Thursday, February 14, 2013

Noah's Ark: There must have been a better way


I presume most people reading this do not take the Bible 100% literally, however there are many people who do and I have had the mis/good fortune of talking to them. I knew a girl with what appeared to be an inquisitive and logical mind, however it soon became abundantly clear that she did not use her intelligence for good. A victim of the confirmation bias (latching on to information that supports what you already think), Jen was a well thought out bag of crap. Everything from Creation, Adam and Eve, and Job were literally true to her with "scientific" justification.

And I get it. Picking at the Bible is dangerous business. Once you start admitting one thing is hogwash, why not something else, or this, or that? On it goes until God is reduced to a hilarious punchline in history's longest running joke.

I just saw a cartoon depicting Noah's Ark, the animals hanging over the edge of the vessel, barfing from sea sickness and weeping over the death of their friends. I appreciated the deeper look at the depiction of events on that preposterous voyage to salvation.

When discussing this "event" people on the disbelief side will argue the inability to build such an ark, the inability to collect two of each animal, the inability to fit them all in the ark, the lack of food, the copious amounts of shit produced, and the fact that no trace of this floating menagerie has ever been uncovered as reasons why this story is not the be believed. The cartoon made me want to just abandon all that and give God the benefit of the doubt. Okay, he had a problem, the people were wicked and out of control so he had to take action so he did what he had to do. I just think he could have done it differently.

Sure, we've all ballsed things up in our lives and are told it's our responsibility to clean up our own mess. You made your bed, now lie in it has never been truer than here and that's essentially what God is trying to do here as indeed, he made a mess with a man that he could become so corrupt. His perfect creation turned out to be a huge, stinking mess that bit him in the ass big time and now he's trying to fix it. I admire his admission of screwing up though, I must say.

"And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." - Genesis 6:6

 As heartwarming as this tender moment may be, this is clearly an admission of guilt and inability to do things right the first time. An imperfection, if you will.  I take God's ability to do ANYTHING very seriously and if he's all powerful, then bring it! My first suggestion for all this would simply be to not make mistakes in the first place.

But he's not perfect by his own admission, and things were bad, but how bad was it? Was this really necessary? How terribly did he botch the whole creation of man thing? Apparently the eradication of mankind had to be done because man was just too corrupt.

“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” (Genesis 6:11-13)

Corrupt, corrupt, corrupt, but with no details or explanation of the corruption. If I have a bad meal, I'll explain why it was bad. Too salty, too bland, to greasy, or the time I had that Indian curry that tasted like cherry Coke. Now you know what was bad about it. Simply saying "It was bad" does little to make my case. If I wanted to blow up a restaurant that served me a bad meal, I'd have to do better than say "It was bad" and honestly, even with more information provided, it's probably still not a good idea. In fact, it's one punishable by law.

But still, God, is omnipotent. He doesn't have to tell me the whole story. I trust him. He sure is keen to use the earth to nab these mofos! There's no point crying over spilled milk. Still, it sure as hell is annoying mopping up any sort of spill so flooding an entire planet seems more trouble than it's worth. Using God's cleaning methods, when the cats vomit, I could just pour water on it until the apartment was so flooded the vomit would be well dissipated, but that's really unnecessary. A little focus on the problem area is all that's required. A few well placed lightning bolts on the homes of the wicked should burn them to a nice crisp and everyone else can get on with their day.

Quite the showman though, God would rather drag this out. Rather than deal with this like the swift rip of a band-aid, God asks a 600 year old man to construct a vessel and gives him 120 years notice to do it. Alternatives to this would be:
  • ask Noah's son's to construct the boat
  • zap the boat into existence himself
  • zap the wicked out of existence
If Noah's son's were to be spared, why not make them build the ark? Noah was 600 years old, after all and probably not as strapping as his offspring would have been, but furthermore, why make any of them build it at all? God gave 120 years notice that the flood was coming to allow time to build the ark so he might have done better to simply zap the ark into existence, something which should be simple enough since 120 years is a mere 7240 times longer than he took to create the universe. A pissy ark should appear with the batting of an eyelid. But no, like a straight-A student who turns into a stoner right out of high school, apparently God chose to chill instead and let a 600 year old man do the work, dude.

But this is all just making sense of his chosen method. Again, why not just strike the bad people dead where they lay. Or vapourise them to avoid the problem of body disposal? It would be like an early judgement day, only instead of taking the good people, he takes the bad ones and dumps them on the trash heap of life. Problem solved. Noah and his family live, animals keep on keeping on. There are no concentrated mounds of shit to shovel.

The story of Noah's ark shows us that God is somewhat of a creative genius. Brimming with ideas, but in dire need of a strong management team to challenge him and make his ideas the best they can be.

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