Why am I reading this book?

It's a good book, I'm enjoying the story, but I know it's fiction and just something that somebody made up. So why am I so keen to find out what happens next to these imaginary characters? What is it that keeps us reading stories?
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAsked:
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DaydreamsCommented:
There are sites that discuss movies and music, and if they tell the end or outcome, they usually put up a "warning, spoiler alert". This way you can enjoy the story without knowing how it turns out. Still, we do watch some movies and read books over and over. Our curiosity is also about the interesting journey, not necessarily always about the destination.
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
If you're talking about the Bible, you're keen to it because it's real, far more real than those who have lead you to believe otherwise.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
Not the Bible. I mentioned that it was fiction.

We want to know what happens in the story, but why? We know someone made it up, that the characters don't exist, but we still want to know how it turns out.
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
I'm glad to know you don't consider the Bible fiction. My response was because I've seen similar questions by people who don't believe it is real.

In general, we are curious souls. Whether fiction or real, once we are sufficiently drawn into a plot or scene, we usually want to know the outcome. Simply a product of curiosity.

We wouldn't have medical and scientific breakthroughs if we didn't have that curiosity. Curiosity certainly has been beneficial in many fields.
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DaydreamsCommented:
I believe human beings are innately curious. While they may know that the story is fiction, our curiosity makes us want to find out how the story is told, and how it ends.



>..it's real, far more real than those who have lead you to believe otherwise.

I didn't know anyone knew exactly what happened in history from the continually rewritten accounts of a couple of thousand years ago. Maybe you could assess more recent events for their veracity, such as the Loch Ness monster. I'm not saying that faith doesn't make things real, but if belief makes things real then we need to stop locking up schizophrenics and ask them more about those people following them and poisoning the water.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
So why so curious?

I see that we need to explore and wonder (I'm doing that with this question), but when we know the story isn't real why are we still curious.
If we needed to follow new trails to find food curiosity makes sense, but if we knew that the path we were following led to nothing would we still waste time following it?
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
To daydreams: A debate on the authenticity of the Bible is not the author's subject, nor is it actually debatable. The manuscripts haven't changed, and most of them agree. The exponential effect of the Bible on the innumerable hearts of men surpass all objections by leaps and bounds. One has to willfully close themselves to that, or perhaps never been really given the chance or taken the chance to heartfully search it out.

Nonetheless, thank God for curiosity. It has lead many people who never knew about the Bible to find things that satisfied the very depths of their hearts.

And thank God for curiosity in the realm of science and medicine. We are all the better for that as well.

To Ors-Ankr-Aten: We sometimes are drawn to fiction simply because of their appeal. Often poetry is not real, but sometimes what we read simply resonates, and we find it hard to put it down.

We started as children that way. Whether it be nursery rhymes or "The Little Old Lady That Lived In A Shoe," we've been drawn to fictional things from our beginnings of awareness.

As we develop our own personal likes, we discover fictional writings that resonate more with what appeals. Some like science fiction and can't put down a Star Wars novel. Some like romantic fiction. Some like other kinds. But once a fiction captures our attention, our curiosity demands we know the outcome.
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DaydreamsCommented:
>..when we know the story isn't real why are we still curious.

I believe we can still learn from even made up scenarios. That's what "homework" is, essentially.
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
If we needed to follow new trails to find food curiosity makes sense, but if we knew that the path we were following led to nothing would we still waste time following it?
Yes (lol). Even though we may know our curiosity leads to nothing of substance, curiosity doesn't vaporize at that point.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
Are you suggesting that perhaps on a quest to find a new food source that if someone comes back along the trail we are following and says there is nothing that way, we still want to follow the trail to see that he is right? Even though our tribe may starve as a result?
That doesn't sound sensible.

If our desire to read stories is purely from our own upbringing there must be many people who were not encouraged this way. But they still want to know the end of the story.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
Yes I am avoiding discussing the Bible.  Haven't even asked who's bible you are speaking of. My question is as the title suggests, why do we need to know what happens.
(Unsure if that sentence should end with a question mark)
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
Are you suggesting that perhaps on a quest to find a new food source that if someone comes back along the trail we are following and says there is nothing that way, we still want to follow the trail to see that he is right? Even though our tribe may starve as a result?
Regarding the food hypothetical question: Not at all! Our hunger would dispel that curiosity within reasonable time. (Or is it not hypothetical, and you are part of a tribe?)

Regarding works of fiction: Certainly! Besides going off tangent regarding food, wasn't reading fiction (as a whole) what you were talking about?

Regarding the Bible: Since your question was open-ended (had no specific subject and didn't mention what book), and since this forum is "Philosophy and Religion," should it be that difficult to perceive why I may have ventured there?
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
Dsacker  I can see how asking in a ta called philosophy and religion might lead you to think I was asking about the Bible,  but there are, in the UK anyway, buildings licensed to sell beer, wines and spirits. It does not mean that if I enter one that I need to drink all three.

Daydreams, you make a very good point. The journey, not the outcome.
I'm still left wondering why we need the journey, but that narrows the question down nicely.
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
I made a point earlier that we develop our own personal likes. Personally I wouldn't enter any of the buildings that sell beer, wine and spirits, because that is not to my liking, so I don't even entreat curiosity in that direction.

However, I might enter a building where someone was blowing glass and making beautiful artifacts, simply because I happen to like creativity of that nature. Or I might enter a building where I heard music playing.

And yes, it was a good point on the journey. Why do we need the journey?

At the time we may not know the answer, but if our curiosity (and appeal) leads us down a certain journey, we may discover things that we did not know would benefit us, or we may discover things we know in the future to avoid. Either way, curiosity and "the journey" are often a discovery.

My wife and I have loved to hike for many years. We have driven to and hiked in many states in western United States. We have developed an inside joke between us, that if we see a path or a dirt road, and one of us asks, "Well, I wonder where that goes," if we have the time, we will usually head down that path simply for exploration sake. Many times we have found some of the most beautiful things we never would have discovered otherwise. Sometimes it was simply a dead end. We usually will turn around after a reasonable time. But often it has been very rewarding.
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Delphineous SilverwingGood Ol' GeekCommented:
With so much hiking ... do you geocache?
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
I certainly keep a Garmin along with me, but if I published any trails, it was a few years back.

The focus for our last few hikes have centered around southern Utah, specifically Canyonlands. We can't get enough of that place, and just about any place we go, there are published trails. I suppose our final frontier would be "The Maze" (the western-most remote district in Canyonlands), but seeing as we're at the 60-year mark of life, our hiking has slowed down just a bit.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
Sounds great, hiking around the countryside and to be able to wander up a small path just to see where it goes. Might be a pot of gold up there, or a new view of a mountain, or just somewhere quiet to sit and eat your sandwiches.
I think that walking trails may be stretching the comparison a bit, I know I started it with hunting for food, but an actual trail will have something either during or at the end. Of course a path rarely has an end, just a point where you need to turn back if you want to be home before it gets dark.
I think there are parallels with the journey through a book, but have to be careful not to use one as the proof of the other.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
And I'm never going to accept that 60 is "getting on a bit". I do have a couple of years to go,but apart from a few aches and pains and missing teeth I refuse to allow myself to get old.
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
Thank you. That is kind of you to say. I do have to recognize a few constraints, but they're certainly not show-stoppers (lol).

You might even consider this topic that you opened a bit of an unexpected journey in itself. :)
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
Very conversation is a journey I suppose.
I was wondering if needing to find out what happens in a story is some sort if necessary survival trait.
Perhaps vital information used to be passed on through story telling and those who survived whatever nasties around were those who were better able to recall a story.
Perhaps like the Australian aboriginal songs that tell them how to cross huge distances across deserts, which direction to go and where to find water is all incorporated into the song, and the song can be taught to someone else.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
Phone!!!!! I meant Every conversation.
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
In days of old (before cars, printing presses, etc), people told each other the news as they passed each other walking, while riding an animal or wagon, or via a runner or messenger. I would not think it would be the way people informed each other, but the essence of wanting to be informed, that has been a trait of humanity since God created them.

Consider the account of Adam and Eve. Adam's first assignment was to name all the animals. That in itself gave Adam a wealth of information about living creatures.

Consider the down side of the desire to know. Eve was deceived into disobedience, being wrongfully persuaded that the forbidden fruit of the knowledge of good and evil would give her some kind of knowledge she needed to have.

So that trait to possess knowledge has been innate from the beginning. And it has been used for great things and for terrible things.

I like the reference to Aboriginal songs. That even reminds me of the dance that a returning scout bee will do in the hive, which tells the others where he went and found nectar.
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DaydreamsCommented:
>..vital information used to be passed on through story telling..

I think that;'s a big part of it. Before any written words, and even after as printing (which was only relatively recent) people only knew of the world through story-telling. We may have evolved to like stories because they impart knowledge. People love to read fiction and watch stories on TV, whether they represent "reality" or not. Human beings love stories.


>..this topic that you opened a bit of an unexpected journey in itself. :)

Yes lol a virtual exploration!
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DaydreamsCommented:
I just saw your previous post now dsacker; we do have some of the same ideas.
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Delphineous SilverwingGood Ol' GeekCommented:
Of course as a story passes from person to person, it changes into another creature - sometimes better, sometimes worse.

Stories about Jesus walking on water could have started with "Jimmy went swimming today" or "...fell in the mud"- for example.
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
Actually, stories that diminish the beautiful truths about Jesus, Who He really is (God manifested in flesh), His miracles, etc, usually start with people who infect others with their unbelief and derision.
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tliottaCommented:
A debate on the authenticity of the Bible is not the author's subject...
True enough. But then, you were the very first to bring it into this thread in your very first statement. You "opened the door" with your own personal agenda.

Back to the question...

Maybe some 35 years ago, I read an article in 'Omni' magazine. (Is that still published in some form?)

It started with a hypothetical description of a group of "cavemen" tens of thousands of years ago, somewhere down deep in a cave with flickering torches or other firelight dimly illuminating primitive animal drawings on the cave walls. The occasion was a (hypothetical) coming-of-age ritual when elders would use the wall images to tell youths of dangers and methods of dealing with leopards and other wild beasts. The lighting added atmosphere.

In some youths, a capability existed that allowed some to imagine, to internalize, to convert the images and stories into lessons. As lessons were learned by some and not others, generations of success and failure in the wild by various youths passed the capability more and more often to the later offspring of survivors.

That opening description laid some groundwork into the article's main subject, the expectation that future research could show a genetic basis for the capability for "faith" in stories, among other things.

The truth or falsehood of a given story can be irrelevant. What's relevant is our capability to create a model in our minds and to apply any mental manipulations of it to potential later realities. Doing it successfully gives us immediate rewards in the way we 'feel'. That would almost certainly be a genetically produced result that encouraged similar future mental works and would likely be part of a long heritage of successes. In the longer term, actual appropriate application gives longer term results, possibly in many future situations.

In short, we do it because it feels good.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
Omni closed suddenly some years ago (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omni_%28magazine%29). I read that from issue 1 for a number of years and still have all my copies somewhere. I've been looking for them recently as I'm trying to find out when they ran a competition about how the mechanism of the Rubik cube worked, the best entries could actually win a cube. Doesn't sound much now, but at the time they were new and largely unavailable.

I've been giving this a lot of thought, deciding that story telling and remembering must be a survival instinct. I took it back to simple childhood stories and decided that along with the entertainment we learn skills and rules from them that would help us deal with situations should they arise.

A bit of an assumption here that you have heard this story, I expect you have.
I bet you know that if you are wandering in a wood and see a gingerbread house that it is something to be avoided, and that you shouldn't go up and start eating it. If you do and get caught you might be able to delay being eaten by trickery, and hold off as long as you can before seizing an opportunity to escape using violent means. Three useful survival tips you may have forgotten you knew, but you do know them. In a modern age you need another story to help you explain to the police how you damaged a building not belonging to you and then murdered the little old lady who owned it.

I think the journey is important for the things we see and learn along the way. We read stories, fact or fiction, because sometime in our lives we might be faced with a situation and can ask ourselves 'What would James Bond do?', or any other storybook character. Being placed in a story helps us remember the problem and the possible solution as a pair and recall them if we ever need to.
So our survival, individual or species, is aided by wanting to know how any story goes.

I am also reminded of (hoping the term is ok to use) negro spiritual songs. I was told that missionary groups would travel round the plantations and farms and teach these songs to the slaves. A couple of weeks later someone else would come around to preach and explain the meanings of the songs which were carefully constructed to contain maps of escape routes and how to find contact with underground organisations who would lead them to freedom. Song titles like Wade in the Water (to hide your trail), Follow the Drinking Gourd (the Big Dipper, Plough, or Great Bear - for the direction north).
The song could be learned independently of the instructions it contained.
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hdhondtCommented:
Not the Bible. I mentioned that it was fiction.
But the Bible is (mostly) fiction...

@tliotta
You must be my age... Omni did not last long. It died many years ago, in 1995.
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
The Bible is actually true and truth. People's unbelief and derision are mostly based in denial and circumvention, and definitely on ignorance, much of it willful ignorance.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
Oh go on then. I'll bite. Which bible are you all talking about? Very likely you are all reading different versions.
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
Hi Ors-Ankh-Aren. Most mainstream translations are reliable and agree in both the gist and details of the original Hebrew and Greek. A few translations (KJV, ASV, etc) will lean towards translating the idioms rather than what they mean. Others (NIV, etc) lean more towards translating the meaning rather than transliterating. But they all are well done and unitedly convey far more than they differ.

But even more awesome (and in keeping with the topic of "why the journey"), the Bible has taken millions of souls on the most beautiful journeys of their existence. Despite the temporal arguments people spin to discredit scripture, that journey is truly for those who have a willing heart, a desire to get brutally honest with themselves and come clean (aka, the very definition of truly repenting). But the journey is not for those who don't have the courage to lay aside those weights, resentments, self-justifications, and desires for gratification, which beset and veil them from even seeing the need for such a journey.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
I have no problem with other people's beliefs, I respect them and expect to be treated the same way. They beat scripture out of me when I was about four years old and some adult at school tried to tell me I was a sinner. I have an answer for him now, but I was well behaved, loved my parents and did no wrong. For me to accept that I had sinned would have been telling a lie and that would be wrong. Showing me that dicrepancy at a young age meant I never listened to it again, the whole system is obviously faulty.
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
I appreciate you sharing that. I hope you will entertain the suggestion that it is not so much the scripture, but it is rather people's misuse of the high standard of Christianity, that has caused as much grief and rejection by many. It may not be the system at fault, but the individuals who misused it. That is usually the case in life with any system, including government, business, friendships, community, etc.

Most here who disagree at fundamental levels have been cordial with each other. EE is just like any other system, and it works well when we work well.

Okay, I'm getting sappy *lol*. Apols. :)
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
Yes I appreciate that the individual was at fault and probably with the best intentions. As  I said, I respect other people's beliefs. I also think that if someone's faith is song they shouldn't need to talk about it often and at length as if trying to convince themselves that they are right. That's what faith is for. It's those who stand on shaky ground who have to shout loudly and try to get others to stand with them so they can feel safer with their choice.
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
At most, I may invite you to that journey, as I know from experience how it would benefit you, but as with all people, free choice is as free choice does.

Appreciate the discussion.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
To nudge the discussion gently back to story telling there are some fictional stories in the Bible intended to teach. One about three boys who took their dad's money. One kept it under the mattes,  one invested in a safe low interest account, and the third went off to the big city and blew the lot on a wild time. He was the one given the big reward when he returned. Nobody expected that outcome. I didn't learn much from that one as it seemed very unfair.
Each story was intended to make a point and apart from that one I expect I have retained the useful parts of the tales.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
PHONE!!!@ When I type mattress I don't want you to change it to mattes.ok?
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
Just seen above 'faith is song' should of course say 'strong'.
I have this thing that autocorrupts for me when I type.
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
Yes, the story of the prodigal son who blew his inheritance but was openly received back when he returned. That is probably one of the most beautiful parables of God's mercy I've ever read.

Now, mind you, the brother who was upset about it was also consoled. The Father told him that all he had was his, whereas that was not said of the prodigal son, only that he was welcome back. But he was not given another share of what he blew in riotous living. That is sometimes assumed otherwise.

Consequences are still consequences. But mercy prevails if we humble ourselves, even though we still may have to live with the consequences.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
I missed the bit where the other brothers got to keep their shares. To busy coming to terms with the way they were ignored and the wasteland was given a feast to celebrate his return.
My point was the use of the story to pass on the information.
It's a shame technical manuals don't translate to stories better, learning a new thing would be fun.
"Roger cried when he found all his pictures missing and he was really scared because his mum had told him over and over again to do his backups and now she was going to be furious."
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
For To please read Too
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
Oh crikey and wastrel  for wasteland. Why do they call these things smartphones?
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
Agreed on the use of stories. Parables go back to the beginning.

You got me laughing on your frustration with your smartphone *lol*.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
My phone can be much worse than that. I try to catch it but it often slips something through.
I let it loose sometimes as it offers a next suggested word in a sentence. I'll give it a quick run here. PHONE, here you go, off the leash now, where's your ball, where is it? Here you go, Fetch!

I am a beautiful person. the only way to actually get to the new place. the only way to actually get to the new place to stay in touch with us for a while. I have a message to the new place to live in a few days ago by the way, and the song is a bit of a sudden, and the song is the best way to get the best way to get involved with the latest version of the chrome missing, but changing it was more than one person to person.

OK that's enough, heel. Come back now. Back in your box.

It can get a bit wild sometimes. In case you didn't follow, above the keyboard it shows three possible words,  the centre one is what it will print next if I let it. To the left and right are alternatives of what I might have meant. Mostly it is quite good and corrects odd letter mistypes but other times ir will completely change a word. What I did above was choose the middle word until it got stuck in a loop when I picked one from either side. I didn't type a single character to prompt it.
A Turing test would say it isn't human.
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
Do you have Android? Do you use Swype? Mine causes me grief at times.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
It is android but I didn't like the Swyre keyboard as it didn't have the number keys above it like the standard one does. I like to have the numbers easy 2 get to.

Oho, it's jealous  of the swype, even changed its name when I typed it.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
I treat it as fun same as I do with gps. It's clever but you have to realise it has limitations. Either a proof of man's superiority over machines or a reminder to us that we can't build a perfect one.
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Delphineous SilverwingGood Ol' GeekCommented:
Swyre keyboard ... hehe.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
Enjoyable. I think I have my answer, it's the journey and the things we find on the way, and we need to find these things because they might be valuable

Thanks all.
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DaydreamsCommented:
Thanks for the accept! I'm  glad we all traversed this little part of our journey together.
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Delphineous SilverwingGood Ol' GeekCommented:
gratzEE!
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tliottaCommented:
The Bible is actually true and truth.
As far as most outcomes are concerned, it's generally true. It records a lot of history. But in terms of its record of what was said by whom to whom, it's pure guesswork.

Daniel 2:4 Then the astrologers answered the king, “May the king live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”
That section that quotes the interchange between Nebuchadnezzar and his 'astrologers' is one example of many in many books of the bible. No one overheard the conversation, so there is no way other than guesswork to say that the interchange ever took place, and the quoted statements are necessarily made up to flesh out the 'story'.

That (and all of the other examples of interchanges that no one recorded in any researchable fashion even for the possible books' authors) cannot be justified as "true and truth".

Still, the stories contain themes that can be interpreted as multiple lessons. The Prodigal Son probably never happened, but it illustrates the mercy of the father (i.e., 'Father'). The other sons still received their shares and could have had similar parties any time they chose to have one. The lesson is commonly that it is never too late to return and to be welcomed back as long as you simply choose to do so of your own free will.

It doesn't matter if it happened or not. What matters is whether or not any lesson makes a difference.

Tom
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
The Bible is actually true and truth.
That statement holds.

The Bible will truthfully disclose the errors and untruthful statements of others, such as the astrologers of Daniel's day, the philosophies of Job's so-called friends, or the confessions of Solomon when he was backslidden (in Ecclesiastes). That makes scripture not only no less true, because it doesn't hide or mince sin and error, but makes it all the more true because it will without excuse or fanfare expose lies and debauchery.

If a story Jesus told did not really happen, usually scripture prefaces that with, "And He spake a parable ...." Otherwise, it is far more probable that Jesus is citing a true account that was either revealed to Him or that He gleaned by observation, such as the shepherd who leaves the 99 to recover one lost sheep, or a prodigal who left his father and blew his inheritance, only to return and be received back. Neither account is prefaced as a parable.

You are correct that the lesson of the prodigal matters most, but unless specified as a parable, that is most likely a true event, also.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth.
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hdhondtCommented:
@dsacker

I assume you mean the bible is also correct when it contradicts itself.

There are numerous instances where it does. You can find one list here. And here's one example from that list:

In two places in the New Testament the genealogy of Jesus son of Mary is mentioned. MAT 1:6-16 and LUK 3:23-31. Each gives the ancestors of Joseph the CLAIMED husband of Mary and Step father of Jesus. The first one starts from Abraham(verse 2) all the way down to Jesus. The second one from Jesus all the way back to Adam. The only common name to these two lists between David and Jesus is JOSEPH, How can this be true? and also How can Jesus have a genealogy when all Muslims and most Christians believe that Jesus had/has no father.

And, of course, in most Christian religions the biggest inconsistency of all is this question: is there one god, or three?

The solution (the trinity) to this problem was dreamt up by the church to "reconcile" the Old Testament's insistence on one god, with the three mentioned in the New Testament. They came up with the simplest of all solutions: 1=3 and hence no inconsistency!?!?
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
You're recycling a source that is recycled from other sources. None seem to care enough to search nor to understand that one passage of these beautiful scriptures traces Jesus' lineage through Joseph, while the other traces His lineage through Mary, citing Joseph as the son-in-law of Heli (there being no word for "in-law" in the original language). The beauty of both passages is that Jesus' lineage is from David through both parents, even though Joseph was only His stepfather.

That objection has been re-spun ad nauseum by people who don't and won't believe, who treat scripture with hostility. Most do not want to look in depth beyond the surface contraction to the beauty behind it, and many resist foolishly any acknowledgment of the one true and living God. Hence, with prejudice many re-spin false objections like the one you just pasted.

I do not believe in a classic trinity. Nor is a trinity in the New or Old Testament. The trinitarian doctrine was concocted between 150-300 AD, ratified at the Nicaean Council of 325, and initially enforced by the Roman Empire, who had politically aligned with catholic leadership that was pushing this doctrine.

There is only one God, and His name is Jesus. God Himself was manifested in flesh, not some pre-existent co-eternal 2nd divinity. Many people today who associate with various trinitiarian denominations don't subscribe to that old post-Biblical doctrine, and some are quite appalled when they learn what non-Biblical luggage the label "trinity" really carries with it.

The Bible is truth and always will be. But God's Word is not there to debate you into believing, which is why many don't and won't seek Him. It requires humbling the heart, repenting of sin, responding to the beautiful death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, being baptized in Jesus' precious name, and receiving His Holy Spirit just like the original early church did on the day of Pentecost in the book of Acts.

God's Word convicts the heart. People who resist God's convicting power have always concocted one ruse after another to deflect the guilt of sin, but to no avail. Don't be duped by the easy way out. God loves you, but He won't force you. However, if you ever choose to love Him, He will certainly be found of you. But you're not going to find Him on your terms, but on His, which are infinitely better, more beautiful and bring a peace that passes all understanding.

If you're ever personally hungry to learn more about God, you're welcome to send me a private message. If not, that's fine, too.
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hdhondtCommented:
@dsacker
Maybe you should try reading the bible yourself. Here's how Luke 3 starts the list:

And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi
And here's how Matthew 1 finishes the list (it's in reverse order):

And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Both quotes are from https://www.bible.com/ . Both quite clearly state Joseph was the son of either Heli or Jacob.

Perhaps this not a reliable version of the bible? If so, whom decides which is?

Or perhaps, as we do have the word for "in-law" the translators should have used that? Alternatively, the writers of the bible could have just said that Mary was the wife or concubine of Joseph - I'm sure they had words for those.

As for you deciding the words "in-law" need to be inserted, what other changes do you want to make to the bible to ensure it matches your beliefs? Can anyone just decide on their own version of then text, or do you need special beliefs first?

I do not believe in a classic trinity.
In that case, please give a rational explanation why your reading of the bible is correct, while nearly all other Christians are wrong in thinking the Nicean Council's decision is the correct way of interpreting the discrepancy?

Finally, did you check any of the other discrepancies in the link I gave you? Or are you convinced already that you will have ready explanations for it For example: the writers did not know the difference between the cock crowing "once" and "twice" or they did not know the difference between "none" and "five" children of Michal.
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dsackerContract ERP Admin/ConsultantCommented:
You're being hostile, which I expected from the onset of your objections masked as questions. The only info you warrant further is that I have a degree in theology and have spent my life in the scriptures, whereas you haven't, seeing you're parroting your objections via copy and paste. My explanations above are sufficient. That you're asking anything further suffixes to prove you didn't care nor read. Bye.
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hdhondtCommented:
Thanks dsacker. I've long realised that the most important thing in belief is to ignore all logical thinking. I do think I'd rather read the bible, instead of what a theologian has to say about it - there are far too many different flavours of theologians, all with their own interpretation. And then we're ignoring the other religions: jews, muslims, hindus, all with their own books.

Nice talking to you.
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Delphineous SilverwingGood Ol' GeekCommented:
I have two words ...
Occam's razor
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
That's three
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hdhondtCommented:
Actually, Occam's razor could imply that god is the "simplest" answer to anything we don't understand!

You don't understand why the earth stays in orbit around the sun? Don't try to understand gravity, just say goddidit
Don't understand why the universe is so large? Just accept it and say goddidit. Or say "it's not real", and goddidit
Don't understand why the Bible contradicts itself? Don't try to apply logic, just say goddidit
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Delphineous SilverwingGood Ol' GeekCommented:
HA! I wish I thought of that when I was a kid.

Parent - Who left the milk on the counter?
Kid - I don't know. Maybe God did it.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
If they had faith they wouldn't have needed to ask. All the answers are in the bible.
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tliottaCommented:
...I have a degree in theology and have spent my life in the scriptures, whereas you haven't, seeing you're parroting your objections via copy and paste.
Unfortunately, "copy and paste" is what a 'degree in theology' is, except that most of what comes out of a graduate is a 'copy' of what was read in studies or heard in lectures and the 'copy' comes from (potentially faulty) memory and personal interpretation. It's often less reliable than physical "copy and paste" where sources can be cited.

Tom
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
It was stated above that this area is called Philosophy AND Religion. It wasn't my intention to have religion discussed in this question at all, but if it has to be here then I thinks it's had its go and there should be some more Philosophy to balance things up.
Personal attacks, insults and breast beating are not helpful in a discussion. Nobody can learn anything from that apart from new apparent weaknesses to try to exploit in the other.
If you want to keep trying to see who's best please take it to another thread and keep it out of my question. All of you.
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Delphineous SilverwingGood Ol' GeekCommented:
If this were in the lounge, I'd have a great follow up to that Robin.

I was raised Roman Catholic. I was married in my bride's Catholic church. I have read the Bible a few times cover to cover and referenced sections as needed an exceptional number of times. Excluding one priest, none could explain what I personally have experienced in life.

As we (my wife and I) investigated what the one priest told me, we started to discover something disturbing about organized religion, the Christian faith and life in general. Having this information, we chose to take a different path. Since then we have had a happier and fuller life.

I have been a volunteer firefighter for 19 years. My wife and I volunteer at a number of charities, helping people in need. We have raised our children to be responsible adults which are contributing to the greater good as well.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndAuthor Commented:
It's a closed question that has drifted way off topic. I tried hinting gently and then decided to say something more direct. If your follow up doesn't mention religion I'm sure it would be OK here. This isn't hallowed ground and certainly isn't being treated the way I expected from somewhere outside the lounge. I haven't seen a fight in there for many years, but it looked like it was getting close to it here.
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Rob HensonFinance AnalystCommented:
If curiosity is all about the end result, why don't we just go to the last chapter and read the ending. It is all about the journey as well; not just what happens but why it happens.
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