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Sat, 2005-Nov-26

Responding to Small-mindedness with Small-mindedness

Steven Hanley paints a picture of creation where people come into being and sit around saying things like "Huh?" and "What?" when it comes to reproduction. Steven apparently can't imagine how these characatures could come to terms with their condition and imagines they may invented the inquisition several thousand years before the pope did. Hell, I know this is just blogging but baloney!

Steven, you speak of faith as a religious zealot speaks of science. While one side of the fence is worried about being related to scarey apes and monkeys, you seem afraid of being related to scarey god-lovers. Let's drop the preconceptions and look at what those you are rubbishing actually say, rather than what you want to believe they would say.

Let's have a look at Genesis 2. As with the Genesis 1 account of the creation of the entire universe, the detail is brushed over. Like the Genesis 1 account's focus on God's power over nature, Genesis 2 has a few simple points to make before getting on with living in the world that came out of this process. The main point of Genesis 2 is that God and people weren't separated at creation. God didn't create a race of naked people having casual sex on the weekend and wondering why their bellies grew. God created a people who he was in constant day to day contact with. Unlike today where we have to have some faith that he exists at all and see his influence primarily through physical and emotional phenomina, the bible is clear that God was in the face of his people. He was up close and personal.

The idea that people who are living this close to their creator would go crazy asking themselves what was happening to them is wastefuly arrogant. "He's right there. Why don't you go ask him?" The answer would be clear. Likewise, the presumption of violence as the basis of religion is one that has (comparatively) modern roots. If the biblical account of creation is to be taken seriously there was no violence, hatred, or bigotry to be had. Not until God and his people were separated.

Read on to Genesis 3. It too is simple, brushes over the details, and focuses on its core point: God and his people were separated by the desire of those people to become like God. It's a summary of the first half christian dogma in three chapters: We were once God's people, but we were separated by our own doing. The second half goes like this: We can be God's people once more, not by our own doing this time but by God's own doing.

Read into Genesis and other books of the bible what you like. There are certainly plenty of biases in there to pick up on. There are things in there that are telling in that they aren't said. Why did God put people in a position to be able to abandon him or try to replace him? Do we deserve the punishment we recieved for the actions of a few individuals? I suggest arguing the baselessness (if any) of religious creationism on foundations such as these. I suggest being clear on what you are arguing against, rather than coming up with ridiculous hypotheticals that you can point to and announce grandly how ridiculous they are.

Gensis is written in the style of a parable. It is abridged and moralistic and does not provide sufficient facts to support itself. I'm confident that creation stories from other religions will yield similar results. If you want to argue the ridiculousness of these stories be my guest. Personally I put about as much importance on these pages as the bible's own authors did. They're worth about three pages. As a fundamentalist I belive there is value in those pages, but fundamentally I think there are more valuable and interesting lessons to be learned than how old the earth can be calculated to be from a literal interpretation. What is important is that God is still in the garden waiting for our return.

Benjamin