Originally posted by dmz
No, shetline Brussel did not address this very well at all: you can't willy nilly ignore the progression of English common law, with it's metaphysical underpinnings being Christian...
I wish I had a nickel for every time Washington and Adams penned the word "providence".
Whoa, there! Binary thinking alert!
There's a big, big
difference between believing in Providence, putting faith of some sort
in the Bible on one hand, and on the other being a rigid Biblical literalist who insists that down to the literal serpent in a literal tree, down to the literal pillar of salt, down to every literal and exact width, breath and depth of cubits for a wooden ark carrying seven pairs of every "clean" animal, and one pair of every "unclean" animal, that this is all literal, historical fact
That's the real insanity of -- the "in for a penny, in for a pound" abdication of any critical thought whatsoever in the face of gasping absurdity.
On top of that, there's an amazing amount of scientific knowledge which has been gained since the time of Washington and Adams too, knowledge which can at least help relieve some people of this madness, in cases where it is due more to mere ignorance than willful, mind-numbing credulity.
They understood the principle of revelational truth, and they took it self-consciously, and very seriously. These were great men, some of the greatest and bravest that America will ever produce -- they weren't "primitive superstitious goatherders".
More of the same ridiculous binary thinking.
You said it was impossible.
I backtracked over this entire thread and found not one use of the word "impossible" by me. Maybe you're arguing with those voices in your head again.
At any rate, what one believes in should, I would hope, have some grounding in what's likely and probable. Mere lack of utter impossibility is a pretty poor metric for believability.
For a story like Noah's Ark, "well, it's a miracle!" hardly cuts it as an explanation. It's details
of the story, and taking those details
as literal truth that, in my book, takes one from run-of-the-mill credulity to a kind of madness.
If God wanted all of these creatures gone, and if He is all-powerful, He could have, with a mere thought, made all that offended him disappear in the blink of an eye. But no. For some reason, the story instead follows exactly the kind of cartoonish logic we find in many old myths. Would you wish to claim that God decided to make a Cecil B. DeMille production out of his bad people/bad animal purge just so that the story would could be retold in a goatherder-pleasing way?
The ark and the flood would have been nothing more than meaningless props in the whole fiasco, with so many other miracles upon miracles needed to make the big production number come off:
- Making so much extra water appear so quickly.
- Making it disappear.
- Patching up all of the bad genetics cause by drastically reducing the gene pool.
- Resurrecting all the fish and other aquatic species, not carried in the ark, killed by the indiscriminate mixing of salt and fresh water, not to mention all of the other problems of water contamination, incompatible pressure and temperature conditions, etc.
- Resurrecting all of the plant species killed by being under water for so long.
- Gathering the vast variety of animals from all over the world into one small space over such a short period of time.
- Keeping all of those animals, with vastly different dietary and environmental requirements, alive in the same Middle Eastern environment while they're being assembled.
- Maintaining livable conditions for all of the creatures in the ark over the long voyage.
- After the flood, redistributing all of those animals in a timely fashion to their correct environments, before they die of starvation and exposure to the wrong environments.
- Speaking of starvation, keeping all of those animals alive after they reach their proper environs, while the herbivores wait for sufficient vegetation to reestablish itself, and while the predators wait for the prey species to multiply to the point that their first few meals won't kill off all they've got to eat forever.
- Etc., etc.
To ponder all of that, and, instead of seeing the obvious tell-tale signs of myth, decide it's more important to swallow the story whole and unquestioned as some sort of required act of faith, especially when one had much more education and a much better sense of the scale of the world and the variety of life than the goatherders who wrote the story -- yes, I call that barking-at-the-moon mad.