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Is the bible relevant today?

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MIghtyG

Well-known Member
I was watching the big question for a little while on Sunday morning and they had an interesting debate on asking "is the bible relevant today"

The major point that the religious leader on the panel (I forget his name though) was saying is that without the bible people wouldnt be able to develop their own moral compass, and that all other sources of morality are derived from the bible so without the bible we would be nothing more than savages.

The counter argument from Richard Dawkins was that people that believe in and follow the bible simply cherry pick the best ideas from the bible and ignore the bad ones such as "if a man lies with another man he should be killed" "all women should not be allowed to speak in church" etc etc, so why if we have the ability to pick out the good and ignore the bad in the bible do we still use it to this day? why not fashion your own moral compass to live life by as we already demonstrate the ability to see right and wrong in the bible itself.

So, is the bible relevant today?
 

kav

Distinguished Member
People can derive their morals from the bible or other holy texts if they so choose, however to say that the bible is the source of morality is just plain wrong.

As to the bible's relevance - as a collection of fables it makes for interesting reading and gives an interesting account of man's views on the world in less enlightened times, but as a moral compass for how to live life in modern times, I have my doubts. Too much picking and choosing from it to suit one's own agenda is needed to make it a good baseline for how to live.
 
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Deleted member 293381

Guest
Agree with Kav's post.

The bible is basically a collection of notes and thoughts written by many different men many years ago. Some people take solace from reading the bible, others use it as a reference source, some read the bible out of interest. Unfortunately there are some who take what is written in the bible very seriously indeed and not to be questioned.

Is it relevant today? Well, that is a good question and I do not have the necessary wisdom, expertise and knowledge to be able to answer! :D
 

Snake79

Active Member
It's amazing how one book could hold so much power over people for such a long time. I was raised a catholic but am certainly not religious yet consider myself to have strong moral values.

We live in an age where a good education is available to most people in the country and as such people are able to make up their own minds on whatever they choose to believe in. You just have to look back through history to see that where education was poor or non-existent, people would live their lives soley around their religion and beliefs (ancient Mayans, Egyptians etc.) They couldn't understand the world they inhabited and as a race humans need to believe that there was a reason why these things happened and believing in a higher being suited that train of thought.

The real problem is that as some people became more educated they were able to manipulate those that were not and use religion to their own ends and that continues to this day. It amazes me that some people believe so passionately about their religion that they would willingly die for it even when there has been no concrete evidence to prove their belief, yet scoff at science when time and time again it has been backed up by evidence. Our whole legal system is based on the idea that you need proof before you can make a case, yet somehow religion seems to continue regardless.
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
The counter argument from Richard Dawkins was that people that believe in and follow the bible simply cherry pick the best ideas from the bible and ignore the bad ones such as "if a man lies with another man he should be killed" "all women should not be allowed to speak in church" etc etc,

Then my view of Dawkins is even further lowered. He is supposed to be a very smart guy, then why raise arguments like that which I'm sure he knows the answers to?

  • The extreme punishments for sin in the Old Testament were all done away with after Jesus' death because his sacrifice paid the price for all sin. PS, there were many other sins that demanded the death penalty in the OT, funny how he raises homosexuality for his example because it's the one that will get the biggest reaction?

  • Women not allowed to speak in church was a cultural thing, not a condemnation of women. In that time men were educated in the Bible as well as formal education while women were not. Not because the Bible said so, but because it was a largely sexist society and women were not deemed worthy of education. In other words letting women join in debate in church would be like having me take part in a debate about nuclear physics, simply no point and would just cause disruption.

Dawkins knows these answers as well as I do. If he's the top man when it comes to discrediting the Bible then why use arguments that are so weak?

Anyway, I'm bowing out of this thread before it starts. Can't see this being anything other than a Bible bashing session, and not the sort of Bible bashing you'd think! :D
 

shodan

Distinguished Member
What Kav said. Well done for putting it so perfectly Kav.
 

MIghtyG

Well-known Member
Then my view of Dawkins is even further lowered. He is supposed to be a very smart guy, then why raise arguments like that which I'm sure he knows the answers to?

  • The extreme punishments for sin in the Old Testament were all done away with after Jesus' death because his sacrifice paid the price for all sin. PS, there were many other sins that demanded the death penalty in the OT, funny how he raises homosexuality for his example because it's the one that will get the biggest reaction?

  • Women not allowed to speak in church was a cultural thing, not a condemnation of women. In that time men were educated in the Bible as well as formal education while women were not. Not because the Bible said so, but because it was a largely sexist society and women were not deemed worthy of education. In other words letting women join in debate in church would be like having me take part in a debate about nuclear physics, simply no point and would just cause disruption.

Dawkins knows these answers as well as I do. If he's the top man when it comes to discrediting the Bible then why use arguments that are so weak?

Anyway, I'm bowing out of this thread before it starts. Can't see this being anything other than a Bible bashing session, and not the sort of Bible bashing you'd think! :D

I wish you wouldnt bow out as I think its going to turn into a one sided debate and I was hoping for some back and fro!

I used to have allot of respect for Dawkins, he is a very smart man but his apparent hatred for all religion is pretty horrible to watch. He seems to think that he is right and everyone else is a fool for thinking anything other than what he does. I dont think that he is much better than those that say "YOU MUST BELIEVE IN GOD" he is walking around beating his chest saying "YOU MUST BELIEVE IN ME"

If someone wants to read the bible and use it as a guide to develop a moral compass then whats the issue? is it wrong that someone wants to do something good in gods name rather than their own?

And surely if we didnt have religion we would still have all the wrong in the world that is done in its name, instead of people fighting over religion or oppressing people in gods name they would find something else to do it over. Race, colour, nationality etc.
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
And surely if we didnt have religion we would still have all the wrong in the world that is done in its name, instead of people fighting over religion or oppressing people in gods name they would find something else to do it over. Race, colour, nationality etc.

Exactly. Religion is rarely the real reason for these conflicts, it is merely used as the excuse.

AGH! I said I was bowing out! :rolleyes:
 

johntheexpat

Distinguished Member
I used to have a lot of respect for Dawkins, he is a very smart man but his apparent hatred for all religion is pretty horrible to watch. He seems to think that he is right and everyone else is a fool for thinking anything other than what he does.

I would say that he thinks he is a very smart man, but is actually a fool. As you point out, his huge weakness is his almighty ego. If he kept his loathing to those who manipulate religion, he would be less ridiculous. But to attack and ridicule the faithful because he 'doesn't see it' totally undermines any credibility and moral authority he may think he has.

Its never religion that is the problem, its the religious manipulators who are the real evil.
 

Rock Danger

Distinguished Member
I always thought that if you did not accept Jesus into your heart as your lord and saviour and to live your life as best you can by his example then you went to hell.

Is this true or not?

I thought also that the bible was relevant in our culture, regarding morality etc by using the basics like don't go round killin'n'stealin and nickin peoeple's wimmin.

no?
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
I always thought that if you did not accept Jesus into your heart as your lord and saviour and to live your life as best you can by his example then you went to hell.

Is this true or not?

I thought also that the bible was relevant in our culture, regarding morality etc by using the basics like don't go round killin'n'stealin and nickin peoeple's wimmin.

no?

Not_Sure_If_Serious.jpg
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
I always thought that if you did not accept Jesus into your heart as your lord and saviour and to live your life as best you can by his example then you went to hell.

Is this true or not?

I thought also that the bible was relevant in our culture, regarding morality etc by using the basics like don't go round killin'n'stealin and nickin peoeple's wimmin.

no?

OK I'll bite.

Of course if you believe the concept of Biblical salvation then the Bible is and will always be relevent. I think the question was more whether the Bible is relevant in general.

As for the Bible preaching morality about not "killin/stealin/wimmin nickin", the argument would be that this is not just a Biblical concept, but a common sense one.
 

Singh400

Distinguished Member
I'm not particularly religious, but my own moral compass has developed fine thank you very much.
 
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Rock Danger

Distinguished Member
:) lol I was actually. I always thought this was one of huge rules - accept Jesus as your one true saviour and live your life Christ like, if you don't you go to hell - basically in a nutshell.

And the other point I was making that western law / morals is kind based on the commandments, so even if all religion was removed from say today, the law would remain much the same. How the laws would be today if there was no 'do on to others' religious teachings is another thing, but I'm sure someone would have said eventually that randomly killing people and eating babies in the streets wasn't cool.
 

Rock Danger

Distinguished Member
OK I'll bite.

Of course if you believe the concept of Biblical salvation then the Bible is and will always be relevent. I think the question was more whether the Bible is relevant in general.

As for the Bible preaching morality about not "killin/stealin/wimmin nickin", the argument would be that this is not just a Biblical concept, but a common sense one.

So watcha sayin then? I know you're of the Chrisitan faith and I'm not trying to take the mick outta ye. I was curious if this is what the majority of you lot believe as it's what I've been told from the majority?

I agree as per my last post, someone would have caught on eventually sans religion.
 

7ofnine

Well-known Member
And the other point I was making that western law / morals is kind based on the commandments, so even if all religion was removed from say today, the law would remain much the same.

Which were apparently written directly by God :rolleyes: Unlike the bible which was presumably written by people from distilled knowledge in society, not as Kav rightly mentioned the source of all morals.
 

Rock Danger

Distinguished Member
Which were apparently written directly by God :rolleyes: Unlike the bible which was presumably written by people from distilled knowledge in society, not as Kav rightly mentioned the source of all morals.


Sorry if I'm being thick, but I know the Bible isn't the source of all morality and how one should behave and which fork is for salad. Given that the word of the Church was absolute law up until the last couple of hundred years, then is it not fair to say that it played the largest part in shaping morality in western culture?
 

7ofnine

Well-known Member
Sorry if I'm being thick, but I know the Bible isn't the source of all morality and how one should behave and which fork is for salad. Given that the word of the Church was absolute law up until the last couple of hundred years, then is it not fair to say that it played the largest part in shaping morality in western culture?

Yes I would accept that.
 

krish

Distinguished Member
Nice to have a couple of atheists on the panel (RD and Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou), as it's usually none or one

I thought retired bishop and faith-flipper Michael Nazir-Ali was rather rude and patronising to his fellow theologian Stavrakopoulou, whilst Dawkins was on good cogent and concise form as usual, and certainly not (and never is) the militant rude aggressive uber-atheist certain people always paint him as :boring:
 

qwerty321

Distinguished Member
guest5234 said:
About as relevant as the koran.

One thing about the Quran is that it shouldn't really be taken alone. You should look at the Sunnah (life of the Prophet (PBUH)) and Shariah.

Before anyone starts with the Shariah is bad yadda yadda, please spare me the tabloid nonsense.
 

Rock Danger

Distinguished Member
Do you guys think that kiddies should now be taught without religion? In other words do you think they can't grasp the concept of good and evil without some biblical stories? Or is it still the best way to get right and wrong across to them?

My wee nephews when they were 7 or so years old were completely blown away that I didn't believe in God and they don't have religious parents, in fact they're agnostic if anything.
 
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