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Topic: I just dont get how a person can believe one myth but no another.

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Subject: I just dont get how a person can believe one myth but no another.
Date Posted: 9/29/2008 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
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My father in law likes to talk religion. I do too so its an interesting debate. What I dont get is his vehement disbelief of all other religious myths. Or anyones for that matter. After all most major religions believe that they are the only ones that get it right.

For instance he fully believes in Noahs Arc but thinks than Mohammad recieving the words of the Quaran from Gabriel is absurd. I just dont get how one can believe in one absurd notion and not another. To literally believe in Noahs Arc (and he does) and not believe in evolution (he doesnt) then one would have to believe that one really old guy built an enomous boat then gathered two of ever single spieces on the planet and put them on that boat. One would have to believe that he gathered up two African Elephants, two Indian Elephants, Two Asian Elephants, Two ball pythons, two reticulated pythons, two anacondas, two garter snakes, two nile crocodiles, two salt water crocodiles, two fire belly toads, two poison dart frogs, two snapping turtles, two galapagos tortoises, two scarlet ibises, two blue jays, two cardinals, two robins, two african grey parrots, two ring tailed lemurs, two lions, two siberian tigers, two asian tigers, two ocelots, two dodos, two okapis, two platypi, two akidnas, two brown bears, two black bears, two sun bears, two polar bears etc etc etc etc.

Then one has to believe that the really old guy somehow prevented the predatory creatures from eating the non predatory creatures and that he gathered enough food for all of these creatures to survive which means he would have had to gather more than two of some animals to feed to the predatory creatures.

To also believe that god made the planet as it is now (which he does) one would have to believe that Noah went to ever single continent to gather these creatures because the land masses werent ever connected. Also to not believe in evolution one would have to believe that all plant life somehow survived being submersed under an ocean.

To me its easier to believe that a guy went into a cave and got some religious texts from an angel. I just dont get how one can rationalize that Noahs arc is true because its in the bible but all other myths are absurd because they are not in the bible.

Date Posted: 9/29/2008 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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The Noah's Ark story was where I started, as a kid, to question the Bible.  My hang-up was: how did Noah know he had 1 male and 1 female of things like frogs, grasshoppers, Gila monsters and scorpions? 

Date Posted: 9/29/2008 6:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
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I never believed the myth literally. Ive never taken any myth literally. I understood at an early age (probably because my gifted teacher made us study greek mythology a lot) that myths are a way of explaining something a person doesnt understand.

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2007
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Another thing about the Noah dealie.  From what I recall, it was just him and his sons building this enormous ship.  NO WAY a man and even 50 guys without the use of heavy equipment could build a ship that size in 100 years.  The logistics.  And thats why the bible fails in so many ways for me... plain old logic. 

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 8:12 PM ET
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Very true Kelly the largest passenger ship in the world couldnt even hold two of every animal and in no way could be built by a couple of guys with hammers and nails.

I stumbled upon a crazy idea thinking about this yesterday. Since the bible doesnt ever say that the earth is the only planet god put life on (at least I never found anything that says that) Noah could have been from another planet that was destroyed and came to earth with all his animals.

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
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I like the interplantery Noah idea. You should write a book. What I've never understood is that almost every past culture has a story/myth of the world almost being distroyed save one or two people. But all the others are false?  Never got it.

It's funny, in the Norse flood story the dove never came back but the raven did, with a branch in it's mouth. Opposite of Noah.

My biggest hang up was where did Noah's kids get wives to repopulate? Its like they just show up with out any explanation.

 

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2007
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Chris, since it's not a myth for him, he may never be able to see the truth in other people's stories, or even appreciate that for them it's the truth.

Your "crazy idea" reminded me of a Jewish midrash.  Midrashim are stories created to explain or enhance what's in Torah.  The literal interpreation of the very first verse isn't "In the beginning," but something more ambiguous - sorry, I can't for the life of me recall just how it goes right now, and my Hebrew isn't that good.  Anyway, the midrash has it that God had indeed created many other worlds, but hadn't gotten it qute right, and so kept starting over.

Just think of us as characters on a giant Etch-a-Sketch, LOL!

The sad thing is, I keep thinking, "WE'RE the best God can do????  Oy!"

Date Posted: 10/9/2008 11:20 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2006
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I have not studied the details, but I too believe the Noah's Ark "myth"--literally. I believe there is information left out of the story. I believe "divine intervention" was involved in getting the animals to the ark and in preventing the preditors from destroying the prey, etc. I believe Noah's sons already had wives when they boarded the ark... and possibly families (children) too-- that were perhaps culturally considered insignificant and therefore the author did not think to mention them. I don't care whether it was the raven or the dove. I don't care how evolution and the incredible number of species figure into the equation. Perhaps there was at that time 1 species of elephant which later evolved into distinctly different species. It doesn't bother me.

I also believe it to be entirely possible that "a guy went into a cave and got some religious texts from an angel".

Date Posted: 10/10/2008 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
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Last Edited on: 2/21/10 12:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/13/2008 2:48 PM ET
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I believe what the Bible says about Noah and the flood...now if you want to only think about it as a story well that is up to you but, to answer some of your comments...according to the Biblical account of the flood Noah's sons had wives and they entered into the ark with them.  There was divine intervention in the animals entering into the ark  "Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark." and to perhaps confuse you a little more there were 7 unclean and 2 clean that entered the ark.

Oh and for those that questioned why folks that believe one thing can't believe another well....I believe in God so, for me to also "believe" in Darwin's  evolution would be impossible because I believe in God....one cannot believe both.



Last Edited on: 10/13/08 2:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/13/2008 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
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Last Edited on: 2/21/10 12:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/13/2008 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
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"Fortunately, this being America, we can both enjoy our beliefs without someone taking us to jail over it. "

For now we can but the day is soon approaching that there will be those that will imprison us for our beliefs.

Date Posted: 10/14/2008 12:32 AM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
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For now we can but the day is soon approaching that there will be those that will imprison us for our beliefs.

Unfortunately suppression and imprisonment over religious beliefs has occurred throughout history.

It is my deepest desire that people of opposing viewpoints can come together to protect religious freedom.

I believe Noah's sons already had wives when they boarded the ark... and possibly families (children) too-- that were perhaps culturally considered insignificant and therefore the author did not think to mention

I never thought of it but that is a plausible explanation of why wives/ children were left out.

according to the Biblical account of the flood Noah's sons had wives and they entered into the ark with them.

Really? Man, I'd never thought I would forget so much of what I had read. I'll have to go back and re-read it.

 Editied because I cant spell!!!!1!!!

 



Last Edited on: 10/14/08 12:57 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
T. -
Date Posted: 10/14/2008 12:54 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
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For now we can but the day is soon approaching that there will be those that will imprison us for our beliefs.

See "Spanish Inquisition"  & "Witch Burning"  & "The Crusades" 

Date Posted: 10/14/2008 4:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
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Here ya go Amber....copied from Biblegateway.com  (bolded font mine to make it easier for you)

Genesis 7

The Great Flood

 1 Then the LORD said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. 2 You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; 3 also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth. 4 For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.” 5 And Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him. 6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth.
7 So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the flood. 8 Of clean animals, of animals that are unclean, of birds, and of everything that creeps on the earth, 9 two by two they went into the ark to Noah, male and female, as God had commanded Noah. 10 And it came to pass after seven days that the waters of the flood were on the earth. 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.
13 On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark— 14 they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. 15 And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. 16 So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the LORD shut him in.

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 2:24 AM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2007
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For now we can but the day is soon approaching that there will be those that will imprison us for our beliefs.

How do you figure that?  The only group that might come close to that kind of power is the 'religious right,' and since their grasp on power seems to be slipping, I don't see any other religious groups with anything like the clout that would be needed for government discrimination.

I also agree that God and Darwin are not mutually exclusive.  Seems like people (generic) who think it has to be one or the other are really underestimating God's ability to do things beyond our grasp.

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 9:33 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2006
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I think the phrase that the day is coming when people will be imprisoned for their beliefs refers to the those who believe in the "End Times" and the Rapture and all that.  But yeah - this has occurred throughout history and it isn't a new thing.  And Jeanne is right - the "religious right" would be the ones who would try to imprison people for their beliefs.  And I include radicals in all religions. 

 

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2007
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So the evangelicals are going to imprison the rest of us??  I'm sorry, I'm lost, and I've never heard that one.

Date Posted: 10/22/2008 11:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
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Thanks Christy. I must have been thinking of another story where people show up inexplicably.

Chris, off OT, your bathtub siggy girl is creeping me out!!!! ;)

There's a deep chord of truth ringing through these old myths and we need to be open to them all, I think. 

I cannot let infinite God be bound my the limits of my imagination or understanding of the universe.  Good grief, how small he would be.

Thats lovely, Thank you.



Last Edited on: 10/23/08 12:02 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/28/2008 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
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Marilyn:

"I find it fascinating that so many cultures have the same myths with different details.  The flood myth is one.  The how we came to be myth is another.  So many cultures have the myth of the golden son, the perfect one, the man of peace, the healer, who dies or is killed unjustly and tells them that he will come back again to usher in an era of peace.   I am a Christian and I know that many of my friends are rather threatened by this commonality and discount it but I find it reassuring somehow.  There's a deep chord of truth ringing through these old myths and we need to be open to them all, I think. "

I've thought about this  a lot.  I sorta decided that you can take it one of two ways.  One, that it's reassuring.  Most religions came from the same place, they've just evolved differently as people have migrated to their different regions of the world.  Now the other way you can take it is that we all came from the same place.  There seems to be a lot of evidence that points to Africa.  So the stories of our oldest ancestors have made their way down the line, and again, migrated to our various parts of the world. 

So were these myths created to help explain the unexplainable to our ancestors? 

I have no idea. 

I kind of pose the same question, Chris.  How can one believe the story that's in the Christian bible, and denounce the remarkably similar story our of the Q'ran.  Forgive my spelling. 

Date Posted: 10/30/2008 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
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Sorry I didnt come back to this before it seemed to have died so I didnt think it was gonna get any more posts. The whole forum seemed dead there for a while.

Anyway Christy to address what you said Im not talking belief an article of faith over science. I dont understand that either but that is not my point in this thread. What Im getting at in this thread is how can a person wholely believe a myth of one religion and call a myth from another religion absurd? In most cases myths from any religion are equally hard to believe from an outsiders view point like myself but there are myths from some religions that are vastly easier to believe and be explained.

And Marylin this isnt a question of what God did this is a question of how one thing is believable when another equally hard to believe and explain myth is not. I dont question a persons faith in their own god. I just question the vehement disbelief in other mythologies that dont pertain to their god just because they dont pertain to their god. Its sort of an out of sight out of mind thing. If it isnt in my religious text then it isnt true.

Date Posted: 11/4/2008 12:12 AM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2007
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I think part of it is that some religions recognize gods other than their own, and some religions don't.  I think (not sure) that Christian's don't, so that would make it hard to believe anyone else's stories.  If you believe another religion's god is just a myth, how could you believe the stories that come from that religion? 

Date Posted: 11/4/2008 4:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
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Manny, you and some of the other posters here might like to read some of Sir James Frazier's compendium, The Golden Bough.  It's an intriguing old book about the history of religion down through the centuries, or even millenia.  It's cultural anthropology with the emphasis on ideas about  "the supernatural"....and it goes from animism through polygamies, to Male-Female godheads, to monotheism, human-divine intermediaries,  the rise of  schisms, and of sects,  etc. etc. etc.   Similarities in 'religious' rituals, across the continents and across the decades/centuries, will probably impress you as you continue reading. 

I think it's a book with which anyone who ponders "myths",  human origins and/or destinies, and such things as "salvation schemes" needs to become acquainted.

Of course I meant "polytheisms"----not polygamies.  Sorry.  (Although, come to think of it, Job (of Old Testament renown) had a buncha wives, and a buncha concubines, too, didn't he?  Heh heh . . . .and he warn't the only old patriarch, either!)



Last Edited on: 11/4/08 4:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/25/2008 8:58 AM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2008
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Many refer to the religious right as threatening freedom but the religious left can fall in the same category. There are many on the left who believe in 'tolerance at all costs' except for evangelical Christians. As a conservative Christian, I will defend my beliefs through communication politely and hopefully effectively but I will not attempt to silence you by forcing you to believe what I believe. We all know this has happened in the past. (Everyone seems to know Christendom's failures but not atheistic or Islamic failures).

This relativism that is creeping around in our society has no tolerance who those of us who believe in objective truth.

We need to remind ourselves that Christianity is not the only mutually exclusive religion and that somehow, people keep forgetting the exclusive practices of other religions, belief systems and worldviews.

 

Date Posted: 11/25/2008 11:58 AM ET
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Ron I didnt say Christianity was the only religion that refused to believe myths of other religions in fact in my first paragraph I said it wasnt the only one. I just know more from Christianity so I used them as an example. Im reading hostility from you but I dont want to assume that was the tone you were going for. It was a question not an assault on your religion or any other.

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