Thursday, November 12, 2015

You Can't Talk To Some People -- Or At least You Shouldn't

When you've become convinced that someone isn't listening, and that talking to them would be a waste of your time, what remains? Talking about them.

There are two people here who, I'm convinced, wouldn't listen to me if I tried to get through to them. The first quotes one of the more far-fetched passages in the Bible and seems to have no doubt that it's 100% true -- because it's in the Bible.

The second, who seems to have the opposite problem, replies to the first:

"Why is it that not one independent historical source ever mentions any of these things happening? Possibly because they didn't happen, and once again the wholly babble is a lie? Hmmm."

Oh, it makes me angry, how stupid this "the Bible is a lie" talking point is! All the more stupid because the people parroting it think of themselves as the voice of reason, as rationality incarnate. A collection of over 60 texts, with dozens of authors, is not "an" anything, it is more than one thing. It shows you how these two idiots are the flip side of one another, this all-or-nothing approach to the Bible. To the one it's absolutely all true, to the other it's absolutely all "a lie."

Who talks that way about a book by one author, let alone a compilation of works by many different authors?

In this case, the Bible verses quoted as Gospel truth are actually from one of the Gospels and have to do with one of the less-believable details of the Biblical account of Jesus' life, and the New Atheist was dutifully responding with the party line: "No historical sources mention Jesus."

So why is this, hmm? Could it be that Jesus never existed?

Yes, hmm? it could be that Jesus never existed. But one of the long list of things which these smug hmm? -ers don't want to hear is that very few non-New-Testament sources say anything at all about Judea and Galilee between 6 BC and AD 40, and one of those sources, Josephus, does mention Jesus, and not just in the discredited Testamonium Flavianum that they're always talking about because it's been discredited, but in a second passage as well.

They don't want to hear it. They don't want to have an intelligent conversation about 1st-century Judea and Galilee, they wouldn't recognize such a conversation if it slapped them in the face.

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