A Thread For Red Jaqal

This is Rose Schwartz’s (aka InterGalactic Hussy’s) original post:

2010: The Year of the Bible

May 22, 2009 Author: Rose | Filed under: Links, News

And here I’m thinking it’s the Year of the Tiger.

If one U.S. Congressman has his way, 2010 will be the Year of the Bible. Georgia Republican Paul Broun has introduced legislation asking the President:

“to issue a proclamation calling upon citizens of all faiths to rediscover and apply the priceless, timeless message of the Holy Scripture which has profoundly influenced and shaped the United States and its great democratic form of government.”

Did you say you are calling upon citizens of all faiths to convert to Christianity through means of government? What is so hard about the separation of Church and State, everything our founding fathers and mothers fought for? This is insulting.

One of the critiques for such a measure:

“The bill is but one more reminder of all the silly legislation that Congress so often spends its time passing, honoring this or that sports team, re-naming French fries and the like. It purposefully thumbs its nose at the idea of a separation between church and state, and plays favorites with one particular faith.”
[David Knowles, Editors of Politics Daily]

And here are my and Red Jaqal’s responses to the original post:

Red Jaqal: when will people learn that spiritual & social laws are meant to be kept separate?

BT Murtagh: Does that mean that after 2010 we can finally fling that misbegotten melange of myths and muddlement onto the manure heap of history’s has-beens? If so, I’d gladly grant it a goodbye gala year, and good riddance to bad garbage… but we know it ain’t so, don’t we?

Red Jaqal: you do realize that calling the Bible a “misbegotten melange of myths & muddlement” isn’t helping your case any, right?

Bt Murtagh: I wasn’t aware I was making a case, only a comment. If I were making a case concerning the Bible, I’d say an accurate description of the Bible’s content would either help, or the case probably wouldn’t be worth making.

I’ve read the thing literally cover to cover twice, and further studied it in detail in historical, literary and theological and I’ll stand by that description; it’s an important document historically, literarily and obviously theologically, but a misbegotten melange of myths and muddlement it nonetheless remains.

Red Jaqal: except your description is more an extreme bias than accurate description. & using it as an argument does as much for the “case” for atheism as saying “God hates gays” does for Christianity.

BT Murtagh: “Extreme bias” meaning I wasn’t sufficiently reverent? The description is accurate; the only word in it which is not a provable fact is “misbegotten”, that being admittedly my personal value judgment, reflecting a contempt born of familiarity. Again, I was making a comment, not a case.

I’d add that “God hates gays” doesn’t even begin to be a case for Christianity, even a weak one, nor is it a case against. It’s an unproven assertion about the attitude of a being not proven to exist, and neither supports nor undermiines Christianity. If you could prove a gay-hating God existed in the real world that would indeed be a partial support for Christianity, but the mere assertion isn’t.

Red Jaqal: you’re atheist (i assume), why would you be reverent?

“your” is plural. isn’t one of the main cases atheists, agnostics, skeptics, etc. are attempting to make is that Christianity (or any religion) shouldn’t be forced on them & that their system of “beliefs” (or “disbelief” if you prefer that semantic) is just as viable & deserves the same amount of respect & acknowledgment? when you make comments like: “Does that mean that after 2010 we can finally fling that misbegotten melange of myths and muddlement onto the manure heap of history’s has-beens? If so, I’d gladly grant it a goodbye gala year, and good riddance to bad garbage… but we know it ain’t so, don’t we?”, you’re only hurting that case (even if it is only a “joke”). separation of church & state means keeping atheism out of government as well. those governments aren’t any better than theocracies (see russia & turkey).
not saying that’s what you actually want, but that’s what your “comment” implies. by calling the Bible nothing but myths, muddlement, bad garbage, etc., you’re essentially calling Christians gullible, illogical, dumb-asses. which isn’t very respectful. how can you expect to be respected when you don’t show it yourself.

“God hates gays” isn’t a [case] for Christianity (partly my point). Christians claim to have the one true faith & believe in the one true (loving) God. spiteful comments & claims that gays, atheists, abortionists, etc. are going to burn in hell because “God hates them” goes against the most basic of Christian principles & therefore an argument that doesn’t help. also, considering the non-existence of God is just as unprovable as His existence, your own “logic” falls extremely short.
in addition, by calling the Bible a “melange of myths” exhibits a considerable amount of ignorance. archeological finds have proven many of the stories & characters in the Bible:

the hittites mentioned in the old testament as a warring tribe were originally thought insignificant until the rosetta stone was discovered & scholars could finally … Read Moreinterpret hieroglyphics. where they found ramses ii lost to them, but was too proud to admit it. two neighboring cities found near where sodom & gomorrah are believed to have been show evidence of once being destroyed by fire.

king david & king solomon existed. isaiah predicted the fall of israel to babylon years before it happened. then, predicted the fall of babylon to king cyrus of the medo-persians 500 or so years before that happened.
then there’s daniel’s interpretation of king nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the statue. the head of gold, chest & arms of silver, belly & thighs of bronze, legs of iron, & feet partly of iron & clay. according to daniel, the head represented babylon, that would be overthrown by an inferior kingdom, that would be also be overthrown by an inferior kingdom… Read More to itself, the 4th kingdom would be as strong as iron, then that kingdom would break into pieces, partly strong & partly fragile & would remain so until God establishes His kingdom.

so, what happened in secular history? babylon was overthrown by, who? that’s right, the medo-persians as isaiah said. the medo-persians were defeated by the greeks who were then overtaken by the romans. the roman empire was the last great empire & since that time, the world has been divided between weak & strong nations despite the attempts of many to change that (the most recent of whom being hitler). so, what was that? a lucky coincidence?
not to mention that Jesus Christ of nazareth actually lived, breathed, & was crucified on this earth & was mentioned in roman documents.

now, whether or not you want to believe whether a “god” had anything to do w/ any of the happenings of history as the Bible proclaims is completely subjective. but stating that the Bible being nothing but myths… Read More & muddlements as being an accurate description & claiming the comment to be “fact” is just simply wrong.

atheism may be your truth, but it is no more factual than Christianity. neither can be proved or disproved, so neither can be described as “fact” or “fiction”.

BT Murtagh: If you have contemporary Roman documents attesting to the existence and crucifixion of Jesus you should immediately convene a press conference, as no one else seems to be aware of such.

Archaeological evidence of things mentioned in the Bible which the authors might have seen isn’t much more impressive than a mention of the Sphinx in a Superman comic – which, to be clear, isn’t proof of Kal-El either.

Mention of kangaroos might be, say from when Noah collected them. Your evidence that Egypt was underwater for a year and failed to mention it in their long recorded history – as did the other literate civilizations at the time – will also be worth something. Egyptian, Roman & archaeological records also conspicuously fail to mention the Mosaic plagues or Herod’s baby slaughters.

The Bible is chock full of bad so-called history, long refuted, as well as things (talking snakes, pregnant virgins, zombies) that, yes, it is idiotic to believe without more proof than “It’s in the Bible.”

Red Jaqal: zombies?….

did i say it proved the existence of God? no, in fact i said it didn’t. it seems to me that just because something’s in the Bible, you believe it couldn’t have happened. how closed-minded is that? honestly, how do you expect to be taken seriously.

moses “seeing” the destruction of sodom & gomorrah would have been impossible … Read Moreconsidering it happened generations before he born. isaiah seeing the capture of jerusalem by babylon would have been impossible since he died before that happened. and daniel literally saw the medo-persians defeat babylon, the greeks defeat them, the romans after that & then the collapse of the roman empire? wow! he must have been a very old man. if the flood happened, it was long before “egypt” existed. ramses ii refused to admit being defeated once by the hittites, why would he admit to letting the israelites go, let alone why? the egyptians have made up & covered up a lot of their history (& not just relating to events depicted in the Bible).

as far as literate civilizations go, Biblical history is more “honest” than just about every other one. by “honest”, i mean it doesn’t just relate the positive, the victories, the glories. it also relates the negative, the losses, & utter destruction. the chinese made up a lot of their history, the romans made up theirs (as to how they came to … Read Morepower), the assyrians “glossed over” their defeats. all in the name of pride & not willing to admit when they were wrong…..you, in my minimal experience w/ you, seem to fit right in that category.

BT Murtagh: Ah, so everyone *except* the authors of the Bible made up their history… That explains a lot, though of course it doesn’t explain the contradictions internal to it, or the lack of physical evidence of major Biblical events which should have left such.

I’m sure *some* of the things in the Bible actually occurred, but many plainly did not, either being made up from whole cloth or being a distorted retelling through multiple transmissions and translations. It isn’t a reliable historical document; it contains a lot of myth and muddlement.

By the way, you’re a hoot, but this isn’t really the forum for this. Drop by Quarkscrew and heckle me sometime; I’ll make a thread just for you and we can verbally duke it out for kilobytes, without the miserly allotment of characters. Since you seem insistent upon having me make and argue a case with you I’m willing to do that, but the Facebook format is not set up for it.

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~ by B.T. Murtagh on May 25, 2009.

7 Responses to “A Thread For Red Jaqal”

  1. I’ll begin by responding to this:

    isn’t one of the main cases atheists, agnostics, skeptics, etc. are attempting to make is that Christianity (or any religion) shouldn’t be forced on them & that their system of “beliefs” (or “disbelief” if you prefer that semantic) is just as viable & deserves the same amount of respect & acknowledgment?

    I can only definitively speak for myself, but I think I would not be far wrong in saying that atheists, agnostics and freethinkers of all stripes feel that we should be on a level playing with theists.

    This doesn’t mean, to us, that we need to be brought up to the theist level of automatic respect for views however silly because they are ‘religious’ in nature; we would actually prefer that you theists be allowed to continue disrespecting our views, in terms as contemptuous as you want to use, just so long as we are allowed to do the same to your views.

    We are confident, you see, that when open minds are presented with the evidence for the theory of evolution as defined and refined by a couple of centuries of challenge and evidential response, and the Garden of Eden story as preserved without much thought or challenge since its inception, that the choice is obvious.

    Speaking again for myself alone, the only person I can so speak for, I would have to say that I do NOT find your religious stories at all deserving of the same level of respect as genuine scientific theories honed by challenge and response over generations.

    I do not find stories of mammalian virgins giving birth convincing in view of what science has discovered about mammalian reproduction, and what common sense tells me about teenage mothers-to-be in sexually repressed societies and those girls’s understandable propensity to lie under such circumstances.

    I do not find stories of dead people coming back to life convincing in view of our species’s propensity for wishful thinking, and for dying in an inconveniently permanent way.

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