Group Fiction

Fiction Group Fiction Fact

Can they be told apart? How?

We’re told that God wrote the Bible. Some of us believe it, some of those see that there are problems with such a belief, as there are with many another belief.

Are any of the versions we have of this or that Bible in God’s hand? How could we be sure?
It seems sure that all the Mss we have are in human hand: there is no authoritative Ms.

Is-the-Bible-Fact-or-Fiction image
from barewalls

How about science? Does what we think about Einstein come unadulterated from Einstein?
One can understand how there could be problems determining Shakespeare’s exact text for Hamlet: how could there be problems establishing an Einstein text? in the Twentieth, or Twenty-First Century for cry-sake. Hell, he’s almost contemporary.

science fiction
science fiction
thanx chillopedia

Then how about the Times? The paper of record! Surely what’s printed in the Times is objective, verifiable … infallible. What problems could there be with what’s printed in the Times?
(And ever were it objective, verifiable, how could we tell if it’s complete? Lots of lies can be told with selected data.)

I’ll tell you one: same set, same group of problems with the Bible (it’s not a one, it’s like one): like the Bible, the Times is written by human beings! like the Bible, the Times is read by human beings! like the Bible, the Times is interpreted, passed-on, copied … by human beings!
(Are there any of those human beings who have no agenda?)

Ah then: trust history.
Uh, duh, fellers? History, like the Bible, like the Times is written by human beings!

If some monk copying a gospel passage in the Twelfth Century mistakes a word in another language for one in his own language (or in a related other language), how easy is it for some kleptocrat to think that what’s written in the Bible, the Times, in history, what’s spelled in the stars, in the clouds, is whatever he wants it to say?

Just watching a marvelous bio of Wagner: Burton, as Wagner, argues with his bookseller, how come he’s not selling more Wagner? The book seller explains, without success (to the genius) that people want to buy papers that say what they want to hear (and they don’t want to hear what will get them arrested, charged with treason, executed …)

Try explaining Original Sin, to a Christian: the Christian will hear something very different, diametrically opposite to what St. Augustine said.
Tell an American: We stole everything, lied always, stole land, ideas … poisoned, corrupted everything … And the American will hear: We’re innocent, God loves us, God forgives us, in advance, it doesn’t matter what we do, we’re the good guys … We can kill four million Vietnamese and pass it as good, as good intentions, as good accomplished … We got the magic, we got God by the short hairs …

I submit: we have a Bible, lots of Bibles, we have a Times, lots of Times, we have history … and it’s all group fiction.
Or at least it is much more than we admit.

Before beginning this scribble I did a search at K. for “group fiction”: I get 79 separate posts commenting on the one theme. Maybe I’ll build a menu. For sure, more on the subject will get added, another nigh-infinite scrapbook.

2014 05 15 “God” is an idea that somewhere in existence there’s an uncorrupted objective intelligent honest judge. With atheism individuals deny a particular god: is there any atheism that denies the possibiity of all gods?
Never mind: what we always have in a species made of generations, grandson alive, granddad gone, is grandson and granddaughter listening, reviewing, editing, judging, all voices, from past, from present, and thinking, Oh, that doesn’t sound right, Oh, according to that, I’m a crook, rapist, cheat, Oh, no wait, that’s better, that sounds good, that’s a much prettier picture, that’s the one I’ll believe, teach, subsidize, screaming and tearing at all others.

Group fiction: it’s written, authorized, endorsed … by the audience!
Result: We’re the good guys!

Another aspect of group fiction: a baptismal aspect: we’re always being washed clean! We cheated in the election? miscounted the votes? misrepresented the issues? Ah, now we’re innocent all over again: no matter what our grandfathers did, kill Jesus, Hypatia, we’re innocent! We kleptocrats are the legitimate inheritors, never mind the genocides, the slavery, the lies.

Sentience & Semiotics

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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