definition: par•a•digm (pār'ə-dīm', -dĭm')

3. A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this blog is four-fold:
to recognize that every person functions within a basic paradigm, which affects how all information is processed;
(2) to understand the paradigms of others;
(3) to discuss, in particular, paradigms which are related to science, religion, and philosophy.

(4) to reveal the paradigm shifts in my own life, a process that has completely changed the direction and purpose of my existence.

The purpose of this blog is NOT to convince anyone that their paradigms or beliefs are correct or incorrect. I am hoping for an honest dialog, but the discussions must remain respectful of others, even if there is profound disagreement. If any comments are not respectful, they will be removed.
(Revised 1/13/09)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

What about the Bible?

There is a lot of talk about the Bible, but basically there are three primary opinions:

(1) Opinion #1 is that the Bible was inspired by God, so that the human authors wrote exactly what God wanted to be written and the humans who decided on the chapters included exactly what God wanted them to include. Because the Bible was inspired by God, it is therefore inerrant (i.e., without errors) and should be interpreted in light of eternity and not just in light of the culture of the day.

(2) Opinion #2 is that the Bible was written by humans, to the best of their imperfect ability. They may have been inspired by God, but their interpretation of that inspiration could have been inaccurate. In our day, therefore, we must depend upon our own leading by the Holy Spirit to determine the correct meaning of what we read in the Bible.

(3) Opinion #3 is basically the non-Christian view, whether Jewish , atheist, or agnostic. This view looks at the Bible (New Testament, in the case of the Jewish faith), as an interesting piece of literature, with some historical accuracy, but that most of it's content is equivalent to mythology, such as other ancient peoples created to explain unexplainable events.

Comments, anyone?


FishHawk said...

I would like Number 1 for eternity please.

Brother Mark said...

I believe...
we will find out soon
which view is right.
The other two views don't matter...
until they find themselves...
in the Tribulation....
Then they will know which view
was right if they accept Christ
at that point....
They will have to give their
lives for the truth that time, though. Now is the best time
to sort it all out and Believe Jesus.

God Bless,

soulandsubstance said...

Thanks to both Fishhawk and Brother Mark for contributing. Brother Mark, you bring up an interesting point about time. It seems almost obvious that "we will find out soon which view is right," but most of us don't really think about it. The only time it makes an unchangeable difference is when we're dead, and the only trouble with that, is that some of us die suddenly. Let's think about this scenario (i.e., dying suddenly) in light of each view.
(1)...that the writing of the Bible was inspired (hence, directed) by God. Therefore, what the Bible says about salvation, heaven, and hell is true. Therefore, we need to DO what the Bible says in order to go to heaven (and not to hell). Obviously, then, this would have to be done before we die.
(2)...that the concepts of the Bible were, perhaps, prompted by God, but interpreted and written by imperfect men. Therefore, if we go according to our leading by the Holy Spirit in our interpretation of the Bible, then we will remain in God's will. Therefore, if we think we are in God's will when we die, then we should be in good shape, regardless of whether or not we know what happens after death.
(3) ...that the Bible (i.e. the Christian Bible, with the New Testament) is really just fictional mythology, so it really doesn't matter what it says about what happens when we die.
A friend made an interesting comment to me once, and I would like to pass it on, for contemplation. He said, "If one person told me that, by accepting a gift, I could live forever in a great place after I die; and another person told me that there IS no life after death, so it doesn't matter--then what reason could I give for NOT accepting the gift? If I am wrong, and the gift is irrelevant because there is no life after death, then I have not lost anything. If I am right, then I live forever in a great place. However, If I don't accept the gift, it either doesn't matter (because #2 was right) or I'm in big trouble, because #1 was right. As far as I can see, there is no "down side" for taking the gift."

Russell Miller said...

That's known as Pascal's Wager and I consider it, in the context of religion, to be deceitful and dishonest. Wouldn't an omnipotent God see right through you? If he didn't care, then your belief is really all for nought anyway because it's not genuine, and if he did, then you're screwed. In my view that's real copout. I hold my unbelief high, because as far as I'm concerned, any God who would hold it against me considering the evidence stacked against him isn't worth worshipping.

soulandsubstance said...

I suppose that's true. I did look up Pascal's Wager:'s_Wager.

Certainly, there is no excuse for INsincere belief, but perhaps there IS a reason (if only for self-preservation) to be absolutely sincere in one's UNbelief, because if one is wrong, the consequences won't be pretty.

Russell Miller said...

I don't care about the consequences, honestly. I will not worship a God that is unforgiving, hypocritical, capricious, bloodthirsty, etc. In fact, if I were to die and find out that that was the way God really was - meaning the God of the bible - I would go to hell gladly and give him the finger on the way down.

I mean every single word of that above paragraph.

If God exists, he may have control over where I go when I die. Fine. But he will *earn* my respect, he will not gain it simply for being powerful. And I simply do not respect the God of the Old Testament.

I respect Jesus a little. At least he had what was important figured out.

SoulandSubstance said...

I used to think some of the same things about the Old Testament, until I read it and then followed by reading the New Testament. What changed my mind was some of the details you don't tend to hear when all you get are Bible stories and snippets.

wala said...

here is something to help you out in making up your mind on a 2000 years old book of lies, rape, mass murder and ignorance.

SoulandSubstance said...

Yes, the Bible does tell about those things. However, here is something to consider: The newspapers we read and the news programs we watch also tell us about those things, yet we don't get angry at them for the fact that they let us know what is going on in the world. When I was younger, I used to think that the Bible wanted us to approve of these things and the people who carried them out. Several years ago, however, I actually read the Bible from start to finish, (I am on my second time through it), I found, to my surprise, the stories and people that I objected to when I was younger, were actually presented in such a way that the reader is supposed to conclude that these things are bad, not good. It was quite a shock for me to realize this.

Here is one specific example:
The story of David and Bathsheba:

2 Samuel 11 (New Living Translation)

1 In the spring of the year, when kings normally go out to war, David [the king] sent Joab [the commander of his army] and the Israelite army to fight the Ammonites... [,instead of going himself]. However, David stayed behind in Jerusalem. 2 Late one
afternoon, after his midday rest, David got out of bed and was walking on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city,
he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath. [Note that it is made clear that if had not been un-king-like and had gone to battle instead of sending his commander, he would never have put himself into this position of temptation.] 3 He sent someone to find out who she was, and he was told, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her; and when she came to the palace [what choice did she have? He was the King.], he slept with her....Then she returned home. 5 Later, when Bathsheba discovered that she was pregnant, she sent David a message, saying, “I’m pregnant.” 6 Then David sent word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent him to David. 7 When Uriah arrived, David... 8...told
Uriah, “Go on home and relax.” [He was hoping that Uriah would sleep with his wife, so that everyone would assume the baby would be his.] David even sent a gift to Uriah after he had left the palace. 9 But Uriah didn’t go home. He slept that night at the
palace entrance with the king’s palace guard. 10 When David heard that Uriah had not gone home, he summoned him and asked, “What’s the matter? Why didn’t you go home last night after being away for so long?” 11 Uriah replied, “The Ark and the armies of Israel and Judah are living in tents, and Joab and my master’s men are camping in the open fields. How could I go home to wine and dine and sleep with my wife? I swear that I would never do such a thing.” [Note that Uriah was being far more honorable than David.] 12 “Well, stay here today,” David told him, “and tomorrow you may return to the army.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 Then David invited him to dinner and got him drunk. But even then he couldn’t get Uriah to go home to his wife. Again he slept at the palace entrance with the king’s palace guard. 14 So the next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and gave it to Uriah to deliver. 15 The letter instructed Joab, “Station Uriah on the front lines where the battle is fiercest. Then pull back so that he will be killed.” 16 So Joab assigned Uriah to a spot close to the city wall where he knew the enemy’s strongest men were fighting. 17 And when the enemy soldiers came out of the city to fight, Uriah the Hittite was killed along with several other Israelite soldiers.... 26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 When the period of mourning was over, David sent for
her and brought her to the palace, and she became one of his wives. Then she gave birth to a son. But the Lord was displeased with what David had done.

2 Samuel 12

1 So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. 2 The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. 3 The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate
from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. 4 One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and
prepared it for his guest.” 5 David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! 6 He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.” 7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. 8 I gave you your master’s house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. 9 Why, then, have you despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife. 10 From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own. 11 “This is what the Lord says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view. 12 You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.” 13 Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin. 14 Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the Lord by doing this, your child will die.”

When I was younger, I never heard about how angry God was because David did this awful thing. Nor did I hear about how David repented and how God forgave him, but still allowed him to suffer the consequences of his sin.

wala said...

what about the women and the children who were butchered is it a part of your psycho god's sick plan

SoulandSubstance said...

I have purposely stayed neutral and I would like to continue to stay neutral. Would you mind rewording your question?

wala said...

yes I would mind rewording my question and I an not neutral.
if we trashed all the scientific evidence of the nonexistence of super natural beings and assumed that god does exist then look to the world around you , it is far from being any where close to perfect, there is more suffering and pain than goodness and pleasure , our structure and design is highly flawed and imperfect.
you would say well god is testing your faith, but if you look at statistics you would see that suffering and PAIN STRIKES ALL PEOPLE despiting their believes or non-believes then you would say humans are paying for their sins but then you will be amazed how many children who have never been around enough to sin are living in great pain.
please think about what kind of a sick person would create other beings that feels and make them go through pain then reward them or punish them , it would be nothing but a sick motive.
not to mention that the religious standards of good people and bad people, black white and grey is built on wrong ethical bases,
The religious moral code goes as the following
-great god made us and everything else. (No proof of his existence or that he made us)
-god told us what is right and what’s is wrong
- Heaven and hell are the motivation for humans to be good and do good deeds.
So in other words you don’t do what’s considered a right deed because its right but the deed is right because god said so.
And your motivation is fear and pleasure.
It is the sickest moral code that ever passed through ethical philosophy.
if a god did exist, he is just another being, albeit perhaps more powerful and in different form. We could, if we wanted, just ignore what he says is right or wrong and make our own rules, because we are independent. We could rebel against god if we thought he was wrong, even to our own loss, it might seem worth it if you believe in the principle strong enough - and in life you can get away with rebelling + be completely untouchable - life is where people can make their stand and spread their point unrestricted
its only in religions where you have good people going to hell
my mother is a Muslim and she is “a good person” but still by Christians she is going to hell and if you ask her what would happen to Ghandi she would say he is going to hell because he is in an evil religion.
you labeled us as Christians , Muslims , Jews , Hindus and Buddhists while we were all just humans.
it is time to end the myth of horus yes if your god is there then he is a psycho and if this is his plan then it is sick.
stop this joke called religion , its far than good by any means , its simply a big pile of hate , fear , ignorance , lies and selfishness.

SoulandSubstance said...

I respect your opinion. I do remind you that one of the standards of this blogs is to remain respectful of the position of others. Here is what is stated at the very beginning of the blog:
"The purpose of this blog is NOT to convince anyone that their paradigms or beliefs are correct or incorrect. If any discussion strays from the expressed goals of the blog, it will be discontinued. The discussions must remain respectful of others, even if there is profound disagreement." Therefore, while I do not ask you to change your opinion, I do ask you to change its expression. If you cannot express it respectfully, then I must ask you not to participate on this blog.