Re: [questioningrel-83] Thoughts on "Recent thoughts from Doug"

From: Anna
Sent on: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 5:31 PM
I draw mainly from scientific theories as well as documented phenomena
and generally think that the scientific method is the best tool we
currently have for observing and explaining the world around us. While
it is fraught with pitfalls of fallible humanity, I still consider it
to be more reliable than alternative methods.

On Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 5:19 PM, Darin Pesnell <[address removed]> wrote:
> Hey all,
>
> One thing I think might help this discussion is for the members to lay out briefly an overview of their epistemology. ?Jim, for example, seems to see the bible and its contents as his primary epistemological foundation (correct me if I'm mis-reading you, Jim). ?What about Anna and Doug?
>
> -Darin
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Anna
> Sent: Wednesday, April 14,[masked]:01 PM
> To: [address removed]
> Subject: Re: [questioningrel-83] Thoughts on "Recent thoughts from Doug"
>
> Re: proofs of Noah's ark
>
> I find this line of reasoning problematic. While there is a
> possibility that Noah's ark would be able to contain all the animals
> due to an act of divine will, we have no way of knowing that this is
> actually relevant.
>
> The only thing informing us of Noah's ark is the Bible. The Bible
> tells us that there was an ark and it held all the animals Noah could
> gather. It's not big on specifics.
>
> Any of the following could be true:
> ? ? ? ?A) The Bible is literal - states that there was a physical ark and it
> actually held these animals.
> ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?1) If the Bible is the word of God, the following could be true:
> ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?1.a) God is relaying factual information to the writer.
> ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?2.a) God is relaying false information to the writer for some
> greater purpose which we cannot grasp.
> ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?2) The Bible is the word of man
> ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?2.a) Man is recording true history(this seems unlikely based on
> known facts about the physical world)
> ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?2.b) Man is recording hitory incorrectly(embelish­ing, mistranslating, ...etc)
> ? ? ? ?B) The Bible is figurative - the ark is a metaphor, a story, ...etc
> as intended by the original writer be they God or man.
>
> There is no way to know which of the above is actually the case in
> this matter. It's odd to therefore try to disprove the ark via
> physical impossibilities and unlikelyhoods. The problem with the
> scenario is more profound than that. We at this point in time cannot
> even define what must be proven/disproven in regards to the ark story
> much less go on to offer actual arguments pro/against.
>
> And this is even before we get into the issue of: Prove that the
> original Bible(prior to maddeningly numerous transcriptions and
> translations) said anything about the ark.
>
>
> On Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 4:39 PM, Anna <[address removed]> wrote:
>> Ignore the previous email, gmail sent it prematurely. More to follow.
>>
>> On Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 4:39 PM, Anna Zhigalov <[address removed]> wrote:
>>> Re: proofs of Noah's ark
>>>
>>> I find this line of reasoning problematic. While there is a
>>> possibility that Noah's ark would be able to contain all the animals
>>> due to an act of divine will, we have no way of knowing that this was
>>> actually the case. The only thing telling us this is so is the Bible.
>>>
>>> The Bible is either:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 4:21 PM, James Paster Jr. <[address removed]> wrote:
>>>> Doug,
>>>> One thing to think about in regards to science not being able to prove
>>>> Noah's ark. Let us say for sake of argument that the God I believe in is
>>>> Creator. Would He not be able to make the animals calm so they would not
>>>> kill each other? If He is truly all powerful and created the universe this
>>>> would be?child's?play for Him since as Creator He ordered all laws of
>>>> science into existence not too mention that He would not have to adhere to
>>>> them. Here is an interesting question. How do people with terminal cancer
>>>> become completely free of the disease over night(which has been documented
>>>> medically and scientifically)?
>>>> One other thing I would say is that one cannot become a Christian and then
>>>> not be one anymore according to God's word. You either are or are not. This
>>>> is a commonly mistaken belief of many who have never truly experienced God's
>>>> grace and mercy in their lives.
>>>> As for my belief in an all sovereign God, it is a very uncomfortable place
>>>> to be in yet at the same time comforting. I will need to explain this to you
>>>> face to face since there will be many questions about this concept.
>>>> Thank you Doug for being so kind to me in all that you have communicated. I
>>>> can only hope to be as kind in return.
>>>> Soli Deo Gloria,
>>>> Jim
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Douglas Scheesley <[address removed]>
>>>> To: [address removed]
>>>> Sent: Wed, Apr 14,[masked]:26 pm
>>>> Subject: Re: [questioningrel-83] Thoughts on "Recent thoughts from Doug"
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> James,
>>>>
>>>> Do not worry, no offense was taken at all.? Believe me, I have gone from
>>>> hardcore atheist to Christian to pagan... to a lot of different beliefs, and
>>>> the only thing that I really know is that I am not a big fan of organized
>>>> religion, in the sense that a hierarchy must exist.
>>>>
>>>> As for some of your quotes:
>>>>
>>>> "It is my quest to learn what the agnostic system of belief offers those who
>>>> hold to this view point, especially since after examining myself during this
>>>> time I found nothing of value in it for myself."
>>>>
>>>> Well, being agnostic really is not a religious belief... I would consider it
>>>> more a school of thought first, though I am sure many consider it a
>>>> religious position if you simply believe in a creator, but you can be
>>>> agnostic w/o believing in a creator.? To me, agnosticism is a transitional
>>>> state.? Please excuse the chemistry talk.? Transitional states, in
>>>> chemistry, are structures in between reactions.? So if you have a reaction
>>>> from starting material A to form product B, the transition state may look
>>>> more like A or B (A* or B*, respectively).? These transitions states are not
>>>> stable, they bounce back from form to form, and are usually difficult to
>>>> characterize.? That is really the only way I can describe my beliefs at
>>>> times.
>>>>
>>>> As for what value can be found by having a religious agnostic view?? For me
>>>> (and I am sure Mario will agree with this theme), I prefer the freedom I
>>>> have to believe what I wish.? The minute I call myself Christian (not that I
>>>> am), everyone immediately thinks they know what I believe, no different then
>>>> when I tell people I am a Republican... they automatically have a tendency
>>>> to assume that I think George Bush was the greatest President and that I get
>>>> off on torture (pardon my language, but a little pain never hurt anybody ;-)
>>>> I kid, I kid).? Anywho...
>>>>
>>>> I would say believing in a more formless creator has some great benefits.
>>>> One is that no one else can tell you what it is.? You have no established
>>>> doctrine, so there are no arguments.? If I want to believe that Anubis is
>>>> the male form of the creator, and Jean D'Arc is the female form of the
>>>> creator, no agnostic person can say "you are wrong".? Also, it allows me to
>>>> take what parts I agree with from any religion.? Because the Bible is the
>>>> major account of who God and Jesus are, I really do not care for them (I
>>>> find both divine beings, in the Bibles account, to be hypocritical).? I can
>>>> still believe that a sort of heaven and hell exist, but I do not have to
>>>> believe that the god that is talked about in the Bible has anything to do
>>>> with that.? I do not have to believe in Noahs ark as being historical fact
>>>> (something I cannot accept).? It allows me to be able to believe in
>>>> something, without having to get into a debate with an atheist about
>>>> ridiculous things such as how you could build such an ark where the animals
>>>> wouldn't kill each other and disease run rampant.? I can believe, without
>>>> scientific arguments being able to truely argue the validity, because
>>>> scientific validity is still important to me.? I can believe that Anubis is
>>>> God, and not a single person can scientifically prove me wrong.? True, you
>>>> can believe in the ark, but science has a basis to argue why it could not
>>>> have happened.
>>>>
>>>> To me, being agnostic gives you the flexibility to believe in a creative
>>>> force without being in conflict with ones scientific beliefs.? In
>>>> Christianity, I believe that is a little more difficult, especially when one
>>>> believes the Bible to be the word of God (which I do not).
>>>>
>>>> Please, do not take offense from my criticisms of a religion.? It is
>>>> important for you (and everyone) to know that as much as I believe in what I
>>>> do, I also believe that others have the right to believe what they want, and
>>>> I encourage that.? In fact, I find myself defending many of my Christian
>>>> friends, because I do think Christianity has gotten a bum wrap for certain
>>>> reasons.
>>>>
>>>> But I will also enforce, even though I may respect someones beliefs, it does
>>>> not mean I agree with them, as I usually do not, but I will accept them as
>>>> beliefs.
>>>>
>>>> And so you know, I have read the Old Testament some time ago, and took a
>>>> course in college on Biblical Narrative, because I believe it is important
>>>> for me to understand others beliefs.
>>>>
>>>> Regards,
>>>>
>>>> Douglas Scheesley
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
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