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The Bible (II)

Updated: Feb 20

There are about 10,000 Buddhist scriptures, many untranslated into English. These scriptures are not necessarily consistent or true—not literal accounts of the life of the Buddha.

However, it doesn’t matter for Buddhism; why? Because Buddhism is a practice, not a belief. You could practice Buddhism without even knowing there was a man called “the Buddha”, if someone just taught you the techniques.

So Buddhist scriptures are like an instructional leaflet you get with a hedge trimmer—you see photos with actors who hold the trimmer in various positions, but perhaps they never even turned the trimmer on themselves (for instructional purposes only). It doesn’t matter, so long as it shows you how to use it.

The same with the Buddhist scriptures—a scripture could be totally “made up” but so long as it taught you a meditation technique it doesn’t matter whether Buddha literally did what was described in that document.

The Bible and the Koran are different—because these are documents for religions based on the revelation in the scriptures, the scriptures have to be mostly the literal truth or have to conform to what religious leaders in those faiths have said throughout history. By literal truth, I mean as true as any comparable historical document from the same era—as true as Caesar’s accounts of his wars in Gaul.

This is the problem for the Bible—the Church fathers said it was mostly literal historical truth, not symbolism or allegory; for sure, some was symbolism and allegory—but if you read the whole document as allegory and symbolism then you have no Christianity, since you’ve shot away the core, which is meant to be a literal truth that you believe in.

And that’s why the findings of material science matter as regards the Bible—now, I often inveigh against material science, but I don’t think it’s “not real”; within its own terms, what it says is true—it’s just it’s not the total truth or the highest truth. And so, insofar as both Islam and Christianity make claims that can be taken in literal terms and investigated by material science, their scriptures should be supported by those investigations into “God’s rational creation”; except that isn’t so.

Further, material science as we understand it now is not, in fact, conceivable without Christianity—because, before Christianity, the idea “this leaf was created by a rational being who is truth” was not prevalent, so the idea that you could investigate the leaf and find out predictable and rational truths about it was partly a Christian idea; and Christians themselves will take credit for that, when it suits them.

This process of rational investigation into the causes of things ultimately casts doubt on the Christian scriptures—and Christians want to have their cake and eat it, claim credit for modern science but then jump back from it when it investigates Christian claims, even though if the Christian creator God is true, good, and rational investigation into his scriptures should result in true, rational, and good results.

Secondarily, even if these scriptures are evaluated in a non-quantitative way, per Guénon’s objection to “the reign of quantity”, you still have problems—there are contradictions in the texts and, further, there are philological difficulties in the texts, not least that the Hebrew word for “God”, “Elohim”, actually means “gods” in some places, so that the Hebrews were effectively polytheistic, contrary to Christian assertions (the advent of YHWH, as discussed, is really the advent of the Buddhist bindi—of null, of zero; the God of gods is nothing—it isn’t one thing, it’s the space where the god should be on the Ark of the Covenant) .

So whichever way you cut it, the Bible and the Koran—though more so the Bible, because it depends on a larger body of supporting documents—cannot be what they purport to be so far as Christianity and Islam are concerned, since the supporting documentation doesn’t back up the assertions made by each faith to be the “one, true, and final religion”.

I had a scan for contradictions in the Koran today, and I found a fantastic page that listed all the errors in the book—a fantastic page by a Christian apologetic ministry; it was very thorough, as only a true hater can be thorough when he itemises his hate-object’s faults, but, of course, there are even longer books that list the contradictions and problems with the Bible…

And, remember, it’s not just about the New Testament, though there are problems there, because the Old Testament is meant to be the boot-loader for Jesus, so it has to be copper-bottomed to support the assertion that Jesus is the Messiah—and it isn’t.

Islam and Christianity are very popular religions—and we know, from an elitist perspective, that what is popular is usually low quality and false; and, sure enough, both religions allow you to lie to defend the faith, since the masses thrive on lies—which means we can’t ultimately trust anything these popular religions say (imagine if you met a man who said to you, “I think it’s okay to lie when it suits my purposes”; how much would you trust what he said?).

What religion isn’t very popular?

Buddhism—because it actually tells people to be truthful and honest, neither popular positions, especially with the masses. And, besides, being noble, it does’t try to twist your arm to join it by threatening “hell forever and ever unless you believe (blindly) in my Church.”

So scriptures can be entirely false, entirely for instructional purposes, and still convey important information, but not if these are meant to be revealed documents that point to “the one final truth”.

Further, just because there are problems with the Bible and the Koran doesn’t mean nothing in these books is true—the life of Jesus happened basically as recounted, as did the life of Muhammad; however, these documents don’t provide the strong warrant claimed by those religions, that warrant being “this is the final irrefragable truth, anyone who fails to follow it is doomed—only total belief can save you”.


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