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AIBU?

To think this is an inappropriate passage of the Bible for a school Christmas service?

262 replies

RevolutionofOurTime · 26/11/2019 14:59

DD10 has been asked to do a reading at the school’s Xmas carol service.

The passage is Genesis 3: 8-15:

“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?" So he said, "I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself."

And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?" Then the man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate."

And the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"
The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." So the Lord God said to the serpent: "Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle and more than every beast of the field. On your belly you shall go and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." “

I’m not impressed. Surely they could have chosen other (NT) passages where the focus is not on original sin (and don’t blame a woman for it 🧐)?

I’m an atheist, but was raised a Catholic and I have no objection to DD taking part in the service. I have been to countless midnight masses (Xmas services where I’m from) and I’m sure the Genesis was never the focus.

IABU to think this is not appropriate for a Christmas service?

OP posts:
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churchandstate · 27/11/2019 14:56

BertrandRussell

No. I am saying it is impossible to say which of the things we hold to be self-evidently true will eventually be proven to be false. But I don’t doubt that some of the things we believe to be beyond dispute are nothing of the kind. We just don’t have the information yet.

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SarahAndQuack · 27/11/2019 14:58

So when you said “what we had to be self evident will be exactly etc ....” you were talking bollocks?

How on earth do you get there from her post?

Do you know of the concept of unknown unknowns?

This is also a scientific concept. We do not - by definition - know the boundaries of what we do not know. Therefore, there are many things we cannot anticipate.

This is not mysticism, or spiritual wittering. It's what any research scientist will tell you as he or she explains how research works.

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SarahAndQuack · 27/11/2019 14:59

In 20K years we would also have science, and that would be identical to what it is today. All the discoveries we made in the past we would make again, with the same results

I do not share your faith. And that's all you have - faith.

You have absolutely no way to prove we would hit upon the same discoveries, many of which are down to the most amazing chances.

And you also have no way to prove that, in your scenario, humanity wouldn't manage much better than we have, and would not have developed things far in advance of where we are now.

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churchandstate · 27/11/2019 14:59

In 20K years we would also have science, and that would be identical to what it is today. All the discoveries we made in the past we would make again, with the same results. Maths doesn't change, nor does physics...

Of course Physics changes. Or at least, our understanding of Physics changes, and that will amount to the same thing. We call X impossible and Y definite, but those words mean nothing. We don’t know what we don’t know.

Look at dark matter, quantum physics, alternative universe theories. We have no idea what gravity is.

Open your mind.

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SarahAndQuack · 27/11/2019 15:01

(Also, btw, I think your study would be complicated by the fact that, if humanity were all but wiped out by a deadly virus, the survivors would be a distinct population, and would develop accordingly. We would necessarily have the same scientific discoveries to make, because at a genetic and epigenetic level, we'd be dealing with a different population.)

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BertrandRussell · 27/11/2019 15:11

“ We call X impossible and Y definite, but those words mean nothing. We don’t know what we don’t know. ”

No. But we do know what we do know. This is the fallacy that says because we don’t know everything we know nothing.

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BertrandRussell · 27/11/2019 15:12

Or at least, our understanding of Physics changes, and that will amount to the same thing.“

It so does not amount to the same thing!

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SarahAndQuack · 27/11/2019 15:15

No one is denying that we know what we know.

We are pointing out that, in the past, people also had certainties. And they also had areas of speculation.

And, like us, sometimes they made mistakes about what parts of their knowledge lay in which category.

You claimed that we are different from people of the past, because (unlike them) we use scientific method, and therefore people of the future will be able to understand why we thought we knew certain things. But you don't seem to have much evidence for why this is a distinctive or unique position.

I don't know how helpful this debate is, because I think fundamentally, you are interested in proving you are ever so clever because you have heard of scientific method, and I'm interested in trying to understand people and things. We're probably not going to agree, because I'm not interested in feeling cleverer than anyone else, and you're not interested in understanding.

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churchandstate · 27/11/2019 15:18

BertrandRussell

We don’t know what we do know. We know what the best application what we believe is our knowledge tells us. But some of our knowledge might be wrong.

And yes, a changing understanding of Physics does amount to Physics changing (in the sense of the impact of those changes). It’s laws we thought were immutable turning out not to be so. That could mean fundamentally reimagining anything at all. We have no idea.

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BertrandRussell · 27/11/2019 15:23

“ We're probably not going to agree, because I'm not interested in feeling cleverer than anyone else, and you're not interested in understanding.”

Bloody hell, that’s rude. Fair enough.

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WhatisFreddoingnow · 27/11/2019 15:45

Christianity would not be replicated

Wouldn't we? Maybe God would intervene? Maybe that would be the time of the final judgement? Maybe we would develop the same religions again? You can't say that the above would not happen with any more certainty than a Christian with faith.

I don't think other religions (past and present) are or were completely wrong. I think God has allowed them all to have an element of truth but the difference is that Christianity has the whole truth.

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Lifecraft · 27/11/2019 15:52

@SarahAndQuack We're probably not going to agree, because I'm not interested in feeling cleverer than anyone else

Take comfort from the fact that based on this thread, I'm sure no one else feels you're cleverer than they are. Quite the opposite in fact.

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