I was raised on the Bible, Im an atheist now. But I do have respect for the book, considering how old it is, and it does have some good advice.
Id like to hear your opinions, thanks
It's a collection of stories, with some valid moral guidance. Though some of that guidance is of its time, and needs to be taken with a large pinch of salt a couple of millennia later. It provides comfort for those who believe.
It becomes problematic when people take it too literally. The Young Earth Creationists. Those who believe that the Great Flood really happened. Belief in an all powerful God who can create a universe in 6 literal days, and who can summon masses of water from nowhere, and then make it go away again a few weeks later... but who still can't create life from two males or two females.
One of the functions of religion is to explain the inexplicable. But we now have scientific explanations of many things that make some parts of the bible very difficult to believe from a rational viewpoint.
There are better uses for trees than their publication as bibles.
I was raised in a strict Catholic family (e.g. We recited the 50-bead rosary every night.)
I hold no reverence for the bible and rank it as low as any tabloid magazine. I cherish my collection of "airplane" paperbacks more.
Interestingly in regards to my aethism, I still can't bring myself to disrespect The Virgin Mary. Weird.
Though I can write things like: she was only one of a millions of women of the time who was probably sold or traded off to their husband, or was one of a million parents who adopted or kidnapped someone else's kids because they couldn't have kids, - or whatever story I try to make about them, I can't help but wince and feel disrespectful.
I have no problems with disrespecting Jesus, the con man.
The bible is a biased collection of scriptures. These scriptures are scattered about the planet. So easy to combine ones favorites and compose a platform
It just stuns me to see so many people taking it literally, In this time, the still accept two thousand year old text as reality and yet deny science. How on earth can one do this
I think if you understand that it is a collection of books written separately and spread out over a large expanse of time, and take them each in relation to the times in which they were meant to address, then they have far more value for both addressing human needs and explaining our collective human pasts, than if you look upon them as a literal and unequivocal word of law, unchanging and forever valid. Most of the books were never meant to be taken literally, that's a relatively new adaptation that came about to address an exodus of belief brought on by industrialization and science. 200 years ago no one would have dreamt that the books be considered as actual fact.
There is a lot of value there, but you have to take them in context. Much of what we see in the media and from the so called Neocons is based on a complete lack of understanding of the times and purposes in which and for which the books were written.
It has a lot of B.S. It also has poetry and good advice. You can find all kinds of things in it. People cherry pick. The kind religious people I know cherry pick the parts that supports human rights. The Religious Right pick the parts that support cruel behavior.
I think Sam Harris has an argument about the moralities found in the Bible. (I think it was Sam Harris. It could be another guy.)
If humanity has a "do over" without our current religion, do you think the moralities found in our bibles (e.g. be kind to others, don't kill, honour your elders, don't steal, etc.) will also be discovered by that new humanity whether in a different religion or without religion?
If you think yes, then you can take that as proof that our bibles are just ink on paper.
If no, you might want to find out why you still hold the bible with reverence. If it's because it's your compass to doing good, then that in itself can't be bad.
A bunch of dusty old tales with some dubious historicity. It's not a fun read, and any good advice it may have is usually undercut by much more crap. How anyone can base their life around it is beyond me, then again everyone likes to just cherry pick the ever loving crap out of "gods perfect word".
Any source of information that contradicts itself , must be brought into question , & such infractions cannot be dismissed by ambiguity , apology , or any other means . A book written by men inspired by god , at days end is simply a product of fallible humans . Like a broken clock , it is correct from time to time , but other than that , it , like other devices of kings & emperors , was developed more to control the ignorant masses , at the expense of the truth . There is simply so much evidence that Jesus was an amalgamation of various people , & folk tales , that the actual existence of the character , simply never was . This is also true with other folk heroes as William Tell , Joan of Arc , William Shakespeare , Robinhood , King Aurther Penndragon , & quite a few Saints as well . Like all other things in life , take what is good from it , leave the rest behind , & move on . . .
All the "Good stuff" in the bible was just extreme racism. When it says "thou shalt not kill" what it means is: thou shalt not kill the Jews in your tribe. Same for all the other "good" parts. The bible is the Jewish Mein Kampfh. Wait, that's harsh, Hitler was the first person to enact animal cruelty laws. No one's all bad, except Yahweh.
I think the Bible kind of follows along the same line and has many of the same aspects as most religious texts. I feel like Christianity as a whole is a great religion in theory, but not so much in practice.
Of course, you just have to realize many of the traditions and celebrations Christians hold sacred are cannibalized from other religions, mostly Pagan religions (ie Christmas and Easter). Realizing that, the fact that the Bible has so many aspects of other religions makes perfect sense.