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Bible: "What, Me Wrong?"
2006.02.09 (Thu) 23:20
Stop us if you've heard this one before (we bet you have). A while back, we posted about those wacky nutjobs over at the WorldNetDaily. We know, that's like shooting fish in a barrel, but sometimes we can't help it. Believe it or not, they had published a highly dubious piece about a book they were hawking claiming that miracles save 3,000 lives every 25 seconds, and yet they failed to provide even the tiniest shred of evidence to back up this claim (other than the "it really happened!" defense). As an aside, we also mentioned a DVD (which the WorldNetDaily is also hawking) that claimed the following:
Not only has Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ" powerfully affected the faith of millions of viewers, but according to a new documentary by an Emmy-award-winning news veteran, it has also been instrumental in bringing about real miracles.
That's right, Mel Gibson's movie apparently brought about real miracles. We can't make this stuff up, folks. The person who created the DVD can, but we can't. To say the least, what we read about the DVD seemed to indicate that it was just exactly as emphatic in its wild claims as it was completely silent in the supporting evidence department. In short, it was the typical wingnut Christian bullshit.
Enter Jody. A few months after we published our piece, someone claiming to be the producer of the DVD we mentioned graced us with her presence. She took exception with our analysis of her work, and proceeded to whip out every single credulous argument in the book in support of her fantastic assertions while still managing to avoid providing any actual evidence to backup her claims.
In brief, she built a small army of straw men based on wildly inaccurate assumptions about atheists and critical thinkers, she showered us with arguments from authority (including beginning her diatribe by proclaiming that she was "a for-real journalist"), she emphatically repeated the oh-so-convincing "it really happened" argument more times than we can count, and she dazzled us with anecdotes of atheists who witnessed miracles and fell to their knees in recognition of the awesome power of god. Not content to stop there, Jody spent some time trying to shift the burden of proof to us; compared us to flat-earth proponents; threatened to produce a veritable mountain of evidence supporting her claims (but — imagine that! — she never did); explained that our apparent anger and our use of profanity rendered our arguments somehow moot; accused us of being unscientific because we didn't give her anecdotal arguments from authority their proper weight; explained that the scientists who proved that the earth was round believed in god, and therefore by the transitive property of science and religion, showed how Christianity is plainly the key to the scientific process; accused us of really believing in god and just hating him (you know, the ever-popular "admit it" argument), told us that we were somehow wasting her time despite the fact that she was proactively coming to our site to argue with us, and assumed (quite incorrectly — you'd likely be amazed how incorrectly) that we had never read the Bible. She then started in on evolution, explaining how there are no transitional fossils, and she tossed in the old "Darwin recanted on his deathbed" canard for good measure. The only thing missing was the "why're there still monkeys?" crap. But we're bracing ourselves for that one if she returns.
And after all this, she chastised us for not welcoming open debate and discussion. Go figure.
Anyway, that's not why we decided to post this Rant. Instead, we'd like to specifically call out the following statement made by Jody:
And nowhere in the Bible does it suggest the earth is flat, nor is there anything in the Bible that conflicts with a single scientific principle or fact. I'd like to see your evidence to the contrary. (PLEASE bring up the theory of evolution...)
Hey, we had ten minutes to kill as well as a link to the Skeptics' Annotated Bible in our bookmarks, so we figured what the heck. Here's our reply to that portion of Jody's comment. Feel free to reference it if a similar moron pesters you with a similar "challenge":
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If we may say so ourselves: pretty thorough, though by no means all-encompassing. We were also nice enough to include links to each of our examples. Note that every link is to an actual Bible passage (with the critique in the sidebar), and that none of the material came from peripheral sources that argue against the Bible. In short, we used our own research through the Skeptics' Annotated Bible to come up with this list.
And what was Jody's reply to our well-researched response?
It's clear you have read some criticism of the Bible, But it is obvious that you have not actually read it yourself. If you are going to vociferously criticize a piece of literature, wouldn't the scientifc method imply that you read and even study it?
You also need to know that much if not all of the scholarly work you present regarding the Bible has been wholly discredited on basis of historical and archeological evidence. Hard science. Those "scholars" are talking way out of turn and are doing so in the face of science which contradicts their assertions. Most of those writers are threatened by the implications of "what if I'm wrong?" These men and women cling to their own version of ontology, cosmology, epistemology-- and even history and archeology-- despite overwhelming and compelling scientific evidence to the contrary. This is well documented in academic literature from all spectrums of religion and culture. Basing your life and worldview on faulty data is dangerous.
She apparently didn't even bother to read what we wrote or to click on our links! Instead, she just figured that we read someone else's book, never picked up a Bible, and regurgitated what someone else said. Without bothering to check on any of these things, she pronounced that our sources (if you're keeping track, our only "source" here was the Bible itself) had been contradicted by science. "Hard science," even. How pathetic.
Apparently, according to Jody, science has proven that bats are birds and that if goats fuck in front of a striped rod they will have striped kids. Science has also established that dragons, unicorns, satyrs, and cockatrices actually exist, and that the earth is flat, with four corners, sitting on pillars, motionless in the heavens, with the firmament hanging over our heads to hold the stars in place. Man, where were we the day science made those discoveries? We must have been off somewhere secretly hating God and not reading the Bible. Our bad.
Jody is the kind of person we're talking about when we say that it isn't just stupidity that we're dealing with here, but astonishingly arrogant stupidity. These morons aren't just blissfully uninformed, they wallow in their blissful ignorance and actually try to throw their stupidity in the faces of the critical thinkers around them, like monkeys flinging their feces at zoo visitors. (Given that behavior, why are there still monkeys? Readin' their scriptures and hurlin' their excrement...we should really do something about that.) There's no way to ever get through to people like Jody, especially since they don't even bother to listen to those who don't agree with them (Jody freely admitted that she had no intention of even reading our replies — see for yourself); and the scary thing is that they often have lots of children that they can indoctrinate at will. It's a daunting scenario.
In the long run, at least we can get a good laugh out of loons like this. We especially liked her admonition that "basing your life and worldview on faulty data is dangerous." Finally, Jody — something we agree on.
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