Recently I’ve had to sit through several diatribes about two things I find obnoxious: The Bible is literal, and AA is good.
Neither is true, but I’m just going to focus on that first part for this post.
First, a disclaimer: I really don’t care what you believe in. It concerns me very little. I have my own odd ideas, and you’ve got yours. These ideas, beliefs, and thoughts should in no way result in wars, fights or anything else. Nothing. They are inconsequential until you decide to get mad because I dislike your (or like a different) person in the sky.
(People have said to me, “Well what about fundy Muslims who blow up discos in Tel Aviv? Their belief is consequential.” My response is that their belief in killing Jews is consequential. Religion in this case is just an excuse to kill Jews. We should work on the killing Jews part. Who cares if that same guy prefers Allah to God?)
So, now on to the Bible stuff.
The story of Noah can be summarized as such (but read it here if you don’t believe me): God is mad at everyone, tells Noah to build a boat and grab some critters cause a flood’s a comin’. Noah does. Day saved. God is a little concerned about his choice to kill most of mankind, but decides that He is God so it was a good choice. Noah starts a winery and is either mocked or sodomized by his son Ham. Noah curses Ham’s son. Noah dies at 950 (Ironically this same story is told in the Koran, but there Noah lives to be 1,000, and the flood only occurs when Noah is 950).
To me it’s a story about a guy with a big goal(build a huge boat) and despite getting no help and being treated poorly he succeeds. Moral: Set goals, achieve them and say, “piss off” to naysayers.
But some people say it is a literal tale of a real event (they say this whenever they call the Bible the “Word of God”). So, here is why Noah’s adventure cannot be literal in any damn way.
The volume of the world is roughly 1,086,825,918,019 cubic km. Mt. Everest, highest point on Earth, is 8,848 m high. Why do these measurements matter? Because these numbers disprove the following verse: “Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.” (Genesis 7:20)
Go here for a really nerdy breakdown of the math, but essentially just understand this: 15 cubits of water is 22 feet. That’s barely enough to cover a house, let alone all the mountains of Earth. And there is not enough water — even if you melted the ice caps and Ann Coulter’s heart — to cover the Earth.
Literal my ass.
And there are more moments like this in the Bible where it cannot — cannot – be literally true. So why, why goddamned why, do some people even bother? When you try to make it true you take away from the moral lesson. Set goals, achieve them. Not that there is anything moral about a drunk building a boat, God killing all man, and Noah’s sick and twisted cursing of Canaan for Ham’s sins. But that’s a separate post.
My point is that this story is fine without being literally true. Just take the good, and leave the bad. You keep your stupidity out of my public debate, and I promise to keep science off your Bible.
*Added after initial posting.