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The Flood Failure

Cancers in Genesis 10

Assuming we could overcome the hundreds of problems created by a literal reading of Genesis 6: 9 to Genesis 8: 19; let’s take a step back and look at the wider context. What was the reason for this global event orchestrated by the gods and what did the gods hope to achieve?

The Problem

Much like Christianity created a “Jewish Problem” where there really wasn’t a problem at all, religions in general love creating problems to which they can then present themselves as the solution. According to the bible, the problem is humankind’s genetic propensity towards evil, created by the gods in its very first chapters.

Genesis 6 opens with a very short explanation of the source of wickedness of mankind. The sons of the gods saw how beautiful the daughters of mankind were, descended from the heavens and chose some of them to be their wives and produced offspring with them. This hybrid offspring, the heroes of old and warriors of great renown were the Nephilim (*). It is their appearance that the wickedness of mankind is connected with. What precisely this wickedness was is never defined. It just seems a very general, even lazy justification for what we know the gods are about to do. Why any justification had to be given is a mystery by itself, as many theists posit that anything the gods do is good and right anyway and what humans do or think of it is irrelevant to that. In short, humanity was wicked to the point the gods regretted their creation. It seems to be something the gods did not see coming, but now it had to be dealt with.

Hitler's Final Solution

For my part, I am going to bring a flood of waters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die.” – Genesis 6: 17

Above verse is the best the gods were able to come up with at that time. The gods could very well have sent a Jesus, had him drowned in a bath tub according to the fashion of the times and thus save mankind, but for some inexplicable mysterious way they chose not to. Anyway, with verse 17 the gods set themselves up for a guaranteed fail. Even the most ardent Young Earth Creationist admits that a global flood would not have killed off all life on earth. As it would not have, we could get into the question why billions of animals and plants needed to be wiped out for something humans did and why some billions did but some other billions didn’t. “Better to kill a billion beings than to let one guilty of whatever go unpunished” seems to be a very popular biblical principle.

Fail safe or saved failure?

As the story develops, the contradictions pile up. Every human’s thoughts (of their hearts!) was inclined towards evil [Gen 6: 5, Gen 8: 21]. Hereditary sin may have been the cause for it [assuming there is such a thing], but if that is true it seems kind of odd that the gods would allow some of those very wicked specimen to survive and repopulate the earth. In comes the special pleading of calling Noah the only righteous man [Gen 7: 7]. The story didn’t special plead enough however, because Noah’s sons for some reason did not earn the special pleading badge. Anyway, the three wicked boys Abel, Cain and Seth, pardon, the Semites, Khemitians and Indo-Europeans (Shem, Ham, and Japheth) were allowed to happily venture out into the world again and repopulate it with evil, wicked humans: rendering the entire goal of the flood moot, as well as the reason for it.

There shall be only one... three.... a few... many

Noah was the only righteous man chosen to survive the flood. His wicked sons and their wives were also given tickets to the Deluge S.S. (Deluge Survival Ship). Not given any invitation to the party were of course the Nephilim, who may have been the tertiary cause of the problem. [The secondary cause of the problem were of course the sons of god, who would have simply flown back up to heaven (the cowards) and ultimately, the gods themselves as first cause, by their impotence to stop their sons from raping humans]. The gods of the bible love or need to repeat themselves a lot. They seem to take a lot of pride in their destructive abilities too:

And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all human beings; everything on dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, human beings and animals and creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark.” – Gen 7: 21-23

The Nephilim however seem not to have been bothered much by the global extinction event. The introduction to the story already tells us so:

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterwards—when the sons of God went in to the daughters of humans,…” – Gen 6: 4

Maybe they just copied Noah’s boat. Which would have been inconceivable to humans, for what human could ever have come up with the idea of a boat if god did not give them the instructions and blue prints, right? The same for automobiles, space shuttles, cell phones etc. for all of which the building plans are described in great detail in the bible. I digress. The survival of the wickedest is confirmed a second time in Numbers 13: 33

And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

So much for the earlier claims of Genesis. The plan to remove wickedness from the world by destroying all land life failed on multiple accounts. It challenges many of the attributes given to the deities by the humans who conceived them, intelligence and goodness just being two of them.

One of the millions of wicked people who fell victim to god's goodness

The Free Willy Objection

The gods made sure wickedness was able to continue being the problem necessary for religions to exploit. You will often hear theists object that to eliminate the possibility for humans to choose to do wicked things, would be to eliminate humans’ free will. All other counter objections aside: if that is true, then why use the flood as punishment for humans exercising their free will? The gods may not have liked the choices humans made and therefore regret their creation, leading up to the flood. Why not have global floods every few generations then? Maybe because the gods found out that repeating a failed plan does not make the plan work? Or maybe it wasn't intended to work, as it doesn't really solve the problem to begin with?

Christianity tried to solve the problem by introducing another Nephilim, aka Jesus. That plan didn’t work either so this son of god also returned to heaven, leaving mankind once again to its own devices and free will. This Nephilim is rumored to return, but I don’t see why a divine plan that has totally failed twice already, would work on its third try. That's not saying it might not; only that I'm not going to hold my breath. I'll do that on a floody day.

Patricia Forrester, 28 May 2022


Notes, references:

(*) Nephilim:


Retrieved from Erik Ortiz, "'Absolutely Wrong': Bill Nye the Science Guy Takes on Noah's Ark Exhibit", 17 July 2016, NBC News > Science, photo by John Minchillo, AP https://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/absolutely-wrong-bill-nye-science-guy-takes-noah-s-ark-n608721

Aylan Shenu NDTV, “'My Children Slipped Through My Hands': Father of Drowned Syrian Boy”, Agence France Presse, Last update: 03 September 2015, consulted 28 May 2022 https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/my-children-slipped-through-my-hands-father-of-drowned-syrian-boy-1214048

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