January 10th, 2010

PK Icon

Why Biblical Archeology Never Bugs Me

Biblical archeology has always struck me as having such a rigid orthodoxy that it never troubles me when well established things prove that things in the Bible couldn't have happened. Granted my examination of the field was 20 years ago, but it seemed to me it always preceded from the notion that the Bible could not possibly be accurate, even on the non-miraculous stuff, and proceeded from there. Worse, much of it seemed routed in 18th Century European ideas about "primitive semetic peoples" and had utterly failed to keep up with real archeology and study of the ancient world -- which over time has found a world of sophistication and international commerce even outside the well-known kingdoms of Egypt and Sumer.

Which brings us to this interesting pottery shard that a University of Haifa professor argues is the oldest piece of Hebrew writing. This would date from the Davidic period 1000 B.C.E. The statements are rather similar to statements expressed in the Bible about protecting widows and orphans and stuff. This flies in the face of the religious dogma of Biblical archeologists, who are rather insistent that Jews were illiterate until the Babylonian exile.

I should note this shard is not really evidence of anything. But it amuses me to see things that are asserted as Absolutely True turn out not to be Absolutely True. As a religious man, I try to distinguish between what I find Absolutely True as a religious matter and what evidence and reason tell me. It makes me suspicious when folks supposedly devoid of religious prejudice assert things as Absolutely True.
PK Icon

Link Harvest: Defending Walking Away From A Mortgage

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/magazine/10FOB-wwln-t.html

Briefly: selling the masses that they have a moral responsibility to meekly conform to the desires of the banking industry while corporations are supposed to be rational economic actors without regard to such moral qualms. Feh. Either we all have moral responsibilities or we are all rational economic actors and touch nuggies for the consequences. Damn corporate Libertarians.