Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The God of Clay Things...

It would be a lot like me saying, "Hey! I saw a pig last week on this farm in Bumblefuck, which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that they can build houses! Here, have you read the good book? It's called The Three Little Pigs, and brother, it is The way, The truth, and The life..."

So apparently a few weeks ago a small clay tablet was found in the archives of the British museum (does anyone else wonder how much is actually lost right under our noses in these so-called monuments to history?) that had a name on it. A name mentioned in--come on, take a guess!--the Bible:

"The clay document is dated to the 10th year of Nebuchadnezzar II (595 BC) and names the official, Nebo-Sarsekim. According to chapter 39 of the Book of Jeremiah, he was present at the siege of Jerusalem in 587 BC with Nebuchadnezzar himself."
Well, paint me pink and call me "Unibrow"! You mean the bible named a person who actually existed in history? Well, that settles it--Creation must be true!

You think I'm joking, but that's exactly the conclusion that many right-wing web sites proclaimed when news of this clay tablet appeared in the press: "See? The bible is 100% accurate! It's not just myths, it's FACT!"

As long as we discard the fact that at least 40 different people wrote the book over a span of centuries, all using different allegorical, historical, emotional, and cultural references and experiences; as long as we discard the fact the most of the book isn't meant to be literal history; and as long as we discard the blatant 20/20 hindsight and "fit the evidence into the pre-conceived conclusion" mold, as well as ignoring the overwhelming evidence to the contrary of what most fundies would like to think of history, as opposed to any actual historical tidbits that may have made their way into the bible--then, yeah, sure, the bible is "100% accurate as a historical record." (For proof of this insane assertion that one tablet does a godly account of history make, see here, or here, or here, or here, even here, or here, or... who am I kidding? These nuts have hundreds of these posts lurking on the net!)

It's just like I when I was driving home from Ocean City, and we saw a car accident that had happened moments earlier:

Rich: Look at that! Damn!
Me: Further proof that Megatron is on the rampage... Keep an eye out for Optimus!
What? My claim is as valid as the fundies... Well, except, of course, I realize that one car accident does not a transformer make...

Just as a tablet does not a god prove...

One also wonders why so much credence is lent to a small clay tablet as "proof" of a god, but mountains of scientific evidence about the evolution of life is called "full of holes" and "missing links"? I don't think I'll ever understand such backwards thinking...

6 comments:

DaBich said...

A valid point. I believe in God, and the Bible to an extent, but your post is thought provoking.

AND...you can spell Nebuchadnezzer...errr..is that right?

LOL

FCSuper said...

I've tried posting on one of those blogs you linked...moderated. :p I agree with you. Since Jeremiah was written long after the fact, and by persons who where in Babylon at the time, this more a case of bible writerS copying Babylonian history. This is more like the discovery of single news story being used as proof of authencity for a blog with written opinion of many news stories.

FCSuper said...

Besides that, even the article itself makes the statement that its rare to find matches in the bible to reality. lol I wonder if any of those fundy site will approve my comments to their postings? :)

Darkmind said...

Anyone who finds any artifact that somehow "proves" part of the bible, like...I dunno...an old tomb with a name in it, or a clay tablet with a name on it, or a sheet with a face on it. Whatever you find, I have just one name for you:
Mark Hoffman.
This guy was one of the greatest forgers in history, he created documents that fooled even forensic chemical document analysis techniques. He created all this "proof" for the Mormon church and they took it and ran with it, paying him handsomely for his finds.
Now think about this for a second. Do you really think that he was the only forger in history? And since biblical stories go back thousands of years, you have at least that long for people to have come up with "proof" during that time. Imagine I am someone who wants people to follow my newly made up religion. Now imagine this is 2000 years ago when forensic document analysis didn't exist. I decide to make some "proof" that my religion is real, so that people will follow me. The "proof" looks legit to the people of the time, and is accepted as real. Now this "proof" would be considered sacred and would be kept in a safe place. Now, over the years my religion gets persecuted, and I am forced to hide the sacred "proof". Then I get killed. Since I am the only person who knows where this "proof" is, it is lost to time, and only the survivors keep the legend of this proof alive by writing it down in a sacred book. Then some guy is digging around and finds this "proof" which just happens to be the right age, according to modern analysis, and even looks legit for the time period. Now everyone is head over heels beleiving that this "proof" guarantees what they have been guessing all along.
Same thing happened with the Shroud of Turin. Everyone swore it was the burial cloth of Jesus, then when it was tested is was found to have been made in the middle ages. Now there are people who don't want their "proof" to be dismissed, so they claim that the sample tested in the 1988 study was from a rewoven repair done my nuns after fire damage to the shroud. And they even got the people who did the study to admit that was a possibility. Now they have to get vatican approval to test another section of the shroud? DO you think they will agree? HELL NO!! They need people to beleive it could be real! And thus the myth (and subsequent tithe money) continues... The thing is, even if it were dated to 33AD, it still would not prove that that was Christ's shroud. Exactly how many bearded guys were crucified that year? We know from the stories that several were crucified at the same time as him on the same day, so what proof is the shroud other than a historical curiosity?
When the subject surrounds thousands of years of devoted fanatical worshipers who may have needed "proof" to sway new members, even scientifically provable physical evidence may not be any proof at all...

Jason Hughes said...

DaBich: That's why I copied and pasted... LOL!

FC: LOL, yeah, I tried leaving comments too, but Jay-sus forbid you try to challenge them on their own point of view with something resembling a thought process-- :D

Darkmind: Wow! When someone comes out of hibernation, they do it with a bang! I never knew you had it in you to write such long comments!

I never knew that about Mark Hoffman (that in-depth anyway--I'd heard his name mentioned before...) and you bring up a fascinating angle that I had never truly considered in this context! Thanks for the info...

Jason Hughes said...

DaBich: That's why I copied and pasted... LOL!

FC: LOL, yeah, I tried leaving comments too, but Jay-sus forbid you try to challenge them on their own point of view with something resembling a thought process-- :D

Darkmind: Wow! When someone comes out of hibernation, they do it with a bang! I never knew you had it in you to write such long comments!

I never knew that about Mark Hoffman (that in-depth anyway--I'd heard his name mentioned before...) and you bring up a fascinating angle that I had never truly considered in this context! Thanks for the info...