Once you start to interpret the Bible as allegory rather than take it at face value, it becomes possible to make it mean almost anything you like, and is therefore reduced to an interesting curiosity like the prophecies of Nostradamus.
There is a wide variety of literature between non-fiction and fiction. To be an allegory does not mean that you can take it to mean whatever you want it to mean. The correct way to understand an allegory is to understand the intended meaning of the author.
As is readily apparent from the text, the historical context, and how later authors quoted this work, the author of the creation story intends to convey that God is the author of creation and that creation is good. Details such as how long creation took and the order of events are not meant as scientific facts.
Consider a different form, which you may be more familiar with: Stephen Colbert uses satire. This is neither meant to be taken literally, nor is it meant for the audience to understand it however they wish. The audience is intended to understand (and usually does understand) what Colbert means, even though he does not say it.
There is no requirement that it be essential or true. It's obviously likely that the writer of the allegory thinks it's a truth.
But that doesn't mean it is one. And even if we can prove that the message isn't a true one, it would still qualify as an allegory.
Sorry, but the fact that the bible has allegories is not proof of God.
I realize that disappoints you.
I'm sorry if I gave you the impression that I believe allegories reveal truths by definition. What I mean is that they reveal what the authors believe to be truth.
Yeah, I was bing flip about the big bang and evolution being the message behind the Genesis allegory. But the point is valid. If you're going to excuse some elements of the Bible from being provably wrong because they are allegories, then you have to accept that any part of the bible might be an allegory. Including God.
The whole point is to read the Bible from the perspective of the authors. Any halfway honest reading of the Bible (and compared against the history of the Jewish and Christian peoples) would lead to the understanding that the authors believed in God.
Not quite. An allegory is a story that reveals an idea through a figurative setting. There's no requirement that it be essential or true.
Allegory: the expression by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions of truths or generalizations about human existence; also : an instance (as in a story or painting) of such expression
And of course if you're going to excuse the Bible as being allegory, and thus the specifics no longer matter, Genesis could just as easily be an allegory for the big bang and evolution as for a god.
In order to to separate the truth from the figurative language, you have to read to books from the perspective of those who wrote them. The authors had no concept of evolution or the big bang, so that could not be what they were driving at.
Fiction most certainly belongs in the bible. The bible freely mixes fact and fiction.
Again, you must read the Bible from the perspective of the authors who wrote it. Their intent is not primarily to entertain, or to tell a story, but to share their understanding of God.
That being said, you can reject their understanding of God. However, you cannot reasonably put your own world view over their writing in order to explain it.
To properly understand scripture, you must read it in the way that it was written. The genesis creation story is an allegory, and not meant to be taken literally.
Fine. I have no problem with god as an allegory. It's the idiots that think there really is a god I have a problem with.
An allegory is a story that reveals an essential truth through a figurative setting. The essential truth that Genesis 1 reveals is that God is the creator, and that creation is good. If Genesis was as you describe, then it would be called fiction, not allegory, and would not belong in the Bible.
These theories are so far from compatible with each other a 4 year old can instinctively comprehend the contradiction. Unfortunately, society then spends the next 10 years teaching the child the obvious conclusion is wrong...
To properly understand scripture, you must read it in the way that it was written. The genesis creation story is an allegory, and not meant to be taken literally. I admit, you have to be at least six before you know what an allegory is.
See what I did there? Ad hominem's are fun!
You have faith that you know a truth about our universe despite your lack of scientific evidence, and there may not be any amount of scientific evidence that can make you change your mind.
You claim that if knowledge does not come from science, then it is not knowledge. This is not a scientific statement. Science is a means of gaining knowledge. Science never claims to have an exclusive claim on knowledge. If you believe that science is the only way of gaining knowledge, then you are making a claim that has no scientific basis, and your views are self contradictory.
A person who loves truth will accept that truth from wherever it comes, be it science, philosophy, experience or scripture.
Just imagine what we lost when the idiot Christians burned the Library of Alexandria. Just imagine how much was lost in ideas because if stupid laws or traditions in a certain islam bible. Just imagine how many scientists were killed in early society in general because their ideas or understanding was greater than some monarch, and we cant have that! Humanity has gone out of it's way to destroy knowledge in the name of hating change. Organized political Religion (Catholic church, Radical Islam, Moonies, David Koresh, Church of the Latter Day saints, Scientology, etc....) is simply a powerful tool to help spread hate and control. None of these religions have ANY use other than to keep certain people in power and rich at the expense of others. Knowledge levels the playing field, therefore heads of powerful organizations go out of their way to SQUASH knowledge as it threatens their power and might. Not all religion does this, but the ones that have a few that benefit greatly over the control of a large group of followers does.
[CITATION NEEDED] Just so you know, your understanding of history has no basis in reality. Spend some time reading, or at least on google. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Alexandria#Destruction
PL/I -- "the fatal disease" -- belongs more to the problem set than to the solution set. -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5