Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy

Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?

  • Yes

    Votes: 73 16.8%
  • No

    Votes: 163 37.6%
  • both metaphorically and literally

    Votes: 198 45.6%

  • Total voters
    434

Riddikulus

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livefreeordie said:
I just think it would interesting if any "intellectually honest" geologists for fun or amusement or curiosity ever speculated what geological implications of a world wide flood would be.
Yes, they have. If you take a look at the TalkOrigins site I have posted you will find opinions there and, no doubt, bibliographies for further interest.
 

livefreeordie

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I will check it out! thanks

Riddikulus said:
Yes, they have. If you take a look at the TalkOrigins site I have posted you will find opinions there and, no doubt, bibliographies for further interest.
 

livefreeordie

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Now, if science proves that things as central to the bible such as Adam and Eve and the flood aren't true, just fables.  How can one think any of the biblical miracles are true, and how can one believe Jesus rose from the dead?  Other than by ignoring science.  Which while different from a creationist "ignoring" science in order to believe a 6-day creation, practically speaking it doesn't seem much different.  One is just willing to swallow less miraculous stuff than the other.  If there is a God, I imagine he could dump water on earth and take it away disobeying some scientific laws along the way, just as he can "raise" Jesus from the dead disobeying some scientific laws along the way.

I'd be interested to know how people reconcile this.

 

livefreeordie

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So do you think all the miracles in the bible are just stories?  If not, which ones have you been able to ignore scientific principles and believe?

greekischristian said:
Miracles make for nice stories.
 

greekischristian

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livefreeordie said:
So do you think all the miracles in the bible are just stories?  If not, which ones have you been able to ignore scientific principles and believe?
For the most part, though I'm willing to entertain, to a degree, possible abnormalities in the events of the incarnation and resurrection; to say that there is a singularity resulting from a brief interaction of divinity and humanity is one thing and it's primarially a metaphysical claim, one outside the realm of the physical. To claim that there is some regular undermining of the laws of the universe by a deity, that is something entirely different. When we start seeing amputees spontaneously regenerating their limbs after a prayer or being touched with holy water we can start talking seriously about those claims.
 

Riddikulus

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livefreeordie said:
Now, if science proves that things as central to the bible such as Adam and Eve and the flood aren't true, just fables.  How can one think any of the biblical miracles are true, and how can one believe Jesus rose from the dead?
To begin with, there are no eye-witness accounts to Creation nor a Global flood. The reporting of those biblical miracles relating to Christ as least comes down to us from eye-witnesses. Also the writing is a completely different genre. One is mythopoeic, the establishing of an oral tradition; the other is, it is purported, an historical account by eye-witnesses. The question we ask ourselves is do we believe the eye-witnesses, even though they could be lying or delusional? Each of us deals with those questions on an individual level. 

Other than by ignoring science.
I don't see the connection. Nor do I see any reason to ignore science over ancient myths. Perhaps I'm completely off my rocker, but I just don't see the problem with seeing Genesis as allegorical of man's sinful (not perfect) condition and his need for a way from under the enslavement of death. I would imagine that the theological arguments that have been built on that are to serve mankind, and surely would be the intention of the Creator?

If there is a God, I imagine he could dump water on earth and take it away disobeying some scientific laws along the way, just as he can "raise" Jesus from the dead disobeying some scientific laws along the way.
I have no problem with God dumping enough water on earth to cover the highest mountain for over a year, but I do have problems that He might have done such a clean up job afterwards that there is no evidence of it. What game would God be playing if he were to do so? Isn't the lack of evidence purposefully putting a stumbling block in front of the very creatures He insists He wants to worship Him; those He wants to save from death and sin? Wouldn't that be somewhat perverse? Would you or I deceive our own children in such a way and still expect them to love and trust us?

 

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Raising someone from the dead would seem to undermine the laws of the universe.  So I guess your straightforward answer should be, "I don't believe in miracles but so it sounds like I have some "faith" in the Christianity taught by the Church I'll come up with some explanation that sounds like I entertain the possibility of a couple of miraculous events."  Is that accurate or off the mark?

Do you have your "generating limbs" line copied somewhere so all you have to do is paste when you need it? ;)

greekischristian said:
For the most part, though I'm willing to entertain, to a degree, possible abnormalities in the events of the incarnation and resurrection; to say that there is a singularity resulting from a brief interaction of divinity and humanity is one thing and it's primarially a metaphysical claim, one outside the realm of the physical. To claim that there is some regular undermining of the laws of the universe by a deity, that is something entirely different. When we start seeing amputees spontaneously regenerating their limbs after a prayer or being touched with holy water we can start talking seriously about those claims.
 

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I did say the creation accounts and whether you believe in them is a different animal than the new testament accounts like Christ being raised from the dead.  But still, I think science would say raising someone from the dead is impossible, especially three days after they've been dead.  We all deal with all questions on an individual level, granted some we have more evidence to make a conclusion than others.  And it's just interesting to me that to a hard core atheist evolutionist someone believing in the resurrection of Christ is just as intellectually dishonest as someone believing in Adam and Eve.

Wouldn't Noah and his family count as eyewitnesses.  Especially, and we haven't talked about it much yet, the flood wasn't a global flood but a local flood the eyewitnesses mistook for a global flood.  And if this is the case, why wouldn't their accounts be as reliable as the biblical accounts of Jesus rising from the dead?  My understanding is that outside of scripture, their are no written eyewitness accounts of Christ rising from the dead.  So why believe Noah or Christ is any more believable than the other?

Personally, while I disagree with them, I've always thought the hard core atheistic evolutionist was the most intellectually honest in taking their conclusions and being willing to follow them to their logical end.

Riddikulus said:
To begin with, there are no eye-witness accounts to Creation nor a Global flood. The reporting of those biblical miracles relating to Christ as least comes down to us from eye-witnesses. Also the writing is a completely different genre. One is mythopoeic, the establishing of an oral tradition; the other is, it is purported, an historical account by eye-witnesses. The question we ask ourselves is do we believe the eye-witnesses, even though they could be lying or delusional? Each of us deals with those questions on an individual level. 

I don't see the connection. Nor do I see any reason to ignore science over ancient myths. Perhaps I'm completely off my rocker, but I just don't see the problem with seeing Genesis as allegorical of man's sinful (not perfect) condition and his need for a way from under the enslavement of death. I would imagine that the theological arguments that have been built on that are to serve mankind, and surely would be the intention of the Creator?

I have no problem with God dumping enough water on earth to cover the highest mountain for over a year, but I do have problems that He might have done such a clean up job afterwards that there is no evidence of it. What game would God be playing if he were to do so? Isn't the lack of evidence purposefully putting a stumbling block in front of the very creatures He insists He wants to worship Him; those He wants to save from death and sin? Wouldn't that be somewhat perverse? Would you or I deceive our own children in such a way and still expect them to love and trust us?
 

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livefreeordie said:
Wouldn't Noah and his family count as eyewitnesses.  Especially, and we haven't talked about it much yet, the flood wasn't a global flood but a local flood the eyewitnesses mistook for a global flood.  And if this is the case, why wouldn't their accounts be as reliable as the biblical accounts of Jesus rising from the dead?  My understanding is that outside of scripture, their are no written eyewitness accounts of Christ rising from the dead.  So why believe Noah or Christ is any more believable than the other?
Show me the account Noah wrote of the flood.

On the other hand, I can show you four historical accounts of Jesus rising from the dead.
 

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Is that a rhetorical question?  Of course, there is no account he wrote lying around that we know of.  So someone is only an eyewitness if they are the ones writing about themselves being an eyewitness?  So people who were witness to Jesus's resurrection were only eye witnesses if they themselves wrote about their witness and we have that writing to look at today? So the only people we can consider eyewitness's to Christ were the ones who wrote scripture about it?

The flood account might be completely made up, but if its not, I imagine Noah or one of his family wrote about it and passed it down.  Based upon all the evidence people have been presenting, it's probably just a legend though.  Who knows.

If you have four historical accounts of Jesus rising from the dead outside of scripture, which my post was asking, I really would be interested in seeing them if you could post them or show them to me.

thanks!

ytterbiumanalyst said:
Show me the account Noah wrote of the flood.

On the other hand, I can show you four historical accounts of Jesus rising from the dead.
 

ytterbiumanalyst

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Yes, it is rhetorical. An eyewitness is someone who saw an event (eye) and reported it (witness). The Gospels were written by four men who saw the risen Christ and wrote about His resurrection.

The Flood, on the other hand, has no eyewitness testimony. It was reported in mythopoeic form by Moses who lived thousands of years after the supposed event. Genesis is not an eyewitness account, not by a long shot.
 

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Can't a  "witness" be written or oral or any kind of first hand description.  While obviously Noah's witness, if in fact he had a written or oral one scriptures drew from, would be less reliable than Luke who wrote his and we have a copy of it.  They could both very well be eyewitnesses's.  And they both could have very well made it up.

ytterbiumanalyst said:
Yes, it is rhetorical. An eyewitness is someone who saw an event (eye) and reported it (witness). The Gospels were written by four men who saw the risen Christ and wrote about His resurrection.

The Flood, on the other hand, has no eyewitness testimony. It was reported in mythopoeic form by Moses who lived thousands of years after the supposed event. Genesis is not an eyewitness account, not by a long shot.
 

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livefreeordie said:
But still, I think science would say raising someone from the dead is impossible, especially three days after they've been dead.
I'm not sure that science would say that it is impossible; but that there is no known means at present. And afterall, there are many things that have been considered impossible in the past; they aren't today.

We all deal with all questions on an individual level, granted some we have more evidence to make a conclusion than others.  And it's just interesting to me that to a hard core atheist evolutionist someone believing in the resurrection of Christ is just as intellectually dishonest as someone believing in Adam and Eve.
The hard-core atheist would probably say that to believe in either is irrational.

Wouldn't Noah and his family count as eyewitnesses.  Especially, and we haven't talked about it much yet, the flood wasn't a global flood but a local flood the eyewitnesses mistook for a global flood. And if this is the case, why wouldn't their accounts be as reliable as the biblical accounts of Jesus rising from the dead?  My understanding is that outside of scripture, their are no written eyewitness accounts of Christ rising from the dead.  So why believe Noah or Christ is any more believable than the other?
As far as I'm aware Noah didn't write any account of the flood and it is known from an oral tradition recorded, according to Church Tradition, by Moses, perhaps millenia post the event. So no, we don't have an eye-witness account of the flood. Certainly, if there was a flood, it could have been a local flood mistaken as global. And I'm not sure that I would expect to see written eye-witness accounts of Christ's Resurrection outside Holy Tradition; after all when those accounts were written they weren't exactly "scripture" in the sense that we understand them; they were written as eye-witness accounts.

Personally, while I disagree with them, I've always thought the hard core atheistic evolutionist was the most intellectually honest in taking their conclusions and being willing to follow them to their logical end.
I don't see that they are any more intellectually honest (perhaps more rational, I'm not sure). If the atheist has honestly looked at the written evidence for God and chosen to reject it as a fairytale; that is their right. The believer of God (any believer, not just Christian) has looked at the evidence at their disposal and acknowledged it with an affirmative. There isn't anything intellectually dishonest in that, I don't believe. Perhaps it's naive and gullible to believe the words of men long dead, but not dishonest. But faith is based on rational investigation and acceptance of evidence; it's not empircal to be sure, but as revealed to us by eye-witnesses.

It's the same basic principle as our "belief" in Julius Caesar. We accept, without question, the accounts of eye-witnesses that Julius Caesar did exist and perhaps did in fact do some of the things he claims to have done in his History of Gallic Wars.

I find it rather interesting that Julius Caesar is simply accepted and taught as a historical fact; you don't hear anyone say that it's silly to believe in him without the same standard of evidence they would seem to expect for Christ. No one today has seen Julius Caesar, we rely on historical sources. We have some busts that are claimed to be of him, but who's to say that they aren't in fact part of an ancient conspiracy; or simply mistakenly labelled?

But somehow, the eye-witness accounts of Christ as a historical fact are put under quite a different microscope - and I'm sure that considering the claims of Christ and His followers we can understand why this is so. Really, to me it becomes a question of do I believe from the written accounts that Christ existed historically. I see no reason to believe He didn't. The next question becomes, do I believe the things that His followers claim? For some reason, my answer, perhaps naive and gullible, is yes. 



 

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Riddikulus said:
I'm not sure that science would say that it is impossible; but that there is no known means at present. And afterall, there are many things that have been considered impossible in the past; they aren't today.
And I guess my point in all of this is that people are going to believe whatever they are going to believe.  At the end of the day, we all put our "faith" in something.  As Christians, no matter how much we might wish logic or science can prove our faith, at some point it comes down to suspending disbelief in the impossible and believing in something that to any scientific sceptic is a myth.  I'm still not sure about GIC though! ;)  I can't decide if somewhere an irrational belief lurks and he spends so much time here to try and find more "faith", or if he is a complete rationalist/naturalist whose only God is logic and his goal is to convert as many to his side as possible, by whatever means necessary! ;)

Personally, I think faith will always be based on things unseen.  Evolution will never disprove God, or prove him for that matter.  6-day creationist's will never find the "proof" that they are correct and disbelief in God is completely irrational because his creation proves it.  I believe God intended to always be a little mysterious in order to ensure free will is always at work.  Each day we have a choice, to move towards or away from God.  I've seen God in work so I have no problem believing in miracles, so I'm happy to follow the rule of the Church and take what it says at face fellow.  If I die and find out later something was hoax, oh well.  Logic and scientific truth didn't save me.  Prayer, repentence, Christ, etc. did.

Thanks everyone on this board.  I'm neither an "evolutionist" or a "6-day creationist" per the loaded meanings of those terms.  I believe God created us.  And that's enough for me.  My feeling is that a lot people who are hard core evolutionists or hardcore YE creationists both seem to have some inner desire to find a "proof" for or against God.  And it seems to my reasoning that sometimes each infers far too much from their conclusions.  Although I would say that by far YE creationists are more guilty of this.  But in my opinion, evolutionists take good science and infer far too much from it also.  But if I'm wrong and one of the two are right, I don't mind.

I have kids and wanted to ask a few questions to get a feel from both sides from real people, and especially Orthodox people.  As I know as my kids get older they will be asking the same questions.  Thank you all very much.  If this ever becomes a topic of interest to me again I'll be very thankful that I can come here and get such a good range of passionate, heart felt answers.

Thanks!
 

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livefreeordie said:
Can't a  "witness" be written or oral or any kind of first hand description.  While obviously Noah's witness, if in fact he had a written or oral one scriptures drew from, would be less reliable than Luke who wrote his and we have a copy of it.  They could both very well be eyewitnesses's.  And they both could have very well made it up.
Are we talking about witnesses or eyewitnesses? They are two different things. A witness is someone who testifies to the truth as best as they can with the information they have; the person does not have to have been present or really have any knowledge of the actual event to be a witness (a character witness is a good example of this). An eyewitness, however, must be present and must actually have seen the event take place. Neither is totally reliable, of course, but the point stands.
 

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livefreeordie said:
And I guess my point in all of this is that people are going to believe whatever they are going to believe.  At the end of the day, we all put our "faith" in something.  As Christians, no matter how much we might wish logic or science can prove our faith, at some point it comes down to suspending disbelief in the impossible and believing in something that to any scientific sceptic is a myth.  I'm still not sure about GIC though! ;)  I can't decide if somewhere an irrational belief lurks and he spends so much time here to try and find more "faith", or if he is a complete rationalist/naturalist whose only God is logic and his goal is to convert as many to his side as possible, by whatever means necessary! ;)
Yes, I am a rationalist/naturalist, but my goal isn't so much to convert people...I just want people to objectively consider a different perspective, to be able to view an issue from several sides, even if they don't embrace my approach.
 
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