I find it amazing that biblical scripture is debated as much as it is. Those who know me, know that I am incapable of Christian faith, or any religiously oriented faith really. It is simply a concept that is as unnatural to me as walking on water. So my guess is that many of you will waive off my views as unworthy for consideration, since they are already laced with that bias. However, I would still like to point out what debate on scripture looks like from my perspective. I intend to do by comparison to the show “Lost”.
In my house, we enjoy watching television. Prior to the show “Lost” ending, we had never watched a single episode of it. Recently, however, we decided to watch the entire 120 episodes from beginning to end on Netflix. Currently, we are at episode 96, I think, and we look forward to any opportunity we get to sit down and take in the next episode.
Anyone who knows the show, knows that it involves plane crashes, surviving, dying, being taken prisoner, being beaten mercilessly, inadvertently traveling through time, an evil black fog monster, and a whole host of situations that take enormous creative liberties in an effort to weave a storyline that doesn’t stagnate. All in all, the process is successful in keeping you coming back for more, or keeping us coming back for more anyways. However, one cannot help but to verbalize how certain parts of the story are just plain annoyingly unrealistic. My girlfriend and I have to remind each other that “you’re doing it again”, whenever one of us calls the show out for something so unrealistic that we couldn’t help but point it out. When this happens, we kiddingly make a finger swipe in the air, indicating that the other is getting another strike for complaining about an action in a fictional story, as if it is anything other than a fictional story.
For instance, my annoyance comes anytime where someone knocks someone else out with a blow to the head. This happens all the time in the show, and it is usually done because the storyline simply needs for one the characters to all of the sudden be unconscious, so the other character(s) can do something that the other guy would have objected to, and thus redirect the storyline on another course. This actually happens often in film and television, but it happens a lot more in “Lost”. In reality, one would think that this is a seriously dangerous thing to do, especially to a friend – but in the show it seems like they do it all the time, and each time the victim wakes up a little groggy, but nonetheless perfectly fine, and most of the time not even that upset about it.
The point that I am trying to make here, is that debating these things is quite pointless. They have a purpose, and that purpose has much less to do with being realistic than it has to do with forcing a fictional story to go in an intended direction. So when I see intelligent people debating biblical scriptures that are so pointedly disconnected from reality, it just seems like such a laughable, pointless exercise … just like pointing out that the car chase in some block buster movie - where villains are shooting at each other while leaning out the windows and recklessly driving at high speeds through downtown mid-day traffic for ten minutes - couldn’t happen without at least one police car encountering them. The story would be hindered by reality, so reality is suspended to nurture a fictional tale that can go in any direction the writer wants it to go – BECAUSE IT’S FICTION. Yet, religion somehow has the ability to override this sensibility, and make otherwise intelligent people “lost” to the reality of what they are forcing themselves to accept.
I have had lengthy debates on newsvine with fundamentalists who go to great lengths, and by great lengths I mean light years, to make the story of Noah and the great flood plausible. This is both entertaining and exhausting. They will provide proof that water covered the earth with the discovery of sea shells on mountain tops, and completely dismiss plate tectonics. One of them claimed that the pairs of animals included pairs of people of every race from around the planet! Imagine that – a pair of people of every race had an urge to follow pairs of strange, foreign animals across continents, oceans, glaciers, canyons, mountains, etc., to find a foreigner who was doing something so ridiculous that even his peers mocked him. I would rather read the stories of THEIR travels, than the story of the guy who built the ark, as they surely had to involve more adventure and intrigue. The fundies will refuse to admit that the ark simply was not big enough to contain a pair of every animal, plus the other animals required to keep the group alive – particularly when you factor in how many more species there were back then that do not exist today due to extinction. I could go on and on and on about how many unrealistic aspects of just this one story that I have thoroughly vetted with people who would more than likely seem like perfectly normal, thinking people on just about any other topic than biblical scripture.
But, alas, it is a pointless exercise. Swiping my finger in the air.