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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-24-04 07:02 PM
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concerning the ongoing religion flamefest
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I just finished reading Secret Origins of the Bible by Tim Callahan.Here's a tidbit from the final chapter:

In my opinion those who try to stretch the Bible to cover such issues do it almost as great a disservice as did Rabin's assassin when he used myth as a reason for murder. There are great myths themes in the Bible and majestic moments, as when God descends upon Mt. Sinai in fire and smoke. It is a myth to be awed by. Many who are not sympathetic to religion would trivialize the bible and in doing so discard such epiphanies. We do this at our peril. Failure to understand the power of these myths and their hold on people leads to nothing more than further division. Those faithful to the myth-and these comprise far more than fundamentalist-will simply ignore any critique of their beliefs if the critic are contemptuous of the Bible. Therefore one should respect the mythic material and understand that such myths endure, at least in part, because they resonate with deep psychological needs. Myths can also have validity beyond that of literal truth.


Yet if these tales are held to be sacrosanct, if we must accept them as literally true, if we are forbidden from looking beneath the surface of myths, their secret meanings will remain dark and unprobed. When myths are distorted as literal truth they will almost surely be used by agents of repression, burdening society with unreasonable limitations and irrational directives and in extreme cases inciting assassination and war. Even if the forces of repression are held in check, they may alienate us from the myths they have so misused to the point that we will be robbed of the richness of mythic understanding and will lose the insights to be gained by seeing the human condition from the perspective of humanity's collective yearnings and strivings through the millennia to comprehend what lies behind the surface, what is the true nature of the cosmos.

Just for the record, sometimes I'm a Pagan, sometimes I'm a Deist and sometimes I'm an agnostic.
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