August 19, 2001
Links of the Moment
penismightier had some links on Biblical skepticism. One was the Skeptic's Annotated Bible. Although this kind of thing seems pretty comprehensive, some of the things they pick on are pretty penny ante, and others can be attributed to poetic license. But it is a fairly strong rebuttal to a very strict Bible literalist viewpoint.
This quiz is a bit of an eye-opener...I had no idea that what we view as the 10 Commandments are not what was chiseled in stone. The rules on the tablets, clearly labeled as "the 10 commandments" involve mostly what Christians see as strictly "Old Testament" and "Kosher" rules (against cooking a goat in its Mom's milk, making the right sacrifices, a week of unleavened bread, etc), Exodus 34:1-28, but the "Thou Shalt Nots" are mostly from what God said to Moses (Exodus 19:23-20:18).
Some of the quiz commentary is sour-spirited. ("Hah, would a Good God do this?" which assumes that a divine being can be judged by the same standards we use to judge human war criminals, which denies the idea that there might be a bigger picture we can't see.) Other things I've realized are quirks of translation... if you read Judges 1:19 in the KJV it sounds like God can be stymied by chariots made of iron, but more recent translations make a bit more sense. But Jeremiah 10:2-5 seems to be speaking poorly about Christmas Trees, a pretty good trick for the Old Testament.
Finally, logical rebuttals to Pascal's Wager, the idea that since belief in God will save you if there is a god and cost you little if there isn't, you should believe. (Found this link while searching for information about Invisible Pink Unicorns, a jokey strawman religion some online Atheists/Agnostics use to make rhetorical points about faith and proof.)
Incidentally, many of the Bible links above are from The BibleGateway, a really fast and powerful verse look up tool, covering many translations into many languages.
from the T-shirt Archive: #16 of a Tedious Series
Kenneth Cole. A gift from a gay friend. I think it was a bit small for me. Also a bit gay. But stylish! (And 'minimalist', which is always a plus.)