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Author Topic: Evolution of God  (Read 1263 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 19, 2011, 11:04:30 AM »

Came across this nifty little video on the internet. Is this another Zeitgeist movie? I noticed a few factual inaccuracies in one of the Zeitgeist films, but from what I've read on the history of world religions this seems consistent:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg&feature=player_embedded#!
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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2011, 06:36:09 PM »

Is it a youtube video?

If no, please continue.

If yes, discard source.
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2011, 07:15:13 PM »

Something interesting about the video is the idea that the genocides written in the Bible never happened, just a way in which one identifies a warrior Yahwe.

You have to realize though no one disputes there are some fiction in the Scriptures, the underlying reason for these stories are disputably there for a slightly different reason than the video presents (in Christian understanding, it's a veil of NT allegorical understanding).  In addition, some of the verses mentioned that are considered "proof" for polytheism is also disputed.  These verses are there to falsify other gods, not to say that Yahwe is the most powerful of other "existing" gods.  We argue that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew exactly of an only God, and cursed other "gods" showing the strength of a One true God.  I can say my sister is the best sister in the world, and yet she's my only sister.

So, these stories are offered as refutation of polytheism that exists around them, not "hidden" polytheism.  How do we know that the word "Yahwe" wasn't a coincidental word for a warrior God and at the same time the "One God" for the Hebrews?  It's like the word "Allah."  It has always been used to mean "God" but can also be the moon god of Hindu religions.

Finally, there remains no proof yet of this hypothesis of hidden polytheism.  You need to find manuscripts that show substantial differences and cutting out of verses that clearly indicate an exclusivity of the One God.  So far, we found the Dead Sea Manuscripts that show quite the opposite, an affirmation of the integrity of most of the OT scriptures.  We also have a religion, Zoroastrianism, that shows elements very similar to Monotheism, which claims its ancient roots along with pre-Judaic Abrahamic times, and perhaps Zorastrianism and Judaism share some sort of a common ancestor that has these Monotheistic tendencies.  This at least shows that Monotheism may have had a much more ancient root than what the video proclaims.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 07:16:33 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2011, 01:44:05 AM »

Came across this nifty little video on the internet. Is this another Zeitgeist movie? I noticed a few factual inaccuracies in one of the Zeitgeist films, but from what I've read on the history of world religions this seems consistent:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg&feature=player_embedded#!

TTC, I think someone like you would be more edified on the topic through a reliable source:

http://oyc.yale.edu/religious-studies/introduction-to-the-old-testament-hebrew-bible/
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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2011, 10:43:21 AM »

Came across this nifty little video on the internet. Is this another Zeitgeist movie? I noticed a few factual inaccuracies in one of the Zeitgeist films, but from what I've read on the history of world religions this seems consistent:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg&feature=player_embedded#!

TTC, I think someone like you would be more edified on the topic through a reliable source:

http://oyc.yale.edu/religious-studies/introduction-to-the-old-testament-hebrew-bible/
Now I'm just confused. What exactly are you saying? Christine Hayes has lectured about the redactions of the Bible to make it appear more monotheistic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7RF_GoeOTg&feature=player_embedded
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2011, 03:11:50 AM »

Came across this nifty little video on the internet. Is this another Zeitgeist movie? I noticed a few factual inaccuracies in one of the Zeitgeist films, but from what I've read on the history of world religions this seems consistent:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg&feature=player_embedded#!

TTC, I think someone like you would be more edified on the topic through a reliable source:

http://oyc.yale.edu/religious-studies/introduction-to-the-old-testament-hebrew-bible/
Now I'm just confused. What exactly are you saying? Christine Hayes has lectured about the redactions of the Bible to make it appear more monotheistic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7RF_GoeOTg&feature=player_embedded

That's a rather simplified view of what she's lectured on.

My point was that her lectures are of far more credibility than the source you provided. You should not watch youtube-made demagogues to learn about history.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 03:12:41 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2011, 02:54:41 PM »

That's a rather simplified view of what she's lectured on.
Please point me to where she states, as you have, the Bible does not have polytheistic roots.

Quote
My point was that her lectures are of far more credibility than the source you provided. You should not watch youtube-made demagogues to learn about history.
You can also research the sources he cited. In the case of his wikipedia links, research the sources of those articles as well.
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« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2011, 03:23:11 PM »

That's a rather simplified view of what she's lectured on.
Please point me to where she states, as you have, the Bible does not have polytheistic roots.

Quote
My point was that her lectures are of far more credibility than the source you provided. You should not watch youtube-made demagogues to learn about history.
You can also research the sources he cited. In the case of his wikipedia links, research the sources of those articles as well.
I don't see a problem with the Israelites graudally coming to realize that their God is aboslutely the only God. Not sure how this contradicts the Christian faith at all.
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« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2011, 03:26:34 PM »

That's a rather simplified view of what she's lectured on.
Please point me to where she states, as you have, the Bible does not have polytheistic roots.
Where did I state anything like that?

The Near-Eastern literary genres of the early books of the OT were obviously created within a polytheistic cosmology, and thus the oldest forms of those genres are polytheistic expressions. Take the Sumerian-Akkadian story of Ziusudra and the river flood, or the Babylonian creation story the Enuma Elis.

The amazing thing about, say, Genesis, is not its similarities to other creation stories in the Near East. It's the *differences* that appear once you acknowledge the similarities.

I don't see a problem with the Israelites graudally coming to realize that their God is aboslutely the only God. Not sure how this contradicts the Christian faith at all.
It contradicts protestant biblical fundamentalism, which is what CTC always argues against (regardless of what tradition he's *actually* arguing against!)


You can also research the sources he cited. In the case of his wikipedia links, research the sources of those articles as well.
Zeitgeist proponents say the same thing. If they really wanted to educate people they'd post the sources on a website and not make a sensational video on youtube that few people will fact check.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 03:34:34 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2011, 03:33:30 PM »

It contradicts protestant biblical fundamentalism, which is what CTC always argues against (regardless of what tradition he's *actually* arguing against!)
Good point.
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« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2011, 03:58:55 PM »

Agreed on all points, Nicholas.  That's what I got from the lectures (and what I've observed of the 'Zeitgeist proponents').  Well stated!
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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2011, 05:18:29 PM »

That's a rather simplified view of what she's lectured on.
Please point me to where she states, as you have, the Bible does not have polytheistic roots.

Quote
My point was that her lectures are of far more credibility than the source you provided. You should not watch youtube-made demagogues to learn about history.
You can also research the sources he cited. In the case of his wikipedia links, research the sources of those articles as well.
I don't see a problem with the Israelites graudally coming to realize that their God is aboslutely the only God. Not sure how this contradicts the Christian faith at all.

I feel the same as you Papist. It's just not a problem. I have a feeling TtC just doesn't yet comprehend we are not Biblical inerrantists and that if the Bible has been redacted it makes no difference to Orthodox and Catholics, nor does it make much of a difference to most Jews either. Even the Talmudic Rabbis admitted the Bible had been redacted over and over....not new information, not shocking unless of course you accept the Fundamentalist Protestant view that the Bible has never changed and is the "word of God" and is free from all errors.

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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2011, 11:34:57 PM »

Where did I state anything like that?
"Hidden polytheism" is false whilst polytheistic roots are not?

I don't see a problem with the Israelites graudally coming to realize that their God is aboslutely the only God. Not sure how this contradicts the Christian faith at all.
Quote
It contradicts protestant biblical fundamentalism, which is what CTC always argues against (regardless of what tradition he's *actually* arguing against!)
Considering Christianity is many things, contradictory perhaps not. But all the more fatuous, yes. For being "God breathed" the Bible struggles more to achieve perfection than his creation. It's interesting that he took so long to reveal himself as the only God, and to only certain group of people too.

Quote
Zeitgeist proponents say the same thing. If they really wanted to educate people they'd post the sources on a website and not make a sensational video on youtube that few people will fact check.
Youtube is not a website? Education comes in many forms, as does misinformation. It's just as common for a site to misinform as it is a video, a book or any other form of media. Do you think more people will fact check a website article than a video? And from where do you draw this conclusion?

Plus he does: http://flavors.me/evid3nc3

I never said the video was error free, rather a bit skeptical of it since it is just another video on YouTube. However, as earlier mentioned, from what I have read and remembered it appeared fairly consistent.
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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2011, 12:04:00 AM »

"Hidden polytheism" is false whilst polytheistic roots are not?

Both are oversimplifications. What happened to your scientific, rational mind? Why the false dichotomy?


Considering Christianity is many things, contradictory perhaps not. But all the more fatuous, yes. For being "God breathed" the Bible struggles more to achieve perfection than his creation. It's interesting that he took so long to reveal himself as the only God, and to only certain group of people too.
The Bible is not our God, nor was it Maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2011, 12:05:13 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2011, 12:16:13 AM »

The Bible is not our God, nor was it Maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Good luck trying to get TtC to see this point. He can only attack the Bible and we can only sit here and keep saying that it makes no difference.
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« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2011, 06:00:42 AM »

Both are oversimplifications. What happened to your scientific, rational mind? Why the false dichotomy?
If the early text included in the Bible contained polytheism but no longer does.... voila!
Notice the original statement was about the Bible.

Quote
The Bible is not our God, nor was it Maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.
So you're not going to explain why an all-powerful being has successfully created a universe but failed to inspire a prompt book notifying us all about his presence? Stop deflecting to get out of explaining anything. It concerns him if it's "God breathed". Seeing as he is the maker of all things, I guess it concerns him regardless.
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« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2011, 12:40:09 PM »


So you're not going to explain why an all-powerful being has successfully created a universe but failed to inspire a prompt book notifying us all about his presence? Stop deflecting to get out of explaining anything. It concerns him if it's "God breathed".

You still do NOT "get it"....we are not Biblical inerrantists. We do not understand the Scriptures in the same way a Protestant Fundamentalist does. So you're question makes no sense. It's like asking a Muslim "explain to me why you accept the Trinity!"

it's an incoherent questions. The title of this website is "Orthodox Christianity", you do realize that we don't mean "orthodox" but in fact it is in reference to Eastern Christendom, what you would deem a distinct denomination, right? Eastern Orthodoxy does not "need the Bible", you are once again, as always misrepresenting our religion, then arguing against the misrepresentation. I have no problem with you disagreeing with our faith or any other faith but stop misrepresenting what it is Orthodoxy believes and does not believe.

Quote
Seeing as he is the maker of all things, I guess it concerns him regardless.

Logical fallacy. You assume that if there is a God, he must behave exactly how you think he should behave. He doesn't behave the way you think he should, and thus you assume God cannot exist. That's not just  had argument, it's not an argument at all. Just because the leader of a a particular country doesn't do what I want, doesn't mean the leader is a "bad person" or "evil", it simply means he didn't meet my expectations. Nothing more.

« Last Edit: January 22, 2011, 12:40:48 PM by NorthernPines » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2011, 11:10:36 AM »

If the ancient Jews evolved from an understanding of polytheism to monotheism, what of it? If this is also reflected in Scripture, or if the ancient writers used stories common to pagan people in order to prove a bigger point, what exactly does this prove?

What is more, your attacks on the Scripture make little sense either. You're attacking the Bible based on your false understanding of it. Scripture is God-breathed, or inspired by God, but this would explain why some parts are allegorical or why there are some parts that are confusing; God is above us, therefore we won't understand everything He says (at least, not at first).
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« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2011, 09:13:40 AM »

You still do NOT "get it"....we are not Biblical inerrantists. We do not understand the Scriptures in the same way a Protestant Fundamentalist does. So you're question makes no sense. It's like asking a Muslim "explain to me why you accept the Trinity!"

it's an incoherent questions. The title of this website is "Orthodox Christianity", you do realize that we don't mean "orthodox" but in fact it is in reference to Eastern Christendom, what you would deem a distinct denomination, right? Eastern Orthodoxy does not "need the Bible", you are once again, as always misrepresenting our religion, then arguing against the misrepresentation. I have no problem with you disagreeing with our faith or any other faith but stop misrepresenting what it is Orthodoxy believes and does not believe.
What exactly is this a response to? This wasn't about your faith. It's about the history of the Bible. Facts. Not interpretation.

Quote
Logical fallacy. You assume that if there is a God, he must behave exactly how you think he should behave. He doesn't behave the way you think he should, and thus you assume God cannot exist.
No, actually the reason why he doesn't exist is because there is no evidence in favor of it and heaps of evidence to the contrary. The fact that he doesn't behave how an omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving being would is just a flaw in the storyline.

Quote
That's not just  had argument, it's not an argument at all. Just because the leader of a a particular country doesn't do what I want, doesn't mean the leader is a "bad person" or "evil", it simply means he didn't meet my expectations. Nothing more.
Dear God, that sounds oddly nihilistic. What is this moral relativism? Don't you argue for an objective morality from a God?
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« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2011, 01:48:00 PM »


What exactly is this a response to? This wasn't about your faith. It's about the history of the Bible. Facts. Not interpretation.


Nice try, but I am not letting you off the hook that easily. You clearly were trying to "make a point" by posting this. You were not asking questions, in a manner of open and honest inquiry, or curiosity, or with an interest in the Bible as a historical document...that, many of us could and WOULD be thrilled to do. But you are not doing that. You are bringing up "shock topics" to a group of people who largely will not be shocked by it at all. Some of us will, but people like myself, Mina, Isa and some others will not. Would you go to a forum on the Iliad and post "bet you didn't know the Iliad said THIS HORRIBLE THING"? Of course not. If you really want to talk about the Bible then do so. But you don't you are ax grinding, even our resident atheists here can see that, which is why they aren't siding with you.

Don't give us that line that you just want to talk about the Bible and nothing more,

You wrote:

Quote
Considering Christianity is many things, contradictory perhaps not. But all the more fatuous, yes. For being "God breathed" the Bible struggles more to achieve perfection than his creation. It's interesting that he took so long to reveal himself as the only God, and to only certain group of people too.

What is your point with saying this, if not to use it to "debunk" Christianity? hardly a scholarly attitude. Scholars do NOT go out to "debunk" the Bible, they become Biblical scholars to understand it, just as scholars of the Iliad or the Egyptian book of the dead do. If you cared to know anything at all about big O Orthodox Christianity, you would know everything you said there is totally irrelevant to our beliefs. It's like going to a Jewish website and arguing "Jesus is not the Messiah and here are all the reasons, take that!"

Uh, no kidding! Every adherent of Judaism would be like "okay, what's your point?" Essentially you just stumbled upon a website titled "Orthodox Christianity", have no knowledge of any various branches of Christendom and assumed "well, if it's good enough to debunk a Baptist it's good enough here"...no, sorry it's not.


Quote
Quote
Logical fallacy. You assume that if there is a God, he must behave exactly how you think he should behave. He doesn't behave the way you think he should, and thus you assume God cannot exist.

No, actually the reason why he doesn't exist is because there is no evidence in favor of it and heaps of evidence to the contrary. The fact that he doesn't behave how an omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving being would is just a flaw in the storyline.

So now you are ADMITTING this topic was about "debunking" belief in (fill in the blank) and NOT about "just the Bible!" That's what I thought.


Quote
Quote
That's not just  had argument, it's not an argument at all. Just because the leader of a a particular country doesn't do what I want, doesn't mean the leader is a "bad person" or "evil", it simply means he didn't meet my expectations. Nothing more.
Dear God, that sounds oddly nihilistic. What is this moral relativism? Don't you argue for an objective morality from a God?
[/quote]

So you really think everyone who disagrees with you a  bad person? Interesting!

« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 01:56:46 PM by NorthernPines » Logged
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« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2011, 01:50:25 PM »

No, actually the reason why he doesn't exist is because there is no evidence in favor of it and heaps of evidence to the contrary. The fact that he doesn't behave how an omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving being would is just a flaw in the storyline.

What evidence against Him? I have yet to see you provide any.
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« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2011, 02:01:38 PM »

No, actually the reason why he doesn't exist is because there is no evidence in favor of it and heaps of evidence to the contrary. The fact that he doesn't behave how an omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving being would is just a flaw in the storyline.

What evidence against Him? I have yet to see you provide any.

Why, you know Papist...the evidence that...um, well.....um............

Of course we KNOW what he's going to say, don't we? (unanswered prayers, evil, suffering etc) Interesting how a topic that is supposed to be "about the Bible" ends up about God's existence, yet again, isn't it?

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