• Announcements

    • Greg

      New Members Please Read   10/07/2016

      New forum members should review the Forum Rules and GuidelinesĀ before contributing to the discussion forums.


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

19 Good

About JamesHackerMP

  • Rank
    Full Member
  • Birthday 07/17/1978

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Province of Maryland
  • Interests

Recent Profile Visitors

1,288 profile views
  1. If I understand you correctly, Betsy, you are stating that because the ancient authors were divinely-inspired, God was somehow teaching them science, which they put in the Bible? I hope that is not what you are saying, because that's absolutely fallacious. Here is a rather hilarious episode from Genesis that shows the ancient authors didn't have a clue when it came to science, and they left their unscientific mark on the Bible. After Rachael gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban: "Allow me to go to my own region and land. Give me my wives and my children from whom I served you and let me go, for you know the service that I rendered you." Laban answered him: "If you will please! I have learned through divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you." He continued, "State the wages I owe you, and I will pay them." Jacob replied: "You know what work I did for you and how well your livestock fared under my care; the little you had before I came has grown into an abundance, since the LORD has blessed you in my company. Now, when can I do something for my own household as well?" Laban asked, "What should I give you?" Jacob answered: "You do not have to give me anything. If you do this thing for me, I will again pasture and tend your sheep. Let me go through your whole flock today and remove from it every dark animal among the lambs and every spotted or speckled one among the goats. These will be my wages. In the future, whenever you check on my wages, my honesty will testify for me: any animal that is now speckled or spotted among the goats, or dark among the lambs, got into my possession by theft!" Laban said, "Very well. Let it be as you say." That same day Laban removed the streaked and spotted he-goats and all the speckled and spotted she-goats, all those with some white on them, as well as every dark lamb, and he put them in the care of his sons. Then he put a three days' journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob was pasturing the rest of Laban's flock. Jacob, however, got some fresh shoots of poplar, almond and plane trees, and he peeled white stripes in them by laying bare the white core of the shoots. The shoots that he had peeled he then set upright in the watering troughs where the animals came to drink, so that they would be in front of them. When the animals were in heat as they came to drink, the goats mated by the shoots, and so they gave birth to streaked, speckled and spotted young. The sheep, on the other hand, Jacob kept apart, and he made these animals face the streaked or completely dark animals of Laban. Thus he produced flocks of his own, which he did not put with Laban's flock. Whenever the hardier animals were in heat, Jacob would set the shoots in the troughs in full view of these animals so that they mated by the shoots; but with the weaker animals he would not put the shoots there. So the feeble animals would go to Laban, but the hardy ones to Jacob. So the man grew exceedingly prosperous, and he owned large flocks, male and female servants, camels and donkeys. (Gen. 30: 25-43) There was apparently an incredibly scientific [sarcasm inserted] belief that if the goats saw certain visual impressions whilst mating, they would be born with that color. (He was rigging it so that he could get the better of Laban as far as his promised "wages" he mentioned.) Jacob was told by God in a dream to do this (check Gen. 31:10-12) (BTW, the copy of the Bible I have has pretty extensive footnotes.) God did not stop to instruct Jacob on the finer points of genetics....or the hydrologic cycle...or the second law of Thermodynamics. Why would the divinely-inspired author of the Letter to the Hebrews try to teach science to others at the time who were equally clueless about it? God isn't trying to reveal scientific facts to humans at this stage, he is trying to teach them Christian values. You don't need to light a Bunsen burner and tinker with a chemistry set to do that. I get what you're doing: you're trying to assert that the Bible is scientifically correct in what it says, so that if a scientist argues something to the contrary, you can point to the Bible and call him not only immoral or atheistic, but unscientific. I'm sorry, Betsy but you're smart enough to do better than that. And since the Bible is full of little gems like the one above, my advice would be to seek a "larger truth"--the forest instead of the trees--instead of taking every parable or every episode of biblical "history" as literal truth. It's fine if we can agree to disagree on that but quit repeating the same thing over and over again as if I can't read well enough to notice the first time you said it. Because now you're just going in circles.
  2. October 4, 2017 is the 60th anniversary of the Space Age. (I use the launch of Sputnik as the official beginning.) Despite all the excitement over the last 60 years about space travel and the glittering, futuristic space age that we're now supposed to be living in, there have only been a handful of the human race who have ever slipped the surly bonds of Earth (I was told about 600). We don't have a permanent colony on or under the surface of the Moon. We haven't had any non-robotic missions to anywhere other than the Moon (manned, that is), including Mars which was supposed to be the next logical step after the Moon in space exploration. True, we have a space station but there's how many people on there at any given time? Half a dozen at most? I realize what we ran into is the colossal cost of space travel, and--despite its novelty at the time of its invention--the limits and inefficiency of chemical rockets. You can only send a handful of people up at once, and the cost is in the millions. Add to that the fact you need special training to go into space. So, keeping that in mind, what is in store for space travel and space exploration by the 100th anniversary of the Space Age? (Oct 4, 2057) Will there be a lunar colony? Will there be a colony on Mars? Furthermore, SHOULD there be a Lunar and/or Martian colony? The benefits of space travel and space exploration--both manned and unmanned--have been substantial, to be sure, but so have the costs. For now, it's too dangerous, expensive in both money and resources, cumbersome and inconvenient for any more than a handful of humans to get into orbit or beyond.
  3. Agreed. Not everyone in the world is Christian. Last I read there were about 2 billion Christians, leaving almost 5 billion who aren't. Why would God create that many people "in enmity" with him?
  4. OK, I'm trying to understand your argument, Betsy. You are trying to support that the Bible is entirely factual because what is in it correlates with certain scientific discoveries? Or am I smoking too much incense and hitting the holy water a bit hard? Can you be a little more clear? Seriously you're all over the road here. I realize I have the tendency to wander off, but I'm having trouble getting your underlying point here.
  5. Here's one reason why the bible cannot be taken too literally. There are inconsistencies in it, even contradictions. That's why we have to look at the forest (the larger truth) and the not the trees (the literal "events" described therein) to get the picture. Otherwise, we condemn the Bible to the realm of claptrap. I'm sure you, a good Christian, wouldn't want to do so! Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing the Jesus had been condemned, deeply regretted what he had done. He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, "I have sinned in betraying innocent blood." They said, "What is that to us? Look to is yourself." Flinging the money into the temple, he departed and went off and hanged himself. The chief priests gathered up the money, but said, "It is not lawful to deposit this in the temple treasury, for it is the price of blood." After consultation, they used it to buy the potter's field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why that field even today is called the Field of Blood. (Matthew 27:3-9) but in Acts, we have: He [Judas] bought a parcel of land with the wages of his iniquity, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle, and all his insides spilled out. This became known to everyone who lived in Jerusalem, so that the parcel of land was called in their language 'Akeldama,' that is, Field of Blood. (Acts 1:18-19) Same point, that Judas payed for his crime. You don't betray Jesus Christ. But if you start getting too literal, it would seem a contradiction that Matthew says he hanged himself, and Acts says his intestines spontaneously exploded. That's why you cannot take the Bible word for word. Just a couple of examples.
  6. Now you're getting my point. I said precisely that! However, you say that, then right below you continue with the hydrological cycle, etc. The ancient authors had no idea about that!!!!! You cannot match science to the Bible, even if it is to personally "confirm" the former. If you keep comparing Bible to science, one or the other will always come up short. The best we can do with the creation myths in the Bible is to treat them as ancient Hebrew traditions. One of those myths is the great flood. Some say that the Hebrews were influenced by the ancient Mesopotamian myths of creation and floods.
  7. Thank you....this was a welcome distraction that I needed. But I now need to clean up. I laughed so hard my own penis decided to pee itself laughing. Damn penises....
  8. Betsy, Science and Religion are two different realms of thought. There's no point in comparing what it says in the Bible as consistent with some sort of scientific belief. Like matter and anti-matter, they are best kept separated. The divinely inspired authors of the Bible (Christian and Jewish canons alike) lacked such scientific knowledge. In fact, there's actually two different stories of creation, one right after the other, in Genesis; two differing accounts of creation. Both are SYMBOLIC. They are ancient Hebrew traditions about the creation of the world (no one had a clue there was a "universe" beyond the planet Earth or even that the "planets" were actually other worlds you could land stuff on) and are in no way indicative, or supportive of, scientific fact (or contradictive thereof I might add). That's precisely what i meant that the bible cannot be taken literally. It must be taken in context, including the context of the contemporary knowledge of the scribes who put pen to paper at that time (or at those times, would be more accurate). The reason I kept on about Bible translations was because I didn't want to quote something, only to have it thrown back at me for being "corrupted". It may seem off topic, but like I asked, is the Revised Standard Version (which comes in Protestant and Catholic editions, of minimal difference as far as I'm concerned) acceptable to you? I didn't mean to get off topic. (But if you want to know, I have two bibles at home, a Revised Standard Version, 2d. Catholic Edition (RSV-2CE), and the New American Bible Rev. Ed. (NABRE)...whichever of these two is less corrupted to you I can quote from, but the RSV2CE is more similar to the KJV and a lot of former Anglican Catholics prefer this one over the NABRE. But yeah maybe that's a bit off topic. Just tell me if either of these is reasonably acceptable to you and I'll use it.) The other reason I brought that up was that the reason there are differnt translations is that things are open to interpretation. As I asked above, how many people here actually speak the languages they were originally written in well enough to actually know for a fact that these supposedly "corrupted" texts are that? And that, as I tried to point out, is precisely why you cannot "trust the bible" as if it were word-for-word literal truth. Instead, it contains an inner truth, a message behind the mere words. People need to stop examining the woods, tree by tree, as if that would give you an accurate picture of what the whole forest looks like. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
  9. If I may ask, what about the Revised Standard Version? Its intro claims it was a revision of the American Standard Bible of 1901, which was itself a revision of the KJV. Just curious. I would think that with that lineage, it would be more acceptable to your tastes, Betsy.
  10. Jesus, guys...weren't we talking about the bible or something? I seem to have suddenly contracted temporary amnesia, and it seems to be catching. That's a good point about a translation. I'd like to see some of those manuscripts, too. I think whether one is "corrupt" or "more accurate" depends on who is translating it (e.g., a Catholic, Baptist, Anglican). Probably it's not the manuscripts themselves, in other words. Sometimes people get out of something what they wanted to get out of it, or believe what they want to believe. All are copies of copies of copies. Christ was illiterate and didn't write anything down in his own hand. Most of the apostles were illiterate. It used to be believed that the Gospel of Matthew was written by the Matthew mentioned as being the tax collector; we now know this to be erroneous, as it was written decades after the twelve apostles were long dead. Also, it used to be believed among Christians that the Torah (which Christians call the Pentateuch) was written by Moses. Many bibles still say "The first Book of Moses, called GENESIS" for example. We now know this to be erroneous as well. The Jewish Canon was written over the years, well after the days of the Patriarchs, Moses, and even the first Israeli kingdom. And with that in mind I am willing to bet that some (if not many, if not most) of the traditions believed by Christians and Jews didn't actually happen, but are not unlike Christ's parables. They illustrate a bigger truth. Today, Christians who believe that there was literally an Arc, that there was literally a garden of Eden, Adam and Eve literally the first man and woman; these Christians are in the minority. That is why I said, as above, that you cannot take it literally and it's open to interpretation. From a Christian perspective I doubt that God meant us to have a perfectly clear guide to interpreting his wishes. If He did, God would have backed it up with some rather admirably clear paperwork.
  11. So besides the venerable KJV, which translations would meet your approval, then?
  12. In this case, hotenough, she's actually spot-on.
  13. Yeah, Galileo got in some deep sh** for that, didn't he? Seems not much has changed, in some quarters.
  14. LOL Sorry I left rather abruptly, I apologize. I respect the fact that you have strong beliefs, Betsy, I just cannot agree on your absolutist interpretation of it. We were discussing, a few pages ago, about Bible translations. While I don't intend to read the entire book you showed me, I'm assuming you read it; so could you give me a precis of why exactly bibles other than the KJV are "corrupted"? I have heard that before and, while not a biblical scholar, I'm a little skeptical. Every Christian sect wants to think that their translation is the superior one. But how do you know that the manuscripts from which various bibles are translated are "corrupted" or "accurate"? All are copies of copies of copies. Jesus didn't write anything in his own hand. By the way, "True" God? Which one is that?
  15. OK, I'm sorry hot enough, I think I was a bit out of line last night saying it that way. Let me get back to you on the article you posted above. The problem with "illegal" wars or invasions is, how do you define a war that's illegal? We haven't declared war since WWII. And of course the US has pulled plenty of shenanigans, as I admitted above. But certainly no less than our counterparts in Moscow. I had hoped that that would end with the end of the Cold War. An Aussie I know put it best: Now that America no longer has to defend liberty and justice, it can defend liberty and justice! But then again, there's realpolitik to consider.