The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #150459   Message #3541162
Posted By: Little Hawk
24-Jul-13 - 09:11 AM
Thread Name: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
Nice to hear you've been "saved", Tunesmith. ;-) I would wager that the God you once believed in was quite unrealistic, and violated the laws of Nature, right? But which laws, specifically? And why?

Musket, any religious story that "doesn't obey physics" is probably a myth (a symbolic tale) intended to make some sort of ethical or spiritual point, wouldn't you think? There are almost innumerable examples of those throughout known civilizations, all the way from Tierra Del Fuego to the Arctic and from China to pre-Columbian America. Only a minority of them are in the Christian tradition, and there's usually something interesting to learn about the cultures they came from by studying the tales.

For instance, I doubt that most Greeks took the story of Icarus literally. Perhaps some of the common people did, but I suspect that the more educated people realized that it was a parable about hubris:

"In Greek mythology, Icarus (the Latin spelling, conventionally adopted in English; Ancient Greek: Ἴκαρος, Õkaros, Etruscan: Vikare[1]) is the son of the master craftsman Daedalus. The main story told about Icarus is his attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. He ignored instructions not to fly too close to the sun, and the melting wax caused him to fall into the sea where he drowned. The myth shares thematic similarities with that of PhaŽtonóboth are usually taken as tragic examples of hubris or failed ambitionóand is often depicted in art. Today, the Hellenic Air Force Academy is named after Icarus, who is seen as the mythical pioneer in Greece's attempt to conquer the skies."

To throw out the parable on the basis that it "violates the laws of physics" (or of common sense) is to miss the point of the parable entirely...something that only an imagination-deprived chowderhead or an utter prat could possibly do, seems to me.

And to take it as literally would be similarly foolish, of course...but that's what both the fundamentalist who believes literally in myth AND the materialist who rejects it literally are doing. They're BOTH making the same error in being literal, but from the exact opposite point of view. One insists on literal belief. The other insists on literal disbelief. Both miss the point of the parable.