The Extent of Literalism

The Extent of Literalism September 20, 2015

End of conversation Spike Davis cartoon

When I first posted the cartoon above by Tim “Spike” Davis, it was accompanied by a screenshot of someone arguing that, since the Bible refers to people reasoning with their hearts in the Bible, the heart must contain a tiny brain. I was subsequently informed that the individual who expressed this view had experienced a severe brain trauma when they were attacked, and ought not to be a target of ridicule. I agree, and thus removed the screenshot, which had come to me second-hand via Facebook. It is worth considering that many of the people we encounter online who lead us to assume that Christians/Muslims/atheists/Americans/whoever are insane, may in fact actually be people with mental issues of a variety of sorts. We might realize if we met them in person, while just thinking they are stubborn or closed-minded – and representative of a category of people – when interacting with them online. And so it seemed to me not only appropriate to remove the screenshot and commentary on it, but also to share these details, in the hope that some readers may temper their online interactions accordingly.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Gustav

    As someone who used to think like this, I’m glad I started taking the Bible seriously enough to challenge before I ended up arguing with my heart-brain.

  • arcseconds

    Poe’s law means I have no idea whether this is real. It seems absurd, but people say absurd things every day. It seems more absurd than the absurd things people actually say, but who can say for sure?

    (It also reminds me of Stephen Colbert’s nonsense about ‘truthiness’ – ‘there are more nerve endings in your gut than there are in your brain.’ )

  • andrew bucknall

    As a (relatively sane and stable) Christadelphian its so sad that its the few fruitcakes in our community that bring my faith into disrepute. Unfortunately, ultra-fundamentalism/literalism is a virus that is spreading like wildfire in our community and the “few” seem to be less “few” as time goes on.

  • Matt

    James,
    I think you should be made aware that the person being used in this example has an acquired brain injury from an assault and Jonathan Burke, who is Science and Scripture, is well aware of this. He has been asked a number of times to desist in harassing Paul and this post you are sharing is just another attempt to hurt Paul. Paul has already been driven to the point of extreme reactions, sharing this post will not improve the situation at all. At the very least his name should have been blacked out but in all honesty I think it’s best not to share it. I trust you will know what the most Christ-like thing would be to do.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-06-02/man-jailed-over-taxi-driver-assault/1701338

    • Thank you for drawing this to my attention. I will alter the post.

  • John MacDonald

    Taken literally, the Bible says the earth is flat and sitting on pillars and cannot move (Ps 93:1, Ps 96:10,1 Sam 2:8, Job 9:6). It also says that great sea monsters are set to guard the edge of the sea (Job 41, Ps 104:26).