Great Jesus & Mo cartoon again.
The best bit, and the most crucial bit that applies to all religious books is number 1:
1. This is true
This is the one and only necessary assumption in any religion to make it worthy of the name. It must declare its own truth. Of course (snigger 🙂 (more smugness to come) we all know this is pure bollocks don’t we.
I get regular visits from Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are really nice people (at least to ones who visit me are). I think they like me and return often for the following reasons:
(a) I don’t slam the door in their faces;
(b) they haven’t converted me yet, so I suspect, like a lottery rollover, my cache goes up with each rejection;
(c) the religious are masochists (why else invent sin and then admit to bing up to the neck in it).
Anyway, I keep two things handy for when they call.
The first is a copy of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. They always quote from it incorrectly and it’s an easy book to show them they’ve been misled. They do go through some other topics, such as DNA, irreducible complexity, but I usually wing it once we get past Darwin, because it would take too long to go through any book to convince them (“Let’s start with basic chemistry…”). I know, it’s wrong of me, but I argue from authority of knowing just a bit more about this stuff than they do. As much as I can make points against Behe’s arguments generally, if they brought him along as a guest doorstepper I might be screwed on the biology, because I’m not a biologist.
But I digress, again. The second, and most important thing I keep nearby is a piece of paper, oh and a pen – so that’s three things I keep near by, but you know what I mean.
And on that piece of paper I write words to this effect:
This paper contains the word of God as revealed to Ron Murphy. If you’re here while he’s writing this you too must bear witness to this miracle. Now, as your God I command you to ignore the Bible, Koran, gold tablets and any other bollocks you may have come across telling absolute crap about me. I can swear by the way. I am God after all. Though the atheists got it wrong, they got it wrong for the right reasons – they don’t believe any old crap in a document claiming to be the revealed truth. What sort of fucking argument is that?! Anyway, on this occasion it happens to be the truth. However, I’ll forgive you not believing it if you throw it in the bin. On one condition: you throw your crappy book in the bin too and start thinking for yourself.
No, I don’t really write all that, I just feel as though I want to. A sentence or two is usually enough to make the point.
But, miracle of miracles, their faith survives even this cutting blow. What the fuck can I do?
I thought perhaps I should show them the fabulous Morwenna Banks, from that brilliant series Absolutely.
This for me says everything about religious imaginative invention. It encapsulates millenia of theology as Little Girl rationalises uncertainties and contradictions in what pops into her head.
And her punch line:
It’s true! I know because I do!
And Little Girl here provides us with the best accommodationism I’ve ever come across: Genesis plus Evolution! It’s true!
And this is what you get when It’s true! is put into practice. Enjoy!
4 thoughts on “It’s True!”
Some thoughts on JamShady’s tweets
“…why only one Qur’an exists. It’s the best possible versions, supreme eloquence”
As far as I know there is only one version of Beowulf manuscript and it is supreme in its eloquence, does that mean it was the literal word of God? (actually there were other versions, read end of post.)
Any published original work of any literary authors can be considered the only One version.
“there’s no such thing as an English Qur’an. I can read the (only) Qur’an at…”
Just as I can say there are no such thing as an Arabic Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien (or any English version Tales of Genji for that matter), and true that the only optimal way to appreciate Tolkien (or any literature) is in the language it was written in, but it does not make it the supreme literal word of God.
“because the level of [the Qur’an’s] eloquence has been unmatched despite attempts…”
The issue isn’t unmatched. The issue is whether muslims are willing to accept objectively if another attempt is equally eloquent. I could argue Beowulf poem is unmatched but that does not make it the literal word of God. Nor does it make it the perfect of the most Perfect form of literature. Equally I could say Kubrik’s films are unmatched but Kubrik is not an apostle of God. Or is he?
“you can’t prove a negative”
This one is getting old. I mean really old.
Many muslims believed that the Qur’an they read today came about exactly as it was during Mohammed’s life. That they were churning out the pages as Mohammed spoke the verses. This is just not historically accurate.
So as far as only one version of the Qur’an after Mohammed lived, JamShady needs to learn about the history of the Mushaf of Uthman, which is very much well historically accepted among muslim scholars. Uthman was the dude who standardized the Qur’an against many other conflicting versions . Even hardcore mullahs and imams know this.
So, yes, the Qur’an JamShady enjoys now is a result of a heavily edited work from various versions. Where are these other versions? Caliph Uthman simply had them burned. Just like JK Rowling would delete all her draft version of Harry Potter from her laptop and submit the very final, final, edited version to be published. All this is recorded in the Hadith itself. The Qur’an part that is. not Harry Potter.
And if the Qur’an is incredibly clear and perfect why the need of Tafsir (with the latter sometimes even consist of more pages of text just to explain one line of verse). As in why Allah needs human help to make us understand him when Allah can do this with just a snap of a finger. I mean Allah did create the universe, right?
Thanks for your response, and welcome.
You make some great points, for which I’m sure JamShady would have
some bizarre reply. I’ll put this to him on Twitter. I have offered to
have a better debate on my blog or his, because you can’t really have
a debate on twitter. His response was effectively that he’s to busy
correcting the errors of the uninformed in real life and that blogs
are a waste of time. I presume he convinces his own brain with that
truth as much as he does about the truth of the Qur’an.
Well, that didn’t take long. From JamShady:
“@ronmurp no, it’s stupid. Beowulf isn’t an intrusive text. Uthman didn’t alter the Quran & you’ve misunderstood my argument #selectiveQuotes”