The Bible's Literally True… Or Not

I love it when people say the Bible is literally true, and then are confused or angry when you interpret it literally (fast-forward to 4min):

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Just goes to show you that even fundies don’t get their morality from the Bible. We can all agree that some of what the Bible commands is immoral and we refuse to follow it.

  • Ty

    But we know the bible is true because the bible tells us so. I mean, it’s the bible, it wouldn’t lie, right?

  • Michael R

    I know the bible is true because, it says it’s true. If it says it’s true, it must be true, so I know it’s true because, it says it’s true. I know the bible is true because, it says it’s true. If it says it’s true, it must be true, so I know it’s true because, it says it’s true. I know the bible is true because, it says it’s true. If it says it’s true, it must be true, so I know it’s true because, it says it’s true. I know the bible is true because, it says it’s true. If it says it’s true, it must be true, so I know it’s true because, it says it’s true.
    Ever wonder what’s going on in the mind of a xian trying to debate the validity of the bible? There it is.

    • Anonomouse

      There’s also some, “This guy is really smart and he believes the bible. He’s written a lot of stuff about it and it all supports the belief in the bible so it must be true.”, going on in that head.

      • http://ironymous.blogspot.com/ nomad

        That’s what I used to think. If I just read Francis Collins’ book, everything would be made clear. Boy was I wrong, A person’s faith has no correlation to his intelligence. Faith and intelligence coexist in the same person thru the compartmentalization of the mind.

        • Michael R

          You make a really good point. It’s an issue that has a lot of atheists scratching their heads, wondering how someone who seems intelligent can buy into religion.

          • http://www.hollowsun.co.uk Mark Edmondson

            Most intelligent people in history have had some faith. Unless you’re a complete nihilist, answering questions such as “why are we here?” needs a leap of faith at some point.

            I wouldn’t judge all of religion on Christian fundamentalists.

            • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

              Why can’t we say “I don’t know?” and work to find the answers? Why do we have to have faith in something that other people decided in the Bronze Age?

            • http://www.hollowsun.co.uk Mark Edmondson

              We do, and its encouraged to work to find out “how” – but even if we find out the TOE why is it that particular Theory of Everything. Its the “why” question that reason can’t fully explain (see Godel – no self consistent logical structures exist) I’m not saying what people have faith in is necessarily correct, but just the fact faith exists is strange – what evolutionary advantage does it bring?

              As to Bronze age facts to put your faith in, I agree, I would rather look for some more credible source, but just the act of getting up in the morning means a lot of people put their faith in something.

            • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

              This statement:

              “I’m not saying what people have faith in is necessarily correct, but just the fact faith exists is strange – what evolutionary advantage does it bring?”

              is answered by this statement:

              “As to Bronze age facts to put your faith in, I agree, I would rather look for some more credible source, but just the act of getting up in the morning means a lot of people put their faith in something.”

              What evolutionary advantage does faith bring? Maybe it helps people get up in the morning? You’ve answered your own question.

            • Div.Evolution

              I agree completely. nobody knows whats true or false untill theres proof, or enough reason for doubt but even then its only doubt

            • http://www.joshrotenberg.com joshr

              The very assumption that there is a ‘reason’ we are here is the fundamental issue I have with religion. Assuming that there is some greater meaning in our existence, to me, is completely absurd. I can enjoy my life, my perceptions, others around me such as my kids, friends, family, and experiences like eating a nectarine, without having to assume that it all means anything at all. We are all arrogant and vain, apparently by nature, but superstitious belief is really the pinnacle of them both.

        • Div.Evolution

          I once saw this chart which showed the decline of IQ (the rating of the speed for absobtion of new ideas and then subsiquently learning them) as the religiouse importance of the person increased ( how much “faith” they have or how fully they accept religion’s “logic”) meaning that although religeouse nutjobs can be extreamly smart , it will usually take a longer time than someone who dosent hold religeon as high. And the usually is for the reason of everyone is different and are just “gifted”. So in point form it takes very religeouse people a long time to realise contradicting/ new information, accept it and learn it. Or they have problems accepting it and just give up on it, calling it false…… Wait most already know that last part…

    • http://NoGuyintheSky.com NoGuyintheSky

      Sounds true to me. He makes a good case for it too. I couldn’t find a spot that broke the chain. Excellent reasoning! Bravo!

  • http://teamcoachingnetwork.com Dave Bull

    But “the bible” doesn’t say it’s true (unlike the Koran) because “the bible” isn’t a book, it’s a collection of documents all written at different times by different authors and selected out of a number of other documents hundreds of years after the most recent one was written.

    So at no point while any of the contents of “the bible” were being written was there any such thing as “the bible” – hence there was no “bible” for it to say was true!

    • Custador

      Well, okay – but “I know the bible is true because my Mummy and Daddy and my priest and all of my co-worshippers and I all say it’s true” doesn’t roll off of the tongue so easily :D

    • Michael R

      Sure, you know that and I know that, but that’s what I’ve heard a lot of xians say. I’m just pointing out how their circular logic works.

    • trj

      The Bible is the word of God who the Bible says cannot lie and therefore considered true. Plus, several of the books that comprise the Bible mention that they themselves are true.

      • Michael R

        Right, some of the individual books say they’re true. And in too many places to mention, the bible makes claims about its validity, although many of them are indirect claims. Still others just incentivize belief and criticize those who don’t. Either way, xians believe it’s true, and that the bible is the source for its own validity, which is in itself a circular argument.

  • Baconsbud

    Well I know if I have never read something and I am told it is the truth. I know it has to be. Why would anyone want to lie to me about something like the bible? It isn’t like anyone gains from saying the bible is the truth. I mean the churches never waste money on buildings they don’t need and all the money they collect goes to charity as they say it does.

  • Karleigh

    Is Chaser’s War on Everything on air in America too or…? cause this is an Australian show that I watch every week on ABC at 9pm!! I love it ^_^

    • Mogg

      Unfortunately they’ve announced that that was the final episode. Presumably Chaz has to go and hide while the botox wears off.

      • 1984

        lol
        (To say something more: I’m going to miss the program)

  • Bissrok

    I never understood how people could pick and choose the passages and morality they like. I mean, some people drop so much of the Bible and make up so much new shit that I can’t understand why they’re calling themselves Christian, when it seems clear that they’ve just made up an entirely new religion.

    I think there’s just this overwhelming drive to convince themselves that God’s a decent person, when virtually every passage in the Bible is clearly showing the very opposite.

    • Question-I-thority

      I never understood how people could pick and choose the passages and morality they like.

      The way in which biblical doctrine gets reinvented is through some determined or charismatic person having an ‘aha’ moment producing a cascade of ‘new insight’ and with enough social carrying force, it gets traction. The emotive content of the insight provides impetus to weakly integrate contradictions. Generally, people are not skeptical enough about ‘inspiration’ of either the biblical or colloquial kind. Yet, if one reflects seriously on experience, one will come to the conclusion that most of these intense moments of insight are not any more valuable than what proceeded them (ask artists how much inspiration they throw away). For some reason we humans tend to rely on the emotions attached to informational content.

      Last night I came across a Christian TV program of a worship service for young adults. It featured a music group that was singing the words “You show me the way” being sung over and over. The emotions connected to the words were extremely strong. Having been out of Christianity for several decades it was a reminder how people can get caught up in nonsense. I think this is a core, or perhaps, the core problem in religious conversion. On the other hand, a great strength of science is the socially structured skepticism. Fortunately, science lectures don’t feature everyone singing, “Darwin showed me the way….”

      • cello

        For most religious people except the fundy’s, the emotional pull is understandable because they are relying on experiential claims rather than logical ones. But the fundys claim to logically arrive at their positions – through a logical reading of the text.

        But then we can all see the farce that begins when we try to logically read and apply the entire text.

        • Question-I-thority

          There are fundamentalist groups with lots of outward emotional expression and groups with very little. The same is true within the groups as well. However all fundamentalists, afaik, share the ‘personal relationship’ meme. This involves a colossal error reading of emotions. When you look at conversion stories, they all seem to indicate a central place for emotional experience. For instance, C. S. Lewis titled his account of personal conversion, ‘Surprised By Joy’ and Francis Collins claims to have been converted while gazing on the wonders of a frozen waterfall. The personal relationship is also expected to start at the very beginning of the faith journey. Perhaps the inerrancy meme is in place to support the movement’s focus on an emotional experience of God.

    • Yoav

      Fundie xtians keep trowing the 10 commandments at the rest of us as the basic laws of all and yet the pick and choose start even there.
      1. No other god but me- The whole trinity and saints stuff sounds a lot like polytheism to me.
      2. No statues and pictures- Art galleries and museums will be a lit smaller.
      3. Observe the Sabbath
      So if xtians feel OK discarding 30% of the most important and fundamental laws of god why is anyone surprised that they allow themselvs to pick what convenient out of the rest of it.

      • DDM

        Speaking of which, how, in any way possible, is “no other Gods but me” the height of morality?

      • Jer

        And they get them totally wrong. Everyone knows that the Ten Commandments (Pronouncements) are:

        * Do not make any treaties with the Canaanites
        * In fact, tear down their idols and temples to gods other than YHWH
        * Do not worship any other gods because YHWH is a jealous god
        * Do not make cast molten idols
        * Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread (i.e. Passover)
        * Sacrifice the firstborn of every animal to YHWH, including your firstborn sons
        * Work six days and take one for rest
        * Celebrate the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot)
        * Celebrate the Feast of Ingathering (Sukkot)
        * Don’t mix yeast bearing stuff with your blood sacrifices to YHWH
        * Bring the first fruits of the year to YHWH’s temple for sacrifice
        * Don’t boil lambs in their own mothers’ milk

        You have to juggle them a bit to get them down to Ten, of course, but those are what the Bible calls the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:28). Doesn’t exactly fill you will moral righteousness, does it?

  • dlkFox

    That’s just plain funny!
    I like the one man saying “You’re just twisting things”.
    It really is okay to think for yourself — and admit that you’re thinking for yourself!

  • Elemenope

    My favorite part was when he was asking how to tell which bits apply now and which don’t. “What, is there an asterisk or something?”

    • reckonr

      Nothing more than mythical stories representing an ignorant population from primitive times; its significance does not extend past being a landmark literary work and an integral component of the single most extraordinary marketing campaign in the history of getting credulous people to buy and believe the most incredible bullshit.

    • rodneyAnonymous

      “…the bit about homosexuals is right next to the bit that says we should stone people to death for adultery…”

      lol

      • Roger

        In this case, I’d love to hurl a couple of rocks at Mark Sanford.

  • http://thewordsonwhat.wordpress.com/ Rob F

    But people often use their avoid following the Bible when it makes my uncomfortable card “It was taken out of context” in debates with people who bring this up.

  • http://www.blogd.com BlogD

    FYI: You can force a YouTube video to start on your web page at whatever point in the video that you want. In the code you paste to add the video, there should be two commands with lengthy gibberish after them: “param” and “embed.” In both cases, the gibberish contains some ampersands (&), each of which signals the start of a new piece of code which sets up how the piece will play. Find one of the &s, and just before it, add: &start=25 (no spaces). The number is how many seconds into the video you want it to start.

    It may not be necessary in both “param” and “embed,” but I put it in both places just to be safe.

    Viewers will still be able to move the slider and make the video go to any time they want; this mini-hack simply queues up the video to the time you want them to see.

  • http://www.joshrotenberg.com joshr

    It really is amazing how much people will believe if you just tell them its true, scare them a little bit, and then offer them something in return. Works with religion, advertising, politics, whatever.

    • DDM

      “People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it’s true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People’s heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool.”

      One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books, Wizard’s First Rule.

      • DDM

        Basically, people will believe a lie because they want to believe it’s true, or because they’re afraid it might be true.

  • Div.Evolution

    somtimes I wonder if the Bible was just a farce that was to show how odd religeon was ( and is) as well as how extreme it can (and usually does) get, but unfortunatly was misinterpreted as a historical document by people in the past or present. It would explain the contradictions in it, now wouldnt it?