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  #61  
Old 17th April 2012, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: What question is answered by religion?

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Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
Back at you.

My point is a simple one: Genesis 1:1-2:1, the creation event, gives information the bronze-age civilization who wrote it down, could not have known otherwise. They had no archaeology, not paleontology, no side-scan sonar, deep-ice core drills, no orbital imagery.
and they were wrong. Nothing in Genesis 1:1 offers any viable explanation of any part of of the universe, least of all did it explain anything more useful than their imagined record of god to the people who wrote it down no matter that you try to squeeze in some plausible connection with actual scientific explanations today.

Quote:
And no, the earth was not formed in 7 24-hour periods of time. Scripture doesn't say that. The Hebrew word for day simply means a span of time with a begging and end, not 24 hours.
Who gives a fuck what is your interpretation of "day" in the bible? What does it have to do with anything, given you say it is not a viable unit of measure and therefore otiose with regard to explanations?

Quote:
For more information on how Day-Age Creationism has resolved the conflict between the hard sciences and scripture, please see: <yet another apologetics site>.
I observe that it is trying to fit the bible story into what is known from science. I do not see science trying to fit in with the religious story. Therefore, you grant that in your example religion offers nothing unavailable to science.

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The creation event is something only religion could answer for a very long time.
Having gods of the four winds was an answer to wind provided only by those religions of that time. So what? Did praying or sacrificing to those gods improve navigation or agriculture?

When I asked what question is answered by religion I was looking for something factual, not frivolous answers of which we already have examples in this thread. You will recall that religion also answered the question of goat-breeding, by casting shadows with sticks to breed striped goats. Is this your idea of an explanation?

Quote:
As for the rest of your rantings, I seriously do not think you need me or anyone else to give you the definition of science, or a history of how our modern divisions of it came about.
It is true that I do not need it in the sense it was a subject of study for me and I have relevant materials waiting on my bookshelf. I want to know what are your answers to my question:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeno
Where do you place "very recently in human history" and how in this context do you define science?
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  #62  
Old 17th April 2012, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: What question is answered by religion?

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Originally Posted by Xeno View Post
but still debunked a hundred years before Darwin by Hume,
didn't know that - ta!
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  #63  
Old 17th April 2012, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: What question is answered by religion?

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Originally Posted by two dogs View Post
Genesis 1:5 (KJV) says:
"And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day."
That's not a 24 hour day?
The word "day", or yom in Hebrew can have a number of meanings, only one of which is "day of 24 hours:
1) a period of light;
2) a period of 24 hours;
3) a general, vague time;
4) a point of time;
5) a year.

Which definition is appropriate can easily seem arbitrary, until the description is lined up with natural science:

Quote:
Both science and the Bible have told us that at the earth's creation, it was covered with a dense layer of clouds and gases which would have made it dark at its surface. Genesis 1:2 says, "darkness was over the surface of the deep." Next, God removed much of the cloud cover, when He stated, "Let there be light" (Genesis 1:3) This was the light of the Sun (already created) which now "separated light from darkness" (Genesis 1:4). It is very clear from the text that the sun had already been created and the earth was rotating on its axis, since there was light (day) and darkness (night) (Genesis 1:5).

http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/day-age.html
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  #64  
Old 17th April 2012, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: What question is answered by religion?

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Originally Posted by Xeno View Post
I want to know what are your answers to my question:
1. I refer to the beginning of Common Era use of complex machinery such as accurate clocks, steam engines, and when alchemy began transforming into the more refined discipline of chemistry we see today, around the 6th century.

2. I don't use subjective definitions, so when I'm asked "how do you define -insert word here-" I can't answer. Science is science. I don't define science or any other word. I refer to the dictionary. As we agree that you don't need me or anyone else to insult you by quoting the dictionary definition, this is the best reply I can offer.
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  #65  
Old 18th April 2012, 06:02 AM
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Default Re: What question is answered by religion?

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Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
The word "day", or yom in Hebrew can have a number of meanings, only one of which is "day of 24 hours:
1) a period of light;
2) a period of 24 hours;
3) a general, vague time;
4) a point of time;
5) a year.
...
I'm quite aware of that, but thanks anyway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by www.godandscience.org
...
It is very clear from the text that the sun had already been created and the earth was rotating on its axis, since there was light (day) and darkness (night) (Genesis 1:5).
If "it is very clear from the text that the sun had already been created" on the first day, then why did God feel a need to create it again on the fourth "day"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by God
Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also.
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  #66  
Old 18th April 2012, 07:20 AM
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Default Re: What question is answered by religion?

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Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
My point is a simple one: Genesis 1:1-2:1, the creation event, gives information the bronze-age civilization who wrote it down, could not have known otherwise. They had no archaeology, not paleontology, no side-scan sonar, deep-ice core drills, no orbital imagery.
I'm not actually sure what you are saying here. I realised I'm reading your comments in the light of similar ones I've seen in the past, but on reflection I'm not sure whether you are making the same comment or something else. Are you saying:

1. "Gen 1 is an accurate depiction of creation, and therefore divinely inspired because the authors could not otherwise have known about the events they were writing about" (this was what I thought you were saying in the first instance). The problem with this view is that even if one takes the day-age approach to the Bible, nothing else in the accounts of creation squares with what we know about the history of the universe, of our solar system, and life. So one can't say the authors had divine knowledge; they had no knowledge, they were wrong.

2. "Gen 1 is a myth constructed to meet the needs for explanation of the people within the knowledge of the time". That may be true, but that doesn't go to the question, which is about what religion can tell us better than science can. This is clearly not one of those things (if there are any such things). The assertion which Xeno is questioning in this thread is whether religion can by itself provide genuine knowledge.

3. something else?
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  #67  
Old 18th April 2012, 09:03 AM
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Default Re: What question is answered by religion?

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Originally Posted by wearestardust View Post
Perhaps we gave up waiting for further input from you (Actually, the thread went for about 5 pages after your last post, so not too bad)
I don't know why your responding to me saying " i didn't realise this thread was still going"

All i meant was that I hadn't responded because I didn't know people were still writing on here asking questions.
So i'm not really interested by how many pages you can keep a thread going without me lol.

I also don't understand the nit picking thats going on here, If its ok, do you think we could just focus on the points relevant to the question and the answers being offered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wearestardust View Post
As someone (Xeno I think?) explained on page 1 or thereabouts, and Mr Black just repeated, the question is: what explanatory power does religion have - why can it answer those questions better than empirical and rational enquiry? Why should we take religious answers to those questions rather than rational approaches which answer them, respectively: "probably no-one" and "not applicable: see answer 1"?
It kind of seems like a crossover of two things then.
Religion offers truth claims about God.
You could use empirical and rational enquiry to figure out if these claims are actually true.

So I don't think its a case of you can only have one or the other.

And I know its your view, but you ask this with the presupposition that Religions aren't rational.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seamus View Post
Religion can and does answer ANY questions asked of it.

What percentage of the answers have any connection to reality is another matter entirely. From observation, considerably less than the astrology page in the free local community newspaper.
Seamus, you've nailed it here, and I'm really glad someones got to the end of this question and see's whats really being asked here.

Although I disagree with the comparison to astrology lol.

It all comes back to the truth or "reality" as you said of the Religion itself.

So religion can answer many questions being asked of it, whether they're true or not is another question. Does everyone agree with that?
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  #68  
Old 18th April 2012, 09:06 AM
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Default Re: What question is answered by religion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry
My point is a simple one: Genesis 1:1-2:1, the creation event, gives information the bronze-age civilization who wrote it down, could not have known otherwise. They had no archaeology, not paleontology, no side-scan sonar, deep-ice core drills, no orbital imagery.
I have some small questions arising from this assertion.

How come the bible refers to periods of time as days before majic man supposedly produces light and dark and therefore day and night?

Couldn't possibly be that days and nights were the common terms used for a diurnal cycle by the local herdsmen and that's what they used when they came up with these stories could it?

Genesis refers exclusively to animals and plants used by ancient middle-eastern tribesmen, there is no reference to llamas or kangaroos. Could it be that the authors of genesis could only refer to animals and plants with which they were familiar?

The geology and geography referred to in Genesis is that which would be known to bronze-age nomads living in a small region of the middle-east. Ararat is referred to as the highest mountain and it is asserted that a flood could cover the whole earth when we know no such event has ever, or could ever, in such a short time-span, occur. The authors weren't referring to local tribal memories by any chance?

The cultures and peoples mentioned in Genesis are exclusively those existing within a small region of the middle-east at that time. No mention is made of the Chinese, or the Mayans, or the Pitjantjatjara. It's as if the accounts were written by ancient and limited tribesman ignorant of anything outside their immediate experience.

The taxonomy applied by the authors of Genesis is backwards and objectively wrong. God apparently creates the whales before he creates the animals we know whales are descended from. It's as if Genesis taxonomy is a reflection of the ignorance of bronze-age tribesmen restricted to a small region in the middle-east.

The biology of Genesis is objectively wrong. We know there was never a "first" human and we know that human populations could never have been a single pair. If it had we would be extinct. Human population numbers, particularly if they are small, can be inferred by evidence carried in our own DNA. We know humanity has passed through bottlenecks, we even know roughly when and roughly the population size Homo sapiens was reduced to. This was never two and never happened in the sort of time-line Genesis asserts. Could it be that these are stories produced by bronze-age tribesman to provide a narrative to their own existence, and informed by their own ignorance?

Where are these things which a bronze-age civilisation in the middle-east could not have known from it's own experience? Where are these facts which bronze-age tribesmen ignorant of the world outside their own small part of it could not have known? Is the earth truly flat? Is the sky a tent with the stars sewn onto it?
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Last edited by Loki; 18th April 2012 at 09:08 AM.
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  #69  
Old 18th April 2012, 09:43 AM
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Default Re: What question is answered by religion?

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Originally Posted by peterm13 View Post
I would guess religion answers the questions of ...

Who is God ?
and
What does he want for us?
You mean like:

Q: Who is God?
A: Religion.

Q: What does God want us for?
A: Religion.

Do you really think this makes sense Peter?
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  #70  
Old 18th April 2012, 11:42 AM
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Default Re: What question is answered by religion?

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Originally Posted by Inedifix View Post
You mean like:

Q: Who is God?
A: Religion.

Q: What does God want us for?
A: Religion.

Do you really think this makes sense Peter?
Yeah I do think its true that religion offers answers to those two questions.

Well the expanded answer would be, different religions have different answers to the questions. They each have their own explanations of who god is etc

But are you saying that religion doesn't answer those questions?

( i'm not asking whether you believe them )
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