Sunday, 16 November 2008

It's All Parables

The Bible claims that Jesus often spoke in parables. He would tell stories in order to get his point across. OK, whatever.

We also know that many of the stories in the Bible are made-up, like the story of Exodus, for example. Some apologists have taken this idea of parables and decided that they call anything that looks suspicious a "parable" and thus have a pat answer for any objections to the Bible. "Exodus didn't happen you say? That's because it's a parable."

The problem with this line of thinking, however, is that these events are not being told as parable, but as historical fact. Exodus is not written in a parable form, with characters, but with supposedly real people. They are simply not parables.

Another tack that apologists like to make is to defend the especially heinous portions of the Bible by claiming that they are parables, which supposedly makes it all better. But, it doesn't. Not only are some of those sections not parables (like Saul killing the Amalekites and being punished by god for not being bloodthirsty enough and showing some mercy and common sense), but there's a problem with the ones that are actual parables. A parable is supposed to be a story that tells a moral, that gives moral guidance. Telling a story about how slaves should submit to their masters gives bad moral guidance, both to the slaves and the masters. It does nothing to counter objections to the Bible to simply cry, "Parable!"


Maria Salva said...

It seems like a pretty obvious point, really, though a fairly neglected one as far as the general population goes. Especially with Genesis you'll hear often that it provides a good moral lesson. What? Blind obedience? I don't see what's so good and moral about saying that all of humanity suffers and dies because one person wanted knowledge--and, in particular, wanted the knowledge of good an evil: a decent moral intuition. Yeah, that's a great moral lesson. God doesn't want you to think about morals on your own. He wants you to be a dependent pawn, taking arbitrary orders without thought--obedience is morality. If this kind of mentality is applied in any other area of society, like in politics, for instance, the only result is disaster. If anything, it's an unusually dangerous moral message.

GCT said...

Those are my sentiments as well.

Anonymous said...

ha ha why are argue about it. this is a pointless arguement. nakedninja out

GCT said...

It should be pointless to be honest. It should be ridiculous to be arguing about god, and it is for quite a few reasons.