Friday, 8 May 2015

Psalm 14:1

"The fool says in his heart,  “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good." (New International Version)

I get sent Psalm 14:1 often. Sometimes it's just 'read Psalm 14:1' sometimes it's the first part. I don't think anyone has sent me the whole thing. 

I love the idea that a theist thinks that me not having read Psalm 14:1 is why I'm an atheist. As though this was the one missing ingredient. 

Me: "I'm an atheist"
Theist: *sends Psalm 14:1*
Theist: *waits*
Me: "....I'm a fool for saying there's no God? Wow! I had no idea! Thank you! Praise the Lord!"
Theist: "I know, right? Let us pray"

Seriously, is this what they're expecting? I hope not. 

So...a book that tries to make you believe a god exists tells you that you're a fool if you don't believe it? And people fall for this? Please. 

Two things about this passage get missed. The first, according to et al., is that 'fool' doesn't mean 'stupid' in this context. It means someone who is morally deficient or who is in moral antithesis to god. As stated here:
"This is not an insult or a slur; it is an accurate description of the state of his mind, since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7). The psalmist/proverb-writer is not making ad hominem attacks, but is locating the individual theologically."
It's almost as though they say 'fool' but mean 'non-believer'. It's not really an insult to say an atheist says in their heart there is no god. 

The other thing missed is Pslam 14:2-3 
2 The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 
All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
 "There is no one who does good, not even one" When theists call us fools because we do no good, they need only read two more verses to find out that they are in the same boat. 

But they needn't worry, I'll scootch over and make room. 

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