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Does the Bible present a flat earth? Think carefully...
Yes, but I haven't read it 8%  8%  [ 1 ]
Yes and I have read it 17%  17%  [ 2 ]
No, but I haven't read it 8%  8%  [ 1 ]
No and I have read it 67%  67%  [ 8 ]
Total votes : 12

Macbeth
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29 Aug 2007, 12:21 pm

Given the varying nature and differences between any given edition of the Bible, and the sects and subsects of those who follow its teachings, and also the various ways it is taught in different places, I dont think there is a hard and fast answer to "how its supposed to be read."

I attended a Methodist Church, though my grandfather was a Baptist minister, whilst my secondary school was headmastered by a Quaker, and our RE lessons were run by a Catholic. Likewise I married a Catholic, and two of my close friends at school were Jehovahs witnesses. My sons attend a Catholic school, whilst my current partner is Catholic. Thus I have several copies of the Bible, both new and very old, and have either experienced or heard about the ways it is taught, and frankly, Ive never had two sound the same. Added to that are my readings of various christian members interpretations and understandings on this forum from a wide variety of countries.

From all this, I surmise that arguing over how it is supposed to be read is a touch daft, because even the christian faiths are not in agreement over it. The same could be said for its actual content as well, I suppose.

So, the Bible may suggest that the earth is flat in some places, but there seems to be no definitive evidence that it does. To the best of everyones knowledge, the earth is NOT flat. How does the one reconcile with the other? Assuming that incontrovertible evidence of a Biblical claim to Flatness were uncovered, how would that be reconciled with the evidence that the Earth is anything BUT flat?

It would appear that the non-christian issue with the book is its mutable nature. It does appear that Christianity has a tendency to change its mind about which parts of the book are literal and which are figurative as time goes on, and this naturally makes people suspicious about the work as a whole. I recall that at one point, the "Adam and Eve" part of the story was claimed as literal, but in the light of various discoveries, became a much more figurative tale, not meant to be taken literally. This sort of.. flip-flopping I suppose.. doesnt help much, at least to my humble opinion.

As a side note.. it surprises me how vehement many Christians on this forum are, and how arrogant, and superior they seem to be when dealing with non-believers. "Youre wrong and I'm right and God will shove redhot pokers in your eyes for eternity for disagreeing" doesnt seem like a very christian attitude. It seems a bit mean really, and a touch sinful. Pride and arrogance are sins, arent they?


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richardbenson
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29 Aug 2007, 12:53 pm

JonnyBGoode wrote:
richardbenson wrote:
the earth is not 10,000 years old people. man and dinosaur didnt live together and the sun doesnt revolve around the earth.

And if you've been paying attention to the thread here - which it's obvious you haven't - none of the Christians here have said anything of the sort. Or said that the Bible did.

If you have an argument or point to make, show some support for it, and stop throwing up straw men. It's very annoying when we spend our time making detailed and well-thought-out arguments and the responses from the other side are "hur hur hur Christians are stoopid hur hur hur." Not to mention that it makes the Christians actually look smarter, which I'm sure is the opposite of your intent.
first of all it was more of a comment than anything, on a show i saw on tv yesterday. my intentions werent to come in this thread and say that to start a fight so you can relax. second i didnt say it to make fun of christians, where'd i say that? seems to me alot of assuming on your part is making you angry. dont be



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29 Aug 2007, 1:33 pm

Sorry if I was harsh, you came on the heels of a big row, as you can see. :)


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richardbenson
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29 Aug 2007, 2:24 pm

oh no worries man :)



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29 Aug 2007, 3:52 pm

I thought this would be an interesting thread from the topic heading, but all I've read are people with earplugs screaming at eachother. Onto the topic...

Christianity has often been accused of opposing science and hindering technology throughout history by superstitious ignorance. However, a closer study of historical facts shows that this accusation is ill-founded.

In his book The Discovers, author Daniel Boorstin stated: ‘A Europe-wide phenomenon of scholarly amnesia … afflicted the continent from AD 300 to at least 1300. During those centuries Christian faith and dogma suppressed the useful image of the world that had been so slowly, so painfully, and so scrupulously drawn by ancient geographers’.

Christianity has often been held responsible for promoting the flat Earth theory. Yet it was only a handful of so-called intellectual scholars throughout the centuries, claiming to represent the Church, who held to a flat Earth. Most of these were ignored by the Church, yet somehow their writings made it into early history books as being the ‘official Christian viewpoint’.

The earliest of these flat-Earth promoters was the African Lactantius (AD 245–325), a professional rhetorician who converted to Christianity mid-life.

He rejected all the Greek philosophers, and in doing so also rejected a spherical Earth. His views were considered heresy by the Church Fathers and his work was ignored until the Renaissance (at which time some humanists revived his writings as a model of good Latin, and of course, his flat Earth view also was revived).


Next was sixth century Eastern Greek Christian, Cosmas Indicopleustes, who claimed the Earth was flat and lay beneath the heavens (consisting of a rectangular vaulted arch). His work also was soundly rejected by the Church Fathers, but liberal historians have usually claimed his view was typical of that of the Church Fathers.

Many such historians have simply followed the pattern of others without checking the facts. In fact, most of the Church Fathers did not address the issue of the shape of the Earth, and those who did regarded it as ‘round’ or spherical.

In 1828, American writer Washington Irving (author of Rip Van Winkle) published a book entitled The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus. It was a mixture of fact and fiction, with Irving himself admitting he was ‘apt to indulge in the imagination’.

Its theme was the victory of a lone believer in a spherical Earth over a united front of Bible-quoting, superstitious ignoramuses, convinced the Earth was flat. In fact, the well-known argument at the Council of Salamanca was about the dubious distance between Europe and Japan which Columbus presented — it had nothing to do with the shape of the Earth.


In 1834, the anti-Christian Letronne falsely claimed that most of the Church Fathers, including Augustine, Ambrose and Basil, held to a flat Earth. His work has been repeatedly cited as ‘reputable’ ever since.

In the late nineteenth century, the writings of John William Draper and Andrew Dickson White were responsible for promoting the myth that the church taught a flat Earth. Both had Christian backgrounds, but rejected these early in life.

Englishman Draper convinced himself that with the downfall of the Roman Empire the ‘affairs of men fell into the hands of ignorant and infuriated ecclesiastics, parasites, eunuchs and slaves’ — these were the ‘Dark Ages’. Draper’s work, History of the Conflict between Religion and Science (1874), was directed particularly against the Roman Church, and was a best seller.

Meanwhile White (who founded Cornell University as the first explicitly secular university in the United States), published the two-volume scholarly work History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, in 1896.

Both men incorrectly portrayed a continuing battle through the Christian era between the defenders of ignorance and the enlightened rationalists. In fact, not only did the church not promote the flat Earth, it is clear from such passages as Isaiah 40:22 that the Bible implies it is spherical. (Non-literal figures of speech such as the ‘four corners of the Earth’ are still used today.)
Encyclopedias erase the myth

While many will have lost their faith through the writing of such men as Irving, Draper and White, it is gratifying to know that the following encyclopædias now present the correct account of the Columbus affair: The New Encyclopædia Britannica (1985), Colliers Encyclopædia (1984), The Encyclopedia Americana (1987) and The World Book for Children (1989).

There is still a long way to go before the average student will know that Christianity did not invent or promote the myth of the flat Earth. People on WP may have a longer time to go judging from what I've been reading here.



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29 Aug 2007, 6:00 pm

JonnyBGoode wrote:
LKL brought up some decent examples of oft-quoted-by-skeptics passages that seem to show the Bible saying one thing, and I showed him how, using standard hermeneutic principles common to everyday reading and putting those verses back in the context they belonged, they said nothing of the sort.


They mean nothing of the sort, according to your interpretation. There is, however, an extant Flat-Earth Society (linked in an early post) and a very powerful YEC lobby which interprets the 6-day creation of the universe and the '4 corners' very seriously indeed.



techstepgenr8tion
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29 Aug 2007, 6:06 pm

The bible's going to be shrouded for a long time just for the fact that people can, as easily, argue that it was metaphorical as they can argue that things were meant literally. Its like Nostradamus, I don't think people will ever know if he really was a visionary or just that brilliant with ambiguity that he could make anything retrofit his predictions.



Last edited by techstepgenr8tion on 29 Aug 2007, 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ahayes
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29 Aug 2007, 6:49 pm

The Great Cat God declares that the Earth is a torus!! !!



Hadron
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29 Aug 2007, 6:56 pm

ahayes wrote:
The Great Cat God declares that the Earth is a torus!! !!

I declare that ahayes is ghey. End of.



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29 Aug 2007, 7:00 pm

Hadron wrote:
ahayes wrote:
The Great Cat God declares that the Earth is a torus!! !!

I declare that ahayes is ghey. End of.


Keep it civil, or keep out.


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Hadron
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29 Aug 2007, 7:01 pm

Quatermass wrote:
Hadron wrote:
ahayes wrote:
The Great Cat God declares that the Earth is a torus!! !!

I declare that ahayes is ghey. End of.


Keep it civil, or keep out.

He is trolling. Intensity is full of his enough of his drivel, without him showing up here as well...



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29 Aug 2007, 7:03 pm

Your responses don't help, either. In fact, this thread is fast devolving into a cesspool.


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Hadron
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29 Aug 2007, 7:09 pm

Quatermass wrote:
Your responses don't help, either. In fact, this thread is fast devolving into a cesspool.

I just want rid of him, or for him to mature 10 years quickly. He is worse on Intensity by far, but disputes can boil over onto other sites. As for the thread being a cesspool, it was one to start with.



The_Chosen_One
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29 Aug 2007, 8:05 pm

And I am not accepting any responsiblity for that.

Whether the flat-earth was mentioned is neither here nor there anyway, the fact is, there were people who believed in those things like sailing over the end of the world etc, and because anything other than the religious or church view was seen to be heresy, meant that if you put an opposing view across, you either got tortured, or ridiculed or even excommunicated. Similar to what has happened in this forum, sad to say. You only have to look at Galileo Galilei, for eg, when he proposed that things revolved around the sun instead of the earth, and also for postulating that the moons of Jupiter (Ganymede, Io, Callisto and Europa) revolved around Jupiter and not the earth. He was imprisoned, and forced to recant, and was only released in his latter years after he went blind. The church may have possibly gone after Da Vinci, not only for his theories and his artwork, but for his homosexuality as well. So obviously these people had to get their teachings from somewhere, and the church is more than likely the culprit, because they ran education, and therefore as I said, contrary opinion was heresy.


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ahayes
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29 Aug 2007, 10:22 pm

Hadron wrote:
Quatermass wrote:
Hadron wrote:
ahayes wrote:
The Great Cat God declares that the Earth is a torus!! !!

I declare that ahayes is ghey. End of.


Keep it civil, or keep out.

He is trolling. Intensity is full of his enough of his drivel, without him showing up here as well...


How about this, I leave here and start driveling up intensity some more?