The Flat-Earth Bible: Was Flat Earthism Based Upon the Bible post and replies

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The Flat-Earth Bible - Aug 5, 2005 at 1:11PM
Matthewjc
9 Posts

I was reading my good friend John C. Dvoraks' blog (htttp://dvorak.org/blog) and found an entry on 8/3/05 most interesting.  Since many of you may not want to actually go to his site I will rewrite his post:

President George W. Bush stirred the debate on the teaching of evolution in schools when he said this week that he supported the teaching of alternative viewpoints -  such as the theory of intelligent Design - to help students "understand what the debate is about".

"I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought," Mr Bush said in commments to five Texas newspapers on Monday.  "You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes."

Dvorak counters:  "I think these guys need to go all the way with this and at least think about teaching flat earth theory.  After all, it is an alternative viewpoint and supported by the Bible."

Read:  "The Flat-Earth Bible" by Robert J. Schadewald (http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/febible.htm)

"When I first became interested in the flat-earthers in the early 1970s, I was surprised to learn that flat-earthism in the English-speaking world is and always has been entirely based upon the Bible. I have since assembled and read an extensive collection of flat-earth literature. The Biblical arguments for flat-earthism that follow come mainly from my reading of flat-earth literature, augmented by my own reading of the Bible.

Except among Biblical inerrantists, it is generally agreed that the Bible describes an immovable earth. At the 1984 National Bible-Science Conference in Cleveland, geocentrist James N. Hanson told me there are hundreds of scriptures that suggest the earth is immovable. I suspect some must be a bit vague, but here are a few obvious texts:

1 Chronicles 16:30: "He has fixed the earth firm, immovable."

Psalm 93:1: "Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm ..."

Psalm 96:10: "He has fixed the earth firm, immovable ..."

Psalm 104:5: "Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken."

Isaiah 45:18: "...who made the earth and fashioned it, and himself fixed it fast..."

-Robert J. Schadewald

Dvorak states:  "I wonder how the Biblical absolutists deal with these "truths?"

Now that I have concluded my VERY long post, what do all of you think?  As I said, I found it most interesting.


Replies to The Flat-Earth Bible

Re: The Flat-Earth Bible - Aug 05 2005 1:27PM
Dave Avatar
Dave
San Marcos, Texas
413 Posts

Matthewjc,

     Your observations are completely accurate, and this is only one of the many problems biblical literalists have.  I think, though, that in mainstream Christianity, biblical literalists are in the minority (even though one of them happens to be president).  As a theist who happens to belong to a christian church, the question for me is then:  what does one do with the bible?  I think that this question has been answered very well by John Shelby Spong in his book "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism".  He goes into much more detail than I will, but basically professes that the bible (as should any sacred text from any religion) should really interpreted allegorically.  For me personally, fitting my theism into my existentialism has been an interesting intellectual exercise that is still underway.  However, I will vigorously argue with any biblical literalist who wants to (Noah's ark is a fun one, too).

Peace,

Dave


Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value -- Albert Einstein


Re: Re: The Flat-Earth Bible - Aug 05 2005 3:08PM
Matthewjc
9 Posts

Dr. Donnelly,

If the Bible is to be interpreted allegorically, then what, in fact, is the latent spiritual meaning in the hundreds of scriptures singled out by Robert J. Schadewald?  Moreover, if any book or media cannot be taken literally at all, and must rather be interpreted by the individual, then can it not be disregarded as false?  

Media that is not fictitious may be viewed and treated literally, as there is no need for interpretation.  However, if one reads a great, epic novel such as Marcel Prousts' "Remembrance of Things Past" ("Remembrance of Things Past" is the non-literal English translation taken from Shakespeare's Sonnet 30:  "When to the sessions of sweet silent thought, I summon up remembrance of things past."  The French title of "Remembrance of Things Past" is "A la recherch√© du temps perdu") one must interpret it non-literally, and take from it some underling spiritual meaning (or allegorical meaning, if you view the novel as a sacred text, that is).

What should we do with the Bible?  It is my opinion that one may do with it what they wish.  One theist may argue with another as to whether or not the book should be taken literally, however, neither side will win.  Eventually society will move on; people will know not of the Bible's "teachings".  This is most likely; how many people, theist or atheist, know the teachings of any ancient "Bible" before the "Holy Bible", Christians covet with such high esteem today?



Re: Re: Re: The Flat-Earth Bible - Aug 05 2005 5:08PM
Dave Avatar
Dave
San Marcos, Texas
413 Posts

I completely agree with you.  Every individual gets out of any experience only what is meaningful to them (I'm an existentialist, remember).  It is up to the individual to create an existence that has meaning for them.

On another note, biblical scholars place the writing of the old testament at about 3000 BCE, which is similar in age to the oldest written documents found.  To that end, there really was no "Bible" before the bible.  I believe, but am not sure, that the Upanishads of Hinduism are a bit older than the old testament, and I am sure there are a lot of Hindus today that are familiar with them.  You seem to be implying that you beleive society will eventually exist without religion.  Is this what you are saying?  A very interesting thesis.

Peace,

Dave


Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value -- Albert Einstein


Re: Re: Re: Re: The Flat-Earth Bible - Aug 05 2005 5:41PM
Matthewjc
9 Posts

You are very correct; that is an interesting thesis.  Really, what I am implying is that as a physicist, my hope is that physics will disprove religious doctrine, as small a chance as that may be.  However, that is not where my research lies currently, as it is in Bose-Einstein condensation, which I have dedicated the past two years of my life to.  I understand that you are a physicist and a theist, and I do not wish to offend you by the statement I just made.

I would like to make a little joke, to lighten this intellectual discussion.  You said in an earlier post:  "For me personally, fitting my theism into my existentialism has been an interesting intellectual exercise that is still underway."  Since I had a double major in physics and philosophy (not joking) I could not resist saying:  "For me personally, fitting my atheism into my nihilism has not been an interesting intellectual exercise, it's quite easy.



Re: The Flat-Earth Bible - Aug 05 2005 8:03PM
atomcorrall
23 Posts

"The essence of religion is the strong and earnest direction of the emotions and desires toward an ideal object, recognized as of the highest excellence and as rightfully paramount over all selfish objects of desire. This condition is fulfilled by the Religion of Humanity in as eminent a degree and in as high a sense as by the supernatural religions even in their best manifestations, and far more so than in any of the others."  John Stuart Mill
                                                           1806-1873

Lemaitre, a Jesuit priest was anone of the earliest workers on the Big Bang theory. He solved a special case of the General Theory of Relativity. Asking about the Universe and discovering about nature is not impeded by one's religion.
Wonder whether Lemaitre thought there were any contradictions between his belief on a resurrected man-God and Big Bang theory.
Should have a philosophy chat room to discuss the topic of religion



Re: Re: The Flat-Earth Bible - Aug 05 2005 9:17PM
Matthewjc
9 Posts

I'm not sure I understand the point of your post Mr. Guzman.  John Stuart Mill was an advocate of utilitarianism, a philosophy, but a philosophy that masquerades as a science, which, in turn, is a pseudo science.  For example, many utilitarianist hope to measure happiness quantitatively, compairing two people, through felicific calculus.  Arguably, the only reason John Stuart Mill's work is even little known, is due to his analysis of inductive proof.  My point is, why is that quote valid?  Why should I care what a utilitarianists' views on religion are?



Re: Re: Re: The Flat-Earth Bible - Aug 05 2005 10:19PM
atomcorrall
23 Posts

Just placed the post to contrast two views:
1-Philosopher Mill's secular view of religion.
His distaste for "standard" supernatural religions can be debated ad naseum, and makes for good discussion of " religious philosophical theories."
As you say, an attempt to make philosophy look like a science.


2-Priest George Lemaitre's view of the origin of the Universe.
Jesuit religious training did not close his mind to scientific inquiry. Lemaitre's science makes for good discussion; theory with consequences.
Lemaitre could do good science despite his constrictive religion.....an opinion.
I wonder if Lemaitre thought religion and science conflicting.

I prefer Lemaitre. Like his cosmology and do not likehis religion...my preference.
Not impressed by philosophers including secular Mills.

How is the BE condensate....Applications in the horizon??



Re: Re: Re: Re: The Flat-Earth Bible - Aug 05 2005 10:34PM
Matthewjc
9 Posts

Thank you for your clarification; I now understand your point.  As for the Bose-Einstein condensation, applications are classified...not really.  There is not enough information from experiment as of yet, to apply to anything beyond creating really cool "super atoms" (When atoms are cooled to one billionth of a degree above absolute zero using laser cooling they become "identical" and form a "super atom" - to be as non-tech as I  possibly can) but the data we have is amazing!



Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Flat-Earth Bible - Aug 06 2005 8:58AM
atomcorrall
23 Posts

Anyplace whre pics can be seesn?
Saw the atomcorrall several years ago but would like to see more of these macroscopic quantum states.



Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Flat-Earth Bible - Aug 07 2005 12:46AM
Matthewjc
9 Posts

I have not really searched for any pics online, however you may enjoy this site:  http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000/bec/index.html

I did research here under Carl Wiemann and Eric Cornell who ended up wining the 2001 nobel prize for physics, along with one of those MIT guys...I'm jealous of their research money.  I think at the end of the BEC tutorial there are pictures, but I am not sure.  If there are not any pictures, at least there are some very cool interactive flash demos.



Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Flat-Earth Bible - Aug 08 2005 8:23PM
atomcorrall
23 Posts

Thnaks. Interesting site.



Re: Re: The Flat-Earth Bible - Aug 08 2005 9:54AM
Dave Avatar
Dave
San Marcos, Texas
413 Posts

Hi atomcorrall,

     I have no problem with these discussions on the Nucleus, as I think they encourage people to think beyond the confines of physics.  I would have no problem starting a new philosophy forum for discussions such as this.  In addition, I have found the forums at ILovePhilosophy.com to be very interesting.

Peace,

Dave


Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value -- Albert Einstein


Re: Re: Re: The Flat-Earth Bible - Aug 08 2005 8:23PM
atomcorrall
23 Posts

guess we have to gauge overall interest for this topic and the religion topic.
I agree that enabling discussion is good.
Thank you Compadre



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