By De Benny
The sad thing is that the cartoon has a point. There are lots of believers who mix up belief and knowledge, faith and facts. But actually faith does NOT mean pretending to know something you are as clueless about as others.
Faith in God has rather few to do with hard facts. God can be there if creation or evolution is true, that won’t hinder too much. And God can even be there without any afterlife. That’s not what it’s all about.
One thing I find rather strange is that atheists, who mostly claim to be sooo very much more based on science than believers, is that they tend to use the same bible hermeneutics as right wing believers, i.e. raw biblicism. The bible writes about creation in 7 days, science tells us about evolution. Religion must be wrong and religious people dumb. Religion tells us about people living to be 600 years old? Same thing.
The approach to the text is the same with those atheists and the biblicists they laugh about. Thus they come to similar conclusions: Biblicists mix up belief and knowledge, atheists do the same. And this although literary science would tell those oh so scientific thinking atheists that what they do is not scientific at all…
But how does this come, that people mix up belief and knowledge. It’s because we’ve forgotten how to read texts. That is: Older texts with a religious relevance like the bible.
If we take Shakespeare, we know that MacBeth is not supposed to be a historical record of Scottish history. And the Star Treck movies are not prophecies about the future (or another historical record).
Do you know Galaxy Quest? It’s a movie with Tim Allen. In the movie, Allen is actor of a Space series, he and his crew are travelling through the universe, fighting evil Aliens and all that. But it’s a show. Only that there are also real Aliens. And they get into trouble with another alien race. And they see that Space series and consider it to be historical records instead of just a show, because they don’t know this whole concept of shows (actually when they later find out about it only being a show, they consider it all lies).This illustrates a bit what’s happening with the bible. The Aliens didn’t pretend really hard that there was this hero space captain which was starred by Allen, he was there. But he wasn’t what it appeared to them, he wasn’t a space hero, he was a mediocre TV celebrity. It was just a misunderstanding.And what if the Aliens had known it was just a show. Would they have considered the whole space adventures of Allen nonexistent? No. Like we don’t consider the adventures of Kirk and Picard nonexistent, they are there, we can watch them. But they are not historic truth, they do not show knowledge about things that are going to happen or did happen once. But still they tell us about the authors and their days. Like when Kirk is always breaking rules to achieve his plans, we can know that in the culture that brought forth this TV show, breaking rules under certain conditions was acceptable or even heroic.These media are witnesses to what really (and historically) was. They tell us about the dreams and ideals of the people, or of their faith. That’s less in Star Trek, but more in the bible.Star Trek is true in so far, as Kirk (or Picard or Janeway) is really considered a hero and that our culture understands him so through the things he does in the show. Though none of these things actually happened. Still they are not just lies. They transport truth, but not historical truth.But that’s what biblicists and atheists seem to be after in anything. For them, Star Trek movies must appear to be either all lies or pretending really hard that people dream of travelling to the stars and live together peacefully (at least within mankind).So what I want to say? Think ! Think about what a certain text means, how it was meant to be read. You might come to the conclusion, that the creation texts in the bible are not about contradicting evolution, and that prophecy means not prediction of the future, but realising what’s really going on.Plus: Belief in God and Christ has foremost to do with the gospel and the salvation of humankind. Not about guessing or pretending about timely things.
From: De Benny