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Comment count is 25
ProfessorChaos - 2009-05-24

"Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived." - Isaac Asimov

baleen - 2009-05-24

You mean to say that the Bible isn't historically accurate.

Tuan Jim - 2009-05-24

Yeah, it's not really very astounding that the Bible isn't historically accurate.

Using biblical scholarship to try to argue that there shouldn't be biblical scholarship is a little disingenuous, though. Good biblical scholarship should do just what it did for this guy, showing what's really in the bible and how that intersects with belief over time and across various sects.

The fact that the beliefs of biblical scholars have changed so much and been cross-fertilized with archeology in the 20th century is an argument for the vitality of the scholarship, not its inertia. Getting the fundies out and continuing to shift the study of the Bible over to literary studies and treating it like other religious studies or classics is great.

Gommorrah - 2009-05-24

i dont think you grasp what this person is saying - not that there shouldn't be biblical scholarship, but that it should be understood that it's a complete myth

baleen - 2009-05-24

Mindblowing revelation there, chairman.

Tuan Jim - 2009-05-24

Did you just 5-star your own submission, gom?

Toenails - 2009-05-24

Yeah seriously, I thought 5ing your own submissions was taboo.

One star for balance.

ProfessorChaos - 2009-05-24

Well, why would he submit it, if he didn't think it deserved 5 stars?

SteamPoweredKleenex - 2009-05-24

This is the internet. If the site manager didn't want submitters being able to upvote or star their own submissions, it wouldn't be possible, right?

And perhaps it's there in case the submitter has "poster's remorse" and wants to downgrade what s/he now sees as an affront to the senses as well as the intellect. Or, conversely, the submitter might now see the submission as even MORE brilliant or insightful than when submitted, and without this means of expression, s/he would need medication to cope.

I say it should remain possible to do, just to limit any need for liability insurance.

Gommorrah - 2009-05-24

oh no you onevoted my video whatever will i do :'(

Unmerciful Crushing Force - 2009-05-24

Dammit and I just accidentally five-starred my own video too. :( :(

But yes, what Tuan Jim said.

glendower - 2009-05-24

blah, this is, at best, an extremely partisan view of the Bible. this guy seems to paint the book as one coherent document that clashes with modern world views. But he and every other scholar - and just about every educated person - knows that the Bible is a patchwork of texts from many different time periods and belief communities. So, in one passage, say in the gospels, Jesus appears to bring a message of proto-feminism. In other passages, like in Paul, women depicted as secondary to men.

The argument that the Bible has no bearing on modern values is too sweeping. The West's binary opposition of good and evil, its understanding of guilt and sin and its deep-seated fear of the idea of "chaos" comes down to us largely from recurring themes in the Bible. Just try to find an equivalent to those concepts in a non-Biblical society like Japan.

bias - 2009-05-24

a few points

In no part of this does he paint the bible to be a "coherent document." Quite the opposite in fact, he dedicates a portion of the lecture to pointing out all the bits that got left out of the current incarnation bible.

The point he was making is not that the bible has no bearing on modern values but rather that it shouldn't because it is largely irrelevant to modern life.

Re: themes of good an evil, fear of chaos in japan... have you actually read any japanese literature? Theyre crazy for that shit, im guessing because of Shintoism. Pretty much every bit of japanese literature ive read are morality plays about people acting imorraly causing disorder, feeling ashamed about it then being severely punished. Check out anything eji yoshikawa wrote, or the tale of the genji.

baleen - 2009-05-24

"The point he was making is not that the bible has no bearing on modern values but rather that it shouldn't because it is largely irrelevant to modern life."

Just because we now define our relationship to nature with technology does not mean that a document that was central to the lives of millions of many of our ancestors for 2,000 years is no longer "relevant." Just because you are an atheist of the Dawkins variety and you *GASP* realize that the Bible is a myth doesn't mean the text of the Bible isn't inherently connected to everyday experience in ways that are not superficially apparent.

SteamPoweredKleenex - 2009-05-24

Out of curiosity, baleen, do you apply lessons from other cultural myths to your life as well, or just biblical ones?

baleen - 2009-05-25

Out of curiosity, baleen, do you apply lessons from other cultural myths to your life as well, or just biblical ones?"

I suppose I do, just as the Bible is an amalgam of many cultures' myths.

However the fact that I studied Tibetan mythology for years, but never went to a Christian seminary, does not mean that the Bible is equally influential to Sanskrit texts in the Anglo-derived culture that I was born into. As I approach other mythologies far distant from my own, I am doing so as an outsider looking in; it is seductive and mystical rather than part of the foundation of my language and culture. Mongolians converting to Christianity most likely have the same relationship to the Bible. Their local faith is dead to them, but they cannot possibly understand the complex theology and cultural associations we have toward Jews and Christians. It's completely beyond them.

Of course, that's how cultures evolve, that is the process of osmosis that drives our social being, just as culture renews and redefines its relationships with its great works, such as the Bible.

The small-tent Atheism of Hitchens and Dawkins recognizes the important of the Bible as a continuum in our culture, but I think it seems axiomatic to claim that the historical accuracy of the Bible is dubious. It's a potshot at fundamentalists, yet theologians have been saying the same thing to fundies for a long time. It has been the official position of many major churches for longer than this lecturer has been alive.

baleen - 2009-05-25

sorry about the crappiness of that post I'm on my way out the door..

Mike Tyson?! - 2009-05-24

People who believe in a god are dumb babies.

Toenails - 2009-05-24

Come on Mike, that's a little too soon.

Faith just died, like, last night.

pressed peanut sweepings - 2009-05-24

Is it just me, or does this guy sound a bit like Kent Hovind?

futurebot - 2009-05-24

The best part about people who are too intellectually sophisticated for this lecture: browsing through their favorited videos

Gommorrah - 2009-05-25


Keefu - 2009-05-25

why what does that tell you

mashedtater - 2009-05-25

for some reason when i scrolled down i thought someone made a cock with text because of


now i cant unthink that.

Dicknuts - 2009-05-24

As far as I'm concerned, collecting the foreskins of your fallen enemies as trophies is still very much relevant today.

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