Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Doctrine of Flat Earthiness?

Now the Flat Earth theory began with Washington Irving and was promoted as genuine history in the 19th century by some scholar/activists who hated the church. This was done tangentially to support the theory of evolution. The church of the middle ages was required to believe a flat earth theory by this meta-narrative, and it was required that the belief be derived from the Bible. Hence a smattering of Biblical bits of hyperbole were invoked as part of the fiction that the church used to believe that the earth was flat and it was claimed that they derived this from the Bible. Most New Atheists are honorable enough to admit that this was all the product of buffoons and move on.

But what of the Biblical Scholar community? No way! They will fight even harder to have these tiny disjoint snippets of rhetoric spun into a formal Doctrine of Flat Earthiness and then insist that this is what the ancient Jews believed up through 1st century Palestine. You can check this out here and here. What the ancient Jews really did believe - or if they believed anything - we will probably never know, given that the geometric vocabulary seems to be lacking. The more important point is that the Biblical scholars have decided huge swaths of scripture were written with the intent of being allegories in the first place. A literal reading of many of the passages thus conflicts with their beliefs about how the Bible was written. The other question is whether or not the methodology that Biblical Scholars use to derive their Doctrine of Flat Earthiness are similar to any other methodology for deriving doctrines. Of course not. It is a methodology created specifically for the purpose of insuring a Doctrine of Flat Earthiness. The reason for all of this is quite simple: Theology is more invested in evolution than science is, and discrediting the ancient Jews is mandatory so that Genesis can be discredited.

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