Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I Can Cherry Pick Your Bible But You Can't


It's no secret the Christians do a lot of cherry picking of the bible. They will focus on verses that support their ideas and completely ignore verses that go against them. Take for example the current gay marriage debate going on in this country. Christians will often cite bible verses to support their argument that being gay is bad, but will ignore the fact that nearby verses also prohibit eating shellfish.

Christians don't tend to like having these facts pointed out to them, when confronted they will often try to turn the tables and point out that atheists focus on all of the negative things in the bible. The claim is that we have no high ground here, we cherry pick just as badly as they do. The problem is, we aren't making symmetric claims.

Many Christians claim that the bible is inerrant, that it is the perfect word of god and that it is the source of all morality. These are very strong claims, and really, a single counterexample creates big problems. Ignoring parts of the bible which contradict these claims is unacceptable.

Atheists on the other hand don't claim that the bible is 100% bad. If we did, our cherry picking would be a problem as well as we would be ignoring the evidence against our claim. However, our claims are generally that the bible is not perfect and that the God depicted in the bible is not a strong moral character. To support these claim it is not necessary to show that good stuff is absent, we merely need to show that bad stuff is present. That is why we will often cherry pick the bad items, because all we need to do to prove our point is to show such items exist.

7 comments:

  1. The Bible is nowhere remotely close to perfect, there is very little in the Bible which is historically demonstrable and, beyond those few areas where it is simply relating historically -verifiable facts, it is mostly demonstrably false. Theists who claim that the Bible is inerrant clearly haven't read the thing.

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    1. or at least they haven't read it and really thought about it. It still baffles me that many Christians have read the bible and they still think it is true. All I can figure is that they must push away any part that seems to contradict other parts. They must just assume there is a deeper meaning that they don't understand, and then move on instead of trying to find that deeper meaning.

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  2. You mentioned the "One Verse Test" before by way of TWF. One could argue that the gay stance of the bible is truer then the stance of shellfish, but as you say here, that doesn't matter if the bible is inerrant. Anyone who believes that must accept everything.

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    1. That's a good point. Perhaps slavery would have been a better example.

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  3. Yep, can't cherry pick! Which is how i came under conviction of sin. That wasn't fun. Came to the end of myself, i am way unable to keep the Law - and the Lord Jesus made the Law even more strict. He offers us forgiveness if we acknowledge Him as Lord and that means putting our egos in the crapper - where the ego belongs. Have a great day. Godda run, church starts soon.

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    1. Cherry picking resulted in you coming under conviction of sin? What do you mean by conviction of sin?



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    2. Hausdorff, for most of my life i just flat out did not "agree" with various parts of Scripture - yeah, like who died and left me in charge of creation! Conviction of sin is when you know you fall seriously short of keeping the Law. And that scary relization is only the beginning - many for-real followers of Christ continue to experience that sin-burden in varying degrees throughout their time on earth. It's hard letting go of things - like wanting to hang out and feed the juke box. But life goes on, and Christ expects more from His people than wasting His valuable time - time that is better spent getting into His word, helping people and furthering His kingdom.

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