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Thread: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

  1. #36
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    I think people back when were smarter than we give credit. Chi, for example. Or Qi. Probably sounded crazy way back when. It’s hard science, now...
    Just as smart as we are, some of them - but VASTLY more ignorant of the physical world.

    But excuse me - did I miss where Chi got included in physics textbooks?
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    So, there isnít an invisible electrical force that permeates all things?

    Hmmm.

    I could SWEAR physics class said we were all just electrical charges.

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    Cool Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Keep calm, persistence beats resistance.

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    Who's saying that Christianity should be above scrutiny? I've been "scrutinizing" and rejecting/affirming various Christians' thoughts about Christianity as long as I've been conscious. And am entirely ordinary and orthodox in that practice.

    I think you need to meet a better crowd, George. I'm entirely pissed off with the "Christianity" you describe too.
    Not you, Tom, but the "crowd" right here, that thinks threads like this should not exist.

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    So, there isn’t an invisible electrical force that permeates all things?
    Not dark matter, apparently.

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post

    And Tom, I'm quite impressed how you managed to put in the second law of thermodynamics, a fundamental truth about the universe that the folks 4000 years ago understood very, very dimly. if at all
    But I think it might be backwards:


    we experience that version of "Order" we live within as "very good" compared with the preceding Chaos

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    In the beginning, God got powerful drunk on Tequila, and vomited the stars into the void.

    After the dry heaves subsided She smoked a little weed, just to take the edge off, and during the ensuing reverie She dreamt into existence The Earth with all its flora and fauna.

    Unfortunately, Loki appealed to Her ego, and convinced Her that none of this Creation meant anything unless someone were around to appreciate it, so She created Adam and Eve to adore her forever more through their children and their children's children.

    It soon became clear that she had no clue about Human Nature.

    These Morons set about to burn Paradise and pave it over. To poison the seas and murder each other and every other living thing on Earth.

    About 250 years ago, She threw up her hands, grabbed a case of Tequila AŮejo and, mumbling a curse upon Loki, slouched off in shame to another Universe, another town, ever optimistic not only that a perfect world IS possible, but that She could create it.
    Rattling the teacups.

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    In the beginning, God got powerful drunk on Tequila, and vomited the stars into the void.

    After the dry heaves subsided She smoked a little weed, just to take the edge off, and during the ensuing reverie She dreamt into existence The Earth with all its flora and fauna.

    Unfortunately, Loki appealed to Her ego, and convinced Her that none of this Creation meant anything unless someone were around to appreciate it, so She created Adam and Eve to adore her forever more through their children and their children's children.

    It soon became clear that she had no clue about Human Nature.

    These Morons set about to burn Paradise and pave it over. To poison the seas and murder each other and every other living thing on Earth.

    About 250 years ago, She threw up her hands, grabbed a case of Tequila AŮejo and, mumbling a curse upon Loki, slouched off in shame to another Universe, another town, ever optimistic not only that a perfect world IS possible, but that She could create it.
    You too much Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Yeah.

    Tequila.

    Because, there was nothing but savages over here in America when civilization started.

    Hahahahahaha.

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    In the beginning, God got powerful drunk on Tequila, and vomited the stars into the void.

    After the dry heaves subsided She smoked a little weed, just to take the edge off, and during the ensuing reverie She dreamt into existence The Earth with all its flora and fauna.

    Unfortunately, Loki appealed to Her ego, and convinced Her that none of this Creation meant anything unless someone were around to appreciate it, so She created Adam and Eve to adore her forever more through their children and their children's children.

    It soon became clear that she had no clue about Human Nature.

    These Morons set about to burn Paradise and pave it over. To poison the seas and murder each other and every other living thing on Earth.

    About 250 years ago, She threw up her hands, grabbed a case of Tequila AŮejo and, mumbling a curse upon Loki, slouched off in shame to another Universe, another town, ever optimistic not only that a perfect world IS possible, but that She could create it.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Yeah.

    Tequila.

    Because, there was nothing but savages over here in America when civilization started.

    Hahahahahaha.
    Well, some versions of the tale have her drinking Ouzo, but no self-respecting God I'm aware of would be caught dead wearing one of those ridiculous hats!

    Rattling the teacups.

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Longino View Post
    First sentence of The Holy Bible!
    Anybody else need a shot of Mescal to wash that lie down?
    Please discuss rationally.
    Heaven and Earth was all they had back then.

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Nah Keith. The Genesis dudes and I know different things about the physical world - and unlike them I know a wee bit about the existence of other worlds and galaxies outside this one ball we live on. But in Genesis we're talking metaphors, just like we are (covertly) in modern cosmologies proposed by scientists.

    We still have undifferentiated and largely unknown Chaos as the starting place for modern science's cosmologies, eh? Whatever was there just before the Big Bang went Bang (bigly!) is unknown, and to us largely unknowable. But we "know" that it was there, whatever the "it" was, and wherever "there" might have been.

    We moderns have put a bit more meat on the idea of how the ensuingChaos of space dust and gas and shrapnel started to coalesce into stars and planets and hamsters etc. - gravity etc. - but we're still really talking about Chaos transforming into Not Chaos. And we have no explanations at all about why gravity exists, instead of some other principle which perhaps performs an ordering function in another universe. It just does exist, and always has ... so far as we can tell.

    When you put it that way, the "Chaos" preceding "Order," and "Order" as a precondition for the emergence of life ... we're still talking about principles which the Genesis dude would recognize and affirm. I like the goat-herder's poetic description of "Chaos" as essentially a limitless and massive storm in a limitless ocean ... and of "Order" as enough of the water being held back somehow - in every direction - to make room for some dry land and a bubble of air captured under a blue overturned bowl with its rim at the horizon. (Which leaks when it rains here! )

    I suspect that if humans survive a couple more thousand years, the 21st Century's cosmologies will look quaint and primitive. Rational considering what we had to work with in terms of our ability for empirical observation, but quaint - and a bit superstitious. I also suspect, though, that humans 2 millennia on will still be working with principles of Chaos and Order, and observing that one rather than the other is necessary to sustain life.

    Really and truly, Genesis is a story, not a scientific text. It's a story about relationships, and understanding our species' place as an element of the Ordered cosmos which has the capacity for awareness and thought. Uniquely, we've always assumed.

    The story tells us a deep truth about ourselves, and one which pretty much every great work of Literature has taught: that the capacity for awareness and thought can trick us into imagining that we know more than we actually do, that we think more profoundly than we actually can. We are a pretty cool species, Genesis tells us, but we're only a species. And things can go very wrong indeed if we get mixed up about that, and start to act like we are external to and superior to the ecosystems within which we live, and upon which we depend. Or chip away at whatever it is that holds the water back, holds the "Order" together, rather than reverting to "Chaos."

    I mean, the Flood story is an extension of this cosmological metaphor - in part, it's reminding folks that in principle the Chaotic Water can come back, depending on the choices we make. I find it interesting to look at that aspect of the Flood story again, as we ponder human activity leading to melting ice caps etc. Some metaphors are still powerful after all these years, eh?

    As to things like the 10 Commandments, and various laws and multi-generational curses or blessings, regulations and bureaucratizations thereafter ... that's for another post.
    Last edited by TomF; 11-24-2020 at 10:35 AM.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    I think people back when were smarter than we give credit.
    I tend to think you're right, but they didn't have the same goals as we do now. Science wasn't a discipline of thought where they were living. They searched for meaning in the world around them and, I think, used stories to tell truth. The Old Testament was handed down orally for a long time and the stories had to be memorable. That doesn't mean there isn't fundamental truth within the story. It just isn't the truth that the OP is searching for.

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    So, there isn’t an invisible electrical force that permeates all things? Hmmm. I could SWEAR physics class said we were all just electrical charges.
    Four of 'em, actually, not all electrical as such. Did the folks who came up with Qi talk about four forces?
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    The key lesson of that chapter of the Bible is: ignorance is strength, knowledge is evil, learning will be punished.

    Note that the "knowledge" we are not allowed to have is moral knowledge. Don't worry your pretty little head about what's good and what's evil, just do what the Lord orders without questioning it.
    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    No George. The key lesson of that chapter of the Bible is: Chaos preceded the formation of the world we experience - the world of matter, land separated from water, sky separated from earth. Living things and dead ones, rather than merely dead stuff. Moreover, we experience that version of "Order" we live within as "very good" compared with the preceding Chaos - so we'd do well to appreciate it, and tend it. The Genesis story conceives of humans as gardeners, stewards of the place.
    Tom,

    your answer to George seems to dodge his point about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and how humanity was forbidden to eat from it. This is a perfectly clear demonstration that moral knowledge is for God, and blind obedience is for humans. The serpent actually tells them the truth, that by eating the fruit they will become "like God, knowing Good and Evil."

    I'm reminded of Philip Pullman's marvelous series His Dark Materials (aka The Golden Compass). This series never got the attention it deserves--basically it follows Milton's lead to upset the traditional narrative of Satan as the bad guy, and of "lost innocence" being a disaster for humanity, pointing out that it is only BECAUSE of the loss of innocence that humans become self-aware beings with moral knowledge and real agency. In other words, the Church is the villain in Pullman's work (as it is, arguably, in reality), and it is by moving beyond the innocence of childhood (with all the sacrifices that transition entails) that humanity becomes rational and moral.

    Blind obedience--the traditional Biblical view--is not morality. It is, in fact, entirely amoral. That is the point George was making. I'd love to hear your thoughts about that, and about Pullman if you've read his books. I always thought that Christians spent all their time attacking Harry Potter when the books that REALLY posed an existential threat (Pullman's) were entirely ignored.

    Tom
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Four of 'em, actually, not all electrical as such. Did the folks who came up with Qi talk about four forces?
    No. They talked about, and understood, the Grand Unified Field Theory that modern science is still searching for.

    Tom
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    We are a pretty cool species, Genesis tells us, but we're only a species. And things can go very wrong indeed if we get mixed up about that, and start to act like we are external to and superior to the ecosystems within which we live, and upon which we depend.
    Wow! You have gotten hold of an entirely different edition of Genesis than the one I'm familiar with--they appear to have left out Ch. 1, 26-28:

    Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”
    Not quite supportive of the interpretation you're offering...

    Tom
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    The story tells us a deep truth about ourselves, and one which pretty much every great work of Literature has taught: that the capacity for awareness and thought can trick us into imagining that we know more than we actually do, that we think more profoundly than we actually can. We are a pretty cool species, Genesis tells us, but we're only a species. And things can go very wrong indeed if we get mixed up about that, and start to act like we are external to and superior to the ecosystems within which we live, and upon which we depend. Or chip away at whatever it is that holds the water back, holds the "Order" together, rather than reverting to "Chaos."
    Very wise, Tom, but it doesn't seem to me to bear much relationship to Genesis, and what the folks who wrote it actually thought. You've constructed something on top of it based on several millennia of progressively greater knowledge.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    your answer to George seems to dodge his point about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and how humanity was forbidden to eat from it. This is a perfectly clear demonstration that moral knowledge is for God, and blind obedience is for humans. The serpent actually tells them the truth, that by eating the fruit they will become "like God, knowing Good and Evil."
    I think it's an early attempt to explain why there is evil in the world. How many times have you heard someone say, "If there is a God, why does he allow...?" Yes, the serpent was right and now we live with the consequences. To what degree it is true vs God's design is above my pay grade.

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Four of 'em, actually, not all electrical as such. Did the folks who came up with Qi talk about four forces?
    Right.

    Nevermind the folks talking philosophy before Jesus was even a dream understanding that electric energy permeates and connects all things.

    They didn’t say quark.
    Last edited by amish rob; 11-24-2020 at 11:22 AM.

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    While I don't believe for one second that a man named Noah built a wooden boat and every creature on earth crammed into it for 40 days while every bit of land on the planet was covered in rainwater, I do believe there are plenty of life lessons to be gleaned from the bible. I think it's a book with good advice about how to be a better person. The stories in it are just that, stories to drive home the point of how you can make yourself and others around you better people. The bible is nothing more than a collection of sound advice for being a better person.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Nevermind the folks talking philosophy before Jesus was even a dream understanding that electric energy permeates and connects all things.
    Sure. Guesses, with a certain resemblance to modern physics after the fact. Good guesses, to give them credit. But Qi doesn't much resemble the forces of physics unless you stand a good long way off and squint.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Tom,

    your answer to George seems to dodge his point about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and how humanity was forbidden to eat from it. This is a perfectly clear demonstration that moral knowledge is for God, and blind obedience is for humans. The serpent actually tells them the truth, that by eating the fruit they will become "like God, knowing Good and Evil."

    I'm reminded of Philip Pullman's marvelous series His Dark Materials (aka The Golden Compass). This series never got the attention it deserves--basically it follows Milton's lead to upset the traditional narrative of Satan as the bad guy, and of "lost innocence" being a disaster for humanity, pointing out that it is only BECAUSE of the loss of innocence that humans become self-aware beings with moral knowledge and real agency. In other words, the Church is the villain in Pullman's work (as it is, arguably, in reality), and it is by moving beyond the innocence of childhood (with all the sacrifices that transition entails) that humanity becomes rational and moral.

    Blind obedience--the traditional Biblical view--is not morality. It is, in fact, entirely amoral. That is the point George was making. I'd love to hear your thoughts about that, and about Pullman if you've read his books. I always thought that Christians spent all their time attacking Harry Potter when the books that REALLY posed an existential threat (Pullman's) were entirely ignored.

    Tom
    I've read Pullman's stuff - were big in my kids' circle of friends. Neatly imagined world, if a wee bit .. polemical. The daemon thing was an interesting fantasy-working-out of what a soul could be, what our attachment to our pets feels like, and the deep yearning in most humans, it seems, for an unbreakable relationship with an "other" who knows us and who we know more deeply than words.

    Yeah, Pullman sees The Church as the villains - sees formal religion as hateful and oppressive, and fundamentally juxtaposed against the naÔve spirituality of the human/daemon bond. Something which Pullman somehow doesn't notice is itself ... uhm ... religious. I found that an interesting unconscious subversion of Pullman's polemical premise.

    ***************

    The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (morality), the Snake, the human directive to simply obey ... the claim by the snake that through eating the fruit, humans would become like God, knowing Good and Evil...

    First, can we agree that this is a story, not an account of an historical event? That whatever truth it was intended to help folks understand was not, actually, about trees and snakes and falling and being expelled from gardens? Great.

    This story is still about understanding humans as simply a species among species. Limited. Finite. We are a few hundred steps beyond salamanders and gerbils in our capacity to know, to choose, to make distinctions - to affect the world by our conscious actions ... but we are still fairly primitive at this. Much more than is comfortable to acknowledge.

    The story is about obedience to reality (which in Judeo-Christian thought is rather the same thing as obedience to God, who is the source of reality). So perhaps substitute the notion "Reality" rather than "God" as you read the story.

    Reality says to humans: "Look at this great ecosystem you live in! You humans can do and eat and cultivate pretty much all this stuff - it's awesome. And it's beyond obvious that none of the other species around you have really anything like your conscious capacity to modify the world to suit their needs - you're far beyond them."

    But Reality also says: "Uhm, one thing though - that consciousness thing. It can make you think you've got capacities that you haven't. You're fairly little beings, after all, which don't live terribly long. And there's piles of stuff not only that you don't know, but that even in principle haven't got the chops to know or deal with safely. But it won't feel like that. So beware of what in a couple thousand years the Greeks will call 'hubris', and don't get out ahead of your skis. Now go have fun."

    And the snake (why is it a snake?) is that bit of our own brain disregarding that little warning about our own finite nature, and saying "Heh - hold my beer!"

    The knowledge of Good and Evil is, cosmologically in Genesis, the knowledge of "Bringing Order" and "Enabling Chaos." It's the fruit that humans are supposed to leave alone ... because it really is beyond us by ourselves to Bring Order, though we can certainly Enable Chaos. And we tend to Enable Chaos by doing behaviour which exhibits hubris - which inserts flawed and limited human judgment and discernment - typically to create human-centric benefits - into how we approach stuff.

    What the story of The Fall is saying is "Reality exists - and is external to what humans sometimes wish it was. Cooperate with it anyway, even if you think you know better - because there are unintended consequences that you don't have the chops to anticipate."
    Last edited by TomF; 11-24-2020 at 11:51 AM.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Wow! You have gotten hold of an entirely different edition of Genesis than the one I'm familiar with--they appear to have left out Ch. 1, 26-28:



    Not quite supportive of the interpretation you're offering...

    Tom
    There are 2 creation stories in Genesis, back to back. They get to much the same place philosophically in terms of what the ancient Hebrew people thought was humans' place in the cosmos, but they take different routes.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    And the snake (why is it a snake?)
    Because human beings, from long before we were human beings, have a hardwired fear of long skinny legless animals that could very well be poisonous. Useful for our ancestors. Us too, sometimes.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    So, there isnít an invisible electrical force that permeates all things?

    Hmmm.

    I could SWEAR physics class said we were all just electrical charges.
    And neutrons, don't forget the neutrons.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Sure. Guesses, with a certain resemblance to modern physics after the fact. Good guesses, to give them credit. But Qi doesn't much resemble the forces of physics unless you stand a good long way off and squint.
    Well.

    Guesses.

    You sure are sure about a lot.

    Bye.

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    And neutrons, don't forget the neutrons.
    Yes, yes. Weíve been over this.

    They were dumb people who guessed wrong.

    Zzzzzzzz.

    Bye, bye.

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Very wise, Tom, but it doesn't seem to me to bear much relationship to Genesis, and what the folks who wrote it actually thought. You've constructed something on top of it based on several millennia of progressively greater knowledge.
    I disagree, Keith. What I'm saying is consistent with thousands of years of interpretation of the stories - across the whole written Judeo-Christian tradition. For all that I'm here and there inserting some modern language and references to modern science as reference points for modern readers' eyes and minds. The concepts are all ancient, and in the text.

    The two Genesis creation stories each end up saying that God created the cosmos out of chaos, and created everything that then inhabits them. Trees, plants, fish, animals, birds, humans, the works.

    Unique among the traits given to humans was something about being made "in the image of God." Libraries have been written about what that could possibly be - is God bipedal? What most ancient and modern commentators across the tradition have said is that that the Image of God includes something like consciousness - the ability to think, create, reason, form relationships, etc.

    But we're created in the Image of God; we're still creatures (things that were created), just like the fish, oxen, birds, bumble bees etc. We are only a species, though a species with certain capacities which (in the story) allows us to be assigned a unique role of being gardeners in Eden, caretakers of the rest of it.

    The story of "The Fall" is a story, as I just wrote above, about human self-aggrandizement - about hubris. About imagining, because we've got these brains and etc. attributes that we aren't mere species with nice brains. But Genesis tells us otherwise. We are creatures ("things that were created") rather than the Creators ourselves - we do not stand outside creation, making choices to order it as we wish without creating unintended consequences.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    While I don't believe for one second that a man named Noah built a wooden boat and every creature on earth crammed into it for 40 days while every bit of land on the planet was covered in rainwater, I do believe there are plenty of life lessons to be gleaned from the bible. I think it's a book with good advice about how to be a better person. The stories in it are just that, stories to drive home the point of how you can make yourself and others around you better people. The bible is nothing more than a collection of sound advice for being a better person.
    It is a pity that the language is so loose that modern "Christians" (and Muslims) can find anything in it that they want to use to justify their hatred and bigotry.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  32. #67
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Tom,

    thanks for your thoughts. I like your interpretation of Genesis--in fact I think it's admirable.

    I also think it's a desperate twisting of a text to support a belief that you reached through other means.

    The fact is, Genesis is pretty clear that the role of humanity is to rule over the earth and subdue it. Rather than depicting humans as members of the ecological community, the Genesis account places them OUTSIDE ecology--not as caretakers, but as "rulers." That's very different from the beliefs you describe, no matter how much you wish your beliefs to be grounded in religious tradition. Your beliefs, actually, are quite subversive--the equivalent of an eco-Marxist reading of Genesis, if we can imagine such a thing.

    That's fine, by the way. What I most appreciate about your religious views is that you DO engage with fundamental texts in a way that allows you to arrive at a belief system grounded in empathy and compassion. That's what religion, at its best, does.

    But make no mistake about it: your reading of Genesis is an extremely subversive one! A conventional reading sees it as a warning against veering from blind obedience to the unexamined dictates of authority, and an argument that moral agency is no concern of humanity, which is free to (commanded to, actually) "subdue" the earth.

    As for Pullman and religion--yes, more than a bit polemical. But I don't think he is at ALL hostile to religion; he is hostile to formal religious institutions, which he (quite rightly) argues often undermine and exploit people's religious experience for nefarious ends.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 11-24-2020 at 12:16 PM.
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  33. #68
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Well. Guesses. You sure are sure about a lot.
    Nah. I'm just guessing. But please don't imagine I think the ancient Chinese philosophers were at all stupid; they were as smart as anyone today, and a hell of a lot smarter than most. But they did know much less about the physical world than we do now, even non-genius non-specialists like you and me. How should it be otherwise? Lots of very bright people have been working on these problems for a long time, and testable verifiable empirically-based knowledge is cumulative. I don't have to figure out Newton's laws, or the atomic and molecular structure of matter; that's already been demonstrated. I don't have to come up with the idea of evolution through natural selection, or DNA, or entropy; it's already been done, and I can just read about it. We have the advantage of the work of millions of people over thousands of years. Why should we be surprised that we get a little closer to the truth than folks a long time ago?
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
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  34. #69
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Nah. I'm just guessing. But please don't imagine I think the ancient Chinese philosophers were at all stupid; they were as smart as anyone today, and a hell of a lot smarter than most. But they did know much less about the physical world than we do now, even non-genius non-specialists like you and me. How should it be otherwise? Lots of very bright people have been working on these problems for a long time, and testable verifiable empirically-based knowledge is cumulative. I don't have to figure out Newton's laws, or the atomic and molecular structure of matter; that's already been demonstrated. I don't have to come up with the idea of evolution through natural selection, or DNA, or entropy; it's already been done, and I can just read about it. We have the advantage of the work of millions of people over thousands of years. Why should we be surprised that we get a little closer to the truth than folks a long time ago?
    If quantum mechanics tells us anything at all, it tells us that there IS no "physical world" at all; merely wave functions and probabilities.

    When we look down now, there aren't even any turtles!

    Perhaps the ancient Chinese philosophers had a better understanding of reality that we, who cling to the notion of a "physical world," have, even now, with all our science.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    If quantum mechanics tells us anything at all, it tells us that there IS no "physical world" at all; merely wave functions and probabilities.

    When we look down now, there aren't even any turtles!

    Perhaps the ancient Chinese philosophers had a better understanding of reality that we, who cling to the notion of a "physical world," have, even now, with all our science.

    Tom
    Nope.

    They didnít say quark.

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