Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby The Old Maid » May 17, 2014 1:26 pm

W4J wrote:

Old Maid, I'm not sure I understand your post, but it sounds to be like you're insulting creationists.


Yup, you don't understand. How can I be insulting Creationists, when I am one? What I am not, however, is a new-school YEC. I realize that you dinosaur-riding young'uns now hopelessly outnumber us old-schoolers, but we're not all dead yet!

And yes, in the old-school Creationism I heard growing up, believing in dinosaurs was considered "accommodating" The World. (See Cotton Mather for our old-school authority on the subject.) But it's a new age, I suppose ... all fun, all the time [/Georgia Engels as Pat MacDougall].

Here's a modern summary from an unlikely source.

Despite this, I can relate to Ithilwen's comments:

What We Are Actually Saying: "The Bible is the inspired Word of God, and everything in it is correct/has a purpose. However, is it possible that we, being mere imperfect people, interpreted the Bible incorrectly when we came up with our YEC beliefs? Is it possible that we misunderstood the Bible, like we've done so many other times in the past, flawed human beings that we are?"

We are not ignoring or disrespecting Scripture. On the contrary, we are trying to ensure our interpretation of Scripture is correct, and take into account the fact that, just because we've believed a certain interpretation for a long time, that doesn't mean we were correct. We are taking into account the flaws of human logic. Everything the Bible says is true. But just because we thought the Bible was saying a certain thing, that doesn't mean we were right. The Bible is flawless. Our way of reading it is not. And there is nothing wrong with looking at the possibilities, to see if maybe a different interpretation is more correct than a previously held one.

I don't know if this misrepresentation of our opinion is on purpose or accidental. But it is really what makes conversations with YEC-ers so difficult and often fruitless. You can't have a debate with someone if they are constantly getting "your side of the story" wrong. Disagree all you want. But don't claim we're saying something we're not. Especially when it insults our faith and devotion to God and His Word.


I was taught, and sincerely believed, that dinosaurs were not real i.e. Nephilim were the only plausible explanation. You have been taught, and sincerely believe, that dinosaurs are real and always were the only plausible explanation. A generation hence, if the Lord tarries His Coming, your children may be taught, and sincerely believe, that dinosaurs are not real i.e. the bones belong to space aliens as the only plausible explanation. (Thor's Jotunheim, anybody?) Which, if you think about it, angels are aliens. That is, they are not human and were not born on earth. And what do we call the offspring of humans and angels-as-aliens? Nephilim!

Not all Creationists believe the same thing. Just saying.

And by the way, I happen to think that Bill Bryson's Short history of nearly everything (a survey of the secular sciences) is an excellent and readable book, even if I disagree with certain parts of it.
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby waggawerewolf27 » May 17, 2014 7:18 pm

TOM wrote:Yup, you don't understand. How can I be insulting Creationists, when I am one? What I am not, however, is a new-school YEC. I realize that you dinosaur-riding young'uns now hopelessly outnumber us old-schoolers, but we're not all dead yet!


Oh dear! :ymblushing: I thought you were having a shot at me because of my remarks about Seventh Day Adventists, which I hope were respectful enough. I used to attend Sabbath School, you see, because of a custody and access dispute, in which my mother insisted that I should have religious education, even though the Adventist religious education I was getting was further complicating the custody and access issues of the sort of lifestyles my non-Adventist family were living at the time. So I thought it was time to butt out.

I forgot that as well as the traditional Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregationalist Protestant churches we also have a loose collection of Churches of Christ, Baptists and Pentacostal churches. The three first have coalesced, either fully or partly, into the Uniting Church of Australia, who differ from the Anglicans in their organisation rather than their teaching. Whilst the remainder may or may not be part of this YEC business. My question is, why doesn't Judaism and its congregations have the same difficulty with Evolution that Christians seem to? When the Torah and the Pentateuch are almost identical, in the KJV version, at any rate?

And maybe, just maybe, what we should all be asking, regardless of how our beliefs differ about evolution, YEC, what creationalism actually is, is what the Bible is actually telling us. Could we work with each other to reconcile human understanding of both Bible and science to God's understanding of science and the Bible? You can't say that science is wrong if God worked through science to create the Earth.

Yes, I'm guilty as charged, W4J, as I've been pondering this a lot. God created the Earth, but that doesn't mean the science is wrong we are discovering, only how we understand God's part in our creation and how we read the Bible. It wasn't just Darwin. He was only the person who put other people's findings together with his own, and staged the press conference. There was Wallace and the Wallace line through Indonesia, and another bloke, a geologist in the North of Scotland, Adam Ross, I think, a God-fearing Presbyterian, who was absolutely devastated to realize just how ancient the substance of the Earth is.

God made man in his image, that is to say, that unlike monkeys and apes, who only ape what they see, we are able to think, communicate in various languages, to ponder, to calculate and understand. Also to feel, accept and reject. And above all, to work as God worked. "If you don't accomplish at least one useful thing per day", my grandmother used to say, "that was a day wasted". Maybe she could also have said that the day isn't finished until the work is done. And it isn't so important that the day has 24 hours. It is more important what we actually put into each of those 24 hours.

And that is a brilliant lesson taught by Genesis 1: 1-11, that I just haven't been seeing. :ymblushing:
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby The Old Maid » May 18, 2014 2:52 pm

Alas, yet another wall-of-text ahead …

(I’m going to be away until next month, so I’m not ignoring anyone. Feel free to dissect without me.)

… … … … … …

I realized that I didn’t answer Stylteralmado’s excellent question.

Wouldn't rejecting the One who paid for it be a sin? Therefore Jesus didn't take care of the sins for everyone or at the very least it seems that some shall indeed perish on account of their sins.


Before I was reminded of the 1 John 2:2 verse, I thought much the same way. Now I’m not sure if rejecting Christ is a grave sin or a grave error. Among humans, it isn’t a sin for one person not to love another person, is it? Is mutual consent required? And is love a feeling, a choice, a course of action, all of the above, none of the above, other? Consider this paradox: Scripture commands children to honor their father and mother, but does not command children to love them. Yet Scripture also commands husbands to love their wives, even as Christ loves His Church. Is it, in fact, a sin not to want someone who wants you, not to love someone who loves you?

So I’m not as sure now what grave situation it is to reject Christ, only still sure that it is grave.

… … … … … …

Regarding Creationism (old school), Intelligent Design (new school), secular evolution, and theistic evolution: To any and all, sorry if I’ve been too rough with what is only intended as light teasing.

Yes, I am a Creationist (we capitalized it back in the day), just not a modern one. Yes, we did not believe in dinosaurs. Yes, that stand was taken partly because it was secular science that first proposed them. (Like I said, Cotton Mather on the subject.)

As a result, some years ago when I first saw that picture from the Creationism Museum of a dinosaur with a saddle, accompanied by the explanation that this was how Adam rode his pet dino, … well, I confess to a surge of almost anger. I thought they were making fun of the Bible.

When I realized they were new-school I.D. moderns, and that they were serious, then I felt a profound sense of embarrassment. I thought that nonbelievers would think that 1) Christians are morons; and 2) Christians are wimps who will back down/switch sides if their opponents just remain steadfast for just long enough.

Obviously, since the majority of Creationists around today tend to be new-school, I’ve had to learn restraint and patience. Admittedly, still working on those, in part because I still don’t agree with what they’re teaching. At best I think I’ve gotten to the level of amused tolerance. (Having relatives who disagree on rapture vs. no-rapture and are willing to throw things to prove how correct they are has provided some instructional value in that regard.)

… … … … … …

Regarding why, specifically, dinosaurs exasperate me in ways that other disagreements do not:

I think it’s because there is no place for them that fits in the Bible, in my opinion. I don’t mean in the sense that, say, cats are not mentioned in the Bible (except for the great cats: lion, etc.) so therefore cats are not real. Clearly, cats are real. We see them every day.

Rather, I think that new school I.D. moderns would have the hardest time explaining why dinosaurs are no longer around.

We old-schoolers have the easiest time. The bones belonged to something Bad. Therefore the creatures—Nephilim, I was told—were destroyed in a cataclysm (Noah’s Flood), and we needn’t worry about it anymore.

Secular evolution states that the bones belonged to dinosaurs. This would have been bad for anything that wanted to evolve into a human race. So it was good for us that the creatures were destroyed in a cataclysm (the Chicxulub comet strike of 65 million years ago). Most evolutionists argue that some dinosaurs survived, and evolved into birds.

Theistic evolution also states that the bones belonged to dinosaurs; Chicxulub; destroyed in cataclysm; good for us; maybe birds. The dispute between theistic and secular evolution is the difference between appealing to God’s guiding hand versus random chance as the explanation.

Even pagan religions have an answer to those strange bone-things. They would have called them dragons. Since dragons were Bad, human heroes went in for dragon-slaying both as sport and as a laudable moral activity.

Notice that in every one of these four categories, the conclusion is that, whatever these creatures were, it is good for us (and therefore Good, morally speaking) that they are no longer around.

(Side note: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, both devout Christians, utilized the pagan tales of dragons as agents of storytelling. Lewis used them to destroy the world in The last battle. Tolkien characterized them as evil spirits inside monstrous bodies. Neither writer tells us how “dragons” came to exist although Tolkien does show us that Morgoth, Sauron, Ungoliant, and Saruman can take Iluvatar’s good Created creatures and mutilate them into monsters. )

(Another side note: Recently, scientists attempted to nickname a fossil “the Hobbit”—presumably because it was small but otherwise insufficiently “Dwarvish.” The Tolkien estate forced them to stop.)

(Still another side note: There are modern pagan/scientific blends that argue that dinosaurs were space aliens: that is, they didn’t live on earth. They lived on a “twin planet” of Earth. This is why creatures that “never” could have flown in our atmosphere and “never” could have walked on dry land in our gravity could turn up on our planet. They lived on the other planet, usually asserted to be a planet with a lot of granite. Don’t ask me why. Eventually the larger planet dragged the smaller one out of the sky. This is why the southern half of earth is almost all water—it is the impact site. This also is why the bones are preserved differently than other “ancient” finds. This “granite twin planet of the dinosaurs” stuff is probably new to all of you. To help you find it, if so interested, just search the phrase I put in quotes. That will steer you toward the right one, as opposed to the Mars-sized object called Theia, Theiaand, or Orpheus that secular science declares collided with Earth to create the Moon.)

… … … … … …


What were we talking about, again? Oh, yes. Why is it that new-school Intelligent Design modern Creationists are in the worst spot regarding why dinosaurs are not around anymore.

To believe in the Great Chain of Being is to argue that everything was Created with a purpose, and that everything was created ki tov, “very good.” So if dinosaurs were Created as Good, then their loss would be bad.

Humans can and do make individual species of creatures go extinct. Humans also can and may make entire categories of species go extinct. If, say, whales, elephants (including mammoths, etc.) or great cats (lion, tiger, etc.) are extinct when Jesus returns, that will be our doing. We have hunted them to the point that they may not recover. We even destroy ecosystems such as rainforests without knowing what was in them in the first place. That is, we discover we made them extinct before we discover that they existed.

So where do dinosaurs fit? If they were Bad, or at least bad for us, naturally Noah wouldn’t have been brought aboard the Ark. So when did they go bad, and why?

But if they were ki tov, “Good,” why aren’t they around anymore? Did humans declare war on them, or did we just eat them all? If Noah brought them aboard the Ark, then his descendants have exterminated them or else God did. In either case, why?

And if dinosaurs were real, and humans were supposed to take care of them, then their loss means Bad Stewardship on our part. I mean, worse than our usual Bad Stewardship.

In fact, it would be so bad that I can think of only one other discussion/dispute that matches it. This makes sense, as one actually leads to another. This kind of Bad Stewardship would mean that dinosaur adherents don’t have much of a leg to stand on when they object to the concept of man-made climate change.

I do believe that human activity can change and damage us ontologically (Gen. 2:17; Gen. 3:15-16). I do believe that human activity can change and damage the Creation (Gen. 3:17-18; Gen. 5:29; Rom. 8:19-22).

So it raises my eyebrow to hear Christians insist that man-made climate change cannot be real. Granted, assorted scams and scam artists have attached themselves to it, and that interferes with thoughtful discussion.

But if I believe that Adam and Eve wrecked the Creation and themselves (and us) just by eating a piece of forbidden fruit, I think it plausible that Adam and Eve’s descendants have inherited their ability to wreck Creation a little more.

And if humans can’t, really, truly create man-made climate change and it’s-all-just-a-scam, then does that mean that the person arguing this position isn’t quite convinced that Adam and Eve and a piece of fruit could do much damage in the first place? It goes back to admitting to Bad Stewardship—in this case, on our part, rather than on theirs. And that would be uncomfortable—even as we schlep to a procession of doctors to treat the sicknesses caused by the chemically-drenched foods we eat, the contaminated water we drink, and the poisoned air we breathe. Not to believe in man-made climate change sounds a lot like insisting that pollution doesn’t pollute.

(Side note: Of course, I grew up in the era of lead paint, lead in the garden hose from which we were drinking, lead in the gasoline—and people who calculated just how many times Earth could be reduced to a new asteroid belt if all of the nukes on Earth were to Go Boom at the same time. How did we cope with these crises? By screaming and hollering at Anyone Who Left The Lights On During The Energy Crisis. The lights, that you could control! Booms, not so much. Lead, yes, eventually, but it was such an effort, dear! )

… … … … … …

Anyhow, long story made short—I know, I know, way too late—I just find dinosaurs inconsistent, and that irks me. I much prefer them as the monsters I heard about growing up, because then it’s okay for them to be gone. In the new school of modern I.D. Creationism, it’s not okay for them to be gone. It’s not even okay for someone like me to be okay with them being gone.

Now, if there is a modern I.D. Creationist explanation as to why they now endorse dinosaurs and where these things went, could someone link to it in the thread? I can’t be the only person here who has never heard that story.

Look, I can appreciate the secular versions, much as I can appreciate Star Trek and a good comic-book movie (despite the fact that Gene Roddenberry and Joss Whedon are atheists). I appreciate them as storytelling, and evaluate them accordingly: both for logic and for entertainment value. I can also appreciate the intentional borrowing of Christian writers such as Lewis (fauns, dryads, etc.) and Tolkien (dwarves, dragons, etc.). I even appreciate the irony of Clair Patterson, the man who saved us all from lead poisoning, also being the man who dated the Earth as being 4.55 billion years old—which is slightly older than Bishop Ussher dated it, I do believe.

There’s just something about dinosaurs that seriously bugs me. I was taught that to affirm them was to “accommodate” or syncretize with the world, and it still feels that way.

With all of the other sciences, I can just shrug and say, “I think you might have got the dates wrong” and finish reading the fun parts of the story. (“Planet X versus Nemesis versus The Nice Theory? You’ve got my attention. Entertain me.”)

… … … … … …

And now some odds-n-ends:

waggawerewolf27 wrote:

But I do have an English translation of the Hebrew Tanakh.


Is it the JPS/Stone version? That’s the version I have. The Schocken Bible series translated by Everett Fox is much more poetic, but they’re only up to Five Books of Moses (vol. 1) and The Early Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings (vol. 2). Volume 2 is scheduled for sale in November 2014.

waggawerewolf27 wrote:

[regarding 7th Day Adventists]
A literal seven day week, starting on Sunday and finishing on Saturday, is certainly the Adventist stance, and why it is called Seventh Day Adventist in the first place. This Church was started in USA in the 1800s by people who felt, among other matters, that we should be resting on the Seventh day, the way the Jews do to this day, not the First day, Sunday, a day of worship for much of Christendom, being the Lord's Day.

[snip to another post]

Oh dear! :ymblushing: I thought you were having a shot at me because of my remarks about Seventh Day Adventists, which I hope were respectful enough. I used to attend Sabbath School, you see.


No, not a shot at you at all! I thought your description of SDA to our fellow posters who haven’t heard much about it was pretty balanced. Although, to be fair, I’m not one, so if there was a dig in there that you didn’t intend, I didn’t recognize it either.

Just for general thought:

TOM wrote in blog:

Adventists strenuously reject the first-century decision to worship on Sundays instead of on the Jewish Shabbat as required by the Ten Commandments. In response [David] Currie produces a prophecy in Zechariah 14 that, he says, authorizes this change. According to Currie’s interpretation of Zech. 14, after Messiah comes most of the Jewish holidays will cease to be observed as they have served their purpose. However Zech. 14:16-19 prophesies that the Festival of Booths (sometimes translated the Festival of Tabernacles) will continue to be celebrated. What day does Torah declare to be the day of rest during the Feast of Booths? It is on the first day of the week, on Sunday. (See Lev. 23:33-36.) Therefore according to Currie, Jews worship on Shabbat as a testimony that they are waiting for Messiah. Christians worship on Sunday as a testimony that they believe Jesus is that Messiah.


So that’s a proposed explanation as to why SDA worships on Saturday and other Christians worship on Sunday.

waggawerewolf27 wrote:

My question is, why doesn't Judaism and its congregations have the same difficulty with Evolution that Christians seem to?


My guess is, two reasons.

One, Judaism doesn’t regard Adam and Eve’s transgression the way that we do. They do regard it as disobedience, but not the major sin on a level to crack open the very Creation like an egg dropped on the floor, never to be whole again while this world lasts. So we are beginning from different places.

Two, they remind us of something that we Christians also already know (but sometimes need to be reminded): that the Bible wasn’t written to the stars and plants and creatures. It was written to people, to us.

I have never heard of a Jewish version of whether dinosaurs existed and whether they were/were not deemed worthy to board the Ark. (I have heard the Irish Rovers warbling about the unicorns missing the boat and that’s why you’ll never see a unicorn to this very day …)

But I have heard—going back to the spiritual state of children—a Jewish discussion about Noah and the pagan babies. Nothing specific about whether Noah could have/should have brought a few pagan babies on board and fed them with the milk animals on the third floor, or a discussion about whether babies are spiritually “innocent” or merely physically helpless as per Augustine (and Twilight Zone).

No, the argument was this: God took pity on Noah for his faithfulness. Therefore God “closed Noah’s stream” for 500 years. Noah was the only Antediluvian Patriarch who did not have children promptly. The rabbis reasoned that if Noah had children when he was young, it would only create hardship for him. If they were wicked, he would have mourned their deaths in the Flood, but if they were righteous, he would have had to build many Arks. Instead, God let Noah wait until Noah’s children would be legal minors (yet old enough to work) so that they could go with him into the Ark.

An extension of this discussion was the rabbis wondering if any other minors could have been spared. There were two schools of thought. Some rabbis argued that any minors who lived at the time of the Flood must have been as wicked as their parents. Therefore, no matter what one believed about an Age of Accountability, these children would have been Accountable as adults. But the second school of rabbis proposed that God closed off all humans from having children for the last 120 years before the Flood. Thus there would be no children to worry about—Noah’s own children would be the youngest people on Earth, and the only legal minors.

(Side note:I wonder how this discussion would have taken place if they had heard of the modern tale called Children of Men by P.D. James. I have seen the film. I have not read the novel. The reviews state that film and book are not much like each other. But I was told that the characters do whatever they wish to destroy the earth, since the best reason to preserve it was to make a home for the children that they would no longer have. In other words, wickedness increased because of despair, loneliness, and “last person off earth, please turn off the lights.” Children were a restraint against some of the earth’s many evils.

In Judaism there is a belief that all souls spend eternity in the presence of the Eternal discussing Torah all day, which is paradise for the righteous and torment for everyone else. It would not surprise me if they were to incorporate Children of Men into the discussion, much as we sometimes discuss Narnia when discussing the Bible.)

… … … … …

Yes, I really am finished. See you in a month!

With luck, anyone who is still interested will have finished reading this by then. :ymblushing:
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » May 18, 2014 5:27 pm

Ithilwen wrote:
Warrior 4 Jesus wrote:I'm only going from what I've experienced. This is exactly what many (not all) theistic evolutionists claim. Those online, those I've met in real life and those I know well (friends, fellow church members, colleagues etc). Some go so far as to say that the Son of God didn't know what he was talking about when He referred to Creation, the Fall, the Flood, the Tower of Babel etc. as historical events. Maybe you don't hold to such beliefs, but many theistic evolutionists do.

Yes, many people do believe that. But the point I'm making is that the people here don't believe that. And those are the people you are talking to a :-s nd, from what I could tell, the people you were making that comment about. Unless I misunderstood? I assumed you made that comment in reference to TOM and Wagga.


~Riella =:)


No, you make a good point, Riella. Sorry about that. :-s
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » May 18, 2014 5:40 pm

Wagga, if God wanted to convey a different understanding eg. long-ages rather than a day, he would've used different terminology. There's lots of study that's been done into this. The context requires a standard 24-hour day.

OldMaid, sorry about that misunderstanding. I still don't see how a belief in dinosaurs accommodates to the world. There's no proof that they're the offspring of the Nephilim. Fallen angels can corrupt but they can't create new things. Even when they cohabited with human women (Genesis 6) they had to be in union with a physical being to 'create' corrupted life.

As for the stories of dragons, they're found all over the world. It's silly to think the ancients had the know-how and desire to dig up these bones, put them together and then create stories about them. Doubly so when there were such legends coming from cultures where even being in the vicinity of bones was seen as a great evil/curse. How do you interpret passages in the Bible like Chapters 40 and 41 of Job? The Behemoth and the Leviathan. Clearly the Leviathan in part references the Canaanite chaos creature but there are also details that only an observer would notice if the creature was based on something real. Finally, most of the passages in the Bible that mention the jackal actually mention 'dragon' or 'dragons' in the Bible. They describe ferocious creatures, not wimpy dog-like creatures. We need to take all of these things into consideration, and many more, before dismissing such things.
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby waggawerewolf27 » May 18, 2014 9:53 pm

W4J wrote:Wagga, if God wanted to convey a different understanding eg. long-ages rather than a day, he would've used different terminology. There's lots of study that's been done into this. The context requires a standard 24-hour day.


Your context also could do with naming the other six days, more specifically apart from the Sabbath, as TOM was saying below.

TOM wrote:Two, they remind us of something that we Christians also already know (but sometimes need to be reminded): that the Bible wasn’t written to the stars and plants and creatures. It was written to people, to us.


Exactly. And, by the way, thank you for your gracious answer, TOM. No, sorry, I wasn't using the versions of the Tanakh you mentioned. I used Genesis 1: 1-11, in Holy Scriptures, (1957). N.Y. Alexander Harkavy :) Holy Scriptures = Tanakh, I understand. } I don't know where my family got it from, but it is an old book with mercifully nice large print, unlike the KJV version.

I don't have a copy of the Bible we use for church but I have an old and rather well-worn KJV Bible I was given for my confirmation, a lovely thing with lilac bindings, lovely plates, maps at the back and ye olde Shakespearean English. KJV, unlike other versions of the Bible, was translated into English directly from Hebrew. So I compared it with my 1957 Alexander Harkavy (N.Y.) edition English translation of the Holy Scriptures (Tanakh)

W4J, as I was saying in my posts, it was the Babylonians' measurements which divided the day into 24 hours per day, and that if I was one of the Hebrew slaves I would be singing Genesis 1: 1-11 to the stars to keep my spirits up however many of endless days I had to work for my masters before I got a rest. Sometimes we don't see the week for the days. Anymore than we see the wood for the trees.

I've also asked if before a week was invented, those 7 days had to be consecutive into what we regard as a week, or were they seven random days, each of them marking either the beginning or the end of what God was doing. The seventh day, of course, is the Sabbath.

Don't forget also that how we measure a 24 hour day applied to the planet Jupiter gives it a full day in 9 hours. Astronomy, as far as I know. And nothing at all changes in 24 hours on the Planet Venus, though I wouldn't want to frizzle there for even a minute of any planet's time.

Both Bibles I consulted start with "In the Beginning". Both Bibles do something strange in the arrangement of what God did per day. The translation in both insists in the refrain at the end, "And that was the first day", "And that was the second day" and so on. Why doesn't this refrain occur at the beginning? And why does it always occur, looking back, at the end? It occurred to me it was a song to be sung or a litany to be chanted. By people who want to get the best value out of the day they have.

In the Tanakh, the actual refrain is worded in each section, "And there was evening and there was morning, the second day" or "And there was evening and there was morning the fourth day", and so on. Why the evening before the morning? We do it the other way around, morning before evening to make up a day. And whilst I know the ancients could count, they also could name the days of the week, according to how they saw life at the time.

The answer is that the Hebrews start Sabbath at sunset the day beforehand, which by our reckoning is Friday. But surely the day doesn't end at morning, does it? And why did the Hebrews name only one day of the week, the seventh day? Because it was the Lord's day, their day of rest. And the start of their weekend, the end of their travail. Translated into different languages, the Sabbath day is still Sabato in Italian, Samedi in French, and Samstag in German. We call it Saturday. Jesus died on Friday evening, rested on Saturday, rose on Sunday, ready for the work to begin on Monday.

It then occurred to me that however you judge a day, measuring it in hours or in sunsets and sunrises or in sunrises and sunsets, the day is still the same - a day. But the day doesn't finish really until the work is done. Simple, according to your boss. How the people might have thought in those days. What does make a deal of difference is whether or not the days were random, marking the end or beginning of a process. We mark the Sabbath at the end of a week of 7 days - not the nine days of a nursing shift week, a defence force rota, or the never-ending week of machines or slaves. And we didn't do that just because Moses or his followers just thought seven would make a nice number. They picked seven days because that is the way God, who works that way, not Pharaoh, who just gives orders, organised their time, telling them: Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. (Exodus 20:8)

So there is more to that chapter of the Bible and the discussion of days than meets the eye. It depends on how you read Genesis 1:11 what you get out of it. And it depends where you are coming from and in what week. Respectfully, whatever you are saying about what I believe God could and did do, and still does, I wouldn't dismiss 4.55 billions of years of formation of the Earth, some of it to make it even begin to be habitable. Nicely freezing in the dimmer light of a new-born Sun until the day the timer goes off and action begins. And the first day was most certainly the day when the Earth rotated properly in its 24 hour cycle, the day of the first sunrise and sunset. Just because there is more time involved than anyone could ever imagine, doesn't mean the Bible is wrong, and it doesn't mean the science is wrong either.

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I have never heard of a Jewish version of whether kangaroos, emus and platypuses sailed on the Ark, let alone Tasmanian tigers and devils, but assuredly they do exist - or did, a hundred years ago. But when you think about it, Australia, up to 1688, was one big, giant, undiscovered ark. ;))
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby IloveFauns » May 19, 2014 12:59 am

Saying undiscovered to 1688 is somewhat iffy. Since the Aboriginal people arrived thousands of years before. So it was undiscovered to the world except for those who were already there.

One thing that isn't disputable is that dinosaurs and humans didn't co-exist due to the fact that there are no traces of human remains in the earth layers where dinosaur remains are found.
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » May 19, 2014 2:05 am

Even that can be disputed. The Great Flood did violence to the whole world. Naturally, the world we see now is post-Flood.
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby waggawerewolf27 » May 19, 2014 3:25 am

IlF wrote:Saying undiscovered to 1688 is somewhat iffy.


Well, when I posted, I couldn't remember offhand the 17th century date the first Dutch explorer landed on Aussie soil, let alone when William Dampier's exploration of the coast of Western Australia brought the place to British notice. :p And yes, that was a full century before the foundation of Sydney. Sorry about that, though I agree with you otherwise. :) I do realise that it was one very famous Captain James Cook that got the press conference for the Eastern coast.

W4J wrote:Even that can be disputed. The Great Flood did violence to the whole world. Naturally, the world we see now is post-Flood.


As the wife of a Scottish immigrant, who insisted on my watching it, I was watching an SBS program last weekend about the White Cliffs of Dover and how they match the French coast near the D-day landings. Apparently, just as in Ireland, which I have been mentioning beforehand, and which also has heaps of peat, there is a layer of peat beneath the sands of Omaha, Juno, and Sword beaches which complicated the landings. And the French coastline matches the English coast in just so many ways. La Manche is even rather shallow, with its high points including not only the British Channel Islands but also their French equivalents. And underneath the waters, where the Chunnel goes through, the topography reveals just how linked the two coastlines are.

At one point in time the two were joined. But a cataclysmic event separated them, forming the momentous English channel, which has influenced the destinies of you and I, IlF, William the Conqueror, Hastings, the Bay of Pevensey. It even influences not only us, but possibly other Narniawebbers, especially our revered C.S.Lewis. A giant flood, at least 3000 years before Christ. Is that your flood? Because as Shakespeare might argue, let us count the ways it might be.
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby IloveFauns » May 24, 2014 11:24 pm

I do know about the Dutch arriving and decided that the soil was terrible.

On another topic. Have any of you ever been treated unfairly by a religion or because of your religion?

At the place I worked last year(I will not name it for privacy reasons) I was basically accused of stealing money without evidence(They found out it was someone else later on). I was one of two non-Christians working and the other had been absent on the day of the crime. One of the other works said " It is like one of those non-believers because they think they can get away with stealing". Than the boss was keep close watch on me for weeks. The only thing I have stolen in my life is a biscuit from my mothers fridge. Ha
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby IloveFauns » Jun 02, 2014 3:17 am

I feel as though I left the topic awkwardly hanging. Anyway to change the topic I was watching a program where they were talking about releasing and flowing "positive" and "negative" energy from the human body. There was this women who was clamping the joints of the presenter to "release block energy". If anyone ever talks about this stuff in the presence of me you may get a huge sigh and an eye role. Don't get me started on when people thing rooms have positive/negative energy.
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby Shadowlander » Jun 02, 2014 5:14 am

ILF wrote:At the place I worked last year(I will not name it for privacy reasons) I was basically accused of stealing money without evidence(They found out it was someone else later on). I was one of two non-Christians working and the other had been absent on the day of the crime. One of the other works said " It is like one of those non-believers because they think they can get away with stealing". Than the boss was keep close watch on me for weeks. The only thing I have stolen in my life is a biscuit from my mothers fridge. Ha


That's quite a switch from what happens here in the US, let me tell you ;)). Do you work at a Bible book store or something? Seriously, I'm sorry that happened to you. Here in the US many companies aren't too fond of their employees having open discussions about religion at all, so if one or more started openly accusing others based upon their beliefs in some places that's pretty close to grounds for termination (or sacking as I think you guys refer to it as) if they don't term you right off the bat. Was the thief one of the Christians out of curiousity?

ILF wrote:I was watching a program where they were talking about releasing and flowing "positive" and "negative" energy from the human body. There was this women who was clamping the joints of the presenter to "release block energy". If anyone ever talks about this stuff in the presence of me you may get a huge sigh and an eye role. Don't get me started on when people thing rooms have positive/negative energy.


I was at a gun show two weekends ago and a friend and I came across a booth where the vendor was selling (I know I'm going to get the name wrong but bear with me) some kind of negative ion energy wristband. It looks like a rubber sport bracelet or promotional deal where one would ordinarily see the name of some organization or a person's name, but this one advertised itself as getting rid of pesky negative ions and improving balance and stamina and such. So the guy saw us looking and came over and gave me a demonstration. He asked me to stand on one foot with my arms stretched out to the sides and then lightly pushed down on one arm and, having the balance of a giraffe with vertigo, I went over easy enough. He then placed the bracelet on my shoulder and used both hands to push down hard, and I didn't budge. Of course I'm not sure how he did it but the whole thing felt quite like a bar room trick or some such. Suffice it to say that despite the clever demonstration I didn't feel like parting with $20. ;)) I think that a person who is negative or positive in attitude will tend to attract and repel others, but I don't think there's any more to it than just that no one wants to hang out with a negative person and most people generally enjoy spending time with someone with a positive outlook. And that's about as close as I can get to such stuff. B-)
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby IloveFauns » Jun 02, 2014 5:45 am

Religion in work places isn't a common occurrence in Australia, but I happened to work for people who were very religious. It was actually the son of the owner, which he reluctantly told us...... I am just happy not to work there any more to be honest. I felt too out of place, and I think they thought I was a rather odd person.

I think that it is some trick with muscle tension and so on(I read it somewhere) and I may be thinking of something else. Sometimes I feel I am too rude to thee people ( I have a number of looks I give such people, when they try to get me to buy stuff). I just don't want to waste my time and well theirs listening to them, when I know I am not going to buy anything. I think these people should learn some real chemistry and they will see that is more exciting than the stuff the go on about.

Take the following for example;

Steroisomers- molecules that have the same molecular formula and sequence of bonded atoms but they have a different orientation in space. One type of these are called enantimors( The two molecules are mirror images of each other in such a way that they are non-superimposable). Such substances can make up drugs(They contain both types of the molecule). The enantimor may bond to different biological activation sites throughout the body causing different effects(some of which are not intended).
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby The Old Maid » Jun 19, 2014 9:05 am

Religion in the workplace is ... odd, to say the least. In the States there is a distressing tendency toward the "persecuted hegemony," that is, that the powerful people who do some spoiled-rotten-brat, casual victimizing, whilst wailing that they themselves are being victimized.

Example A: the folks who complain that there isn't a Nativity scene on the front lawn of City Hall. (Solution: if everyone who claimed to follow Jesus had their own Nativity scene on their own lawn, you couldn't see the stars at night because of the glare of all of the lighted decorations. Is this really something the government should have to do for you? I suppose you want the government to go to church for you too so you can sleep in on Sundays.)

Example B: the hapless cashier at Super Duper Mega Mart who wishes the customer "Happy Holidays" (because Thanksgiving, New Year, and the Jewish holidays you would be celebrating if Jesus hadn't been born yet are also holidays) -- and the customer shrieks that they are being mistreated because the cashier did not wish them a Merry Christmas. Cashier then gets disciplined for being "rude" to the rude customer. (Solution: I don't recall Jesus even celebrating His own birthday. He was too busy being Life and Hope to those around Him.)

Example C: (this is the sort I think you were talking about, ILF): a nonbeliever in the workplace overhears a bunch of Christian co-workers praying aloud to each other that said first co-worker will be "broken at the feet of Jesus." This past April I've also heard Dr. Charles Stanley say something similar on Sunday morning television! Specifically, if someone won't hear your witness, pray that God will send them the kind of difficulty that would inspire them to turn to Him. (Solution: if your concept of Witnessing involves secretly wishing that God would send some angels to break your neighbor's kneecaps, You Are Doing It Wrong. Seriously. Who would Jesus whack?)

Example D: Christians Behaving Badly at Sunday brunch. (See Sundays are the worst. Common sins include:

*Verbal tipping instead of money. (Try paying your mortgage/rent, utility bills, or taxes with compliments and see how far you get. Did you know that the IRS makes wait staff pay taxes on the tips they were SUPPOSED to get, whether or not you, the customer, were honest enough to tip them? It's embarrassing when the IRS thinks people are less rotten than they are.)

*Tracts that look like money. (Especially cruel. Half of the time, the waitress is already saved, so you just stole from your church! In fact, try putting this funny money in the collection plate and see how far you get.)

*Campers. (If you sat through two viewings at the movie theater, you would be expected to purchase two tickets.)

*And of course generally abusive behavior. (This is why a traditional first date includes Dinner and a Show. A date who mistreats the wait staff will treat you the same way after securing a commitment.)

Let's face it. If you "don't believe" in tipping, don't go to a restaurant that involves tips. Go to the place that makes you pay in advance, shout your order into the clown's mouth, and eat the grease pile with your fingers in the car. Oh, and cut your own hair and groom your own pet. Nowhere does the Bible say, "Thou Shalt Not Steal except from people who can't fight back." Sheesh!
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jun 20, 2014 4:42 am

TOM wrote:Is this really something the government should have to do for you? I suppose you want the government to go to church for you too so you can sleep in on Sundays.)


Whilst Example C is probably the closest thing that IlF would be referring to, I have a strong feeling that at least some of the "religious" types she referred to have only been "religious" because they can send their kids to church to learn to behave in a lawful fashion whilst they, themselves, have that nice "sleep-in". ;)) on Sunday morning.

Seriously. Convicts were sent to church religiously on Sundays to reform their characters and some of these attitudes still linger on in the 21st century. I've known of atheists who religiously sent their children to Sunday School to ensure they behave in a moral fashion. The joke of it all was the church's outrage when the Government tried to introduce ethics classes to do for public school children what the Sunday school and Scripture lessons had allegedly done beforehand. Especially when the ongoing Royal Commission into child abuse has given such a horrible picture of how untrustworthy and dishonorably some so-called christian leaders in the community have behaved towards children in their care.

I don't know what you mean with the tipping as people employed in shift work and working at weekends, even hospitality staff, still may get penalty rates. If the employer wanted to be open on a weekend or late at night he has to pay time & a half, or double time to make it worth the while for employees to work at odd hours and to sacrifice time others like to spend at home with family. Especially when it is a local pub or canteen rather than a hotel or airport restaurant where visitors are more likely to expect to tip.

Of course a lot has changed in the last few decades with more casual staff & union power less in evidence. But where there is tipping, either it is added onto the bill at the cash register and goes into the employees' general pot to be divvied up equally, or if a sole waiter gets to keep the money after all, it would still have to go on her taxation at the end of the year.

IloveFauns wrote:On another topic. Have any of you ever been treated unfairly by a religion or because of your religion?

At the place I worked last year(I will not name it for privacy reasons) I was basically accused of stealing money without evidence(They found out it was someone else later on). I was one of two non-Christians working and the other had been absent on the day of the crime. One of the other works said " It is like one of those non-believers because they think they can get away with stealing". Than the boss was keep close watch on me for weeks. The only thing I have stolen in my life is a biscuit from my mothers fridge. Ha


Edited to add stuff I didn't get the chance to include, because I posted late at night.

IlF, I'm sorry that this sort of thing happened to you. In my experience, this is the sort of lazy and prejudiced thinking that shouldn't belong in Christianity or in any other ethical belief system. Atheists are no more likely to steal than are people of any faith. The other day I heard of a scam where people dressed like Buddhist monks were claiming money to pray for people, which kind of practice is against Buddhist scriptures. Wasn't this the same sort of thing that was practised in the Middle Ages, before Martin Luther & the Reformation? And should we assume that because of this reported scam that Buddhists condone stealing? Obviously not.

The worst religious discrimination I ever encountered was easily that exercised against Lindy Chamberlain in the early 1980's and her baby Azaria Chamberlain. You can find out all about it. There was a book published about it called Evil Angels which made it into a film of the same name, starring Meryl Streep.

Don't get me wrong on this. I've already mentioned I went to Sabbath school because of a custody and access dispute and that is the major reason why I was never happy at the Sabbath school, however interesting and valid their teachings might be. On one occasion one of their teachers saw me passing by when I was out on an access visit with my father. I didn't want to tell my father that my mum had sent me to Sabbath School as I didn't want to discuss it and listen to another tirade of negativity. So I pretended I didn't know who she was, which was a mean thing for me to do, and which must have hurt her.

When I got to high school I also disliked the idea of belonging to a minority Christian group, which didn't have its own scripture group and was often lumped in with Jehovah's Witnesses, and Mormons or Church of Latter Day Saints, all of whom have been known to go door knocking for missionary reasons, and who are therefore sometimes resented by majority Christians and non-Christians alike. So I got my father to co-operate about allowing me to be confirmed in the faith he and my mother were both brought up in.

But years later, when the Lindy Chamberlain trials began, I found myself having to argue with many people, including family members, who believed a lot of rubbish about the SDA, about child sacrifice and goodness knows what. Probably that was one reason that Lindy was facing an uphill battle to get a fair trial. The press and press commentary was bad enough, but what people cared to believe about them was also somewhat outlandish, and improper. The trouble is, there are often cults established and run for less than worthy motives. And people didn't want to believe the dingo did it.
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby The Old Maid » Jun 20, 2014 12:50 pm

wagga wrote:

If the [inserted by TOM: Australian] employer wanted to be open on a weekend or late at night he has to pay time & a half, or double time to make it worth the while for employees ...


At the time of this writing a gallon of gasoline ranges from $3.83 to $4.25 US$.

A gallon of milk ranges from $2.50 (on sale) to about $4.00 or just above. Organic milk is about $5.99 (on sale).

The minimum wage in the States is $7.40 per hour.

The minimum wage for waitresses, etc. is $2.13 per hour.

A waitress who works 10 hours a day can earn as little as $21.30 per day, before tips.

Wait staff can in fact lose money working in a restaurant. The day that they are most likely to lose money is -- far and away -- Sunday. The restaurants get clogged with people bristling, "I was nice to Jesus; I don't have to be nice to you."

And that's before they have to pay tax to the Internal Revenue Service for the tip income they "should" have received but didn't.

That's why so many wait staff dread Sundays.
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