Literalism vs. postmodernism

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Politesse
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Post by Politesse » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:59 pm

[quote=""Koyaanisqatsi""]Yes, it does, but not in the equivocal sense you keep trying to slip in. The fictional part is the “symbolism and allegory” part, but that, of course is the whole shooting match. [/quote]You are the only person talking about any part of this being "fictional". If a website aimed at third graders wasn't simple enough to help you understand the difference between fiction and symbolism, I'm not optimistic that I can help you either.
Without it, all we have—at best—is some guy got killed by the Romans. That’s the “real world target.” The fictional elements are everything else the author of GMark (and the subsequent cult leaders) heap on top of that.
Well, you're right about half of that...
And that’s assuming—for the sake of argument—that what you had said about there having been a real world guy and his death at the center of the story is at all true. But in the Adam&Eve story in Genesis, the entire thing is fictional. Yes, fictional. There was no garden; no snake; no Adam or Eve; no trees; and of course no God (your personal beliefs notwithstanding).

In the passion narrative, however, there is this assertion of it being based on a real person/real event. The question is, once again, why? Exactly what is it about a fantastical tale about a magical being having a son who is killed makes you (or anyone) think that any part of it is based on a real event as opposed to a fantastical tale about the same magical being creating that “son’s” lineage...etc., etc.,etc.?
Well, the existence of Christianity, for one. I have never found the conspiracy-theory versions of the genesis of the faith all that convincing. There's this thing called Ockham's razor, ever heard of it?
What is the standard being applied that allows for one story to be purely made up while the other—involving/referencing the same characters, no less—is claimed to be based on real world events?
Setting aside for a moment that the texts in question have different authors, were written centuries apart, concern different topics, and belong to obviously different genres, I actually agree that a single isolate source is not something one should entirely trust as a historical document.

Which is just one reason why I think literalism is a flawed hermeneutic, whether applied to Mark, Genesis, or any other sacred text. Divinely inspired or not, books are the product of human hands and they reflect their time, their authors, and their extra-literary context. It is therefore best to learn all that one can about all three, and take them into consideration when analyzing a document.
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:59 pm

[quote=""Politesse""]
Koyaanisqatsi;683983 wrote:Let’s simplify further. You are saying, in effect, that Star Wars is all obviously made up, but then when it comes to the sequel to Star Wars, now, suddenly, the same characters that were in/referenced in Star Wars are NOW based on real people and real events.

The story and characters in Star Wars were all made up. The CONTINUTION of that same story and those same characters in Empire Strikes Back, however, are now based on real people (at least one) and real events (at least one).

Iow, Luke was fictional in Star Wars but now—somehow, only when it comes to Empire—Luke is based on a real person and the experience at the end with Darth Vader being his father and his hand getting cut off were real events.

See the problem? It’s the same storyline with the same characters, but for no justifiable reason, suddenly the sequel (and only in the sequel), (some of) the characters and events are real.
I have, of course, never said any of that.[/QUOTE]

And you are, of course, once again stuffing a strawman to avoid the point.

How can Luke be made up in Star Wars only to be a real person in Empire Strikes Back? That is the very essence of literalism the OP questions.

The answer is, of course, he can’t. He is fictional in both storylines. Which is the point.

What you did—in effect—was to effortlessly declare the fantastical storyline/characters in Genesis to be fictional, because, of course there are no talking snakes or actual trees of knowledge, or Adams or Eves, etc, while hedging on making the same declaration in regard to the continuation of the same storyline/characters in GMark (when you raised the idea that Jesus and his death was probably based on a real person and real event).

This isn’t an attack on you, Poli; it’s an attack on the special pleading that is inherent in your hedge; the same hedge that the overwhelming majority of Christians uphold. Most have little trouble agreeing that Act I was fiction, but when it comes to Act II, suddenly it’s non-fiction. But there is no legitimate rationale for making any such distinction. They just want it to be true, so it is.

They do not apply the same standard of literary criticism to Act II that they—like you—effortlessly apply to Act I of the same storyline.
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Post by Politesse » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:04 pm

[quote=""Koyaanisqatsi""]And you are, of course, once again stuffing a strawman to avoid the point.[/quote]

This is just getting ridiculous. Pointing out that I never said something that I did not, in fact, say, cannot rationally be considered a "strawman".

I'm not going to have a conversation about my imaginary viewpoint.

I do find it interesting that, in this post, you are claiming that the majority of Christians consider Genesis fictional. Did you change your mind from what you were arguing "most Christians" believe earlier in this thread? In any case, I disagree. That isn't my position, and I doubt that it is the opinion of very many Christians, on the whole.
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:16 pm

[quote=""Politesse""]
Koyaanisqatsi;683971 wrote:Yes, it does, but not in the equivocal sense you keep trying to slip in. The fictional part is the “symbolism and allegory” part, but that, of course is the whole shooting match.
You are the only person talking about any part of this being "fictional".[/quote]

:noid: It’s fictional in the sense that it is made up, not actual. The part that is made up is the notion that the guy that was killed by the Romans was a magical being and his death was a necessary sacrifice to atone for our sins, and he could walk on water and drive out demons (and demons exist and gods exist and Adam and Eve and their offspring existed) etc. That is made up, not actual. Aka, fictional.

Non-fictional part (allegedly): a guy was killed by the Romans.

Fictional part: Everything about that guy and what was behind his death.

Perfectly clear?
What is the standard being applied that allows for one story to be purely made up while the other—involving/referencing the same characters, no less—is claimed to be based on real world events?
Setting aside for a moment that the texts in question have different authors, were written centuries apart, concern different topics, and belong to obviously different genres, I actually agree that a single isolate source is not something one should entirely trust as a historical document.
That did not answer the question.
Which is just one reason why I think literalism is a flawed hermeneutic, whether applied to Mark, Genesis, or any other sacred text. Divinely inspired or not, books are the product of human hands and they reflect their time, their authors, and their extra-literary context. It is therefore best to learn all that one can about all three, and take them into consideration when analyzing a document.
Still not answering the question. What is the standard being applied that allows for one story to be purely made up while the other—involving/referencing the same characters, no less—is claimed to be based on real world events?

The answer to the question—which you know, of course, but simply refuse to acknowledge—is that there is no standard being applied consistently between Act I and Act II. Act II is just real and Act I is not. No standard. Just “I want Act II to be real, so it is.”

If there were any standard being applied, then it would simply dictate that because Act I was determined to be fictional, so too must Act II for the exact same reasons. There are no talking snakes; there are no trees of knowledge; you can’t turn water into wine; there are no such things as demons or angels; there is no resurrection from the dead; etc.
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:32 pm

[quote=""Politesse""]
Koyaanisqatsi;683997 wrote:And you are, of course, once again stuffing a strawman to avoid the point.
This is just getting ridiculous.[/quote]

No shit.
Pointing out that I never said something that I did not, in fact, say, cannot rationally be considered a "strawman".
The strawman was based on the fact that I said, “What you are saying, in effect...” and you then leaving off the “in effect” qualifier.
I do find it interesting that, in this post, you are claiming that the majority of Christians consider Genesis fictional. Did you change your mind from what you were arguing "most Christians" believe earlier in this thread?
No, but then why should what I actually argued matter to you now?
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Post by Politesse » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:39 pm

[quote=""Koyaanisqatsi""]The strawman was based on the fact that I said, “What you are saying, in effect...” and you then leaving off the “in effect” qualifier.[/quote]I did not say that in effect, either. Your idea that I or anyone else considers Genesis to be "fiction" and Mark "nonfiction" is a position of your own invention. I note that when you brought up your stupid Star Wars analogy, I pointed out how and why it was a stupid analogy. That, I actually said.
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Post by Politesse » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:48 pm

[quote=""Koyaanisqatsi""]Yes, it does, but not in the equivocal sense you keep trying to slip in. The fictional part is the “symbolism and allegory” part, but that, of course is the whole shooting match. [/quote]You are the only person talking about any part of this being "fictional".
:noid: It’s fictional in the sense that it is made up, not actual.
Not anyone's position but yours.
Perfectly clear?
The problem has never been the clarity of your position, just its basic inaccuracy. A symbol is a way of non-literally portraying a true thing, whether or not the modern genre of "fiction" could or should be applied to it. You are very confused by the existence of figurative speech, but I can't help you with that. Also, literary criticism, which as an actual discipline is a bit more complicated than arbitrarily trying to sort every book into the fiction or non-fiction sections. That's more "library science", and sacred texts go in non-fiction under 220 or 290 (Dewey) respectively.
That did not answer the question.
I did my best to answer the question, which is about a fictitious position being held by fictitous opponents and thus a bit difficult to answer straightforwardly.
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:28 pm

[quote=""Politesse""] A symbol is a way of non-literally portraying a true thing[/quote]

:bang:

Goddamnit, Poli what is the point of this deliberately disingenuous equivocation bullshit? A “true thing”? Was there a talking snake? No. That was fictional. Made up. Did not exist. It was not a “true thing.” Does it symbolize some true condition of the human spirit? Who gives a fuck? That isn’t the question being asked.

The question being asked is, what standard is being applied that somehow concludes a talking snake in Act I of a story is not a “true thing”—i.e., does not actually exist and is simply made up by the author in order to impart wisdom allegorically— while at the exact same time that same talking snake in Act II is now a “true thing”—i.e., does actually exist and was not made up by the author in order to impart...blah blah blah?

What standard allows one to say, “The Act I snake isn’t real, but in Act II that same snake is now real”? The answer is of course no such standard could allow any such contradictory nonsense. If the snake is not real in Act I it can’t suddenly become real just in Act II.
Also, literary criticism, which as an actual discipline is a bit more complicated than arbitrarily trying to sort every book into the fiction or non-fiction sections.
No shit. And is water wet, too?
That did not answer the question.
I did my best to answer the question
:noid: Your “best” is transparently evasive, but I knew you were a talking snake when I picked you up, so, my fault I guess.
which is about a fictitious position being held by fictitous opponents and thus a bit difficult to answer straightforwardly.
No, it’s incredibly simple to answer if you’re not desperately hiding an agenda. The standard that allows anyone to conclude that Act I is fiction is the exact same standard that allows one to conclude that Act II is equally fictional.

Dead horse buried.
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Post by Politesse » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:08 pm

[quote=""Koyaanisqatsi""]
Politesse;684002 wrote: A symbol is a way of non-literally portraying a true thing
:bang:

Goddamnit, Poli what is the point of this deliberately disingenuous equivocation bullshit? A “true thing”? Was there a talking snake? No. That was fictional. Made up. Did not exist. It was not a “true thing.” Does it symbolize some true condition of the human spirit? Who gives a fuck?[/QUOTE]Literally every Christian, Moslem, and Jew who ever read the story. No one cares about the snake. Unless it is at least also a figure symbolically representing something else, the literal presence of a snake is not of cosmological importance. Who cares all that much about random snakes, even talking ones? Snakes that are literary figures representing divine gnosis/temptation/Satan, those are important. Those you can learn things from. Normal everyday snakes are pretty cool from a herpetological standpoint, but they don't have much theological importance in and of themselves.
The question being asked is, what standard is being applied that somehow concludes a talking snake in Act I of a story is not a “true thing”—i.e., does not actually exist and is simply made up by the author in order to impart wisdom allegorically— while at the exact same time that same talking snake in Act II is now a “true thing”—i.e., does actually exist and was not made up by the author in order to impart...blah blah blah?
What "standard" are you suggesting? I don't think it would be a reasonable conclusion whatever standard you are using. Only literalists try to use Scriptural verses as the sole standard for the ontological status of Biblical characters, and even they often hedge and try to find other sources to back them up, rightly realizing that this would legitimize their faith in the eyes of others. I think the very practice is inherently misguided, and do not engage in it, by any standard. I do not consider Mark or Genesis to be "literally true", because literalism will always be a misguided hermeneutic regardless of whether it is being applied to true or false statements. You keep complaining that I'm off-topic, because the point I'm making doesn't match the one you seem to be convinced I've tried to make.
What standard allows one to say, “The Act I snake isn’t real, but in Act II that same snake is now real”? The answer is of course no such standard could allow any such contradictory nonsense. If the snake is not real in Act I it can’t suddenly become real just in Act II.
As I've already said, that isn't my claim in the first place. But I have also explained, in detail, why Genesis is not Act I to Mark's Act II. They are very different books, in different contexts, with different structures; I explained this at length in the post I offered shortly before you disappeared and sulked for a week, only to come back and make your same old points as though I never wrote anything at all...
No shit. And is water wet, too?
If you understand this, why are you ignoring every explanation of actual literary critique, and repeating ad nauseum the same nonsense about everything being on either side of a fiction/nonfiction dichotomy?
No, it’s incredibly simple to answer if you’re not desperately hiding an agenda.
??? I have a lot of agendas, but none of them involve trying to argue on behalf of some bizarre quasi-literalist strawman that you've put in my mouth.

I also don't see how your question is in any way "simple to answer", it makes no sense at the outset and no one in their right mind would ever argue for it. Could you defend your bizarre strawman logically?
"The truth about stories is that's all we are" ~Thomas King

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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:49 pm

[quote=""Politesse""]
Koy wrote::Goddamnit, Poli what is the point of this deliberately disingenuous equivocation bullshit? A “true thing”? Was there a talking snake? No. That was fictional. Made up. Did not exist. It was not a “true thing.” Does it symbolize some true condition of the human spirit? Who gives a fuck?
Literally every Christian, Moslem, and Jew who ever read the story. [/quote]

And again you avoid the point to argue something irrelevant to the conversation. We’re not talking about heaping belief onto something written; we’re talking about how to critically assess fantastical claims. Obviously if the author of GMark had stated, “this is the allegorical story of how man sacrificed to the gods” or the like, we wouldn’t be having any issues at all with literalism.
The question being asked is, what standard is being applied that somehow concludes a talking snake in Act I of a story is not a “true thing”—i.e., does not actually exist and is simply made up by the author in order to impart wisdom allegorically— while at the exact same time that same talking snake in Act II is now a “true thing”—i.e., does actually exist and was not made up by the author in order to impart...blah blah blah?
What "standard" are you suggesting?
I am “suggesting”—flat out stating for the umpteenth time—that there is no standard being applied, which is, again, the point. A story with talking snakes and magical trees means it’s just an allegory; but “son of god” magical being resurrecting from the dead? Oh, that really happened.

Act I is fantastical and therefore made up; Act II is fantastical and therefore actually happened. No standard being consistently applied.

Here, let’s work the other way. Provide your detailed analysis as to exactly why there was no talking snake and no actual trees with magical fruit. You can’t. All anyone can do is basically make an argument from incredulity. Argumentum ad Scoff, essentially. Of course there were no actual trees with magical fruit. Well, ok, then what is the standard that allows for an “of course” in regard to magical fruit but then when it comes to turning water into wine or resurrecting from the dead (or sacrificial atonement), it’s flipped and becomes, “Of course that actually happened.”

:d unno:

Not you, specifically; in regard to any believer that hedges the storyline but only in Act II.
I do not consider Mark or Genesis to be "literally true"
You mean the passion narrative and the story about Adam&Eve did not actually happen; they were works of fiction. Keep it consistent with exactly what it is we have been talking about this entire time. Among so many other things, I’ve noticed you have been shifting between the specific storyline we’re talking about to the books as whole entities when it suits your argument. The difference is like talking about Stephen King novels in regard to all of the supernatural elements and then you trying to slip in, “But most are based in Maine and the characters talk about drinking Pepsi, so it’s centered around real world targets” or the like.
You keep complaining that I'm off-topic
No, I don’t. I keep complaining that you’re avoiding my point, which is, ironically, bang on-topic.
What standard allows one to say, “The Act I snake isn’t real, but in Act II that same snake is now real”? The answer is of course no such standard could allow any such contradictory nonsense. If the snake is not real in Act I it can’t suddenly become real just in Act II.
As I've already said, that isn't my claim in the first place.
:noid: I know. It is, however, my point derived from your comments throughout this thread, most notably in regard to there being a real guy and real event at the center of Christianity. Act I? Talking snakes? Are you kidding? Obviously not real; made up for the sake of allegory. Act II? Oh, well, yeah, that was based on a “true thing” and there are “true things” in Act I too, and...

But, again, here’s the problem. The symbolism you (and billions of Christians) are adding onto what would otherwise just be a long forgotten footnote about some guy being killed by the Romans does not work without the story in Act I being a non-fictional, which is why, of course, you keep throwing out equivocal, vague terms like “it’s a true thing” or it “describes something real.”
But I have also explained, in detail, why Genesis is not Act I to Mark's Act II. They are very different books
And there’s that talking about the books as wholes instead of the storyline thing again.

It doesn’t matter how different they are or who else wrote them or when anymore than the fact that Return of the Jedi was written, shot, edited, directed by different people years apart; they are the same story and therefore equally fictional.
you disappeared and sulked for a week
What are you, five? Believe it or not I also have real world targets to contend with from time to time.
as though I never wrote anything
Certainly nothing that addressed the point. Again.

:needcoffee:
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Post by Politesse » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:00 pm

[quote=""Koyaanisqatsi""]And again you avoid the point to argue something irrelevant to the conversation.[/quote]If talking about what everyone who cares about the book values about it is "avoiding the point", perhaps that is an occasion for you to reflect on whether your point is meaningful.
Obviously if the author of GMark had stated, “this is the allegorical story of how man sacrificed to the gods” or the like, we wouldn’t be having any issues at all with literalism.
For something to be non-literal, the author has to state this literally? :rolling: Is this deliberate recreational irony?

Other than as a Twain-style joke, what author, in what book in the entire history of Western literature, has ever written "The following story is written in figurative language" before daring to employ a metaphor? You must be so confused by books on a daily basis!
I am “suggesting”—flat out stating for the umpteenth time—that there is no standard being applied, which is, again, the point. A story with talking snakes and magical trees means it’s just an allegory; but “son of god” magical being resurrecting from the dead? Oh, that really happened.

Act I is fantastical and therefore made up; Act II is fantastical and therefore actually happened. No standard being consistently applied.
For the umpteenth time, only literalists read texts with the exclusive intent of deriving literal, un-nuanced historical truths from them, and I think literalism is idiotic for the reasons I have repeatedly stated. Also for the upteenth time:

I do not think that Act I is fictional and Act II is non-fictional, nor do I think you could use contextless Bible Verses to "prove" either position, if you held them.

I will not be addressing this misrepresentation of my position again.
Among so many other things, I’ve noticed you have been shifting between the specific storyline we’re talking about to the books as whole entities when it suits your argument. The difference is like talking about Stephen King novels in regard to all of the supernatural elements and then you trying to slip in, “But most are based in Maine and the characters talk about drinking Pepsi, so it’s centered around real world targets” or the like.
It is. King is absolutely commenting on the real Maine and real issues in American society in his works. Yes, they are fictional, and intended to be fictional unlike the Bible, but he is using the fictional events to comment on real things, just like every author who has ever written. All texts, fictional or non-fictional, can be read critically and their "point" is generally something real. And it is never just "whether or not x is literally true", even if you are reading a literal history book; the author always has goals and biases beyond the literal, un-nuanced discussion of truth and falsity. Not realizing this makes you naive, and will cripple your ability to read any book meaningfully, regardless of genre.

And no, I don't think you could use his books and their status as fiction/non-fiction to "prove" or "disprove" the existence of Pepsi, baseball caps, vampires, ink pens, wood-frame houses, the election of Nixon, or animate murder-cars.
And there’s that talking about the books as wholes instead of the storyline thing again.
Yes! Yes, of course I bloody well take the whole book into consideration! You keep claiming to know something about literary criticism, but you obviously haven't stepped so much as a toe into that pond. Start here:

How the Language Really Works: The Fundamentals of Critical Reading and Effective Writing
Last edited by Politesse on Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:43 pm

[quote=""Politesse""]
Koyaanisqatsi;684015 wrote:And again you avoid the point to argue something irrelevant to the conversation.
If talking about...[/quote]

You are trying to change the topic of our discussion, Poli, in order to avoid addressing the point being made by me. Perfectly clear now? That is the crime you are committing and I was objecting to.
Obviously if the author of GMark had stated, “this is the allegorical story of how man sacrificed to the gods” or the like, we wouldn’t be having any issues at all with literalism.
For something to be non-literal, the author has to state this literally?
Fictional and yes, evidently so or else we get centuries of idiots declaring that fictional characters are real.
Other than as a Twain-style joke, what author, in what book in the entire history of Western literature, has ever written "The following story is written in figurative language"
What other work of obvious fiction have billions of people simply proclaimed to be non-fiction (and murdered millions as a result)?
I am “suggesting”—flat out stating for the umpteenth time—that there is no standard being applied, which is, again, the point. A story with talking snakes and magical trees means it’s just an allegory; but “son of god” magical being resurrecting from the dead? Oh, that really happened.

Act I is fantastical and therefore made up; Act II is fantastical and therefore actually happened. No standard being consistently applied.
For the umpteenth time, only literalists read texts with the exclusive intent of deriving literal, un-nuanced historical truths from them
Then I guess several billion of your fellow Christians are all literalists, because they all believe Jesus was a real person who was actually killed as a sacrifice to a real god to actually pay for mankind’s sins so that we can all actually live eternally.
Also for the upteenth time:

I do not think that Act I is fictional and Act II is non-fictional, nor do I think you could use contextless Bible Verses to "prove" either position, if you held them.

I will not be addressing this misrepresentation of my position again.
It is not your position as I have repeatedly clarified; it is DERIVED from what you wrote and from what other Christians believe.
Among so many other things, I’ve noticed you have been shifting between the specific storyline we’re talking about to the books as whole entities when it suits your argument. The difference is like talking about Stephen King novels in regard to all of the supernatural elements and then you trying to slip in, “But most are based in Maine and the characters talk about drinking Pepsi, so it’s centered around real world targets” or the like.
It is. King is absolutely commenting on the real Maine and real issues in American society in his works.
No, he isn’t. He is using the familiar in order to get the reader to suspend their disbelief for the purposes of making his horror story more terrifying.
Yes, they are fictional, and intended to be fictional unlike the Bible
Yet, King, likewise, never states, “This is a work of fiction.” So exactly what standard are you applying to determine his works are fictional? “Of course they are” is the only one that could be derived from what you are writing.
but he is using the fictional events to comment on real things
And now comes the equivocal language. Real “things” meaning an actual Maine or an actual soda drink named Pepsi, not real “things” meaning “the human condition and how it relates to the spirits of the dead” because ghosts are not real things. Nor is he using ghosts figuratively; they don’t “describe a real thing” or “something true.” He’s playing on people’s beliefs about ghosts to scare them for brief moments of titillation and that’s it.

But unlike King, the author of the passion narrative is using real things (a guy and how he was killed) and the assumption of real things from Genesis to manipulate people’s beliefs about those things in order to convince them that his story is non-fictional.
All texts, fictional or non-fictional, can be read critically and their "point" is generally something real.
Thanks professor obvious. Now tell us what you mean be “something real” in regard to our discussion, because previously you used equivocation to make “something real” actually refer to something not at all real; not actual in the same sense that a talking snake is either real or not real (non-fiction or fiction).
And it is never just "whether or not x is literally true"
It is to billions of Christians who believe—based on the same story—that Jesus literally existed and was literally killed as a sacrifice to a literal god as a symbolic payment for mankind’s literal sins that started with the first man who was literally created by the same literal god, who in turn literally had children that trace literally to Jesus, etc., etc., etc.

When you (or anyone) say something like these are figurative elements that describe real things and we (I) ask, “what do you mean by real things” and the answer comes back, “man’s relationship to god” or the like, then you are NOT talking about real things. It doesn’t matter that you hold a belief that a god exists, you are not talking about real things, which in turn begs the question as to what standards you are applying and how? How are you determining that there was no real Adam but there was a real Jesus or there was no real expulsion from a real paradise but there was a sacrificial death and resurrection or the like.

Again, not you, necessarily; how would anyone make such a determination? What are the steps, the standards, the guidelines that allows one to say one set of fantastical events/characters in Act I are all figurative, but this other set of fantastical events/characters in the continuation of the same story line in Act II are real; they really happened?

And the answer is, there is none. People are just deciding to believe Act II is real, but Act I, well, that’s not really real, but, like you, it “describes something true/real”. No. Not acceptable. Shifting, equivocal goalposts.
And there’s that talking about the books as wholes instead of the storyline thing again.
Yes! Yes, of course I bloody well take the whole book into consideration
No, not “into consideration;” you do it to shift goalposts away from what we were actually talking about; a story and how in Act I it is fictional but then, somehow, becomes non-fictional in Act II, even though it’s the same storyline and same characters and references, etc. This is derived from what you have written and what billions of Christians have/do believe.

Fucking hell.
You keep claiming to know something about literary criticism, but you obviously haven't stepped so much as a toe into that pond.
I believe the only proper response to this unearned, unjustified condescension is dial “E” for E.M.B.O.

:needcoffee:
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Post by Tharmas » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:59 pm

There have been a couple of questions raised in this thread which the main participants have gone round and round on without resolving. They got me thinking, however, and I thought I would add another perspective, perhaps foolishly.

I’ll divide my commentary into separate posts.

Topic One: What critical standards should one use when reading the Bible?

Of course, “The Bible” is a large collection of many different types of literature, from historical narratives to prophecies to poetry to epistles, etc. So, specifically, we need to consider what critical standards and methodologies one properly applies when reading the Creation story(ies) in Genesis, and how they compare to those used for reading a Gospel.

I’ll apply Genre Criticism. I’ll examine the elements of the texts to determine what type or genre of literature we’re dealing with.

With Genesis we find the following elements, among others:
  • Time period: unspecified distant past, the dawn of time.
  • Narrative scope: cosmic. The creation of the entire universe is described.
  • Fabulous elements, including a magic tree, talking animals, etc.
  • Gods (in this case one god or arguably two) who directly intervene in the action and/or have a role as a character in the story.
  • Archetypical human characters, in this case of course Adam, the first man, and Eve (meaning “living”) created from Adam’s rib.
  • We might add the “just so” story of how the snake lost his legs.
From the presence of these elements we conclude that Genesis is a myth, and more particularly, a creation or origin myth.
Creation myths often share a number of features. They often are considered sacred accounts and can be found in nearly all known religious traditions.[10] They are all stories with a plot and characters who are either deities, human-like figures, or animals, who often speak and transform easily.[11] They are often set in a dim and nonspecific past that historian of religion Mircea Eliade termed in illo tempore ("at that time").[10][12] Creation myths address questions deeply meaningful to the society that shares them, revealing their central worldview and the framework for the self-identity of the culture and individual in a universal context.[13]
Next, let’s look at the Gospels. It turns out that as a literary genre, the Gospels are a mixed bag. Some of the narrative elements include:
  • Time period: Recent, historical past, with some actual historical personages mentioned or even as actors.
  • Narrative scope: limited, from three to thirty years depending on the Gospel. Note: John does include a cosmic scope in the first few verses, but then quickly narrows its perception to contemporary times.
  • Fabulous elements: a number of miracles performed by Jesus. Note: In the context of the Gospels, these miracles serve as proof that Jesus was the son of God. It seems likely that the authors of the various Gospels believed that these miracles had actually occurred.
  • Gods directly intervening in the action. See above regarding fabulous elements. I recall that there are some angels in Luke and Matthew and it could be argued that they help the plot progress. They mostly deliver messages.

    The character of Jesus as a god is somewhat ambiguous. He performs miracles like a magician, yet seems powerless to affect the overall course of the story. He could perhaps be considered a demi-god, although I will note that the exact relationship between the human and the divine in the character of Jesus has been hotly debated by many Christians since the Gospels first appeared. In any case, the character of Jesus varies in the story, from a wise teacher to an apocalyptic prophet. In the end, he dies as a human, but is resurrected as a god. Jesus in the Gospels is altogether a complex character. I wouldn’t call him an archetype.
  • Archetypical characters? As mentioned above, some of the characters are historical. This gives the veneer of historicism to the entire works, even though some of the ancillary characters, such as the disciples, could be considered stock characters. I don’t find any true archetypes in the Gospels.
So the gospels are a mixed bag, and don’t fit easily into any established genre. They are partly historical narrative, partly epic, partly a display of mythic elements, are partly fable, and partly eyewitness reporting. . However the majority of Christians have assumed that they provide a literal narrative, including those Christians who accept Genesis as allegory. Critical readers, on the other hand, including hundreds of scholars in the last two centuries or so, have worked doggedly to tease out the historical fact, such as it is, from the fictional elements, mostly without a consensus or real success. Personally, I consider the Gospel narratives to present a unique literary genre.

In any case, one wouldn’t apply the same standards of criticism to Genesis as the Gospels. One wouldn’t “read” them in the same way. A literal reading of the creation myth in Genesis would be considered a naïve reading. On the other hand, there would seem to be no compelling reason to read the Gospels as a myth, or as an allegory, however “symbolic” some of the narrated events or characters might seem. The experience is similar to reading a novel. You may decide on analysis that some of the characters or events described are symbolic or metaphorical, but on the whole the action is presented as a realistic narration.

It is my opinion that the use of a term like “sequel” to the Gospels in relation to Genesis is, to say the least, from a literary point of view, a misuse of the term.

Next post:

Topic Two: Do Christians believe that a literal Adam is necessary to give Jesus’ sacrifice any real meaning?

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Post by Tharmas » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:04 pm

Topic #2:

Do Christians believe that a literal Adam is necessary to give Jesus’ sacrifice any real meaning?

This turns out to be an interesting question, with more than one answer.

First of all, what the Bible says:

Genesis 3:14-15
14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Christians have traditionally accepted this passage as a prediction/foreshadowing of Christ, who will overcome the devil.

Paul expands this exegesis:

1st Corinthians 15:21-22
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
In this passage there is no compelling reason to think that Paul believed Adam to be a literal man.

He expands his philosophy in Romans 5:12-21, and here he does claim that Adam, as an individual man, brought “original sin” (not his term) into the world.
… 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Now let’s look at how various Christian sects interpret Genesis in light of these passages. First, it’s a sure bet that Southern Baptists and other fundamentalist sects like Jehovah’s Witnesses demand a literal reading of Genesis and a literal Adam, but what about others?

Catholics. Catholics accept evolution but have developed a rather tortured view thereof. It’s sort of a theistic evolution but allows for the separate creation of man. Even if man evolved from apes, at some point God put a soul into two literal humans who became Adam and Eve. Genesis however may be taken figuratively, as explained here.
The Catechism states, "The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents" (CCC 390).
And see this:
With regards to Adam and Eve and their circumstances, it is important to make distinctions with regard to the revealed truth within the various details. Regardless of how God created them, there was a first set of parents who were individually endowed with a soul which exceeded anything physical evolution could produce. The Garden of Eden, if not literal, would certainly represent a world which had a beauty and harmony to it which was lost to man and woman by sin. And the tree, if not literal, can represent a command of God to man which was ignored and was the original sin. Whether it was a matter of eating a forbidden fruit or symbolically represents some other act by which our first parents rejected God can be debated, but the basic reality is the same.
Orthodox: A symbolic reading of Genesis is permissible, as explained here:
…We cannot know the mind of the biblical author, of course. But it seems likely that he developed the story of Adam and Eve (on the basis of ancient oral tradition) as a kind of “etiological parable”: a story that explains, via mythological imagery, the activity of God from the creation of the world to specific realities and experiences in our daily life…
Anglican: I’ll quote C.S. Lewis here, who clearly reads the Genesis story as allegory (from The problem of Pain, quoted here):
For long centuries, God perfected the animal form which was to become the vehicle of humanity and the image of Himself. he gave it hands whose thumb could be applied to each of the fingers, and jaws and teeth and throat capable of articulation, and a brain sufficiently complex to execute all of the material motions whereby rational thought is incarnated. The creature may have existed in this state for ages before it became man: it may even have been clever enough to make things which a modern archaeologist would accept as proof of its humanity. But it was only an animal because all its physical and psychical processes were directed to purely material and natural ends. Then, in the fullness of time, God caused to descend upon this organism, both on its psychology and physiology, a new kind of consciousness which could say “I” and “me,” which could look upon itself as an object, which knew God, which could make judgments of truth, beauty and goodness, and which was so far above time that it could perceive time flowing past…. We do not know how many of these creatures God made, nor how long they continued in the Paradisal state. But sooner or later they fell. Someone or something whispered that they could become as gods…. They wanted some corner in this universe of which they could say to God, “This is our business, not yours.” But there is no such corner. They wanted to be nouns, but they were, and eternally must be, mere adjectives. We have no idea in what particular act, or series of acts, the self-contradictory, impossible wish found expression. For all I can see, it might have concerned the literal eating of a fruit, the the question is of no consequence.
Episcopal: It’s allegory, from here:
Now let’s turn to the story of Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden, and the Fall. In current Anglican theology and biblical interpretation this story of creation and fall is generally understood to be a myth and not literal truth. In other portions of the Bible – such as the writings of St. Paul – and in the theological writings of many Christian thinkers through the centuries, the literal truth of this portion of scripture is accepted, and this can be confusing. You may or may not believe in the literal truth of the story of the creation and fall, and I don’t want to tell you what you should think. But I do want to explain the position of our denomination – and, incidentally, my own position – that these are myths which convey truth without being literally true.
United Methodists Again, allegory, as expounded here.
So, when you read, you go to the beginning, you read the story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, those are archetypal stories. They’re really not trying to tell us the story of some ancient people who lived millennia, or maybe hundreds of thousands of years ago. They’re trying to tell us about ourselves. And so, in those stories, we don’t so much read them literally. We read the truth of them. They’re archetypal stories and we also are Adam and Eve. If you miss that and you try to read that as history and you fail to understand that the real import of those texts is to tell us about ourselves, then you’ve missed the truth of those stories…
I could go on, but that’s enough for now. It’s clear that the creation story of Genesis has been questioned by Christians throughout the spectrum over the last century. It’s also clear that quite a few denominations have opted for an allegorical interpretation, or at least allowed that such a reading is permissible. See my previous post for why Genesis in fact lends itself to such readings.

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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:06 pm

[quote=""Tharmas""]There have been a couple of questions raised in this thread which the main participants have gone round and round on without resolving. [/quote]

Well, only one participant has been going around and around, but that’s par for Poli’s course.
They got me thinking, however, and I thought I would add another perspective, perhaps foolishly.

I’ll divide my commentary into separate posts.

Topic One: What critical standards should one use when reading the Bible?
Actually, we were discussing a particular continuing storyline found in two primary books of the Bible (Genesis, ACT I of the storyline and GMark, Act II), but, ok.
So, specifically, we need to consider what critical standards and methodologies one properly applies when reading the Creation story(ies) in Genesis, and how they compare to those used for reading a Gospel.
See caveat above in regard to the fact that we were discussing—specifically—only one story and how it had its origin in Genesis and a sequel, if you will, or continuation in GMark.
I’ll apply Genre Criticism. I’ll examine the elements of the texts to determine what type or genre of literature we’re dealing with.
Ok.
With Genesis we find the following elements, among others:
1) Time period: unspecified distant past, the dawn of time.
Not necessarily accurate as we know from various sects of the cult who have dated it back some 6,000 years based on the ages of the people listed in the genealogies (and Genesis), starting with Adam, but fine.
2) Narrative scope: cosmic. The creation of the entire universe is described.
3) Fabulous elements, including a magic tree, talking animals, etc.
4) Gods (in this case one god or arguably two) who directly intervene in the action and/or have a role as a character in the story.
As far as I’m concerned, these should all simply be conflated, since they all constitute “fabulous elements” (I prefer “fantastical&#8221 ;) . And, technically, again, the narrative scope with regard to the Adam/Eve/Jesus storyline would be more post-cosmic, particulalry since there are conflicting narratives in regard to Adam’s creation.

Iow, what Poli and I have been discussing is the storyline that comes after everything has been created, including Adam, but, again, I’m fine so long as these caveats are noted. As is evident itt, Poli has a very bad habit of using equivocal language, shifting goalposts and stuffing straw, so I fear it’s unfortunately necessary to keep pedantic track of exactly what it is under discussion.
5) Archetypical human characters, in this case of course Adam, the first man, and Eve (meaning “living&#8221 ;) created from Adam’s rib.
6) We might add the “just so” story of how the snake lost his legs.

From the presence of these elements we conclude that Genesis is a myth, and more particularly, a creation or origin myth.
Let’s stick to “myth” as again all of the above caveats should be applied or else we get this shift (however unintentional):
Creation myths often share a number of features. They often are considered sacred accounts and can be found in nearly all known religious traditions.[10] They are all stories with a plot and characters who are either deities, human-like figures, or animals, who often speak and transform easily.[11] They are often set in a dim and nonspecific past that historian of religion Mircea Eliade termed in illo tempore ("at that time").[10][12] Creation myths address questions deeply meaningful to the society that shares them, revealing their central worldview and the framework for the self-identity of the culture and individual in a universal context.[13]
See what I mean? The Adam/Eve/Jesus storyline isn’t exactly a “creation myth” so we’re already skewing off the tracks a bit. Unless we’re saying it’s a myth about how “sin” (aka, “death&#8221 ;) was instantiated—and then an assertion of our being able to overcome death through cult belief in Act II of the storyline—but is that properly a “creation myth” or merely us using the word “creation” for a natural condition of our existence?
Next, let’s look at the Gospels.
Well, once again, we should next look at the passion narrative—Act II to the Adam/Eve “sin/death” Act I narrative—to be consistent and focused, but caveat once again noted, I guess.
It turns out that as a literary genre, the Gospels are a mixed bag.
Yes, well, again, but ok.
Some of the narrative elements include:

1) Time period: Recent, historical past, with some actual historical personages mentioned or even as actors.
:hmm: Well, that’s also true of Genesis in regard to all of the begetting going on as well as Poli’s assertion that “God” is an actual being.
2). Narrative scope: limited, from three to thirty years depending on the Gospel.
Except that the characters make reference to the characters in Genesis and their are numerous instances of attempts at linking the Jesus character to the “Old Testament” as if he were the future fulfillment of earlier prophecy, so, this is not at all accurate in regard to “narrative scope.” It may be accurate in regard to historical scope—i.e., the characters can be more easily placed in an historical time period, but then again, that likewise would depend on whether or not we accept the adding-up of ages that gets us to the 6,000 year mark, etc.
3) Fabulous elements: a number of miracles performed by Jesus.
Note: In the context of the Gospels, these miracles serve as proof that Jesus was the son of God. It seems likely that the authors of the various Gospels believed that these miracles had actually occurred.
4) Gods directly intervening in the action. See above regarding fabulous elements. I recall that there are some angels in Luke and Matthew and it could be argued that they help the plot progress. They mostly deliver messages.
And demons and the ability of Jesus’ disciples to drive out demons and miraculously heal the sick “in his name” and the like, as well as resurrection from the dead as a general, acceptable proposition (separate from the more specific miracle Jesus performs) and, I would say, knowing the future (or at least knowing his own fate), which I think is separate from him being able to perform miracles.
The character of Jesus as a god is somewhat ambiguous.
Well, the “virgin” birth (also contested) and just the notion that a god could impregnate a woman in order to have a son would likewise be “fabulous” elements sufficient to establish the character as non-human or at least part-divine, regardless of whether we accept cult dogma about being “fully man.”
He performs miracles like a magician, yet seems powerless to affect the overall course of the story.
Well, he does beg his “father” to change his fate, but the statement, “not what I will, but what you will” indicates it may be something he could change, but is instead seeking to obey his father’s will over his own. Or some such nonsense.
He could perhaps be considered a demi-god
Well, again, the story of his birth alone would establish this.
In the end, he dies as a human, but is resurrected as a god. Jesus in the Gospels is altogether a complex character. I wouldn’t call him an archetype.
What about the fact that he is constantly referred to as the “Son” and God the “Father” as well as being referred to as the “son of man” (tied, once again, to Adam)?
4) Archetypical characters? As mentioned above, some of the characters are historical. This gives the veneer of historicism to the entire works, even though some of the ancillary characters, such as the disciples, could be considered stock characters. I don’t find any true archetypes in the Gospels.
Well, again, aside from Jesus being the “son of God” and “son of Man” there is the betrayer (Judas) who is central, the doubter (Thomas) and there is the whole judge/trial/washing of the hands motif.
So the gospels are a mixed bag, and don’t fit easily into any established genre.
Myth seems the perfect fit.
and partly eyewitness reporting.
Well, no, they can’t be that since they report scenes/dialogue that no one could have been present for to eyewitness.
Personally, I consider the Gospel narratives to present a unique literary genre.

In any case, one wouldn’t apply the same standards of criticism to Genesis as the Gospels.
Again, aside from the caveats above applied here, “myth” fits them both perfectly. They both contain fantastical (“fabulous&#8221 ;) elements, Gods and Archetypical characters, but even more so, the later constantly reference the former in an attempt to link the two, such that the characters and events in Genesis (and other books of the Old Testament) serve as “evidence” of the claims regarding the characters and events in the Gospels (and other book of the New Testament).

Iow, if one book is considered mythical then the sequal to it must therefore also be considered mythical.

:d unno:
It is my opinion that the use of a term like “sequel” to the Gospels in relation to Genesis is, to say the least, from a literary point of view, a misuse of the term.
Which is, once again, precisely why I had to provide all of those caveats at the beginning and only brings us back around. What, for example do we do with all of the begatting going on in Gen 5:
1This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. 2He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.
3When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. 4Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters. 5So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.
6Seth lived one hundred and five years, and became the father of Enosh. 7Then Seth lived eight hundred and seven years after he became the father of Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters. 8So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died.
9Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan. 10Then Enosh lived eight hundred and fifteen years after he became the father of Kenan, and he had other sons and daughters. 11So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years, and he died.
12Kenan lived seventy years, and became the father of Mahalalel. 13Then Kenan lived eight hundred and forty years after he became the father of Mahalalel, and he had other sons and daughters. 14So all the days of Kenan were nine hundred and ten years, and he died.
15Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Jared. 16Then Mahalalel lived eight hundred and thirty years after he became the father of Jared, and he had other sons and daughters. 17So all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years, and he died.
18Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and became the father of Enoch. 19Then Jared lived eight hundred years after he became the father of Enoch, and he had other sons and daughters. 20So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years, and he died.
21Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah.
22Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. 23So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
25Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and became the father of Lamech. 26Then Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty-two years after he became the father of Lamech, and he had other sons and daughters. 27So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years, and he died.
28Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and became the father of a son. 29Now he called his name Noah, saying, “This one will give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which the LORD has cursed.” 30Then Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years after he became the father of Noah, and he had other sons and daughters. 31So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years, and he died.
32Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Which in turn, of course, leads us to the flood, but what are we to say in regard to all of these “ancillary characters”? Are they likewise historical? If so, what about the claims of their ages? If not, then what literary purpose do they possibly serve? it’s just a list of names and who they produced and how long they each lived, so how does that advance the story in any figurative manner?

We know today, of course, that it is highly unlikely that any humans ever lived so long (as we have found no bones so dated and ample evidence of much shorter lifespans), but did anyone back in the day think this to be the case when told such a story? Was it just “understood” that, like a talking snake and magical trees, no such people actually existed and/or were “figurative” or the like? If so, what is your criterion for making such a literary analysis?

It may be generally agreed upon that there was no global flood (though that too is debatable and many many Christians believe there was an actual global flood) and/or that Noah, if he existed, probably did not live to be almost a thousand years old, but does that rule him Archetypal in any sense? If so, what is the archetype?

And if not, then we really only have one archetypal character (two, technically; Adam and Eve, but they are essentially of one single archetype; the origin of our species), but, again, how can they be if they actually have a genealogical lineage that is traceable to Jesus (well, all of humanity for that matter)? And why does the author of Gen 5 (and further) make such a detailed list of characters and their ages if it is not intended to be an historical account (or fool people into believing it is an historical account)? Again, what is figurative/archetypal about any of it?

And then we get into Gen 6, which is a whole ‘nother mess of mythology, where the author essentially contradicts or negates Gen 5 and has God limit the age of man to (as still too long) 120 years, and we get the nephalim briefly mentioned and basically forgotten before the flood kicks in and we have Noah and his offspring specified once again as if they actually existed and we’re off and runnning.
Last edited by Koyaanisqatsi on Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:16 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:36 pm

[quote=""Tharmas""]Topic #2:

Do Christians believe that a literal Adam is necessary to give Jesus’ sacrifice any real meaning?[/quote]

I’m not in agreement that this would be the second topic derived from Poli and my go around the may Poli. In fact, I’m not sure that has anything to do with what standard of literary criticism is being applied to Act I as opposed to Act II of the same storyline, so if you can explain how you feel it does, please do so.

In the vast majority of cases, cult members derive whatever meaning their cult leaders instruct them to derive after all, so the better question would be the one I was asking; i.e., how does anyone applying any standard of literary criticism derive the meaning most Christians derive out of a story about a guy killed by the Romans?

See the distinction? It is my contention that the passion narrative is simply imposed onto a real event (if not entirely fictional, like Genesis)—namely a guy was killed by the Romans—but that the story cannot be derived from that event.

For any such story to be derived from the event, then the kinds of tortured logic we see evidenced in the story must have been actual events (i.e., the guy had to be an actual divine sacrifice; a “tradition” of letting murderers/seditionists go free at the insistence of the oppressed crowds; the desire by Pilate to please Jews; etc; etc; etc).

Iow, like the Adam/Eve/“Fall” storyline, it is entirely fictional (i.e., made up; not based on any real world people or events). Aside from the passion narrative just being Act II of that original Act I storyline, it too depicts the exact same kinds of fantastical elements and thus is equally fictional (i.e., made up; not based on any real world people or events, with the obvious caveat that the Romans killed many hundreds of thousands of men, so the notion that one particular death holds any such divine significance cannot be derived from the event itself, nor the person killed).
Last edited by Koyaanisqatsi on Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by lpetrich » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:01 am

For premodern overall histories, I once saw this division into eras:
  1. Gods and creation
  2. Legendary heroes
  3. Ordinary people
with no clear dividing line between them and with the third era continuing to the present.

The Bible fits very well, as do other histories, like of Sumer, Greece, Rome, and China (Ancient-history phases | Atheism | FANDOM powered by Wikia).

Historians have gradually retreated on Bible historicity as they have learned more and more from outside sources. The creation stories, then Noah's Flood, then the patriarchs, then the Exodus, then the Conquest, with the main argument nowadays being over how much is historical in the accounts of Kings David and Solomon. We start getting good outside records for the Dual Monarchy, and we can be confident that that was historical.

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