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(Editing break: Doesn't refute that it was at the beginning.)
(Discussion about light: No magic.)
 
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A literal reading of the Bible suggests that the Sun is just a bright spot, but is not enough to provide daylight (like the stars, which are even smaller spots), and that daylight is something completely separate (like an ambient light that has no source). We know that is not the case (we ''do'' know that, right?) --&nbsp;[[User:Nx|<span style="color:teal">'''''Nx'''''</span>]]&nbsp;/&nbsp;[[User talk:Nx|''talk'']] 23:08, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
A literal reading of the Bible suggests that the Sun is just a bright spot, but is not enough to provide daylight (like the stars, which are even smaller spots), and that daylight is something completely separate (like an ambient light that has no source). We know that is not the case (we ''do'' know that, right?) --&nbsp;[[User:Nx|<span style="color:teal">'''''Nx'''''</span>]]&nbsp;/&nbsp;[[User talk:Nx|''talk'']] 23:08, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
 +
 +
: The light was not "magic"; it was created by God.  I don't know where it went.  And neither do I ''know'' why God did it that way, although I ''suspect'' it was so that He could teach us that the sun is ''not'' the ultimate source of life.
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: I don't follow why you think what you've explained in your second paragraph.
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: [[user:Philip J. Rayment|Philip J. Rayment]]<sup>[[user talk:Philip J. Rayment|discuss]] </sup> 02:55, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
===Open-mindedness video===
===Open-mindedness video===

Current revision as of 02:55, 15 November 2009

G'day Nx, and welcome to aSK. We are glad to have you contribute. For more information about aSK, see our About statement. Please see the rules and regulations as soon as you can.
The following links are also useful.

Hi there Nx, nice to see your expertise here. Π 09:23, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Contents

Javascript

Nx, are you fluent with Javascript? I've written some code in user:Philip J. Rayment/monobook.js to put in MediaWiki:Common.js, but before I put it there I'd prefer to be sure that it's going to work properly. It's working for me in IE, Firefox, and Opera, but someone else testing it would be good. It's code for collapsible tables and <div> boxes, based on the code for these on Wikipedia, but combining both versions into one lot of code and making it more flexible (only the outer box needs a class). I've tested it at user:Philip J. Rayment/sandbox, but you might try your own test.

The requirement for the <div> boxes is that you have an outer <div> with a classname of collapsible, and it contains two or more <divs>. The first inner <div> gets the hide/show button, and the remaining inner <divs> are hidden/shown.

A class of collapsed means that the box is collapsed initially, and a class of autocollapse means that three or more collapsible boxes on the page are collapsed initially, but not otherwise.

If this is not your thing, can you suggest who could help?

Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 12:50, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

I've cleaned it up a bit, removed the global variables, switched it to the getElementsByClassName provided by MediaWiki (which in the more recent versions uses the builtin document.getElementsByClassName on browsers that support it, so it's faster). There are a few deficiencies when using divs, for example it doesn't hide child elements that are not divs, and when it unhides, the display will be set to block instead of whatever it was before. I've written a more advanced script that you can find in RationalWiki's Common.js, for an example go here. Oh, and fix your common.css Nx 18:19, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I've seen (and used) user-created getElementsByClassName before, but didn't realise that it's now supported by some browsers. I wonder why Wikipedia's code hasn't been altered to use it (because their code works, I suppose, and they don't want to fiddle with it). I didn't use it because Wikipedia didn't use it, figuring that they would have a better idea than me what's best.
True, collapsible divs don't hide child element that are not divs, but I think that would get messier to handle. I guess <p> could be an alternative, but making it handle any child element I think would be asking for trouble.
Whilst it true that setting the display to block may make it something that it wasn't before, but what do you suggest instead? This is what Wikipedia's code does, and surely this is likely to be more of a problem if the code handles any child element of the parent div?
Your modifications actually changed the functioning of the code.
  • The original (per Wikipedia) automatically collapses boxes with a "collapsed" class, plus boxes with an "auto-collapse" class if there are more than two collapsible boxes on the page. Further, if I recall from Wikipedia correctly, this figure can be altered by users putting a different value in their own .js file, hence the global variable.
  • Your version automatically collapses boxes with an "auto-collapse" class, and ignores boxes with a "collapsed" class.
RationalWiki's version does do things that this version doesn't, but requires more effort on the part of the editor.
Anyway, I think I can change that bit back. Thanks again for checking it out; using the getElementsByClassName function does tidy it up somewhat.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 03:26, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for SMW help

Thank you very very much for all that help with the SMW tables. Although I was close to knowing what to do, I wasn't close enough, and couldn't have done it without your help. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 23:17, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

You're welcome. Nx 23:23, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Lacking a "0" I hit "+"

Hi Nx, welcome to the beehive of pasteurizing lemons! ħuman Number 19 08:42, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. There's a gadget called edittop, it places an [edit] button on the lead section instead of the 0 tab. Nx 15:41, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Stupid idea time

Can we access the main server from the bot server? Basically what I am wondering is can we reboot the main server remotely and except what ever loss of data that incurs? π 23:09, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Tried that, unfortunately it doesn't work. Seems the botserver is connected to the internet separately. Nx 23:12, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh well, any other ideas? π 23:17, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Invent teleportation? Nx 23:19, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Hsck the Gibson at the power company and cause a brief blackout to powercycle the server? --Jeeves 23:53, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Lol, I wonder what they'd say at the power company if Trent were to call them and ask them to cut power in his apartment for a minute? Nx 23:59, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Your question has false premises

Regarding your question on your user page, it is premised on biblical creationism being "fantasy", against "common sense" and opposed to "the overwhelming evidence against it", all premises with which I strongly disagree, and which are demonstrably questionable (at the very least), given the number of scientists who have become creationists because of the evidence. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:17, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Like I said, vigorously defending. So if you were to accept evolution for example, that would mean you would lose your faith in God? -- Nx / talk 13:49, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
So not only false premises, but ignoring counter-argument! And there's another false premise in your question: that faith is not based on evidence. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 14:17, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
It's a simple question, but let me make it even simpler. If you were to accept that the Earth is significantly older than 6000 years, would that make you no longer believe in God? -- Nx / talk 14:34, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
That would depend on why I came to accept that. If it was solely because of hard evidence (which can't exist, as we are talking about the past, so the question is extremely hypothetical), then it would have to undermine the reliability of the Bible, and I therefore my belief in God would likely weaken, possibly to the point that I no longer believed. Alternatively, if I accepted it because I somehow concluded that the Bible doesn't teach that, then no, I can't see that it would affect my belief in God.
If you were to become convinced that the Earth is only about 6,000 years old, would you believe in God?
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 15:04, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, guess what, the Bible doesn't teach that, that's only one possible interpretation. I don't think the message of the Bible is "Earth was created in 6 days 6000 years ago", and I don't think evidence to the contrary (of which there is plenty) would undermine the Bible and make people abandon it and their faith. In fact, a lot of Christians accept old Earth and evolution, yet it doesn't mean that they have to abandon their faith.
To answer your question: No, why would I? If the Earth was 6000 years old, that would not prove God. Certainly not the god described in the Bible, and I don't see why it would require an omnipotent being at all.
I'm pretty sure nothing would make me believe in a god or gods, because if we have an explanation for something, then gods are unnecessary, and if we don't, then invoking them is a copout - like the ancient Greeks believing thunder to be the anger of Zeus.
Anyway, it was more of a rhetorical question, I know a random person posting on the internet is unlikely to convince you to abandon your worldview. -- Nx / talk 16:17, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
...the Bible doesn't teach that, that's only one possible interpretation. ... a lot of Christians accept old Earth... It is only one "interpretation", but are the other "interpretations" really "possible", as you claim? See Old Earth creationism, and you will see that nobody "interprets" the Bible any differently, except by imposing ideas onto it from outside the Bible. That is, nobody can find anything other than around 6000 years just from the Bible. The "interpretation" is a forced one, trying to accommodate outside (i.e. secular in this case) ideas. So I reject your claim that it's "only one possible interpretation".
I don't think the message of the Bible is "Earth was created in 6 days 6000 years ago",... Of course it's not "the" message, but it is "a" message. See creation week about the consensus of experts.
I don't think evidence to the contrary (of which there is plenty) ... You know, for RationalWiki, that's not a bad article (of course that's not saying much). It actually attempts to make sensible arguments, although there are many faults, such as them being based on naturalistic assumptions. So I see your 31 examples (if my quick count was correct) and raise 101 counter-examples. (And unlike your link, the RW rebuttal article is a piece of fluff, even contradicting your link on how long DNA lasts!)
I don't think evidence to the contrary...would undermine the Bible and make people abandon it and their faith. Except that there's plenty of evidence that it can.
To answer your question: No, why would I? If the Earth was 6000 years old, that would not prove God. So what would you believe instead?
I'm pretty sure nothing would make me believe in a god or gods, because if we have an explanation for something, then gods are unnecessary, and if we don't, then invoking them is a copout - like the ancient Greeks believing thunder to be the anger of Zeus. In other words, even if the evidence was there, you would still not believe. That is the sign of a closed mind. Closed by ideology.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 12:59, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
For someone who widely rejects the consensus of experts, it's strange that that person would then draw conclusions based on the consensus of experts. I recognize the young earth interpretation as just that - an interpretation. Granted, I accept it, but I don't go telling other Christians I have it all figured out. There seems to be a lot of that going on here. SallyM 13:52, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
(EC - reply to Philip) Yes, we know already, those who don't believe in exactly what you do are Not True Christians and have been tainted by the devil. Whatever. The fact stands that many people can believe in God without having to believe in a fairy tale. Of course there are people who abandon their belief in God after accepting evolution. They do it because of the evidence, not because Satan brainwashed them with his evil theory of evolution.
And unlike your link, the RW rebuttal article is a piece of fluff, even contradicting your link on how long DNA lasts! Again you read the first rebuttal, decided that it was wrong (admittedly it's not very clear about aDNA, even the wikipedia article about it is unclear - but that doesn't mean that the Earth is 6000 years old), and that therefore the entire article is wrong, and that therefore you are right. Still, if my link is correct about how old DNA is, then that's still more than 6000 years, so it still contradicts your claim.
So what would you believe instead? That there is a perfectly rational explanation for it. If the Earth really was 6000 years old, there would be a perfectly rational explanation.
In other words, even if the evidence was there, you would still not believe. That is the sign of a closed mind. Closed by ideology. "I like to consider my mind an open door. It's just not a revolving door." Like I said, the Earth being 6000 years old wouldn't even remotely be enough evidence for God.
And at least my "ideology" is compatible with reality. -- Nx / talk 14:01, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
For someone who widely rejects the consensus of experts... The only "expert" consensus that I reject is a consensus of opinions that are based on an ideology that I don't agree with.
I recognize the young earth interpretation as just that - an interpretation. You say this, but totally fail to actually address the arguments.
Granted, I accept it, but I don't go telling other Christians I have it all figured out. There seems to be a lot of that going on here. Yes, there is. Such as saying that I can't claim my views as correct because other people have different views. It sounds like people who say that they have it all figured out that I can't say I'm correct. You haven't been here long enough for me to know much about you, but you seem to have it all figured out that I'm wrong and go around telling other Christians (i.e. me) that.
...those who don't believe in exactly what you do are Not True Christians... Odd, given your opinions, that you would believe that. I assume you must be talking about what you believe, because you sure aren't talking about what I believe.
The fact stands that many people can believe in God without having to believe in a fairy tale. Very true. And then there's those who believe in God and also believe in evolution.
Of course there are people who abandon their belief in God after accepting evolution. They do it because of the evidence, not because Satan brainwashed them with his evil theory of evolution. How does that fit with your previous claim that "I don't think evidence to the contrary...would undermine the Bible and make people abandon it and their faith." So you don't think that evidence would cause them to abandon their belief, but of course they abandon their belief because of the evidence. I don't know why I bother arguing with you when you're doing a perfectly good job of arguing with yourself! James 1:8 might be applicable here.
...you read the first rebuttal, decided that it was wrong ... therefore the entire article is wrong... You have no idea how much I read. Just because I commented on one point doesn't mean that I only read that far. True, I didn't read the entire article, but I saw numerous problems with the bit I did read.
...admittedly it's not very clear about aDNA... Is that a euphemism for "it's contradictory"?
...that doesn't mean that the Earth is 6000 years old... I didn't say it did.
Still, if my link is correct about how old DNA is, then that's still more than 6000 years, so it still contradicts your claim. That's a big "if". The source is this paper, which (from a quick scan) merely cites a couple of other papers ("Assuming physiological salt concentrations, neutral pH and a temperature of 15 °C, it would take about 100,000 years for hydrolytic damage to destroy all DNA that could reasonably be retrieved") The second of its references is not freely available, but the first actually says "At pH7 and 15°C, the last 800-bp fragment will be depurinated after about 5 000 years." Perhaps I've missed something (obviously I have; the other paper), but I can't see what the original basis of the 100,000 years is.
That there is a perfectly rational explanation for it. If the Earth really was 6000 years old, there would be a perfectly rational explanation. Ah yes, naturalism-of-the-gaps! Not even evidence will shake your faith in naturalism!
I like to consider my mind an open door. It's just not a revolving door. You might like to think that, but you've admitted that it's closed to considering God as an explanation even if the evidence pointed that way.
And at least my "ideology" is compatible with reality. That concept (that it's compatible with reality) is part of your ideology; it's not supported by the facts.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 15:21, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Please excuse the sidebar, Mr. Rayment, but has anyone ever mentioned that your quoting method makes your posts almost illegible? SallyM 15:30, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Apparently you don't know what open mindedness means, Philip. -- Nx / talk 15:35, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Nx, I have previously seen that video and I believe it is excellent. I hope Mr. Rayment finds it enlightening. SallyM 15:43, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Aside, we both reject a myriad of expert consensuses with out beliefs. You obviously have a very special relationship with God, Mr. Rayment. However, you do seem to minimize the relationship of others with God by your rejection of their potentially divinely inspired interpretations. I do find it amusingly ironic that you have taken my suggestion of opening your mind to the interpretations of others as a rejection of your interpretations. Your interpretation implies that everyone else is wrong, and I don't reject that, per se. It is certainly a possibility, but as a result, you have closed out every other interpretation. If you do speak as God, and your words are as He would have said, more power to you. But until you figure that out (when you finally meet God), I prefer to be a little more cautious, and a lot less impious. SallyM 15:41, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
SallyM, see template talk:tq.
I can't watch that video on the computer I'm on at the moment. Hopefully I'll remember to do so tonight.
SallyM, I don't believe that anyone's interpretation is divinely inspired. Only the original text was. I reject other interpretations on the grounds that they are inconsistent with the text. That is a perfectly legitimate thing to do. Yes, my understanding implies that various other understandings are wrong, just as their understandings imply that mine are wrong. That's simply the way things are. I don't know what you mean by me having "closed out" every other interpretation. If you mean that I haven't considered them, you are wrong. If you mean that I have considered and rejected them for invalid reasons, then please point out how my reasons are invalid. If you mean that I have considered them and rejected them for valid reasons, then what's wrong with that? We all do that all the time in all walks of life, and quite often because we need to.
As I said above, I don't really know you yet, so perhaps I am assuming too much about your views, and if so, I apologise. But your comments sound very familiar, as so often I've been told that I shouldn't express views that imply that other views are wrong, when the person telling me that is doing the very thing that they are telling me not to do, in a macro sense. To illustrate:
  • On a given subject, there are two views, A and B, which are mutually exclusive so cannot both be correct.
  • I hold view A to be correct, which of course means that I hold view B to be incorrect.
  • I also have the view that it's okay to say that view A is correct. Let's call this view, view N.
  • A critic tells me that I can't say (or imply) that B is incorrect, because in doing so I'm being presumptuous or dogmatic or something.
    • By doing so, he's actually saying that view N is incorrect.
    • Therefore, the critic is telling me that I can't say that a view is incorrect, whilst he is saying that a view of mine (N) is incorrect. He is therefore being hypocritical.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:28, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Mr. Rayment, I did not mean to say that you haven't considered the viewpoints, I meant to say that you lack the basis to make such definitive conclusions about them (especially in light of you not believing your interpretations are inspired by God), yet you have definitive (and apparently unequivocal) answers to questions that can't really be answered until you meet God. I know it doesn't seem like hubris to you, but I think it does to most other people. You may think you can answer these questions without meeting God, but as evidenced by hundreds of millions of (good, legitimate, real, earnest, true, etc) Christians with views different from ours on any given aspect of Christianity, they simply cannot. (I think) your view is that everyone else's view is incorrect; I'm not rejecting that, you may very well have divine interpretation (even though you've already said you don't believe you have it), I've just got an open mind to other possibilities. Not to be safe or anything, but to be honest about not exactly knowing the will of God (as I think you admitted you do not). SallyM 14:40, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Why do I lack the basis for making definitive conclusions? Normally, whenever anybody writes anything, we expect readers to understand what they are saying. Sure, sometimes things can be written ambiguously (especially if the writer is not skilled at communication), but most of the time the meaning is quite, or sufficiently, clear. If this were not so, we would find communication almost impossible. All I'm saying that what is written in the creation account in Genesis is clear, and therefore it means such-and-such.
The mere fact that others disagree doesn't mean that the writing is ambiguous, especially if, as is the case, their other understandings are based not on the text, but on something else entirely. And that's the answer to your point about these other people being "good, legitimate, real, earnest, true, etc". They may be all these things, but (a) they are not experts in the subject (as creation week points out, the experts agree on what it means, and that is the same understanding I have of it), and (b) their opinions are not based on the text, but on external rationale (as explained in old Earth Creationism).
(I think) your view is that everyone else's view is incorrect; ... Absolutely not! The view I hold is not unique to me. It is the very same view (by and large) as has traditionally been held for most of the past 2000-plus years, and is still widely held today by Bible-believing/evangelical Christians.
I don't have a (private) divine interpretation. What I do have, however, is divine revelation (i.e., the Bible). God said that He created everything in six days (Exodus 20:11). Which do you think is more God-honoring: Believing that this means that He created everything in six days, or believing that we are unable to know for sure what God meant? Do you think He (a) told us this to deliberately confuse us, (b) was unclear because He was not skilled at communication, or (c) told us this so that we would understand? And if the latter, then why do you have difficultly accepting what He plainly said?
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 15:30, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
What I believe your problem is, Mr. Rayment, is that you don't see that you must interpret the Word, no matter how plain you may think it may be. That's how real/good/true Christians have real/good/true beliefs different from yours. SallyM 15:43, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Or (d) he didn't say it. -- Nx / talk 15:33, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Nx, (d) is not an option when we are trying to determine how to understand what He said. That is, we are working within the assumption that He did say it. What you propose is a different question entirely.
Sally, what do you mean by saying that I "must interpret" the Bible? Are you saying that if God says "six days" I must try and find some meaning for it other than six days? If so, why? If not, what do you mean?
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 00:24, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Mr. Rayment, you are interpreting this very sentence. Every written word must be interpreted, and people are bound to have different interpretations. I'll counter your "six days" example with my own. Take Jesus' parables. I suppose all you took away from the parable of new wine was that you shouldn't put new wine in old bottles? Do you think Jesus is actually talking about wine? Do you think the parable of the 10 virgins actually happened? Do you not interpret any meaning? Is the story itself of any real significance or is the interpreted message all that's important. Do you at all see where I'm going with this? SallyM 14:26, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
SallyM, see my comments below about the need to decide if a text needs to be interpreted. Also, this discussion, while lengthy, deals with the same issue. The default position for understanding any message is non-interpretational, with interpretation only applied if there is some warrant for it. BradleyF (LowKey) 01:30, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Just to add that SallyM is comparing parables (which are not presented as actual events) with non-parables. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:21, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Mr. Rayment, who are you to decide what is and what is not a parable? Jesus speaks in parables but God does not? That's illogical. In the story of the 10 virgins, is the number 10 important? What makes you think 6000 is? The story of Genesis is no more about 6000 than the 10 virgins is about 10. At least that's how those who believe in an old earth see it. I can't believe you don't see it as potentially valid. SallyM 14:14, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
SallyM, please show me and everyone else here where I said that it is up to me to decide. And also please tell me how you would decide, or how you think everyone should decide. What are your criteria, or the "correct" criteria? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 10:14, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
I thought we were trying to understand what the Bible says. -- Nx / talk 08:25, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Where have I suggested otherwise? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 11:20, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, you're talking about something God said. -- Nx / talk 11:33, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
God is the ultimate author of the Bible, so what the Bible says is what God said. In any case, the example I was using was the something that God Himself directly wrote. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 12:12, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
And you know that how? -- Nx / talk 12:13, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
For the purposes of this discussion, it doesn't matter whether that claim is true or not. We were discussing how one should understand the book that claims to be, and is accepted by Christians to be, God's Word and which is known as the Bible, and I used an example of something in the Bible which the Bible explicitly says was written directly by God. To put it another way, it is an assumption of this discussion that the Bible is God's authorship. Whether this is truly the case or not is a separate issue to the one under discussion at the moment. In fact for much of this discussion it doesn't matter whether it's God's Word or not; it's just a discussion about how written material should be understood. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 14:28, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
It is relevant to this discussion, as your belief that the Bible is the word of God influences your interpretation of the Bible, just as scientific facts such as the age of the Earth influence my interpretation of the Bible. --Unsigned comment by Nx (talk)
My belief that the Bible is the Word of God does not influence my interpretation of the Bible, at least insofar as some of this basic stuff is concerned. What it influences is my understanding of it's reliability and accuracy, but that's not what we are discussing. We are discussing how it is meant to be understood, and as I've said, this applies to all text (not just the Bible, but the newspaper, encyclopædias, these comments, and so on), and they all should be understood in a straightforward way unless there is reason to understand them differently (such as figures of speech). Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:21, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Philip, I think Sally is saying that every understanding of Scripture is an interpretive understanding. That is a common position, but there are some issues with it. Firstly “interpret” is not necessarily about conveying meaning. The latin root word – interpres – was used for a mercantile negotiator rather than a translator. The job was to negotiate agreed prices. Even with linguistic drift, the major question of interpretation is that of ascribing value rather than of conveying meaning; in other words, not “what is the intended meaning?”, but “what is its value to me?”. In other other words the Greek approach rather than the Hebrew approach to Scripture. Secondly, the first step of any exegetic methodology is non-interpretive (“that does it say?”), the next step is decisive ("does it mean what it says?”), and the possible third step (if the answer to step 2 is “no”), is interpretive (“well what does it mean?”). BradleyF (LowKey) 01:24, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
What you describe is (a) something that is done to all text, not just Scripture, (b) what I do, and (c) not a case of having to "interpret". All writing (except perhaps some special cases, such as writing that is known in advance to be non-literal) is assumed to be understood literally unless there's reason to understand it differently. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:45, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree on all points. I was just saying that I think Sally is saying that even understanding writing literally is an interpretation. If I understand her position, I disagree with it - but your questions seemed to indicate that the way you were interpreting Sally's "must interpret" statement was different to the way I was interpreting it.  :) BradleyF (LowKey) 02:15, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
You may be correct about what she was meaning, and if so I was hoping that she would say so more clearly. But calling everything interpretation doesn't explain why she thinks that I'm not doing that. So I "had" to assume that she was meaning something else. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:35, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Because what you are doing is part of “everything".  :) Sorry, Philip, I think you may still be missing Sally’s point. She is not saying that there is some reason particular to your understanding of Genesis 1 that indicates that you have interpreted it. To Sally (as indicated by her recent post above), it is axiomatic that any understanding of any text is interpretive. This results in the paradox that “No interpretation” is an interpretation (i.e the axiom is self refuting). BradleyF (LowKey) 01:30, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
There's no such thing as "no interpretation". I'm afraid my point was not understood. Ironically, both of you seem to have taken different interpretations. SallyM 14:18, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Could you please answer my questions rather than just cast aspersions? If God said in the Bible that creation took six days, what length of time am I supposed to understand that it took, and on what basis do you decide that? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 10:14, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
You are free to understand it however you want. But you will still be imposing ideas onto it from outside the Bible, specifically your idea that God wrote the Bible and meant it literally. -- Nx / talk 11:27, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
That God wrote it and meant it literally is something that I get from the Bible, not from outside it. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 12:07, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Editing break

(undent) I am not so sure about that, but since you know more about the Bible than I do, can you please quote where it says that God meant those words literally?
And putting aside that, even if the Bible clearly said that God dictated these words exactly and meant them literally, there are still other possibilities, including:
  • that God, whoever or whatever he is, is *gasp* lying,
  • that it's just a book written by the religious caste to control the ignorant populace.
Your choice to believe the Bible is something you get from outside it. -- Nx / talk 12:25, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Nx you are not making sense. You are saying that assuming that the Bible is God's own words, it is a possibility that it's just a book written by the religious caste. I think that's where we came in, when you presented an option for interpeting what God said that consisted of "He didn't say it." BradleyF (LowKey) 12:53, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
No, I'm saying that assuming the Bible says it's God's own words. I've made my previous comment clearer. -- Nx / talk 12:57, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
...can you please quote where it says that God meant those words literally? It doesn't say that "God meant those words literally". I get it from the Bible in (at least) two ways:
  • The style of the text indicates it. For example, Genesis 1 is narrative, not poetry or etc. Narrative is meant to be understood literally.
  • Jesus quoted from it as though he took it literally.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:41, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I disagree. The text is pretty vague and leaves a lot open to interpretation.
  • Where?
Anyway, from an earlier comment of yours: All writing (except perhaps some special cases, such as writing that is known in advance to be non-literal) is assumed to be understood literally unless there's reason to understand it differently reason: real life observations contradict the Bible. -- Nx / talk 14:40, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
An example from Genesis 1:
  • Bible: God created light before the stars and the sun. God created "day" before the sun.
  • Observation: Light comes from stars and the sun, most of it from the sun. Day is when the light of the sun shines on our part of the earth.
How could there have been light, let alone daylight before the stars and the sun was created? -- Nx / talk 14:45, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Regarding the style. That it's narrative is something that can be shown objectively. I'm out of time and can't look up the reference at the moment, though.
Mark 10:6-9 is one example, where Jesus quoted from Genesis to answer a question. He was giving events in creation as the basis for marriage, which makes no sense if that's not what actually happened. In addition, Him saying that this happened "at the beginning" is an endorsement of the biblical timescale, whereas the secular timescale has mankind appearing near the end of creation (i.e. approximately 14 billion years after the Big Bang).
Observation: Light comes from stars and the sun, most of it from the sun. Disagree. A lot of the light in my house and my place of work comes from electric light bulbs. Mankind knows how to make light from electricity, rapid oxidisation (flames), chemical processes, and so on. Your argument is based on the premise that the only possible source of light is stars, and that premise is clearly incorrect, even if (and this is a BIG 'IF') we assumed that God was not able create light by any means that man could not.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 21:32, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm not saying it's not narrative. I'm saying that doesn't mean it has to be understood literally.
Thanks for the reference, indeed it makes sense, but you are reading too much into it. First it depends on the translation: the NIV uses at the beginning, while the KJV uses from the beginning, and so does Young's Literal Translation. From the beginning even makes more sense because what Jesus is saying is that humans were always meant to be male and female, as opposed to, for example, this trait having developed because of the Fall or something.
Second, can't "at the beginning of the creation" be interpreted as the creation of man as opposed to the creation of the world? Or better yet, "at the beginning of creation" could be the time when God drew the concept art and then the blueprints before getting his hands dirty. Or maybe he designed the world so that once he set it up and started it, it would evolve into what it is now on its own, without his intervention. -- Nx / talk 23:08, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
How do you think one should decide if text is meant to be understood literally?
I can't see that "at" or "from" makes any real difference; in neither case does it allow for man being created much later.
Why would "at the beginning of creation" mean "when man was created"? If the latter is meant, why wouldn't it be said? You also overlook my point about Jesus obviously believing the creation account by basing doctrine on it.
The reference to narrative is mentioned in creation week, and explained more in creation week on Conservapedia.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:51, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Discussion about light

Ok, so: a) where'd the magic light go? b) why did God create light then create the Sun as an alternative source of light then remove the magic light?

A literal reading of the Bible suggests that the Sun is just a bright spot, but is not enough to provide daylight (like the stars, which are even smaller spots), and that daylight is something completely separate (like an ambient light that has no source). We know that is not the case (we do know that, right?) -- Nx / talk 23:08, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

The light was not "magic"; it was created by God. I don't know where it went. And neither do I know why God did it that way, although I suspect it was so that He could teach us that the sun is not the ultimate source of life.
I don't follow why you think what you've explained in your second paragraph.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:55, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Open-mindedness video

I've now watched the video, and it's well-argued, apart from equating a belief in the supernatural as being close-minded. He accuses believers in God of the very things that disbelievers do.
It starts by claiming that it's extremely common for believers in "non-scientific" concepts to tell others that they should be more open-minded. So right at the start he has shown his (unreasonable) bias by presuming that believers in the supernatural are "non-scientific".
It claims that this is based on "highly-flawed thinking", and then tries to justify this by defining what "open-mindedness" is, but fails to show that those believers are misunderstanding this. The very fact that the supposedly-scientific people are not willing to consider supernatural explanations shows that they are the ones unwilling to consider new ideas.
It says that "when you label an event 'supernatural' just because it has no explanation that's obvious to you, you'll inevitably misinterpret evidence and make invalid causal connections". (My emphasis.) But that is not why creationists, for example, label an event supernatural. So the video has misrepresented the opposition to make its case. Creationists label an event "supernatural" because that's where the evidence points, not because it's unexplained. Further, he "overlooks" that a belief in naturalism has done the very thing that he says results from labelling something 'supernatural', with, for example, so-called 'junk DNA' not being investigated because it was thought to be evolutionary left-overs.
"You'll eliminate whole realms of alternative explanations before it's even clear which explanations might be appropriate". Sounds just like atheists eliminating the supernatural as an explanation before even looking at the evidence. And of course the evidence completely contradicts him, as it was those who believed in the supernatural who are responsible for science!
"It's a classing debating trick to exaggerate and therefore misrepresent another person's position". So true, and he provides examples by doing that himself, as I've shown an example of above.
"Even though demanding valid evidence may lead you occasionally to reject ideas that are poorly supported but nonetheless valid, if and when evidence accumulates for those ideas, an open mind will allow you to reconsider them." I agree with that. But obviously you don't, because you've said that if there was evidence for a 6,000-year-old earth, you would still not consider the possibility of a supernatural creator.
The latter part of the video was good, but the video was spoiled by misapplying the fault as being with those who believe in the supernatural and presenting those who are "scientific" as not having these problems.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 12:09, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
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