Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Earliest human ritual was worshipin' a snake!

I stole this from krystalline apostate's blog bibliography and he, apparently, stole it from Logical Cloud's blog, so I'm in good company with the theft.

Anyway, the world's oldest ritual has been discovered. It involves worshiping a python, which is precisely the kind of large, dangerous animal that I think early peoples found easy to deify. Not because of philosophical reasons, but just because a python can crush a stupid human pretty quick -- because the snake was stronger than a human. I mean, there's no way I'd confront a python (if I had any say in the matter) with Middle Stone Age tools!

15 Comments:

Krystalline Apostate said...

Nah, tain't stealing unless you take credit for it.
I mean, there's no way I'd confront a python (if I had any say in the matter) with Middle Stone Age tools!
That's only if you've got a say in it. ;)

March 14, 2007 1:22 PM  
Chris Bradley said...

Borrowing? "Linking" sounds so impersonal, hehe.

March 14, 2007 4:06 PM  
Krystalline Apostate said...

Hey Chris - ToG's askin' after ye:
http://gods4suckers.net/archives/2007/03/12/respect-all-living-things

March 14, 2007 8:00 PM  
Chris Bradley said...

Thanks, KA! I answered best I felt able. ;)

March 14, 2007 9:00 PM  
centuri0n said...

Hey Chris -- just wanted to thank you for the link, and ask a question:

What do you mean when you say "literally" when you qualify my site the way you do? I'm interested because I think you, like most atheists, don't understand that term very well. I'm asking because I'd like to be pleasantly surprised and be wrong.

March 15, 2007 4:25 AM  
beepbeepitsme said...

Thanks for adding me to your blogroll. I have added you also to mine.

March 15, 2007 7:28 AM  
Chris Bradley said...

Centurion,

I'm actually playing to the received wisdom of Biblical literalism when I use the word. I called your site is "taking the Bible literally" because most of the people who read my blog have, in their minds, a construct known as Biblical literalism which is a certain category fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible which your site fits. (No one, after all, really takes anything literally with any form of literature, even the sacred stuff. We all interpret.)

March 15, 2007 10:04 AM  
Chris Bradley said...

BBIM,

Yay! Thanks and no problem. I always like cool folks and you are seemin' pretty cool to me, right now. :)

March 15, 2007 10:05 AM  
centuri0n said...

Yeah, that doesn't really answer the question, does it? I suppose I could interpret your answer to mean "You know what I mean", but that doesn't get anyone anywhere.

For example, what does the "construct known as Biblical literalism which is a certain category fundamentalist [sic] interpretation of the Bible" do with Psalm 3 or the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians?

I'm serious: I'm looking for an atheist who can tell me what Biblical literalism means. The ones I have run into in the past who tell me they wouldn't sneeze on Biblical literalism couldn't define it, so maybe you're smarter than they are.

March 15, 2007 2:19 PM  
Chris Bradley said...

OK, this is what I think it means, then.

Bible literalists are people who read this (not particularly original) fictional work and believe that the fantasy they read is not only real, but more real than the world of their senses and reason.

I am sure that you will disagree with that because you disagree with the idea that the Bible is a fairly dull fantasy novel (which is my biggest problem reading the Bible -- it is mind numbingly boring), but that's what I mean when I say "Bible literalist".

March 15, 2007 6:47 PM  
Krystalline Apostate said...

centuri0n:
I'm serious: I'm looking for an atheist who can tell me what Biblical literalism means. The ones I have run into in the past who tell me they wouldn't sneeze on Biblical literalism couldn't define it, so maybe you're smarter than they are.
You're kidding, right? You've met atheists who couldn't use a dictionary?
http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery?s=Biblical%20literalism&gwp=16
"Biblical literalism is the adherence to the explicit and literal sense of the Bible. In its purest form such a belief would deny the existence of allegory, parable and metaphor in the Bible."
The other phrase is biblical inerrantist.
Josh McDowell is a perfect example.
Literally believes in the Tower of Babel, the Deluge, 6 days of creation, the works. There's no mistakes, no interpolations.

March 16, 2007 12:15 AM  
Krystalline Apostate said...

Crap, blogger chomped the link.
Here it is.

March 16, 2007 12:18 AM  
HeavyDluxe said...

Krystalline (et al),

I consider myself someone who takes the Bible literally. I'd even affirm the use of the term inerrant regarding Scripture.

However, the proposed definition you found online just doesn't fit. Allow me to give an example... In Matthew 23:24, Jesus say this: "You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!"

Now, using that definition of 'literalism' you offered "in its purest form", I'd have to really think that the Pharisees Jesus was chastising were blind camel-eaters who were trying to crap gnats. I would really challenge you to find the hypothetical Christian who actually reads the text that 'precisely'.

I think that's the problem with terms like 'literalism'. We all think we know what they mean, when in reality they're caricatures of fact at best.

[Just as a note, I believe all that stuff re: the Flood, the Tower of Babel, Jonah and the fish, etc happened exactly the way the Bible says...]

March 16, 2007 9:16 AM  
Chris Bradley said...

I dunno if I follow under "et al." but your post, heavydluxe doesn't address my interpretation of "Biblical literalism" at all. Indeed, it reinforces it.

F'rex, you believe that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. What kind of whale swam in the Mediterranean that would be capable (or even willing) to swallow a human? None. What did he breath? How did he survive the stomach acids of the whale?

Furthermore, after believing that -- or that a horn blew down Jericho's walls, or that God struck the peoples of the world with different languages to prevent them from building a tower to heaven . . . why DON'T you believe that, y'know, "the Pharisees Jesus was chastising were blind camel-eaters who were trying to crap gnats." It's no more unlikely than any of the OTHER miraculous events you have no problem believing?

However, whereas the dictionary fails, my definition succeeds. Biblical literalists are people who believe the Bible even when it doesn't make any sense! They believe this book more than the evidence of their own senses and the common reason that they apprehend virtually all of the rest of the world!

March 16, 2007 9:40 AM  
Krystalline Apostate said...

heavydlxe:
I consider myself someone who takes the Bible literally. I'd even affirm the use of the term inerrant regarding Scripture.
You have my deepest sympathies.
Now, using that definition of 'literalism' you offered "in its purest form", I'd have to really think that the Pharisees Jesus was chastising were blind camel-eaters who were trying to crap gnats. I would really challenge you to find the hypothetical Christian who actually reads the text that 'precisely'.
I don't think the concept applies to every spoken phrase. That's WAY too literal.
[Just as a note, I believe all that stuff re: the Flood, the Tower of Babel, Jonah and the fish, etc happened exactly the way the Bible says...]
So that makes you an inerrantist. So you believe all that nonsense, despite the fact it's neither supported by archeology, or reality? Oy vey.

March 16, 2007 12:18 PM  

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