The Most Mundane Stories Ever Told

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The Most Mundane Stories Ever Told

From my blog...

Reading more of Sam Harris’ Letter to a Christian Nation, I feel compelled to share a devastating criticism Harris makes of the Bible. The Bible, to Christians, is a book written by the creator of the cosmos. This entity is all-knowing, all-powerful and all-good, capable of keeping tabs—simultaneously—on the thoughts of every individual roaming the planet. Certainly, considering the author, one might expect the Bible to be full of dazzlingly specific and accurate information. It, once again considering the author, should be the pinnacle of intellectual achievement, capable of illuminating even the most incomprehensibly complex topics. Yet, that is not the case.

Harris writes, “…just imagine how breathtakingly specific a work of prophecy would be, if it were actually the product of omniscience. If the Bible were such a book, it would make perfectly accurate predictions about human events. You would expect it to contain a passage such as ‘In the latter half of the twentieth century, humankind will develop a globally linked system of computers—the principles of which I set forth in Leviticus—and this system shall be called the Internet.’ The Bible contains nothing like this. In fact, it does not contain a single sentence that could not have been written by a man or woman living in the first century. This should trouble you.”

Indeed, it should. When it comes to prophecy, the Bible has no specificity to offer (or, at the very least, not omniscient specificity). Bible prophecy is more like saying “The wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round” is a subtle prediction of the spread of communism throughout the Soviet region. That is, any vague statement can be interpreted any way one wishes. With regard to more specific “prophecies,” most can be attributed to the fact that the New Testament was written with Old Testament prophecy in hand—ready to be “fulfilled” by NT novelists such as Matthew and Luke.

Harris continues, “Why doesn’t the Bible say anything about electricity, or about DNA, or about the actual age and size of the universe? What about a cure for cancer? When we fully understand the biology of cancer, this understanding will be easily summarized in a few pages of text. Why aren’t these pages, or anything remotely like them, found in the Bible? Good, pious people are dying horribly from cancer at this very moment, and many of them are children. The Bible is a very big book. God had room to instruct us in great detail about how to keep slaves and sacrifice a wide variety of animals. To one who stands outside the Christian faith, it is utterly astonishing how ordinary a book can be and still be thought the product of omniscience.”

Here, I recall Carl Sagan marveling at the tales of UFO abductees. These aliens, far more advanced than we, always related the most mundane drivel to those they took aboard their crafts. They did not mention HIV to abductees taken in the late ’70s. They did not mention the non-existent Iraq weapons of mass destruction to the individuals they abducted in the late ’90s. It seems the only knowledge they wish to impart is that which humans already have. They never divulge new information for which scientists had been struggling mightily. Sagan, in fact, suggested the following request to anyone who ends up meeting a highly advanced alien: Deliver a short proof of Fermat's Last Theorem [Note: This subsequently has been proved.] or Goldbach's Conjecture.

Next time you think about the Bible, which allegedly was penned by the creator of the cosmos, remember this: Its mundane nature betrays its decidedly earthly origin.


The road to truth is paved with evidence.

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Fantastic point. I'm gonna

Fantastic point. I'm gonna pre-empt the Christians here, as their typical response will probably be: God never claimed to write the bible himself, he only inspired the people who actually did write the bible.

Well then, if the Omniscient God, the Almighty One Himself inspired the bible writers - why did he fuck it up so much?

It doesn't matter whether God wrote the bible, inspired it, proofread it, condoned it or even spat on it - any work which is said to reflect the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient creator should show some signs of this greatness. And this greatness is certainly not present in the bible.

Even if there is a God, he certainly didn't have anything to do with Christianity.

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TheJollyNihilist wrote:  

TheJollyNihilist wrote:
  Next time you think about the Bible, which allegedly was penned by the creator of the cosmos, remember this: Its mundane nature betrays its decidedly earthly origin. --end--

Precisely. Add to this Thomas Paine's point that no 'god' would send a message of vital importance through a book..... 

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'