Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Mr. Rogers and how willful ignorance isn’t a good place to start

blindThis post from Mr. Rogers addresses my supposed distortions claimed here.  I’ve added bullets in his post to make it easier to read.  As the reader will note, a lot of dealing with theists is repetitive.

There are many distortions in your piece, but let’s just start at the beginning, where you say, “none of the essential events of the Bible have been shown to occur at all.” That’s quite a broad statement! I’ve never heard of historians question that Moses led the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt,

  • or that the Hebrews fought the Canaanites to occupy Palestine,
  • or that King David and Solomon were powerful Jewish rulers,
  • or that Assyrian kings captured and deported Hebrews from the northern part of Israel,
  • or that Jerusalem was conquered by Babylon and Jews were exiled to Babylon, or
  • that Jews returned and settled in Palestine, or
  • that a man named Jesus existed during the first century in Palestine and was killed,
  • and His followers testified to His resurrection, or
  • Christianity began to rapidly spread in the first century.

These are all essential events of the Bible. Are you seriously saying that there is no evidence that these events happened? Now I challenge you to show that they did not occur. Answer that one, and we can then proceed to your next distortion.

John did a good job at replying to this, but I’ll answer too.  You have claimed that you have “never heard of historians question”  the events of the exodus.  That is a shame since they have.  You have offered a variant on the logical fallacy, the argument from personal incredulity.  Since Mr. Rogers hasn’t heard of something, therefore it must not be true.   Well, Mr. Rogers, I have a reading list for you.  The wiki entry on the exodus has a great bibliography on all of those historians who don’t agree with you.  Some of those events you list seem to have happened, for instance the Israelites being overwhelmed by the empire of Babylon and came back.  We can find evidence for that.  There were probably wars that had people captured and deported.  We know that Christianity spread quickly in the first century. We have evidence of that, contemporary writings, etc.  But JC existed? No we have no evidence of a man/god did miracles, gathered a legion’s worth of people outside of a occupied city at least twice, etc.  You try hard but mixing plausible events with implausible ones fools only those who want to be fooled.  I suggest you do not rely on willful ignorance to defend your faith. It always fails, especially in this age of easily found information.  No wonder the SBC is consistently shrinking.

You see, Mr. Rogers, myths often have roots in reality but that does not make them real.  We know that Athens exists but I doubt you believe that Athena and Poseidon contested over naming the city.  We know that humans love to make war on each other so plenty of battles probably happened. But having god have a magic box that the Israelites carried into battle that helped them win, no evidence for that.  We know that messiahs were a dime a dozen in ancient Palestine but we have no evidence one was really doing magic or was crucified or rose from the dead.  I can point to many books that have mention of real people and real events but they are fiction, like most political thrillers written today.  I’m guessing you’ll bring out the old “but why would people die for this?” argument.  People have cut off their penises and killed themselves because they were told a spaceship was coming to get them.  People often aren’t real bright when it comes to believing in things.

The exodus, described in the bible, is a massive event.  We have plagues, huge numbers of food animals dead, all of the first born murdered (animals and humans),  the entire Egyptian army destroyed,  and  supposedly this “about 600,000 soldiers on foot, besides their families. 38 An ethnically diverse crowd also went up with them, along with a huge number of livestock, both flocks and herds.”  left  Egypt.  Assuming a wife and 2 kids, there were more than 2 million people plus animals wandering around for 20 years. Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Mr. Rogers and how willful ignorance isn’t a good place to start”