Language, what is it and can God write a book using it that only has one interpretati

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by OlderWaterBrother, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. OlderWaterBrother

    OlderWaterBrother May you drink deeply Lifetime Supporter

  2. OlderWaterBrother

    OlderWaterBrother May you drink deeply Lifetime Supporter

    These are the last two posts that I have yet to respond to:
  3. themnax

    themnax Senior Member

    'god' doesn't 'write books'. god chooses people, once every thousand years, give or take a few hundred, to be channeled by. sometimes they write books. sometimes their friends do. and then a bunch of other people come along, with all the different kinds of motivations people have, and tell each other what they think the channeler was trying to say. by the time the next channeler is chosen and comes along, everyone has it pretty thoroughly screwed up. and of course over that period of time, even a small fraction of it, meanings of words change, even whole languages come and go, so there's no hope trying to refer back to the original revelation. that's why every thousand years we get another one.

    the shorter answer is that no, a book cannot be written that can any part of it, nor in whole, have only one possible interpretation. the closest that can be approached to doing so, is to write a book of poetry, whose emotional content survives the evolution of language.

    trying to pin down a literary literal meaning to it, doesn't work and just completely defeats the purpose of the exercise.
  4. LanSLIde

    LanSLIde Member

    Well my two cents (I feel like an old man using such a phrase, and feel I sound like an idiot for sharing the thought that followed it):

    Being that at a reduction the Bible remains a collection of words, as does any holy book, or story, it is inevitably subject to interpretation. No two people interpret a sentence exactly alike, due to personality, social context and modern vs historical context. This is compounded by the fact that several individuals with their differing interpretations are in a position to interpret the holy books for others, and unfortunately the idea of "divine interpretation" through, a specific example, the "holy spirit" is simply unreliable. If, however, every single person who read a holy book interpreted it the same way, that would certainly be the word of God. Even with simple ideas, though, being comprehended the same way gives no heed to someone's attitude towards it. Maybe certain employees just don't want to wash their hands.
  5. OlderWaterBrother

    OlderWaterBrother May you drink deeply Lifetime Supporter

    Not to say that what you say isn't what's happened but it just seems to me, that people limit the abilities of God. If God wanted to give mankind a book with only one correct interpretation, not just channel a message now and again but a book so that anyone at anytime could have access to his wisdom and knowledge. It seems to me that God would have the wisdom and power to be able to do it.
  6. OlderWaterBrother

    OlderWaterBrother May you drink deeply Lifetime Supporter

    Thanx for sharing.

    Yes, I see your point and do believe that no matter what book or what has been said or written, people will come up with all kinds of ideas on what it says and means, although that doesn't mean all those ideas are necessarily correct.

    But what if God wanted to write a book with only one correct interpretation and use as his scribes humans, doesn’t it seem like God could do it?

    Actually doing what the book says is another story altogether.
  7. LanSLIde

    LanSLIde Member

    Yes indeed, although I guess the issue becomes apparent when free will and individual intelligence is involved
  8. tikoo

    tikoo Senior Member

    to say god is all powerful is just a magic thing . i wouldn't say that for all i've care for words and for all that i may love .

    occasionally i get over to Nevada to look at the writing on a certain stone . it's right off hwy50 and there's a free campground there .

    it's a beautiful wind-sculpted sandstone . above one flat face of it is a small depression , apparently carved into it as an offering place or a flower vase or something . i put dry flowers and feathers in it . just below are two snakes . and then the words old and older and yet older . the most recent i think would be those that are geometric . like the sign for two-legged :^:this one's also seen in old Chinese script .
    there's another word that combines this one with a zig-zag (many people) , a line of Existence , and an ellipse . i muse upon it as an idea of time relational to ancestors - and also to me reading it .

    many lines of Existence radiate to/from one interesting and natural little hole in that front face . what's the simplest way to say I Exist ? a good hard pencil , plenty of force , and a downward motion .

    and then , of where we come from ?
    One Place , within .

    earth wind and water hast made the hole at the center . along the side , a smaller face-surface was another such sign only much fancier . these are words of God ?
    there's a loopy figure similar to this : ee
    then that original shape was etched a little deeper . on the upward swoop of the 2nd loop the poet connected a circle .

    anyway , these words have survived through time . isn't this an essence of sacred words .
  9. OlderWaterBrother

    OlderWaterBrother May you drink deeply Lifetime Supporter

    It’s interesting to note that from the simple ambiguous statement “All employees must wash their hands before returning to work”, although you applied it to different people and circumstances, you came up with the same basic instructions for all. It seems the instructions were not so ambiguous after all.

    Second, the question isn’t whether someone can misinterpret something but whether something can be written that has but one correct interpretation and whether that correct interpretation can be found by those reading it and they can know that it's the correct interpretation without being told by the author, outside of what was written, that it is the correct interpretation.
  10. OlderWaterBrother

    OlderWaterBrother May you drink deeply Lifetime Supporter

    There actually many things that have been "authored" that have but one correct interpretation like test questions or crossword puzzles or jigsaw puzzles, so why not a book?
  11. Archemetis

    Archemetis Senior Member

    words are symbols whose meanings are derived from an individuals expireince with the reality behind the symbol. it is not possible to write a text with one interpretation. even if your god.....unless only one person ever reads it.

    there are more concrete words, ones that define physical realities....stick, rock, person, dog...ect. and there are words that attempt to define emotions or ideas or non-physical aspects of the human expirience. these are the words based on personal expirience, and that is somthing unique.
    think of the word many different expiriencial states can be lumped into the word love? and trully it is different every time.
  12. OlderWaterBrother

    OlderWaterBrother May you drink deeply Lifetime Supporter

    To me it's funny that people keep writing saying that it's impossible to write something that has only one interpretation and they write it anyway in the belief that what they say will mean what they want it to say to me and whoever else may read it. Yet they are imperfect humans and at the same time deny that God, who has accurate knowledge of the human brain, thought and language and how they work, should have the same confidence or even more so in what he has authored.
  13. Hoatzin

    Hoatzin Senior Member

    Um. It's pretty much indisputable fact that people did write the Bible; whether they were inspired by God or heatstroke is more of a bone of contention. Not that you can't believe whatever you want, but unless you have reason to believe that God personally and physically wrote the Bible Himself (and maybe show it to the class?), I'd concede that point.

    Having been in the thread what you are referring to: this thread smacks of butthurt, and I think you only started it to get other people involved who might take your side because they won't have seen you embarrass yourself yet.
  14. OlderWaterBrother

    OlderWaterBrother May you drink deeply Lifetime Supporter

    Why would it be necessary for God to physically write the Bible? There are many authors who dictated their books to secretaries and didn’t physically write their books, are you saying that means they didn’t author the books they wrote?

    I only started it because the conversation that we were having no longer had any relationship to the original topic of the thread and thus our discussion had hi-jacked the thread so I moved the discussion to this thread so we can follow the discussion where it might lead without continuing to hi-jack rudenoodle’s thread. Other than that you can think anything you like, you usually do.

    As for the embarrassment that you speak of, if I’m truly embarrassed as you speak of, why would I put thread links in both threads so that people see what was said before and how the discussion is continuing? Sometimes it just boggles the mind were you come up with this stuff.
  15. liquidlight

    liquidlight Senior Member

    The truth just is. It doesn't need to defend itself or tell or show others anything and it doesn't need or want to write a book. It just is.
  16. OlderWaterBrother

    OlderWaterBrother May you drink deeply Lifetime Supporter

    Okay, but what if God just wanted to write a book does that mean that he can't even if he wants to?
  17. Lynnbrown

    Lynnbrown Firecracker

    OWB, I am reminded of when the Holy Spirit came upon a group of people, and there were so many that there was a Language problem (since Babel) - and the Holy Spirit caused each person to hear In His Language what the disciple had said, even though the various disciples did Not speak a language different from his own. Off hand, I cannot remember the exact biblical reference...(but I bet you do :))
    So, even taking into consideration the fact of free will and Very varying levels of intelligence - if God Wanted to write a book that everybody interpreted the same way - then yes God could.
  18. OlderWaterBrother

    OlderWaterBrother May you drink deeply Lifetime Supporter

    Good Point and the reference is (Acts 2:5-11)
  19. Archemetis

    Archemetis Senior Member

    i didnt realize originally that we were talking about the christian god....apparently he can do anything.

    really though, name one book that is interpreted the same universally. the bible is perhaps the most diversly interpreted book on the planet.

    what makes you think god has any need or desire to use words? ime that is not how the divine communicates.
  20. Hoatzin

    Hoatzin Senior Member

    I don't think he's disputing that it's been interpreted in many ways. I think he's just saying that some of those interpretations are wrong.

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