Sunday, August 30, 2015

Quotation

"Getting rid of a delusion makes us wiser than getting hold of a truth."
Ludwig Borne

No, those arguments shouldn't be made

Though I appreciate Penwell's semi-sarcastic mocking tone in "9 Arguments From the Bible Fundamentalists Should Have to Make" and I understand it is meant to be more rhetorical than literal, the arguments he talks about have no real merit. No argument of substance can actually be made "from the Bible" since it tends to alternate between being vague, inconsistent, contradictory, and incoherent. It really doesn't matter if an individual or group leans more towards the liberal or conservative end religious interpretation since they both have ample material to cherry pick and repackage to suit their interests. No religious "argument" can ever be fully right or wrong based on scripture. Arguing over scripture is an act of self deception and willful ignorance. Basically, there are no legitimate arguments that can be made expressly from the Bible.

A bit late, and far too short

It is nice to see at least a few mainstream outlets acknowledge perceptions of the current Pope are inaccurate even if those pieces tend to be rather shallow and weak. One of the few recent articles to feebly point out this disconnect from reality came from Time in the form of "The Top 4 Misconceptions About Pope Francis." In comparison to all the misconceptions surrounding Francis this really is pathetic. If it were just a starting point for a series of short pieces on the myths surrounding the current Pope it might work well as a gentle way to broach the subject but I doubt Time will follow it up with anything even remotely resembling a substantial analysis. The author, a liberal leaning Catholic activist, never bothers to point out that the Pope has not actually even hinted at let alone attempted to change a single Catholic doctrine. The few practices he's made minor adjustments to are of little to no consequence and are easily ignored and/or over-ridden by local clergy. Sadly, this does not seem to be accidental either. The minuscule steps taken by Francis to combat economic corruption and child rape seem to have been designed to allow a lot of leeway for those most responsible for such crimes. The very few who have been punished in some manner are simply being used by the Vatican and its pontiff as a relief valve, a public relations sacrificial goat.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this Pope really is no different in reality from his predecessors.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Editing the "Bible"

The Religion Q&A blog's August 16th post, "Why were some verses removed from the New Testament?", actually pretty good. However, it does omit quite a bit that relates to the question posed.
The post does a pathetic job of dispelling one of the major myths/misconceptions that seem to be at the heart of the qustion.

"CASSANDRA’S QUESTION:
I’m just shocked by the information I just received about the N.I.V. Bible, that many verses of the Scriptures have been removed. So I’m searching for a reliable version of the Bible to study from. Any suggestions?"

Cassandra seem to think that there is a single original "Bible." There isn't. According to the best available research there never has been a single complete original version of either the Old or New Testament. All versions of the Bible are interpreted and edited. What's worse for those self-deluded willfully ignorant dumb-asses who claim it is the "word of God" is that there isn't even a single original copy of any of the Books of the Bible (Old or New). There isn't one intact "original" copy of any of the Books. I thought it would be a good idea to repeat that. Not that it will sink into the the psyche of any who insist the Bible is authoritative. The Bible is simply a compilation of fragmentary ancient writing that the blindly devoted routinely repackage.

There is nothing remotely definitive or authoritative in any of the current versions of the Bible. There can't be since every Book of it can be debated as to which fragments are best to use for that specific part of the Bible. Not one Book has been agreed upon by contemporary theological and historical scholars. No one who knows anything about the Bible should be "shocked" by it's editing and selections. In reality, there are no "reliable" versions in the way Cassandra seems to want.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Quotation

"The starting point is neither selfishness nor altruism but the state of being bound together. It's an illusion to believe that you can be happy when no one else is. Or that other people will not be affected by your unhappiness."
Tor Norretranders
"Altruism"
This Idea Must Die