Yesterday, I promised that we would see how shallow the typical atheist seems to read the Bible. I actually learned that long ago with my failed foray into the forums of Why Won’t God Heal Amputees. It didn’t take long for the crew to harp on one of their favorite passages in the Bible, where Jesus says that if we pray for a mountain to move, that it will get up and move (Mt 17:20).
Obviously, if I pray for Mt. Everest to levitate over the ocean and land in the Appalachian Mountains, we know that won’t happen. Which leads to two general conclusions about that passage. Either Jesus was speaking metaphorically, or the Bible is total bull. WWGHA concludes the latter without even considering the former.
If a Christian argues that Jesus was speaking metaphorically, then the whole forum membership throws a collective fit and claims it is impossible to discern metaphors and literary devices in the Bible from the literal parts. Which leads them to believe that the entire Bible is to be taken at 100% face value, no matter what.
The TV series Police Squad! was a straight-laced cop drama that took place in an alternate universe where there is no such thing as figurative language. If someone said that a name “rings a bell,” then a distant bell would ring. A running gag was for Lt. Drebin to offer a witness a cigarette by holding it to them and simply saying it’s name.
“Cigarette?” he would ask.
The witness would make eye contact with Drebin and reply, “Yes, it is!”
This is how the atheists of WWGHA read the Bible–as though it were absent figurative language. This atheist looks at an obvious example of metaphor and says, “Well, the Almighty God said it, he would be clear about it, so it must be true that you can move a mountain as Jesus says here!” They realize that you can’t, because no one can move a mountain like that. So, they force the conclusion that the Bible is completely false, based only upon their erroneous interpretation of the text.
This is an example of the same sort of fallacy. Here, Monica (Twitter user @Monicks) is reading and interpreting a passage correctly. However, she isn’t thinking deeply enough about what the ramifications of it really are. Read the rest of this entry