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BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...

Ebbie 22 Aug 13 - 02:39 AM
Dave Hanson 22 Aug 13 - 03:31 AM
GUEST,Musket curious 22 Aug 13 - 04:20 AM
Joe Offer 22 Aug 13 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,Musket musing 22 Aug 13 - 05:00 AM
GUEST,Grishka 22 Aug 13 - 05:31 AM
GUEST,Eliza 22 Aug 13 - 06:23 AM
GUEST,Musket evolving slowly 22 Aug 13 - 08:00 AM
Bill D 22 Aug 13 - 08:37 AM
Bill D 22 Aug 13 - 08:54 AM
GUEST,Grishka 22 Aug 13 - 08:58 AM
Bill D 22 Aug 13 - 09:13 AM
Stu 22 Aug 13 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,Chongo Chimp 22 Aug 13 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,Chongo Chimp 22 Aug 13 - 11:56 AM
Joe Offer 22 Aug 13 - 02:07 PM
Donuel 22 Aug 13 - 02:40 PM
GUEST,Grishka 22 Aug 13 - 03:35 PM
Little Hawk 22 Aug 13 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Musket musing 22 Aug 13 - 04:11 PM
Ebbie 22 Aug 13 - 04:21 PM
Joe Offer 22 Aug 13 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 22 Aug 13 - 04:42 PM
GUEST,Jack Sprocket 22 Aug 13 - 05:54 PM
JennieG 22 Aug 13 - 06:10 PM
Ebbie 22 Aug 13 - 07:19 PM
frogprince 22 Aug 13 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 22 Aug 13 - 10:12 PM
Ebbie 22 Aug 13 - 10:19 PM
Ebbie 22 Aug 13 - 10:20 PM
Fossil 23 Aug 13 - 06:38 AM
gnu 23 Aug 13 - 07:22 AM
Stu 23 Aug 13 - 09:17 AM
Little Hawk 23 Aug 13 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 23 Aug 13 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,Chongo Chimp 23 Aug 13 - 09:55 AM
Ebbie 23 Aug 13 - 11:22 AM
Bill D 23 Aug 13 - 11:32 AM
frogprince 23 Aug 13 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,Grishka 23 Aug 13 - 12:22 PM
Joe Offer 24 Aug 13 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,Grishka 24 Aug 13 - 08:04 AM
gnu 24 Aug 13 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,Musket musing 24 Aug 13 - 03:34 PM
Bill D 24 Aug 13 - 03:46 PM
Joe Offer 24 Aug 13 - 11:59 PM
gnu 25 Aug 13 - 06:15 PM
Fossil 25 Aug 13 - 08:20 PM
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Subject: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Ebbie
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 02:39 AM

A thought that I have never heard expressed has to do with the "6000" years that *some* people believe that this earth has existed.

In the Bible at least five people/men lived at least 800 years each, consecutively.

So that alone is approximately 4000 years.

Taking the figure of 70 years for each lifetime, that leaves 2000 years to be divvied up amongst approximately 55 men. Right?

Do fundamentalists/literalists really believe that? Heck, even I have the memory of three men. Only 53 others accounts for the rest of the time?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 03:31 AM

Well that's just wonderful, I knew it was worth getting up today.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: GUEST,Musket curious
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 04:20 AM

You realise you are systematically destroying my faith in The Flintstones?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 04:40 AM

Ah, that reminds me of one of my favorite songs:
    It Ain't Necessarily so
    (Ira and George Gershwin and whats-his-name, 1935)

    It ain't necessarily so,
    It ain't necessarily so -
    De t'ings dat yo' li'ble
    To read in de Bible -
    It ain't necessarily so.

    Li'l David was small, but - oh my!
    Li'l David was small, but - oh my!
    He fought big Goliath
    Who lay down an' dieth -
    Li'l David was small, but - oh my!...

    Oh Jonah, he lived in de whale,
    Oh Jonah, he lived in de whale -
    Fo' he made his home in
    Dat fish's abdomen -
    Oh Jonah, he lived in de whale. .

    In ain't necessarily so,
    It ain't necessarily so.
    Dey tell all you chillun
    De debble's a villun
    But 'tain't necessarily so.

    To get into hebben,
    Don't snap fo' a seben -
    Live clean! Don't have fault!
    Oh, I takes dat gospel
    Whenever it's pos'ple -
    But wid a grain of salt!

    Methus'lah live nine hundred years,
    Methus'lah live nine hundred years -
    But who calls dat livin'
    When no gal'll give in
    To no man what's nine hundred years?

    I'm preachin' dis sermon to show
    It ain't nessa, ain't nessa,
    Ain't nessa, ain't nessa,
    Ain't necessarily so!


But rather than criticize the Bible for stuff like this, why take it literally? If you think that the Bible writers didn't dream anybody would be stupid enough to take their symbolic writings literally, you get a completely different perspective.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: GUEST,Musket musing
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 05:00 AM

Ah but Joe. There's the rub. It is, I admit, neither clever nor nice to taunt the literalist ilk, but passing such nonsense on to children is not nice either.

There used to be one in every village and we certainly have our lower case example here on Mudcat, but look around and you will see a veritable commune of the buggers. .....


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 05:31 AM

Tertullian wrote about 200AD: "Certum est, quia impossibile" - "It is certain, because it is impossible", meaning: it must have been God's work, because it is not compatible with ordinary human experience.

The concepts of truth, existence, etc. were radically different from those of modern times. The notion "law of nature" is a creation of 17th century, Galileo and others. That was the time when Tertullian became misquoted "Credo quia absurdum" - "I believe it, because it is absurd". The new idea now was that defying reason was a heroic deed of faith. Medieval theologians like Thomas Aquinas would have disagreed strongly. (Remains to speculate what Thomas would have written had he been confronted with modern science; see Nicolaus Copernicus for such a man of the church.)

Consequently, our idea of symbolic vs. realistic writing cannot predate Galileo's time, although symbols as such were always known. In theology it only arrived in the 18th century. Luther, for example, had quite a different idea of the Bible. Nowadays, both theologians and philosophers of atheism have the problem to be stuck with various notions from entirely different systems of thinking. For example, "existence of God" may be compared to "taste of orange" - meaningful when talking about an edible fruit, meaningless about a colour, acquiring a new meaning with the advent of coloured artificial food.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 06:23 AM

The trouble is, that most of the Gospels, for example, were NOT written figuratively but literally. Jesus actually believed that the mentally ill chap was 'possessed by demons' called Legion, 'because they were many.' The onlookers believed that He sent the demons into the herd of swine, which sent them over the cliff. None of this is in the least credible nowadays, but the Gospels tell it as a true and real account, not as a figurative tale. It's very difficult when Science proves stuff that the Bible would contradict. The only thing I find surprising is that at least Genesis gets the order of the creation of the Earth correct. (ie, light/dark, solid/liquid matter, life in the sea, life on land, then humans) Noah's Ark is palpably preposterous. I agree that indoctrinating children with the view that all this is true and real is quite wrong. But then, one could apply that even to teaching them a religious faith at all. I'm afraid that I, while believing vaguely in God, put my trust in provable scientific fact. We need a new arrival of a Jesus who would be relevant to our times.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 08:00 AM

Well Eliza, on an adjacent thread, we can't offer you a new Jesus but we do have two co Messiahs and an associated gnome.   Our new religion is having teething problems but has over a matter of weeks found interest in North Lincolnshire, Devon, Yorksheer, Knott End, California, one of The Carolinas, (what's the difference? ) Canada and La La Land, or Sanity as he calls it.

How many more religions can spread that fast eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 08:37 AM

"Do fundamentalists/literalists really believe that?"

Well, yes....many of them.
The thing is, as humans who can 'decide', it is quite possible to subjectively 'accept' almost any statement or concept as literal truth without bothering to analyze its factual basis. Holding 2-3 or more fundamentally incompatible ideas simultaneously is one of our most 'interesting' tricks.
If you look at beliefs not directly religious, it may be that all of us manage to do that trick without realizing it. Religion is just instilled at such an early age and reinforced so often....


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 08:54 AM

Think about it this way: The website Snopes is devoted to exploring ...and often refuting ...various stories & beliefs that are passed around among people. They have thousands of topics ... it is just easier to deal with whether John Phillip Sousa might have been deaf, rather than whether Methuselah lived 900 years...and if not, why did someone say so and who kept the records?
For that matter WHO kept that list of names so carefully enumerated in Genesis?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 08:58 AM

Science has recently found out that wolves cannot swallow girls in one piece including red riding hoods.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 09:13 AM

".. wolves cannot swallow girls in one piece.."

*grin*... but that doesn't prevent 'some' scientists from accepting what supposedly happened to Jonah..... even though we know a whale's throat is too small.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Stu
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 09:54 AM

"None of this is in the least credible nowadays"

This isn't true, as the last Pope is being fast-tracked to sainthood, with miracles being attributed to him as a big part of the case for his canonisation. Although not in the 'sticking demons in pigs' category of miracle, I suspect his miracles are no less incredible, albeit with a suspiciously contemporary slant, JP's being for curing a brain aneurysm and Parkinson's Disease (a condition that might well have led the unfortunate sufferer to be diagnosed as being possessed by demons in years past).

In some respects what science proves or disproves is irrelevant because if an individual chooses to ignore science as a system of gaining knowledge by observation, analysis, testing and peer review then arguing on any level with them won't prove fruitful, the fundamentals have to be accepted first.

I'm reading Alain de Botton's excellent book 'Religion for Atheists' at the moment, and whilst I don't agree with everything he suggests in terms of co-opting ideas from religion into secular life, the discussion on the moral codes of society, the importance of community and the value of culture are brilliantly articulated and should be essential reading for anyone who doesn't believe our society needs religion to function compassionately and for the common good.

But then haven't many of us have always thought that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: GUEST,Chongo Chimp
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 11:31 AM

You gotta be careful what you believe just cos ya read it somewhere. That stuff about George Washington and the cherry tree probably ain't true either. But it makes a good morality tale, don't it?

As for demons, if someone is haunted by a bad thought that makes him do bad things...and that does happen with some people...why wouldn't people in another time and place decide to call it a "demon"? They would just be usin' terminology that made sense to them. Who really knows if the bad thought is some kind of exterior agent that entered the person or just somethin' that naturally grew in the person? Modern psychiatry is devoted to helpin' people cast out such bad thoughts, ain't it?

- Chongo


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: GUEST,Chongo Chimp
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 11:56 AM

Then too, generations of American school kids was taught that Columbus' sailors was scared they was gonna sail off the edge of the world! Washington Irving said that in a book he wrote, and millions of people took it as gospel for a long time. Now it turns out it was a buncha hooey, because the sailors then knew perfectly well that the world is round. What them guys was scared of was that they would run outta drinkin' water before they got to Asia! And they would've...if the Americas hadn't been waitin' at less than the halfway mark.

People will believe anything, no matter how stupid it is, if most of the other people they normally hang out with believe it. Trust me. For example, most people don't realize that King Kong died for their sins, and they wouldn't accept it if ya told 'em so, cos their peer group don't think that way....but no ape would dream of even questioning it.

What most people believe is whatever they acquired from their favorite authority sources...and their normal peer group. They set about justifyin' it after makin' the initial assumptions. They're usually pretty sharp at comin' up with "evidence" and logic to support their idea too. Just ask 'em. ;-D They'll tell you ALL about it!

I mean, hell, there was this wacky university professor who was in the Flat Earth Society, and he had all kinds of articles up on his door and office walls explainin' why the Earth is flat, how they faked the space photos, etc. There is nothin' else that quite matches the delight of thinkin' that YOU know stuff that most other people are too stupid to know. It's like a fine wine. Delicious and satisfyin', with a heady bouquet. Every day I get up and think to myself..."Oh, those poor, pathetic fools! If only they knew!" It starts my day off grand, and it just gets better from there.

- Chongo


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 02:07 PM

It seems so strange to me, that so many people here on a folk music forum, are so insistent that ancient writings must be taken literally - particularly ancient religious writings. And then the thinking seems to be that if what is expressed the writings is not the literal truth, then the writings must be dismissed as totally invalid.

One would think that we, of all people, should be able to understand folklore. Almost all religious writings are steeped in folklore. And these writings often give deep insights into the human condition of their time - even though they rarely express the literal truth.

Do we really think that the Greeks and the Egyptians and the Celts and the Native Americans took their myths literally? I don't think so. Why then, do we think that those in the Judeo-Christian tradition took their writings literally? The rabbinic tradition of discussion and debate over every aspect of scripture and tradition, is certainly strong evidence that first-century Jews didn't have a rigid, literalist view of their scriptures and traditions.

And literary evidence is clear that the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, was written and rewritten many times over, over a period of many centuries. If these people took their scriptures as literally true, why did they rewrite them so often?

Yes, I'm sure that people two millennia ago had primitive ideas about the origins of the earth - so they told stories to illustrate their ponderings about their origins. But why must we think these people took these mythical stories literally? I think that ancient peoples understood their myths and their folklore and their literary devices far better than we do. Yes, there have been literalists all through the ages, but I think our modern age has spawned a far more rigid form of literalism. Until not too long ago, only intelligent people could read. In much of the world nowadays, literacy is almost universal, even among incredibly stupid people. And those incredibly stupid people have given birth to an incredibly stupid form of literalism.

But I think that the ancient religious writings generally came from people of wisdom. And if we view these writings as the writers intended, we can find profound wisdom in them - even if we do not profess the same beliefs they had.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Donuel
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 02:40 PM

Your literacy comments are thought provoking.

Today with 6.5 billion more people with a higher literacy rate than in ancient time, it stands to reason that along with the internet there are now substantially more ignorant rants compared to the wonderful current examples of insightful and profound writing.

The state of mind and pace of life for ancient writers is much different compared to writers of today. Today the pathos and existential crises of life are similar to the ancients, yet today they are exponentially larger.

Still I believe that there exist futurists, poets and philosophers breathing among us who can equal or supersede any of the profound writers from ancient times.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 03:35 PM

The very concept of "taking literally" is post-medieval. Now that it is in the world, nobody can - however hard one tries to - have the same kind of belief as one's ancestors before. Fundamentalism is heresy, and so is the idea of "taking it symbolically". The authors of the Bible would not even have understood either concept, let alone agreed to it. The same applies to the Quran, which is obviously more coherent, though.

Thus we have no choice but to redefine religion. Ancient wisdom is sometimes helpful when modern wisdom fails, but what we are really absolutely in need of is a sense of identity drawn from the continuity of generations. Therefore we have the strong desire to relate to the culture of our own ancestors, their beliefs, languages, writing, music, etc. New or newly acquired foreign wisdom is definitely a good thing, but we must merge it into our own identity to make it work.

Many philosophers since 18th century have tried to reformulate Christian or other religions to conform to modern thinking, hut those who insisted on naked realism have so far failed to capture the faith of larger congregations, and to convey that sense of identity and historic depth. Thus it seems we have to live with God, who should however not be bothered with such a latter-day occupation as "existing".

Children have a very healthy attitude towards myths and other stories of questionable realism; no need to keep them away from these. Fundamentalists are created during puberty or afterwards.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 03:46 PM

"Children have a very healthy attitude towards myths and other stories of questionable realism; no need to keep them away from these. Fundamentalists are created during puberty or afterwards."

Well said, Grishka. I think you're right about that. If people turn to either rigid fundamentalism OR rigid anti-religious/materialistic thinking (both of which arise out of a very literal mindset), they generally do it during their adolescence and their young adulthood.

Children are not the least bit endangered by hearing myths, fairy tales, or religious tales, in my opinion, because they adapt very easily and naturally to all such tales...yet they are not mentally limited by them, because they are accustomed to enjoying free flowing flights of imagination all the time. They tend to lose that innocent ability when entering their adolescence, and in many it is lost forever from that point on. Nothing is then seen as "magical" anymore...except by the poets and the mystics among us.

If people cannot bear mystery any longer, then they will turn to various forms of rigid certainty...and they often become rather hard-hearted in the process.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: GUEST,Musket musing
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 04:11 PM

True LH. But Santa Claus buggered off from my imagination when my dad fell down the stairs pissed carrying my pressies. The tooth fairy stopped when my balls dropped.

Children are used to growing out of myth. The perpetuation into adulthood gives us the frankly disturbing idiots.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Ebbie
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 04:21 PM

My daughter came to me in a serious mood.

She said, Mommy, I know about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny- but there is a tooth fairy, isn't there?

Knowing I couldn't lie to her, I said, Well, what do you think?

She said mournfully, Oh, no.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 04:28 PM

So, Ebbie, did that mean she didn't get money for her teeth anymore?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 04:42 PM

Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...

Sounds like a Cameron Diaz night out.

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: GUEST,Jack Sprocket
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 05:54 PM

Big problem is, if it's not all literal, who gets to say which bits are straight-down honest Injun true, and which bits are Uncle Remus?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: JennieG
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 06:10 PM

In the early days of convict settlement in Oz (late 1700s-early 1800s) some convicts managed to escape from the township and head off into the bush......by their reckoning, if they walked long enough they would end up in China. Or perhaps back in England, from whence they came. The notion of just how far away that was hadn't come into their equation at all, because they just didn't know.

It's like digging a hole in the ground and expecting the other end of the hole to be in China, which is not very possible unless one started digging in China in the first place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Ebbie
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 07:19 PM

@ GfS 4:42: If you are or have EVER been a counselor you should not be or have been.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: frogprince
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 07:48 PM

Ebbie, I hate to tell ya this, but you blew the calculation. The long, long, livers don't add up end to end. The age at which Muthoosala begattified the next in line is given, as with each one in the series. That doesn't begin to make the whole narrative realistically possible, but: if you were to put your theory to a young-earther, he would show you up as one of them there ignorant old-earth people right there on the spot.

Incidentally, I think it adds up so that old Emmy, the longest liver of all, died in the year of the flood. Was he less than saintly, and therefore left to drown?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 10:12 PM

sometimes she doesn't get it right....and has a problem with a sense of humor.

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Ebbie
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 10:19 PM

Who is Emmy? What about Enoch, who never died at all?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Ebbie
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 10:20 PM

Your comment about Cameron Diaz was supposed to be funny? Which one of us lacks a working sense of humor?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Fossil
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 06:38 AM

Nice one, Joe Offer! At last we seem to be getting back to the Mudcat tradition of thoughtful, insightful debate. Or perhaps, the trolls haven't found this thread yet...

I think you make a good point when you say that the ancients didn't (or at least, may not have) believed implicitly in their creation myths. I also think that blind, unthinking fundamentalism of the type that is so prevalent today in many aspects of religious thought might well be a function of the worldwide emphasis on increasing literacy, without providing - at the same time - the fundamentals of logic which enable one to make sense of, to accept or reject, the postulates of a particular viewpoint.

And I'm with Ebbie on the Cameron Diaz thread diversion...


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: gnu
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 07:22 AM

Fossil... "At last we seem to be getting back to the Mudcat tradition of thoughtful, insightful debate."

Indeed, it is a wonder of a thread! Even the monkey posted commendable discussion. I love these types of thought provoking threads.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Stu
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 09:17 AM

"But I think that the ancient religious writings generally came from people of wisdom."

I agree with this, although it's worth making the point that secular culture also contains vast repositories of wisdom. Being of atheist ilk I can pick and choose which bits I take on board, without concern for my immortal soul. This isn't as arbitrary a series of choices as it sounds, as the central tenets of many religions are very similar: compassion for others, selflessness, truthfulness and non-violence. These ideals are then wrapped up in all sorts of cultural baggage that makes it seem irrelevant, or is tied to belief in some supernatural being that turns many away. The reason religion is rife with contradictions is because many of the texts were written by different people, from cultures vastly different to the ones we live in and often over an extended period of time.

The thing is, these ideals are common to the entire human race regardless of creed or colour; they are universal and whoever wrote them in whatever religious texts you base your faith on were not the first person to think of them. They are the basis for secular and religious morality and have been with us for as long as people have been committing their beliefs to some form of written text.

I was thinking about this earlier as I walked into town. We went to a village gathering where we all took our own food. As we all sat down to eat together the vicar hushed the throng so he could say grace. Being the secular oichs we are we'd already started eating, and got some disapproving stares from some of the more religious souls at our table, which we of course ignored. On reflection though, there's a fair degree of merit to the idea of stopping for a moment to contemplate where our food comes from. Of course I won't be thanking God for it, but I will consider how it got there, and if that is sustainable and ethically sound.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 09:39 AM

Yes, a moment of grateful appreciation and thanks before starting to eat a meal seems like a good idea to me, regardless of whether you think it came by the grace of God...or by the powers of Nature and the hard work of farmers and various other people. It'll make the food taste even better when you do it. ;-) I can attest to this from my own experience.


Ebbie - You say that Enoch never died??? Well, then, the question is, where is he NOW? If he could be found, it could make for quite an interview! ;-D

As someone else pointed out above, your arithmatic gets buggered up by the fact that those reputedly long-lived didn't necessarily live strictly sequential lives, but rather there might have been a number of them alive at different ages at the same time. The stories in the Bible about those men who supposedly lived for hundreds of years are puzzling and intriguing. They might be mythical or there might be something to it. Hard to say. There are also stories in Asia about certain spiritual adepts who lived for hundreds of years, and they don't come from the Christian or Jewish traditions, but from other traditions entirely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 09:51 AM

Little Hawk: "Ebbie - You say that Enoch never died??? Well, then, the question is,....."

....What happened on the 'So-called' liberal stance on the Bible?????

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: GUEST,Chongo Chimp
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 09:55 AM

What is that stance? I find the Bible interesting, but the book I really rely on for spiritual guidance in difficult times is the Book of Kong.

- Chongo


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Ebbie
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 11:22 AM

Here ya go, Little Hawk:

Genesis 5:18-24 [18] Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch. [19] After he begot Enoch, Jared lived eight hundred years, and had sons and daughters. [20] So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years; and he died. [21] Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. [22] After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. [23] So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. [24] And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 11:32 AM

The Institute for Creation Research 'explains' things about long life...


"One of the favorite characters in the Old Testament is Methuselah, who lived 969 years (Genesis 5:27), longer than anyone else recorded. His father was Enoch, of whom it is said he "walked with God" (5:24) but who was taken to heaven without dying at 365 years. Methuselah's son Lamech died a few years before the Flood at 777 years (5:31) after bearing Noah."... (there's more)

...except that almost all explanations involve some simple rationalization involving a speculation about God's thought process- since they can't doubt what God did. Geology, paleontology, biology (including DNA research) are all subjected to the same analysis as Methuselah's life span.

Fifty-five men? 969 years? Dinosaurs on the ark, who all conveniently died 'later'?

To paraphrase what Humpty-Dumpty said to Alice:"When I explain a concept or fact, it means exactly what I know God meant... no less & no more."


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: frogprince
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 11:37 AM

Ebbie, I just said "Emmy" for Methusalah, who lived longest of all, because I was too lazy just then to look up how to spell Methoozeluh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 12:22 PM

Someone who lives for exactly 365 years is obviously no longer alive afterwards, in other words dead. My guess is that "God took him" means he suffered from a mental disease such as Altzheimer - similar expressions are known in many languages.

Mythologies can be very specific about details, making us wonder about the underlying reality. For our topic, we probably have to acknowledge that the authors and early readers were convinced of the truth of their writing, by a notion of truth differing from both our notions of "literal reality" and "symbolic invention". Similarly, the notion of "existence" was different from ours. For a proof, consider the story of Elijah (1 Kings): the "existence" of Baal remains unquestioned (- after all, how could he have priests if he did not exist?), just his lack of power is taunted at.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Aug 13 - 06:10 AM

Grishka says: Mythologies can be very specific about detail

Good storytellers are very often specific about details. Those details have significance to the story, whether or not they are factually true.

When I teach Bible study classes, I tell my students that they have to respect the integrity of the story. I ask them to listen to the entire story without questioning the fine points, and then to look into the story for its meaning, the message it is trying to convey. The specifics of many Bible stories don't really matter, and sometimes I think they're just there for the purpose of completing the story. What's important is the message.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 24 Aug 13 - 08:04 AM

No objections from me, Joe. Modern story inventors such as Tolkien or Rowling will add many details to support or illustrate the message, or just for the fun of it - quite a legitimate purpose. Inevitably they rely on older narratives, whether on purpose or not, but try to emphasize their originality - as copyright and public expectations demand.

For genuine mythologies and legends (including folk songs), being based on older tales is the main point. Some of these tales are likely to have originated in ordinary life, and researchers find it interesting to identify them. A real-life origin seems particularly likely, though by no means proven, of those details that do not make an obvious sense for the message. A man named Enoch who suffered from Altzheimer's may well have lived - no big deal, if we disregard the ("symbolic") time specifications.

The "message" is indeed the important thing, and in my view it cannot always be decoded as in a modern story - not only because mythologies are more cryptic or we lack some information, but because part of the message is of a different type. Jewish culture is particularly conscious of that idea of collective historic identity, not only based on decipherable "wisdom". In fact all mankind are in existential need of such identity, whether they want it or not, to cope with elementary feelings and facts of their lives and deaths. (Persons who believe their personality to be based on science and ethics are simply in error.)

As I mentioned, adults in modern societies cannot possibly have the same beliefs as their ancestors, and neither as their children, but they should transform their faith instead of (vainly) trying to cast it off or to keep it intact. I would like to reject the term "religious belief" entirely, in its modern sense. Faith may be a more adequate term, if used properly. My own thoughts of it are not sufficiently clear to make me a prophet, but they make me shy away from those popular drawers concerning religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: gnu
Date: 24 Aug 13 - 02:42 PM

Allow me to be rather vague by briefly stating the basic assumptions of an hypothesis I posed to myself some 35 years ago (read weed was involved... thus the sketchiness that follows).

Preface :

The study of plate tectonics and the study of stratification of the plates are based on current (recent) measurements.

Extrapolation of each of the above has indicated the earth is, in AV (air value), 6B years old.

Years are define by humans as the passing of a solstice, be it the summer or winter solstice.

Inertia is inertia.

Postulate : The earth's spin is slowing asymtotically as the mass of the plates are distibuted by the interaction of centripetal and gravity forces acting upon all but most importantly for human observation, the outermost components of the earth. Ergo, time, as perceived and recorded by humans as years is and has been in flux.

Justification of proposed investigation/study : May such a postulate explain the recording of seemingly impossible claims by both religions and science as viewed by either?

Corollary proposal : Should we smoke another spliff?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: GUEST,Musket musing
Date: 24 Aug 13 - 03:34 PM

Snag is, Gnu.. We could get the timing of that battle in Lydia down to the hour, due to an eclipse till you threw that one in....


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Aug 13 - 03:46 PM

I'm trying to remember where I read it, but it HAS been calculated how much the earth's rotation has been slowed by various forces, including tides, over the last couple of billion years. I believe it amounts to about ¼ second per century...or something like that. Meaning a few minutes in billions of years.


awww..never mind. It took about 5 seconds to get the wikipedia page with the info.

"Atomic clocks show that a modern day is longer by about 1.7 milliseconds than a century ago,"


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Aug 13 - 11:59 PM

The post from Grishka 24 Aug 13 - 08:04 AM is particularly interesting. Be sure to take a look at it.

There are those that thing the the Bible and other ancient religious writings have cryptic, coded meanings. For the most part, I just can't buy that. I can't see evidence in ancient history that people communicated in such codes to any great extent - but at times, such communication was important. But it drives me crazy when people seek hidden meanings in scripture and in fairy tales, when no such hidden meanings are to be found (although there are sometimes hidden meanings in both).

The Book of Revelation is one book that people go apeshit over, coming up with all sorts of preposterous "meanings." Yes, there is a lot of symbolic language in the book - but I think it is important not to take that symbolism too far. To me, the book seems to have strong political implications. It was written about the end of the first century, and appears in great part to be a polemic against the Roman Empire. It's my understanding that this book calls Rome "Babylon" because writing against the Roman Empire was considered to be sedition. It's also my understanding that "666," the Sign of the Beast, was the numerological value of the name "Neron Caesar" - Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (15 December 37 – 9 June 68). Nero was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and we know his story.

The Book of Revelation was written in the first century, and seems to be a commentary on the situations of the first century. But many people read it as a prediction of the future. People of this ilk seem to think that the Book of Revelation just happens to be a prediction of what's happening in the current time, and they're just certain that this passage refers to that event in today's news, and this head of the Beast is a current nation that didn't even exist in the first century. The Book of Revelation begins with letters to seven churches which existed in Asia Minor (now Turkey) at the end of the first century. It's clear that the book must refer to them, not to the United States and the Soviet Union and Israel.

Then there's numerology. It does seem to be true that in ancient times, numbers had a sort of mystical significance. To the ancient Hebrews, the numbers 3, 40, and 7 seemed to have special significance - and other numbers also had meanings (e.g., 12, and 144,000). These numbers seemed to have more importance for their meaning, than they had for their mathematical significance., But for the most part, these numbers seemed to be widely understood by the Hebrew people - they weren't some sort of hidden code.

The ages of Methuselah and all those phenomenally old people, seem to be an indication of their righteousness, not their chronological age. If so-and-so was really old, that meant that he or she was a really good person. So, if Genesis says Methuselah lived 969 years, that means he was a really, really, really good person - good enough for him to deserve to be the grandfather of Noah.

But remember that the story of Methuselah is a very brief passage in the Book of Genesis - which is, more than any other book in the Bible, a collection of folktales. These folktales are wonderful, precious, sacred stories - but they are not intended to be an historical account. We shouldn't discount the stories of Genesis as "mere myth," but we should view them as valuable, sacred folklore that tells the significance of the beginning of an ethnic and religious group that has had a profound effect.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: gnu
Date: 25 Aug 13 - 06:15 PM

Well said, Joe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fifty-Five Men Laid End to End...
From: Fossil
Date: 25 Aug 13 - 08:20 PM

Joe - as the Kiwis say, "Yer on it, mate!" Thanks for putting into well-chosen words something that I have been struggling to express for a long time. The comments on Revelations are particularly useful. I too have had troubles with people wanting (or needing) to put an interpretation on this book to explain troubling things about modern times. The popularity of the Left Behind books attests to the prevalence of these ideas.


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