Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

tags: , , , , ,

This is the third 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 of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood is an extremely popular children’s story worldwide. It talks about how God became so fed up of his Creation that he decided to kill it all. It sort of makes you wonder why he would have created it in the first place since he is supposed to be omniscient. [Hrm, "god" likes to commit genocide?]

When you think about what a worldwide flood would be like, you become aware that innocent little babies would have been among the drowned. It seems terribly unfair and violent a story when you look at it in that light. Our children are being taught this and then told to love this evil God with all their heart. It’s a tale of genocide, conducted directly by God himself.

Why are we allowing our children to be taught this stuff?

Comments

  1. #1 Rob Jase
    September 13, 2009

    Because it instills a fear of authority in children that will encourage them to grow up & be Rethugricans.

  2. #2 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    September 13, 2009

    Our God is an awesome God, indeed!

  3. #3 Clark
    September 14, 2009

    Adventures in missing the point. The point of the story is that all humanity at all times is worthy of total destruction.

    Imagine that you just bought a new dining set from Ikea. You get home and pull the dishes out of the box to find out that every single one has a crack right in the middle. That they are brand new (baby dishes) doesn’t mean that you should keep them. You should return them or just throw them away.

    God, in the story of Noah’s Ark (and all stories involving “genocide”) is simply returning a defective product. God made humanity good, humanity became corrupt through sin, God periodically and selectively “returns” humanity.

    Seriously, I’m not such a Christian myself. But you need to stop putting your worldview into their mouths: the bible doesn’t teach that genocide is good but it does teach that genocide is a natural result of sin being in the world.

    Does that get taught in Sunday School? No. It’s kind of lofty and 80% of the parents teaching it probably don’t get it themselves.

  4. #4 Jim
    September 14, 2009

    “Why are we allowing our children to be taught this stuff?”

    If you don’t want “our” children to be taught “this stuff” simply don’t take them to Sunday School, I thought this would be self-evident for a scientist.

  5. #5 Owlmirror
    September 14, 2009

    Adventures in missing the point.

    I wasn’t aware that you were the only one allowed to interpret the bible.

    The point of the story is that all humanity at all times is worthy of total destruction.

    And how is that different from saying that genocide is good? Once you’ve condemned all of humanity to being “worthy” of death, why not just say that killing people is a worthy act — i.e., is good?

    Imagine that you just bought a new dining set from Ikea. You get home and pull the dishes out of the box to find out that every single one has a crack right in the middle. That they are brand new (baby dishes) doesn’t mean that you should keep them. You should return them or just throw them away.

    Why do you people always draw analogies between human beings and things without feelings?

    I mean, seriously, killing babies is like smashing cracked plates? What the hell is wrong with you?

    God, in the story of Noah’s Ark (and all stories involving “genocide”) is simply returning a defective product.

    A “product” that God broke in the first place. And God is not “returning” anything; he’s destroying living beings, animals and humans. According to standard Christian theology, they all go to hell to be tortured forever after they die.

    God made humanity good, humanity became corrupt through sin, God periodically and selectively “returns” humanity.

    Obviously, God made humanity corruptible. God doesn’t “return” humanity; he condemns humans to an eternal fate.

    Seriously, I’m not such a Christian myself.

    You mean, you don’t actually think any of it is correct? Well, that’s something of a relief.

    But you need to stop putting your worldview into their mouths

    When you can distinguish between “worthy of death” and it being a worthy act to kill, let us know.

    the bible doesn’t teach that genocide is good but it does teach that genocide is a natural result of sin being in the world.

    (emphasis added)

    You say “natural”… And who made nature? Who is responsible for its design? According to Christian mythology, I mean.

  6. #6 David White
    September 15, 2009

    One has to remember that every ancient civilization, including the Hebrews, has a creation and a flood story as their own ways of explaining how such significant historical events happened. The sheer existence of multiple accounts and versions of the same flood provide evidence that the flood event is historically real. The story contained in the Bible is the Hebrew understanding of how and why this flood happened, attributing cause and explanation to the God they follow. Christians, believing this to be the one true and real God, have accepted this story as the accurate explanation and in turn teach it as a true story explaining how God reward righteous living.

  7. #7 Gavi
    September 15, 2009

    Dear Grrl,
    May I politely request that you re-address this topic once you have your B.Div or similar degree with a major in biblical exegesis?
    I am not going into religious debate with this. I simply wish to address your choice of writing style.

    Your article flies wide of the mark of scientific journalism, well into the realm of subjective editorialism.
    In the Sunday school you refer to, it is more probably the teaching method and angle that is violent, absurd and atrocious, rather than the biblical account itself. And again, very subjectively, you have chosen to comment on the fundamentalist, most literal and uninterpreted view of the flood.
    You criticize God for your analysis of His judgment, yet are quite willing to issue a harsh, and unsubstantiated judgment of your own.

    With all due respect, may I suggest that you restrict yourself to your chosen field of evolutionary biology (which you appear to be quite good at), or at least do proper, critical, and thorough study of other topics before issuing wild declamations of genocide about a God you don’t seem to know much about.

  8. #8 Tilsim
    September 15, 2009

    Funny how you’re always supposed to need a theology degree in order to criticize a bible passage. But if you want to defend one, personal ‘knowledge’ of God is all you need.

  9. #9 Owlmirror
    September 15, 2009

    The sheer existence of multiple accounts and versions of the same flood provide evidence that the flood event is historically real.

    They do no such thing.

    They provide evidence that flood events, plural, may have had some sort of historical reality.

    Since flood events of all sorts have taken place through time on this planet that is three-fourths water, and continue to do so, this is really not that significant.

    Sheesh.

    Christians, believing this to be the one true and real God, have accepted this story as the accurate explanation and in turn teach it as a true story explaining how God reward righteous living.

    God rewards righteous living with not killing you when he kills every other living thing on the planet?

    How nice.

    —————–

    You criticize God for your analysis of His judgment, yet are quite willing to issue a harsh, and unsubstantiated judgment of your own.

    “Unsubstantiated?” You mean, since God didn’t actually cause a worldwide flood, no-one can condemn the actions of God as depicted in a story in which he does kill everyone?

    Or what do you mean?

  10. #10 Clark
    September 16, 2009

    Owlmirror, I think that you and I would both agree that the interpretation of a particular work would be best given by the experts in that work. Christians are guilty of this same thing whenever they read into Darwin a necessary link to eugenics and genocide.

    I am not trying to excuse God for however you believe he (if he exists) has wronged you and the rest of humanity by creating you. I am merely trying to demonstrate that the Judeo-Christian view of God is internally consistent and coherent even given these mandates of “genocide.”

    Many who depend on these examples of God as tyrannical dictator will not listen to the evidence either way. They are using the passages not as tools of understanding a religion but tools to undermine a religion in order to win supporters for their cause.

    It’s a straw-man argument at it’s best. Perhaps a very effective one, because while it fails to appeal to the logical parts of our psyche it appeals heavily to the emotional parts. Any used car salesmen will tell you that people make decisions based on emotions, not facts.

  11. #11 mackerelsaladboy
    September 16, 2009

    Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen.

  12. #12 Birger Johansson
    September 16, 2009

    I seem to remember that the hebrew language used in the flood description seems younger, consistent with it being written at the time of the Babylonian exile (when -of course- the jews came into contact with the Mesopotamian flood myth). Religions have never hesitated to steal a good story (the passage about the infant Moses being put into a basket and floated on the Nile is a rip-off from the Osiris myth).
    BTW, the vikings actually inserted a new component into their norse end-of-the-world myth that was inspired by christianity; that after Ragnarok, the god Balder would resurrect the dead and create a better world for them to liver in. Thus, it was a viking rip-off of a christian myth that was in turn inspired by the many hellenistic resurrection myths, some of which were derived from Egyptian Osiris myth. It seems our religions are as artificial as Ron Hubbard’s Scientology.

  13. #13 Owlmirror
    September 16, 2009

    Owlmirror, I think that you and I would both agree that the interpretation of a particular work would be best given by the experts in that work. Christians are guilty of this same thing whenever they read into Darwin a necessary link to eugenics and genocide.

    I’m sorry, but this is not a valid comparison. Darwin nowhere advocated eugenics or genocide.

    But the bible says clearly and unmistakeably: So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth–men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air–for I am grieved that I have made them.”

    You can see alternate translations if you wish, but they do not alter the essence: God proclaims that he will commit, not just genocide, but omnicide.

    http://bible.cc/genesis/6-7.htm

    I am not trying to excuse God for however you believe he (if he exists) has wronged you and the rest of humanity by creating you.

    I’m not sure what you mean by this, and I’m not sure you do either.

    I am merely trying to demonstrate that the Judeo-Christian view of God is internally consistent and coherent even given these mandates of “genocide.”

    Only if you utterly ignore the inconsistencies and incoherence.

    Many who depend on these examples of God as tyrannical dictator will not listen to the evidence either way.

    How does God in the bible differ from a tyrannical dictator?

    They are using the passages not as tools of understanding a religion but tools to undermine a religion in order to win supporters for their cause.

    Nice blame-shifting and double-standard you have there.

    It’s a straw-man argument at it’s best.

    Where’s the strawman?

    Perhaps a very effective one, because while it fails to appeal to the logical parts of our psyche it appeals heavily to the emotional parts. Any used car salesmen will tell you that people make decisions based on emotions, not facts.

    How do preachers and bishops and priests and rabbis and imams and theologians differ from used-car salesmen?

    How do you know?

    How would you know if you were wrong?

  14. #14 Owlmirror
    September 16, 2009

    I seem to remember that the hebrew language used in the flood description seems younger, consistent with it being written at the time of the Babylonian exile

    No, you’re misremembering, I think. A literary analysis of the flood story shows that it is actually two separate narratives interwoven.

    As I recall, both narratives are dated to before the Babylonian exile.

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/jepd_gen.htm#flood

    It seems our religions are as artificial as Ron Hubbard’s Scientology.

    Or more like the Book of Mormon, where a false history, claimed as a divine revelation, was created to justify Josephs Smith’s authority (in Scientology, there is a false history, but it is kept secret (Xenu!) until one progresses far enough).

    The Documentary Hypothesis might interest you, since it offers a potential insight into the religio-political bickering that led to the writing of each component.

  15. #15 Clark
    September 17, 2009

    You are under the belief that I’m some kind of theist apologist. I’m neither an apologist nor much of a theist. I’m kind of an agnostic Jew and student of religious belief in general. I just think that arguments like this promote more misunderstanding than understanding.

    That being said, I wish neither to pass moral judgement on the ancient Hebrews, God, theologians, or used car salesmen (full disclosure: I sold used cars while working on my BA).

    The straw man is that you claiming that the way in which you read the flood narrative is the way that the authors intended and the way in which any reasonable person would read it. The flood story takes place during the de-creation cycle of Genesis where stories are told explaining the wide reaching effects of man’s initial sin.

    The first effects are realization of nakedness and shame, banishment from the garden, the toil of work, pain in child bearing, etc. Later comes murderous jealousy and later still comes the confusion of languages. Finally comes the flood.

    The moral of the flood story is that it is just for God to destroy the whole world because in a legalistic sense the whole world has committed the capital crime of sin. The only way to stop the disease of sin is, as you put it, omnicide. God does not, however, destroy the whole world because he is merciful.

    Whether it is actually merciful to let a world perpetuate in evil, I don’t know. I just know that whoever wrote the story believed it was merciful.

  16. #16 Owlmirror
    September 18, 2009

    The straw man is that you claiming that the way in which you read the flood narrative is the way that the authors intended and the way in which any reasonable person would read it.

    Given “what the authors intended” is obscured by the fact that the narrative is the edited, chopped-up, and combined remnants of two separate stories originally created by people with very different religious outlooks, I assure you that I am not trying to achieve a goal that would require reading the minds of people long dead.

    I do have my suspicious about why the original flood story might have been written, but I will not go into it here since it is not really germane.

    And as for “reasonable people” — well, I have noticed that religious people are not reasonable about their religious beliefs. And while you may not be religious yourself, I don’t see you exactly bringing reason into your arguments — just repetitions of what some religious people believe, who, as noted, are not reasonable about it in the first place.

    Later comes murderous jealousy and later still comes the confusion of languages. Finally comes the flood.

    I think you need to check your bible again. Gen. 11 comes after Gen. 6, and not before.

    The moral of the flood story is that it is just for God to destroy the whole world

    How is that different from what I was saying — that it was saying that genocide is good?

    because in a legalistic sense the whole world has committed the capital crime of sin.

    This is unreasonable precisely because unquestioningly assumes that it is possible for “the whole world” — including those too young to understand their own actions — to commit “sin”, and it begs the question of “sin” being a capital crime, and refuses to analyze any of these moral and ethical questions at all.

    Or in simpler terms, it assumes its conclusion.

    The only way to stop the disease of sin is, as you put it, omnicide.

    Again, this too is unreasonable, since (a) “sin” is not a disease, and (b) omnicide did not stop it, and (c) therefore, the near omnicide was utterly pointless; a gratuitous mass murder.

    Whether it is actually merciful to let a world perpetuate in evil

    This has the same problems as above (“the whole world has committed the capital crime of sin”), and is therefore unreasonable.

    I just know that whoever wrote the story believed it was merciful.

    So suddenly you’re an expert on reading the minds of people long dead?

The site is undergoing maintenance presently. Commenting has been disabled. Please check back later!