Courting Trouble....

There are a couple of things we don't really get into here and each for their own reasons, but seeing as how I've already gotten into one of them I might as well get into another. Just as well hung for a sheep as a lamb, if you will.

Religion is one of those things because I'm an atheist and, frankly, I don't see a point in atheist vs theist posts because it's all faith. I'll take shots at what I consider asshole atheism (the belief that atheism is scientifically provable) because it's nonsense and should be put down in the same manner that you would put down the opposite claim. It's all faith. That means you can't prove it. But I'm going to say something that would certainly set me up for a good dose of hate mail if I had any regular readers who cared about this sort of thing: the idea that your average John or Jane can pick up a bible and interpret it as they see fit is the worst thing that came out of the protestant (i.e. not Catholic) faiths.

You have a book that's been compiled through political machinations over the course of hundreds of years. Texts have been included, omitted, and then included again. The meanings and in some cases the wordings have been debated by scholars during the course of its compilation. And that's not even considering the multiple translations over time and unintentional shifts of meaning that occur via word selection when shifting from one language to another. It's just as political as it is religious and the meanings of many passages have subtly shifted over the thousands of years based on cultural connotations.

People spend their entire lives studying the book and everything that went into making it what it is today, so the conceit that any yahoo can pick it up and really understand what the hell they're reading is ludicrous.

Now I know the argument that all of that occurred because God willed it, but that makes God seem a bit indecisive to me. Maybe your God has trouble making his mind up. Should you just turn away from sin (the more accurate translation of the original Greek) or should you repent (which has all sorts of undertones of atonement)? Subtle difference, but God should be able to pick one and stick with it, don't you think? Or does God just randomly raise and lower the bar on the whole shebang?

Look, I'm not picking a fight with anyone's belief in God or the protestant faiths as a whole. I'm just saying that it's astonishingly arrogant to presume that any random dude can pick up the bible and interpret it accurately.

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