Dennis Prager’s Lie for a Lie

So here I am wondering around YouTube minding my own business and I come across yet another deranged video by Dennis Prager at PragerU. This one titled, “Eye for an Eye: One of the Greatest Ideas in History”

“Even atheists acknowledge that the book most responsible for creating Western civilization is the Bible.” This is how Dennis begins the video, with an all out lie. Atheists recognize that the Bible is part of Western Civilization, just as Aesop's Fables are, but Plato’s The Republic is far more important in creating Western Civilization.

There is a reason why Greece is known as the cradle of civilization and not Jerusalem. The ancient Greeks gave us Social Contract Theory, an agreement between individuals and their society. An agreement containing adherence to laws and a mechanism for law enforcement.

When it comes to law enforcement, the ancient Egyptians, the ones who created the Great Pyramids a thousand years before the fables of Moses, had organized law enforcement. They also have the first known peace treaty between them and another nation.

The ancient Greeks not only gave us Social Contract Theory, which would later be built upon by philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Lock, we also received the Socratic Method which is used in every court room in the country, and the first democracy.

Meanwhile, what has the Bible given us? A man and his foreskin. The Covenant with Abraham. The Bible has been completely worthless in building governmental structures in Western civilization. It’s also been completely worthless in advancements in science and technology.

The pre-Socratics began the paradigm shift from supernatural to natural explanations of phenomenon. This was the beginning of science.

The most influential books that influenced Western Civilization include:
1. The Republic, Plato
2. The Rights of Man, filthy little atheist Thomas Paine
3. Common Sense, Thomas Paine
4. The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli
5. The Apology, Plato
6. The First Amendment, US Bill of Rights
7. The United States Constitution

Prager rambles on about the great accomplishments of Western Civilization including individual liberty, equality of all people, and the notion of universal human rights. But all these had everything to do with the Enlightenment, and nothing to do with the Bible.

Is scripture that includes the stoning to death of disobedient children immoral? No, according to Prager. It’s brilliant. Why? Because telling parents they can take their brats to elders to be stoned to death represents a remarkable advancement in human progress. It “took away” the right of parents to kill the kids themselves.

Prager then goes on about the “Eye for an eye” rhetoric of the Old Testament as a brilliant statement of equal rights. The eye of a prince is the same as the eye of a peasant. The problem is a prince has people that can take the eye of a peasant, and a statement of revenge is hardly a statement of equal rights.

What was most surprising is that Prager doesn’t bring up the fact that Jesus Christ addresses the “Eye for an Eye” directly. Replacing revenge with love and forgiveness. So according to Prager, Jesus just screwed up the greatest statement of equality in history. Oh well, nobody’s perfect.

-James Kirk Wall

Reference:
Eye for an Eye: One of the Greatest Ideas in History

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