Don’t Use God To Cure Your Leprosy February 25, 2011

Don’t Use God To Cure Your Leprosy

DarkMatter2525 explains how, if you ever need to cure leprosy, you’re better off taking the scientific route 🙂

Reminds me of this classic Doonesbury strip

By the way, if you have seen DarkMatter2525’s videos yet, the first two minutes of this one had me cracking up 🙂

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  • balls

    you should check out some of Nonstampcollector’s vids if you haven’t already.

  • Sadly the video is in error. There’s no such teaching in the Bible.

    As anyone can discover by reading Leviticus 14.

    I’ve pointed this out to him, but he insists that “cleansed” is synonymous with “healed”, which it clearly isn’t.

    Thunderf00t also makes this same error in one of his videos.

  • J. J. Ramsey

    ETA: VeridicusX ninja’d me. Anyway …

    Um, all that ritual with the birds is supposed to occur only “[i]f the disease is healed in the leprous person” (Leviticus 14:3). Since the ritual is supposed to be done after the leprosy is already gone, it’s false to describe it as if it were even supposed to be a treatment or cure. My guess is that whoever made the YouTube video had used an older copy of the “Skeptic’s” Annotated Bible that had that mistaken reading of Leviticus 14.

    Look, by now you should already know that atheists can and do post misleading things like quote mines, pseudo-history, etc. Even if you weren’t aware of that particular issue with the “Skeptic’s” Annotated Bible, you should have done some basic fact checking. Looking up Leviticus 14 would not have been hard. Don’t be so credulous, especially with random YouTubers.

  • Mihangel apYrs

    I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but nitpicking individual items in that corpus of myth is rather like whinging about whether Loki fucked a giant, ogre or troll to produce his hellish trio (trinity if you like) of offspring.

    Who knows what was said in a verse that was discarded by Theodosius during the cherry-picking excursion known as the first nicaen council

  • Jos

    So what does “being cleansed of the disease” really mean and why does it involve using a living bird to sprinkle some other bird’s blood on someone?

    Even if Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice made the OT laws obsolete, God presumably had some kind of reason for handing those laws down in the first place. Or does God just really hate birds and simply thought up this otherwise pointless ritual just to have people torture them for a bit.

  • Jonas

    I’ve been trying to remember where I heard the joke in the Classic Doonsbury strip — Thanks for remembering it.

  • Steve

    @Jos
    Leviticus is really a holiness code. Most of the stuff it prohibits are things that make one “ritually unclean”. That’s the real meaning of the word that has been mistranslated as “abomination”

  • “So what does “being cleansed of the disease” really mean …?”

    In those days, to primitive Iron Age dwellers, (and to many fundamentalists today) most things were magic. Their belief that the wind and the breath are magic, is how we come to have the word “spirit” in our lexicon.

    Certain things, events and people had the magical property of making you “unclean” – a menstruating woman, for instance.

    If you were no longer in contact with the thing that made you unclean, you could perform a cleansing ritual to (re-)impart the magical property of “cleanness” or “holiness”.

    It’s important to realize that the “best thinking” of the times had it that an “unclean” thing could make something, or someone else unclean, but not the other way around.

    It was illegal to touch an unclean thing, and it was illegal for an unclean person to approach a clean person.

    From this information you should be able to work out the real meaning of the NT stories with Jesus touching people and declaring them “clean”.

    But, just in case, I’ll do it for you:

    Jesus was so wonderful that he had a particularly potent property of holiness. He was so holy that instead of becoming unclean himself when in contact with the unclean, he made the unclean clean.
    Physical healing occurred as a side-effect – it’s impossible to be clean if you’re in contact with the unclean, so the unclean thing had to (magically) dissappear.

    “… why does it involve using a living bird to sprinkle some other bird’s blood on someone?”

    More magic.

    A magical property called “life” was in the blood and uncleaness was a sort of guilt, if God saw blood he would think, someone or something has paid for it … you should now be able to work it all out from this and the earlier information I’ve given.

    TL;DR They were superstitious, blood-thirsty, Iron Age primitives who worshiped a god who was even more so.

  • Lin

    Oh my gawd, that “Secret Life of Atheists” one cracked me up.
    The banter and constant cursing of all the YouTubers was great.

    I’ve been a huge fan of NonStampCollector for a while, and though I’m happy he has a busy life to live, I’m sad that he’s not updating very often anymore.

  • Marcus Prometheus

    To Mihangel:
    The first Nicean Council (324) was kept under the authority of Constantine, not of Theodosius.

  • Toptone

    This rivals and equals the other ridiculous prescriptions of Leviticus.

    If it were entirely turned into law – as the bigots scream for – the connoisseurs of mussels and clams (bivalve shellfish) would have been outlawed, as in ‘abomination’ to their ridiculous god.

    Or maybe not. It’s way too renown the strategy of such idolaters to cherry-pick from their “infallible” books what they like when they need it, and forgetting about the rest.

    The other strategy is to change the INTERPRETATION of the relevant Bible quote to suit their needs, which vary from century to century according to the political pro-tempore situation.

    So much for their purported “unchangeable word of god”. Ha!

  • Ehh… When Jesus heals the leper, it uses the same word – ‘cleansed’ (Mark 1:40-41). (He also tells the guy to do the sacrifices…)

    But this story is universally pushed as ‘Jesus healing a leper.’ So… was the leper healed or not?

  • J. J. Ramsey

    When Jesus heals the leper, it uses the same word – ‘cleansed’ (Mark 1:40-41).

    So? Ignoring the issues with claiming that a Greek text uses the same word as a Hebrew one, it’s still clear that Leviticus 14:3 has a ritual done after the priest examines a person and finds him/her healed of leprosy. That’s not even remotely ambiguous. You can’t use Mark to counteract the plain reading of the text.

  • J. J. Ramsey

    BTW, I checked in Strong’s Concordance and confirmed that the distinction between “healed” and “cleansed” in Leviticus 14 is made in the Hebrew and isn’t just a translation artifact.

  • Edwin

    I find the use of the term “fact checking” by a believer comical.

  • R. Leaf

    I have to say, people need to actually READ Leviticus 14 before making comments. Why, you may ask? because Leviticus 14 isn’t about how to heal a lepor but about giving a spiritual ritual AFTER the person is already healed.  Note in verse 3 when it says the priest examines the lepor to see if he is ALREADY HEALED, then they perform the ritual. The ritual is not intended to heal.. the Bible doesn’t say it heals, so the accusations and  defense of this possition are moot.