Sunday, February 22, 2009
Lost in Translation
Image from Wikipedia
I've spoken of "Wiki-holes" in the past; the act of reading one Wikipedia listing after another until a ridiculous amount of time has passed without your knowledge. Countless other internet-"holes" exist, from IMDB-holes to (undoubtedly) porn-holes. Heh.
Well, I've just climbed out (for the moment) from an Amazon-hole. Nothing kinky, just reading some commentary accompanying Bill Maher's release of Religulous on video. There's a fervent batch of discussions brewing there between Bible literalists and agnostics/atheists. And I find the back-and-forth fascinating. The discussion that sapped my time this time was one between the "there are no contradictions in the Bible" faction, and the dissenters.
Now, whether or not there are (and IMHO, there are), the contradictions between Genesis and basic freshman Earth Science pretty much clinched it for me, all the way back when I was 14 years old. But many cling to the idea that the Bible is inerrant, despite the many authors, rejected gospels, and the translations and re-translations.
One point caught my eye, though, and I had to share it here on the blog. Here it is:
"Computer translation of The Spirit is Willing but the Flesh is Weak from English to Russian then back to English became The Whisky is Strong, but the Meat is Tainted."
Says something about translations, doesn't it?
UPDATE: I'd also like to point out something interesting (at least to me). I've participated and read message boards for as long as online communication has been available. The topics are many, but some of my favorites (outside of religion, and gay rights discussions) are fan sites. And in fan sites--whether the topic is The Terminator, Superman, Aliens, Seinfeld, Friday the 13th or any other work of fiction--there is the phenomenon of the "fan wank." A fan wank is an explanation by a fan that clears up problems in continuity. The fan makes an effort to explain away an uncomfortable diversion from established facts. They are rarely supported by "canonical" evidence.
This is exactly the same MO you find on religion boards. Contradiction in the Bible? Fan wank. Where did Able and Cain find wives that weren't their sisters? Fan wank. How was "light" created before the sun and moon and stars? Fan wank. In fact, Biblical apologists are likely the grandaddies of fan wankdom.
More on fan wanks: Here