Saturday, July 08, 2006

Dog-pile

My two co-horts have responded to John Loftus' latest post pontificating about God having a body (yes, I said pontificating rather than arguing). For a more intellectual response to Loftus I refer you to Jason's and Steve's responses.

Basically, Loftus' ammo for this argument is to treat anthropomorphic passages as literal. Furthermore, he psychologizes the Christian when he gives the reasons why we would not interpret certain passages literally. He writes,

"Modern Christians try to avoid the conclusions of the literal Biblical statements because they read the Bible after the rise of science."


Unfortunately for Loftus, the reason why we believe God does not have literal physical hands and feet is *not* because anything modern science tells us! Since when has modern science determines that gods must not be physical?

Loftus explains,

"The so-called Bible believing Christians have argued that this is merely the language of appearances, that is, it’s merely figurative language, just like heaven is described as a city in Revelation 21-22, but neither of which are to be taken literally by educated Christians today."


Anyway, let's apply Loftus' technique to himself:

"With what we read in the Bible, the burden of proof is squarely on them."

The burden of proof is abstract and not square in nature, furthermore it isn't "on" anyone. Unlike bird droppings, burdens of proof cannot be on John's shoulder.

"We must step back in time before the rise of modern astronomy to see the universe as they did."

Time is not something that can be "stepped" into, contrary to Loftus’ imagination, time is not like poop. Furthermore, modern astronomy, like the sun, does not "rise."

"About this listen to the Anchor Bible Dictionary (“Image of God’) which tells us:"

Sorry, the dictionary does not have a voice mechanism and so does not "tell" us anything.

"Mormons today take these statements literally"

Statements are immaterial and, therefore, no one can "take" them, maybe their instantiation in a physical sentence, but not the statement qua statement.

"so if modern people like Mormons think this way, then it’s even more likely that ancient Hebrews did."

LOL, that's a fallacious inference, but I thank John for doing it to himself again. Check it out: "If modern people like John can use language in a non-literal, poetic, metaphorical, allegorical, way then it's even more likely that ancient Hebrews did." He gave us the entire debate with this one! QED.


Questions for consideration:

1) In 4 thousand years when our more civilized great-great... grandchildren read Loftus will they think that we thought "burdens of proof" were "square" and could be "on" people?

2) When someone tells them that they're not translating it properly will our future Loftuses tell them that they refuse to read it how ignorant past Loftuses meant it?

3) Can refuting atheists get any easier?

5 comments:

  1. 2nd Corinthians 3:6: Who also has made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.

    Here is a verse that mandates allegorical or symbolic interpretation.

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  2. Another knock down for John W. "the girlie man" Loftus.

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  3. Re: vytautas' comment: In 2 Corinthians, I don't think Paul (the apostle) is arguing for non-literal interpretation in general, but for the "spiritual", i.e., really rather expansive interpretation of the Law, as in the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus showed the Law (meaning the Ten Commandments) even more terrifying than they already were. In this case I believe it's for the use of the Law that drives us to the Gospel.

    Paul? Anyone?

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  4. LOL!!!

    Nice article, and a good point to keep in mind.

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