Why not lead the caller toward contradiction, saying "ok, this makes moral sense, but only for the ancient Hebrews, and not for us. Are there other passages can we safely ignore?"
Or why not just give him a laundry list of these passages, so that he's forced to speak generally rather than complain that he's not familiar with this one?
Right, muting the mic is easier.
If they didn't mute the mic, they would basically never get to speak in certain situations. If the callers want to play "I CAN'T HEAR YOU" fine, but in my opinion, they need to sometimes shut up the people in order to be heard, even if it's just the audience hearing them. Yeah, yeah...the religious people pull out their OMG CENSORSHIP OF FREE SPEECH whenever they do this, but fuck it..the other side has been monopolizing the conversation for centuries.
Dillahunty gave the dude a chance to have a discussion, but blockhead just talked and talked and completely ignored shit that was getting clearly illustrated.
I can't imagine trying to talk to people like this day after day.
I hear that argument a lot ("well, it was necessary/moral for the time") and don't buy it. There were more moral societies than the ancient Hebrews at the time that did survive and prosper. The oldest code in recorded history, from 1700 BCE, contains provisions that protect the rights of slaves and women better than the laws of Moses.
Christians work themselves into a lather trying to explain the morality of the Old Testament (when not ignoring it), when there's an incredibly simple explanation embedded throughout the testament: God didn't give a shit about anyone except the particular genetic line he blessed. That's why he only speaks to them, and murders everyone else on a whim. The laws don't have any universal application, and aren't meant to be moral. They are simply meant to ensure God's chosen people survive above others, and the babies of any other tribes can be dashed against rocks for all he cares. Actually, he insists on it.
They have just as much trouble explaining why they dont obey the old testament but still condemn gay marriage and such issues that are discussed in the old testament. Im a religion where you can seemingly choose what you believe in, does that make choosing to think homosexuality is wrong just out and out bigotry? It would be one thing if these people just blindly followed everything in the bible and giving up the responsibility of thought or choice but when you can choose what to believe in, how is that not bigotry?
Deuteronomy is probably a forgery from what I understand, so there's a way out of it that way (though of course that just raises a different problem). If any bible scholars want to chime in and correct/comment, please do.
all of the bible was written by God himself
except for the gnostic gospels, they are fake
in that case, you have to wonder what use a dude who exists outside of time and causality has for historical context
Eddie Izzard jokes that he'd start the Bible with "It's round".
Me, I'd like it to start with:
Chapter 1: The logical explanation for how I, a perfect being, created the every detail of the universe with complete knowledge of its future, yet we both have free will so I'll be constantly surprised and disappointed and correcting the mistakes you and I both make.
Chapter 2: Evil, and why I created it.
Evid3nc3 made a very informative video about the history of the Bible, where basically Judaism started as a polytheistic religion, with Yahweh being the Hebrew God of War, and this dude known as "P" went back and revised the earlier books to make it look monotheistic.
The way that most Christians get around these types of criticisms of a bible is using the argument that the Old Testament is way more brutal because God had to "discipline" man, but then he made it all better by sending Jesus and a totally new message of love and peace and whatever.
This argument doesn't stand up to any sort of scrutiny, though, because the New Testament has just as much vile, contradictory bullshit as the Old Testament, only it isn't routinely used as "moral lessons" in church environments so less people are aware of it.
I agree. And I think that the particular justification is always a red herring. My theory:
The Bible's history of sloppy edits, conspiratorial omissions, political translations, plus Rome's "no salvation outside the church" doctrine still informs Christianity. It's a religion of priests. God's word is revealed through sermons, so why bother with the bare text? Lots of smart people already looked at it and said it was fine.
Quranic schools of recitation differ, yet Muslims revere the text. The pre-Masoretic Torah wasn't copied with the modern attention to detail, but Jews value scholarship and are commanded to study it.
Christians have shepherds and flocks. Shepherds can interpret, invent subtext, omit, and re-translate (e.g. concordances), provided that the end result is a single satisfying message. Flocks listen without picking shit apart.
Viewed against this backdrop, Dillahunty asking, "here's what the passage literally says, in English, and what do *you* make of that?" is like challenging someone to explain why the Bible makes such a shitty tennis racket.
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