It turns out that the book which formed the central text for an entire civilization
...is not only interesting, but something besides a mere collection of passages whose sole utility is to be debunked.
For me, the surest sign that there's just flat something wrong with evangelical atheists of the "New Atheist" variety is that they lack the humanity to conceive of the Bible as anything other than something to refute. A normal unbeliever would at least have enough poetry in his soul to treat the Bible as I treat the Iliad and the Odyssey or the collected Fairy Stories of Andrew Lang. You have to have a screw loose to pore over the adventures of Ulysses simply and solely to prove that a Cyclops is physiologically impossible or to heap scorn on the zoological preposterousness of Puss n Boots. There's something unutterably crabbed, cramped and dead in the soul with the new atheist's everlasting need to heap contempt on every single passage he finds in Scripture without ever inquiring as to why the greatest artists who ever lived found it so nourishing. A normal person, like the atheist Theodore Dalrymple can see the wierd abnormality and social defectiveness of the New Atheist. The New Atheist can see nothing but his Little System of Order, into which no normal person, believer or unbeliever, can possibly fit. Give such people power, and the mass executions are sure to follow, because such people can only solve the problem of a system that makes short beds by chopping off a man's head so that he fits it.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Shea Waxes Chestertonian