Genesis and The Magic Carpet

Comedian Kevin James, in his hit stand-up performance, "Sweat the Small Stuff", tells of an encounter with his girlfriend. They are in different places across the world, passing the night away on the phone. She says to him, "Gee, I wish I could be over there right now with you, but it's so far to travel. It would take too long, but if I had a magic carpet, I'd be there in only 3 hours!" To which Kevin James responded, "Uh, dear, where'd you get 3 hours? If we're agreed that it's a 'magic carpet', how did you get 3 hours? Was there a layover in Dallas or something?"

One thing's for sure, if I had a magic carpet, I'd call up my long distance friends and tell them to walk over to the nearest window and look out for me! Then I'd speed off to impress everyone else I knew! How cool that would be!?

The same humorous thought comes to mind when I think of the biblical account of creation. "For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day." (Exodus 20:11)

Uh, mr. creator, where'd you get six days? If we're agreed that you are God and you possess all the power there is to possess, why take six days to create anything? Even six seconds would be uncessesary. And if what the progressive creationists say is true, and God created the universe billions of years ago, let it evolve (and appear as though it happened by chance alone!), and then created man in the garden, you have an equally ridiculous scenario. It appears God preferred the company of trilobites for a much longer period of time than he has human beings. I wonder if we'll have as long as the dinosaurs had before he gets tired of us and seeks a new favorite species of amusement? But I guess that's another matter.

But why in the world would an omnipotent being wait for anything? Why do I have to wait on others? Why do others have to wait on me? I'll tell you why -- because I'm far removed from omnipotent many times over. If you ask me to edit a book, or bake you a cake, or make you a clay sculpture, it's going to take a while. But if I was omnipotent, I would do it for you instantly. I don't know about you, but I want less work, as little as possible. And if I can think myself and everyone else into the perfect existence, then I'll have no work at all. Work, effort, time, resources -- what meaning do these terms have except in a material world where impotency abounds? To apply them to an all-powerful deity is altogether inapplicable, and in this case, laughable.

Literally or figuratively viewed, God's ways of creating and sustaining the universe are as funny as they are cruel.



Morne said...

If you read the account of the "creation" in the bible carefully you will notice something very interesting. The so-called creation did not happen in 6 days with the seventh day as a rest day. Everything was “created” in only 5 days!

The "original" documentation of the bible did not consist of any chapter and verses. In fact, Cardinal Hugo de S. Caro in 1328 CE invented the system of chapters in the New Testament now in use. The Cardinal also divided each chapter into paragraphs marked by letters but this was superseded by the verse system introduced by Robert Stephanus in 1551 CE.

Read Genesis 1 & 2 to see if you can spot the mistake!

Have a look here for a detailed analysis:

Rich said...

I think creation as an event is not very accurate, Its more of a process. When we look at the creation of the earth and the universe we think of it as a big bang, instantaneous. While even the creation storty itself reveals that it is a process. I also don't think the term day fits, I believe it should be periods instead. So omnipotent should be able to does as He pleases but chooses to do things a cetain way. Its not that He has to wait for anything its that he chooses to do things.

"And if I can think myself and everyone else into the perfect existence, then I'll have no work at all. Work, effort, time, resources -- what meaning do these terms have except in a material world where impotency abounds?"

God posesses a power and the use of his power to create must take some for of energy. Its a bad example but the jedi use the force and it drains them or uses energy to use this power. I say bad because we're not talking about the force here but the power that God posesses. It takes enrgy to create and that would be work, even a fraction on a millisecond is time passed. it may be extreme but also saying that no effort or work was required is extreme the other way. So the real question is why? Why take that time to create anything? This is the mysterious purpose that God is attributted to all the time, but the truth is he has his purpose for everything and we don't always know what that is. You never like that answer and to be honest I don't lkike to leave it at that but for some things we don't have the answer. I can speculate all day, and sometimes do, but thats all it is and that is cause for more confusion becase tht becomes the gospel of Rich.
So for some gospel of Rich speculation then? Maybe Christ was in training to become more like God the father and was being instructed as to how to create a world? So it takes tiem and effort to learn how to use the power to create. "Here's what we are going to do today."
What may seem to us funny and cruel is most likely because we just don't undserstand how the universe works well enough yet or how God works well enough yet. Its almost like genisis is the words scrolling up before a movie to get you caught up with a few things before the story begins. Billions of years condensed into a few verse and the a few thousand years told in the rest of the book.

Professor Doktor Matthias Flay said...

Morne: that link was pretty unconvincing. The author appears to have just reapportioned the passages to make it completely nonsensical. I'm not sure what justification he has for doing that.

Rich: As much as I have to respect anyone who makes a SW reference :D, 'mysterious' is indeed a poor explanation for this and other phenomena. One is left wondering why God would choose to do something in way incomprehensible to humans when he doesn't have to, and indeed, in a way (big bang, evolution) that argues against the very necessity of his existence.

Rich said...

Yes prof it does argue against the necessity of God but not the exsitance. I agree that it is exactly what it proposes to be, an explination for the exsistance of the universe. It can't completely rule out God though because there are still more whys and hows to work out.

Tommykey said...

How exactly does God rest? Does he sit in a hammock sipping cocktails, go fishing down by the lake, or have a full body massage performed on him?

When God rests, is he in some kind of dormant state, like a hibernating bear?

And did God only rest on that one seventh day, or does he rest every seventh day? If he only rested on the first seventh day, then what is the purpose of wanting people to keep holy every seventh day?

Morne said...

"that link was pretty unconvincing"

Matthias, could you please point out what was wrong with the analysis on that link. Could you proof, using the bible, that the so called "creation" did actually happen in 6 day's or periods and not 5?

Professor Doktor Matthias Flay said...

'Matthias, could you please point out what was wrong with the analysis on that link. Could you proof, using the bible, that the so called "creation" did actually happen in 6 day's or periods and not 5?'

Could I 'proof' it? No. But this guy just chooses to read the passage in such a way that what happens on the 'first day' (at least traditionally) happens before the first day. There's no reason to read the text this way, except to make it illogical. If you just read the text as it is, there's an internal logic. It's wrong (light before sun, etc), but internally coherent.

He argues that the original Bible didn't have the chapter/verse designations, but they also didn't have the random divisions he creates on his website. Why is one better than the other?

Well, because one makes some amount of internal sense. Why, within one unredacted passage, would an author be so stupid as to make the blunder he's describing (mentioning seven days, but having nothing happen on the sixth)? As illogical, flawed, and contradictory Scripture is, such stupidity is not common.

Honestly, tripe like this just makes skeptics look a bit dim. The Dan Brown Syndrome, if you will. With so much genuine bullshit to be found in Scripture, why make stuff up?