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The Passionate Rationalist
James Morrow's Weblog
Jan. 25th, 2010 @ 03:49 pm
The Book of Genocide
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October 26th, 2010 01:36 pm (UTC)
Late to the party…
But there's another point that needs to be added regarding the Bible's bloodier moments…
In the United States, the main cultural consensus on the Bible is that is is
more than "just a book"
. As a result, atheist criticism of it is naturally going to focus strongly on the negative, the point being to show
that the Bible is entirely the work of bad people, but that its authors were non-inspired human beings, and that the God character that it presents (if interpreted as a single character and not an amalgam of various God-concepts at various points in history) cannot
One could make a similar list of the sociopathic acts committed in the 70-year history of Batman, a character interpreted in different ways by each comic book artist. The reason that
would be mostly pointless is that no sane person thinks that Batman comics are inspired by a being who is omnibenevolent. The fans understand that he's fictional.
"Book of Genocide" is an over-the-top description meant to highlight stories that are either glossed over or, worse still, celebrated. Yes, the Bible has beautiful parts, but that's irrelevant because the standard it is claimed to meet is
. (Either that, or its advocates convolutedly say it is an imperfect work nonetheless more "inspired" than other holy books.) If even a Shakespearean tragedy were sold to us as a guide to morality with its flawed, murderous protagonist as the
, we would give it a similarly derisive nickname. Hamlet, in addition to speaking incredible soliloquies, makes mistakes. Does God?