This morning I was minding my own business at work, when I overheard a conversation in my (open-plan) office. It went like this;
“Come on, Pastor Naidoo, don’t you know that money is the root of all evil?”
Yes, I work with a pastor, shocking I know, but that is not the point of this post. I thought about it for a moment, surely if money is the source of all evil then before there was money there must have been no evil, right? Normally I try not to speak up about these things in the office, but today I decided to test my luck. I asked the young lady who had made the comment whether or not she had an answer to my question. Her response was;
“Ag Man, We all know you don’t believe in God, but if the bible tells me it’s true, I’m going to believe it because I have faith and you don’t and don’t ask me questions like that. If it’s in the bible it’s true because it is God’s inspiration, I believe in Jesus and you don’t so don’t try to ask me questions like that because I know that you are wrong and you write that blog and anyone can tell me if it’s in the bible it’s true!”
Let me translate;
Whoo, ok, so basically I have had my first chewing out by a religious person since I was about seven and the argument was so much more basic;
“There is no God”
“There is a God”
“There is no God” etc. ad infinitum
Well, how about this Nondi, the next time one of your assertions is challenged in a calm and rational manner, try to answer in kind. As I was unwilling to pursue my argument in that environment I will get it out of my system here, because it’s my blog and I can.
The most striking fact I can think of which would decimate Nondi’s argument is that people have been using various objects in trade, like we use money today, for a very long time. In ancient Rome salt was highly valuable and soldiers were actually paid in salt. In fact the use of barter like methods dates far into our prehistory. Red ochre was traded in Swaziland as far back as 100, 000 years.
The term “Shekel” was used as a unit of weight and currency in Mesopotamia as far back as 3000BC. A “shekel” relates to a specific mass of barley and it could be converted into precise amounts of gold, silver or copper.
Now I’m going to be really, really generous and assume that Nondi was referring to actual, stamped coins when she used the term “money”. Most modern scholars agree that the Lydians were the first people to introduce the use of stamped gold and silver coins in the period between 650 and 600BC.
When does the bible introduce the concept of evil?
In a thought provoking essay on the origins of evil John Meakin points out what we already know the bible says on this matter;
In Genesis 3 we find the account of a being in the form of a serpent who deceived the first woman into disobeying God. Here is the initial account of an evil being who is capable of deceiving the whole world and who is the very embodiment of malevolence throughout the entire Bible—the inspirer of evil in countless persons and situations across all of human history.
I think that makes it abundantly clear what the inspired word of your chosen deity has to say on the matter, don’t you Nondi? Unless I’m missing something here, the bible tells us that a malevolent serpent was the root of all evil. How does that reconcile with your argument? IT DOESN”T!
Next time I ask a reasonable question of any theist, I expect a decent response. Have enough respect for your own beliefs to be able to stand up for them in an intelligent manner or keep your stupid mouth shut. Attacking me or my personal philosophy is only going to make you look like an idiot.