Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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This is the second in a series of videos that address some of the violent, absurd and atrocious Bible stories being taught to children in Sunday School around the world today. This video discusses the Sunday School Bible story Joshua and the Battle of Jericho. This story describes how God ordained the extermination of the people of Jericho, a disgusting and unethical practice known as genocide.


Teaching this to children is designed to teach them to have faith in God. However, it is an excellent example of how we allow ourselves to be blinded by ideology to the point where we gloss over the fact that the story depicts genocide in a positive light because we distract ourselves from the reality of the situation by admiring the magic of the walls coming down.

Evangelical Christians want to shelter their children from violence in popular entertainment, but who will shelter them from the violence that is rampant in Bible stories?

Comments

  1. #1 josh
    September 6, 2009

    Am I sensing an unscientific pet peeve here? did somebody have a nasty religious upbringing?

  2. #2 Pierce R. Butler
    September 6, 2009

    Are the rest of us sensing a pro-church concern troll pretending he’s smart enough to play a dimestore psychologist?

  3. #3 Vince Whirlwind
    September 7, 2009

    So, are we saying Christians should *not* try to reduce the amount of violence in the American media?

    Shouldn’t you congratulate them on getting something *right*, for a change?

    And are you sure the Christians who want to shelter their children from the all-pervasive violence in American media are the *same* christians who want to teach their children a literal belief in the nonsense contained in the Bible?

    Additionally, you say that teaching “atrocious bible stories” is “designed to teach them faith in god” – surely this is a good thing: children who grow up and develop the intellect to realise the stories are indeed atrocious will be able to throw off the shackles of their religious indoctrination.
    Children who have *not* been taught any atrocious religious nonsense who then grow up lacking the intellect required to become a rational adult will then fall pray to far *worse* religious indoctrination/Republicanism/global warming denialism/Homeopathy/etc…..

  4. #4 MtlRedAtheist
    September 8, 2009

    “Am I sensing an unscientific pet peeve here? did somebody have a nasty religious upbringing?”

    While, I’m not sure why this was posted in scienceblog.com, I’m appreciative to whoever decided to link to it. I guess you could call it a pet peeve, but the purpose of these videos is not to gripe about pet peeves, but rather expose some of the atrocious concepts in the Bible as atrocious. To shed a different light on them, I suppose. I used to believe the Bible was the word of God and somehow glossed over the insanity that was taught to me, such as God’s commandments to kill all men, women and children in various cities. My goal in making these is that some people who take this book literally will wince and do a double take about what they learn.

    “Are the rest of us sensing a pro-church concern troll pretending he’s smart enough to play a dimestore psychologist?”

    No one’s pretending to be a psychologist and I don’t think I did any psychoanalyzing in this video. If you find anything like that, please bring it to light and I might need to take back some of the things I may have said that steps on the toes of those qualified to speak about it. Like I said above, the purpose of these videos is to get people thinking about this terrible God ordained things in the Bible that are being taught to children. Thinking about these things was the first step to my deconversion from Evangelical Christianity and it is my hope that others might catch on to this and ask some brave questions about what they believe.

  5. #5 "GrrlScientist"
    September 8, 2009

    MtlRedAtheist: i think the “dimestore psychologist” comment was directed at the original commenter, not you.

    your video appears here because i enjoy it and i am sharing it with my readers — i think your videos are good for helping people think about the sorts of messages we send to our kids, before their ability to form judgements has been permanently damaged through years or decades of exposure to violence, racism, sexism and war, regardless of the source of this exposure.

  6. #6 MtlRedAtheist
    September 8, 2009

    GrrlScientist, thanks very much for sharing them. This site actually accounts for roughly 1/3 of the hits to these videos, so I’m greatly appreciative. I really hope it can serve to spark some thought in those theists that have never questioned the absurd things in their holy books.

  7. #7 Pierce R. Butler
    September 8, 2009

    The GrrlScientist is (ta-dah!) right again – my “concern troll/dimestore psychologist” crack was aimed directly at josh @ # 1 pretending he understood somebody’s childhood from a short online video about a morsel of pseudohistory.

    MtlRedAtheist, thanks for the good work – can’t wait for you to get to the stories of Passover, and Sodom & Gomorrah, and Jephthah’s daughter, and all those weird younger-brother-killing-older-brother spiels …

  8. #8 MtlRedAtheist
    September 8, 2009

    Thanks Pierce R. Butler, I should have figured that, lol. Still, I wanted to be open to correcting anything I may have said in there that needs correcting.

    Yeah, there is tons of material in the Bible to work with. I’m starting with the basics, the most popular stories that the kids hear. Next is Adam and Eve. I wanted to get that out this past weekend, but never had the time to write the script. That story raises a lot of questions.

  9. #9 Pierce R. Butler
    September 8, 2009

    I was kicking myself for leaving out an OT atrocity that I’m too tired now to look up – the guy who surrendered his concubine to a mass rape, then FedExed parts of her body all over to summon the tribes for revenge…

    Yeah, there’s lots of material. The first few chapters of Geneis may be the nastiest creation myth in the world: is there any other in which the Total Creator declares an eternal curse on humanity?

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