Traditional Marriage According to the Bible

In a comment a couple of weeks ago I wondered aloud what “traditional marriage” actually was according to the Bible. This clears things up. Be sure to turn on your pop-up blocker before going to this site.

I once heard that an atheist speaker was asked what readings he would recommend that would support atheism. He recommended the Bible. The Bible, honestly read, really is the best support nonbelief could have. In fact, I am surprised that there are not more atheological arguments with a form something like this:

1) If the God of theism exists, his intelligent creatures will now possess a definitive revelation that clearly reveals God’s will vis-a-vis those creatures.

(Justification: The God of the omni-predicates, including omni-benevolence, will love his creatures and will not allow them to stumble in darkness without a message revealing his love for them and guiding them towards truth and goodness.)

2) If there is presently such a definitive revelation, it must be rationally recognizable as such, i.e.some extant purported scripture must bear marks that unmistakably indicate its divine provenance.

(Justification: The revelation must bear marks of superior wisdom, goodness, truth, and beauty that clearly distinguish it from merely human wisdom, goodness, truth, and beauty. Should these marks be absent, there will be no reason to think that a putative revelation was not a merely human invention).

3) Yet all extant purported scriptures lack those definitive marks of superior wisdom, goodness, truth, and beauty.

(Justification: All purported scripture, such as the books of the OT, those of the NT, the Qur’an, The Book of Mormon, etc. Contain some wisdom, goodness, truth, and beauty, but nothing obviously superior to that found in human philosophical and literary works. Further, those purported scriptures also contain copious elements of absurdity, ignorance, error, violence, intolerance, sexism, cruelty, and fanaticism. Therefore, extant purported scriptures lack definitive marks of divine provenance).

4) Therefore, there is no presently existing definitive revelation.

(Justification: From 2 and 3 by modus tollens).

5) Therefore, the God of theism does not exist.

(Justification: from 1 and 4 by modus tollens).

About Keith Parsons
  • David Joseph Post

    This article’s title was misleading, there was no discussion at all concerning the definition of traditional marriage in the bible, rather the author rather unapologetically linked to another source then went off on his own tangent of how to argue against the existence of god using the bible. Very disappointed this made it onto Patheos, I had come to expect much better work found here than that.

    • busterggi

      Uh, that’s actually because nowhere in the bible is there a definition of traditional marriage. There’s polygamy, arranged marriage, forced marriage after rape &/or with women as battle spoils, concubinage, priestitutes and, when you get to Paul, a stand against marriage as the end of the world is coming immediately.

      But traditional marriage, nope, not in that book.

      • David Joseph Post

        Yes, but there was no discussion of that at all, after the link he just digressed entirely into a speech about the non-existence of god instead of dealing with his subject matter.

        If the post was titled “A Argument Against God Using the Bible” I wouldn’t have a problem with it, and I would probably be arguing about the quick jab at marriage to start the post which has nothing to do with his argument against god.

        • Keith Parsons

          Gosh, Mr. Post. Sorry to have caused you such bitter, bitter disappointment! Sounds like I ruined your day! If so, please accept my heartfelt apologies! Maybe I can atone by humbly offering a bit of practical advice to save you from such chagrin in the future. Here is what I do: When I am reading something and it stops being about what I am interested in…I stop reading! Believe me, this has saved me from a lot of unnecessary unpleasantness in the past, and it might work for you too! Hope this helps.

          • Johnathan Bunn

            Not only can Keith Parsons not write an article based on the topic his Title describes, he also cannot handle criticism, why didn’t you write two articles Keith? did you not have enough material?

          • Keith Parsons

            Mr. Bunn,

            Criticism is fine. I welcome it and have over the years enjoyed many stimulating and rewarding discussions in this venue. I merely ask of readers that they not throw a hissy fit if I say something displeasing to them. Religion is a controversial topic, and we say controversial things. We are bound to say things that offend others’ sensibilities. Also, sometimes, as in the above post, I might segue from the original topic to another topic that I think people might also find interesting (Mea culpa! Mea maxima culpa!). This is not The Journal of Philosophy. The rules of composition are lax. If I cause someone momentary inconvenience by moving to another topic that does not interest them, then this does not strike me as sufficient reason to fulminate. All I ask–all that anyone should ask who participates in discussions such as these–is that readers respond in kind. If I offer an argument–which I did–respond with an argument, not a temper tantrum. If instead you respond by getting in a pet, I might just call you out. How could that be unfair or inappropriate?

          • Johnathan Bunn

            you didn’t segue into a different topic, you did a bait and switch, your title and first sentence are completely unrelated to the rest of the article, there was no transition or connection between the two topics, I think you should have made the first sentence a Facebook or twitter post, and used the rest for your article, with a more descriptive title, or you could have wrote an article that is somewhat connected to your topic, or offered some sort of connection between the two, it looks to me that you choose your title simply to get views, because it is a hot topic at the moment.

          • Keith Parsons

            Again, Mr. Bunn, dreadfully sorry to have so horribly inconvenienced you and Mr. Post. Honestly, I thought the segue was apparent, and I had no idea it would provoke such pique and a plethora of ad hominems. The linked article details troublesome and disturbing things the Bible has to say about marriage. I then move to the (related) thought that the Bible, because it has so much troubling content, might in fact be the most useful document supporting atheist polemics. I then moved to the (related) thought that perhaps even an atheological argument could be based on the difficulties presented by purported scripture.

            Tell you what. Next week, I will re-post the link and follow it with commentary REALLY on the topic of traditional marriage in the Bible. OK? Will that mollify you and Mr. Post?

            In the meantime, have you guys considered switching to Decaff?

          • Johnathan Bunn

            the only “ad hominems” I see here come from you, from the mocking and sarcastic tone of your replies i can tell you simply do not care about the quality of your work, so I am done communicating with you, in the future I will simply avoid your work.

          • Keith Parsons

            Mr. Bunn,

            Yes, please do avoid my work completely. Obviously, I will lose nothing by not hearing from you. There are many things in the world one should get incensed about: Taliban fanatics who throw acid in a girl’s face to keep her from going to school, greedy billionaires who bribe politicians, the venal politicians who sell out the public interest for special interests, etc. An Internet post that is not on the topic you hoped it would be is just not one of those things that deserves furious indignation.

          • Johnathan Bunn

            yup there’s the attitude, your poor writing skills, your complete lack of professionalism and your inability to handle criticism without being a complete ass-hat is why I am avoiding your work in the future.

            this poorly written article really has little to do with it, your obvious anger at someone pointing out your mistake, and your attitude in your reply, shows that you are not worth paying attention to.

          • Keith Parsons

            Again, Mr. Bunn, I strongly, strongly urge you to pay no attention to me, as you promised to do. Please do keep your promise. Silence is golden, Mr. Bunn, and in your case it is platinum

          • Daniel

            That’s weird. Initially, I wondered what the rest of the article had to do about “traditional marriage” in the Bible. But, it makes sense that if there were a god, he would make it clear what “traditional marriage” is so that everyone in the world would have no excuse not to know what “traditional marriage” is. God would make it clear to all reasonable people.

          • NerdAlert

            Every time I read Parson’s reply, I always have the voice of Lady Bracknell reading it in my head, for some reason.