Name of Presenters: Jose
Date and Length of Presentation 24 November 1997 for 45 minutes
Basic Goal of Presentation To show the fallacy of taking English editions of Bible (and other scriptures) literally.
Brief Outline of Presentation (as actually delivered):
I am inclined to agree with Jose in both his belief that the God of the Bible is not necessarily an outstanding example of goodness and in his belief that if these holy texts are to be studied at all, they should be studied in their original languages.
That said, I feel the necessity to comment upon the manner of his presentation. His speech was not properly designed to address his actual audience. He seemed to assume (falsely) all (or at least the majority) of his listeners were ignorant and took the English edition of the Bible literally. Proceeding from this false assumption, he aggressively abused us for it. This tactless manuever can only (A) alienate those, such as myself, who agree with his doctrine into looking for ways to disagree out of mere spite for his attitude; and (B) further alienate those who already disagree into avoiding any possible truths in his argument. If he wishs to present his argument in a manner which shall do more than just display spite, he must find a way to present his argument more palatably -- perhaps by showing sympathy or compassion for ignorance, rather than a loathing for it (the old idea: you get more with honey than you do with vinegar). It might also serve him well to present a desirable alternative belief system (or at least the foundation and / or tools for creating such) rather than merely elaborating on the ugliness of the system he attacks (the mind, like nature, abhors a vacuum and is loath to give up it's old ideas without a superior set to replace them).
Finally, I fail to understand why, after showing the inherant uglyness of the religion (which he takes as sufficent grounds to reject the religion; I do not -- truth may be ugly), he would argue in favour of studying the original texts. The end result of taking this suggestion to task would be a "purified"(1) ugly religion -- though the original may show many mistakes in the details of interpretation, the general accounts remain the same. It seems to me, that if you should reject the doctrines (although I am not certain ugliness is a fair criteria for dismissal), you may as well reject the texts except for purposes of anthropological / sociological /etc. study.
1. Limited to the extent which we may learn not only the languages, but the languages as they were
actually used at the time the texts were put into writing. This also ignores any changes that may have
occured while the religion was still only an oral tradition.. Return