Thursday, May 25, 2006

Stupid Enough

Do you feel threatened by the Da Vinci Code? Many Christians do. What does this say about us? What does it say about the state of American cultural education?

Dan Brown is doing something that appears unprecedented. He has published a book containing sloppy research and even intentionally falsified information, and it is sweeping the world. How can he do this? Because America (and perhaps the rest of the world) is finally stupid enough to buy it. Yes, we have finally achieved critical obtusity. Congratulations!

You may ask, "Can you give some examples?" I could, but that is beyond the scope of this blog post. You can always comment or email me for more.

On a lighter note, the chickpea is neither a chick nor a pea -- discuss.


Anonymous diane said...

You are the best!

9:30 PM  
Blogger Brent Watson said...

Chris, by "buy it" do you mean "believe it" or do you mean "pay money for it"? They may be related but each raises interesting perspectives.

2:19 PM  
Blogger chris said...

I meant "believe it." I "bought it" in the literal sense. I should mention that I thought the movie and book were entertaining.

3:57 PM  
Blogger wiploc said...

The book is fiction. Why should fiction be either truthful or well researched?


7:13 PM  
Anonymous diane said...

While this book is blasphemy to many Christians, so is every other religion that is not Christ-centric. To say that Jesus was a swell teacher that was not the Christ is not any more insulting than saying He had a family and was not the Christ. They both say He was not God in the flesh. So why would a Christian be anymore insulted? Because they use many real artifacts in the conspiracy? Because they attack the credibility of the largest Christian church world wide? Christianity has been assaulted from its inception. This is a work of fiction created to sell and make the author famous. The "Saved" will not stop believing in Christ because they know that faith, not just facts, are what makes them believe. Those who are not Christians may be interested to learn more about Jesus because of this "scandalous" book. In the end, Christians should look this as an opportunity for The Holy Spirit to touch many. There's a reason its sold in the fiction section...

9:10 AM  
Blogger chris said...

True -- but when you read Saving Private Ryan or even Catch 22, they don't change background/historical setting and information.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous diane said...

Do you know that to be 100% perfectly true? They didn't change any info? History is in the point of view of the author who documented it. Further, we can't presume to know what, if anything, Da Vinci "meant" in many of his art work. Taking fictional, literary license is what authors do every day. If he had written a book and held it out to be true, non-fiction, then we could hold him under a microscope.

11:07 AM  
Blogger chris said...

I'm all for literary license, but Brown's books just look like sloppy research. For instance, Brown says that Jesus' divinity was being voted on in the Council of Nicea, and that the vote was "close." The actual vote was about 300 to 2, and it wasn't concerning divinity, but co-eternality with the Father (believe me, they are quite different). He also talks about the gnostic gospels as if they paint a more human picture of Jesus, and were discarded for this reason. This is either ignorance on Brown's part, or just distortion. The gnostic gospels portray Jesus as far more supernatural and magical -- they even deny that he had a human body! I'll do a post on some of the art bloopers he commits.
Again, I enjoyed the book -- don't get me wrong. I just think Brown should hold his head down in shame . . . all the way to the bank.

Regarding other works of fiction -- contrast Clancy's books, which are thoroughly researched and amazingly accurate. From a common sense view, quality fiction that is set in real world places and discusses historical events should be accurate in its assertions. Brown is simply exploiting ignorance.

3:08 PM  
Blogger chris said...

OK, I missed your first comment, Diane. Good points. However, it is one thing to claim that Christ is not the true way to God, but it is another thing to claim that the church has been covering up the truth about Jesus for 2,000 yrs. Especially when you base your claim on distorted facts. Brown's "attack" is more insidious than the full frontal assaults of the philosophers. It is a classic case of an informal fallacy called the "straw man." This is not debate, it is rhetoric. I welcome debate, I despise rhetoric that charades as research.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous diane said...

While all your points are true, and I also agree, it is still just a fiction novel. Ideally, all fiction that uses history and artifacts should be well researched and masterfully used. But it's still just a fiction novel written to thrill. If you know history then it bothers you. But if you don't, it's just a fun story. Folks have to just have to be prepared to understand that anything written in a fiction novel can be twisted, made up, and distorted randomly. Question: In his foreword, or anywhere in the book, does he claim that all the historical data used is thoroughly researched and truthful? I honestly don't know. That would change everything..... I'll comment on your other post "Da Vinci Revised" later, dude.

8:32 PM  
Blogger chris said...

On the first page before the prologue, he writes this --

The Priory of Sion . . . is a real organization. Etc.

The Vatican prelature known as Opus Dei . . .

All descriptions of artwork, architecture, . . . are accurate.

Only the first claim is patently false -- the others are merely misleading.

10:12 PM  

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