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"Predictions" In Holy Scripts

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Posted by S.H. Le on September 28, 2000 17:18:57 UTC

I find that people seem to make enormous concessions when it comes to religion. I must side with Trew and the others on this issue, because the bible does not make explicit predictions. As I`ve stated before, the reliability of a theory depends chiefly on how well it makes testable hypotheses, not how well conclusions can be extrapolated from a text after the fact. I believe that those advocating the bible making seemingly consistent "predictions" are actually doing the latter - it`s an unsound method. If one insists that the bible has made accurate predictions, then it isn`t immune to the scientific method. Ex. according to Freud, if you had a poor upbringing you would grow up to be neurotic, if you had a good upbringing you would be neurotic, if you had an intermediate upbringing, you`d still manage to find a way to be neurotic. You may have come to the conclusion that Freud was unscientific. That`s because this is not a valid way of making predictions. It`s listing every possible option that could possibly transpire, and then explaining it all away in hindsight. Thus, anything that is left so vague and ambiguous could be interpreted in any number of ways. (To address Yanniru`s comment, I don`t see how Genesis ever implied evolution… if it did, then the church wouldn`t have been so adamantly opposed to it when it was first introduced by Darwin.)

Furthermore, people often fail to acknowledge all the times the bible has been wrong (the earth isn`t the center of the universe, and it isn`t flat). Of course when they admit a certain part of the bible doesn`t fit with the facts, then they dismiss that particular part of the bible as "just a metaphor". How does one systematically classify which areas are factual and which are allegorical? I guess we simply take the Christian`s word for it.

But take this Creationist example. Adam`s rib was removed to make Eve the first woman. If this is literally true, than it stands to reason that males should have one less rib than woman. Ever try counting the ribs on humans? It turns out that men and woman have the exact number of ribs. Naturally the Christian insists that this particular part of the bible was only allegorical. Let`s examine what sort of message this metaphor conveys. A woman was created from a man, with the sole purpose of `keeping the man company`. Later on in Genesis, Eve was blamed for `tricking` Adam into eating the forbidden fruit so henceforth women are condemned with the pain of childbirth. Here, God seemingly sends a direct message that women were created FOR the purpose of entertaining men, and women are to blame for original sin. A tad sexist? Is God openly advocating the subjugation of women? I don`t think most Christians would approve of the metaphor that is Genesis… Christian women in particular.

So those are the options, the bible is literal, or the bible is metaphorical - both yielding unsatisfactory results. Only when you realize that the bible is most likely not a divine account, but were books written by humans, each with their own perception of God, does the bible make any sense. All the inconsistencies arise from the different interpretations… and humans will disagree. When you examine the inconsistencies in the Bible, you realize they are simply stories past on from our ancestors. Take the bible for what it is, parables and psalms intended to teach certain ethical lessons, not solid reliable fact.

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