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Tony Grist

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A Last Word On Hitchens [Jun. 19th, 2011|12:22 pm]
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I spent much of yesterday on Hitchens' website. I think he's doing important work. Someone needs to be knocking religion- and he's good at it. But only up to a point. The debate never gets much more sophisticated than "So where did Cain's wife come from, eh?"  He's a clever person of limited culture- with a layman's understanding of Victorian science- butting against positions that became untenable a hundred and fifty years ago. It's a weary old war and I withdrew from it a while ago, but I'm glad there are still people out there in the field, bashing away.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-06-21 02:14 pm (UTC)

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That's not an argument anyone would have employed before the mid 19th century (or thereabouts.) It's a fall-back position. And if I want fables and fairy stories, why the Bible in particular, and not Aesop or Grimm? If the stories in the Bible are uniquely inspired, why are they so much less interesting and engaging than the Greek myths?
[User Picture]From: xiphias
2011-06-21 05:20 pm (UTC)

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It's been the official position of mainstream Judaism since the Greek Empire, and possibly before. Rabbi Akiva wrote extensively about it in the 1st century, as did Maimonedes in the Middle Ages.

And, for that matter, in Christianity, Thomas Aquinas.

I don't find them less interesting than the Greek myths: actually I find the Greek and Roman myths to tend to be a bit simplistic, but still worth learning from. But, obviously, that's a matter of taste, and I do know people who do draw their spirituality from the Greek/Roman, Celtic, or Germanic mythology.