Lion of the Blogosphere

Quote from The Da Vinci Code

A character in Dan Brown’s novel, The Da Vinci Code said the following:

The Bible represents a fundamental guidepost for millions of people on the planet, in much the same way the Koran, Torah, and Pali Canon offer guidance to people of other religions. If you and I could dig up documentation that contradicted the holy stories of Islamic belief, Judaic belief, Buddhist belief, pagan belief, should we do that? Should we wave a flag and tell the Buddhists that the Buddha did not come from a lotus blossom? Or that Jesus was not born of a literal virgin birth? Those who truly understand their faiths understand the stories are metaphorical.

The character seems to be arguing both sides, because after questioning whether it’s a good idea to disprove the contents of religious texts, he states that those who truly understand their faith already understand that they aren’t supposed to take the stories literally.

* * *

Or, he meant that there’s no point in disproving the literal truth of holy stories because the smart people already understand that the stories are metaphorical and the dumb people need the guidance they can only get by believing in their literal truth.

However, Dan Brown, the author, attempted to teach the truth of Christianity’s untruths through his novel.

* * *

Based on comments, it’s clear that Dan Brown is wrong, because some commenters do NOT understand that the holy stories of their religion are metaphorical.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 31, 2015 at 12:12 AM

Posted in Books, Religion

89 Responses

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  1. Of all the novels in the world to read, you picked up something by Dan Brown?


    October 31, 2015 at 1:01 AM

    • Several years ago, when I read it, it was very popular.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      October 31, 2015 at 8:55 AM

      • It was incredibly popular. Do you have a guess as to why? Did it capture the mood of the country in 2003?

        I’ve heard the argument that there’s no explanation for why some books sell like crazy. If you were to look at bestselling books going back decades, there aren’t many titles you’d recognize. Most bestsellers are a flash in the pan. The Da Vinci Code was a huge cultural phenomenon, but this is the first I’ve seen it mentioned in a long time.


        October 31, 2015 at 3:06 PM

      • My theory is that the Catholic church sex-abuse scandal, which was one of the biggest stories of 2002, created a climate where it was more acceptable to question the Church’s moral authority. Had it been released in, say, 1997, I can see it doing well but not being a cultural phenomenon.


        October 31, 2015 at 3:47 PM

      • a. Dan Brown writes stupid books for people who like to think they are intelligent and world wise. Robert Langdon is introduced as “a Harvard professor of religious symbology” – a snort worthy bit of piffle that should have had people throw the book away before wasting more time on nonsense.

        Its also funny to hear people simultaneously deny details contained in the Gospels but believe hook line and sinker dubious, discredited gnostic accounts. You’d think people who are cynical enough to think Jesus never existed couldnt be credulous enough to believe gnostic pipedreams.

        b. There clearly was a conspiracy to promote gay marriage/gay acceptance. The first step to that is to undermine the moral authority of any group that opposed it- hence the sustained assault on the Catholic church.

        You only have to look to the number of back room deals around gay marriage to undermine the democratic process. California had pretty clearly shut the door on it, but in a few short years the people’s ability to determined their own laws was over thrown. By a judge, who surprise! turned out to be gay. With only 3% of the population gay it seems an incredible coincidence the case happened to get assigned to him. And it became open season on the Mormons for opposing gay marriage.

        As soon as Cuomo got elected in NY it was widely reported gay marriage was going to be rammed through. As sure enough Sheldon Silver, currently under incitement, distributed enough WAM and favors to rush the law through before constituents could weigh in.

        There probably would be a very interesting book to be written about all of the behind the scenes machinations that went on in the last decade around ramming through gay marriage without a popular vote, but Hollywood finds it more correct to push fantasies about albino Vatican assassins and virile and vigorous Harvard professors.

        cluster of grapes

        October 31, 2015 at 8:29 PM

      • For someone who went to an Ivy League school, lives in NYC and reads people like Fussell, Lion is often shockingly blind to class signals.

        Peter Akuleyev

        November 2, 2015 at 5:23 AM

      • To me this is the bazillionth time to question (in futility) why people are religious. People believe what they are taught. Most people who “believe” evolution could not explain it at all. They have pretty much no understanding of it. So their belief in evolution is of the same sort as those who believe in creation. They just believe it. Far more curious is why people who really do understand such things actually think that those who believe in it without understanding it are somehow much smarter than those who also may not understand it but don’t believe in it.

        Bottom line, you can’t make people smart just by disabusing them of religion. If the equivalent of NYC liberals adopted every African child on the continent and carefully reared each only to believe as they do, those kids would still grow up to have levels of violence, intelligence, etc., closer to Africans than to NYC liberals, but they wouldn’t believe the traditional religions of Africa etc. You could get them to espouse evolution through simply family and social expectations. Could you get them to understand it? I doubt it.

        Even NYTimes readers don’t understand evolution

        see the last comment #123 (use sort order “Newest” so it will be the first comment displayed)

        not too late

        November 2, 2015 at 1:03 PM

      • There clearly was a conspiracy to promote gay marriage/gay acceptance.

        Let’s call it… the Homintern.


        November 2, 2015 at 1:15 PM

  2. Smart people throughout the ages have always understood religion as part scam, part ritual, part instrument of social control. Although there is a lot of factual content in the Bible.


    October 31, 2015 at 2:30 AM

    • Smart people throughout the ages have always understood that the Bible is what it claims to be. Who preserved all knowledge from the ancient world for the West? Who set up the modern university system? Catholic monks.

      Andrew E.

      October 31, 2015 at 9:44 AM

      • The Catholic religious system offered the only jobs available for smart people for many centuries. Whether or not the believed in the literal truth of the Bible, they may have pretended to in order to keep their jobs.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 31, 2015 at 9:53 AM

      • And it was only in Christendom that the modern university system appeared. And modern music. And the Industrial Revolution.


        October 31, 2015 at 10:18 AM

      • The modern atheist university has offered the only jobs for smart people for decades. Whether they actually believe neo-Darwinism or not, they may pretend to in order to keep their jobs.

        See how easy this is?

        Andrew E.

        October 31, 2015 at 11:41 AM

      • There vast majority of jobs are outside of the university system.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 31, 2015 at 12:15 PM

      • It’s a lot of metaphor, a lot of particular cultural history, and a compendium *in words* of what worked to make a successful civilization at one time. There are many very decent atheists but the fact is most people are too inarticulate to pass on values that survive more than a generation or less. Can you imagine trying to teach Marcus Aurelius to little tots ala Man in Full? They needs words, parables, cautionary tales, lists of rules etc. Intelligent kids need more of a stated creed than the usual secularist pap “talk nice and don’t bother nobody” or a parent’s illusion that “they know how I feel, I don’t need to tell them anything.”

        Mrs Stitch

        October 31, 2015 at 6:42 PM

    • I like McFly’s comment, but I’d reword it:

      -Although there is a lot of factual content in the Bible, smart people throughout the ages have always understood religion as part scam, part ritual, part instrument of social control.-

      The factual parts of any religious text aren’t nearly as important as the feel-good parts. The feel-good parts are what people really cling to. Facts don’t matter that much unless they line up with the feel-good parts. There are raw-facts and there are conforming-facts. The conforming-facts are far more important to religious people.

      I don’t think people care a lot about facts they don’t like or disagree with.

      Papa Joey from Detroit

      October 31, 2015 at 10:26 AM

      • The important parts aren’t “feel-good” parts but the proscriptions.

        Dave Pinsen

        October 31, 2015 at 4:46 PM

    • I’d add to your list ‘part group evolutionary strategy’ which, admittedly, is implicit in your social control point.


      October 31, 2015 at 6:32 PM

      • I’d add to your list ‘part group evolutionary strategy’ which, admittedly, is implicit in your social control point.

        Group selection doesn’t exist because non-kin groupings are discrete boundaries, while genetic relatedness is continuous; i.e., ethnic loyalty can’t be instinctually as powerful as kin-loyalty because there are many groups of decreasing relatedness in between the ethnic and the kin levels that should, on relatedeness grounds, be given resource priority over ethnic level interests.

        All behavioral traits that result in non-kin group cooperation (altruism, ethnocentrism, etc) are mostly adhered to to the extent individuals perceive cooperating with a group is in their individual and kin interests. Historically, which group was most beneficial to one’s kin interests shifted too often for people to stick with one group. This is why Swedes, genetically more much more homogenous than Russians, are altruistic while Russians, with their broad mix of European ancestry, are nationalistic.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        November 1, 2015 at 10:35 AM

    • It is a pretty hopeless task to try to separate out the factual content of the Bible from the fictional.


      November 3, 2015 at 8:55 AM

  3. “he states that those who truly understand their faith already understand that they aren’t supposed to take the stories literally.”..

    I thought he was schlepping a familiar argument – Religion might be total bs, literally, but we need it to keep in line that class of people not capable of self control / self awareness / appreciation of metaphor, etc.

    Condescending perspective put in terms of deep concern.

    Brown’s a clever fellow. You can read him in so many ways. Complete parody or deep state believer.


    October 31, 2015 at 2:30 AM

    • “Religion might be total bs, literally, but we need it to keep in line that class of people not capable of self control / self awareness / appreciation of metaphor, etc.”

      Yep. Leftists.


      October 31, 2015 at 1:00 PM

  4. He’s acknowledging the believers’ doublethink. They know it’s not important whether the stories are true, but they don’t want them disproven anyway. Actually, it’s BECAUSE they’re not important that they don’t want them disproven. What’s the point in destroying a harmless pretty lie? It’s just cruel.

    Pretty deep stuff for Dan Brown.


    October 31, 2015 at 3:54 AM

  5. “Those who truly understand their faiths understand the stories are metaphorical.”

    yeah, where did he get that?


    October 31, 2015 at 5:44 AM

  6. “…because after questioning whether it’s a good idea to disprove the contents of religious texts, he states that those who truly understand their faith already understand that they aren’t supposed to take the stories literally.”

    Of course. Because the author himself can’t take the “stories” literally he can’t imagine that others possibly can. That’s been one of the biggest roadblocks in our elites understanding Islamic terrorism. They can’t possibly imagine that they are really motivated by religion. It literally does not compute. It HAS to be oppression, poverty, or some other root cause that fits within their own secular religion.

    Mike Street Station

    October 31, 2015 at 7:27 AM

    • Muslim are supposed to believe the Koran literally. It was dictated by Allah word for word to Mohammed.

      Even the most fundamentalist Christians recognizes that the Bible was written by many different people over many years.


      October 31, 2015 at 10:21 AM

      • The point is, a significant portion of our population can’t believe that anyone would take it literally. They’ll never believe that people would really act out violently because of religion.*

        * except for the Christian religion of course.

        Mike Street Station

        October 31, 2015 at 12:26 PM

      • And hopefully, someday, muslims will just be in history class and the museum.


        October 31, 2015 at 1:09 PM

      • Even the most fundamentalist Christians recognizes that the Bible was written by many different people over many years.

        The Catholic Church has never had a problem with evolutionary theory because they never subscribed to a literal interpretation of the ”days” of Genesis.

        Even before Christianity, there was substantially rabbinical debate about whether days was a literal 24 hour period or should be interpreted as a metaphorical timespan.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        November 1, 2015 at 10:59 AM

      • “The Catholic Church has never had a problem with evolutionary theory because they never subscribed to a literal interpretation of the ”days” of Genesis.”

        Yes, people counted the genealogies listed in the Bible and came up with 6,000 years for the age of the earth. The problem is that Church Doctrine recognizes two Falls. There is the Fall of Man, where Adam and Eve are tossed out of the Garden of Eden. And there is the Fall of Lucifer, where the Devil was kicked out of Heaven. The Bible is not clear on when Satan’s banishment actually occurred, which indicates a period much older than the one in Genesis itself.


        November 2, 2015 at 12:41 AM

      • Yes, people counted the genealogies listed in the Bible and came up with 6,000 years for the age of the earth. The problem is that Church Doctrine recognizes two Falls.

        There are many inconsistencies in the timeline of events in Genesis. They’ve been known and debated for thousands of years as to whether they were literal or metaphorical.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        November 2, 2015 at 11:06 PM

  7. Religion feeds a natural impulse to explain and make sense of the world. Bad things happen to good people, and vice-versa, but there’s some relief if we see it all as part of an inscrutable “master plan”: “everything happens for a reason”; “The Lord works in mysterious ways.”

    I’m sure a non-significant portion of the populace approaches the subject through the lens of rational ignorance. Their faith offers comfort and community, so there’s no sense *really* probing into it. To do so will just make you feel conflicted and lost. Who needs that kind of alienation?

    Even people who interpret the Bible metaphorically literally believe Christ is their savior.


    October 31, 2015 at 10:43 AM

    • There’s plenty of rational ignorance to be found among atheists. While global warming, social justice, anti-hbd, etc may not be exclusively atheistic it tends to go that way.


      October 31, 2015 at 1:13 PM

      • Global warming is real though.


        October 31, 2015 at 11:59 PM

      • Of course global warming is real but people didn’t cause it. It’s been going on since the last ice age ended thousands of years ago.


        November 1, 2015 at 1:54 AM

      • AGW *is* real, but it’s in our narrow self-interest to ignore the problem. That one’s immeasurably complicated by the fact we would have to impose belt-tightening upon ourselves for the benefit of future generations (primarily people who will be born into poverty). Not gonna happen. Then there’s the added challenge of global collective action (with predictable foot-dragging from the U.S., China, and emerging economies).


        November 1, 2015 at 1:17 PM

      • GW is real. AGW isn’t. AGW is pushed by the same globalists who want a “billionaire tax” to subsidize third world countries. Yes, the exact same people and organizations advocate both. The only “solution” ever pushed is cap&trade. Basically, every country’s emissions are capped. To exceed those emissions they have to buy “carbon credits” from other countries. Of course, the only countries that would ever exceed those caps are industrialized. So they would have to buy “carbon credits” from under-developed countries. What are they actually buying? Nothing! Developed countries would be paying underdeveloped countries for NOTHING. It’s just a wealth distribution scheme disguised as an environmental crisis. That’s why the only people you ever see pushing it are globalists and marxist radicals. Environmentalists are like watermelons — green on the outside and red on the inside.


        November 1, 2015 at 6:14 PM

      • The heated opposition to cap-and-trade amuses me because it was always an attempt to try to simulate market behavior. So, anyway, you’re contending the “globalists” who run the world ginned up an environmental crisis — via self-deluded slash research-grant hungry scientists, who publish in peer-reviewed journals — in order to transfer their own wealth to third-world countries…?

        Here’s an alternative narrative: conservatives/libertarians/free-marketers oppose government intervention to the economy *on principle*, so (virtually) no amount of evidence will convince them AGW is occurring because it would justify taxation/regulation/cap-and-trade of carbon emissions. Private industry largely supports such ideologues in an effort to manufacture doubt and keep profits high.


        November 3, 2015 at 11:34 PM

      • That’s not how cap and trade works, it doesn’t give money to 3rd world countries for free.

        You get carbon credits by doing things such as planting trees.

        It makes sense rationally if you want to pollute more you need to remove some pollution to make up for the increased pollution.

        It’s not a free wealth transfer


        November 5, 2015 at 10:39 AM

  8. “My point, once again, is not that those ancient people told literal stories and we are now smart enough to take them symbolically, but that they told them symbolically and we are now dumb enough to take them literally”

    – John Dominic Crossan


    October 31, 2015 at 11:07 AM

  9. Persecute ONE FUCKING ASTRONOMER and you get labeled “anti-science.” What educated non-religious today don’t understand is that most Christians, aside from a small vocal minority of fundies, are fine with science. William of Ockham, Roger Bacon, Gregor Mendel, and Georges Lemaitre were all Catholic priests or monks. The Pope declared that there’s no contradiction between the theory of evolution and Catholic doctrine.


    October 31, 2015 at 1:34 PM

    • By contrast, it’s A-okay for clownworld to persecute scientists today, like James Watson. It’s because we’re just so awesome these days that we can do these things. Also we fucking love science!


      November 1, 2015 at 11:53 AM

    • Its worth considering who actually *came up* with the Big Bang theory.
      And the atheist who abused him because of it.

      cluster of grapes

      November 2, 2015 at 12:29 PM

  10. I understand metaphor as a figure of speech: “Mass Third World immigration is a cancer on our society.” I used “cancer” metaphorically. But what does it mean to say Bible stories are to be understood metaphorically, not literally? Specifically, if “Jesus rose from the dead” is just a metaphor, then, metaphorically speaking, you’ve pulled the rug out from under the entire Christian religion.

    Mark Caplan

    October 31, 2015 at 1:53 PM

    • Not necessarily. Plenty of progressive Christians denominations believe this. Mind you they are mostly elderly people attending these churches. Their children and grandchildren are mostly atheists. When the old generations dies out they will probably convert the church buildings to mosque to serve the Muslims these progressive Christians were so anxious to invite to our country. Maybe Christianity contains the seeds of its own destruction. Maybe the Western world does too.


      October 31, 2015 at 2:23 PM

      • Democracy contains the seeds of its own destruction. Democracy is shit.


        October 31, 2015 at 4:50 PM

      • destructure, I might have asked you this before, but have you ever read Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s Democracy, The God That Failed? You would like it.


        October 31, 2015 at 9:47 PM

      • “Maybe Christianity contains the seeds of its own destruction. Maybe the Western world does too.”

        I’ve long suspected this was the case. There is something about Western Civ, as currently organized, that is suicidal. You can see the fruits of this all over the first world. It could be that successful societies with few major problems feel the need to create their own.

        Mike Street Station

        November 1, 2015 at 10:51 AM

      • @destructure – “Democracy is shit.”

        Isn’t that what Churchill said, though with less eloquence?

        Mark Caplan

        November 1, 2015 at 12:07 PM

      • @ Mark Caplan — Churchill said “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” I disagree. Democracy is the worst form of government PERIOD. Democracy is self destructive. It’s like a big party with lots of drugs and sex. But you wake up the next morning with AIDS.


        November 1, 2015 at 6:23 PM

      • I think Democracy is working well in Japan and in Singapore.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        November 1, 2015 at 9:51 PM

      • Japan’s fertility rate is 1.4. Singapore’s is 1.2. That’s not sustainable. It’s catastrophic.


        November 1, 2015 at 9:55 PM

      • “Mind you they are mostly elderly people attending these churches. Their children and grandchildren are mostly atheists.”


        How do you know that?

        Did you personally survey the age range and beliefs of every parishioner of every church in North America?

        And their descendants?

        It’s called wishful thinking. Just because you want it to be that way, doesn’t mean that’s the way it is. ; )

        Robert the Wise

        November 1, 2015 at 11:21 PM

      • Lion, yes, and to the extent that democracy does work, it does in direct proportion to 1. the smallness of a society, and 2. the homogeneity of a society. As societies get larger and more heterogeneous, democracy works less.


        November 2, 2015 at 12:46 AM

      • @Robert the Wise — Rosenmop was talking specifically about “progressive” churches which is true. Fundamentalists are the only denominations with above replacement fertility rate. Progressive denominations also have the highest rates of people leaving. This is true of all religions. Religion is inherently conservative.


        November 2, 2015 at 11:34 AM

      • @destructure

        So what alternative form of government do you propose?


        November 2, 2015 at 1:36 PM

      • Yakov — Previous commenters observed the current system is self destructive. I agree and gave my opinion as to why. What’s better han democracy is another matter. I’d ask you several questions. Do you agree the current system is self destructive? Do you think democracy is at least part of the reason for this? And what systems do you think are better? I’d rather not answer the last one myself because it wasn’t my point to proscribe a solution but to diagnose the problem.


        November 3, 2015 at 12:13 AM

  11. Atheist Christopher HItchens said of smart Christians that he believed they were people who “kept two sets of books.” Christopher never acknowledged that his own cultural Marxist beliefs required the same keeping of two sets of books. Particularly when it comes to imagining there are no population differences between the world’s peoples.


    October 31, 2015 at 6:38 PM

  12. Razib Khan’s friend and former Gene Expression blogger, Joel Grus, wrote a book several years
    ago, mocking all religions, called “Your Religion is False”. Not for all tastes. For example, among
    Jesus’s last words: “Peter, I can see your house from up here!”.


    October 31, 2015 at 6:58 PM

  13. Oh, all you agnostics and atheists are just too smart for religion. How about those superintelligent aliens you watch on movies and TV shows? Remember 2001 a space odyssey where a black obelisk created by superintelligent aliens save the protohumans by teaching them to kill and eat meat? All of you who are geeks for things like Star Trek have characters like Q who are gods in everything but name. If you remove the pretense, all of you are no more or less interested in Higher Life Forms. I have to laugh when claims are made that humans are the smartest creatures in the universe or maybe even the only ones. There are probably superintelligent aliens watching your primitive society like you would watch ducks in a pond. When they abduct people and examine them they probably put a ultra high tech tracker on them like you would to a Canadian Goose or a Dolphin.

    Joshua Sinistar

    October 31, 2015 at 8:59 PM

    • Transhumanism is the real religion of modern atheists. They laugh at an afterlife but then expect to live forever in a digitally downloadable form.

      Mike Street Station

      November 1, 2015 at 10:53 AM

      • For the subset of libertarians, yes. But far more atheists hold to a kind of misanthropic, humans-are-a-cancer-on-the-world mindset, and consider Christianity an ideology that wrongly places humans at the top of the food chain.

        Many more atheists are like animal rights-loving Ricky Gervais than futurist Ray Kurzweil.


        November 1, 2015 at 3:55 PM

  14. Check out the non-fiction book ‘Holy Blood, Holy Grail’ which covers the same topic.

  15. Dan Brown = a prole man’s Umberto Eco.


    November 1, 2015 at 12:00 AM

    • Yes, and Eco, while an atheist, has at least an aesthetic appreciation of the positive aspects of the Catholic church over the centuries.

      Peter Akuleyev

      November 2, 2015 at 5:08 AM

  16. Since you know the Virgin Birth is to be understood metaphorically, what is it a metaphor of?

    Dirty Randy

    November 1, 2015 at 8:18 AM

    • I don’t understand the need to view that metaphorically. A virgin birth can be achieved using IVF. If you believe God is God, why would you question His ability to do what a fertility specialist or veterinarian does on a routine basis?


      November 3, 2015 at 10:46 AM

  17. It doesn’t matter that religion is metaphorical. Like many commenters, I was a smart and sensitive kid who thought religion was make believe and therefore not worthy of attention. Maybe for those of use with high IQ and high conscientiousness it isn’t that important. But for most of society, what replaces religious belief besides consumer materialism? I’m coming around to the idea that we need rituals in our lives to mark births and marriages and deaths. Also, we need the traditional family and community that religious faith helps to maintain. I’m not a literal believer, but I’m turning from a rational materialist into a Roger Scruton half-believer who understands that religion is good for us as human beings.


    November 1, 2015 at 8:32 AM

  18. If religion is the opium of the masses then why do the Leftists take drugs? All this talk about science sounds so good until they start to tell you what they really believe. Like race is a social construct. Yeah, that’s probably why it shows up on a DNA test right? What other social constructs can you find with a DNA test? Could you get an idea of IQ based on it? You’ll probably say no if you’re one of these sciency guys. They also call God a giant spaghetti monster. Gee that’s interesting. What’s Mother Nature? Its an anthropomorphised godlike figure Madison Avenue Ad agencies made up to sell dishwashing detergent and feminine hygiene products, but if you’re a Leftist she’s real right? What about Gaia? That’s Mother Earth to these sciency folks. They think our planet is alive. Remember when you took Geology class and they showed you a hypothetical cutaway of the Earth with a brain and internal organs like an organism? No? I don’t either. BTW Gaia is the name of the Earth Goddess who married Uranus the Sky God and gave birth to the Titans in Greek Mythology. But that’s OK cause its science now.

    Joshua Sinistar

    November 1, 2015 at 5:55 PM

    • Good analogy.


      November 2, 2015 at 12:23 AM

    • Plenty of right wing people take drugs. And if you remember that alcohol is, in fact, a drug, then you will see there isn’t that much difference in drug use between political factions. Also very few scientists believe in “Gaia”, that is more of a New Agey belief, which is basically a religion.

      Peter Akuleyev

      November 2, 2015 at 5:12 AM

      • I didn’t say that scientists believed in Gaia, but enough of the people on the Left do that if they said anything they would at least be reprimanded or even fired. Their Leftie supervisors need the votes of these New Age Hippies and Wiccans so they will put up and even allow them to pursue these ridiculous beliefs. Hell, they could say they were a fucking Jedi Knight if they believe in Global Warming and vote for Hillary. As long as you’re not a God fearing Christian Democrat like that clerk who didn’t want to issue Gay Marriage Licenses, you can believe anything. You could probably be a Voodoo Witch Doctor who cuts the heads off of chickens as long as you’re a Democrat.

        Joshua Sinistar

        November 2, 2015 at 5:51 PM

    • Why do religious social-cons smoke cigarettes, get drunk, and get into bar fights like the one in Waco Texas all while wearing crosses around their necks?

      Bubba loves jesus

      November 2, 2015 at 1:31 PM

      • I don’t recall the bar fighters in Waco being a bunch of “social-cons”, but maybe I missed that. Is there any prohibition in the Bible on smoking or drinking?


        November 3, 2015 at 9:33 AM

  19. Dan Brown is full of crap. This is the guy who insists that John the Apostle was a woman forgetting that John was actually very young. He is also part of the Christian revisionism that ignores the crucifixion and the resurrection. Total nonsense.

    I don’t know about the other religions, but it is pretty plain that the Bible is not the literal word of God, even under Christianity. The Bible is the catalog of the religious experiences of believers, divinely inspired, but a work of Man. That is why the Bible has The Book of Job, the Gospel of Mark, John 3:16, Ephesians this and Romans that. Each section is written by believers who experienced God and cataloged that belief.

    The Bible does not have the same problem as the Koran, with it’s Surahs and its claim that Allah dictated the whole thing to Mohammed. Biblical inconsistencies are understandable since the Bible is the collected work of countless people. The Koran, though, should not have inconsistencies at all.

    The Bible is also not a work on geology, so claims about the age of the earth are as irrelevant as numerology and Bible-coding.

    This hit piece on Christianity needs to go down the toilet.


    November 2, 2015 at 12:07 AM

    • No. Islam has the doctrine of naskh, Christianity doesn’t have the doctrine of abrogatio.


      November 2, 2015 at 10:23 AM

    • @Map

      True for the book of Job as well as many others books, but when G-d speaks to Moses, whose words are these?


      November 2, 2015 at 1:43 PM

      • If the religious experience of Moses is talking directly to God, then he is talking directly to God. But being dictated to directly from God is not the norm in the Bible.


        November 4, 2015 at 4:55 AM

    • In college my religious studies professor summed up the difference as, “In Christianity Jesus is perfect manifestation of God and the Bible is the imperfect messenger. In Islam the Koran is the perfect manifestation of God and Mohammad is the imperfect messenger.”


      November 2, 2015 at 5:11 PM

  20. The problem for the creationists is: Who made the Sky God? That he always existed is no answer.


    November 2, 2015 at 2:33 AM

    • Why? G-d is beyond space and time, so I think it’s a fine answer.


      November 2, 2015 at 1:40 PM

    • I have the same question about the Big Bang. Doesn’t answer the question of where it all began.


      November 2, 2015 at 6:05 PM

      • Yes it does. It says that it all began with the Big Bang.


        November 3, 2015 at 9:37 AM

      • Anyone who thinks the Big Bang was the beginning of everything shouldn’t be discussing science or religion or anything else.


        November 3, 2015 at 8:22 PM

    • None of the “advanced” or “theologized” forms of monotheism demands believe in a “Sky-God”. Just read Maimonides or St. Thomas instead of Chick tracts if you want to engage with rational theistic arguments on a level that those arguments clearly deserve, even if it may turn out that they are not conclusive.
      It’s ridiculous to claim that all theist thinkers from Plato to Leibniz (or Plantinga) who were/are skilled logicians would fall to a primary school fallacy of special pleading. It’s true that one has to engage with some strange metaphysics but there are arguments for these positions, not simply postulates or special pleadings. Unfortunately, many atheists and sceptics seem to think that it is sufficient to reply on the level of handouts from Evangelical churches or Chick tracts and one can ignore >2000 years of sophisticated arguments that may be wrong but usually do not fall prey to simple fallacies like special pleading for some “Sky-God”.

      nomen nescio

      November 3, 2015 at 4:52 AM

    • Sure it is. If he always existed then nobody created him.


      November 3, 2015 at 9:40 AM

  21. OT: What do you guys think of the rumors about…


    November 3, 2015 at 12:19 AM

  22. Schopenhauer:

    The bad thing about all religions is that, instead of being able to confess their allegorical nature, they have to conceal it; accordingly, they parade their doctrines in all seriousness as true sensu proprio, and as absurdities form an essential part of these doctrines we have the great mischief of a continual fraud. Nay, what is worse, the day arrives when they are no longer true sensu proprio, and then there is an end of them; so that, in that respect, it would be better to admit their allegorical nature at once. But the difficulty is to teach the multitude that something can be both true and untrue at the same time. Since all religions are in a greater or less degree of this nature, we must recognise the fact that mankind cannot get on without a certain amount of absurdity, that absurdity is an element in its existence, and illusion indispensable; as indeed other aspects of life testify.


    November 4, 2015 at 7:14 AM

    • From wikipedia:

      Even though Schopenhauer ended his treatise on the freedom of human will with the postulate of everyone’s responsibility for their character and, consequently, acts—the responsibility following from one’s being the Will as noumenon (from which also all the characters and creations come)—he considered his views incompatible with theism, on grounds of fatalism and, more generally, responsibility for evil. In Schopenhauer’s philosophy the dogmas of Christianity lose their significance,[48] and the “Last Judgment” is no longer preceded by anything—”the world is itself the Last Judgment on it”.[49] Whereas God, if he existed, would be evil.

      I doubt this kind of philosophical eclecticism is relevant when discussing religion.


      November 4, 2015 at 4:24 PM

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