Monday, January 28, 2008

Have you read this thing you say is inerrant?

Right now on the Colbert Report is some nutjob who claims that every word of the Bible is inerrant. Okay, let's put aside all the provable contradictions in it for the moment. Here's the problem I'm seeing: This guy has a Van Dyke (which is what most people call a goatee). The Bible makes it clear in Leviticus 19:27 that you aren't to mar your beard at all. I can see stretching this to make it okay to shave it all off, but something like a Van Dyke is clean out. This leaves two possibilities: This man hasn't really read the Bible closely, or he doesn't really believe it should be taken literally (I lump in being willing to reinterpret it in this category). Personally, I'm betting on the former, but I could be wrong here.


Smug Baldy said...

Nice catch - there are plenty of biblical literalists that cherry pick the aspects of their Big Book that they consider literally true. I haven't heard very many evangelicals denounce NASA for the agency's continued blasphemy that the world isn't shaped like a plate or suspended on pillars as biblical tradition teaches.

Dark Jaguar said...

Okay now here's the thing they tend to say. Generally their counter with this is to bring up this concept of the "old testament/new testament" divide.

Their logic goes that those old rules applied "back then" but then god had this whole "new deal" what with the whole "just have faith and you're saved" thing and words of Jesus were supposed to indicate that the "old rules" (like the Sabbath thing) are no longer valid.

Now this asks the issue of how an inerrant all-knowing and consistant god would just up and change his perfect mind and decide that his old rules don't apply. They tend to argue that the rules themselves "weren't the point" and god "always planned to do it" and the millenia of horrible punishment for minor infractions of rules that were to be revoked anyway was part of some big lesson plan (something like, "hey I'll do something horrific to people who have no other options just to show everyone in the future they can't possibly live up to my ridiculous standards and say they can only be forgiven if I forgive them, but I can't do that unless I kill 1/3 of myself, for reasons I define myself, and only if they have blind faith that this act of self mutilation somehow accomplishes this washing of sins, sins which aren't really sins because they exist only as rules to show that they can't live up to those rules").

However the real meat of the issue isn't even that whole mess of circular insane logic. The real issue is if they are going with the old laws/new laws thing, then why do they feel the need to drag up this or that "old law", said in the same context of evils as things like the sabbath day and not wearing two of the same threads, and go on about how we should "totally obey" that one specific one?

Quantis said...

I'd just like to point out that the site you referenced for bible contradictions seems desperate to prove their point to the extent of using extremely vague passages to 'prove' contradictions.

I happen to think the bible is Not to be taken literally and that there Are tons of contradictions, but I dislike information sources that are prejudice. Just an FYI. It still makes some good solid connection though, so that's a plus.

Infophile said...

That's certainly a fair argument, Quantis. A believer seeing that site is likely to be turned off by some of the weaker "contradictions" mentioned, so it doesn't really help out there. However, I don't think that was ever the goal of this particular site, as evidenced by the name itself.

Now, when trying to convince others, I'd agree that it's better to limit oneself to the undeniable contradictions in the Bible. The best list of obvious, irreconcilable contradictions I know of is over at Ebon Musings (Parent site to Daylight Atheism). Certainly worth a read.