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I'm not a fully-snarky rationalwikian; my contributions are as factual as I can make them; I try to tailor them to the snarkiness that is already setting the tone for the article.

In addition to its entertainment value, rationalwiki seems a useful resource for people like myself who were indoctrinated by religion as children. Academic scholarship often ignores the crackpots who were the main "spiritual" influences on my parents and teachers. Fortunately rationalwiki makes up for this, which helps me understand the craziness of my childhood. Unlike the wikipidean Nice Point Of View (NPOV), the SPOV goes straight to the heart of the crackpotitude: Yay!

Tiglath-pileser principle[edit]

Would this merit an article?

The Tiglath-pileser principle (TPP) is an interpretive tool proposed by Baruch HalpernWikipedia in his 2001 biography David’s Secret Demons: Messiah, Murderer, Traitor, King, in which the statements of ancient royal chronicles are taken as factual, but the historian always asks "what is the minimal accomplishment that would justify the statement"?

Nominate example: Tiglath-pileser I (1114-1076) claimed in his annals that he crossed the Euphrates 28 times to battle the Aramaeans, roundly defeating them each time. According to Halpern's TTP: he skirmished with the Aramaeans 28 times.

2 Samuel 8:2

And he [David] smote Moab, and measured them with the line, making them to lie down on the ground; and he measured two lines to put to death, and one full line to keep alive. And the Moabites became servants to David, and brought tribute.

Interpreted by the TPP (minimalist approach).

Some Moabite force suffered an Israelite attack, there were at least 3 Moabites, more than half were maimed or killed, and their bodies were looted.
  • Baruch Halpern, "David’s Secret Demons: Messiah, Murderer, Traitor, King" (2001 Eerdmans Publishing Co.), pp. 124-32.
  • Penn State press agency synopsis of Halpern's book [url:]

Cited also in Judah and the Judeans in the Neo-Babylonian Period edited by Oded Lipschitz, Joseph Blenkinsopp <>

This seems like a joke, but it's a serious scholarly tool.