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The Jury is Insane, Chapter 1: A Tekton Parody

The Uselessness of My Arguments

by Cowboy Bill

In ETDAV (Evidence That Demands a Vivarin), McBowWow begins his defense of the Bible with the claim that it is unique. Well, duh: Anyone can walk into a Bible bookstore and see that. Every one of them has the title "Holy Bible" on them, which no other book has. Each one has a different cover and uses different sheets of paper for pages. McBowWow parades before us an array of "scholars" (which is to say, people more educated in this field than I am by far, but I wouldn't admit it for one minute; hence the quotes) to testify to various features of the Bible that qualify it to be considered "different from all other books", like having maps and concordances. At the very beginning of my expert analysis of this chapter of ETDAV, I will concede that the Bible is 100% unique. Certainly, this means that I will have to strain mightily for the sake of composing this essentially superfluous chapter, but fortunately, my archives are full of my own magnificent past works, so that I can just scan through those and reprint some of them here if things get a little tedious.

What Does This Essay Prove?

The answer to this question is that it doesn't prove anything. So why am I wasting my time writing this? If one wanted to quibble, he could argue all day about anything, but nothing is ever gained by quibbling, and yet I do it all the time, because I really don't have anything better to do with my life than sit here and quibble with people.

McBowWow develops points on his head at length, but he combs his hair just right, so they don't show. "The above does not prove that I am a pointy-headed nuisance," he states at the end of this chapter, "but to me it proves that passing under low doors can give me a splitting headache." So all of the "evidence that demands a Vivarin" on this particular point leads McBowWow to the conclusion that his head is pointy. His circular conclusion was hardly worth the effort he put into reaching it, which again leads to the question of why I'm even bothering writing this.

Although I certainly don't consider Josh McBowWow a pointy-headed geek, I will credit him with being an excellent used-car salesman. When he said all this, he probably understood that he wasted his time, but he also understood that he had a chapter to fill and that ETDAV wouldn't sell too well without some extra pages in it. We might equate his strategy here to my own strategy of taking up about 1/8 of this essay with a single quote of the Bible or rambling on at length about how much I agree with McBowWow's basic premise. So what McBowWow very likely wanted his readers to do was to read his "evidence that demands a Vivarin" with a box of crayons in their hands so they could color in all the blank pages after he deleted this chapter. I provide blank pages in my newsletter (The Skeptical Reused) for my own readers for the very same reason.

Examination in detail of all of the "scholarly" testimony to the Bible's validity that exists would require me to actually do some serious reading, so I will have to confine myself to throwing out a few stale objections that were once used by Voltaire and pretending that they're still valid today even after centuries of further research. Then we will look at some nice photos of me debating in my clean white suit.

THE BIBLE: I Think It Stinks!

I could cite gazillions of examples that dispute McBowWow's claim that the Bible is completely unified in its theme, but the fact that I can't actually list more than two or three must limit me to just a few examples of supposed disharmony and discontinuity in the Bible and hope that my readers are just too dense to see through the propaganda. First, though, since this essay is running a little short, here is that extended and only marginally relevant quote from some ancient document I found at the garage sale:

Concerning the profits: My heart is crushed within me, all my bones shake; I have become like a drunkard, like one overcome by wine, because of riding on Space Mountain too many times. For Disneyland is full of tourists; because of the curse the line gets longer, and the soda fountains are dried up. Both Mickey and Goofy are somewhere else; even the chipmunks have walked away, says the Mighty Eisner. Therefore their way shall be to them like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, into which they shall be driven and fall; for I will not stand in line with them, says the Mighty Eisner. In the line of Country Bear Jamboree I saw a disgusting thing: gum stuck to the soles of my shoe. But on the flume ride I have seen a more shocking thing: they spit off the side of the ride; they barge through and butt the line, so that no one gets ahead of them. Therefore thus says Mighty Eisner concerning the profits: 'I am going to raise the admission prices again, and give them water to drink for five cents a cup; for the profits of Disney World have been spread too thin.' Thus says Mighty Eisner: Do not listen to the words of the other theme parks who advertise to you; they are deluding you. They keep saying to those who despise the Mighty Eisner, 'You can get the second day free'; and to all who stubbornly follow their own stubborn hearts, they say, 'No bad weather shall come upon you.' Look, the storm of Eisner! Rain has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the tourist. I have heard what the weathermen have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, 'Good weather tomorrow! Lots of sunshine!' How long? Will the hearts of the meteorologists ever turn back--those who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart? They plan to make my people go outside by their forecasts that they tell one another. Let the weatherman who has a forecast tell the forecast, but let the one who has my forecast speak my word faithfully. What has snow in common with heat? says Eisner. See, I am against the meteorologists, who use their own maps and say, 'No rain.' See, I am against those who forecast with lying Dopplers, and who tell them, and who lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or appoint them. When this people, or a meteorologist, asks you, 'What is the weather going to be like today?' you shall say to them, 'There's a 30% chance of some' and keep your mouth shut otherwise. But 'the 5-day forecast' you shall mention no more.

This quotation was long, but it was necessary because without it my essay would be embarrassingly short. If there is any truth at all to Jerry's narration of contemporary events, Disney in his day was filled with prophets uttering lies and making false predictions about the Super Bowl. He whined a lot about this his book, and in one place, he even complained about the weather.

Inerrantists like McBowWow, of course, will argue that the weather is a lot nicer where they are, and so what they forecasted cannot be compared to what was spoken and written by "true" forecasters. This would be a naively simplistic view, but I can propose an even simpler and more naive one: That because weather forecasting was a sort of national institution, and there were even schools maintained to train meteorologists, where the students were known as "sons of a %#$@*" (when they got the forecast wrong); and, because weather forecasters were so common that you couldn't swing your arms around without hitting one, and 1 Things 23:1-37 relates an incident involving rival opinion between 400 TV weathermen, whose counsel king Arab had asked for prior to a picnic in Samaria, and Mookie, a meteorologist whom Arab despised for always "predicting rain" on the weekend. All of this obviously leads to the conclusion that there could indeed be no such thing as a false forecaster.

In such a scenario as this, it is obvious that some incorrect forecasts must have been preserved in the biblical text. Just as winners always write the histories of nations, we can be certain that there was a big fat conspiracy that prevailed when the "inspired" books were selected, and that this conspiracy was covered up, and the coverup was covered up, and so on, so that it is only by the workings of my clear thinking that we even know that all of ancient history has been altered to fool us into converting to Christianity. The process, however, was far from successful, because ancient people, though smart enough to do a conspiracy like this, were also so stupid that some dissenting forecasts managed to survive the cutting. We see, for example, that the Bible does not agree on even the simplest things, like the numbers on the bottom of the pages. Take a Bible at random (something I'm used to doing, it's a great study method) and open it, like I'm doing right now. I opened it, and the number at the bottom of the page says "635". The following pages do not agree with this at all. The very next page has a different number, "636". Then we see a veritable confusion as the numbers change on every page - "723", "776", "824" - even "1103".

Whoever wrote that first number obviously thought that 635 was of some importance. Several pages later, however, and of every page of the Bible elsewhere, the writer expressed an entirely different opinion of the number and offered another one instead. So the writer of that first page heaped praise on the number 635, but on other pages the writer apparently wanted to say that other numbers were better. In making the assignments each writer put himself into obvious disagreement with the writer of every other page, who thought that their number was better. It's hard to see perfect agreement and harmony in these different views of the same dadburned thing.

I would have to write a book to massage my incredible ego, but since G. A. Wells has managed to corner the market on duping publishers, just a few more briefly analyzed examples should be sufficient to make this essay long enough to not embarrass me. All through the New Testament I have in my hand, there are stories written in black letters. The letters of Paul and others, in fact, are for the most part in black. Here, there, and everywhere, however, we see indications that some biblical writers were in disagreement with this practice. The writers of the Gospels sometimes put things in red letters. This practice stands in flagrant contradiction of what the other books of the New Testament do. Biblical inerrantists have leaned over backwards to try to explain this discrepancy by claiming that it was some sort of publishing technique to highlight the words of Jesus, but this is not what the text says. If the publishers had meant this to be a highlight method, they could have said so. But they didn't.

If this version of the Bible were the only one to do this, we could perhaps be convinced that we have misunderstood this particular tactic, but many of the other 27,456 versions of the Bible I own do the same thing. In Good News for Beavers the NT uses some red letters. The Living Well Translation, the Ryrie Steel-Belted KJV and The Farmer's Study Bible are other versions that show that some writers did not attach to black ink the supreme importance that was expressed in the rest of the Bible, which was undoubtedly written by an executive of the black ink industry intent on securing his livelihood, which would have been dependent on a continual parade of black ink.

I claim in far too many places to try to list them all that there is some uncountable number of some particular problem, but this is a propagandic tactic that is designed to make you think that I know more than I do.

MY ARGUMENTS: Unique in Their Circumlocution, Transition, and Constipation

In these sections, McBowWow seems to be arguing that numbers are somehow sufficient to establish truth. He never actually says this, but using my amazing mind-reading powers, I just know that he is arguing that because the Bible has been circulated more, translated into more languages, and survived more attacks and criticisms longer than any other book, it must be the word of God. Any beginning student of logic knows that truth is never decided by the number of those who adhere to a premise or claim, but this is an excellent straw man to poke McBowWow with, so I'll rail on for a few paragraphs about the subject anyway. Most of what McBowWow said in these sections can be explained by the fact that most Christians are fanatical weirdos who shove the Bible (and McBowWow's book) down everyone's throat. Because of their mental illness, these believers circulated the Bible, translated it, and protected it more than is usual for books, which of course has everything to do with why they did it in the first place. No one denies that fanaticism has long been characteristic of Bible believers, but I'll ignore the question as to whether that devotion has any actual basis because then I would have to argue using data rather than veiled insults as I usually do.

Much of what McBowWow sees as biblical "uniqueness" is actually the result of bribes and corruption. Christianity happened to take root and thrive in a geographical area that became more technologically advanced than other parts of the world, and as we know, people without technology are a bunch of bone-in-the-nose butt-scratchers who can't find their own feet and have no such things as governmental organization. It is possible with this sort of naive reductionism for me to argue obliquely that Christianity wouldn't have grown if it had gone to some other place where the people were stupider and less organized, even though this makes no sociological sense whatsoever, but if I cover my butt by merely alluding to the fact that the growth of any institution will always be the result of many factors (without actually naming or analyzing any other factors), most of my readers will be fooled into thinking I've done a more worthwhile analysis than I actually have done.

As for the Bible's survival of more criticisms and attacks, McBowWow surely knows that no one ever criticized the Bible before 1700. Celsus and Porphyry were inventions of the early church, and persecutions of Christians by the Romans never actually happened. Until I came along to save everyone from Christianity, no one knew how to handle it or was too scared to criticize it. Now that freedom of expression of ignorance is granted by most democratic societies where Christianity is the dominant religion, there is no wonder that every shmoe on the street thinks themselves qualified to criticize the Bible even when they don't know a bloody thing about it. I'm living proof of that: Misinformation is religion's greatest enemy, and in an age when any yahoo like me has access to a keyboard, this is going to pose a greater threat to Christianity than anything Celsus or Voltaire could have dished out.

THE BIBLE: Don't Read It!

Of all the weirdo attributes that McBowWow lists in the opening chapter of ETDAV, this one is probably the one I can sound the most authoritative about while still being wrong. A serious study of a number of badly outdated sources will show that there is nothing unique about the teachings of the Bible. The first 11 chapters of Genesis were derived from Nebuchadnezzar's grocery list, as all serious Bible scholars knew in 1938. The Hebrews thought their god Yahweh could be appeased by incinerating animals in homage to him, but all of the societies around them believed that they too could appease their gods with animal sacrifices in 100% exactly the same way, right down to the minutest and most profound theological concepts. The Hebrews built a temple to their god, but the nations around them also built temples to their gods, when they could have built condominiums to their gods. The Hebrews believed that their god rewarded them when they acted "politely" and punished them when they "did that which was stupid in Yahweh's sight," but contemporary records like the Rolling Stone and the Fee Fi Fo Fum inscriptions show that the nations around them believed the same; if the Hebrews were truly original, they would have had their God do the opposite. The Hebrews walked with the faces forward, but archaeological data shows that the pagans did the exact same thing. The Hebrews believed that the sun set in the west, and so did the pagans. Not even the "monotheism" of the Hebrews was unique to them, because sources dated to the early 1920s show that monotheism was introduced in Egypt by Pharaoh Rootintootin before it had established roots with the Hebrews. This just goes to show that you can always win an argument if you just use sources that are old enough.

The New Testament story of a virgin-born, miracle-working, dead-and-resurrected savior-god was not unique to Christianity: Such arguments abounded in sources that preceded 1907. Even the famous Gulden's rule (do not put mustard on the table while serving beans) had its counterpoint in the ethical teachings of other religions that could easily have created an entirely different rule.

MY ARGUMENTS: Unique in Their Ignorance

McBowWow has parroted that old Christian claim that if the Bible were destroyed, it could be reproduced in its entirety from biblical quotations that could be found on cereal boxes. This may be true, but I seriously doubt if this is a claim that would be uniquely true. Does McBowWow doubt that my own works if destroyed, could be reproduced from quotations parroted by my loyal thralls? You can bet I have them trained to recite the mantras accurately. There are even skeptical zealots who have committed the entire Works of Weasell Bill to memory and could be depended on as sources to reproduce it if it were ever destroyed. Essentially all that McBowWow has focused on in this chapter are factors that result from the fanaticism of religious sickos. This just isn't as apparent to him because he lives in an aluminum can.

In many other ways, however, I'm inclined to agree with McBowWow's claim that this chapter was a colossal waste of time. Of all the religious holy books that I personally know about, and I only know anything about 2 or 3 of them, I know of none whose influence has been as negative and detrimental to me as the Bible has been. I know of no book that makes me foam at the mouth more than the Bible does. In that respect my arguments are certainly unique, but this is a uniqueness that biblical apologists simply don't appreciate because they are stupid.


Notes??? Good grief, man, are you out of your mind?!? I know everything! What in tarnation would I need notes for?

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