associate
Posts: 470
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 11:49 am
Location: Eternity

Post by tat tvam asi » Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:56 pm

The universe means the all, the whole, everything. The word refers to everything that exists. So I'm simply stating that man is of the whole, the all, when suggesting that man 'is' the universe and that the universe 'is' man.

The notion of 'eternity as being present in all of the forms of time' also perfectly describes this situation. We are indeed 'of' the 'all', whatever we name the all. This is the basic Hero's Journey that we're going over here. Seeing the radiance of eternity through 'all' of the forms of time.

There's a temple in Luxor Egypt which is referred to as the "Temple in Man". The temple is laid out according to an idealized human frame. One of the teachings on the wall of the temple was of a Man looking up at the stars. The ancient teaching was about having the realization that man is not simply made out of the universe, rather man is the universe itself. Each can be understood by an understanding of the other. This is very much like what Campbell goes into in his book "The Inner Reaches Of Outer Space: metaphor as myth and as religion" - the sacred order of numbers '432' as applying to both innerspace as well as outerspace.

tat tvam asi/space
porcupine
Associate
Posts: 125
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2003 5:00 am
Location: Providence

Post by porcupine » Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:10 pm

I like your expression here Jufa: "Hard as it may be to the 'I think ego' to comprehend, the consciousness of God fills all space, time, images, and thoughts."

This is the reason I brought up the example of God not being able to create a rock bigger than he can lift. I think the answer is neither yes or no. The problem created by my question is that either way God loses. If God is omnipotent than he should be able to create any rock. Now if he makes such a rock and lifts it, he has failed in the making. If the rock is big enough he fails in the lifting. Either way, his omnipotence is screwed, thereby negating his existence as an omnipotent being. You could move the argument right down the line until God ceases to exist. He can't create something invisible to him that he can see, he can't think something and never have thought it etc etc. Pretty soon he is powerless.

What this all demonstrates is the inadequacy of our concepts of God. We are bound by logic and time and all along the way we have added attributes to God which are reflections of our own attributes. Gender, thought processes, physical abilities, will. All of these things are limitations for an unlimited being, and in the end we have no comprehension of such a being. It is utterly beyond us and the only way to really believe in God is to let go of everything and simply be. In the face of this simple fact, all religion is obsolete and I generally agree with the title of this topic that it is impossible to prove Biblical claims or any other writings or thoughts that espouse to express the true nature of God. They will always fall short.

"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp. Or what's a heaven for? "
~Robert Browning
Bryan<br><br>"My patron saint is fighting with a ghost. He's always off somewhere when I need him most."
jufa
Associate
Posts: 629
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:07 am
Contact:

Post by jufa » Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:01 pm

Porcupine, your position cannot stand for this reason.

Let us use Space as a metaphor for God. Space in an of Itself is omnipresent. Omniscient and omnipotent are also that which fills the omnipresence of Space. These three attrubute make up the creation of infinite Space, the laws, and the forms. They are all equal in their power of distribution. So the question is what power does omnipotent have to void the power of the other two attributes of Space that would be able to create something greater than Space Itself, when omnipotent needs the substance and essence of omnipresence and omniscience to make it omnipotent?

If you can tell of a power to void out Space Itself, then you will be able to provide a stone created by Space that will not only void Space Itself, but the other attrubutes which is needed to give omnipotence life.

jufa
porcupine
Associate
Posts: 125
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2003 5:00 am
Location: Providence

Post by porcupine » Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:14 pm

Now we are really chasing our own collective tail here.

Let's take a step back in this question of God and his/her/its capabilities and incapabilities. I think the point of my statement regarding God was to demonstrate the inadequacy of our language and logic to accurately describe such a being, and thereby parallel the same inefficiencies created when religion attempts to do the same. To some extent Jufa, it seems to me that you are simply elaborating that exact point. There is no such rock for God to lift or not lift, or to create or not create. The issue of omnipotence in our realm is simply an impossibility. If omnipotence exists, if God exists, they exist beyond our realm of space, time, and duality.

God is a concept. An expression humans have created as a kind of place holder until we know how better to define our unknown origins and destinations. Or as John Lennon said, "a concept by which we measure our pain". I would argue that any true God is a God worth not knowing. Once you know God, that God becomes confined, limited, and inevitably inadequate in his role. Then we start to think of a God beyond the one we have come to know. This is an endlessly elusive task unless you accept the simple truth that you do not know.

So we end up in the realm of belief. Ultimately, all religion should be inadequate in its description of God and it should surrender itself to the realm of pure unprovable belief. Anything more would open up the religion to an untimely end. As such Jufa, as logical as your explanation was, I found it insufficient right out of the gate because you are asking me to use space as a metaphor for God, and that is too limiting. We are talking about that which is beyond all thought and that is why the situation with the rock is sufficient in demonstrating the inadequacy of our understanding of the God concept. This is a job for belief and belief only. Religion or science in its attempt to "Know" will always come up short.
Bryan<br><br>"My patron saint is fighting with a ghost. He's always off somewhere when I need him most."
tat tvam asi
Associate
Posts: 470
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 11:49 am
Location: Eternity

Post by tat tvam asi » Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:52 pm

This is where things start to get a little technical.

The mystery is not a reference to what exists 'outside' of the containment of the 'universe'. The universe is itself an absolute mystery - space matter and time along with it. To draw a line around the known universe and then say that the mystery is what lies 'beyond' the boundary is a real 'no no' for the more experienced Campbell readers - this comes up quite often.

Everything that does exist, including space/time, and matter, is an existing mystery. The mystery is simply not knowing why existence exists. That's it. The mystery isn't a 'separate dimension', it isn't the area outside of the expanding universe, it isn't something discrete and separate to what exists in the universe. Existence is itself a mystery.

In the big bang cosmology the modern universe existed as being smaller than the size of a single atom before the expansion outward - it pre-existed. Where did the tiny pre-existing potential of the modern universe come from? How was it pre-existing? Did it have an origin of some type? Was it just sitting there as a tiny little pre-existing thing until it expanded outward? What was the containment of this little thing? If space is expanding, then what is space expanding out into?

Existence is obviously 'infinite' out of necessity. Existence itself had to have always existed, inside and outside of the universe without any 'true beginning'. This is a requirement in order for existence to be taking place right here right now. Existence is the mystery of being. So go outside and look around at the mystery of being for yourself - take a good look at the ever present God. Go into the bathroom at look at the mystery of being in mirror. The mystery of being exists both here 'in' the universe and everywhere 'outside' of the universe at the very 'same time'. It's very simple. The mystery of being can not refer to something discretely separate from our own existence in any way.

tat tvam asi/space
jufa
Associate
Posts: 629
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:07 am
Contact:

Post by jufa » Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:57 am

Porcupine, you made me laugh out loud with your opening statement. Do you believe the first man had tails :lol:

To get serious. You not only took a step back, you took two, and three, and perhaps five or six when you came to the conclusion spack is to limiting to be use as a metaphor for God. I find it very apropos because space is infinite, and at the same time, omnipresent. And it certainly is omnipotent by holding the million, upon million, and trillion of glaxies, black holds, stars, suns, planets, moons, comets, asteriods and the building blocks of the universe. So you must tell me what is limiting about space which will disqualify it being used as a metaphor for God?

I will agree with you that God is a concept for the majority of mankind. But to me, God, as Christ are only names which represents an activity in consciousness. That activity to me is "the law of the Spirit of life." I say this founded on this truth; of all the infinite things the human mind projects, it has never projected into the conscious awareness of mankind a duplicate image of Consciousness. Why? because Consciousness is the omnipresent metaphor of life. This is why all forms of symbolism representing deities are metaphorical.

Space is metaphorical because it is an activity in Consciousness. You know it's there, but where is it? That is the mystery. That is the metaphor.

We are saying the same thing, but I disagree on God, which to me is Life, is a concept because I am Life. I also disagree that a rock "is sufficient in demonstrating the inadequacy of our understanding of the God concept" because it has physical properities. Now this is where you should have applied your reasoning of limiting towards, not space.

jufa
Never give power to anything a person believe is their source of strength - jufa
http://theillusionofgod.yuku.com
Evinnra
Associate
Posts: 2102
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 4:12 pm
Location: Melbourne

Post by Evinnra » Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:30 am

porcupine wrote:
You could move the argument right down the line until God ceases to exist. He can't create something invisible to him that he can see, he can't think something and never have thought it etc etc. Pretty soon he is powerless.

What this all demonstrates is the inadequacy of our concepts of God. We are bound by logic and time and all along the way we have added attributes to God which are reflections of our own attributes. Gender, thought processes, physical abilities, will. All of these things are limitations for an unlimited being, and in the end we have no comprehension of such a being. It is utterly beyond us and the only way to really believe in God is to let go of everything and simply be. In the face of this simple fact, all religion is obsolete and I generally agree with the title of this topic that it is impossible to prove Biblical claims or any other writings or thoughts that espouse to express the true nature of God. They will always fall short.

"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp. Or what's a heaven for? "
~Robert Browning
But of course, it is true, we can not escape our own concepts! Nor can any religion describe the Omnipotent Omniscient everlasting infinite process accurately, as all religions are particular, and the infinite is not particular. Can our concepts find an end to an infinite process at all?! Can we for that reason deny the existence of the inifinite?!

After all it is merely my own concept that four is made out of two plus two, or alternatively one plus three or an INFINITE variations of numbers! So, since I can not know the infinite variations possible, I can not state for sure that two plus two is four. Right? Hence the saying: IGNORANCE IS BLISS.

Evinnra

p.s. If God had created a stone which he subsequently could not pick up, s/he probably would not look for reasons outside his own capacities to explain his troubles. Or would s/he?
Aireal
Associate
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 5:58 pm
Location: Mayfield, Ky.

Post by Aireal » Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:12 pm

Everyone seems to misunderstand my concept of "literal" vs "mythological" take on the Bible.

I am only "Literal" when it comes to the Hebrew/Greek text itself. I use Hebrew and Greek myth in my attempt to understand what the author meant. But I do not change the words themselves to suit my beliefs.

People who try to discredit the Bible freely jump from myth to literal interpretations to make their point, and no one complains because Bible bashing is cool.

The only reason I applied science to the Bible is because people try to use science to disprove the Bible. I figured, "What is good for the goose is good for the gander." Tit for Tat and all that. :wink:

English translations are not "Literal" but show the views of those who did the translation. Jesus called "Pharmacology" a sin. In English they translated this as "Alchemy", but the Greeks clearly used a different word for alchemy. English translators did not like the implication that modern medical practices with the use of PURE chemical drugs was a sin, so they changed it to suit their views. Look at the problems pure extracts of drugs have caused. Heroin and other drug addiction, side affects like birth defects from prescription drugs, etc., etc.

If the concept of applying MYTH to the LITERAL words while throwing in a little science is too strange a concept for some, I am sorry for the confusion I caused. I do not need to prove the Bible, nor is that my intent. I only try to show that there are more ways to view this matter than commonly found on the many forums where I have heard the same arguments time and time again.

As a Native American I consider Jews, Christians and the rest of the "Old World" as Pagan Barbarians, no offence intended. :twisted:
So I have no problem with people saying the Jews were Pagan.


Jufa
You said "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." I ask for anyone to take the metaphor out of this statement and place it in a universal concrete material, physical, mineral, organic, or atom stance.

If this can be done, then it would void the the notion that creation is created in the Creator. This would void the proposition that Genesis 1 is a Spirit creation, for it would nullify the statement "God is a Spirit." And this would nullify "in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," because everything created in Gen. 1 was created on the breath of Spirit's utterance "Let there be."


All math and science breaks down at two extremes, zero and infinity. God said I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. So God is what math and science can not define, 0 and infinity. The Big Bang or creation starts at zero and ends at infinity, or back at zero, depending on the scientific theory used. This was in the Bible before the Pagan Barbarians of the "Old World" even understood the concept of zero or infinity in their primitive math.

So I have removed the Metaphor from your statement, but it does not "void the notion that creation is created in the Creator."


Porcupine
The old "If God is all powerful, can he himself make a rock so large he cannot lift it?" is what is known as a logical fallacy. Here is why. God is infinite, so to make a rock that large would require that the rock be infinite also, leaving no room for God. God would have to become the rock. There is no room to lift the rock for it takes up all of infinity, plus a rock can not lift itself. etc. etc. There is no solution to this paradox.

Circular logic is what my logic professor would have called it. As flawed as the person who first thought it up. Which might have been George Carlin the comic, that was where I first heard it. In which case it was meant only as a joke.

In the Bible God reveled the truth of himself and told the John not to reveal it. For "If the truth of God were to be reveled, all would believe." There would be no need of faith. I seek that basic truth, and if I ever do find it, I will not tell a soul. :shock:

Little Feather
jufa
Associate
Posts: 629
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:07 am
Contact:

Post by jufa » Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:39 pm

Aireal you cannot equate math and science without using thoughts which already exist. Zero already exist as a proposition of utilization. This makes Zero, not a nothingness in the Alpha, but a material manifestation of all which math and science find to be the essence and substance of the universe. It is the beginning and end, or Alpha and Omega which are the metaphors.

Zero is repersentive of nothingness. Yet nothingness can be utilized when definition is presented by interpretation. Definitive interpretation makes for a circle, and the circle is no longer defined as zero, but one. It is from one the infinity of numbers exist, not zero.

Your .
The Big Bang or creation starts at zero and ends at infinity, or back at zero, depending on the scientific theory used.
is the same as I use in defining the circle.

jufa
Never give power to anything a person believe is their source of strength - jufa
http://theillusionofgod.yuku.com
Locked