March 31, 2009

"My problem was, how am I going to draw God?"

"Should I just draw him as a light in the sky that has dialogue balloons coming out from it? Then I had this dream. God came to me in this dream, only for a split second, but I saw very clearly what he looked like. And I thought, OK, there it is, I've got God. He has a white beard but he actually ended up looking more like my father. He has a very masculine face like my father... [I]f you actually read the Old Testament he's just an old, cranky Jewish patriarch." — Robert Crumb.

65 comments:

Peter V. Bella said...

I used to love the comics of Mr. Crumb when I was young. I wish I had kept them.

Henry said...

Should be good.

From the article: According to his publisher, Jonathan Cape, Robert Crumb's Book of Genesis is a "scandalous satire" which "presents a complex, even subversive, narrative that calls for a significant re-examination of both the Bible's content and its role in our culture". It will be published simultaneously in the US and the UK on 19 October.

Ah. The self-satire of publishing flaks has already begun.

rhhardin said...

Derrida describes God here (real audio) 11 minutes in. 5 through 25 minutes are worth listening to, for a description of what prayer is.

paul a'barge said...

G-d does not come to you in a dream. If you are born again, G-d in the form of the Holy Spirit lives in you.

And if you are not born again and something comes to you in a dream and it looks like your father, you need to be very careful about calling that G-d.

paul a'barge said...

That said, Genesis will always be for me the most difficult book.

Paddy O. said...

It's a fairly common understanding to note that people's vision of God is very much caught up with their understanding, and relationship with, their own father. To the point that you can pretty much correlate their father-issues with the theological issues they need to answer somehow.

This is so thoroughly true that our whole reading of the Old Testament is steered by our perception of our fathers. The response to this isn't to bypass this, but become aware of it and try to read the Bible outside our own psychological issues.

Someone who is unreflective about their father-issues turns to become irreverent about their god issues. This isn't always the case, to be sure, but so often is that theology discussions are extremely great insights into someone's family history.

In other words, I heartily doubt Crumb is going to say something about God that hasn't already been said or that already hasn't been responded to (probably 100+ years ago or more). But he's going to tell us a lot about himself, in a way that probably will bypass his own intended interpretation. But, that's what most of his work does, if I'm not mistaken.

Public self-psychotherapy is a fascinating genre.

Salamandyr said...

At this late date, what really is left to scandalize?

Dark Eden said...

I like Crumb quite a bit but a few quotes in the story caught my eye:

“The acclaimed satirist revealed on his personal website that he had finished the project, which is out this autumn, and which his UK publisher is predicting will "provoke the religious right".”

“According to his publisher, Jonathan Cape, Robert Crumb's Book of Genesis is a "scandalous satire" which "presents a complex, even subversive, narrative that calls for a significant re-examination of both the Bible's content and its role in our culture".”

Now granted these quotes are from the publisher looking to promote the book and not from Crumb himself, but... seriously... is there any safer target in this politically correct age than going after Chrisitianity? Scandalous? What is scandalous about the safest of safe targets?

Its so cliché it almost doesn't need to be said but there's no way that the scandalous Mr. Crumb or his UK publisher would ever make a book like this satirizing the Koran.

Because that would actually be scandalous.

Meade said...

With no disrespect to my own father, may his soul rest in peace, I would draw Him more in the likeness of my great great-grandfather... on my mother's side.

Old RPM Daddy said...

Dark Eden stole my thunder (durnit!). Exactly -- provoking the religious right, or Christianity in general, isn't exactly provocative or transgressive anymore. It may even be required for all independent-minded, incisive satirists these days.

Bissage said...

It is important that people agree on the appearance of God much as it is important that people agree on the appearance of the national flag.

Dark Eden said...

Sorry Old RPM Daddy!

And its amazing how many things "independent, incisive" satirists are required to think (or at least say) these days.

Randy said...

I look forward to Crumb's handling of Mohammed and the Koran next. Publishers worldwide are undoubtedly bidding vast amounts for the rights.

traditionalguy said...

Pride in public displays of foolishness seems to be all that comes out of Merry Ole England these days. I suspect that God will have the last laugh. Since we are made in the Image of God, then God looks like a man/woman full of love. But He has superior powers to us, and He wants "Holy" in the persons He fellowships with, and He has provided that as a costly love gift to us thru the Good Friday sacrifice followed by the Easter morning resurrection. Sadly, stubborn sheep would rather handle life on their own. God is a Father only because of his Son. He is a Creator who reveals his Mercy and Love within a Father-son relationship. The First rule of Moslems is that God has no son.Therefore the god of Moslems has no mercy. What a miserable religion.

Chris said...

If you actually read the Old Testament, you find he doesn't really want to be drawn at all. Maybe Crumb didn't make it to Exodus.

Paddy O. said...

Much more interesting as art and as commentary, by the way, is the St. John's Bible, a contemporary illuminated manuscript that takes into account ancient history and contemporary reality.

Robert Cook said...

I'm a long-time reader and admirer of Crumb's work, and I was at the NY Public Library talk he gave with Robert Hughes as interlocuter. Crumb has never, to my knowledge, stated any intent to "satirize" or "scandalize" Christian theology in his rendering of Genesis, but merely to depict what he found there. (Although, Crumb is reflexively a skeptic and his sensibility is ribald, so I think we will see a cartoonist's Genesis and not an adherent's worshipful telling.) I think he made the point that people tend not to be aware of all the violent and salacious material that fills the Old Testament, and his version will illustrate all that material rather than passing over it.

(By the way, why the elision of the "o" in "God?" "God" is not this mythical character's name, but a description of his nature; if you're concerned with not spelling out his name, it's "Jehovah" or "Jahweh" or variants of that you've got to be careful of.)

PJ said...

Since we are made in the Image of God, then God looks like a man/woman full of love.

God looks like Ann Althouse on last week's Bloggingheads?

Revenant said...

If you actually read the Old Testament, you find he doesn't really want to be drawn at all. Maybe Crumb didn't make it to Exodus.

Actually, that passage bans pictures of ANYTHING, not pictures of God specifically.

yashu said...

Robert Cook,

Yeah, I can totally see (for example) a Crumbian depiction of the scene between Lot & his daughters.

Revenant said...

By the way, why the elision of the "o" in "God?"

Because while "God" was not the original name of the deity in question, it effectively is now. If you went around talking about how you worship Yahweh most people would assume you belonged to some weirdo new-age cult. When you say "God", people know who you're talking about. That's a pretty good definition of what a name is, really.

Dark Eden said...

Robert Cook said, "Crumb has never, to my knowledge, stated any intent to "satirize" or "scandalize" Christian theology in his rendering of Genesis, but merely to depict what he found there."

This is a very good point. From the article, it looked like the publisher was pushing the 'scandalous' thing not Crumb. I actually like Crumb, don't get me wrong, I just get tired of the Christian bashing like its edgy anymore.

I'm not even Christian, I'm Pagan, but I'm just tired of it. At what point does it become Anti Christian bigotry? We don't even have a word for that of course. We have Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, but no word for Christian hating. Maybe it takes a non Christian to ask this question or something.

Shawn Levasseur said...

paul a'barge: "...you need to be very careful about calling that G-d."

'Head' Gaius Baltar : "... it doesn't like that name."

Silly me. Silly, Silly, me.

traditionalguy said...

PJ...You got it!

BJM said...

God keeps on truckin'.

Bob said...

Robert Cook: it's "Jehovah" or "Jahweh" or variants of that you've got to be careful of.)

Stone him, he said Jehovah!

Michael Hasenstab said...

I wonder how R. Crumb could be caused to draw a picture of Althouse and Meade? That would be classic, and a great wedding (or wedding equivalent)gift.

TMink said...

Paddy O wrote: "self-psychotherapy is a fascinating genre."

Yeah, but the counter-transference is a bitch.

Trey

Seven Machos said...

When I was a little kid, and I imagined what God looked like, it was an albino Toucan Sam (of Fruit Loops fame) -- but just a side view and primarily a beak.

TMink said...

Dark Eden wrote: "Because that would actually be scandalous."

Dangerous even!

But the left so loves art that trashes Christianity, because their progressive agenda is contradicted by a Christian world view.

In their view, the problem is that the systems of government are not humane and just and fair enough. From a Christian world view, our problems are due to our sin, and that can only be repaired by giving control of our lives to God.

These two world views are antithetical. Them: You are the problem, We are the answer. Us: We are the problem and God is the answer.

Of course MANY on the right are just interested in limited government and have no patience for those of us who vote our religious conscience. But many on the right still believe in personal responsibility and immutable right and wrong. In this they are co-travelers with Christians.

Trey

Peter V. Bella said...

Crumb should have just looked in the mirror, then drawn a self caricature.

amba said...

RH Hardin, just for the record, you regularly come up with the most amazing stuff.

Chip Ahoy said...

Bloody hell, I thought he was dead. Are you telling me Robert Crumb keeps on trucking?

BJM said...

Michael H, speaking of Althouse and Meade, is this comment a hint that Meade's of Greek ancestry?

Meade: ...Him more in the likeness of my great great-grandfather... on my mother's side.

Ha! Althouse has set a mystery game afoot, purposefully or not, now we must glean onions to peel, open each oyster for a pearl, find every gun in a drawer.

Pogo said...

"...how am I going to draw God?"

I'd use a really, really big Sharpie, myself.

Revenant said...

Crumb should have just looked in the mirror, then drawn a self caricature.

He looks a lot better with that beard than he did clean-shaven in the "Crumb" documentary. In my opinion, anyway.

Chip Ahoy said...

The book of J is those passages lifted from the Pentateuch that refer to God as Jahweh, or Yahweh. In Hebrew those passages have a distinct voice, a unique identifiable tone characterized as sarcastic and prone to the use of word puns. It is vaguely feminine in biting cleverness, and imagined to be the product of a single author living at court during the period of Rehoboam. In fact one reoccurring pun involves the name Rehoboam and the Hebrew word for "expansive," ironic because the kingdom actually shrank dramatically under Rehoboam. Other passages that do not refer to Jahweh share that same tone and distinct voice so are included in the book of J. Lifted and read separately, the Book of J tells a coherent and lively story of the blessing that passes down the line of Abraham. Along this line, the familiar patriarchs are pretty much all bumbling idiots, and women are the brains behind the course of the blessing. Lot gets drunk and sleeps with his daughters who willfully direct the blessing, Rebekah contrives with Jacob to wear a fur to fool her blind husband Isaac into passing the blessing intended for Esau, the twin born first and obviously not identical because Esau was hairier. Much hairier. And once passed, that's it. Apparently the blessing cannot be revoked nor its course corrected. Even God, the ultimate patriarch, is whimsical, changes his mind, and can be bargained with. Example:

Abraham: Will you destroy the righteous with the wicked? What if there's 50 good guys? It would be rather unGodly of you, wouldn't it, to destroy the 50 good guys along with all the bad ones?

God: Fine. You find 50 good guys and I'll spare the city.

Then Abraham thought it might be kind of tough finding 50 righteous people in Sodom so he renegotiates.

Abraham: What if I'm sort 5, would you still destroy the city if I can only find 45?

God: Fine, I'll spare the city for 45 righteous people.

Abraham: 40?

God: Ok, fine. Yes, I'll spare the city for 40.

Abraham: Now please don't get all pissed off and blast me with a lightening bolt, but what if I can only find 30 good people?

God: Then I will spare the city for 30 righteous people.

Abraham: Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD. What if I can only find 20 good men?

God: Fine.

Abraham pauses thoughtfully. He's really pushing his luck.

Abraham: OK, I realize I'm really going out on a limb here, but peradventure there shall be found 10 there.

God: Fine! You drive a hard bargain there Abraham. I'll spare all of Sodom if you can dig up 10 righteous people in that stinking sinkhole of city. But I'm telling you, it's not going to be easy so just watch yourself because that place is doomed.

And the LORD went his way and left Abraham wobbly-kneed.

That is an example of the tone of passages attributed to J the Jahwist that stand out starkly and brilliantly against the rest of the material, largely preexisting oral stories broadly collected, along with straightforward and mixed idealized history.

There is also:
* E for Elohim, (a plural word that J uses for angels)
* P for priestly contributors who wrote Leviticus
* D, the Deuteronomist thought to be an rearrangement of pre-exile material during the time of Babylonian exile.
* R, the redactors who rearranged the material following the return from Babylonian exile.

Collectively, referred to as the documentary hypothesis, DH.

What can Robert Crumb contribute to what historians haven't already thoroughly picked apart? Illustrations, I would hope.

Robert Cook said...

"What can Robert Crumb contribute to what historians haven't already thoroughly picked apart? Illustrations, I would hope."

Of course! This will be a retelling of Genesis in comic book form, not an illustrated text.

fcai said...

Good job, Chip.

Sounds like DC is the modern Sodom on the Potomac.

Methadras said...

I thought God was The Spaghetti Monster. That's what the Atheists told me.

Revenant said...

Collectively, referred to as the documentary hypothesis, DH.

My favorite informational tidbit is that in one of the "books" -- E, I think, but it has been a long time since I studied this -- the story of Abraham and Isaac ends differently, and ominously.

E uses "Elohim", translated as "God". J used "Yahweh", which was chopped out and replaced with "the LORD" later on once it became blasphemous to write the deity's name. If you read through the story, you see "God" telling Abraham to get his son and sacrifice him. Abraham does it, lays his son on the altar, grabs the knife... and then "the LORD" tells him not to kill Isaac. The next line that uses "God" features God praising Abraham for not withholding his son. Isaac never appears again in "E".

In other words, there is some circumstantial evidence that one of the original Hebrew oral traditions was that the pact with God was sealed by a human sacrifice of one of their ancestors. Which would have been appropriate for the religions of that time, and consistent with the OT God's preference for blood sacrifice (the source of the Cain and Abel dispute).

It isn't consistent with the idea of a loving and merciful God, of course, but then again neither is the rest of the Pentateuch.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Of course! This will be a retelling of Genesis in comic book form, not an illustrated text.

I suggest using the Harvey Pekar character as Abraham. Pekar is Jewish and sort of tormented, so it could work.

By the way, great post Chip.

Jason (the commenter) said...

A scandalous satire of the bible? The Simpsons and Family Guy do that on network television all the time. And children watch those. It's not even new; Mark Twain did "scandalous satire" about a hundred years ago in his Letters from the Earth.

Honestly, I don't think Christians would even notice the most overt satire of Christianity unless you pointed it out to them with a big red arrow and flashing lights. It's been done SO much. And considering the source, they're often smart to ignore it.

Michael McNeil said...

Actually, that passage bans pictures of ANYTHING, not pictures of God specifically.

Images of real things (“any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth”) are obviously banned, as well as all “carved images,” but (non-carved) “likenesses” of imaginary things apparently are not banned — thus, the Islamic penchant for decorating with abstract geometric patterns.

Then, too, it's worth noting that Christians (the old Byzantine “iconoclasts” notwithstanding) — as beneficiaries of the “New Covenant” (New Testament) with God, which for Christians supercedes the “Old Covenant” (Old Testament) between God and Man — are thus not bound by that and many another Biblical injunction to be found in, e.g., Leviticus, Deuteronomy and elsewhere in the Old Testament (in this case knocking out one of the actual Ten Commandments).

Thus, all the exquisite Biblical art enriching churches round the world — even (gasp!) “carved” sculpture, as well as all the other “likenesses” of anything that have ever been made — is allowed for Christians as well as the (non-Orthodox Jewish, non-Islamic) rest of us to enjoy and surround ourselves with.

Big of God to repeal that ordinance, no?

Seven Machos said...

Michael -- Literalness and a lack of careful reading combined with consideration of the context is what has been killing religion for a few hundred years now.

George Anastaplo has some trenchant observations about what you talk about, if you are interested.

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- Here's my theory. All the Bible books seem to have one or more moral points to make. Ezra, for example, is very clear: whatever you do, don't marry a non-Jew. Everything else is trivial.

What if human sacrifice was commonplace when Genesis was written? What if the point of that part of that book was precisely the radical new idea of abandoning human sacrifice?

Revenant said...

What if human sacrifice was commonplace when Genesis was written? What if the point of that part of that book was precisely the radical new idea of abandoning human sacrifice?

The point is that Genesis wasn't "written", it was assembled from multiple sources, some of which had different versions of the same story. That's why some stories are repeated two or three times, often differently; there are two different sequences for the creation of the world, for example, one of which uses "God" and the other of which uses "the LORD". There is clearly one version of the story in which God relents on the subject of human sacrifice. The interesting thing is that there appears to be a version in which he didn't!

Obviously most Christians (and all the sensible ones, in my opinion) accept that the Bible isn't the literal historical truth, especially where the Old Testament is concerned. From that perspective this isn't a matter of God having demanded human sacrifice, but that one of the root faiths that became what is now Judaism thought he, at one time, had. That's not really all that shocking; look at what the story of Job has God doing just to win a bet!

Judaism has changed radically over the years. Heck, it doesn't even appear to have been strictly monotheistic until after the Babylonian captivity.

William said...

Kierkegaard questioned whether Isaac would spend the rest of his days casting anxious, sidelong glances at his father after the sacrifice of the ram. This is an acute psychological observation. It would never have ocurred to a later Biblical patriarch or to St Augustine or to St Thomas to have made such an observation. Acute psychological observations are a relatively recent thing. Like Galileo's telescope they change not only the way we look at the world, but the way we look at God... gOd may or may not evolve, but our understanding of God certainly varies over time. Robert Crumb has about him some of the qualities of a holy fool, and it is just as possible that he is as inspired by goD as writers such as Augustine.....God is not conmensurate with human understanding. To describe his atrributes in a philosophic work is as much a caricature as a cartoon by Robert Crumb. Crumb's work will describe not God but man's conception of God or his wish to believe in his conception.

William said...

The most powerful argument for God's existence is man's wish to believe in God. We hunger, and there is such a thing as food. We tire, and there is such a thing as sleep. Might not our spiritual hunger be likewise a proof of God's existence. Where do these spiritual urges come from? Perhaps it's just a trick of human consciousness, but it's just as likely that there is something spiritual that exists outside our consciousness and that we grope our way towards. Chartres Cathedral, cave drawings, Crumb cartoons: they are all manifestations of this wish to believe there.. is something sacred and beautiful and inspired in our activities upon earth--something worth preserving.

Robert Cook said...

What you call "spiritual hunger" is just fear of death and our need as pack animals to belong to a pack, coupled with our endless curiousity about the universe around us. As we lack claws and fangs and tough hides or hard shells to protect us from predators or which would make us good natural predators, our curiousity is an adaptive necessity that drives us to figure out how things work, how the world works, so we may bend it--adapt it--to our needs. Lacking science to explore the why and the what and the how of nature's mysteries, early humans invented tales of gods to satisfy that curiousity, as well as to create for ourselves an all-encompassing pack.

"God" is simply a manifestation of our capacity for abstract thought.

Seven Machos said...

Lacking science? You must be kidding, Robert. What is the creation account in Genesis but a theory of creation? How is it different than, say, the Big Bang?

Stick to what you know, Robert: utterly failing to understand how international law fails to apply to countries that have not subscribed to international law.

YourHolyLandStore said...

The true power of love

traditionalguy said...

The existence of the Word from God in the scriptures is said to be Seed from which we grow a faith that will withstand the Unbelief required by the world system of the day. The world system will change its story pretty fast, as more popular ideas come from creative minds. But the Word of God will stand forever, and be the same yesterday, today and forever.That is the spiritual encounter that brings you Life and Peace. The dead sea scrolls verified the Old Testament texts as of 2000 years ago. The higher criticisms arguing against belief are speculations insisting on the idea that Men made it all up for tribal/political motives, instead of a belief that men, carried along by the Holy Spirit, wrote the scriptures as directed by God. This issue will only be settled by spiritual revelation and the demonstration of miracle power, and not by scholars debating who makes the most plausible guess.

Revenant said...

The most powerful argument for God's existence is man's wish to believe in God

Possibly so. But the thing about that argument is that it only appeals to people who actually wish to believe in God. And people who wish to believe in God don't actually need an argument to convince them of God's existence.

So while the argument may be convincing, it is only convincing to those people who don't actually need any convincing. :)

Revenant said...

What is the creation account in Genesis but a theory of creation? How is it different than, say, the Big Bang?

The first and most obvious difference is that the Genesis account has been disproven. You can believe in it, you just can't have a scientific belief in it. :)

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- As I have stated here before many times, there is remarkable similarity in the first chapter of Genesis and the current theory of evolution.

The question -- the only question -- when you read the two accounts side by side is: who did it?

Revenant said...

As I have stated here before many times, there is remarkable similarity in the first chapter of Genesis and the current theory of evolution.

Repeating a false statement many times does not transform it into a true statement.

Here's a short list of things the Genesis account gets wildly wrong:

(1): Water is cited as existing before light.

(2): The seas exist before dry land. This is also entirely wrong.

(3): The sun and the stars are cited as being created after the Earth. This is wrong by billions of years.

(4): All plants are cited as existing before animals. This is completely wrong. There are countless plant species younger than animal species, and most of the seed-bearing and fruit-bearing species referred to in Genesis are younger than humanity is.

(5): All non-human animals are cited as existing before humans. This is also wrong; there are many species younger than humans. Dogs and housecats are obvious examples, but so are cattle, chickens, and pigs.

(6): Males are cited as preceding females. It happened the other way around. Sexual dimorphism was a shift from mothers self-fertilizing to being fertilized by a partner.

So in short, Seven, Genesis gets the sequence of events completely wrong. There are no "remarkable" similarities -- only a few banal and obvious ones, like "humans didn't always exist" and "the earth existed before humans did".

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- You atheists need to grow up. If you want to be taken seriously, stop harping on what the Bible has wrong. You sound like Marxists, always bitching about the evils of capitalism but never able to replace it with something of better or even remotely equal value.

Of course the Bible is wrong. Not surprising that an anthology of Jewish literature stretching over a few thousand years would have some factual errors. In this instance, we have a fable created thousands of years ago. Anything it got right is astounding. And the fact that it has the basic evolution of species correct shows that the theory of evolution isn't exactly groundbreaking technology.

For hundreds and hundreds of years, seafarers went from cradle to grave believing that the earth was flat. Yet they were able to use complex charts and instruments to navigate the seas. Were those charts and instruments wrong?

Robert Cook said...

"...You atheists need to grow up. If you want to be taken seriously...."

Taken seriously by whom? Superstitious believers in mythical beings? Purveyors of fairy tales? As if their judgement matters.

The value of any religious creed is in the philosophical precepts it may offer, its value as a catalyst for reflection on one's own ego, vanity, selfishness, short-sightedness, and so on. Most, if not all, great world religions have largely similar ideas about how live a right life, and to the extent one draws from these belief systems lessons of living one's life that are positive, humane, and so on, they have value. However, to cling childishly to the magical fancy of their supernatural aspects--while losing sight completely of what may be of value in a creed's overall point of view--this is the plight of most believers. In their obsession with the insignificant make-believe aspects of their chosen faith, believers too often fail completely to take from their creed the true nourishment it may offer.

Seven Machos said...

However, to cling childishly to the magical fancy of their supernatural aspects--while losing sight completely of what may be of value in a creed's overall point of view--this is the plight of most atheists.

When you guys get over your delusional belief that how the world was formed is knowable or remotely vital to anything at all, please do let the billions of religious believers in the world know. Thanks.

Michael McNeil said...

Rev, I generally agree with you — though I'd personally emphasize the disjunction between the Earth not only existing but producing “plants that bear seed and trees bearing fruit” already on the third day, whereas the sun and the moon and the stars together with the day-night sequence itself didn't finally come into being until the fourth “day.”

As you too noticed, this produces basically at least a nine billion year discrepancy vis-a-vis the history of the physical universe (which is now known to have existed for 13.7 billion years, combined with the 4.6 billion year age of the Earth) of modern observational cosmology.

However, all this concerns merely Genesis chapter 1 (the birth of Earth and Man & Woman). There is also the itty-bitty detail of Genesis chapters 6-8, otherwise known as the story of Noah and the Noachian Flood. This, too, Biblical literalists demand be taken as absolutely word for word true — that is, there really was (several thousand years ago) a world-embracing deluge overflowing the tops of even the highest mountains, lasting for at least (to quote the Bible, Gen. 7, 24) “a hundred and fifty days.”

Yet, such a world-girdling flood ought to and would have left enormous, massive evidence of just the sorts of things that floods do — but, except for specific localities where real floods are known to have have occurred (at other times, e.g., the so-called “scablands” of eastern Washington state), such evidence is wholly lacking.

Meanwhile, there is great, nay stupendous, evidence that a dozen or so thousand years ago the world dramatically changed from a generally much colder climate, with enormous areas of the northern hemisphere covered by ice perhaps a mile deep — to a more equable climatic regimen where those ice sheets have (mostly) wholly disappeared — what we call the end of the ice age.

Of this most profound event, that among other things set off the invention of agriculture and the origin and onset of the course of civilization (indeed playing a role which in its huge scope and impact on life on Earth and humanity, may be said to be rather akin to the [non-existent] Flood itself), but of this ending of the great age of ice the Bible breathes nary a word.

Yet we're supposed to accept the story of Noah's Flood (and much much else) as cast-iron truth? I don't think so.

Seven Machos said...

Look, atheists. Who are you really arguing with here? A few dumb Protestants who insist on taking fabulous stories as literal truth?

Get past it.

Michael McNeil said...

Look, atheists. Who are you really arguing with here? A few dumb Protestants who insist on taking fabulous stories as literal truth?

Those “few dumb Protestants” as you call them exert considerable influence in politics and in our school curricula, and need to be almost constantly refuted and countered by people just as vigorous as active as they are.

As for you, Seven, denouncing Rev and me as “atheists” ('course you'll deny it's “denouncing” but certainly it's scornful), I don't know about Rev, but I don't call myself that — and I'm afraid all your doing so reminds me of is Pagan Romans running through the streets in anti-Christian pogroms, shouting “Down with the atheists!”

Revenant said...

You atheists need to grow up. If you want to be taken seriously, stop harping on what the Bible has wrong.

Noting that the Bible got a lot of stuff wrong is a sign of intelligence and education, not atheism. Like I pointed out earlier, most Christians are well aware of the Bible's many inaccuracies and have been for a very long time. Saying that there are "remarkable similarities" between Genesis and the theory of evolution just makes you sound like an idiot, Seven. That sort of nonsense might play in some redneck Pentacostal church, but it is nothing but an embarrassment to modern Christianity.

Seven Machos said...

It looks like we agree that the Bible is an anthology of Jewish literature and nothing more. The issue here is: what can atheists provide that is more fulfilling than the Bible?

I think my atheists-as-Marxists critique is spot on. Marx had a solid complaint against capitalism's shortcomings. So what? Capitalism has made humans richer and happier than anything else ever conceived. Religion provides similar spiritual wealth.

And nobody is ever going to know how the earth got formed.