Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Don't Be a Sisyphus!

What Is the Chief Political Concern of the Bible?

"The following respondents are all heavyweights who live and work at the top of their fields in biblical studies, theology and Christian ethics."

LOL. Heavyweights in theology... (There are no heavyweights in theology. Only pinheads. And a lot of people have known it for a very long time.)

Nobody asked me, but I'll answer the question. The bible was compiled from texts written over a period of a thousand years or more, and naturally reflects a great variety of different concerns of authors writing in a great variety of political circumstances. Asking what is the chief concern of the whole thing represents a refusal to employ logic and break free from the superstitious conception that the entire bible is a unified message from an all-wise Supreme Being, to break free from the ridiculous idea that all the answers anyone will ever need are contained in those 1,000 pages or so, depending on the size of the page and the type. It's just a book. There are many good books, not one Good Book. The answer is: stop looking for the answer to Everything in there. (And if some of my fellow atheists would stop treating the Bible as if it were the vilest thing ever written and the root of all evil, that'd be equally nice, and for startlingly similar reasons.)

I sort of broke a rule of mine by responding to this question, by treating a theological question of this type as if it were worthy or response. (I partly made up for breaking my rule by using terms like "pinheads" and "ridiculous.") Any sensible person can reach the conclusions I reached above without my help, and anyone not able to reach such conclusions is either actually mentally retarded or is not looking for rational discourse, but actively avoiding it. And how many equally-ridiculous theological questions have been posed to the public in the few minutes it took me to answer this one? Answering their questions one by one is not a viable strategy, besides the fact that it's dreary hard work. Don't be a Sisyphus! Instead, you could read about Sisyphus in Ovid's Metamorphoses.Or in the Platonic dialogue Sisyphus.Except that that's actually a pseudo-Platonic dialogue. You could read about that.

I don't want to discourage you from reading the Bible, if you find it interesting. Well -- unless you're one of the people who's actually able to take a question like What is the the chief political concern of the Bible? seriously. In which case I think it's urgent that you put down the Bible, and the Bible commentaries and other theological works, and read about Sisyphus for a change. Or about Don Quijote.Or go to a death metal concert. Or just out to a bar. Anything.

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