Religion

Is it Logical to Believe in the Bible

Manuel A. Ortiz
English 101
Mr. Insolera
April 6, 2010
Manuel A. Ortiz
Mr. Insolera. English 101
Is it Logical to Believe in the Bible?
Thesis Statement
Religious beliefs have been around for thousands of years; as the years and the centuries go by, new denominations are formed based on different human interpretations of the Bible. But is it really logical, or rational to believe what all religions ultimately stand for? Is it logical to believe there is indeed a God looking down upon humans and listening to their prayers? Perhaps this is just a myth, one that people have created over the centuries to comfort their inability to explain abstract objects, our planet, and human life itself.
I. Bible and Religion
A. Origin and concept of the Bible
1. Old and new testaments
2. What the Bible stands for
B. Laws of Religion.
1. Becoming a follower
2. Following the rules
II. Contradictions in the Bible
A. Creation of earth
1. Scientific evidence contradicts Genesis 1
B. Love and Hate
1. Turn the other cheek
III. Arguments against thesis
A. Benefits of believing in a higher being
1. Absence of uncertainty
2. Leave it in the hands of God
B. Benefits of being part of a religious organization
1. Surrounded by good people
2. Peace of mind
IV. Tradition and why people believe in religion
A. Brainwashing
1. Taught to believe at an early age
2. Negative notion towards non-believers
B. It is easier to follow the crowd
1. Ignorance because of reverence

Defining religion has proven to be problematic. A number of modern scholars of religion have commented on the difficulty of defining what religion really is. In some cases the definitions can be too narrow, defining religion in terms of a particular person’s point of view or religious beliefs from his or her culture and in essence tending to exclude the religious beliefs of other cultures. Moreover, definitions can also be too vague and inclusive that they do not sufficiently spell out religion from other areas of human thought such as psychology, law, and so forth and so on.
All human societies have some type of a belief system that can be called religion. Religion is any systematic approach to living that involves beliefs about one's origins, one's place in the world, or a responsibility to live and act in the world in particular ways. Religions also teach people about God and also teaches how to worship and have reverence to God. Within the religion blanket, countless subgroups, referred to as denominations are formed and amended based on human interpretation of religion, level of devotion, and the subgroup’s perception of the sacred writing that is governed by.
Whether in accord with or against religion there is no need to dwell on the obvious limitations a person faces when writing about such a complex and bewildering subject. To try and condense several thousand years worth of history, which at times can itself be contradictory at that, into a single writing means that much of it, even of real importance, will be left out. Furthermore, given the fact that there are a vast number of denominations, all of which ideally should be studied for a more comprehensive understanding of religion in its totality, and of what is logical to believe and what is not logical to believe, the focus on this particular paper will be geared more towards Christianity; one of the most dominant religion across the world, and the sacred writing which it abides by, the Holy Bible.
The Bible is the sacred writing and authoritative guide of the Christian religion. The Bible is comprised of two units, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament’s teachings are derived from an earlier sacred writing, the Hebrew Sacred Scriptures. According to Sr. Godfrey Driver, the Old Testament was composed between the twelfth and the second century BCE (bible-researcher.com). Once Christianity was established during the first century, church fathers compiled together several gospel accounts from the devotees of Jesus Christ into the Bible. The inclusion of the gospel accounts were appended to the already adopted Hebrew scripture and eventually came to be known as the New Testament.
The New Testament marked the coming of Jesus Christ as the son of God. The most apparent intent of the New Testament is to reveal God’s plan of action as well as himself. The New Testament describes how God sent Jesus to earth in a human form, consequently conveying the message and personifying the image of God himself as explained in John 10.30. Jesus’ mission can be fundamentally divided into two objectives; the first was to project a palpable illustration of how the devotees of the scriptures should conform to a code of ethics. The second, as explained in 1st Peter 3:18 was to be sacrificed in order to cleanse all of his disciples from what the scriptures classify as sin, (straying from the rules set forth in the scriptures).
It is also important to note that neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament were written by the Hebrew God himself. The scriptures clearly disclose the fact that its substance was authored by men. It is written in the second book of Timothy that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (3.16). Furthermore the second book of Peter reads “but rather human beings moved by the holy-spirit spoke under the influence of God” (1.21). It is stated clearly in the Bible that men, not a higher being but men, were inspired and wrote the Bible.
Although some people believe this would be great material for a movie involving Greek Mythology, or perhaps the fourth installment of The Lord of the Rings, the Bible has become over the millenniums a mandated injunction and the doctrine of all who become Christians. Christianity does not deviate from its belief that amenably obeying the commands of the Bible is the only way to be saved and thereupon the only way into what the scriptures refer to as heaven. Heaven is the ultimate price for all Christians depicted in the Bible as a place of eternal resting.
Albert Einstein once said “I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. (Haselhurst, and Howie spaceandmotion.com). Needless to say Einstein’s belief of a higher being was to say the least, lacking. Albeit as a pioneer of science it would have been, to an extent, contradictory for him to believe in a God and the Bible. However one must consider why scientists find it challenging to believe in the Bible, as it is in effect a non factual memoir. Take for example the very first chapter of the Bible, Genesis one. The argument can be made in saying that it is causeless to go beyond this chapter in order to question the validity of the Bible.
Gary Greenberg, president of the Biblical Archaeology Society of New York, and author of 101 Myths of the Bible, when referring to the first five books of the Bible states, “Although these five books contain no claim that they were written by Moses, from the time they had passed into the hands of readers over two thousand years ago until about the middle of the nineteenth century, it had been almost universally accepted by religious scholars that he was the sole author: For this reason, we still identify these volumes as the “Five Books of Moses” (Greenberg xv). It’s quite feasible for an inquisitive mind to immediately undermine the credibility of the five books of Moses given the fact that it is only assumed Moses wrote them.
Nevertheless, Moses was appointed the duty of inscribing into the Bible the chronicle that came to be known as the creation of earth. To paraphrase, Genesis one explains that the Hebrew God spoke, as he spoke an inconceivable array of events took place. On the first day God created light; light and darkness were separated and classified as day and night. The second day God created the skies. Dry land, seas, all seed bearing plants, and trees were all created on the third day. The fourth day God created the sun, the moon and also the stars; on this day he also separated day and night. On the fifth day, God created all sea creatures and birds. Finally on the sixth day he went on to create land creatures and ultimately created man to rule over all the earth.
The aforementioned stories clearly contradict conventional scientific wisdom; Genesis one and its account is amongst the most controversial theological issues among those who question the accuracy of the Bible. Greenberg goes on to say, “Genesis has two contradictory stories about how and why light was separated from darkness. The first story takes place before the appearance of the sun and moon. After the appearance of the first light on the first day, Genesis says that God divided the light from the dark and called the light “Day” and the dark “Night.” Yet on the fourth day, God once again separated the light from the dark and divided time into day and night. Why does this happen twice?” (15).
Throughout the Bible, faith and the belief that its content is doubtlessly the almanac of earth’s true creation as well as God’s plan for humanity is something that is sternly enforced in an unsubtle manner. Any person that claims to be a Christian, or that believes in the Bible and abides by its commands is taught to turn a blind eye to the inquisition of the mind when questioning the correctness of the Bible. When an investigative approach towards the Bible is enacted, Bible advocates counter with what seems as a universal response; God’s power is incomprehensible and humans will never understand God, and that the Bible must be believed.
Progression of science has provided humans with documented factual evidence to show that millions of years ago dinosaurs were the inhabitants of this planet. Explaining further how this contradicts Genesis one would be a tautology. Defenders of the Bible however find fatuous ideas to support Genesis one nonetheless. Many devoted believers use other scriptures to inspire faith in those who doubt. In an effort to explain the confutation of Genesis one and the existence of dinosaurs, one scripture that is often used is in second Peter where it says "with the lord a day is like a thousand years." (3.8). This scripture gives the implication that perhaps Genesis one was not written in a six day time period and that it is actually not chronologically detailed.
More often than not this futile attempt fails to measure up, for even if the mathematical expression described in the aforementioned scripture is applied, the concept still falls short in comparison to proven scientific facts. An article written by Kenneth Chang in the New York Times quotes Dr. Paul E. Olsen, a professor of earth and environmental sciences at Columbia University's observatory; “A precious metal belonging to the platinum group of elements, Iridium, is more abundant in meteorites than in rocks on Earth. A spike of iridium in 65 million-year-old rocks gave rise in the 1970's to the theory that a meteor caused the demise of the dinosaurs. That theory remained controversial for years until it was corroborated by other evidence and the impact site was found off the Yucatan Peninsula.” (16)
Dr. Olsen’s statement doesn’t only account for the fact that evidence has been documented of rocks that are as old as 65 million years, but that indeed dinosaurs walked this earth. What is more is that by stating that the theory of a meteor causing the demise of dinosaurs millions of years ago is factual, lets the reader know that the universe the land and life itself were present for much longer than the bible accounts for. Nonetheless, faith is imposed and mandatory in Christianity, one must follow the ways of the bible in order to make it to heaven.http://www.oppapers.com/essays/Religion/441138

Religion 8 of 10 on the basis of 2000 Review.