Saturday, March 20, 2010

196: Wisdom is a Woman... Really

Proverbs 7-9
Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars. - Proverbs 9:1

Chapter 7 is a story about a man being led astray by an adulteress. This is told from the point of view of someone peeping out their window. One night, a young man is walking along the road. An evil woman comes out to meet him, dressed like a prostitute. She immediately grabs hold of the man and starts making out with him. She tells him that her husband has gone away on a long journey, so he should come in and have sex with her all night. The man follows her into her house, and the peeping tom doesn't see what happens after that, but he's sure that the man is going straight to his grave. Where do I find these women? I've never met (or even heard of) anyone that lurks outside their house and jumps on random men as they walk past.

Chapter 8 is written by the personification of wisdom. I think. Wisdom is apparently a woman. God invented wisdom before the world came into being. They seem to have accidentally left that part out of Genesis.

Chapter 9 goes on telling this story of the wisdom lady. I think we've officially taken this personification too far. Wisdom builds a house on 7 pillars, prepares meat, mixes wine, and has many maids. "Folly" is also a woman. She sits outside of her house, tempting all of the men who are "walking straight paths". For the second day in a row, I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a metaphor. My logical half says yes, it's probably a metaphor. But my bible reading, talking snakes are real half, tells me that nothing is too ridiculous not to be real. The life of Wisdom seems too well described to write off immediately as a metaphor.

*News*
Do mircles really happen? This newspaper has put it to a popular vote, and decided that they do!

According to this newspaper, NPR conducted a poll that said 80% of Americans think that miracles do, in fact, happen. This prompted the newspaper to title their article "In Theory: Miracles happen". All you need to do these days to create a new theory is bring it to a popular vote? I'm pretty sure the opinion of the masses has no relevance in a scientific theory.

The article goes on to say that there are many instances of miracles, involving healing. Ok. Just give me a double blind study that shows the statistically significant effects of miracle healing. I know of a similar study about the power of prayer that showed no significant impact of praying for an ill person.

I certainly hope these people are being "miraculously healed", then going to a real doctor to get cured.

(via La CaƱada Valley Sun)

4 comments:

  1. The 'Lady Wisdom' thing does have some pretty deep roots in ancient Hebrew mythology, so the metaphor / personification / etc. of that sweet ol' gal probably had a similar effect to ancient readers as it does to you.

    But that being said, I think it must be at least addressed that some people find understanding by metaphor (and living by metaphor) to be completely good enough to get through life. I'm not trying to justify this. I'm just saying...

    As to the miracles, whenever I hear someone say something like "Things happen for a reason" I think of miracles. Or more specifically, I think about how the human brain tries so vainly to grasp at understandings of things. We can't just let things be "things that happen". Instead we process things to a level of understanding that fits our personal levels of comfort and 'wisdom'.

    I'm interested in the study you mention about how prayer had no impact on the ill person. If you can provide a source or link, I'd appreciate it and think I'd like to use it.

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  2. Hey if luck can be a lady, why not wisdom?

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  3. Godwillbegod:
    Here are two links I dug up from google.
    http://freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Harvard_prayer_experiment
    http://www.templeton.org/pdfs/press_releases/060407STEP_paper.pdf

    Unfortunate to be linking Templeton here, but they were the main funding body.

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  4. Sweetness, Jim. Thanks.

    I don't know exactly when I will get to them, but I feel better adding them to my bookmarks on the topic.

    Don't know much about Templeton or his org. There are some presuppositions of a creator and a purpose on the site, and lot about dialogue between religion and science.

    Hmm. Well, as long as they are willing to go where the evidence leads them. Or in this case, where the results of the study direct them...

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