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Christian God ‘a dick’ – study

November 26, 2012

The Christian God is probably an unpleasant character, a leading Biblical research team has revealed.

Maria Thomas, the lead researcher at the Catholic Institute for Research Hermeneutics, has published her institute’s research in the leading journal Hermeneutics this month.

“We’ve suspected for a while that God is a little unsavoury because of the problem of evil”, she said in an interview, “which makes it clear that God either has limited power, limited knowledge, or simply isn’t very nice. Our latest research allows us to finally put that question to rest.”

Her team have used massively parallel supercomputing to start parsing the entire Bible, which she says was an impossible task until recent computing advances. “Human readers always hit the Boredom Limit”, she said. “After about six pages, people just can’t maintain enough interest to both read and understand the text. Computers don’t suffer from boredom, so our research team programmed them to recognise meaning and alert us to interesting passages”.

The team’s breakthrough came in the form of a passage they have dubbed ‘# 31:1-18′, in which the Christian God commands the slaughter, rape, or imprisonment of an entire neighbouring tribe. “We’ve tried, and we don’t think it’s possible to reconcile this with a benevolent deity. There are some back-and-forth arguments at the Institute now about whether God is mostly nice but has anger issues, or is just a total douche-canoe”, said Mrs Thomas. “It gets pretty heated”, she added.

Not everyone agrees with Thomas’ interpretation, however. “Frankly, I’m disappointed with the Institute’s paper”, says Darren Sinter of the London School of Biblical Apologetics. “Their new work offers no evidence against the idea that God is just an idiot. The slaughter could just as easily have been another well-meaning but misinformed attempt to reduce the amount of evil in the world.” He argues that the ‘Dumb-God’ hypothesis makes more sense, as it has other support: “Think about the events of Noah’s Ark, where God explicitly tries to rid the world of evil by flooding the place and killing everyone, but despite good intentions, fails to wipe out evil”, he says.

Despite the work’s controversy, the high-profile publication has already secured new sources of funding for Mrs Thomas’ lab. “Our code developers are now looking at ways to parse other holy books”, she says. “We’ll start with the Koran. We’ve always suspected it’s basically the Bible with a little bit tacked on the end, so it should be easy to write code for.” But, she says, the possibilities are endless. “After that, the Torah, then the Bhagavad-Gita, then… does Buddhism have a holy book? If our funding stream really opens up, I guess we could start looking at obscure stuff, like the pre-European central Pacific mythologies. It’s definitely an exciting time to be in hermeneutics”, she says with a smile.

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