March 14th, 2012

Apollo 4 on column of fire

The perils of "I don't need to investigate in depth" attitude

Just how many of my fellow atheists have read in the Bible that a rapist must marry his victim, without it occurring to them, or finding through investigation of the Jewish commandments, that this means he cannot get out of it if she demands marriage? In other words, he is trapped, not she.

They could have a case (although one with different content) if they argued that, in the patriarchal society, the victim’s father could make the decision, but they don’t bother. Instead they leap into attack as soon as they think they have a ‘gotcha’. They read the Bible like the vicious evangelical fundie chauvinist pigs they love to argue with.

(Similar things pertain to the New Testament, though in that case the trouble is abetted by terrible mistranslations of the Greek, and reliance on printed words rather than oral tradition.)
Apollo 4 on column of fire

Dawkins promotes shallow study

It is ironic that Richard Dawkins, who is a famous scientist, is on record promoting shallowness of study of religion in atheist apologetics (let that notion sink in). On the other hand, in the process he has revealed his real thesis, which he buries under such titles as ‘The God Delusion’ and with page after page of discourse on natural selection, which really has nothing to do with the topic. Dawkins’s thesis is:

God is not a leprechaun (or anything like that).

It’s a good thesis, worth investigating, so one wonders why he buries it.

(Discourse on natural selection does serve the purpose of arguing with vicious evangelical fundie chauvinist pig types, which atheist apologists love to do. When they gain converts, the converts are pre-trained in the techniques! See, for instance, John Loftus – who, by the way, is much more readable than Dawkins, whose turgid writing I can barely scan through before tossing it aside.)
Apollo 4 on column of fire

On the other hand, there certainly is a separate book there for Dawkins

If Richard Dawkins wishes to write a second book – the pair can be in volume, of course, as a volume divided into parts – then that’s fine. The result would be:

Part I. God is not a leprechaun.

Part II. You biblical ‘literalists’ are dead wrong.

Written well, that would be a good read. Unfortunately, Dawkins is an awful writer and I, personally, wouldn’t bother. :)
Apollo 4 on column of fire

An example of how mistranslation ruins the New Testament

Consider that passage that male chauvinist pig fundie Christians read as saying that a husband is his wife’s head=‘boss’ and that she should ‘submit’ to him.

Read in Greek of the period, apparently, and making a whole lot more sense, the passage says that the man is the head=‘source’ of the woman (an allusion to Adam and Eve) and that she should support him. We still actually have that figurative meaning of ‘head’ in English, as in ‘headwaters’; and a head needs support, doesn’t it?

The meaning is totally changed by the mistranslation.