Class Warfare Blog

September 26, 2017

Lying for Jesus, Part … Oh, For Pity’s Sake

I was wondering the other day how it is that the human population of the Earth could have reached its current level, ca. 7,600,000,000, from just the six survivors of the Bible’s Great Flood. Unsurprisingly, it was oh, so easy to find apologetic rationales of how that could have happened. By using quite reasonable numbers for estimates any number of sources can tell you that this is no problemo, bebé! But reasonable sounding numbers, picked out of a hat, aren’t necessarily accurate numbers.

So, I looked up a number of scientific population estimates for the population of the world in 2348 BCE, the presumed date of the Great Flood. The average estimate was 66,3001,302. This was based upon four careful calculations with the most liberal estimate being 90,205,000 and the most conservative being 21,512,000, with two others in between those extremes. These varied a great deal due to the unknowns involved. So, if one estimates global population by back tracking from historical records one ends up with about 60,000,000 people … not 6.

The title of this post includes the word lying, partly because there is a book using that phrase, but this is, at a bare minimum, a case of willful delusion. When I research a topic, if the numbers don’t support my premise, I generally shrug and move on. Sometimes I am motivated to dig deeper, but if I come up empty, I keep my mouth shut. This is not the case for Christian apologists. Often, if the numbers don’t add up, they look for numbers that do, and if those numbers sound reasonable, they use them to “make their point,” their real point being the presumption that the Bible is right, everybody else is wrong.

This pattern, well established for centuries now, is focused upon reinforcing the belief of the gullible, not on convincing unbelievers. And, it is manipulative, dishonest, and unbecoming of someone who promotes him- or herself as being morally superior. So, why do they do it?

My best guess is this is an intensely human activity. We all, from time to time, have the attitude of “What do those experts know? They are just a bunch of nerds.” or the equivalent. We disparage the messenger because we do not like the message. In politics, calling a politician a liar because we do not like what they say is acceptable, because all politicians are liars (it is part of the official job description: “Must be able to lie convincingly”). We just do not know whether they are liar on this particular point. But to claim that scientists who have studied a topic extensively are mistaken, because you have a back-of-an-envelope calculation that says so is violently hubristic.

We atheists are called militant because we dare to speak directly to theistic perfidy. It is time we refer to all apologists as “militant apologists” as they are conducting a campaign in which anything you do to “the enemy” is okay by their supporters. (This is war!).

8 Comments »

  1. My opinion, the theists lie because they must do so. They have built a house of cards, or, like the little pigs, a house of straw. They do seem to like the “straw man” type of argument. Challenge one small part of their house of cards and the whole mess will tumble to the ground.
    I am of the opinion that organized religion is the most vile thing we humans have ever invented. Personally, I have no problem with religious people, as long as they do not try to tell me that I MUST believe as they do. Live and let live. Of course I try every day to treat all I come in contact with the way I want to be treated. Yes, I know, the religious types try to claim that way of living as their own invention. What a crock! I am 100% certain that attitude, being nice to each other, predates ALL religions, current and long gone.

    Like

    Comment by davidambrose66 — September 26, 2017 @ 1:20 pm | Reply

    • We, again, are in agreement. The best thing I think we ever invented is plumbing. Having hot and cold water available on demand (and sewers) is a great luxury and benefit to all.

      On Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 1:20 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — September 26, 2017 @ 2:25 pm | Reply

  2. Lying for Jesus is acceptable as long as it brings the follower closer to him. One reason I left religion was the heartwarming miracle stories that made you feel the spirit, when in fact most of those stories are fabricated or partial truths. People confuse the spirit with emotion, and the salesman (preacher) takes full advantage of that for money and status

    Like

    Comment by jiminpanama — September 27, 2017 @ 7:56 am | Reply

    • If you think about it, it is very sad … sad that people have sold out to an idea based upon a fabrication. (An ironclad piece of a con is where the threat and solution come from the same source, e.g. “Why don’t youse cooperate wid us, and be able to keep those kneecaps functioning, eh?”

      On Wed, Sep 27, 2017 at 7:56 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — September 27, 2017 @ 8:02 am | Reply

  3. I think of the Bible as a fairy tale, but, assuming each adult couple have 4 children surviving to adulthood and having children of their own and having kids by the age 20 on average (which I think is a reasonable for a Bronze age family), you’d only need 600 years to go from 6 to 6 billion (though severely inbred) people.
    With a couple producing 3 adult kids on average, it would take just over a 1,000 years.

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    Comment by List of X — September 29, 2017 @ 1:35 pm | Reply

    • I think your estimate is wildly unrealistic. Consider the effect that a wildly variable environment lead to pandemics that wiped out large numbers of people (bubonic plague, etc.) which occurred only when populations became concentrated in cities. The history of Mesopotamia is littered with “towns” and “cities” that blossomed and then in effect disappeared. Some went through several stages over millennia: boom, bust, boom, but. Climate changes, infectious diseases, wars and famines. It isn’t a simple population study we can do as we would do with bacterial counts in a petri dish.

      On Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 1:35 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — October 2, 2017 @ 10:14 am | Reply

      • It was only meant to be realistic in mathematical sense – that it is possible to go from 6 people to 6 billion in a rather short time. Of course, wars, disease, natural disasters, famine, etc., would not have made it possible in the real life.

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        Comment by List of X — October 2, 2017 @ 12:51 pm | Reply

        • I wasn’t sure … so I lowered the boom! ;o)

          When I researched this is was impressed by the wide ranges of estimates (listed in the post) but these were understandable based upon there being such variables. I did notice that that none of the projections for the population in that year were at all close to 6. ;o)

          On Mon, Oct 2, 2017 at 12:51 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Comment by Steve Ruis — October 2, 2017 @ 1:05 pm | Reply


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