Why the Bible is Still Relevant in Western Culture

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Why the Bible is Still Relevant in Western Culture

Post by BakedToast » Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:49 pm

Before I start here, I want to posit the statement that my statements here do not hinge on whether or not the Bible is factually correct.

I found an interesting podcast series that covers genesis, arguably one of the oldest written pieces of history (the written records date back to 3500+ years ago, and the oral traditions they stem from are possibly much older, maybe even tens of thousands of years old).
This podcast was made by a reputable psychologist, who does NOT try to prove the historical accuracy of the Bible, but rather tries to show how the Bible (and other ancient religious stories) has been the founding influence of Western Culture, and that if we reject it's principles, we reject them at our own peril.
If you're still on the fence about checking this out, I can place few spoilers that show few points that can be deduced with a psychoanalysis of Genesis that still reflect in our culture [although they are under attack]:
1. Every Human, Male and Female, has intrinsic value, even the worst of criminals.
2. Consciousness is embodied in every Human, and each is responsible for their actions.
3. Sacrificing immediate gratification for a richer payoff in the future is key to success.
4. Children need to be encouraged and strengthened, not blindly protected.
5. Existence is inherently good, and something is always better than nothing.
There are more points shown and discovered throughout the series, but these were a few of my own major takeaways.
Now, this analysis is by no means a defense of modern religion in any way, but rather a case for the relevancy of these ancient ideas in modern culture and philosophy; as well as a reasonable rebuttal for all those who believe that religion is a fabricated lie, an opiate of the masses, a delusion to hide from reality, and other of those statements (statements which I used to think hold water, but now I see them as rather weak).

Here is the description given the series by the psychologist himself:
The Bible is a series of books written, edited and assembled over thousands of years. It contains the most influential stories of mankind. Knowledge of those stories is essential to a deep understanding of Western culture, which is in turn vital to proper psychological health (as human beings are cultural animals) and societal stability. These stories are neither history, as we commonly conceive it, nor empirical science. Instead, they are investigations into the structure of Being itself and calls to action within that Being. They have deep psychological significance. This lecture series, starting with the very first book, will constitute an analysis of that significance.


If you're interested, you can start here [it is a long series, but if you have the interest, you'll pull through]:
Video Version
Audio Only

Let me know what you think!
Last edited by BakedToast on Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why the Bible is Still Relevant Today

Post by magmacube_tr » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:52 pm

''The Bible !''

''It says 'The Bibble'''

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Re: Why the Bible is Still Relevant Today

Post by counting » Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:40 am

Bibble?
King Menander asked Master Nagasena: “I have questions.”
Master replied: “What questions?”
King: “I already asked.”
Master: “I already answered.”
King: “What is THE answer?”
Master: “What is THE question?”
King: “No question.”
Master: “No answer.”

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Re: Why the Bible is Still Relevant Today

Post by counting » Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:55 am

BakedToast wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:49 pm
This podcast was made by a reputable psychologist, who does NOT try to prove the historical accuracy of the Bible, but rather tries to show how the Bible (and other ancient religious stories) has been the founding influence of Western Culture, and that if we reject it's principles, we reject them at our own peril.
If you're still on the fence about checking this out, I can place few spoilers that show few points that can be deduced with a psychoanalysis of Genesis that still reflect in our culture [although they are under attack]:
1. Every Human, Male and Female, has intrinsic value, even the worst of criminals.
2. Consciousness is embodied in every Human, and each is responsible for their actions.
3. Sacrificing immediate gratification for a richer payoff in the future is key to success.
4. Children need to be encouraged and strengthened, not blindly protected.
5. Existence is inherently good, and something is always better than nothing.
There are more points shown and discovered throughout the series, but these were a few of my own major takeaways.
Now, this analysis is by no means a defense of modern religion in any way, but rather a case for the relevancy of these ancient ideas in modern culture and philosophy; as well as a reasonable rebuttal for all those who believe that religion is a fabricated lie, an opiate of the masses, a delusion to hide from reality, and other of those statements (statements which I used to think hold water, but now I see them as rather weak).

Let me know what you think!
For all seriousness.

Majority of us who don't grow up or live in "Western Culture" on this planet, this feels a bit too preachy and like indoctrination materials, with superiority complex mixed in like others are inferiors and say evolution make human species susceptible to top-down hierarchy and obedience to power structure by default. I thought the modern spirit is all about freeing from the limitation imposed and able to think for ourselves and don't need to adhere to monolithic ideals. Diversity is the key for a species to thrive isn't it?
King Menander asked Master Nagasena: “I have questions.”
Master replied: “What questions?”
King: “I already asked.”
Master: “I already answered.”
King: “What is THE answer?”
Master: “What is THE question?”
King: “No question.”
Master: “No answer.”

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Re: Why the Bible is Still Relevant in Western Culture

Post by BakedToast » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:35 pm

counting wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:55 am
Majority of us who don't grow up or live in "Western Culture" on this planet, this feels a bit too preachy and like indoctrination materials, with superiority complex mixed in like others are inferiors and say evolution make human species susceptible to top-down hierarchy and obedience to power structure by default. I thought the modern spirit is all about freeing from the limitation imposed and able to think for ourselves and don't need to adhere to monolithic ideals. Diversity is the key for a species to thrive isn't it?
I agree that this is largely meant for Western Audiences, and thus may fall flat on others, those living for the most part outside of North/South America, Europe, and Australia(the country, Oceania). I apologize for my lack of foresight in that matter. Western Culture needs to hear this more, because western culture is attempting to abandon these morals en masse, which they do at their peril, as destruction of an ancient ideal often leads to catastrophe throughout history.

I wouldn't say that the speaker is trying to make non-Western cultures inferior, but rather simply doesn't address them for two reasons:
1. The speaker doesn't have extensive knowledge on every other culture
2. The issue at hand is directed at Western Culture, and thus the other cultures aren't inferior, but simply less relevant in the scope of the series.
(I will, however, point out that not only biblical texts, but also ancient mesopotamian texts and greek/norse ideals are also used, although these are also predominantly western)

The speaker uses biological and evolutionary evidence to defend his statements because he wishes to take a scientific approach. Taking a philosophical or religious approach in these types of discussions is subjective, because as you said, many people don't grow up in or use western thinking. And there is indeed ample evidence to support evolutionary reasons why our brains function the way they do. I wouldn't use the words "power structure", however, because, as the speaker often mentions, power is NOT what humans respect, and it is NOT what determines the hierarchical structure. The capacity for empathy, the ability to share, and the ability to effectively lead are better ways to define the hierarchical structures of many societies. Yes, there have been militaristic and fear-based cultures in the past, but they rarely end well, which implies that they aren't meant for humanity.

The Modern Spirit may be about freeing from limitation and not adhering to monolithic ideals, as you say. The critique here is indeed about the modern spirit. I would counter that "thinking for oneself" and "adhering to monolithic/ancient ideals" are not opposites. Through actual in-depth study of ancient ideals, done freely and with an open mind, one can find their values (sometimes needing to strip them of religious context to do so), and choose to accept the values presented. There is a reason why such ancient ideals lasted for thousands of years, and that reason is not because people in power wanted them to last (although they may have been in favour of such), but rather because the ideals work, and they hold true, even when used within religious context. Abandoning ideals that have worked for humanity for millennia without at the very least giving them a fair trial is unwise to say the least.

Diversity is the key for a species to thrive, but if you are looking at that from a biological perspective, this has already happened, Human biology is what allowed us to become one of the most successful species on our planet that we know of.
[However, when it comes to ideologies and cultures, while many disagree with the statement I am about to make, I will say that no, they are not all equally good and well-formed. The ideology of the Soviet Regime was not equally good for people as the ideology of Modern Japan, for example. It caused a lot more pain, suffering, and death.]

Before I start rambling however, I will make a conclusion. This series is definitely targeted toward Western Culture and Western Thinking. I suppose I should make that more clear in my original post, perhaps. I will, however, add that while not all of it would apply to other cultures, there are still points of value that are in accordance with human biology, and those values that are in accordance with human biology can be found in religions cross-culturally and throughout history.
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Re: Why the Bible is Still Relevant in Western Culture

Post by Tiberius » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:23 am

who does NOT try to prove the historical accuracy of the Bible,
Just ignoring the rest of the argument for a moment, I strongly doubt this point. He straight up claims that Good Atheists can't exist. I would be beyond amazed if this podcast wasn't pushing Christianity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGoRFbNg0RU

I realize this is something of an ad hominem, but it's important to understand if someone is arguing in bad faith. Generally, the no good atheists argument only comes from the sort of zealous Christian who doesn't ever consider that they might be wrong. And if Christianity is true then the bible must matter, but how can I prove that it does? And thus the podcast. Its very easy to claim you're scientific and throw together flowery language and factoids to prove just about any point.

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Re: Why the Bible is Still Relevant in Western Culture

Post by BakedToast » Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:38 am

Tiberius wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:23 am
who does NOT try to prove the historical accuracy of the Bible,
Just ignoring the rest of the argument for a moment, I strongly doubt this point. He straight up claims that Good Atheists can't exist. I would be beyond amazed if this podcast wasn't pushing Christianity.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGoRFbNg0RU

I realize this is something of an ad hominem, but it's important to understand if someone is arguing in bad faith. Generally, the no good atheists argument only comes from the sort of zealous Christian who doesn't ever consider that they might be wrong. And if Christianity is true then the bible must matter, but how can I prove that it does? And thus the podcast. Its very easy to claim you're scientific and throw together flowery language and factoids to prove just about any point.
I agree that it is ad hominem, and also an argument constructed from presupposed thought rather than analysis of the character to whom you critique, because Jordan Peterson is not a Christian and in fact criticizes many elements of Christianity, and shows examples of other older religious traditions in Taoism and Mesopotamian mythology, and others, that better express the ideas put forth in Genesis. In fact, the series speaks specifically about Genesis (which as indeed been proven to be a very old document, penned by many different writers across a long period of time) rather than the Bible as a whole, and doesn't try to prove it's accuracy, but merely it's relevancy. Furthermore, unlike almost any Christian zealot you describe above, he gives reference to the credibility of the world having evolved and its age far beyond the 6000yr young-earthers, and indeed even posits the idea that perhaps consciousness itself evolved indirectly out of psilocybin mushroom consumption.

I would also state that the argument you give above is also without actually viewing the content of the initial statement, and thus is at the very least ill-informed. You haven't gone any further. You state that the podcast is made out of a desire to prove the truth of Christianity. But you have not viewed the material. That is simply not the case. I don't know how else to argue this, because one can't really discuss a piece of content with someone if they are simply stating what they think without viewing the content, and thus no matter what I could or could not tell you about the content, the final analysis of my arguments will be merely up to your presuppositions. In fact, I would observe that if you were claiming yourself to be a scientific thinker, you would never pre-analyse or presuppose the content of a piece of data without observing the data, and thus I would posit that your argument is indeed the one that is not scientific, not the content which you haven't even viewed.

Might there be mistakes and inaccuracies in the content? Perhaps. I don't deny it, because I'm not a scientist, a psychologist, or a philosopher. But that's why you would get to review the content yourself and come to your own conclusion.

EDIT: I think this is worth noting, since you made a blanket statement that I'd rather not be blanketed by, and because I don't want this to devolve into any kind of flame war- I am not a zealot Christian, nor do I believe that I cannot be wrong. Yes, a Christian showed me this podcast, but I share it based on it's merit alone, with no connotations attached. If, for the sake of understanding, you want to experience the podcast the way I did (which isn't necessary, but would put us on fair grounds for discussion), watch it with as little connotation as possible. I had not listened to this speaker before or since, and merely took the podcast at face value on it's own; which , in face value on it's own, I find intriguing and worth sharing. I hope you will be "beyond amazed".
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Re: Why the Bible is Still Relevant in Western Culture

Post by Tiberius » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:59 am

I don't really want to watch it so I won't respond on the other points, but he is a christian, just not a catholic or other traditonal sort persay

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIB05YeMiW8

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