The bible has never been proven wrong, eh?
I get several invitations from religious people to go somewhere secluded and talk about god. Years ago I learned that this was generally not a good idea because the lack of an audience allowed the theist to sit there and drone ‘nuh uh’ over and over again without losing face. So when I receive such requests now, I always insist that our conversation be filmed and that I post it unedited to my blog. This is generally enough to dissuade even Jehovah’s witnesses and I recommend it to everybody. It’s amazing how their tactics change when accountability is introduced.
Anyway, during my last week in Springfield I was feeling generous and elected to indulge an MSU student who wanted to meet up and talk god (I didn’t demand video on this occasion). The argument to which she kept falling back was, “The bible has never been proven wrong about anything.” It occurs to me that she’s probably not the only person using this argument, so I guess I should blog about it.
The bible has been proven wrong about a great number of things, not the least of which is its central idea: that a man rose from the dead. We know this is impossible. The bible makes a magnificent glory about such an event’s impossibility: otherwise, why would god be required? The problem is that there’s no evidence that it occurred. The same can be said for walking on water, living in the belly of a fish, staffs turning into snakes, people turning into pillars of salt, etc. This is not even mentioning ‘prophecies‘ like the city of Tyre never being rebuilt (Ezekiel 26:14…Tyre is still around to this day) or a global flood (which was completely missed in the historical records of civilizations like Egypt’s Sixth Dynasty, which should have been destroyed. What a hearty bunch they must have been…).
Of course, this doesn’t matter to the believer because they can just say that god suspended the consistency of the universe to allow things that ordinary humans like us would consider to be proven false. The problem is that there is no event so ludicrous, so wildly unbelievable, that it could not be defended by such an argument. Even Christians realize that faith traps Muslims, Hindus, and followers of every other faith within grievous errors (errors that could be quite costly in terms of eternity), and makes those errors immune to assault by the world of evidence. Yet in the hands of Christians faith is not the means to maintain erroneous beliefs (as it is everywhere else), but a way to grasp the deepest conceivable truth, even as the evidence around them contradicts it. In this way, they can think that we’ve not proven that people do not rise from the dead.
This is the problem with faith: it destroys our reason by removing all our standard checks for proof and accountability. This unmakes our ability to converse fairly and, in doing so, destroys our connection to one another. This is the faith they tell us is necessary to redeem humankind.