Kudos to the Ask an Atheist guys over in Washington for coming up with a brilliant example. On the July 7th show, they invented a little game called "Yahweh or Doctor Doom?" The rules are simple: guess if a quote is from the Old Testament deity or from the Marvelous comic book super-villain Dr. Victor Von Doom!
Since both are fond of speaking in third person, their names have been replaced with "Steve". Also, any references to geography or time specific technologies have been redacted.
It sounds like it would be an easy game but it turns out it's harder than you think. Try it for yourself. It's more fun if you read them aloud in dramatic voice to your friends.
Yahweh or Dr. Doom?
1. "They will cringe at my approach and bow in my presence, and they will do it in fear for their very lives! And I will be pleased!"
2. "Let all the world fear Steve! Let all the people of the world revere him!"
3. "Serve Steve with fear, with trembling bow down in homage, lest Steve be angry and you perish from the way in a sudden blaze of anger.'
4. "Yes, the world is mine. To mold as I see fit, to create a world as only Steve might."
5. "You will be a reproach and a taunt, a warning and an object of horror to the nations around you when I inflict punishment on you in anger and in wrath and with stinging rebuke. I Steve have spoken! When I shoot at you with my deadly and destructive arrows of famine, I will shoot to destroy you. I will bring more and more famine upon you and cut off your supply of food. I will send famine and wild beasts against you, and they will leave you childless. Plague and bloodshed will sweep through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I Steve have spoken!"
That's the end of the list Ask an Atheist came up with, but I can't resist adding a few of my own:
6. "Yet other enemies will come! Other battles will be fought! But no matter who the foe, Victory will be mine-for now, and for always!"
7. "I have looked into the future, I have seen how one violent action after another spins the world toward a future where all that remains is a burned out cinder."
8. "Cures for all diseases are found...hunger is abolished...and no one goes without. In that world, there are laws. To break even the slightest of these is to suffer immediate and terminal punishment"
9. "Take all the heads of the people and hang them up before Steve against the sun!"
10. "Their children shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes! Dash the young men to pieces...The children shall not be spared!"
11. "My vast and supreme will be done!"
12. "The clapping shall go on for another hour. Have the first one who stops clapping brought out and killed."
13. "Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant."
14. "Only Steve dares to dream! All others serve."
15. "I do as I choose, and I answer to no one!"
16. "I have wiped out many nations, devastating their fortress walls and towers. Their cities are now deserted; their streets are in silent ruin. There are no survivors to even tell what happened. I thought, 'Surely they will have reverence for me now! Surely they will listen to my warnings, so I won't need to strike again.' But no."
17. "Before this day is ended, mankind shall grovel helplessly at my feet."
18. "The welfare of my people is ever closest to my heart! What a pity I am so often forced to save you from yourselves!"
19. "I will make you as helpless as a blind man searching for a path. Your blood will be poured out into the dust, and your bodies will lie there rotting on the ground."
20. "Go up, my warriors! March against the land of rebels, a land that I will judge! Pursue, kill, and completely destroy them, as I have commanded you."
Go ahead and post your scores in the comments!
It's a lot harder than it sounds like isn't it? What do you think? Any other suggestions?
1. Doctor Doom.
2. Yahweh: Psalm 33:8
3. Yahweh: Psalm 2:11
4. Doctor Doom.
5. Yahweh: Ezekiel 5:15-17
6. Doctor Doom
7. Doctor Doom
8. Doctor Doom
9. Yahweh: Numbers 25:4
10. Yahweh Isaiah 13:16-18
11. Doctor Doom
12. Doctor Doom
13. Yahweh: 1 Sam 15:3