Saturday, November 18, 2006

Carr's canard

As I was checking something in the archive, I ran across this gem:


Here is what Swinburne says ''Suppose that one less person had been burnt by the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Then there would have been less opportunity for courage and sympathy; one less piece of information about the effects of atomic radiation....' Such are the wise words of theologians.”

Interesting use of the plural. I didn’t realize until now that Richard Swinburne was more than one person. Does this mean that Mr. Carr believes in reincarnation? That does, indeed, raise tricky questions for personal identity.

As to his emotional reaction, it’s easy for us to develop a sentimental attachment to little bits of protoplasm, but thankfully Dr. Swinburne was able to override his evolutionary programming and appreciate how the death of one less or one more meat machine is a matter of moral indifference in an accidental universe.

It’s a pity that Carr is so shackled by the rusty chains of Christian dogma—that superstitious hooey about the imago Dei—that he has been unable to attain Dr. Swinburne’s level of evolutionary emancipation.


“And I see Triablogue are trying to justify Lot handing over his daughter's to be gang-raped...Truly there are no limits to the depths that these people will sink to.”

I don’t know if Carr is dumb or dishonest. I did quote Currid’s suggestion that Lot may have been attempting to bluff the Sodomites by trapping them in a legal dilemma.

To gang-rape a woman already espoused to a man (in the case of Lot’s daughters) was a capital offense in ANE culture.

Evidently, Mr. Carr is either too dense to grasp the explanation or simply too dishonorable to accurately reproduce the argument.

Dumb or dishonest—take your pick.


  1. Admittedly I'm too lazy to go look up the passage at the moment... but the story of Lot, his daughters, the angelic visitors, etc, even have a remotely prescriptive flavor to it? That is to say, Scripture can simply say what happened in a particular event. It doesn't necessarily have to pronounce a moral judgment on every instance of sin, when that's not the particular passage of a given story.

    I suppose the objection might be made that this clearly indicates that Lot is not a righteous man, but, OTOH, neither is anyone else in and of himself. Declarations that so-and-so is righteous (Noah, for example, or Job) are all understood in a covenantal context, and ultimately in the context of the righteousness of Another.

  2. The answer to Mr. Scrape is that there is not one word of approval. The episode is descriptive, not prescriptive. Lot comes across in the Soddom narrative as weak in the face of the Sodomite culture.