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Jonathan Hawkins

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How can we consider the bible credible?

How could we rely on what the bible tells us? Looking at the bible from a historical point of view, it has been translated over and over again into hundreds of different languages. Over the years kings and rulers have altered and manipulated aspects to suit their reign. Even today there are multiple different interpretations. What effects do you think this has on the content?

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    Mar 25 2013: Why consider the original old testament manuscripts prior to any manipulation as accurate representations of reality or history?

    Why assume the gospels written by the original authors are historically accurate?

    Why assume the books collected into the new testament deserve to be there compared to many others that were excluded?

    Why assume the god of the Hebrews exists, or any god or goddess, let alone whether the bible accurately reflects its nature and wants?

    Can't we respect peoples freedom to look to whatever source they want for insight, without respecting the source itself unless it deserves respect on its own merit?

    While I appreciate the impact of the bible (and Qu'ran, and Hindu and Buddhist scriptures etc) over the ages, I'm not sure a sexist homophobic genocidal tribalistic slavery and murder endorsing book full of fables and apocalyptic teachings deserves a great deal of respect.

    I don't think religious ideas deserve respect just because they are religious, or popular. But at the same time I value freedom of and from religion. The ideas and belief should be open to debate and judged on their own merit in my view, but people shouldn't be forced to adhere to a particular religious or totalitarian view.
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        Mar 25 2013: I'm not angry. Not even trying to be provocative. Just saying it how I see it. Pointing out the obvious questions. What makes you think I'm angry?

        I guess the written word doesn't convey tone all that well, unless you put in the softening words.

        Is it intolerant to disagree, yet support people having the right to disagree with me?

        What is it to assume anyone with a dissenting view is angry?
    • Mar 25 2013: Well put Obey.
      Right on.
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        Mar 26 2013: How credible is it, if it is actually a bunch of human created ideas from multiple authors, about an imaginary god concept, with no actual connection to any god, especially if an interventionist creator type god does not exist. Seems right on topic, just a bit more big picture going back to root cause perhaps.

        The comment about respect was responding to comments of others.

        Fair enough if you don't think my point is adding to the conversation I disagree.

        Why worry about what is lost in translation or been added to like parts of Mark, when the whole thing might be a man made fantasy and arbitrarily collected in the first place?
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      Mar 25 2013: I do not assume that the texts are historically accurate. I am only showing how the texts were changed so much that the message they send is unrecognizeable from its origins - hence you have a religion that worships Jesus while calling him a liar by doing the opposite of what Jesus (be he real or mythical) said to do, and having discovered that whether real or not, his methods work,thought I would point that out.
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        • Mar 26 2013: Actually it's really not that hard and if every body listened to that little voice in there head before doing bad things imagine what the world would be. A lot of people just don't care the effects of there actions on the people around them. But the right thing to do is always pretty obvious and all you have to do is ask the person closest to you for input.
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          Mar 26 2013: Doing what is right is NOT hard,. It just takes courage, self-discipline, and a well-ordered belief system, which most people don't have.

          The well-ordered belief system is the most important. Beliefs determine thoughts that precede emotions that spark destructive behavior. Change the beliefs to get rid of beliefs (thoughts) that cause destructive behaviors and it's not difficult at all.

          Going with the flow, allowing others to think for you, & yielding to peer pressure make it very hard indeed. Money also makes it very hard - but money is nothing but a piece of paper that you "believe" has value.
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          Mar 26 2013: Hi Gail, I agree in part.

          Often we have a good idea or firm assumption of what the right thing to do is. But other courses of action may be more gratifying.

          But in some situations you have a clash of rights and values.
          Some issues are ethically complex.
          E.g. abortion
          E.g. should parents have the right to religiously indoctrinate their children
          E.g. where do we draw the limits on freedom of speech, freedom of religion etc.
          E.g. Should the burqa be banned?
          E.g. Should parent be allow to strike their children - to what extent?
          E.g. At what age should we allow young people to have sex with older people?
          E.g. Should old people with severe dementia be allowed to have sex with other people in their rest home?
          E.g. Who should be able to own weapons, how many, what types?

          Or closer to home, who do you sack first when your business is struggling etc.
          Do I give my life savings to help my friend start up a business?
    • Mar 26 2013: When is it ever forced aside from children?
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        Mar 26 2013: Good question.

        For example, certain religious morals being forced on all of society like opposition the legalisation of gay marriage because the bible says so.

        Like slavery is okay because the bible says so. Civil war anyone.

        Or forced atheism in some totalitarian regimes.

        Like the NZ national anthem. Like the US pledge of allegiance. Although in these cases you can opt out.

        Take gay marriage. If your religion says it is wrong, then you don't have to marry the same sex but you need better reasons than your religious beliefs to deny others the same rights.

        I know some Christians who think it is a sin, but support the right of same sex couples to marry

        And religious indoctrination of children is a whole other story.
        • Mar 26 2013: You make some good points. That's harsh that one is put in the position to have to choose between who they are and what they may or may not believe but do practice. Id like to research the bibles writings against gays and see how far back it first appeared. I can't believe how people haven't got passed basic human rights yet and I think it boils down to money.

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