Facebook has been a very good source for examples of magical thinking and the interesting conversations that can ensue. Here’s another one between me and Bob:
Jay Walker: Biblical guidance on how to deal with rape, a graphical view: http://i.imgur.com/TsK9R.jpg
Bob Santaniello: Good thing God’s people aren’t living under the ‘law’ of the Old Testament.
Jay Walker: So how do you decide what parts of the “Old Testament” to believe and which parts not to? I thought the whole bible was the word of god? I’m not asking to be sarcastic, I’m honestly curious.
Bob Santaniello: It isn’t a decision; I believe as you said, all of the Old and New Testaments is the true word of God as given to men by the Holy Spirit. The deciding part is to hermeneutically figure out to whom the different parts were written, why thing…
Can you say, “I always rationalize my cherry picking.”? This is such a great example of how believers can find ways to throw out all the things from their supposedly divinely inspired holy books that make them uncomfortable yet hang on to the things that affirm their personal values.
Reading things like that actually makes me almost respect the hard core fundies who insist that every word of their holy books are true. At least they are being consistent. After all, if you truly believe that a book is divinely inspired by a god who can get mightily vengeful when you don’t listen to him, you really want to make sure you follow every lesson and admonition in that book. Of course, anyone who relies on one book as a guide to living every aspect of their lives has more serious problems than a magical sky man who will rain down fire and brimstone onto them when he’s been pissed off.
I haven’t responded to Bob yet and I’m not sure I will. His entire life is literally dedicated teaching and living, as he says, “The word of the one true God.” I seriously doubt that anything I say will have any effect on him what-so-ever. Instead I will use our conversations, like this one, to highlight the irrational lengths believers will go through to try to resolve the cognitive dissonance that is surging through their brains. Hopefully my dear readers will be able to take something valuable away from it.