Wednesday, September 22, 2010

File This In The FLG Doesn't Understand Who Cares Folder

New computer simulations have shown how the parting of the Red Sea, as described in the Bible, could have been a phenomenon caused by strong winds.

Okay, so strong winds could've caused it. And God could've caused the strong winds. Where are we now?

FLG doesn't understand the point of scientifically investigating whether things in the Bible could have occurred or not. Either you have faith, which makes science irrelevant, or you don't, which means science can't prove the important points of the Bible anyway.

It reminds me of Phaedrus. Socrates says:
I might have a rational explanation that Orithyia was playing with Pharmacia, when a northern gust carried her over the neighbouring rocks; and this being the manner of her death, she was said to have been carried away by Boreas. There is a discrepancy, however, about the locality; according to another version of the story she was taken from Areopagus, and not from this place. Now I quite acknowledge that these allegories are very nice, but he is not to be envied who has to invent them; much labour and ingenuity will be required of him; and when he has once begun, he must go on and rehabilitate Hippocentaurs and chimeras dire. Gorgons and winged steeds flow in apace, and numberless other inconceivable and portentous natures. And if he is sceptical about them, and would fain reduce them one after another to the rules of probability, this sort of crude philosophy will take up a great deal of time. Now I have no leisure for such enquiries; shall I tell you why? I must first know myself, as the Delphian inscription says; to be curious about that which is not my concern, while I am still in ignorance of my own self, would be ridiculous. And therefore I bid farewell to all this; the common opinion is enough for me.


George Pal said...

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up,
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul
like a weaned child with its mother;
my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.

From Psalm 131

arethusa said...

If Heinrich Schliemann had had your attitude, directed in his case towards Homer, classical archaeology would never have developed and Troy and Mycenae would never have been unveiled as soon as they were.

I don't think it's a question of faith. It's a question of how much the Bible is an historical record as well as a religious one. And an answer to that question would be really useful.

George Pal said...

“If Heinrich Schliemann had had your attitude...

Clearly this was David’s attitude, one with which I am sympathetic but not devoted. You assume my line in the sand deeper and wider than it is.

from Phaedrus:
”...but he is not to be envied who has to invent them; much labour and ingenuity will be required of him; and when he has once begun, he must go on and rehabilitate hippocentaurs and chimeras dire.”

The battle over Genesis, for example, has taken a great deal of labor and ingenuity. Creationists and fundamentalists have no more to stand on than do the varied sects of evolutionists – faith. Both sides are endlessly rehabilitating their arguments one in a desperate attempt to prove the creator, the other, equally desperate to prove nothing’s behind something.

I would also point out that David admonished not that we not raise our eyes but we not raise them too high.

If David and the bible are too much a hindrance then let me offer this as substitute:

"Wovon mann nicht sprechen kann, darĂ¼ber muss man schweigen"
Whereof man can not speak there he must be silent”

Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

As with David, I am sympathetic to Ludwig, but not devoted – say something if you must, if you’ll bust if you don’t – just don’t yell.

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