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Poll: Connections between biblical literalism, YE, Flat Earth

Discussion in 'Physical & Life Sciences' started by essentialsaltes, Jan 14, 2019 at 9:00 AM.

I believe in...

This poll will close on Feb 13, 2019 at 9:00 AM.
  1. Literal Bible, Young Flat Earth

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  2. Literal Bible, Old Flat Earth

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  3. Literal Bible, Young Spherical Earth

    4 vote(s)
    11.8%
  4. Literal Bible, Old Spherical Earth

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  5. Nonliteral Bible, Young Flat Earth

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Nonliteral Bible, Old Flat Earth

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Nonliteral Bible, Young Spherical Earth

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Nonliteral Bible, Old Spherical Earth

    11 vote(s)
    32.4%
  9. [Not a Bible Believer], Either a Young or Flat Earth

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. [Not a Bible Believer], Old Round Earth

    16 vote(s)
    47.1%
  1. essentialsaltes

    essentialsaltes Stranger in a Strange Land

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    Hi, since we seem to have at least a handful of flat earthers and more than a handful of young earthers, I was curious to see how these opinions are correlated. This probably isn't the best tool, but the poll is the best we've got.

    I hope the terms are clear. Old Earth is one that has existed for something like the span of time generally recognized by science in the billions of years. Young earth is one that has existed for thousands or tens of thousands of years. A spherical earth is not perfectly spherical, but a lot closer to a sphere than a cube. Flat earths may go by other names, but c'mon, you know what is meant. I think most Bible believers know and understand the distinctions between a true bible and a literally true bible and which side of the fence they fall on.
     
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  2. essentialsaltes

    essentialsaltes Stranger in a Strange Land

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    I have a hypothesis that the flat earth is, for some if not all FE'ers, something of a hyperliteral interpretation of the Bible. I mean, in principle, the age and the shape of the earth are unrelated. So there could be Young Earthers who are Round Earthers, and Flat Earthers who are Old Earthers.

    I hypothesize that although there are many of the former, there are few of the latter (and not just because there are a lot fewer Flat Earthers). That for many the only path to the Flat Earth is via a Young Earth. Possibly the cognitive dissonance of maintaining YE beliefs pushes people to rationalize even more deeply (in line with the conclusions of When Prophecy Fails) and double down on literalism and this takes them into Flat Earth territory.

    Or maybe I'm wrong.
     
  3. Ken Rank

    Ken Rank Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It is and isn't. Is in the sense that when they see "4 corners" they take it literally... oblivious to the fact that the tzitziot (fringes) were to be worn on the "4 corners" and a person is not flat. It is the oddest thing to me... some will understand a metaphor (i.e. God is a rock) without any problem... and then turn around and take one as literal. Anyway..... the "isn't" is because outside of Scripture, many Christians of various sects have developed a huge distrust toward anything they perceive as "the world" (government, society, etc.). Thus if the world says "round" they will look around until they find another answer, in this case, flat.
     
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  4. A_Thinker

    A_Thinker Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Question ... What's the difference between a "Literal and Non-Literal Bible"?
     
  5. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life O Lord, do not treat me as I have treated others!

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    It would be more helpful to say "Literal-Historical reading of Genesis 1-11" than "Literal Bible". Can I understand "Literal Bible" as shorthand for the former?
     
  6. essentialsaltes

    essentialsaltes Stranger in a Strange Land

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    Yes, I think so.

    Sorry if it wasn't clear.

    Christians generally take the Bible to be true. However, some believe it must be interpreted literally, while others allow allegorical interpretation.
    Again, there is some leeway in how literally literalists take literal, so it's hard to make a clear definition.
     
  7. A_Thinker

    A_Thinker Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So ... if I believe that any part of the Bible can be interpreted allegorically, ... is that the non-literal category ?
     
  8. essentialsaltes

    essentialsaltes Stranger in a Strange Land

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    Hard to say. One expression of 'literal' is like so:

    WE AFFIRM the necessity of interpreting the Bible according to its literal, or normal, sense. The literal sense is the grammatical-historical sense, that is, the meaning which the writer expressed. Interpretation according to the literal sense will take account of all figures of speech and literary forms found in the text.

    As I understand it, such a person would say, well obviously Jesus' parables are parables and are meant to be understood that way as opposed to literally literal. The problem is how far this extends. As Ken Rank notes, some people read "four corners" as literal and others as figurative.

    I guess my intention is that people taking the poll should use their own understanding of a literal interpretation to answer the question, rather than trying to adhere to my understanding of a literal interpretation.
     
  9. Herman Hedning

    Herman Hedning Hiking is fun

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    A bit OT, but the tzitzit are not attached to a person, but to a tallit (shawl) which is indeed both flat and square with four corners.
     
  10. Ken Rank

    Ken Rank Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There was no "tallit" as we know it in the first century... I can provide links to 1st century artwork that depict the tzitziot off the robes they wore. It is idiomatic, "4 corners" means "outer most portions" and shouldn't be taken literally in that case or when the the bible says, "the earth's 4 corners."
     
  11. Strathos

    Strathos No one important

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    I voted for option 8, although like others I would say that there are many parts of the Bible that are meant to be literal.
     
  12. JackRT

    JackRT Trump supporter waking up ... Supporter

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    Over the last while I have been pondering a phenomenon that has actually been going for a very long time. I am referring to Denialists and Conspiracy Theorists. While they might seem to be different behaviours, I think they have a commonality in the sort of mind that subscribes to them. What also struck me as curious is the number of them that are centered around science, technology and medicine. Let me list a few.

    >> the link between tobacco and cancer, particularly lung cancer

    >> the fluoridation of water supplies to prevent tooth decay

    >> the role of chlorofluorinated hydrocarbons in the deterioration of the ozone layer

    >> the build up of DDT in the food chain and its effect on both reproduction success in birds and human health.

    >> the link between HIV and AIDS

    >> the role of vaccination in causing other health issues

    >> the historicity of the moon landings

    >>UFOs and aliens

    >>flat earth

    >> chemtrails

    >> the human role in CO2 production and climate change

    This is hardly an exhaustive list and it is easy to also point out others that have very little, if any, linkage to science, technology or medicine. For example, the historicity of the Holocaust, of the Twin Towers, of the assassination of President Kennedy and of both President Obama's birth place and religion.

    What most puzzles me most is the state of mind of both those who advocate these theories and those who so readily subscribe to them. I will throw out a few random thoughts here in the hope that they will generate some discussion.

    >> fear and powerlessness --- people feel overwhelmed by events that are beyond their control and require a scapegoat on which to pin their frustration and their anger.

    >> fear and ignorance --- people are frightened by their own lack of understanding of the concepts and issues involved and suggest that 'the intellectuals' are trying to put one over on them.

    >> the 'little guy syndrome' --- people fear big organizations, big government in particular, and feel the need to lash out at them by suggesting that the little guy is being somehow exploited.

    >>contrarianism --- some people love to be different just for the sake of it

    >>special knowledge syndrome --- a form of elitism where people like to feel they have some special or secret knowledge that makes them feel smarter and/or better informed than the rest, even if it doesn't have much practical application.

    >> religion and political ideologies --- in at least a few cases the culprit is viewed as challenging religious and/or political beliefs.

    To illustrate this last point we could look at two examples.

    Political --- the fluoridation of water supplies to prevent tooth decay was opposed as a tactic by communists to poison the whole nation. This was particularly effective in the days of the 'red menace' but has a modern counterpart in the paranoia surrounding international terrorism.

    Religious --- new technologies are viewed as challenging religious understandings. This goes back a long way in history. Two hundred years ago Timothy Dwight, Presbyterian minister and president of Yale University wrote “If God had decreed from all eternity that a certain person should die of smallpox, it would be a frightful sin to avoid and annul that decree by the trick of vaccination.” Today we see an echo of that religious fear in the debate surrounding stem cell research.

    My final observation is that it seems to me that denialists, conspiracy theorists, and biblical fundamentalists / creationists are often the same people.
     
  13. essentialsaltes

    essentialsaltes Stranger in a Strange Land

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    Yes, I largely agree, and as we saw earlier, one link is teleological thinking.

    I think another group that fits some of these descriptions is those that we describe as 'cults'.
     
  14. A_Thinker

    A_Thinker Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This tendency is more far-flung than you might expect.

    There are Biblical fundmentalists and creationists who are perfectly content with scientific progress. In many cases, they're more tied into the American way.

    I think that the little man syndrome is a big factor, as is a loss of faith in supposedly authoritative institutions. and, lastly, the attractiveness of holding special knowledge.
     
  15. SinoBen

    SinoBen New Member

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    I voted for option 4 with the understanding that it is not strictly literal and do not deny the presence of figurative language. Interpretation approach should include consideration of the original audience and context (historical, literary, intellectual, religious etc).

    Addendum: I take your "Literal Bible" as not limited to Genesis but to include the whole Bible.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019 at 12:39 AM
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  16. USincognito

    USincognito Do u? Supporter

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    John 10:9 I am the door.
     
  17. essentialsaltes

    essentialsaltes Stranger in a Strange Land

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    Well, it's not like the data are overwhelming, but antiscientific beliefs about a Young or Flat earth are only found among those who have a 'literal' belief in the Bible (whatever that means to them).

    However, at least one person believes in a Flat Earth without also believing in a Young Earth, so as for my hypothesis...

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Justatruthseeker

    Justatruthseeker Newbie Supporter

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    That’s because the non-literalists continue to ignore time dilation when “God stretched out the heavens” and so are unable to reconcile the radiometric age with actual age.....
     
  19. Justatruthseeker

    Justatruthseeker Newbie Supporter

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    The problem is that there is no way to disprove a FE.

    One must disprove a theory within the framework of the theory. Just as if someone wanted to disprove relativity they would have to do so within the framework of that theory.

    Hence there is no data that would disprove a FE from within the framework of that theory....
     
  20. A_Thinker

    A_Thinker Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The guru of the modern-day Flat Earth movement Eric Dubay is not a Biblicist in any fashion ....
     
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