The irrelevancy of the Bible to “Is there a God” question….

I am drinking coffee to get ready for my morning workout.

I’ve revisited some of the old discussion about “belief” vs. atheism and noticed how much of the argument, at least in the United States, is about the Bible and the deity of the Bible.

I want to be clear: I think that the Bible is highly relevant in terms of Western history, literature and social studies. I think that an educated western person should read it or at least become familiar with parts of it, including the silly and noxious parts:

Joshua 8:22-25New International Version (NIV)

22 Those in the ambush also came out of the city against them, so that they were caught in the middle, with Israelites on both sides. Israel cut them down, leaving them neither survivors nor fugitives. 23 But they took the king of Ai alive and brought him to Joshua.

24 When Israel had finished killing all the men of Ai in the fields and in the wilderness where they had chased them, and when every one of them had been put to the sword, all the Israelites returned to Ai and killed those who were in it. 25 Twelve thousand men and women fell that day—all the people of Ai.

Numbers 22:28

27When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam was angry and struck the donkey with his stick. 28And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29Then Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a mockery of me! If there had been a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now.”…

New Testament: Acts 5: 8-9

…8And Peter responded to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?” And she said, “Yes, that was the price.” 9Then Peter said to her, “Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well.” 10And immediately she fell at his feet and breathed her last, and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.…

So we have mass murder (slaughters), talking donkeys and the death penalty for lying about how much money you gave to church.

So, yes, it is hard to take the Bible seriously, at least in terms of it being a source of truth or a source of morality.
But what is its relevance in terms of the existence of a deity?

I really don’t think it has any. Why should it? Any discussion about a deity’s existence or non-existence has to deal with reams and reams of facts about our universe, almost all of which were completely unknown to the primitive writers of the Bible (and other holy texts as well).

Things like the utter vastness of our universe, the “not even large enough to be microscopic” size of the world inhabited by humans and the laws of science would be relevant to this question.

April 21, 2015 Posted by | atheism, religion | | 1 Comment