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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Richard Dawkins : Planting God More Firmly on His Throne, part 7 of 10

Please note that this essay is being moved and will be shortly reposted at True Freethinker


  1. This time your explanation is not that good. It's possible, but not very convincing that scared Lot offered daughters to protect his guests and he didn't realize what he was doing.
    Maybe he was hoping that his daughters fiances will help him? Or maybe it was desperate try while he knew it wouldn't work anyway?
    We don't know much more about Lot to back up any hypotesis justifying his deed. That's why any of such hypotesis will seem implausible. All we know is that he was considered righteous and that's why he and his family was saved. But his wife didn't listen angels' advice and became pillar of salt. And his daughters made him drunk and slept with him to preserve offspring.
    Maybe then Lot and his family was saved in first place because of Abraham's prayer and his righteousness was only in comparison to other Sodom inhabitants.

    I agree with you about what literally really means. But this general statement begs for question - how do we know, what was intended? Isn't it just pushing cherry picking one step further?

  2. Tremor;
    Your question is certainly quite valid.

    We seek to ascertain what was intended by considering something that the New Atheists seem to have not clue about—hermeneutics.

    We seek to ascertain what was intended in the same way that we seek to discern any written text whatsoever.

    When the newspaper states that it will “rain cats and dogs” do I expect to see canines and felines falling out of the sky? When the newspaper states that one soccer team “slaughtered” the other do I think that a bloodbath took place on the field?

    While precise parsing is certainly difficult: we consider the texts historical context, cultural context, grammatical context, comparative history, considering literary styles, literary devices, modes of speech, synoptic texts, etc. Moreover, sometimes we learn as we learn which is to say that we may uncover some bit of history / archaeology that sheds light on a certain text, etc.



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