I’ve decided to finally sit down and read the bible, but I’m finding it to be terribly tedious. This book could benefit greatly from editing. I’m encountering a bunch of useless accounts of lineage and pointless stories that fail to advance the story or even one’s moral understanding. I’m working my way through Genesis right now. Can anyone offer suggestions as to the essentials of this section? In other words, what’s worth reading? I’m finding that a lot of it is a waste of my time.
You ain't seen nothin' yet :-)
Repetition of inane details -- like the materials used in building temples -- is spread throughout the Old Testament. Also, stories get repeated a lot. If you're an insomniac, reading the Bible is a good way to get to sleep.
Ha, that's one reason I'm finding it difficult to get through. It seems to knock me out cold every time!
I read the bible a number of years back. It took me about a year. I like to take my time, and make sure I understand what is being said, and the context in which it was written, plus it is a rather complex and at times confusing work. Have also read the book of mormon, and found parts of it disturbing, and at times quite silly. Have read parts of the koran, but like the bible, it’s quite a tedious read. Own all three, and have a number of variations on disk, (of the bible) which at this moment seems to be filed in a “Black Hole".
I think part of being an Atheist means having a curious mind, about everything. Plus, I believe you need to understand the opposition.
I'd point out that one need not know anything about the Bible to understand the so-called opposition. As we all have seen reported, most Christians now less of the Bible than your average athiest. I think one could study psychology and science and gain better insight into the believing mind.
Your point would be wrong. How would you argue against an ID/Creationist? What science would you study? How would you disprove the flood story? You can’t, because you know nothing about the bible (You did say “. one need not know anything about the Bible to understand the so-called opposition”.) . Believers come in all stripes, and their reasons for believing are varied. Psychology, also a science, is very complex, and requires years of study, as do most sciences. Or do you plan to be an armchair psychologist, who believes he knows everything? Besides, psychology alone cannot explain belief, and the rest of science won’t do you a whole lot of good unless you know what you’re arguing against. You can’t truly understand why a person believes, if you don’t know what they believe.
Sorry if I seem rude, but I grow weary of geniuses, who upon reading a book or two, think themselves authorities on human nature, belief and thought. Belief is a complex thing, and to totally dismiss the believers “Book”, is rather short sighted, and to be honest, dumb.
Who said that in order to understand someone that I must win arguments or even argue with them at all?
And you do appear rude and a more than a little presumptuous. And your last paragraph strikes me as very ironic.
I never could sympathize with the position that one must be an expert in order to understand something or reasonably accept or reject claims. And using the Bible to prove the Bible wrong is about as meaningful as using it to prove that it is correct.
Reggie, You’re not using the bible to disprove the bible, genius. You’re using your knowledge of the bible to formulate an argument against it. People are drawn to religion for many reasons, and not all of them can be explained by psychology, or other sciences. To believe that they can, is a very uniformed position.
Besides, the bible is not a worthless tome. It is full of lessons, history, and beautiful writing. It introduced many people to the "golden rule” (which predates Jesus by at least a thousand years), one of the most wonderful ideas ever conceived. “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you” (Also known as the ethic of reciprocity). What an efin concept! If we all lived by that, “What a wonderful world”. The religion is crap, but that one idea alone, almost redeems the bible. But as I said, it’s full of interesting, and at times, profound ideas, and worth the effort.
So continue in your blissful ignorance if you like, but you’re missing out.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I’m a very hardcore, militant, and at times, nasty Atheist. But I have curious mind!
Really? You see by not reading the bible, you commit the same “sin” as many of the god-groupies. When you ask them if they’ve read anything about evolution for instance, many reply “I don’t need to read that crap, the bible tells me everything I need to know about creation. Have you read the “good book?”. How would you answer?
Besides, refuting arguments formulated by todays more learned ID apologist, is much harder than it used to be. Many of them now have degrees, covering most of the sciences (and I’ll bet you thought knowledge made people smart). In some cases, you’ll have to research for hours to refute their arguments, not to mention the research you may need to do to understand your argument. There are books written defending the flood, and unless you have a good background in the “earth sciences” you’ll be hard pressed to refute them, without doing time consuming research, which you may not understand. But when you know the flood story, the events preceding it, and its aftermath, you can with minimal research, formulate an argument that will make the believer think, and it will only take a few paragraphs. Whereas your science argument will probably go over their head (Not the person who formulated the argument, but the less educated believer presenting the argument).
Now I should mention, the average believer you’ll meet in an online forum for instance, will be using arguments they did not formulate, and probably don’t understand. But if you try to refute it, and don’t have your facts straight, in almost magical fashion, a more knowledgable IDer will appear, and totally baffle you with ID/creationist pseudo-science, which in some cases sounds a lot like real science. It’s much easier to attack the story.
Of course, if you’re that well schooled in the sciences, and love doing tedious research, I’m sure you’ll do a fair job.
Kris Feenstra, First of all, you decided to add your two cents to a debate you hadn’t been a part of (which is fine). I then proceeded to address your comments. You then reply as if I started in on you while you were just standing there waiting for the bus. That’s really disingenuous on your part.
Also. Just like the person I was debating, you know everything you need to know, or can assimilate it on the fly. Well good for you!
Anyway, if you read your original comment, then my reply, your last reply is just crap. It’s just you trying to spin the debate. If you should ever decide to address my points, let me know. Until then, goodbye.
One more thing. All of these books can be downloaded for free, from Amazon. Just download the free Kindle software for your computer, and install it. Then search Amazon for Bible. Sort by price, low to high, and you will find many FREE Kindle editions (This is true for many other books also). When you click buy, it will download to your computer in about 30 seconds (could be faster or slower, depending on connection). So now at least, price is no longer an issue for anyone.
Stinking is godly!
Sounds as if you're not reading the wholly comix as an act of piety -- not for “edification”. In which case, I would recommend beginning with a contemporary critique:
• Start reading Michel Onfray, The Atheist Manifesto 2006. Onfray founded his own university in Caen, France -- he has given up on French academics as too obscure and supportive of a dead xian morality.
He critiques very clearly the absurd historical/philosophical/political/cultural aspects of the Big-3 Monster Theisms: judaism, xianity, and islam. More importantly, he proposes a way of life both naturalistic and humane to finally declare God dead and cleanse western culture from xian perversions of morality.
• Also I recommend the only well-preserved anti-xian text from antiquity which is a sometimes very funny skewering of xian low lifes by the otherwise unknown Celsus (ca 175 CE): The true doctrine - against the xians. (trans/intro RJ Hoffman) Oxford. 1987.
Both books should be in college libraries, used copies must abound, and even new they are not expensive. These sources ancient and modern will guide you to texts central to understanding the cultural impact of the monster mega-cults which wield too much secular power worldwide.
But, how about a little “edification” straight from the one person who created Christ-Cosmic-Avenger:
Shall I quote scripture? Why not ? Open your “new testament” comix to listen to evil hero, Saul of Tarsus. Behold! His main sales pitch, an easy to own doctrine of inverted snobbery -- thus “saint” Paul (fl 50-65 CE) in his letter to an underground cell in Corinth, Greece. (In the first letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 1, verses 26-28):
Brothers [!], think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are…1Cor1:26-28 NIV.
Xians stink, but stinking is godly!