Sam Harris made this point in his book, saying that people make this claim because they never actually bother to read their Bibles cover to cover and thus have no idea about what horrors lie inside. Question Who's Online | Find Members | Private Messages
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3,975 hits Rate me! Share Favorite | Flag 15 years ago by Aburame

Do you think that the major reason why most Americans claim to be literal believers in the Bible is because they haven`t actually read the entire Bible?
Sam Harris made this point in his book, saying that people make this claim because they never actually bother to read their Bibles cover to cover and thus have no idea about what horrors lie inside.


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15 yrs ago - Sunday 6/3/07 - 2:40:15 PM EST (GMT-5)
i just started reading it, and already i have to say that for a rational person, the answer would be 'yes'. i love where it specifies the exact dimensions of the ark, just before noah collects two of every animal and fits them all into it.

but on the other hand, faith is kind of a suspension of the rational anyway. i'm sure that plenty of christians are quite capable of reading the whole thing, and indeed memorising the whole thing and still believe every word.

15 yrs ago - Sunday 6/3/07 - 2:47:03 PM EST (GMT-5)
I would believe that for the average person, that would be the case. I can't really see how someone can take the literal bible and accept it as completely moral. Zerkalo, in many cases, a suspension of faith is not enough to get past blatantly hateful stuff in their. The important thing to remember is that by believing every word in the bible to be true, you have to profess it to be right.
15 yrs ago - Sunday 6/3/07 - 2:52:34 PM EST (GMT-5)
i know people who've read it all and do still believe in it all. i think there's a couple on this site too, it'd be interesting to see what they say.
15 yrs ago - Sunday 6/3/07 - 3:01:06 PM EST (GMT-5)
Most Americans identify as Christians, but it seems that the majority of them are what I call 'apathetic Christians'. They've molded their beliefs to mesh with those of the majority, but they only attend church on holidays (if at all), they don't usually pray, and they've never actually read the Bible that they claim to believe in.
I really don't think that most Americans take *every* word of the Bible as pure fact. People who claim that they *do* take every bit of the book literally have probably never read it.

On 6/3/2007 2:40:16 PM zerkalo wrote:
i'm sure that plenty of christians are quite capable of reading the whole thing, and indeed memorising the whole thing and still believe every word.

I doubt most Christians believe that it's perfectly fine to slaughter non-believers or bar your wife from sitting on the couch while she's on her rag.

15 yrs ago - Sunday 6/3/07 - 3:01:19 PM EST (GMT-5)
I've often found that when Christians encounter morally troublesome things in the Bible (slavery, rape, murder, etc.), they're likelier to explain these things away than to suspend their rational beliefs and accept them, anyway.
15 yrs ago - Sunday 6/3/07 - 3:01:53 PM EST (GMT-5)
i'm sure they don't, but i'm also sure they're capable of reading it and then doublethinking it into oblivion.
15 yrs ago - Sunday 6/3/07 - 3:02:14 PM EST (GMT-5)
On 6/3/2007 2:52:35 PM zerkalo wrote:
i think there's a couple on this site too..

Really? I don't know of any well-known members of this site that take the Bible as literal fact.

15 yrs ago - Sunday 6/3/07 - 3:03:08 PM EST (GMT-5)
i thought dacash did. and some of the crazy generals folk. i could be wrong though.
15 yrs ago - Sunday 6/3/07 - 3:09:10 PM EST (GMT-5)
On 6/3/2007 3:03:08 PM zerkalo wrote:
i thought dacash did.

Although I've never directly asked him and can't speak for him, I do remember Dacash saying that he didn't believe in a 7-day creation of the world (which is what a literal interpretation of Genesis would require).

15 yrs ago - Sunday 6/3/07 - 3:11:04 PM EST (GMT-5)
ah, ok.

anyway, my point is, while i'm sure that this is a contributory reason, i think the main reason is simply that people are weird and perfectly capable of holding contradictory beliefs and thoughts at the same time.

15 yrs ago - Sunday 6/3/07 - 3:46:14 PM EST (GMT-5)
Frankly, reading the bible cover to cover was a major part of what caused me to stop being a Christian.

The biblical God is a monster, and what He's done and caused to be done by His command is a horror. Better disbelief than to worship such a diety.

15 yrs ago - Sunday 6/3/07 - 4:39:32 PM EST (GMT-5)
Maybe.

But, I think it's more a knee-jerk reaction to what they see as an attack on their religion. I don't think the people answering that question have fully thought through all the implications of a literal interpretation.

15 yrs ago - Sunday 6/3/07 - 5:00:47 PM EST (GMT-5)
I don't know tbh ... I personally have read the Bible, cover to cover, several times. And I don't believe it should be taken 100% literally - #1 it's been passed on so long things may have been changed like if you were playing the 'telephone' game. #2, the Old Testament still has relevance but Christians aren't expected to follow all the rules like eating animals with a certain number of hooves or shellfish like Jews do. And #3 it is written in such a different kind of English that even if you get a 'new' version, it's still easy to interpret verses your own way. Without God telling us what He meant, you just have to try to listen to what your heart says. If something seems wrong to you, it probably is.

I follow the 10 Commandments, and try to follow the Golden Rule, and other than that I use it as a guideline - not something in stone like the Commandments.

15 yrs ago - Sunday 6/3/07 - 7:23:50 PM EST (GMT-5)
Definitely... I think a lot of them just read passages that they are told to in church.
15 yrs ago - Sunday 6/3/07 - 7:47:53 PM EST (GMT-5)
Random thought: I thought it was 7 of each animal that was allowed on the Ark? The 2 bit was only for the unsanitary animals, such as pigs and things.
15 yrs ago - Sunday 6/3/07 - 8:47:39 PM EST (GMT-5)
Not at all. I've read the Bible several times, absolutely all of it, and studied it. I'm more of a believer than ever.
15 yrs ago - Sunday 6/3/07 - 9:01:57 PM EST (GMT-5)
On 6/3/2007 8:47:40 PM catlikegrace wrote:
Not at all. I've read the Bible several times, absolutely all of it, and studied it. I'm more of a believer than ever.

That's perfectly fine, but do you take what you've read completely literally? That's what the question is referring to.

Do believe that the world was created in 7 days several thousand years ago? Do you believe that we've all descended from Noah and his family after they survived a worldwide flood by crowding into a gigantic boat with millions of animals? Do you approve of enslaving people and/or murdering non-believers? Probably not.

15 yrs ago - Monday 6/4/07 - 12:12:08 AM EST (GMT-5)
It's possible. I have never taken the Bible literally, even as a kid.
15 yrs ago - Monday 6/4/07 - 12:38:13 AM EST (GMT-5)
Do you think that the reason you beat your wife is that you take idiots like Sam Harris too seriously?

I think that if most Americans really believed in the bible literally, we'd actually, you know, hear about it.

As I understand it, his argument is that people who don't take the bible literally aren't "real" Christians, so they don't count. Hence, all Christians take the bible literally.

Gotta love that logic.

15 yrs ago - Monday 6/4/07 - 9:25:15 AM EST (GMT-5)
I don't actually think most Americans claim to be literal believers in the bible....
I know none....
Many espouse a belief in the bible, but "literal"....don't think so...
15 yrs ago - Monday 6/4/07 - 9:45:41 AM EST (GMT-5)
You are right, it's about 31% according to the latest gallup pole.

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/...

15 yrs ago - Monday 6/4/07 - 11:39:15 AM EST (GMT-5)
Depends how you define "literal"...I agree with KiKiPeepers...There's really no way to take a single definate interpretation. What I think it means could be completely different from what you think it means..
I think how you read it has something to do with what you want it to mean.
15 yrs ago - Monday 6/4/07 - 1:50:03 PM EST (GMT-5)
", the Old Testament still has relevance but Christians aren't expected to follow all the rules like eating animals with a certain number of hooves or shellfish like Jews do. " Wrong... Didn't you say you read it, God states in one passage, it escapes me at the moment, that his laws never change.

"I follow the 10 Commandments" which ones? Don't boil a baby goat in its mother's milk?

15 yrs ago - Monday 6/4/07 - 2:51:37 PM EST (GMT-5)
Why is this limited to just Americans?
Anyway, yes, I think this is the case most of the time, but sometimes it's just because that's what they've been told their whole life.
15 yrs ago - Monday 6/4/07 - 4:40:36 PM EST (GMT-5)
Most Americans are just gullible.

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