Monday, July 19, 2010

Biblical suppression of the intellect

1 Corinthians 13: 9-12 KJV
9.For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10.But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11.When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12.For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

The above passage cited is one of my most hated passages in the entire N.T. for the simple fact that in my opinion it is an admission and acceptance of ignorance. I remember whenever I had some profound questions regarding certain scriptures in the bible that had no apparent response, my pastor would point me to this idiotic text as a reply to those things he had no answer for. I was told to be careful about the questions I asked because either I could inadvertently blaspheme against the holy ghost ( the unpardonable sin according to Matthew 12:31) or Satan can use those doubts to lead me astray.

This stupid text was used to solidify the belief that there were just some questions that you shouldn't ask, and that no matter how hard you tried they were beyond your comprehension as a man. Theists look at this as a form of humility, but I see it for what it is; voluntary ignorance induced by the fear of the unknown. There is nothing humble about being intellectually dishonest with oneself, by accepting those things you can't explain by faith and not even attempting to find answers. It is a complete surrender of your self, your intellect, who you are, and of your will to learn and grow in knowledge. The above text basically tells you that right now you may not see things clearly nor understand certain things, but when you get past this life and into your next life in the Lord you will know all things "even as also I am known".All the so called "mysteries" of the gospel will suddenly become clear to you, all your questions will miraculously be answered.

Christians willfully give up this life for the promises of a future life where there will be no pain, death, disease, nor any other negative aspects that are present in this life. They, like the Muslims prefer to sacrifice this life and the joys and pleasures that it brings for those of a future based on ancient myths composed two thousand years ago, by mostly anonymous authors who to this day scholars have been unable to identify. Even if they could identify the authors that still does not take away from the fact that theists are being led astray by primitive and mythological thinking. I have stated many times that a revelation is only a revelation to the one who claims to have received it, but that to the rest of us it is nothing more than hearsay.

Theists put their trust on the words of some unknown authors and even the words in scripture that have been attributed to Christ are nothing more than hearsay. Considering that the earliest gospel written was Mark and it is believed to have been written between 65-70 A.D. approximately 35 years after the alleged death of Christ,  most scholars lean towards the latter date due to the mentioning of the destruction of the second temple built by Herod the Great which happened around 70 A.D.  The Romans under the rule of Titus destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in order to put down the great Jewish revolt which had been going on for approximately 4 years. You can read more about this here:

The search for knowledge should not stop because you think there is no solution, a real researcher would shake heaven and earth till he found an answer. If he never found an answer he would die of old age in his quest, but others in future generations would continue the search and carry on from where he left off. Science in general is a work in progress, there are questions which may not be answered in our lifetime, but that does not mean that they may not find the solution in the future. Intellectual freedom allows us to search uninhibited by age old superstitions and unreasonable fear of the wrath of gods or goddesses.


  1. Very eloquently said! How can anyone rightly take a stance from their position on earth and announce that there is no further knowledge to be had nor found? Since we cannot travel anywhere near the speed of light we are limited by our search for answers of the universe from our telescopes and radio telescopes and infrared sensors.

    Now to say that some sheep herder looking up in the desert sky 2000 years ago, has suddenly been informed as to all the knowledge of the universe is just totally insane, when they knew nothing about planets, galaxies, nor the constant of the speed of light. They wrote with blind presumption thinking that their thoughts were being sent down to them by a god from above. When all along it was just their insane rambling thoughts.

    There has recently been a sighting of a UFO activity over China, I wonder what people's reaction would be that if other life forms came here to tell us that there was no bible god nor jesus in their vocabulary?

    I wish I could live long enough to witness an event like that. It would certainly put people in their places, all these years people have been proclaiming that we are alone. I don't see how we could be alone, the numbers are against it.

  2. Really? One of your most hated passages? Wow.

    Surely you would want to read it in its context, that is a letter to the church in Corinth. I am pretty sure that the meaning you have attached to it becomes pretty invalid.

    A better reading of it seems to me to be that he is discussing the fact that we won't know perfectly all things now (surely a non-controversial statement for Paul to have made) and giving them a rebuke for claiming to know all truths (c.f. earlier on in 1 Corinthians 13 "If I know all mysteries and have all knowledge, but have not love then I am nothing" (my own paraphrased translation) ) and then pointing out instead the primacy of love in the Christian life.

    Of course, I am not denying that your pastor could have used this text to say what you said he said, and I can see how he could have used that as a proof text to make his claim, but I don't think that is what Paul was meaning.

    Also, few "willfully give up their life" in any real sense, after all the resurrection (claimed to be bodily at least) seems to suggest a commitment by God (and extension those of us professing faith in him) to this existence now, but also a tension with the future new creation to come.

    I hope you don't mind me commenting here by the way, I mean no disrespect in disagreeing with you ;)

  3. Dale, that is what this blog is for. I am aware of the context of the cited text but in general it means exactly what I said it means. Faith is the abandonment of reason and that limits your ability to think out of the box. The bible is a book that is full of ancient mythology and fabricated history.

  4. "but in general it means exactly what I said it means."

    What do you mean "in general"? Of course "in general" anything could mean anything if you want it to. I need to see a good reason as to why this is what Paul actually meant when he wrote this, since I think he meant either the exact opposite, or something completely unrelated.

    Faith could be the abandonment of reason, thats not a particularly biblical definition of it, but whatever.

    No doubt the bible has some ancient mythology in it, I never said it did not, so I am not sure what that is meant to say. Fabricated history? I don't know if that is the correct way to understand history written from a certain point of view, but whatever.

  5. Okay Dale in reference to fabricated history many of the biblical stories have been shown to be false. There is a lot of myth mixed in with some historical facts. The early church has been known to also fabricate historical documents to support some of the stories told in the bible. The best example is the writings of Josephus to try to solidify the claim that Jesus existed and that secular historians had written about him.

    1 Corinthians 13 is a lesson on the superiority of love above all things. But when you read verses 8-10 Paul states that love never ends, that we know in part, but when we are perfected we shsll know all things fully. Then he goes back and ends by emphasizing that of faith, hope, and charity (love) love is the greatest of the three.

    Note that Paul was talking about a future existence since we could not be made perfect while still on Earth.

  6. Chat,

    "many of the biblical stories have been shown to be false"
    Like what? I don't think it has no myth inside its 66 books (the protestant canon that is), but I mean what parts do you specifically have in mind?

    Yes, I am aware of the partial forgery in Josephus, I don't see what relevance that has.

    I don't actually think Paul is talking about knowing all things in the sense of knowing all mysteries, since Paul seems to think we can know a great deal (not everything, but I don't know who would deny this anyway) earlier on in 1 Corinthians 13. When he says at the end, just before "now these three remain", " As we are fully known" it is obviously speaking about God knowing us, now this is not saying that God does not therefore know all, but more that he does not know us fully in that we are still sinful until that time. So, I think in context Paul is not talking about knowing things like "How far away is the sun" or "Where is my coffee?" but knowing God.

    Yes, Paul is most certainly being quite eschatological here.

  7. The creation myth, the flood myth, the tower of Babel is a myth and that's just for starters. With Paul and 1 Corinthians I will just agree to disagree. That conversation is going nowhere and you are starting to sound somewhat fundamentalist.

    The bible is chock full of myths mostly plagiarized from older religions of the region that predate Christianity. The entire Jesus tale has been told before on various occasions.

  8. I hope you don't think you are surprising me by labeling the first 12 chapters of Genesis (I presume you think the whole lot of Genesis is 'myth') as 'myths'. Obviously it is not a 21st Century realization that a literal Genesis is incompatible with todays scientific understanding of origins etc. What do you mean by 'myth' anyway, are you thinking from 'myth' to 'irrelevant'?

    Labels like 'fundamentalist' are a great way to stop a conversation, I am sorry you feel like, by me arguing from the text to what I think Paul was actually saying, I am not arguing, but instead sticking my head in the sand. (which is more or less what I presume you mean when you say 'fundamentalist').

    Um, where was the 'entire Jesus tale' mentioned in previous texts, would you mind pointing out to me the primary sources? (preferably with dates attached and readable translations).

  9. For pagan origins of the Christ myth you can find plenty of information here: if you are really interested in researching this you will do the work yourself. Don't expect me to spoon feed it to you.

    Here is an informative article on flood myths that predated the biblical account. Flood myths were pretty common among many cultures and the Hebrew myth is not an exception. I have stated that the bible is a conglomeration of some historical facts mixed with plagiarized myths from other cultures. If you are not up on this information maybe you should put down your bible and catch up.

  10. Sorry, forgot to post the link to the flood myths article. Here it is: