Worldwide flood myths and Noah's Flood

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Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 18 2014 9:13 PM

MJ. Smith:

Josh:
I see this as evidence that there truly was a global flood.

It is only evidence that most peoples of the world have experienced severe flooding. One may be able to link certain related tales together to a common source and hence a common flood but that is uncommon and extremely regional. To claim that they all relate the same flood is what is known in the field as shovel-science. (We all know what one shovels, right?)

I was able to find an interesting comment by Charles Martin (the author of Flood Legends in my OP).

"One of the most fascinating commonalities is the idea that the vessel contained eight people.  Obviously, the Biblical version tells us that eight survived, but the Karina people in North America (part of an indigenous Carribbean tribe) tells us that "four couples" survived.  That, of course, is eight people.  Meanwhile, halfway around the world in India, the Hindu story of Manu and the Flood tells us that Manu and seven sages survive the ordeal.  Three cultures separated by thousands of miles - and each vastly different from the other - all believe eight people survived a Flood. Proof that the Flood was global?  No, but it's pretty hard to "rationally" explain away"

Such parallelism would tell me that these myths are detailing the same flood. What do you think?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 18 2014 9:17 PM

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Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 18 2014 9:24 PM

MJ. Smith:

Josh:
I was able to find quite an interesting article: http://www.icr.org/article/7863/

Let's just say that my fundamentalist father was originally supportive of this site. However, he came to view it as an excellent example of shovel-science and engaged in a multi-year written debate with Morris.

What a second. Weren't you the one that was just talking about faulty logic? Are you implying that this article is most likely invaild because of this past experience with this organization and its founder?

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 18 2014 9:43 PM

I sure hope we're not implying Jesus isn't buried in a little villiage in northern Japan (an exciting conversation I had with my spouse last night).  The amount of proof is quite amazing ... the common words between Japanese and hebrew. The dating of when he arrived.  What's even more amazing is that his travel through China is so well documented.

I only point this conversation out to demonstrate how non-Christians really love this stuff.

But there is a guy here in Sedona (whose first name is Guy) and publishes a young-earth scientific paper maybe every 6 months or so and distributes it to all the Sedonians for free. It's quite well written/supported.  But unfortunately it gets its heft from somewhat loose logic.  Like our villiage in Japan.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 18 2014 9:44 PM

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 18 2014 9:50 PM

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 18 2014 10:37 PM

Josh:

What do you think about Christian Apologetics?

I think it's great for them to man-up and admit that they are wrong.

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HansK | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 18 2014 11:24 PM

Josh:

Does anyone know a good resource that discusses in detail how the various flood myths found throughout the world relate to the Biblical Flood story?

This looks promising: http://www.amazon.com/Flood-Legends-Charles-Martin/dp/0890515530/

I, also, notice that this was in pre-pub: https://www.logos.com/product/40895/noah-the-real-story

See the article of Walton in Dict. of the Pentateuch (IVP). And also the Lexham Bible Guide on Genesis for a helpful introduction into the area (Flood re ANE traditions).

Hans

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Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 19 2014 3:20 PM

MJ. Smith:

Let's see,  3 cultures out of at least 500 share the same number of survivors. How many have just one survive? two? three? In fact is 3 cultures even as high as one would expect by chance?.... In the cultures that have 8 people survive, in how many of them is the 8 the result of significant symbolic numbers? 1-4-7 ... And what do you make of the Hindu version being all male survivors? And that Manu and the seven sages appear in many tales - and in the flood tale were rescued by an avatar of Vishnu in the form of a great fish? Or that Manu is the Hindu equivalent of Adam, the progenitor of mankind? And did I mention that the saptarṣi rarely refer to humans?

So what does it tell me? Someone is cherry-picking details out of context to build a great evening's entertainment. An that someone probably has little understanding of probability - or Hindu mythology.

Let me do some research and get back to you. It appears you have an ax to grind concerning young Earth creationism. We both have our own personal biases on this matter. Thanks for your contribution to this thread. However, until I do more digging - I'm afraid I am still in the same boat (pun intended!) as when I posted my OP.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 19 2014 3:51 PM

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Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 19 2014 6:27 PM

MJ. Smith:
I have said nothing about young earth creationism. I have said nothing about my beliefs regarding a global flood. I even directed you to a reasonable source for evidence. I have a big ax to grind on the misuse of mythology and/or logic ...  If you believe I was using any other ax, please show me where.

Its not very hard to read between the lines. However, maybe I am mistaken.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 19 2014 7:22 PM

Josh, I think part of the issue here is the difference between evidence and proof. Lots of things can constitute evidence without rising to the level of being proof. There are other possible explanations for the flood stories beside the one you are considering. That said, the fact that other possible explanations exist doesn't mean that they are "true" and your option is not. It may be that the variety of flood stories worldwide have some connection to the Noah story, or maybe some do, and some have other sources or explanations.

One thing to remember is that almost everything is evidence of something. Another thing to remember is that it is absurdly easy to draw the wrong conclusion about any given "evidence". Simply having an idea of what you think the "conclusion" is supposed to be causes all manner of things that have any sort of connection whatsoever appear to be "proof"...when it is nothing of the sort. This phenomenon (and others) are partially to blame for the variations in religious belief. People are constantly convincing themselves that this or that has been "proved" when the thing in question isn't remotely true. Most religious belief, if closely examined, can be explained as a function of psychological and perceptual glitches common to humans, such as optical and perceptual illusions, optimism biases, cognitive traps, and the like. These things affect virtually everyone and even when one is cognizant of the influence such things can have, that doesn't necessarily cancel out the effect. On the other hand, not being aware of these things means that they can have their effects without even tripping awareness alarms.

Add to this the situation I have addressed in other threads--that YHWH has stated explicitly that He has deliberately introduced disinformation and misinformation into the mix--and it becomes hideously easy to draw false conclusions about important concerns.

And I wouldn't rely too heavily on the Holy Spirit to keep you out of the weeds...that is precisely what the guy is doing who thinks you are wrong about most of what you believe, and he isn't right about anything, is he?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 19 2014 8:03 PM

Well said David Paul or as my grandfather would have put it "always believe that there is more to learn, some of which will modify your current beliefs"

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 19 2014 8:44 PM

David Paul:
Josh, I think part of the issue here is the difference between evidence and proof. Lots of things can constitute evidence without rising to the level of being proof. There are other possible explanations for the flood stories beside the one you are considering. That said, the fact that other possible explanations exist doesn't mean that they are "true" and your option is not. It may be that the variety of flood stories worldwide have some connection to the Noah story, or maybe some do, and some have other sources or explanations.

I'm not looking for evidence to prove a global flood. I already believe in a global flood. I believe that Genesis chapters 1 through 11 are historically accurate based on my theological convictions (aka my faith). As such, my interpretation of the evidence will be filtered through this worldview. This is no different than when an ontological naturalist interprets the evidence. You cannot escape your philosophical foundations.

However, this doesn't mean we shouldn't attempt to rationally decipher the world around us. It just boils down to what we personally feel is the most convincing interpretation of the evidence in concert with our beliefs.

I started this thread because I want to further investigate the claim that some of the worldwide flood myths can be traced back to the Genesis flood event. I may or may not be convinced at the end of my journey. However, if I find that this particular interpretation of the evidence is strong, I may want to incorporate it into my Christian apologetics arsenal.

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Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 19 2014 8:51 PM

I found this article in one of my Logos resources:

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 19 2014 9:17 PM

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 20 2014 6:41 AM

I agree with MJ (probably accidentally).  I remember clearly the day I was sitting in an evidences class in Bible college.  The professor was well read, a good speaker, and didn't go off into speculations of similarity. But he did use an argument I could see was invalid.  That, combined with an egotism that pervades Christianity, was the end for me.  It was about 3pm in the afternoon.  That was the last time I opened a Bible.

It was over 30 years later that I 're-started'. The pastor's arguments started with 'there are many views', continued with 'it's hard to know' and finished with 'this is what I think'.  That was enough for me.  

As can obviously be observed on this forum, I remain sceptical; I check everything (thank you Logos!).  And I remain angry at that professor.  Arguments are not 'worldviews'. They change people.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 20 2014 8:16 AM

For me, Denise, it was my 7th grade Pentecostal science teacher (yes, I know...who knew that such a creature even existed?). It was a private secular school, but there she was--floor length skirts, top knot, the whole nine yards. My mother, who doesn't have a religious bone in her body, had given me a Children's Living Bible for Christmas a year or two earlier. I read it up to Leviticus 1, where like a lot of people I got bogged down in the sacrifices. No matter...I just used the illustrated plates to skip ahead and found the well-known stories of Jonah, Daniel in the lion's den, and David and Goliath. And I read the gospels, too. The thing that really resonated for me was the Ten Commandments. I knew that I was reading the mind of God.

But there are other influences in a kid's life. Television, books, and...7th grade Pentecostal science teachers. One day, out of the blue, she said, "You can't believe in evolution and the Bible." Well, evolution seemed like such a certain thing for me back then...so I never picked up that Bible again. Over the next few years, I teetered back and forth between agnosticism and atheism...that is, right through the years of high school and right into college. Lucky me...I really could have used a bit of direction. Without getting into details, YHWH reached out when I was 22 and tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Remember Me." (No, I didn't hear a voice...and no, it wasn't a question, any more than the fourth commandment is a question when it says, "Remember the Sabbath day...".)

I used to have a bit of resentment for that science teacher, Denise, but I am fully convinced that her gaffe and my time outside the sheepfold was simply part of His plan. I'll be honest...I wish it had worked out a different way. But I realize He allowed it for a reason. I doubt I would be where I am without the experiences I had. Most people would look at where I am at my age and either laugh or cry and say, "You aren't anywhere at all!" But He has blessed me beyond anything I could ask or imagine through something called Logos Bible Software.  It was right after I took a class in Hebrew that He flipped a switch about five years ago and started opening my eyes...and not coincidentally that was the last time I was employed in a position that required my Masters degree. Since that time I have either been unemployed or absurdly underemployed, making about 1/4 to 1/3 of what the government considers to be the official poverty line. Be that as it is, I am the richest person on the planet, because I have L3, my L3 notes, and my monthly payment to Logos always gets paid.

That science teacher will never be my favorite person, but she played the role in my life she was intended for...and I'm okay with that.

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Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 20 2014 10:09 AM

@ MJ, Denise, David Paul

Anecdotes and personal reactions can cut many ways, and aren't necessarily better evidence or indicators of anything than the myths Josh wants to explore. If we are to aid in Josh's search, let's stick to Logos resources before emotions run high.

Posts 10890
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 20 2014 10:40 AM

Go for it, Lee!  Lead the band.  

Find Josh some resources to support his worldview.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

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