What I Value Most in Life

I was just about to settle in with a slice of chocolate cake, fresh from the oven, and a DVD of Laura (1944), when I noticed that a new Carnival of the Godless had come online. While skimming the essays therein collected, I left a comment at John Wilson’s place, on a subject I’d like to explore more fully sometime soon, and then I found that Mike Haubrich had discovered a book called (it really satirizes itself) The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible (2007). Its author, Robert J. Hutchinson, should certainly be proud of the reviews:

The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible by Robert Hutchinson fires back at this icy trend with history, statistics, logic, humor and even a few rabbit punches. If counter-terrorist Jack Bauer were to take up Christian apologetics, he might have penned something like this.

Well, Dan Dennett might get his fingernails torn off, but I’m not sure that style of apologetics really constitutes a worthwhile intellectual argument.

“For secular fundamentalists, religion in general, and the Bible in particular, are not just wrongheaded but actually dangerous,” Hutchinson writes. “That’s because religion and the Bible stand in the way of everything they value most in life—primarily unlimited sex, of course, but also the power to reshape society into a kind of secular utopia free from traditional ethical restraint.”

That these words were put in this order the way they were just fills me with admiration for the sheer variety of wirings which can exist between human ears. It also pumps up my urge for the cheap shot: don’t ya know that the “traditional ethical restraint” against, oh, say, rape was only fifty shekels and an arranged marriage? You can’t get much more traditional than Deuteronomy 22:28–9.

Oddly enough, at least two people noticed that Human Events (“leading the conservative movement since 1944”) ran on its website a review of Hutchinson’s book attributed to Hutchinson himself — the very review I quoted above. When called on this, Human Events changed the byline to “Robert H. Knight,” also updating the dateline from the fifteen to the eighteenth of December, making Haubrich’s original remarks, posted on the fifteenth, something of an anachronism.

If Knight weren’t a real person, this would be even funnier — a real Dembski moment — but it’s plenty amusing as it stands.

Now, for that chocolate cake. . . .

8 thoughts on “What I Value Most in Life”

  1. Yeah, that’s why I reject the Bible. Unlimited sex.

    ‘cept it’s really not working out all that well. I mean, there are still limits and all….

    But it has nothing at all to do with the complete lack of any external confirmation, the internal inconsistencies, the inconsistency of the Bible with even the most commonplace observations of the real world…….

  2. I thought the Disco ‘Tute was behind those “Politically Incorrect Guide” things. I also thought that ID supposedly had nothing to do with religion.

    Ahh, the Bible. That David guy was such a paragon of virtue.

  3. Ya know, I’m an atheist and a bit of a small-government advocate and on BOTH fronts I get these charges of simply desiring a libertine lifestyle leveled at me. It’s gotta be among my least favorite counter-arguments, as well as (in my case) among the least accurate:
    I don’t drink, don’t do drugs, don’t sleep around (and have no desire to), and essentially don’t want ANY of the stuff I argue for for myself. But somehow the only reason I want less interference from the church and the government, according to them, is so I can indulge in those things without guilt or punishment…

    News Flash: The legal/religious opinion on most courses of human behavior is, for the majority of people, rather irrelevant to whether or not they choose to pursue said courses of behavior. There’d be a percentage of “swing voters,” so to speak, who would opt to do something if the restrictions were lifted…but likely not as many as the theologians and politicians want us to think.

    And it’s not as if the religious or the bureaucrats are more moral on the whole…everyone justifies their “sins” and makes unique cases for themselves and not “the masses” like us who don’t KNOW BETTER and need to be told what to do or not to do. I just want to make it so we don’t HAVE to justify ourselves for things we’re likely to do anyway. Doesn’t make ME a libertine or immoral. Stupid argument.

  4. What really tears it is that I often have to berate Bible-toting fundies for living in a cult of permissiveness.

    Meanwhile, I only do prescription drugs that I actually have a prescription for and caffeine, I’ve never looked inside a dirty magazine, I’m a complete teetotaler, and, on top of all that, I have this funny, outdated prudish tendency to think torture and slavery are wrong. I’m quaint that way, aren’t I?

  5. The real problem is that we secular fundamentalist materialist evilutionists know that sex can never be “unlimited,” as even in its wildest forms, it’s constrained by things like Ramsey theory. For example, in any orgy of three or more persons, at least two of them will have to be the same biological gender.

    Hey, if you were looking for math topics to exposit, that might be a good starting point. You could also pick up a book like John Allen Paulos’ Beyond Numeracy (1992) and see if you could improve upon its treatment of some topic.

Comments are closed.