Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Bible (£370,000) project to celebrate 400th anniversary of the King James edition... Really?

"Hey kids, forget Twilight, Hunger Games or any book useful for revision... have a bible... it's on the house..."

Secondary and primary schools all over the UK are being given King James VI bibles in celebration of its 400th anniversary. This project has been predicted to cost £370,000 and is happening this week.

The bible and its many stories and claims has had a substantial influence on language, social infrastructure and the belief systems of many people around the world. This one book with its religiosity and all the other mechanisms of Christianity literally shaped the intellectual and cultural world for many centuries.

I think it is useful and very interesting to study the influence of the bible and its effect on the world. I would consider it useful in so far as how it shines light on how ideas spread, how tradition remains tradition and how it effects our language. Historians study the relevance of Greek civilization and Greek philosophy, they also study the Romans and other ancient histories. We must never lie about or repress the fact that religion has been and maybe still is the fuel for the engines of many minds, despite recent scientific and secular movements and arguments against it.

Atheists and secularists claim that the funding for this project, which is funded by charities and philanthropists, could have been spent on more useful and productive things. For example they could have spent more money on aid or cancer research which will bring benefit not just to those who are in dire need of it, but it will improve the whole world (Aid will save a handful of famished lives and cancer research could be used on everyone). The schools already have bibles. One teacher speaks of his need for other much more needed books:

"I work in an inner-city primary school and there's no way that our children are going to be reading and understanding the kind of English this Bible is written in," he said. "I have nothing against celebrating the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible, but we really could have done with some more story books."
Yes. The edition Gove is sending everyone is written in clear, concise English. LOL JOKE. It is actually written in 17th century English. So far 1) They already have bibles 2) They won't understand them 3) Schools need texts more relevant to today's education.

They could have bought more science equipment, more mathematics books.... did I mention that 15% of our school children carry on mathematics beyond GCSE. Japan has 81% of their kids doing it after GCSE. Japan also seems to have a better GDP then us and is in scientific prime. Something... just.. doesn't click right?

Why couldn't they have sent Einsteins relativity to schools? It would be more comprehensible because it is written plainly and concisely. Yeah the concepts are hard to grasp and the mathematics is pushing beyond some current students but surely it would be a great challenge. Did I mention that the special theory of relativity is the most tested scientific theory of all time and that its validity is bordering certainty? Well I have now. Yet the claims of the bible have been shown false through experiment... resurrection (without medical attention) is impossible. Do you want an alternative opinion to science... okay :)

Hasn't science proven that an actual resurrection of the body of Jesus was impossible?  The second law of thermodynamics says that matter is moving toward a state of disorder.  This means that once someone dies it begins the process of disintegration.  Thus, according to real science the bodily resurrection of Jesus is impossible.  Right?  Wrong.  The problem with this reasoning is that it assumes that the laws of nature, in this case the second law of thermodynamics, can never be overruled by a supernatural agency.  That is, by assuming that everything must be obedient to natural causes excludes, by definition, any belief in a supernatural explanation. - http://www.creationdefense.org/62.htm
The problem with this reasoning...? Well he is violating physics right there which has been shown to agree with experiment. He doesn't offer an experiment in which proves thermodynamics and quantum mechanics wrong. He doesn't offer evidence for his 'supernatural agency'. Great reasoning from a theist, probably the best they can come up with too. He concludes even more rationally:

In summary, the only appropriate mode of rational knowledge is faith in the supernatural event of the resurrection.

This project could have been changed to provide schools with more useful equipment and books etc. which will be of some use or benefit. These bibles will be shown to the kids for a week, then they will be either put on the shelf for another 400 years... which if you noticed... giving modern children literature from 400 years ago in literal form is just being idiotic. We have progressed so much since then. We wouldn't give them a book about accusing real women of witchcraft.

So why did Gove and other charities and philanthropists fund this project? Are they stupid? No.  Not stupid entirely. They are just religious supporters. They see this as converting more modern children, they don't want them learning reason, reading interesting stories about vampires or wizards they just want to spread religion. Yeaaah it is important historically, but so was racism... are you going to send a copy of the Ku Klux Klan manifesto around? I think not. If I was a child in school and Gove gave me a bible this would be my face:


  1. You're comparing the bible to the KKK manifesto? Risky.

  2. 'Teach the controversy'- A.C Grayling. Both the bible and the KKK manifesto hold similar amounts of false claims, prejudice and outright nonsense. Racism and religion influenced history and hence dictated the present human predicament. Why choose to send the bible out?

    Risky in what sense? Welcome to the internet, contention and analysing the hell out of claims about the world are everywhere. Welcome to progress.