Friday, 14 June 2019

Deepfakes and the bible.

* it seems I'm going slightly mad, or at least can't write every sentence in decent, clear English.*

Surely there's no connection, is there, other than let your yes be yes and no, no?

Our ability to make people say things they never really said for our own pleasure or benefit is not new, and has probably been around for as long as human communication itself, and knowing where a line may be drawn has always been difficult. The church has had to deal with this pretty much continuously through its history, deciding what was 'true' in terms of historical writings in the 4th century by creating the bible (later revised again when the evangelicals rejected the tales of the arabian nights the apocrypha and various other bits). Stories about the derring do of various 'saints' have peppered church history too (and remember, the winner is usually the one who gets to write history).

There seems to be something in the human character that must make stuff up, sometimes for the 'best' of reasons, like wanting their God/god to appear bigger and better, sometimes for personal satisfaction or gain.

And the ignorant masses apparently lap it all up, and worse, act on it.

I guess we tend naturally to believe the stories that confirm our personal biases or preferences, reject those that do not. Donald Trump romping with porn stars in the oval room of the White House? Sure he did. Key figures in the prosperity gospel movement taking vows of poverty and humility? You must be joking??!

So I go back to look at my bible and read Genesis and Exodus, start asking questions. Well, that was a long time ago, oral tradition and all that. Then I compare Kings and Chronicles, which are both much more 'historical' though created for different reasons. Then I read the gospel of John, and start wondering about the way conversations are portrayed and how the chronology is re-woven to create a theology instead of providing a history. And I consider James (St. James to you) brother of Jesus who ends up running the church in Jerusalem instead of Peter, setting Paul up for the mob (I really do wonder if he actually saw Paul as an enemy to be removed, for uncovering James and Peters' hypocrisy over judaism and the law).

I think I may have commented a few years back about Herodotus blantantly making stuff  up in his writings, and there have been times I wondered if the first century was like the 21st century.

Someone wanted recently to 'discuss' my 'not entirely orthodox' view of the bible with me. The problem is that I'm still trying to understand what's real, what's wishful thinking, what - if anything - is blatantly faked. 'Faith' overcomes a lot of this stuff, because it simply says that the bible is the word of God and I'll believe it whatever. It's a position I once subscribed to, but cannot, in good conscience, any longer.

What stiluated this?
And the legislative 'solution':

Plus the failure of a recent attempt to prosecute a British politician for barefaced lying in a way that would influence the gullible while holding a senior post in government. We are now, apparently, OK for our politicians to lie to us about stuff that brings them personal gain.

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