Some of our oldest stories are to be found in the Bible and Christians like to point towards the old book as kind of morality handbook but it’s hard to see how they do so in good faith. Particularly when we’re talking about the stories of the Old Testament.
Consider Noah. Perhaps like me when you were in school you were set the task of drawing two little cats, two little dogs, two little dragons – until the teacher pointed out that dragons don’t really exist. But what does the story really tell us? Well Noah is given the word from God that a great flood is coming and he’d better get used to the idea of looking foolish building a great big boat on dry land. The rains duly come and Noah, his family and a pair of every species on earth is safe and sound. A clear bit of insider trading if there ever was one.
But while everyone’s getting nice and cosy inside the ark, perhaps cups of hot cocoa are being served to keep them cosy during the storm, perhaps even a board game or two, outside everyone is drowning! Thousands, tens of thousands of people (the Bible is a little vague on the extent of the genocide) and all the other animals on earth – except presumably the ducks, dolphins and fish – are fighting for life outside, scraping their fingers and paws against the boat, beating against the side, begging Noah to let them in.
Noah? He’s probably walking around stroking his beard and doing a check list of everyone on the boat.
‘2 horses, 2 anteaters, 2 frogs, 2 snakes…hmm, better keep those two separate.’
God of course sent down this deluge because the creatures he created have turned evil and only Noah and his family re worth saving. So perhaps the moral lesson of the story might be: if your creation runs into some bugs, try switching it off and on again.