Flooded with skepticism

On this very day, Jews around the world are reading Noah’s Flood or Deluge story in synagogues throughout the world. Rabbi Natan Slifkin, a leading proponent of embracing science and history while trying to apply a rationalist approach to Biblical study and religious observance, has written a lot about this topic in his books and in his blog. In his most recent post Dealing with the Deluge, he also cited some other contemporary sources that tackle this issue (beginning by promoting his own book).

The problem I always have with these modern religious approaches that say, “Of course that story is allegorical; it was never meant to be taken literally,” is: Why didn’t you say that BEFORE science left with you no other choice?

As soon as you discover scientifically that the world could not have been created in seven days, humans could not all have come from one human ancestor, a global flood could not have taken place, etc., it seems to me you have two choices at that point:

1) The one who wrote those stories was a human living at a time and place where people believed these things, or

2) God wrote those stories, but He always intended them to be allegorical and in no way literal.

There’s a very good logical basis for choosing Option 1; we have many other examples of other stories written by humans living in a certain time and place with certain beliefs about the world.  But what logical basis do you have for choosing Option 2 instead?

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2 thoughts on “Flooded with skepticism

  1. AlterCocker JewishAtheist

    Upon my questioning certain of the “science” in the Torah ( over 30 years ago ) some Rabbi’s tried to shoehorn evolution into the Torah, call anything an allegory as required to answer your question. Noah an allegory ? yet Noah is spoken of as a real person in the Talmud and Torah with a genealogy etc: Nothing in the torah was falsifiable. Seemed to me intellectually dishonest then and still does. See for example http://altercockerjewishatheist.blogspot.com/2013/09/genesis-and-evolution.html

    Reply

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