There’s been an uptick of humans telling me that I should do some bible reading. I understand where they’re coming from. If you’ve never read the bible, it can seem like a great source of philosophy and morality. So, as someone whose faith was destroyed by reading the good book, and also as someone who lacks the time and commitment to go verse-by-verse giving my interpretation of any holy book (it’s been done numerous times by numerous people, and the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible is a good resource), I want to give people a general idea of why I don’t put any amount of authority or even respect into the bible. (I’m going to also be fair to god and try to see things from its point of view here)
- It has to be interpreted.
“You know what I should do? I should tell these humans all about morals like not killing and not eating shellfish. I think that the best way to do that is through a series of stories that shouldn’t be taken literally and will have to be given to the people by my special interpreters. Gee, I sure hope some asshole doesn’t try to put their own spin on this for money. That would be confusing.”
- It has to be re-interpreted.
“Little by little, I know that humans will learn things about the world. At some point they’ll be able to tell which verses are parable and which are literal. Then when they’re absolutely sure which ones those are, the rest of the humans will disagree and they can start wars and stuff over it.”
- The creation myth.
“I bet humans are curious about the world. Eventually they’ll learn physics, but in the meantime, does a magic garden with a talking snake in it sound cool, or is that just me?”
- It’s purposely boring.
“Actually, now that I inspired some people to write all of these parables down, it seems like sort of a bad idea to give people the ability to read them. Good thing these languages will die out pretty soon. But when people find them and translate them it could be a problem. I know! We’ll just throw in entire chapters listing the names of characters that are just related to the characters that actually matter.”
- It’s written from the bad guy’s perspective.
“Writers for centuries have and will continue to write their antagonists as protagonists. It’s hard to pick out a definitive good and bad side in those stories because you’re used to being on the good side. You know what, let’s write this making me out to be the biggest dick in history and see if a billion of them will still fall for it.”
- It’s sort of like SNL only not funny.
“In the future this book is going to inspire a lot of discrimination, and that’ll be awesome, but you know, I don’t want it to look like I endorse that. I know! I can just find a fault with everyone. No one will be safe.”
- Job is a nice guy.
“Hey, I like this guy. He’s really nice. He’s got a nice family, good kids. Satan, wanna torture him and kill his kids so I can make a point about faith and devotion or something? No, I don’t really care about that. You’re missing the point, we get to kill his wife and kids. See, that’s the spirit.”
- It lacks a condemnation of things that are actually bad.
“It’s really, really important that we talk about homosexuality and adultery, but the slavery thing, that’s just a cultural anomaly. Just leave it alone and they’ll figure that out by themselves. Actually, that seems cruel. Maybe I should make some rules about it. There we go, women are worth slightly less than men, have to let some of them go after a while, can’t kill them from a beating. Yeah, that seems perfect.”
- Psalms in its entirety.
“Maybe I should make a book that’s just about good stuff. Like how non-believers are dumbasses and how I’ll destroy anyone that doesn’t live up to my moral standards. Did I mention slavery was A-Okay?”
- People are going to be pissed off about this post.
“How dare you insult my perfect moral standard you puny human heathen?! I’ll burn you in hell after live a comfortable life until you’re, I don’t know, 40, maybe. You just wait, oh man, you’re going to get it. What do you mean you’d rather be ass fucked by Satan than worship me? No, I’m not really that bad! Okay, so you don’t like slavery and you think that girl in your Photography class is cute. Well, I think you’re evil. Oh, you don’t care because you don’t believe I even exist? Well… uh… um…”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes my first installment of What’s Wrong With the Good Book.