There is Noah One Righteous

Genesis 6:9-22 tells the story of Noah and the events leading up to the Great Flood. As usual, I have problems with this story and I’d love to tell you what they are. Let’s get started, shall we?

Problem 1: Corruption
Genesis 6:11 says the Earth was corrupt and full of violence. How corrupt are we talking? Like, invalid block in the hard drive’s boot sector corrupt? Or starting wars in oil-rich countries so you can award government contracts to your corporate buddies corrupt? And how violent are we talking? Like, Tom and Jerry violent? Or slaughtering entire populations of people based on their ethnicity or religious adherence violent? The Bible doesn’t specify, but we’re told that it’s really, really corrupt and really, really violent. In fact, we’re told that “all the people on Earth had corrupted their ways.” Everyone. Every single person was corrupt and had no redeeming qualities. That’s terrible!

But wait! Apparently that was an exaggeration kind of like when your parent comes into your room and yells, “It looks like a tornado came through here!” when there’s really only a pair of pants on the floor and your bed isn’t made.


That’s a messy room!

Anyway, we’ve learned in Genesis 6:9 that Noah is a righteous and blameless man so it’s obvious that not every single person on the planet is bad. God is talking to Noah and says he simply cannot abide the corruption and violence of the people on the Earth anymore and is going to destroy both the people and the Earth because of it. Did you get that? The people are so corrupt, god is going to destroy the Earth. It might just be me but this seems like an overreaction.

Problem 2: Inconsistency
How corrupt is “corrupt?” We don’t even know what these people were doing in the first place. The Bible simply says the Earth was corrupt and full of violence (kind of like today…or any other time in human history).

If god’s problem with the people on the planet was that they were corrupt and violent then why, at various times throughout Biblical history, did he not perform drastic cut-backs in the population when things got out of hand? The Bible clearly indicates throughout the Old Testament that the majority of people on the planet were vile god-haters and only the Israelites were worthy of his love…sometimes. So why wasn’t god consistently wiping out all of the wrong-doers? Did he learn a lesson from the flood? Did he amend his standards for “corruption?” Who knows. Moving on…

Problem 3: Slash-and-Burn
God tells Noah to build an ark to his specifications because he’s going to flood the entire Earth and kill every living thing under the heavens – this includes animals. Do you want to know why I think this is stupid? Because god is supposed to be all-powerful. All-powerful means he can literally do anything. Anything at all. For instance, he could cause only the corrupt and violent humans to fall dead and vanish, leaving only the people who are decent and loving. Let’s say mine is the “scalpel technique” and let’s compare it to god’s “atom bomb technique”:

God’s plan is literally to flood the entire planet with water and kill every single thing that lives (regardless of any redeeming qualities it may have) except for one family (of flawed humans) and a representative sample of animals (excluding dinosaurs) — no mention of plants — who will then repopulate and replenish the Earth at such time the flood waters recede and dry land is once again accessible.

A bit excessive? Definitely. And, as we’ll find out, also very ineffective.

Problem 4: God’s Human Error
God established a covenant with Noah and his family that he would save them from the flood. This includes Noah, his wife, and his three sons with their respective wives. Eight people will be saved. But remember, the only person we know of who is righteous and blameless is Noah. That means god is saving seven corrupt people. Why would god save seven corrupt people when the whole reason for this flood is to rid the world of corruption? I’m sure there’s a great apologetic answer, so I can’t wait to hear it.

Problem 5: Incest
Remember, only a single family is going to repopulate the Earth. This is the second time in the Bible that widespread incest is going to occur. The first, if you remember, was after the expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Why do adherents of the scripture gloss over this and deem it OK? It’s not cool to have sex with your brother or sister and there are very good reasons why. What is the deal with the Bible’s obsession with familial sexy time?

Problem 6: Fish
God lays out his plans for taking along two of every kind of bird, animal and creature that moves along the ground (does this exclude flying insects? Why the freak do we still have mosquitoes?!) but completely neglects to mention what will happen to the fish. As you may or may not know, there are two types of fish — fresh-water fish and salt-water fish. Fresh-water fish cannot survive in salt-water and vice versa. When the Earth is flooded, there will be a mixing of water to where the salt-water will be diluted and the fresh-water will be salinated. What, do you suppose, will happen to every single fish on the planet when this happens? Here’s a hint: THEY DIE!

Conclusion
What have we learned from this story? That fish were more resilient in Biblical times? Well, not really. We’ve learned that god doesn’t know how to deal with his problems using reason and compassion. Instead of finding a way to help the humans who were decent and only eliminate those who were genuinely bad, he opted to just snuff them all and kind of, sort of start over. The problem is that god didn’t take into account that the humans he was saving weren’t a whole lot better than the humans we was killing. If that’s not the mark of incompetence, I’m not sure what is.

Of course there are people who believe this is actual history and I don’t know how they force themselves to believe that, but I’m a little more at ease (although not in agreement) with those who say this is just a story to illustrate a moral lesson. What’s the lesson? Don’t be corrupt and violent, I guess. The reason I disagree with both of these groups of people is because I don’t feel this story has a good moral. I don’t feel like it’s a beautiful story of god’s love for mankind that he would spare a family in the midst of squalor and give them a second chance. It’s a story of how god fails at problem-solving, plain and simple. What the hell is his problem?

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5 Comments

  1. I wrote something like this a while ago (but its not on xanga).

    I’ll add some points. 🙂

    – cleaning up after the animals.   –   zoos hire more people than was on the ark and they probably don’t even go over 1000 animals. How was Noah, his wife and his kids gonna clean up after ALL these animals. Did the animals just hold it? Someone needs to clean up the fecal matter because it causes disease. 

    – the Bible says the water covered all the mountains. Even Everest? Mount Everest is 29,002 ft (8,840 m).  That messes up the eco-system big time.
    #1 It’s cold up that high. Tropical fish that require higher temps will die.
    #2 underwater vegetation will die off because of lack of sun light. The deeper the water, the less sun light. If there’s no vegetation, fish that require vegetation food
    will die off, and with no fish to eat, sharks, whales and dolphins (among others) will die off as well.
    #3 Still on the temperature issue, how are animals besides polar bears supposed to survive when they’re freezing to death? Pretty sure an elephant won’t be too happy
    with that.
    #4 At 29,000 ft, there’s low oxygen. If somehow the animals survive the freezing temperatures, how are they supposed to breathe?

    – Assuming the animals survived, God has wiped the planet clean of all its resources aside from a single magic olive tree that somehow survived 29,000 feet of water and no sunlight. So, the herbivores have NOTHING to eat except for the olive tree (which is supposed to be split between them?)  And Koala’s can ONLY eat eucalyptus leaves. Which are in Australia. Did Noah go there and bring back enough?

    – And then the carnivores have NOTHING to eat without making an entire species go extinct. Even if there was some fish flopping around because of the water going down,
    that’s not going to be enough for these big meat eaters (lions, hyenas, cougars,  wolves, bears,bob cats, coyotes, etc…). They have to wait for the herbivores to have enough offspring so that they don’t die off when one dies.  Do you think a gator is going to wait for zebras to get it on? Probably not. 

  2. Ok, there was not one innocent victim of the great flood?  Not a single three year old who was blameless and uncorrupted?

    And how about Labrador Retrievers?  They did not exist in the 15th century but we have them today.  Where the heck did they come from?  Did Noah have them on the ark and then they disappeared for thousands of years or did they “evolve” through selective breeding?

  3. @Slag_Runner – Three-year-olds are evil! There’s no way they’d get on my boat.

    And didn’t you know that Noah only took “types” of animals on the ark? That means he had a “cat” and a “dog” and a “lizard.” Since Creationists don’t deny microevolution, there’s no problem with all of the different species existing today. They evolved from the basic types of animals on the ark.

    [/sarcasm]