Did God write the Bible?

"God. Bible." cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“God. Bible.” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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Coming to grips with the fact that God didn’t write the bible was the beginning of the end for me.

I intuitively knew it would lead to questions like, “Is there a heaven?” “Is there a throne?” And, “Is there a God upon it?”

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47 Responses

  1. Brigitte says:

    If there is / were a God (capital G) who rules the world in his omniscience and power, how would you like him to communicate with humanity?

    Should he send an angel to one guy in a cave who writes it all down, or should he send gold plates that then disappear to one guy, that only he can read, and then let them sell this to everyone else? Common denominator between both of these guys being that the indulged themselves in polygamy and harems. Both of them preached against alcohol, too. Weird. (Don’t trust anyone who does not want you to enjoy drink at a normal wedding, the way Jesus did, is what comes to me.).

    Or should he send the insight to one guy leaving everything behind, wandering about, deciding that all life is suffering and the best that can happen is that we can be extinguished.

    OR, might God choose to reveal truth through the experiences of a people who tried to be true to him, certain moral principles, failing again and trying again, people looking for universal truths and communicating them to their children generation after generation, orally and through writing things down, organizing themselves into communities and societies, aiming for justice, teaching each other, defending their families, lives, cities, and governments.

    Are there other ways? How should it be? How would you like it to happen?

  2. Caryn LeMur says:

    David: I lean towards men writing the letters (that were later down-selected into the Bible we have).

    Just men. Men that encountered something beyond words, and that searched for the right word within their vocabulary to express their encounter.

    But humans, none the less.

    Thus, I do believe in divine inspiration, but not infallibility within that Book. I look for the guiding principles, and ponder them. I lay great emphasis on the words attributed to Jesus, more than other words.

    I think I could live according to just the Parable of the Good Samaritan, and impress the very heart of Jesus.

    But coming to grips with the concept that ‘God did not write’ the Bible is very important. After all, it is highly unlikely that God appeared in a vision and dictated every word of the New Testament.

  3. How would I like it to happen? Exactly how it did. I think men caught a glimpse of mystery, the Unknowable, and did their best, inspired by such a vision, to articulate it in words, hopelessly trapped inside their own culture, race, and geography, but that nevertheless articulates like a sign what they saw.

  4. Brigitte says:

    The reason the Bible is the Bible is however not that it is hopelessly trapped inside the culture, race and geography. It speaks to the very plain and daily dilemmas of everybody, all while being the history of a particular people.

    The other thing, we did not mention is the business of miracles. If there is an omniscient, powerful… God, would he able to appear in supernatural manifestations? Would we be able to investigate them? Is the resurrection fact and proof of something? Would the all-powerful God, suppose he exists, exhibit himself in the person of Christ and his unusual appearing? — Nowadays, we wish to dismiss everything that is supernatural or beyond science. Is that a self-confirming cycle?

    When I first learned the books of the Bible as literature, it shook my innocent little faith, as well. But then I had to learn that God can talk this way.

    Eric Metaxas talked about the Jungian archetypes, and how really when you dig deeper down into the soul, it is Christ whom you find there. That is how it was for him. But Christ HAS spoken and we should listen to him. The faith that is created thereby is in itself the greatest miracle, and if you want it, you need to actually get yourself into the Bible and into the community that holds to the witness.

    The Jews were outward oriented wanting to be a light to the nations, and Gentile Christianity was always for absolutely everyone.

    It was taught to me as the “incarnation understanding”: just as Christ is God and man, so the Bible is God speaking through very real people. As such the nations also are incarnation to live in God’s plan. And Caryn always brings us back to it: the key concept is grace, in Greek “splanchnon”, mercy–a heartfelt, gut-felt love and mercy, that we are continually told that God has for us.

  5. Sabio Lantz says:

    David, you said, ” I think men caught a glimpse of mystery, the Unknowable, and did their best, …”

    That is such a nice sweet liberal re-write to help keep people in the faith. But consider this, the vast majority of the Hebrew Bible is a retro telling of mythologized Jewish history which basically says, “Look, we lost this war because we disobeyed God. We won this battle because we listened to God. God kills people who …..” And why did they say this? To prop up nationalism and to give god-talk for the morality they prefer. No peak into “the Unknowable” etc…. So though you may find verses that can give the listener your view, a big peak shows writers with very different intents.

  6. Hm. Your responses to me Sabio often feel condescending: “nice sweet liberal”… I might be wrong, but it feels like you talk down to me in an arrogant way. It doesn’t feel conversational, but preachy. I don’t identify as liberal, or a nice sweet one especially. But you seem to like to put and keep me in that box.

    However, I do get your point. I was talking about the grand sweep of the biblical writers’ attempts to describe God… but not such verses like bashing the heads of your enemies’ infants against a stone stuff.

  7. Sabio Lantz says:

    I don’t think there is any “grand sweep” of the Bible. It is full of lots of agendas and plots by lots of different writers.

    But I think if we plotted it out, very little is going to be “men [who] caught a glimpse of mystery, the Unknowable, and did their best, inspired by such a vision”

    So Brigitte and others want the Bible written under the guidance of some spirit. Liberal Christians, who want to preserve some right to call themselves Christian, still want the Bible largely good and speak wonderful of the big picture of their Bible or “the grand sweep”.

    It is just a bunch of books — not the writings of men wrestling with a god any more than other thinkers who never mention gods and also have political or social agendas.

  8. Brigitte says:

    Was it a micro-aggression or a macro-aggression or a nano-aggression to be called “nice, sweet liberal”? What do your cartoons aim to be? Completely non-aggressive or condescending? Completely un-provocative?

    There is a place for keeping your tongue in check, and there is a place to say things as they are. Liberal-mindedness has its own dangers. While wishing for equality for all, it holds down all sorts of discussions, and becomes illiberal in its “niceness”. The other day there was an article that said basically “liberals accept everyone as long as they are like themselves.” The moment someone actually voices a distinct view, they jump on it. So Islam is all “nice”, until someone actually believes what the Koran says. Christianity is all “nice” unless someone holds an orthodox view. Buddhism is all “nice” until someone is actually against homosexuality. Atheism is “nice” until someone actually condemns the 99% of the world who actually believe in some sort of supernatural spirituality as hopelessly benighted. (In this case, you have been included in this 99%). Whatever you “identify” or don’t “identify” with, does not mean that people form a certain view or opinion of yourself, or the facts, as they are.

    The bashing of heads of infants is one example of very real, not “so nice” speech. People were in captivity and abused, who knows all how. This is what came out of their mouths. Warts and all. And we are to speak, we who abort while in the birth canal, who infect women and children with STD’s, etc., etc.

  9. Sabio: Are you saying that the biblical writers wrote what they did only out of political or social agendas without any sincere attempt to talk about what they called God?

  10. Jordan says:

    I want to back Sabio’s thinking but I also agree that it’s rather reductionist. Certainly, there were mythological retellings that were written to explain why, for example, Israel split into two kingdoms and were ultimately scattered. The events of Genesis can’t truly be verified without questions of bias. Exodus is already called into severe question. However, I read/heard somewhere (though I cannot recall where) that the writers had their own reasons for what they wrote and how they wrote it.

    Prophets? I mean, individual agendas, but same ultimate agenda – to turn Israel back to right behavior.
    The Writings (Psalms and others)? Poems of prayer and praise. Extra histories to teach their own lessons.
    The Torah? Its name MEANS instruction.

  11. Jordan says:

    (well that was a failed comment)
    The point is, there are agendas, sure, but not purely political or social. A poem can serve just as a poem, a prayer a prayer.

  12. Sabio Lantz says:

    David:
    As you know, the Hebrew Bible had been edited, crafted and re-arranged for a millennium or more. Lots of writers, with editors trying to make the texts appear like there were less writers. So, do I think these writers wrote with huge political and social agendas ? Yes I do. Especially the editors and censors. Whether to give some unified, mythological history, as I said, or some picture of the god behind their stories.

    Were the authors of Ecclesiastics or Ruth or Leviticus simply men who “caught a glimpse of mystery, the Unknowable, and did their best, inspired by such a vision” I highly doubt it. That is sort of an idealistic, hopeful, mystical view of Hebrew and later Christian scriptures.

    Now, what they called “God” may not be as mysterious or unknowable as you imagine — not the mystical unknowableness that keeps your spirituality going. Instead, wrapped in their word “God” is the Israeli people, difference from others, patriotism, racism, a need for identity, a need for a moral flag and need for security from disaster and sickness and misfortune and much more. But none of that is St. John of the Cross’ stuff or Thomas Merton’s stuff. Not to say some authors in some books or some passages may slip into that, but it certainly is not the sweeping content of all those various books.

    I hope that answers your question.
    Idealized generalizing about “The Bible” is always a huge mistake and only reveals agendas, I think. I find both conservative and liberal Christians often keep doing it, for both want to keep their Bibles, albeit in different manners.

    BTW I have seen Hindus (of both poles) and likewise Muslims and Buddhist do the same with texts. So this is not a Christian thing, but a common religious phenomena . Heck , it happens in political realms too — for instance, the way Americans of vastly different parties still want to make the constitution theirs.

  13. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ Jordan,
    Yep, lots of different books. Like all books, tons of purposes. Did Shakespeare have one purpose in his books? You listed some well.
    To say that the Bible was written by “men caught a glimpse of mystery, the Unknowable, and did their best, inspired by such a vision, …” to me comes across as either:

    (1) naive — and David is anything but naive (though parts of him, like me, may be)

    (2) kissing up to all those who still use their bible as identity and clan flag etc, even if they doubt huge parts of it. Sort of like many folk say about Jesus, “well, he may not have been a god, but he was a really wise man.” Whatever. They still want to give the signal that they are safe, good and spiritual cause they love the Bible and Jesus, even if in a qualified manner. Heck, even Brigette sees through that one.

    (3) Habit

    David felt his statement was true saying “I was talking about the grand sweep of the biblical writers’ attempts to describe God”. Such generalizations are grossly wrong.

  14. Sabio: I think you’re partly right. I mostly agree. I think the biblical writings written by men were canonized and catalogued by men… men of their times… and that they had, each one separate and different… ideas of God that they wanted to communicate… and that this served their political, social, cultural, and religious ends, etc.

  15. Sabio Lantz says:

    David: I think you are partly right but we probably don’t agree on the main point I am making:

    So we know that the writers and editors of huge sections of the Hebrew books, were pretending to tell prophesy, but they were just telling old history and mythologizing it with the goal of telling their audience — look, this is the right behavior to have (that is, listen to us priests). So, do you really think they were just trying to communicate their encounters with the “mysterious unknowable One” of your mystical spirituality? No. They were instead using god-talk (the most persuasive at that time) to get people to act a certain way.

    Did they really think their god would like them making up stories about him? Certainly not. They knew what they were doing, for they weren’t “men caught a glimpse of mystery, the Unknowable, and did their best, inspired by such a vision, …”

  16. Ya I agree we don’t agree. Listen: I know enough about my own “spiritual” experiences to know that I believed them to be truly authentic, genuine encounters with The Divine. Did they used their interpretations of their experiences to exert influence on their societies? Yes.

  17. Brigitte says:

    I don’t have spiritual encounters that I “know” are genuine. When I hear a voice in my head, I don’t know if it is God, or some layer of ego, consciousness or conscience… I need to pass it by the Bible. If it lines up, then I will accept what I hear in my head as some sort of direction.

    We hear a lot these days about Muslims converting to Christianity via having had a dream of Jesus or from Jesus. While that sort of thing is encouraging for some of us to hear, really they too need to go to the scripture to see what the witness is and whether the instruction makes sense. This is what they usually end up telling us that they do. And they compare the Jesus from the Islamic tradition to the Jesus of the Bible.

    I think maybe, David, what you can’t shake, is the Pentecostalism. About the Biblical criticism I venture to say that much of it is conjecture by those hostile to the record. For example, when I was a girl already in religion class I heard the very late dates for the writing of the gospels. I forget how late, very late anyhow. I had by then already learned to take what my pastor says with a grain of salt, as he was a confirmed liberal and my family was pietist. Later, some place I heard the argument that they must have been written before 70 AD because if they had been written after there is no way that they would have said nothing about the destruction of Jerusalem. I found this point cogent. Later on I learned that those who insist on the late date do this based on no useful information at all. — It does give one pause. I cannot follow this deconstruction approach. It seems mostly like guesswork.

  18. I love how people try to explain to me and set me straight.

    I was baptized and raised anglican, did pentecostal, studied reformed, ordained presbyterian, spiritually directed catholic. i’ve been around.

    They’re all the same.

  19. Sabio Lantz says:

    I too was amongst all those — huge tasting of Christianity — they certainly aren’t all the same. Just like the Bible, in the large sweep, isn’t men just wrestling to telling their encounter with the Unknown.

    The desire to blur things like that is interesting.

    BTW, I have participated with all sorts of Buddhisms, and likewise, Zen is not like Shin, is not like Vajrayana …

  20. Brigitte says:

    Jordan, did you want to try again and explain something to us about the deconstruction of the Old Testament? What is it that grasps you? I am curious to see what the points are. ?

  21. Sabio Lantz says:

    You mean, Brigitte, you aren’t at all familiar with the mythologization of Abraham coming from UR or Moses and the Exodus???? Certainly you know of these, even if you disagree.

  22. Brigitte says:

    Based on what? All these people claim to be descendants of Abraham. They keep long genealogies which are mythological. Isaac and Ishmael were not brothers and did not bury Abraham, together? He was mythological? Ur is a mythological place, too? Egypt, the Pharaoh, Palestine, Israel, the Torah instruction, all mythological? — The fact that the remnant of Jews still exists, after all this time, mythological? Jerusalem mythological, etc. Mt. Gerazim, mythological. All the stuff dug out of the ground–mythological? Assyria, Babylonia, the Queen of Sheba… all mythological. Where do you start and where do you finish?

  23. Brigitte says:

    I see that Jordan says that he is a Jewish atheist. How does that work? You are descended by bloodline from a mythological people? I am just curious how that works for him.

  24. Sabio Lantz says:

    Ah, Brigitte, I see that you are very unfamiliar with a great deal.
    BTW, most Jews consider “Jewish” to be largely ethnic or tribal and not belief based. Christianity became a largely “beliefism” religion (right belief wins eternity, the rest are damned).
    So, for example, after leaving Wheaton College (an Evangelical college), I attended a synagogue (Reformed) for a year and studied Hebrew. Our Saturday morning (Shabbat) Bible study and discussion had about 13 men (women studied together). Of those 13, probably 6 were atheist, 3 were wishy washy and 4 did belief in a god of some sort.

    For me, it was fascinating how good of friends they were and how peaceful the conversations. Why? Because none of them felt belief mattered, instead it is the quality of the person that mattered.

    My neighbor now is Israeli, raised secular Jew. He gets a kick of how disappoint Christians are when they hear he is atheist. Which is so ironic — because to most of those Christians, he will burn in hell anyway. Go figure. You believists are something else.

  25. Sabio: Your condescension really really gets tiring. I may not agree with Brigette on many things but I wouldn’t dare say that she is “very unfamiliar with a great deal.” She might be more aware about a great deal more than you. You have no idea of all the things she is familiar with or isn’t! Do you have something to prove? Why do you talk this way?

  26. Sabio Lantz says:

    David: Here is a woman who shows her religious indignation for being an atheist Jew. When I gave her the benefit that she knows of the information out there showing the made-up stories about Abraham and Moses, she rants at how ridiculous it is to doubt such things.

    Which is more condescending, David, to believe that everyone who disagrees with you is going to hell (a deserves torture for eternity) or to call someone for their self-righteous proselyting ignorance due to a habit of living in an echo chamber?

    Her world view is that I deserve an eternity of torture, mine is that she needs to wake up and either read more or stop believing that belief matters. I say I am far let condescending.

  27. Brigitte says:

    What I read here, basically, is what I suspected: no one is going to give a reasoned, researched reply about the deconstruction. We are always told that there is so much scholarship behind it, but one can’t get any answers, really.

  28. Sabio Lantz says:

    Well, Brigitte, I could dig them up for you. (I don’t keep those things on my bookshelves nowadays). But maybe David could jump in and give you some of that reading list — I would think he would know them as it is his field. I guess I assumed you had read some of the big ones and dismissed them.

  29. Brigitte says:

    We all don’t keep things on our bookshelves anymore. But one would think something would come to you.

  30. Jordan says:

    Okay so to settle a few things –
    Brigitte and Sabio, I take what’d academically be called a nontheistic reading. I’m more of an agnostic than an atheist. Judaism leaves room for nontheistic viewpoints in more progressive sects (Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform). I believe that the books were written by men with some goals that ultimately hover around instructing a nation. I don’t agree with all of the content, but I can understand the reasoning.

  31. Jordan says:

    But I do have to agree with David. Sabio, the comments, though merited in their content, leave much room for improvement regarding delivery. I may be gruff, but it’s outright.

    Did G!d write the bible? No, I do not believe so.
    Do I believe that the stories happened as was recorded? Absolutely not.
    Do I know of Christians and Jews who think similiarly? Yes. We don’t agree on details but we can agree ona few key points regarding the importance of the texts.
    Do I think that each separate section and book have their own agendas to be accomplished? Certainly.
    Are they political? In many cases, there’s not just one agenda but there is often a political one. We’re talking about a set of books that starts being finalized thanks to Ezra and Nehemiah.
    Are they intended to have lessons? Absolutely. Again, Torah literally means instruction.

    For my being raised Catholic, willingly converting to Judaism, and maintaining a nontheistic lean on religion, these aren’t entirely difficult concepts to understand.

  32. Jordan says:

    Deconstruction, for that matter, is a very personal thing that differs from person to person. You most certainly will not get an authoritative answer on the process and the results.

  33. Sabio Lantz says:

    Jordan, I thought you may come to Brigitte’s aid on some source showing that the Exodus story is the Hebrew Bible is totally fabricated. So here is a starting place for anyone interested: Evidence for the Exodus

    This Christian site says, “The Exodus account and wilderness journey is foundational to the truth claims of Judaism and Christianity.” I think that is true — well, if you assume Judaism and Christianity are making “truth claims” but if you are a liberal in those faiths, you don’t care. Instead, they are just warm-and-cozy identity claims.

    Here is another site listing the obvious myths. But you can find those scant, conservative “scholars” (read: “apologists”) who say otherwise — thus, echo chambers.

    I share these knowing there is low probability of changing the opinions of those with high investment in their opinions.

  34. Brigitte says:

    I have to go out. I have to teach a music class and then I’ll remember to go to drop in yoga. And then I’ll have time.

  35. Jordan says:

    Sabio – I’m not all that good with citing links, so I tend to stay in my lane with regards to that.

  36. Brigitte says:

    I read your links, Sabio. This one here seems to have some actual information in it.

    https://answersingenesis.org/archaeology/does-archaeology-support-the-bible/

  37. Jordan says:

    Okay, I’m just going to say this right out –
    Sabio, your links offered can be viewed as antitheistic attacks and, in some instances where one looks for evidence to back the Bible being a human document, REALLY go into that territory. Rationalwiki can get into that territory at times. However, I’m going to side with David – you’re being rude to those who are less religiously progressive.
    Brigitte, this isn’t intended as malicious but your views and methods are of that class of ideologue so called the True Believer. What you have to offer confirms your own bias instead of being a thing of discussion. You’ve done this repeatedly now and I recall your having done this for several years. I can attest to your unwillingness to listen to the other side of the aisle and your aggressive approach towards others who dare to say you’re wrong.

    Did G!d write the Bible? Whether we answer yes or no, we have to grapple with its ultimately having deep human influences on the text. We have to ask how we have changed the text literally, and how we change our understanding of what was written 2500+ years ago.

  38. Brigitte says:

    Jordan, since you seem to have known me for years, you would know that I am a confessional Lutheran, as such I am most definitely the worst kind of ideologue of True Believer, unprogressive, fundamentalist, hyper-conservative, dumb, stupid,… I think there were some other expressions in your gruff but not malicious and also not impolite, nor anti-theist line. I think you have the category right. Well discerned. Can we now get back to the topic on what sort of information we have to declare the OT as mythological?

    I also confess the three ecumenical creeds and have sworn several times to rather die than fall away from them. Is that a problem for your? What should be my fate?

    The progressives have run the field so aggressively that America is poised to elect Donald Trump from sheer despair. But the Republicans may still find a way to ditch him, maybe.

  39. Sabio Lantz says:

    Right, Jordon, you have me all figured out.
    I agree with Brigitte saying, “Can we get back to the topic…”
    But, there is no getting back to anything. Brigitte has not intent to move and quotes answeringgenesis, nor I. We don’t even know what Jordon has read. I have read answeringgenesis and Josh McDowell and other apologetics. Blogs are nowhere to argue this stuff. Never will be.
    It has been a joy, however.

  40. Brigitte says:

    The OT is in a completely different category from what we usually call “myth”. The Jews have witnessed down through the generations verbatim what they were taught before. The pass-over was handed down and down and down in the family. Watch some video of how they do it. Even we Lutherans recite and memorize through the generations, the Ten Commandments, the Creeds, the Small Catechism. They only thing that happens is that some official body sometimes updates the language, otherwise they are not interfered with. There are people who takes this seriously and teach it to their children. The Jews are still with us and some of the celebrate and recite the way they always have. Jesus said that they would remain to the end of time, and so they have so far. You cannot simply take this and call it “myth”.

    From the things that Sabio pulled up, I was most disturbed by a paragraph that said something like this: modern scholarship and archeology disprove the Bible, but this is only written up in scientific journals. Pastors don’t like to tell this to their congregations… There are several things to say about that. One, if there was that sort of evidence, a good part of the world would be all over it and we would here about it. This suppression story makes no sense, at all. Second, with all the fraud that goes on, you really don’t want to tell your paritioners some things. Just this week we had a fraud revealed at the highest level. The Jesus’ wife papyrus was a fraud ( see the New York Times). Thirdly, I would really like to know what archeology they are talking about. It seems that these reputed evidences are always just somewhere there in the air. What the heck is it supposed to be.

    But maybe David will chime in here.

    In other religions we have no pretense that someone is talking about his own private vision, or that stuff is more or less poetic. The Bible is just simply completely different from that.

    And the heroes are simply the opposite of fictional heroes. As I said in the beginning, it is all raw and real. They are so frail and flawed. — This should give us all hope.

    Because God is the Savior, we can admit our sin. We are just like the troubled people of old. No other society has produced a corpus like this. Read the entire story of Jacob and Joseph. Read the entire story of David. Our hearts know the difference between truth and fiction.

  41. Sabio Lantz says:

    B, which religions are you talking about when you make the large claim, “In other religions we have no pretense that someone is talking about his own private vision, or that stuff is more or less poetic. The Bible is just simply completely different from that.”

  42. Sabio Lantz says:

    Next, B. You said, ” One, if there was that sort of evidence, a good part of the world would be all over it and we would here about it. ”

    Heck, huge swaths of America still believe in Creationism and thing Evolutionary biology is a lie — though we have overwhelming evidence. So one thing we know is that religious folks love to ignore evidence. That is what “faith” is all about.

  43. Brigitte says:

    Islam stresses that the whole thing came to Mohammed, and that we ist rely entirely on his integrity. You are not allowed to criticize, draw, malign the prophet under the threat of death and beheading and whole populations rising up.

    Joseph Smith is similar. I used to walk with a Mormon neighbor , in the country, for years and we developed an unusually close friendship. We could talk about everything, but once I dare to critique Jospeph Smith, the whole lid came off. This is because the whole religion is founded on their peculiar prophecy and infortunately some of their rulings are quite impossible to live with.

    Hence we make now the division between radical Islam and Muslim people who are normal, but the distinction is rather tenuous and thin, as Mohammed did and said some wild things, that they really should adhere to.

    About people who see things more as poetry. It only came to me the other day, in full force, and you may be able to help with this, as you have familiarity with religions, and have done more research than I on some.

    Let’s come at it from three different ways.

    First point of contact with Hindu religion. University course on world religion: multiplicity of Gods (gods). Also travels to Japan, here a god, there a shrine, …. What does it mean? The more you go into it, the less authoritative it becomes. If one practice does not suit you, try another, if one God does not work try another, if this temple does not do it, go to the lucky water temple and buy a lucky charm. It is designed to make things work for you. The God is secondary. Make him work for you. Just find some sort of spirituality.– the stories that go along with it, often have to do with warriors. There may be good lessons in them and recognition of human nature, but they can also serve as simple encouragement to do whatever it takes to get your way. Sometimes they really are about justice and wisdom. Sometimes they are about sexual practice.

    Which brings me to the second thought. I was googling the other day: does the Kama Sutra have something to say about homosexual sex?–the search told me about the “third gender” in Hindu experience, which is more of an effeminate man than a homosexual. There were some stone reliefs showing women pleasuring each other, though come to think of it now, there was also Krishna present, so it may really all about him. Ok, enough of that. What it also said was that the Vedic scriptures see themselves more in the sense of poetic understanding. This is where something clicked in for me. So here we have something that allows for a more personal interpretation.

    Thirdly, it rhymes for with something I have experienced in online discussions, where some well educated people try to break you down with some nonsensically riddles, a la, I don’t know, some Zen master. The thing becomes like a Rorschach test. Whatever you say about it, tells a lot about yourself. This could be interesting psychology, but the exercise, while fun, is again, quite self-centered. There could be a place for self-exploration, but religion is more than that, it also seeks to regulate our inter-human experiences and prices a place for correction and re-integration.

    Indian culture is incredibly rich: the food, the rituals, the excercises, the strong families, the lovely fabrics, the scriptures and stories, and it also is injust. The other day, the lower castes received some rights to education, etc., all the untouchables, except for the Christian untouchables. The poorest of the poor, the Christians cannot get equal rights with the other poor.

    So much. I know Sabio, you have a lot to say on the subject, so go for it, if you feel like it, but maybe try not to say how stupid they all are, we might as well all pray to the tooth fairies or spaghetti monster. Atheism takes for many something away that is essential to the fabric of human life and we have to come to some decisions about what is true, what is lovely and what is just and kind. And what is the purpose of life.

  44. Brigitte says:

    About evolution, I have a lot to say, but let’s shelve it for today, except to say that it has absolutely no answers as to how life got here, by what mechanism we get the macro-evolution or genes, in the first place, how humans acquired special and unique reasoning and artistic skills, etc. Evolutionary thinking has much less to offer than it continually boasts.

  45. Sabio Lantz says:

    And so, Brigitte, we can no further discuss.
    I know your positions, btw, I used to be there too.
    Don’t mean I am right, of course, it is just that I understand dialogue is pointless on this and any topic with religious investment.

    Maybe Jordan can be much more informative in a nice, thoughtful way.

  46. Brigitte says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXunKYFqrD4 Lutheran Satire on closed-mindedness.

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