Friday, 26 September 2008

BBEF #2: Dissent and Rust

Brothers, sisters, lepers and friends, the British Blogspot Expeditionary Force got a bit bogged down on this last excursion, as we were so thoroughly engaged by the first blog we came across, we decided to stay there for a while.

'Repent and Trust'

offers readers an opportunity to indulge themselves in an exciting fantasy adventure set in a pseudo-mythical world populated by generals, kings, shepherds and historians. The premise is that players roll a dice, nominally a d20, to emulate actions such as attacks, defences, leaps and the execution of skills. As they succeed in more and more encounters, they gain experience which can cause skills to be honed as levels increase.

The site lists some of the common adversaries you can expect to meet; notably Muslims, Atheists and Democrats. The expectation is these people will have to be slain by your powers of public address. The initial video we come across demonstrates someone attempting this but, as we can see, they are evidently of a very low level. Possibly a neophyte, if you will.

But their campaign at Virginia Tech labours on. At one point they are joined by a Canadian, which is another sort of Colonial to an American - one who has sullied his or her English blood with the French rather than the Dutch. He complains that people in Canada are not gullible enough to read his pamphlets of lies. This is naturally because they have retained British authority long enough to have some sense beaten into them. He finds that the tenants of Virginia Tech are susceptible enough, however, even though some of them plan to reincarnate over and over again in order to vote for Obama. Not that far fetched, of course. Bush's supporters must have done the same thing.

However, the Canadian is a welcome relief from Dorothy's near-sightedness. It appears she thinks the Bible was written by men. Fair enough. It probably was. Except for the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, of course, but I'm led to believe that might be a bit controversial. Anywho, she goes on to say that were this grounds for discrediting the Bible, we would also have to discredit Shakespeare, Darwin and the Declaration of Independence, having all been written by men.

Not so, Dorothy. If you could think for a second about your ridiculous tiny-brained comment you will see the gaping hole of your flimsy argument. Shakespeare cannot be discredited because he's not passing his plays off as facts. They are fiction. He writes it as fiction. We accept it as fiction. It is fiction. Therefore there is no need to discredit it as false because it is, in its nature, false. It tells lies to show truth. It cannot be discredited.

Next, Darwin. Darwin was codifying and transcribing an observation about the manner in which species originate, adapt and speciate. A scientific principle as fundamental as evolution cannot be discredited because that's not how science works. Hypotheses are stated, evidence is collated, conclusions are drawn and the theory develops. It evolves. So, even if you 'discredited' Darwin, the potential of the theory would still exist. Therefore what he has written cannot be discredited.

Finally, the Declaration of Independence. Again, it is not stating something as true or not true but rather is a political act. How can you discredit a political act? It must have happened, because the United States exists. If you discredit it as false, what does that prove? It proves that something else must have happened to form a tangible basis for government strong enough for the British Administration to recognise as capable of drawing approval from a mandate of British American Colonists and, in so doing, culminate in a conflict over the matter that is eventually fought, debated, negotiated between both parties and resolved. As no such evidence exists for such an alternative basis for autonomous American government, the Declaration cannot be discredited.

The Bible, however, can. It asserts facts as truth. An asserted fact is fallible. It is fallible because it is asserted, not proven. Once an acceptance of truth based on this asserted fact is established we have a situation where if the Bible is discredited, it will collapse the belief system of anyone who buys into it. That is still feasible, unlike trying to find a non-existent temporally extant trigger for war or dismantle a scientifically proven fact. So therefore, the Bible is discreditable, provided we can find basis for suggesting that not everything in it is true. An unproven fact, if you will. 

Turns out there are plenty. For instance, how is it that Jesus was able to pray in the Synagogue when at that particular time in Judea only married Jews were allowed to do that? He must have been married.

Or, another - the New Testament, largely originally written in Aramague, has been translated from translations of translations to get into English. If we trace it back we discover that when Jesus walked on the water, the original verb 'to walk on' in Aramague can also be interpreted as 'walked by', 'walked near' and 'swam', given the context. Interesting that, isn't it?

Finally, one final fact - the Bible was written by a man named Keith Harpoole. He was from Kidderminster in Worcestershire, born in 1893, the son of a haberdasher. In 1919, at the age of 26, he began writing the Holy Bible. He wrote much of it himself, but drew heavily on the Torah and parts of the Qu'ran. Writer's block and a strange palsy of the wrist prevented him from writing between 1923 and 1925 and then between 1939 and 1945 he, naturally, had to care for a cow that had become shellshocked, creating another hiatus in the writing process. Finally in 1949, the Bible was completed. He sent many of the early drafts to his public school boyhood lover, Walter E. S. K. Blenkmore, by then living in the United States in Delaware. Many of Blenkmore's advised revisions exist in today's modern editions. Famously in one draft, he deleted two hundred and seventy-three uses of the word 'gooch' and a further fifty-three uses of the phrase 'heavy-set red vaginal discharge'.

So, in that respect, Dorothy, you're quite right. The Bible was written by men. Gay men.

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