TSoA: Chapter 43: Isis All Alone

Since Murphy is so very concerned about the safety of his team, and especially Isis…he has left Isis all alone at Camp 2.

All by herself.  With no satellite phone, either.

Because he cares about her safety so very much.

Yeah, just…um…just go with it.

(Oh, and note that Fearless’s murderous plan as to Isis was simply to leave her to freeze.  Looks like he understood exactly how protective of her Murphy really is.)

So, instead of translating and studying the oldest writing known to man, Isis breaks down and packs up two of the six tents at Camp 2.  I realize this is no easy work, being on a mountain and all, but I kinda get the feeling that LaHaye and Phillips assigned her this task because it is “feminine” and “domestic.”

A blizzard kicks up, and Isis takes cover in one of the remaining tents, and I can’t help but feel that this is the very situation where it would help to have a mountaineering companion.

But no.  It is time for Isis to take her first tentative steps towards being a full-fledged RTC and helpmeet to her RTC Man.

Sitting alone in the raging blizzard…

She felt herself give something up—the pretense that she could control things, that she was in charge—and at the same time she felt herself inviting something else in.

Ha!  Silly nonbelieving Isis!  Thinking for a moment that she was “in charge” and controlling everything.

Wait…atheists don’t think that.

I hear this so often from RTCs online and on TV and radio.  “Atheists think they are their own gods, that they’re totally in control of everything in their lives.”

Well, except for the weather and everyday events and, oh yeah, THE THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS OF THE BILLIONS OF OTHER HUMANS ON THE PLANET.

Now, certainly these RTCs consider atheists arrogant and foolish, but they must also think that atheists have it really easy.

Weird.

Her thoughts turn, ever so naturally, to Murphy and how he was totally right about everything (of course he was):

[The ark] was proof that the Bible was literally true.  And not just the story of Noah and the ark.

It was proof that one judgment had come.

And that another was surely coming soon.

And that Murphy’s God is a sociopathic mass murderer.

Okay, Isis doesn’t think that.

But she should.

Instead…

If it came now, she wondered, would I be one of the ones on the ark?  Or would I be one of the foolish ones who stayed outside, jeering and laughing until the floodwaters swept them away into oblivion?

Would I be one of the lucky women, bound by marriage to the only man who got direct word from God?  Or would I be one of the millions who never even met this “Noah” person or heard about a worldwide flood that would kill anyone who had the temerity not to listen to one crazy old man?

Oh, Isis.  It saddens me, seeing you walk down this road.

And, proving that she is a much nicer person than RTC Murphy, Isis prays…for him.

If the judgment comes now, God, please look kindly on Murphy.  If I can make a difference by praying about it, please spare him…

It’s pretty interesting that Isis adds that bit—if I can make a difference by praying about it.  After all, isn’t Murphy’s God supposed to be all-knowing, to have everything planned out, to know already exactly what will happen?  I mean, he already knows what’s going to happen to Murphy—why would Isis’s prayer make a difference?

So, yeah, Isis prays for Murphy, but not for herself, even though she’s the one alone in a blizzard.  She falls asleep, and when she wakes up, the blizzard is over.

But her headlamp goes out.

And I just can’t help but observe that her situation might be improved if another human being was with her at Camp 2.

But she is alone.  On a mountain.  In the dark.

Because Murphy cares very much.

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Posted on April 5, 2013, in Books, The Secret on Ararat. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Byebye, awesome Isis. You will be missed dearly 😦

  2. I think this is an interesting example of unstated assumptions. To the RTC, God is controlling everything. He sees an atheist saying “there is no God”, and makes the smallest necessary leap: the atheist must believe that he is controlling everything. The idea that “everything” is not under anyone’s control is much further away from the RTC’s worldview, and a much scarier concept.

    (This is also where the “atheism is a religion” ideas come from – because a person who doesn’t have a religion at all, by the RTC’s view, should be randomly raping and murdering everyone he meets.)

    Come on, meta-Isis, there’s a seat for you at the bar next to meta-Chloe and meta-Hattie.

  3. Wasn’t Camp 2, like, pretty damn far away? This wasn’t the caves where they took shelter right before they found it, correct? How did she get back there? And why? Didn’t they already remove all the supplies from Camp two in Chapter 37? Why would you give a fuck about a couple of tents when you have the location of and artifacts from Noah’s ark? What is this, I don’t even.

    It was proof that one judgment had come.
    And that another was surely coming soon.
    No, it fucking well doesn’t. Even if you take Genesis ‘literally’, it doesn’t even pretend it was written before the flood happened. Finding proof, however silly, that the at least coherent narrative (a bit generous, but at least it’s a single comprehensive story) of a single Bible book correctly described history is not the same as proof that predictions cobbled together from dozens of Bible books are true. And again, they completely forget about Judaism.

    • Yes, Camp 2 is pretty far from the ark. I’m assuming that Vern Teh Pilot dropped her off so that she could engage in feminine housekeeping duties by herself, while the men actually dealt with the artifacts. And, now that I think about it some more, I don’t know why they would be breaking down Camp 2 instead of building it up—wouldn’t it make for a good secondary base from which to study the ark?

    • I’ve seen the Doctor Who serial The Romans. Now I learn that there really were Romans! Clearly, the world will be invaded by Daleks any day now!

  4. And because I felt this deserved a comment to its own:
    RE: God’s omniscience and ‘making a difference’. Ruby’s comment sounds a bit like a common argument that if there is an omniscient god then we can’t have free will. And I don’t agree with either the general argument or this specific example.

    Of course, for non-omniscient beings like us, it’s a bit hard to imagine what omniscience is like and how it works. But I always thought of it as if to god, the world is like a movie he’s watched so many times he’s memorized it. He knows exactly who will say or do something, and he knows when it’ll happen. He knows what will happen to everyone and how they will respond to it.

    But knowing exactly how the movie will go is not the same as being the script writer. Even if I’ve memorized speeches from Black Adder (well, I tend to misremember a few lines, but suppose I had better memory) doesn’t mean I control what Black Adder says. The scriptwriter has, or had, free will when he decided what would happen in the episode. And similarly, just because god knows someone will do or say a certain thing, and knows what the result is, it doesn’t mean that that person’s decision to say or do it was meaningless.

    Of course, once we get to an omniscient god who has ‘a plan for all of us’, and who interferes in the world, all bets are off. It means god knows exactly what’ll happen if he makes a certain intervention, so he can get pretty much any result he likes. And one look outside the metaphorical window will tell you that means god is either incompetent or an asshole. This does in no way seem to be the best possible world, and god would know how to make it better. But he chooses not to, instead just sending Obi-Wan’s to his chosen disciple Murphy** or some other ‘subtle’ sign that RTCs will tout as divine existence, but only if it works out.

    And for those believers that feel god’s goal isn’t to make this world the best possible to live in for humans, but one where ‘humans can best know god’ (Argument from a Christian apologist: http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2013/02/08/christian-site-thinks-christian-wins-debate-film-at-11/) I have this to say:
    A: We would know god much better in a world where he appeared before us and talked to us. Speaking as an atheist who’s never seen a hint of god’s existence, god explaining it to me in person would go a long way to me ‘knowing’ him. Even if it was just to point me to the correct religion where I can find out more.
    B Even if the method above somehow would be worse to make people know god, right now only a 33% of the world is Christian. And that’s combining all denominations, many of which have mutually exclusive ‘knowledge of god’. But even discounting that, you’d think an omniscient being could do better than one third. That’s not even a D- in most schools.
    C And even if 33% is really the best that can possibly be accomplished: That means god created sentient beings and deiliberately let them suffer because that way they’ll have the most ‘knowledge’ about him. Fuck any god who makes his ‘children’ suffer because it’ll satisfy his ego better.

    • Oh yeah, **: Isis is still wrong in this case, about it making a difference here, but for different reasons. She’s praying for Murphy to be saved. And that’s a done deal. Murphy is so totally god’s chosen disciple it hurts.

      Come to think of it, even if he wasn’t saved, it still wouldn’t “make a difference” if he wasn’t saved yet. Because you can’t pray for others to be saved, they’ll be spared hell if and only if they accept Jesus. The best RTCs can do is pray for god to send signs to that person so he’ll realize Jesus really loves him and he converts. In other words, pray that god will make the other person see that I’m right and he’s wrong. And well, for my opinion on god sending signs to people, see the above wall-text.

  5. [The ark] was proof that the Bible was literally true. And not just the story of Noah and the ark. It was proof that one judgment had come. And that another was surely coming soon.

    *sigh* Ivan pretty much hit it for me, but what they hey, I’ll say it too. Possible proof (pending analysis) that one part of one Biblical story was literally true does not mean the entire Bible is completely and literally true. A does not equal B, at least in the real world. Those that believe in the inerrancy of the Bible don’t understand that, and that’s why their Nonchristian-sees-the-light scenes are so laughable. (See also Kevin Roose’s book The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University for his reaction on Buck’s epiphany in Left Behind.)

    After all, isn’t Murphy’s God supposed to be all-knowing, to have everything planned out, to know already exactly what will happen? I mean, he already knows what’s going to happen to Murphy—why would Isis’s prayer make a difference?

    Actually . . . according to the Bible (TM) 😉 , it has been done. Abraham convinces God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of ten righteous people (should’ve kept on bargaining there, Abe!) and the Canaanite woman beats Jesus in a theological debate — “yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table!” And, of course, Mary gets Jesus to perform his first miracle at the wedding in Canaan. “My hour is not yet come” my eye; Jesus, I am your mother and I am Jewish and I say it IS your hour, young man!”

  6. Since Murphy is so very concerned about the safety of his team, and especially Isis…he has left Isis all alone at Camp 2.

    Wait, isn’t Isis the woman Murphy’s been wanting to get into bed with since the first book? O.o

    Also, I cannot fathom the notion that Murphy would leave a person all alone at a remote campsite like that. That’s just inviting trouble in an area not easily accessible by emergency services. I mean, what happens if she gets hurt, sick or even dies?

    Note to Murph-dude: Doing that in your country is called negligence and can be a civil tort if Isis’s family sues you for being a material contrinbutor to a wrongful death, and can be a criminal offence if it can be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that your actions meant Isis could die.

    • Oh come on, Isis can take care of herself. It’s not like she was kidnapped by random bandits last time she was in the camp without the protection of manly men. Oh wait.

  7. Because I just can’t say good-bye to Isis just yet without some kind of tribute:

    She felt herself give something up—the pretense that she could control things, that she was in charge—and at the same time she felt herself inviting something else in.

    ISIS, MY BELOVED NAMESAKE.

    “Yes, my lady?”

    BEWARE THE MORTAL CALLED MURPHY. HE WILL SEEK TO TWIST AND SUBVERT YOU AND ALL YOUR WORKS SO THAT YOU MIGHT SERVE HIM AND HIM ALONE. WORSE, HE WILL DO SO IN THE NAME OF THE GOD THAT HE WORSHIPS, SO AS TO HIDE HIS SELFISHNESS AND ARROGANCE IN A CLOAK OF PIETY.

    “Yeah, so I’ve seen. But I’ve already proved to him that I’m more stubbon, more intelligent, and more resourceful than he is.”

    YOU HAVE DONE WELL, CHILD, AND I AM WELL PLEASED WITH YOU. BUT THERE ARE DARK AND TROUBLING TIMES AHEAD.

    “Does it have to do with the ark?”

    TRULY. THE GOD HE WORSHIPS IS AN ILLOGICAL AND CRUEL BEING, THRIVING ON THE BLIND FAITH OF HIS FOLLOWERS. THE STRONGER THEIR BELIEF, THE STRONGER HE BECOMES. ONCE HE HAS DRAWN ENOUGH ENERGY FROM THEM, HE WILL UNLEASH HIS TORMENT UPON THE WORLD.

    “What should I do — destroy the ark?”

    NO. THE FUTURE OF THE ARK IS KNOWN TO ME. IT SHALL NOT BE REVEALED TO THE WORLD. BUT ITS EXISTENCE IS ENOUGH TO STRENGTHEN FURTHER THE FAITH OF MURPHY, AND THROUGH HIM HIS GOD WILL SEEK YOU OUT TO MAKE YOU HIS OWN.

    “That will never happen, my lady!”

    IT HAS ALREADY BEGUN. WHY DID YOU CAST OFF MY NECKLACE? WHY DID YOU OBEY MURPHY’S WISHES EVEN WHEN THEY PUT YOU IN DANGER? WHY DO YOU REMAIN AT CAMP? WHY DO YOU NOT SEEK OUT KNOWLEDGE FROM THE ARK?

    “I-I . . . um . . . Because . . . I don’t know . . . . Isis, help me! Protect me from this evil!”

    CHILD, THERE IS BUT ONE WAY TO PROTECT YOU NOW, AND IT WILL NOT BE TO YOUR LIKING.

    “What is it?”

    YOU MUST CEASE TO BE AS THE OAK AND INSTEAD BECOME AS THE REED IN THE WIND.

    “You . . . you want me to yield to that monstrous force? To become its follower, like Murphy?!”

    ONLY OUTWARDLY. MARRY THE MORTAL MAN, PLAY AT BEING HIS HELPMATE, EVEN ADOPT THE TRAPPINGS OF HIS BELIEFS. BUT I SHALL BE WITH YOU INWARDLY.

    “You mean . . . you would possess me?”

    DO NOT BE AFRAID. YOU SHALL NEVER LOSE YOUR BEING TO ME AS YOU WOULD TO MURPHY’S GOD. BUT IT IS THE ONLY WAY, NOW, THAT I MAY SHIELD YOU FROM THE ONSLAUGHT THAT IS TO COME.

    “I have to think about this.”

    INDEED. IT IS A DECISION TO BE REFLECTED OVER AND CONSENTED TO OF YOUR OWN FREE WILL.

    . . . . . . “Isis?”

    I AM HERE.

    ” . . Yes.”

  8. Poor Isis. She’s alone in the wilderness and she’ll soon be God’s.

  9. And again, one must note that the main thing about the Ark in LaHaye’s eyes isn’t establishing the actual existence of Yhwh (never mind the little quandary of the story of Utnapishtim…) in general, but SPECIFICALLY that he’s willing to perform summary judgement, and his sentences aren’t usually in the vein of community service or even the stocks…

    Not that I get why LaHaye uses the word “judgement” like this. Any real and worthy judgement would be willing to judge someone/something “innocent”, yes?

    • Yup. It was Murphy the RTC’s selling point to his class, but even not-quite-yet-converted Isis latches on as that being the most important part.

      Because that is the part that happens to 20th 21st century Americans. And therefor the only part of Christianity that truely matters.

  10. Isis’ conversion scene feels like a cut-and-paste of Paul Stepola’s. A few minutes of slightly inclement weather, and bam! Born again.

    • I got the impression the conversion is more motivated by ‘just found Noah’s Ark’ than ‘gosh, this snowstorm is so scary, I need god to make sure I don’t panic’.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Round Up, April 5th, 2013 | The Slacktiverse

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