Here is the next piece of nonsense from a fellow at the Discovery Institute. Shattered Tablets by David Klinghoffer, comes as the newest batch of nonsense to fight the vicious cabal of naturalists, materialists, and atheists. How are we to do that? The Ten Commandments stupid!
The following is taken from the excerpt in the above link. After talking about one of Richard Dawkins' recent appearances on his God Delusion book tour and quaintly declaring Intelligent Design "a minority scientific viewpoint" (where is the science exactly and how tiny is that minority?), Klinghoffer says the following:
It just so happens that, centuries before Darwin, medieval Jewish scholars understood that the distinction between the “naturalistic worldview” and its “alternative” was exactly the key to understanding the first commandment. Recall the exact wording: “I am the Lord your God, who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery.” The Jewish sages asked why, in defining Himself, God had harked back to the exodus of the Jews from Egyptian slavery, recounted in the Bible's Book of Exodus shortly before the giving of the Ten Commandments, rather than to a still more dramatic event: the creation of the world, which He accomplishes in the Bible’s opening chapter. It’s as if a parent, wanting to impress her child with the awesomeness of the parent–child bond, were to say, “I’m your mother, who picks you up from school every day,” rather than, “I’m your mother, who gave birth to you.”Rabbi Ovadiah Sforno, an Italian sage born about 1470, taught that God saw it as a matter of highest priority to warn against what we today call a naturalistic worldview. If He had defined Himself here as the creator, that would not draw the line sharply enough. After all, there are ways to explain certain aspects of creation within the limits of naturalistic terms. But the Exodus is different. Accompanied by ten bizarre plagues that God inflicted on the Jews’ Egyptian oppressors, and climaxing with His splitting of the Sea of Reeds to drown the Egyptian army as it pursued the escaped slaves, the Exodus can only be comprehended as a miracle, a blatant violation of nature’s laws.The point is, God does what He wants. He interferes. He gets involved in our lives and the lives of all creatures past and present, if often from inscrutable motives, reserving the right to direct the whole world down to the smallest details. He runs the show. And He doesn’t let nature stand in His way. This is the claim made by the first commandment, and it is one at which many Americans bridle.
I suppose that the book is about this nonsense - the enormous dichotomy between the vile belief in the naturalism and the loving liberation of the god of Judea who brought the Israelites out of Egypt. Ignore the overwhelming fact that philosophical naturalism is predicated on that which we know, that which we verify, that which we can deduce, induce, and infer to the best explanation and that all observable phenomena are either directly attributable to natural/material causes or so correlated with natural/material cause that to deny its reality as material is crazy. Ignore, also, the fact that Klinghoffer's recites the tired Exodus story, a story with absolutely NO evidence existing for it at all (see here and here.) He also whips out the creation myth too. Notice that this is a fight between reality and myths. How is this happening?
This shows the DI's concern in all of its glory. This is wish-thinking trying to take us on a trip back to the Middle Ages, before 1470, when we didn't use the scientific method and the European peasantry believed that Jews couldn't procreate without the blood of a Christian girl. This is the newest salvo from the theistic realists (older post). And the DI has a think tank about Science and Culture? Come on.
Sorry Klinghoffer, the point isn't that God interferes. The point is that his nearsighted minions interfere. They, read you, get involved in the lives of living creatures in an effort to extend human dominion over the whole earth for transparent reasons - power. But luckily, you don't run the show and nature stands firmly in your way because any serious investigation of the natural material world, of which human beings are a part, yields natural and material results that, when seriously considered without the blinders of religion, cast all of the gods of men into history's trash can. No matter how many mutations your religion takes, the selective pressures of culture will force it to become unrecognizable in its present form or it will go extinct.
I wish I could say, "I'm sorry." But I'm not. The U.S. doesn't need more adherence to the Ten Commandments (most of which are totally irrelevant to civic life anyway) and the superstitions to which its attached. We don't need more sectarian wrangling. We don't need more ignorance built on the revelations of Bronze Age shepherds. We need Enlightened thought.
I'm glad the tablets were shattered. I wish they'd be banished from our lives forever. Our moral principles do just fine without them.