Rationality to the Bible a Disservice?

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Rationality to the Bible a Disservice?

#1  Postby Animavore » Oct 14, 2015 11:08 am

It came out in the media news today that the people who made Noah now want to remake The Ten Commandments. In the discussion in the comment section the recent Exodus was mentioned, along with Noah, and some were commenting that they like the atheistic approach given to these stories. In Exodus, for instance, it is pondered whether the plagues are really from God or just a series of coincidental, bad misfortune, all completely natural.

Isn't doing this merely giving the Bible stories a plausibility and credence it doesn't deserve? Our best evidence suggests there were never any Jewish slaves in Egypt and that Moses never existed. By trying to come up with alternatives as to what actually might have happened you are suggesting that something actually did happen. It would be like trying to come out with rational and naturalistic explanations for the events in Hercules.

Another thing I fear is counter-productive is when atheists write arguments for the injustices of God for atrocities and genocides never committed. Yes, some argue that this is a counter-argument to religious people justifying genocide in the first place, but I'm sure to a believer it just comes across as a tacit admission that these events did happen and they are in need of explaining. We never see mythologists of the Norse people trying to justify the actions of their gods. They just let the story be the story. I can only imagine it being detrimental to myths like The Children of Lír if someone tried rationalise it by asking if maybe the kids just ran away and some superstitious soothsayer saw three swans in a lake and claimed the children had turned into them. Later the children return and the story is born (Although, saying it now, there was an incident in Africa a few years back were a thief ran around a corner from a chasing mob and seemed to just disappear. The mob rounded the corner and all they could see was a goat which they done a citizen's arrest on, dragging it to the police station). Such an action, to me, would seem completely beside the point of the story.

I think if one were to make a Biblical film one should do it completely by the book and capture the story's essence to a modern audience who are largely going to look on completely befuddled by what they are seeing. Nothing is better, I think, than showing a mythical story as it is if one wants to convince their audience that it is nothing more than myth. A high production, Biblical movie with modern special effects can't help but come across as fantastical as Harry Potter or Hercules.

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Re: Rationality to the Bible a Disservice?

#2  Postby Alan B » Oct 14, 2015 1:28 pm

If they were to do Genesis 'by the book' you could then have one of the characters querying why God has two creation versions and why there is more than one God...
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Re: Rationality to the Bible a Disservice?

#3  Postby NamelessFaceless » Oct 14, 2015 2:36 pm

I actually liked the way Noah was treated as the mythology it really is. I didn't get the impression that Aronofsky was trying to rationalize it at all. It had the "Rock Monsters" (I guess they were the Nephilim) and the freaky looking animals and stuff. It was like watching a movie based on other myths, like Hercules and Thor.

For me, actually being able to visualize the stories the way they appear in the Bible should give viewers pause to realize how unrealistic these stories really are.
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Re: Rationality to the Bible a Disservice?

#4  Postby Sgt Kelly » Oct 14, 2015 4:03 pm

Animavore wrote:Isn't doing this merely giving the Bible stories a plausibility and credence it doesn't deserve?


Any discussion of the contents of the bible gives them a plausibility and credence they don't deserve.

The bible is an utterly worthless book. It contains very little useful information and its literary worth is questionable at best.
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Re: Rationality to the Bible a Disservice?

#5  Postby Moonwatcher » Oct 14, 2015 8:41 pm

There have been various books written about the Bible by amateurs that attempted to "demythologize" it by having most of the stuff happen but with natural explanations. I can see the point of a big Hollywood production not wanting to lend support to an absurd myth while at the same time wanting to make money off the story. But I do think that it makes the whole atheist position seem stupid to believers. Believers end up thinking atheists accept that everything in the Bible or most of it happened but there were just natural explanations for it which makes them think atheists just believe in ridiculous levels of coincidence rather than a deity. People who don't understand natural laws already think that.
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Re: Rationality to the Bible a Disservice?

#6  Postby Moonwatcher » Oct 14, 2015 8:45 pm

NamelessFaceless wrote:I actually liked the way Noah was treated as the mythology it really is. I didn't get the impression that Aronofsky was trying to rationalize it at all. It had the "Rock Monsters" (I guess they were the Nephilim) and the freaky looking animals and stuff. It was like watching a movie based on other myths, like Hercules and Thor.

For me, actually being able to visualize the stories the way they appear in the Bible should give viewers pause to realize how unrealistic these stories really are.


I didn't see the movie but that sounds like the perfect way to do it.

If you're going to do Genesis, literally show that the world is flat and resting on foundations. Show a dome over the world with water above and to all sides of it but not under it. Show what the beliefs really were. Don't ridicule it in an obvious way. You wouldn't do that if you were doing a movie about Greek or Norse myth. That this is simply a mythical story to be enjoyed will speak for itself and any criticism can be responded to, literally chapter and verse, to show you were just being authentic to the actual myth.
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