A Candle in the Dark

A look on science, politics, religion and events

Literal Peril

with 7 comments

In the news recently,

A man in the US state of Idaho cut off his hand with a circular saw and cooked it in the microwave because he believed he bore ‘the mark of the beast’, US police said.

The man, who has not been named, called emergency services to inform authorities that he had cut off his hand and was severely bleeding.

But hey, the poor guy is just probably adhering to the rules of “The Book”.

And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Matthew 5:30

Does anyone know if it was his “right hand”? Besides, I don’t think cooking it in a microwave technically qualifies as “throwing it away”. Unless he believes that he’s burning away that sinful hand to hell.

Pity that no one handed out advice to him that such passages are nearly always allegorical, and shouldn’t be interpreted literally, especially when they seem stupid.


Written by parseval

January 11, 2008 at 6:16 pm

Posted in wacky

7 Responses

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  1. But what _can_ one do when people do something like this?


    January 12, 2008 at 3:44 pm

  2. Difficult question. My personal opinion is that exposing people to critical thinking and science can go a long way to prevent such irrational actions.


    January 13, 2008 at 10:52 am

  3. You can’t equate mental instability with religious fervor.


    January 17, 2008 at 9:50 pm

  4. True, but mentally stable or not, the action which the man undertook is probably a direct consequence of belief in a literal interpretation of a religious text.


    January 18, 2008 at 7:12 am

  5. On a very unrelated note, but since I have no other way of contacting you, here’s something that made my day:

    “We regret to announce that due to
    unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, the publication of

    The Astrological Magazine

    will cease with the December 2007 issue.”



    January 22, 2008 at 11:15 pm

  6. 😀

    That’s a gem!


    January 23, 2008 at 12:50 pm

  7. you’re best when you’re sarcastic 😀


    May 2, 2008 at 4:40 pm

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