We Use the Tools We Have to Get the Things We Want

Someone on Quora made the followi statement. I agreed with a lot of what he wrote, but I believe wisdom and insight are better tools than inaccurate rhetoric. Or is that simply a difference in weapon preference?

He wrote, “The Bible was written by people who knew nothing about science.”

The Book of Job in particular contains a lot of information on what we would today call science. In the book, in their defense of “God” and attacks on Job’s doubts about the justness of “God” some of Job’s friends list constellations, exotic animals, weather phenomena, etc.

I agreed with a lot of what he wrote, but I had to disagree with his use of today’s scientific knowledge as the key measure of value of ancient authors.

We don’t ignore Plato and Aristotle because of their faulty medical knowledge.

Bible writers didn’t have the same degree of understanding of “science” as some college educated people have today, but knowledge of the material universe was certainly known to some.  Scientific knowledge, even the practice of the scientific method is no guarantee of wisdom, empathy, respect, or honesty.

Understand now, I am not a theist, just like I don’t believe in magic or faeries or Piltdown Man.

I think primates need to understand that the Bible is a lot more than talking snakes, talking donkeys and burning cities to the ground.

The Bible is quoted a lot. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” “Let justice roll down like a mighty river.” “They shall beat their swords into plow shares, and their spears into pruning hooks.”

Self control, justice, equity, even communist-style land redistribution are commanded in the Bible.

Yeah, people have done a lot of evil things using the Bible. People have done a lot of evil things using science and technology, too.

But I don’t blame Hiroshima on science and technology. I don’t blame the Holocaust on science and technology. I don’t blame the Tuskeegee Experiments on science and technology.

We use the tools we have to get the things we want.

Considering the fact that language acquisition is a valued primate instinct, it’s not surprising that rhetoric feels so natural as a weapon.

About Ron Goetz

My first wife used to say, "There's nothing so sacred that Ron won't pick it apart." My desire to be a pastor -- that was a temperamental mismatch. She was so patient. If my birth mother had lived somewhere else, maybe I would've become a cold case detective. But I would have had to be J instead of a P, I think. And that mid-life reevaluation, starting adolescence as a GARB fundamentalist and transitioning to a non-theist, that gave me an unusual skill set.
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1 Response to We Use the Tools We Have to Get the Things We Want

  1. Lane White says:

    Last sentence, wow.


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