Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Over at PhillyChief's place, I've been pressing him to answer basic questions about the standards he uses to make moral value judgments. True to form, he's running away as fast as he can from the questions. No surprise there.
Another commenter named Quantum_Flux made the assertion that Christianity is irrational. I asked him to prove it. He pointed me to three posts.
Here's the first paragraph from the first one.

Well, theism started out good at least. I mean, psychedelic Moses saw this burning bush that told him to poison the water of Egypt with LSD when there was a giant volcano event that allowed the Jewish people to escape into the desert led by a giant pillar of fire in the sky. There were trippy dreams about snakes chasing snakes and skinny cows eating fat cows. People thought that it took 40 years traveling in the desert to complete a miraculous journey that should have taken a week tops on camelback. Then this great big group of runaway slaves completely ransacked a whole bunch of cities and spared nobody except for the young women because Yahweh's booming voice of justice was heard loud and clear by the high preists who then wrote it down on papyrous scrolls in hebrew and passed it around to the group.

I'm nearly speechless at the sheer idiocy. This is what the Bible meant when it referred to the fool that has said in his heart, "There is no God".
Anyway, here's the comment I left:

So I ask you for evidence that Christianity is irrational and you point me to this post? Hahahaha, that's pathetic.
Let's just take the 1st section, b/c the craptacular nature of this entire post is overwhelming.

-Prove Moses was "psychedelic" (whatever that means). You probably mean that he saw things that you haven't seen, but haven't LOTS of people seen things you haven't seen?
-Prove Moses poisoned the water of Egypt with LSD.
-To what biblical event do you refer when you speak of a volcanic event?
-If the pillar of fire, how is it that the "volcano" showed up only at night and moved around the desert?
-Exactly which volcano was it in Egypt that erupted? Where is the lava flow? Can you point it out in some study or google earth or something?
-I didn't realise that Egypt had volcanic activity. What are the active or recently-dormant volcanos there?
-Prove the snake-chasing-snake thing was a dream rather than an actual event.
-Surely you realise that the skinny cows eating fat cows occurred in the book of Genesis, not Exodus. It was 400+ years before Moses' time.
-The 40-yr journey in the Sinai wasn't "miraculous" at all. It was more precisely counter-miraculous, a punishment from God for the Israelites' unbelief. Cherry-picking seems to be your specialty.
-They ransacked the cities b/c God was fighting for them. You know, the whole "walk around 7 times and the walls fell down" thing. If you have an omnipotent God acting in your behalf, don't you think that might make things a tad easier?
-They spared lots of people, depending on the instance you're talking about. You probably ignorantly think it was one big slaughter b/c you haven't even read the Old Testament. Pitiful.
-What biblical passage do you refer to when you speak of "Yahweh's booming voice"? I'm curious about this one.
-What biblical psg do you refer to when you say that "papyrous" (sic) scrolls were passed around to the group?

And that's just the 1st paragraph. Your crusade has started with an epic fail. Who exactly were you expecting to take this seriously?



I'll be dealing with the other two posts over time. This one is a nice Christ-mas present, though.


Dr Funkenstein said...

-Exactly which volcano was it in Egypt that erupted? Where is the lava flow? Can you point it out in some study or google earth or something?

-I didn't realise that Egypt had volcanic activity. What are the active or recently-dormant volcanos there?

Not in Egypt itself, but the Santorini eruption is quite important to archaeologists studying that region.

I don't know if it corresponds to the exact region or time period you are discussing though (the eruption is dated to approx 1500 BC)


Rhology said...

The Exodus was more like around 4000 BC, as I recall...
But that's really interesting, I didn't know that there was volcanic activity in Egypt. Thanks!

Mr Gronk said...

I always had it in my head that the Exodus was between 1450 and 1250 B.C., depending on your take on the chronology of the period of the Judges, the neighbouring chronology of Egypt, and the various archaeological finds in the region.

It's a bit tricky; I'm told that a lot of lists from the area and time can look like they're consecutive when really they're concurrent. Plus a lot of helpful information is missing (not least the name of the Pharaoh in question).

4000 B.C. is about where the Ussher-Lightfoot scheme places the creation of the world.

Hope that helps.

Mr Gronk said...

To follow up: The Santorini eruption could well be a candidate for the cause of a number of the plagues of Egypt (like the three-day darkness, for example, if an ash cloud were blown the right way). But your interlocutor seemed to try and put the events at Mt Sinai, and/or the "pillar of cloud + pillar of fire" combo, down to volcanic activity. I'm pretty sure Sinai isn't a volcano, and as for the pillar, a mobile volcano continuously erupting for forty years is a bit of a stretch for a mundane explanation.

Rhology said...

Mr Gronk is indeed correct about the dating. Sorry for the brain cramp, and thank you to Mr Gronk, who also happens to win the "best handle I've seen this year" award.