Friday, March 23, 2007

Proof that the Bible is both immoral and inaccurate

You may have heard this before, but I have really cracked it. No really. Lets start with some wholly writ.

2 Kings
2:22 So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.
2:23 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
2:24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.


Wow!!! Mr. Grumpy, sensitive or what?

First, immoral. How can this possibly square with a loving God? Would God really imbue bears to kill kids, for calling some bald guy names? Does this strike you as remotely likely, OK, or moral? Maybe if you're Fred Phelps.

So on to inaccurate. Would 40 children really have hung about while the bears ate the first 2 kids? I mean ... would you?

Logistically how would this work? Imagine the scene. Two bears lumber out of the forest growling and snarling. The kids scatter in all directions as the bears approach. Now, If it takes each bear 30 seconds to kill one child, and each running child can cover 100 metres in 30 seconds (and given the motivation, I consider this a modest underestimate of their likely speed), then 90 seconds in we have 6 dead kids, with the bears in the middle of a rapidly expanding circle of screaming children at least 600 metres in diameter, and growing by 200 metres every 30 seconds.

After 5 minutes, some of the surviving kids (at least 30) will be 2 kilometres away from the bears, and their buddies of fleeter foot will be closing in on 3 klicks. Add to this that the bears will be sure to stop and sample some of the juicier kids more .... comprehensively. Which brings me on to my next question, how many 40 kilogram children can a bear actually eat?

Lets assume each bear weighs 500 kilos. This means that 24 kids in, each bear has munched their own body weight in kids, still chasing children, some of whom are now 5 kilometres or more away ... likely?

Maybe, but it'd take divine intervention, and probably flying bears.

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11 Comments:

At 2:01 p.m., Blogger Jooshe said...

amusing and well rounded, keep up the good work; also i'd be more than intrigued to hear a counter arguement

 
At 2:48 a.m., Anonymous Veronique said...

Brian,

Where are you?

You have pulled your vids and I haven't seen a comment for a while on RD.

I posted two PMs to you and they are sitting in my outbox. Are you okay?

 
At 3:42 a.m., Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

I'm fine!!! Thanks for asking. Switch to a more meaningful name, rather than stick with the other fairly meaningless one longterm.

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=TheModestAgnostic

 
At 3:26 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! never thought about the practicalities of it before. That just makes it even more absurd! The only christian respone I have ever heard was "well, he was a prophet of god and they were mcking him"

All together now " god is a donkey F*****g sh*t eating douche bag"

 
At 6:05 p.m., Blogger StMichael said...

I hope that you realize that many of the Old Testament punishments are "literal" or physical enactments of the spiritual effect of sin. In this case, the she-bears ripping the children apart is illustrating their sin leads to death of the soul. Similarly, God's action elsewhere mirrors this in the OT. It might or might not be the case that this literally happened - it probably did. Given that, I'm not sure how it can be construed as either inaccurate or immoral. As inaccurate, your argument hinges upon them eating the children. I don't see this implied. As naturally possible otherwise, I don't see how it isn't. As immoral, I'm not sure how one can make that argument. Here, I think, one can make an argument that any OT deaths are examples of the legitimate authority of a ruler to enact the death penalty for particular grievous offenses (as has been exercised by all authorities in history - one has to realize the OT is very close to a book of law, with examples illustrating penalties, ect.). If we are to assume God here is the authority, and in this case His knowledge is infallible, I don't see how it can be such that this becomes immoral. First, it is God's legitimate authority exercised, with no possibility of error. Second, it clearly illustrated the authority of God to those who might be around, legitimating the law otherwise (what about those miracles atheists so often wish for?). Third, if one argues that the punishment does not fit the crime, I would have to guess that comes from an assumed premise that blasphemy isn't a serious offense (which merely begs the question). Fourth, the case is the same if one begs the question by arguing that the death penalty is always and everywhere immoral. I'm sure with more clarification we can get to the kernel of the question, but I hope this helps.

 
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At 12:13 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I agree this seems implausible. But sometimes the bible is mysterious and short in explaining itself. What if some one wrote that on 9-11 two metal flying birds flew into two tall black towers and tore them apart. That might seem like a rediculous story, but in all of our lives we have seen this. What if in translation and for simplification factors the story is like this...

Let say 42 children or gang of kids that just finished drinking wine and terrorizing a village came apon a wholly monk, priest etc, and mocked him too and in their attempt to do him harm in his prayers to God two bears, she bears killed and stomped them to death, as they were drunk and exhausted from there debaucherie.

I dont know all that, I agree that some of the tales of the bible need some explaining, but I dont assume to judge God, I hope some day to have more understanding than I have now.


Lets say

 
At 1:53 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, you have to consider, like all scripture, the context. Bethel was, at the time, the mother city of idolatry, and the prophets went there to change these people's ways. Also, they did not just mock him being bald. By saying "Go up" they meant go up into heaven, where Elijah has gone, and mocked him for not going up with Elijah, so they were mocking God also for taking Elijah into heaven. They repeated this to show that they were not ashamed and hatred of the prophets. Also, by calling him bald, he was mocking the way God made him. Another thing is that mocking a prophet was one of the crying sins of Israel. So this was one big sin in their time, and to teach the pagan city of Bethel, God punished them, so that they would change their ways.

 
At 12:51 a.m., Anonymous Skepticus said...

Not sure about bears, but pigs might fly.

 

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