A Carnival on Holy Books: To Read or Not To Read
On July 3rd, Simen’s post “Don’t Ask Me to Read Your Holy Book” graced this blog. The post was originally written on the April 29th for his now defunct Import Mind.Reason blog. Thanks to StumbleUpon Stumblers, the post quickly began to receive lots of hits. To date, it’s been viewed over 17,000 times. This popularity made the post the WordPress’ Top Post for July 3rd.
The post continue it’s reign for over a 24 hour period and was #3 on July 4th. However, even though the stats supported it remaining in the Top Posts list (even to today), it was dropped from rotation on the 3rd day. I’m assuming WordPress wants fresh content in their Top Post list and it wasn’t due to complaints from bloggers like Andy from the lifeinfife blog who was, according to his blog, “a bit cheesed off that the blog is so heavily promoted by wordpress but not altogether surprised.” He later edited his post with a more neutral introduction.
After reading Simen’s post, erichaynes, of “the Colisium”, wanted to apologize to all atheists for all the narrow-minded, dogmatic, unloving, self-proclaiming zealots of Christianity that have hurt us so deeply with their twisted and circular theology. Apology accepted eric. He also came to the conclusion that “Open Mindedness Doesn’t Exist.” In yet another follow up blog entry, he wanted to let us know the simple message “God is Alive!” although he admitted he could not prove it. Of course, he then went on to attempt it anyway :).
joederbes on “Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion”, in his blog entry Of Atheists and Holy Books made this interesting observation:
This is the new reality, folks. We are no longer the only ones who have the floor when it comes to speaking out to society about matters of eternal truth. Atheists and agnostics are coming out with books, blogs, movies, etc., and their message is gaining a great deal of traction in our society.
He went on to say that the reason for this is the way Christians present their message.
kramii, of “All Wrong,” in his blog entry “Don’t Ask Me to Read Your Blog Entry,” gave a hats off to Simen for his post and subsequent debate:
[Simen] seems to be a very thoughtful, clear-thinking individual, who handled my question with style and grace. I take my hat off to him.
The post by Simen also inspired kramii to repost a poem he wrote back in 1994 entitled The Scientific Enquiry.
Of course, not all comments regarding Simen were complimentary, Silly Old Bear gave us a “grump” on Fundamentalism in which I believe he was implying that Simen is a “Fundamentalist Atheist.” mvdg, in his blog entry “An Atheist on Holy Books,” accused Simen of being unscientific. August on “Christian Skepticism” blog referred to Simen as “hypocritical.”
Audrey from the “There is Only One..” blog found Simen’s blog entry of “no particular interest – just rantings.” What she did find interesting was the interest in the post. Others such as kesela from “House of Masks” felt that Simen was wrong but gave the post kudos for being “interesting.”
However, there were other Christians, who were inspired by the post to self-reflect on whether or not their “religion” is worthless, as Joe from ru-min-a-tions did. There are many Christians who focus on more than just the “religious” aspects of Christianity. This is a step in the right direction.
To date, the post has over 350 comments. hamspter from “Invigorating, Isn’t It?” initially enjoyed the lively debate about god and religion but lost interest on the 2nd day because he could not “stand the few people in between that make statements about an entire religion or society as if they are the ordained spokesperson.” The author of The Palindrome’s Posts thought that reading through all those comments was “mentally draining.” On the “Confessions of a Seminarian” blog Brad Edwards encourages his readers to either “join the fray” or “sleep like a Calvinist.”
In response to the many comments on the blog, Simen posted a FVC (Frequently Voiced Criticisms) which in it’s own right added another 50+ comments to the discussion. This new blog entry was an attempt to respond in an orderly manner to the many questions from the original blog entry which was, according to fox on the blog “chasing shadows again,” like “chaos unfolding.”
michellecwheeler from “Here’s What I Think” blog did not feel that Simen took into account that Christians “believe [the Bible] is actually the living word of God.” Bryan, in his post “Empirically Determined Empiricism,” asked the following question:
Hey Simen! So how did you arrive upon the idea that the scientific method was the way to find truth? Did you use the scientific method? Did you empirically determine that empiricism was true?
Melak Ta’us response to the post by encouraging everyone to embrace their Inner Kong (whatever that means – if you figure it out, let us know). He loved the post and, in fact, got his BA in Religious Studies (almost) solely to have the clout to refute circular reasoning.
Simen’s post was also inspirational to many bloggers. vivek from “The Red Pencil” blog used the post to raise the question “how does one teach students to avoid circular reasoning?” cole on the “blahblahblah” blog posted an entry entitled “Nothin like a bit of independent thinking for a holiday morning.” It’s interesting to note that it was Independence Day in the U.S. after all. On “The Nameless Blog,” the author, a Norwegian like Simen, used the post as an inpiration to explore “Christianity in Norway.”
Bairbre, a small town small town girl raised in THE Christian Church on the plains of Nebraska, baptized in the Little Blue River by full immersion at the Pible Bible Church Camp who ended up a full fledged atheist, on the “Living On The Edge of Madness” blog was inspired by the blog entry to ask “what is the most dangerous idea about religion?“
The anonymous author of “unfinished and undecided” used the post to ask God “What Religion Am I?” If this anonymous author is reading this, please let us know what was God’s response to your prayer.
The post also received a quick acknowledgement on several blogs including lematou’s blog entry entitled “We, we (that means ‘yes’ in French),” Cyn’s Ungodly Funnies, innowhere’s “the holy book“ and Scavella’s Blogsphere. whatthecrap also used the opportunity to give a response to the Agnostic Atheism Wager.
Of course, as a result of its popularity, many spam sites linked to the post. I attempted to delete those pingbacks. I should also mention that in addition to the links on the many blogs mentioned above, the post was also posted on forums for additional discussion including XnForums.com.