Author Topic: The God of the Bible is a Loser: A Series  (Read 5687 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline kcrady

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1255
  • Darwins +374/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Your Friendly Neighborhood Cephalopod Overlord
    • My blog
The God of the Bible is a Loser: A Series
« on: July 21, 2008, 03:50:14 AM »
This series of posts is going to demonstrate that the god of Christianity is a loser.  A failure.  With an anti-Midas Touch, everything he lays hands on turns to poodoo even the flies won't land on.  All thumbs.  Two left feet.  Not merely a half-wit, but a complete idiot.  The sort of poltroon one might pity, were he not also the most unpleasant character in all of fiction.

And it says so in the Bible.

Let's start at the beginning.  By the end of the first chapter of Genesis, things seem to be going pretty well.  He's created a universe, and a pair of humans in his image, and told them to be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth.  Everything was, from his perspective, "good."

Then, as we enter the second chapter, we start seeing harbingers of things to come.  In this version of the account, he does not create a pair of humans together.  Instead, he appears to be so misogynistic that his original intention is to create only a male sapient being (Adam), and leaves the poor fellow to try to pick a suitable companion from among the animals. 

At this point, there's already a couple things Yahweh doesn't like about the creation: a clever talking snake, and a tree that confers a capacity for moral discernment.  Well before there is any "sin" to worry about, Yahweh introduces disharmony into the cosmos by issuing a command, and a death threat (2:13). 

With this act, he introduces coercion, terror, and the zero-sum/negative-sum game.1  This poisons the well and insures that there cannot be a loving, harmonious relationship between Yahweh and the creation.  As the author of the first epistle of John puts it:

Quote
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

--I John 4:18
 

In other words, fear and love are incompatible, and Yahweh has chosen fear.

Meanwhile, it turns out that none of the animals is able to provide the right sort of companionship for Adam.  And so, Yahweh bows to the inevitable and resorts to an odd surgery/cloning experiment to produce a female human being.  One wonders if she looked like Kelly leBrock, circa 1985.

While Adam is delighted to have a female of his own kind to relate to (after no doubt noting that all the other species had a female gender), this awkward, ad hoc way of going about things has unpleasant consequences for Yahweh and his "plan."  The woman was not present to hear Yahweh's death threat for herself.  When she recites it for the Serpent, we find that a provision is added that was not in the original command:

Quote
But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

--Genesis 3:3

We do not know whether the added prohibition against touching the fruit was added by Adam, or by Eve.  Nonetheless, it is clear that the scope of Yahweh's coercion has grown in the retelling.  Such a failure of communication could only have played into the Serpent's...well, he presumably didn't have hands, but you get the point.

In addition to this, there is the fact that, despite supposedly being omnipresent, Yahweh manages to be AWOL for this little episode.  This results in the collapse of his apparent original plan for humans to be groundskeepers for the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15).

At this point, the believer would object, saying that Yahweh was only pretending to be away so that he could give his humans "free will," the choice of whether to obey him or not.  This retcon is flatly contradicted by the text itself.  First, Yahweh's words to Adam took the form of a command, which, by definition, does not incorporate respect for "freedom of choice."

Second, the command is backed by a threat of death.  If a man "commands" a woman to make love to him, and tells her that if she refuses, she "will surely die," is he really respecting her free will?  Would the believer, confronted with a gunman saying they "will surely die" if they do not hand over their wallet, consider this a polite request for a charitable donation? 

Third, Yahweh has withheld vital information from the humans, so they are not able to make an informed choice.  Compare 3:5 with 3:22.  It turns out that this fruit will open the humans' eyes, and make them to be "as gods."  And, as the twenty-second verse makes clear, Yahweh's concern is not that the humans will die as a result of eating the fruit of knowledge, but that they will complete their ascent to divinity by becoming immortal.  By keeping this from them, he leaves an opening for the Serpent to unveil the truth.

Christians usually refer to the eating of the fruit of knowledge to be the first "sin," an act of evil.  How, exactly, were these poor, conscienceless creatures supposed to know that?  To foist moral blame on Eve, when she was created incapable of making moral judgments, is like punishing a dog for not understanding theoretical physics.

All she had to go on as a reason not to eat was Yahweh's threat that she would die "in the day" that she ate of the fruit of knowledge.  This threat turned out to be a lie (3:22)!2, 3  Yahweh, in his absence, is not available to counter to the Serpent's claim.4

And so, Adam and Eve eat the Fruit of Knowledge.  As the Serpent predicted, their eyes are opened.  Yahweh's promise of death is an empty threat.  The "Fall" of humanity takes place when Adam and Eve fail to seize their opportunity to ascend to divine status, and choose to act out of fear instead by hiding and trying to cover themselves.5 

The result is pure disaster.  We see a festival of blame as Adam blames Eve (and Yahweh, for giving her to him), while Eve blames the Serpent, and Yahweh evades his own responsibility in the matter.  Only the Serpent has the integrity to stand by his actions.  Yahweh unleashes a fusillade of curses and introduces direct violence, forcibly expelling Adam and Eve from the Garden and placing cherubims and a flaming sword to keep them from returning.  It is Yahweh who invents the concept of the lethal weapon and the instrument of torture.  A "flaming sword" can be used to kill (i.e., in the usual way of wielding a sword) or to torture, by burning with the flat of the blade.     


NOTES:

1. In other words, it is not possible for both Yahweh and the Serpent and/or humans to win.  Either Yahweh gets a mindless, obedient gardener without a conscience, or the Serpent gets moral beings capable of acting autonomously.

2. Christians respond to this with yet another retcon: Yahweh didn't mean "die" literally, he was referring metaphorically to a spiritual "death," a severing of their relationship to him.  Such fancy theology must be read into the text.  Even if we grant this, it merely translates to accusing Yahweh of a massive failure to communicate what he meant to say, to Adam and Eve, and to the readers of Genesis.  There is no clue in the text that Yahweh is speaking in esoteric riddles, or that Adam and Eve were capable of applying a Magic Decoder Ring to Yahweh's statements, or even had the slightest idea that they should try.  If we add to this the later Christian doctrine that death did not exist before Adam and Eve ate the fruit, then poor Adam and Eve wouldn't have even known what the word "die" meant

3. If "sin" or "spiritual death" refers to disharmony between humans and Yahweh, then the Original Sinner is not Eve or Adam, but Yahweh himself.  He introduced these things before Eve had a chance to talk to any snake.    His initial communication to humanity (according to the Genesis 2 account) is given before Eve exists.  Cutting her off from communication induces a degree of separation between her and Adam (he has superior status), and between her and Yahweh.  Yahweh's communique consists of a command and a death threat (tyranny and terror).  And on top of all that, it's a lie, or at the very best, metaphorical double-talk that would have been incomprehensible to its intended audience.  So, we have a refusal to communicate (Yahweh to Eve, resulting in distortion of the message), compounded by coercion, compounded by blatant deception and/or unintelligibility, all packed into two verses (2:16-17)  It's hard to beat that for relationship destruction in a nutshell!     

4. As the twenty-second verse makes clear, his only response is to affirm the Serpent's claim by reciting it verbatim.

5. The word for "naked" and the word for "subtil" ("clever") used as a descriptor for the Serpent are variants of the same root word, "to make bare" (i.e. "uncover," as in "uncover the truth" or "uncover" bodily nakedness).  Thus, by engaging in a "cover-up" (trying to clothe themselves in fig leaves), Adam and Eve surrender their intelligence ("cleverness") to fear and blindfolded obedience.  Yahweh completes the "cover-up" by clothing them with animal skins--introducing the atavistic concept of blood sacrifice as the means by which humans must relate to the divine.

*Edit: to change the title of the thread, replacing "(Part I)" with "A Series."
« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 07:25:28 PM by kcrady »
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline Count Iblis

Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser (Part I)
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2008, 07:39:08 PM »
Awesome. +1 if I could. Keep them coming!
Religion is an act of sedition against reason.--P.Z. Myers

To find out more about the Evil Atheist Conspiracy visit http://www.atheistthinktank.net/

you know, hell is going to be so jammed full of lying Christians that I fear I will never get in.  --velkyn

Offline StPatrick

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1273
  • Darwins +2/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • The patron saint of WWGHA
Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser (Part I)
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2008, 08:33:37 PM »
This is excellent. IOU +1.

I can't wait for Part II!
If we come together and do not fight over religion, class and borders then we hold the key to a peaceful world. There are two possible futures in store; either a March of power and greed or a March of a unified human race.

Offline cMarie

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser (Part I)
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2008, 12:04:42 AM »
Great post. I think it is a real stretch if one were being honest to say that God meant spiritual death, but I have heard it said many times. And to think that Adam and Eve would understand death, something they had never experienced, much less spiritual death, is going even further.

If I leave a book of matches out and while I am sleeping my toddler aged child burns the house down, is the child to blame? Even if I told the little tyke, do not play with matches...If I punished the child, well that would be insane!

And reading this made me think of something I recently read:

Why do we lament over the fall of man? We were not driven out of paradise because of it, but because of the Tree of Life, that we might not eat of it. - Franz Kafka Paradise

Offline john

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 527
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • All hail Wilson
Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser (Part I)
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2008, 12:15:11 AM »
bookmark.
If anything can mean everything, then nothing can mean anything.
I can also be found at isgodimaginary.com

Offline 7deadlysins

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Gummi envy
Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser (Part I)
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2008, 02:04:14 AM »
bookmarked
Don't take life so seriously, it's not permanent.

If your parents never had kids chances are neither will you.

Offline madame_zora

Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser (Part I)
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2008, 02:50:47 AM »
Oh, this is great, and we haven't even gotten to the second creation myth yet! I'm going to +1 you on the old site in case at some point our karma scores and post counts get transferred (hint, hint- to anyone watching). Kcrady, thanks for a well-reasoned and well-supported argument, you've set our expectations very high.
"Reality isn't something we invented to embarrass religious people." ~ captainmanacles

"Looking forward to a continuation of already-eternal life as myriad wandering  atoms doing interesting stuff." ~ Astreja

http://madamezoratoo.blogspot.com/

Offline madame_zora

Re: Comment...
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2008, 06:21:05 AM »
I read some of your comments and it is very interesting to me how you dare to speak from God`s side. You speak instead of Him and try to give some "reasonable" answers instead of Him. You know, there are things we can not understand because...think for a moment...it is proved scientifically that we, human beings, use less than 10% of our mind. I think we are far from "knowing" something, with this "percentage" of our ability to think and understand. And thanks God about it, He knows what to do...there is much more above our perceptions. Knowing this we better be much more humble...

How interesting, five posts, and they're all identical. Spambot.

ysscky.
"Reality isn't something we invented to embarrass religious people." ~ captainmanacles

"Looking forward to a continuation of already-eternal life as myriad wandering  atoms doing interesting stuff." ~ Astreja

http://madamezoratoo.blogspot.com/

Generous George

  • Guest
Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser (Part I)
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2008, 08:13:45 AM »
Great start for the new forum....or for a "book".   ;D  Maybe it is not possible to "reason" with Christians about their delusion, but if it is possible, KCrady is the man to do it!

 I would like some insight from Christians on what they think KCrady's motivation is and how they consider logic like his?
« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 08:40:13 AM by Generous George »

Offline Jim

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 2462
  • Darwins +11/-1
  • Born Again Atheist
Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser (Part I)
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2008, 08:27:02 AM »
bookmark
Survey results coming soon!

Offline Ambassador Pony

  • You keep what you kill.
  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 6856
  • Darwins +71/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • illuminatus
Re: Comment...
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2008, 09:50:50 AM »
I read some of your comments and it is very interesting to me how you dare to speak from God`s side. You speak instead of Him and try to give some "reasonable" answers instead of Him. You know, there are things we can not understand because...think for a moment...it is proved scientifically that we, human beings, use less than 10% of our mind. I think we are far from "knowing" something, with this "percentage" of our ability to think and understand. And thanks God about it, He knows what to do...there is much more above our perceptions. Knowing this we better be much more humble...

Bwahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Dragnet

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1208
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • iustus res "We just want the facts"
Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser (Part I)
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2008, 10:12:14 AM »
My first post in this forum. Bookmark.
I am responsible with my actions NOW so I don't HAVE to be responsible for them later.

Offline kcrady

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1255
  • Darwins +374/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Your Friendly Neighborhood Cephalopod Overlord
    • My blog
The God of the Bible is a Loser (Part II)
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2008, 12:48:02 PM »
In the first three chapters of the Book of Genesis, we see what appears to be an initially successful act of creation,1 followed by a cascading series of disasters that result in a cursed world dominated by coercion.  It gets worse.

Most of us are probably familiar with the story of Cain and Abel in the fourth chapter of Genesis.  Adam and Eve's first two children, Cain and Abel, grow up and make offerings to Yahweh.  Cain, an agriculturalist, offers the produce of the ground.  Abel, a pastoralist, offers animals from his flock.  But Yahweh is fussy, and he prefers Abel's offering over Cain's.  It isn't spelled out here, but later in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament it is made clear that Yahweh has a penchant for Blood Sacrifice.  Why a cosmological superbeing should care whether humans make offerings to it or not--much less play favorites among his children or have a fetish for bloodshed--is a mystery. 

However, according to the book of Genesis, the origins of religious strife stem from Yahweh's preferential treatment of one of his children over another, and the fact that he's picky about religious observances, with only one specific sort being acceptable to him.  Were it not for this sort of doctrine, all of humanity's religions would be able to coexist peacefully.  Unfortunately, each of humanity's religions teaches that gods will accept only one sort of worship and that (of course) each particular religion is the one that knows what the divine (however defined) wants, and its followers are the favored children of the gods.

The seventh verse may indicate that Yahweh had already informed his humans about his Need for Blood,2 and that if Cain traded his crops for sacrificial animals and slaughtered those for Yahweh, that his offerings would be accepted.  Still, if Yahweh is to be credited with creating a hundred billion galaxies, isn't this whole thing just a little silly?  If you had two children, and one draws a picture for you and the other makes you a sculpture, would you really say, "No, I prefer drawings.  If you want me to show you approval, you should have your brother draw a picture for you, and give me that"?

Out of jealousy over Yahweh's favor, Cain kills Abel.  Yahweh, with his supposed omniscient foreknowledge, makes no move to prevent it.  At this point, he has not even expressed a prohibition against murder.  Yahweh does punish Cain for the murder by proclaiming that he will be "a fugitive and vagabond," and the land will no longer produce crops for him (4:11-12).  This curse proves to be impotent.  In verse 17, we are told that Cain builds a city.  Cities usually depend on settled agriculture for their existence.  To organize the human labor needed to build a city and have the authority to name it, Cain would have had to be the very opposite of a fugitive and vagabond: a ruler

The interpretation of the Genesis 1 creation account discussed in the first footnote may provide an answer to such mysteries as where Cain got his wife, what people he was afraid of (v. 14), and where he found people to build and sustain a city.  In verse 16, we are told that Cain "went out from the presence of Yahweh" and dwelt in a named country, the land of Nod.  Who named it?  Could it be that the other Elohim made their own humans, and that these were the people who Cain feared would kill him, who ended up building his city for him?  It appears that Cain was able to escape the effects of Yahweh's curse on the ground by departing from his "presence."  This implies that Yahweh's rule was limited to some specific portion of the world small enough for a man to escape on foot.  The other alternative is that Yahweh didn't really mean it.  Maybe he made Cain a "spiritual" vagabond and fugitive, or it was a metaphor for...something.

In response to Cain's fear that other people (descended from Adam or otherwise) would kill him for murder, Yahweh makes a surprising move: he places a special mark of protection on Cain, and threatens to punish anyone who kills him sevenfold (4:15).  We can only wonder why Cain suddenly receives such special divine favor now that he has become a murderer.  Could it be that Yahweh accepted the murder of Abel as a human sacrifice?  The author of Hebrews appears to have thought so, comparing the blood of Abel to the blood of Christ--which we all know was offered to Yahweh as an atoning sacrifice (Hebrews 12:24).  Cain's descendants get the message:

Quote
And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.  If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

--Genesis 4:24

In other words, Yahweh had established a judicial precedent that, if you kill an innocent person you will not be punished, but if you kill a murderer, the murderer's death will be avenged sevenfold.3  As if this wasn't bad enough, Yahweh up and leaves for over a thousand years.4  When he returns, he is shocked--shocked!--to find a violent society (Genesis 6:5, 11).  The violence of this antediluvian society is so extreme that Yahweh regrets creating people (6:6).  All the clues in the narrative point to Yahweh himself as the cause of this violence.

First, there is the Cain Precedent.  And note that the issue over which Cain killed Abel was: what sort of offering is acceptable to Yahweh?  One of the core teachings of Judaism and Christianity is that the blood of an innocent being must be shed in order to atone for "sins," that this is in fact the only way to have "sins" forgiven.  The Cain Precedent establishes, by Yahweh's own words, that the killer of an innocent person is "covered," and it is not permissible to kill them in retaliation. 

While the antediluvian society is described as extraordinarily violent, the violence is not random.  The antediluvian patriarchs are described as having enormous lifespans.  Even with a superhuman resistance to aging, this would not make narrative sense if the streets ran with blood and every trip to the store involved epic battles to the death.  Noah is able to build his ark with impunity.  Constructing such a large ship would require a division-of-labor society.  Some people mine metals, others forge iron into tools, nails, etc., others cut timber, and others hew it into lumber, others (like Noah) learn the building trades.  This can't happen in a society under the pall of extreme random violence.  The person who makes nails can only do this if he can be confident that someone else is producing food, clothes, etc., and that he will be able to exchange his nails for the other things he needs.  A half-built oversized wooden ship isn't going anywhere, so Noah has to be safe to stay in one place for the duration of the project.

New Testament passages (Hebrews 11:7, I Peter 3:20, II Peter 2:5) attribute to Noah the role of prophet, condemning the sins of that society and warning of the destruction to come.  Moral critics and prophets of doom are never popular with those they inveigh against.  The Genesis account does not attribute this role to Noah, but the lone prophet railing against the evils of a doomed society is a common Biblical trope. 

The ultimate authority for Christians is Jesus.  According to the Gospels, he described the environment of the antediluvian society as one of normalcy:

Quote
They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe [sic] entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.

--Luke 17:27
 

The implications from the Genesis account (the story of Noah) as well as the traditional view implied by the statements of other Biblical authors indicate that the legendary violence of the antediluvian society, though extreme, was regulated in such a way that things like superhuman life spans, division of labor, family life ("marrying and giving in marriage") and a perception of normalcy (so that the End of the World comes as a shock) were possible.

How would a society based on the Cain Precedent work?  Since there would be a high demand for innocents (verified non-murderers) for sacrifice, parents would need to be extremely vigilant in protecting their children.  Yet, when those children began to reach adulthood, it would be necessary for them to get their hands on someone to sacrifice, as a kind of "coming of age."  This would represent a significant challenge, since they could not kill the defending parents (who are presumably already "blooded") without bringing Yahweh's sevenfold punishment down on themselves.  The parents, however, would be free to kill them, knowing they are not "blooded."  The young person on a quest for a victim would have to be able to subdue the parents without killing them.  While the rich might be able to purchase slave children or breed them from their own slave stock, the slaves themselves, as well as peasantry and anyone unable to afford slaves (slaves would probably be more expensive in a Cain Precedent society) would have to seize a victim.  It might even be a point of honor, if providing the proper sacrifice to Yahweh required one to face mortal danger.

Does the narrative provide any evidence for such a custom?  Look again at Lamech's pronouncement to his wives:       

Quote
And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.  If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

--Genesis 4:24

The "to my wounding" and "to my hurt" in the King James English means "for wounding [me] and "for my hurt," i.e., Lamech killed the young man because the young man attacked him, "wounding" and "hurting" him.  The Hebrew word for "wounding" is petsa (Strong's #H6482).5  It comes from the root patsa' (#H6481) meaning "to bruise, wound, wound by bruising (or crushing)."  That is, blunt trauma.  The word translated "hurt" is chabbuwrah (#H2250), which refers to a "stripe," or the wound made by a whip.  The implication is that the young man was attacking him with non-lethal force (i.e. not a sword or spear that would create a cutting or piercing wound). 

Lamech expects that Yahweh will reward him with an extra-special degree of protection, avenging him "seventy and sevenfold."  This implies he has strong reason to believe that the youth was not himself under the protection of the Cain Precedent.  This makes sense if the boy6 himself would represent a pleasing offering to Yahweh--"extra credit," as it were, for Lamech, who would already have gained his sevenfold protection/atonement for "sin" in his own coming-of-age rite.  The act of killing the boy is a good thing, something to gather the wives together and proudly boast about.

And finally: what is the one thing that would make parents willing to endure living in a society where their children (arguably their sons in particular, since Abel was a male and girls generally don't count for much in the Bible) were always in danger of being kidnapped and murdered by intruders who could not be punished if they succeeded?  Religion.  Compare with the Islamic cult of suicide bombing, in which parents raise small children with the ideal of martyrdom, dressing them in little suicide bomber costumes for special occasions.  Or the medieval Christian reverence for self-inflicted torture by people hoping to imitate the "sufferings of Christ."

All of this is a lot to read into these few verses.  It is possible that the author of Genesis did not mean to imply an antediluvian society centered on the belief that each individual needed to sacrifice an innocent in order to have salvation and win Yahweh's protection from other killers.  What is clear however, is that Yahweh established two precedents in the fourth chapter of Genesis: 1. Blood sacrifice is the only acceptable type of offering.  2. If you kill an innocent, Yahweh will avenge you sevenfold if someone kills you.  Yahweh's protective mark on Cain would only be useful if the news of it were spread far and wide, and passed down to Adam and Seth's descendants.  Lamech's tale indicates that the Cain Precedent was passed down from generation to generation, and believed.

It is the only reason available in the narrative for why the antediluvian society would have been marred by an extreme degree of violence not known in any society the Biblical authors and redactors would have been familiar with--including the notoriously savage Assyrian Empire.  By issuing the Precedent without any sort of clarification that it applied uniquely to Cain for some reason, and then going on a thousand year vacation, Yahweh set into motion the ideas and events that led to the violence of the antediluvian society.  All beginning with his rejection of non-violent vegetable offerings in favor of blood sacrifice.  We will also see that it is only after the Flood that Yahweh finally acts to put an end to the Cain Precedent.         


NOTES:

1. A good case can be made that Yahweh does not deserve credit for the successes of Genesis 1.  First, the word translated "God" is "Elohim," a plural: that is, "Gods."  The Elohim create in a very direct, assertively powerful way.  Their stated intentions translate directly into desired results.  "Let there be...and it was so."  In contrast, Yahweh appears by name in Genesis 2, "creating" by means of manipulating pre-existing materials.  He sculpts from the dust of the ground, breathes in "the breath of life" to animate his creations, engages in surgical operations, and so on.  His intentions must pass through a stage of physical work before he sees results, and his efforts end in failure.  The Elohim create man and woman simultaneously (1:27), initiate their relationship to humans with a blessing rather than a command (1:28), offer no threats or prohibitions (1:28-30), and are fully satisfied with their creation (1:31)

2. While I will generally try to avoid imposing later (especially post-Torah) theological doctrines into the text of Genesis so that the narrative may be permitted to speak for itself, concepts from the Mosaic sacrificial law (e.g. "clean" animals) do make an anachronistic appearance in the Flood narrative. 

3. How someone who avenges a murder can be killed seven times is unclear. 

4. The length of time varies depending on which ancient text you use to calculate the time from the Cain and Abel incident to the Flood.  The number of years between father and son in the genealogy of Adam's third son Seth differ from one text to another.

5. The Strong's Concordance numbers Hebrew and Greek words separately.  The "H" in this notation stands for "Hebrew."  The "H" does not appear in Strong's Concordance; rather, the Concordance writes the number for a Hebrew word in standard form, and italicizes a number for a Greek word.

6. Hebrew, yeled, "child, boy, offspring, youth," Strongs #H3206.
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline 7deadlysins

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Gummi envy
Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser (Part I)
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2008, 12:54:20 PM »
Quote
it is proved scientifically that we, human beings, use less than 10% of our mind

That's a myth
Don't take life so seriously, it's not permanent.

If your parents never had kids chances are neither will you.

Offline Dragnet

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1208
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • iustus res "We just want the facts"
Re: Comment...
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2008, 01:08:44 PM »
...it is proved scientifically that we, human beings, use less than 10% of our mind.

Would you care to cite the source of this "scientific" proof?
Or was this something you remember from way back in the 70s?
I am responsible with my actions NOW so I don't HAVE to be responsible for them later.

Offline john

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 527
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • All hail Wilson
Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser (Part I)
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2008, 02:03:04 PM »
Kcrady - that was an amazing exposition of scripture.  I wonder if we could condense that into a tract.  You know, with drawings of death gangs looking for innocent children to kill.  I'd leave them in bathrooms and in random spots on store shelves.
If anything can mean everything, then nothing can mean anything.
I can also be found at isgodimaginary.com

Offline kcrady

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1255
  • Darwins +374/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Your Friendly Neighborhood Cephalopod Overlord
    • My blog
The God of the Bible is a Loser (Part III)
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2008, 07:21:24 PM »
Part III

Five chapters into "the Word of God," and the disastrous results of Yahweh's failures have pervaded the Earth and brought all of humanity to a point of terrible crisis.  In the sixth, the reverberations of failure spread to Heaven itself.

Quote
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they [were] fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose...There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown.

--Genesis 6:1-2, 4


There is considerable controversy over whether or not these "sons of God" (bene Elohim) were heavenly beings who procreated with human women, or members of the presumably more godly line of Adam's third son Seth marrying daughters descended from Cain.  I think the former is the stronger position of the two.

The main argument for interpreting "sons of God" as a reference to the descendants of Seth is Jesus' claim that resurrected people would neither marry nor be given in marriage because they would be like the angels (Luke 20:34-36).1  This is interpreted to mean that angels would be incapable of sex and procreation.  At least, with each other...  It is clear in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament that angels can take corporeal human (male) form.  Given the fact that a person with an injured penis or testicles was not permitted to the Tabernacle to worship Yahweh (Deuteronomy 23:1), it would be surprising if the angels lacked the requisite plumbing.  Penises apparently matter quite a lot to Yahweh.  And we have at least one inescapable and very concrete example of a spirit-being procreating with a human woman in the New Testament--Yahweh himself, getting together with Mary to produce Jesus!   

The phrase "sons of God" is used only two other times in the Hebrew Bible (Job 1:6 and Job 2:1), both times referring to angels rather than a genealogy of devout humans.  The fact that their children, the Nephilim were superhuman and stood out as "mighty men of old, men of renown" is a further indication that their fathers were not ordinary human beings.  Nor is any indication given in the Genesis account that the descendants of Seth were any more "righteous" than the descendants of Cain. 

The phrase "sons of God" is used in the New Testament to refer to Christians, rather than angels.  However, these references all use it in a distinctly Christian context, that the work of Christ has made possible a "sonship" to Yahweh that had not existed before.  There is no hint that a Christian "son of God" marrying a non-Christian "daughter of men" will produce Nephilim for children.

There are a few references in the New Testament that imply acceptance of the idea that the "sons of God" in Genesis 6 were angels:

Quote
For this cause ought the woman to have power on [her] head because of the angels.

--I Corinthians 11:10

This refers to the issue of women praying in church without "power" (i.e. a covering or head-scarf) on their heads.  Best not to let the angels who attend on the prayers of the church get a good look at those tempting Earth chicks...

Quote
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

--Jude 1:14-15

This is a quote from the non-canonical Book of Enoch, which includes an extensive account of the events in Genesis 6, complete with names of the leaders of the angelic defection, their hierarchical arrangements, and how they shared forbidden knowledge with humankind, including the art of making metal weapons (for the men) and makeup and magic (for the women).  See also, Jude 1:6-7.

Now, one thing to note about these angels is that they did not simply use their supernatural charm to have their way with human women like the ultimate playas, or their superior power to rape them, and then return to their celestial realm.  They married the women and stayed to raise the children.  They were defectors.  We have already seen that the human society of this time was a terrible, violent place.  How horrible would Yahweh's regime in heaven have to be, for angels to want to leave it for earthly life in a degenerate civilization?

When Yahweh does finally return, he extremely displeased with what he finds.

Quote
And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.  And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

--Genesis 6:5-6

Quote
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

--Genesis 6:11

So, the problem is violence, and Yahweh does not like violence.  He apparently failed to foresee that violence is exactly what the Cain Precedent would lead to, when put into practice.  What then, is Yahweh's solution to this enormous problem of violence? 

Quote
And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

--Genesis 6:7

That's right--even more violence!  He never thinks to try anything else, like making each person experience the suffering of their victims and their victims' parents, or ramping up the circuitry of their mirror neurons (the brain structures responsible for empathy), or thundering forth from the heavens that the Cain thing was a one-off, not something meant for everybody.  He doesn't even come up with a way to selectively exterminate the humans (say, with a virus) much less preserve the lives of the babies and small children.  Instead, he unleashes violence on a scale not seen before, destroying not only the humans, but (supposedly) the entire planetary biosphere.

Is it possible to imagine a greater failure as a parent?  After giving his children a rule that it's OK to hit first but not to hit back, and leaving the house unattended until the kids get completely out of control, daddy finally comes back--and burns the house down, killing the kids and the family pets as well.  But at least the kids aren't fighting anymore!

And so, the whole world is laid waste.  Noah, and his no doubt terrified family emerge from the Ark onto a barren world, with only their little zoo to replenish it.  Without admitting his own culpability, Yahweh finally--finally!--tries to correct the blunder that caused all of the problems to begin with:

Quote
And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.  Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

--Genesis 9:6

So, after a thousand years of violence and depravity, and the destruction of the whole world, Yahweh at last grasps that murder shouldn't be legal.  Better that the murderer should have to fear the avengers of his victims, rather than rest assured that Yahweh will retaliate sevenfold on his behalf should some avenger find him.

The Flood certainly represents an extreme measure.  Perhaps an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent intelligence capable of creating a hundred billion galaxies with over a hundred billion stars each and Intelligently Designing incalculable panoplies of life (he wouldn't waste all that space, would he?) just couldn't think of a better way to fix the problem.  Does it work?  If it resulted in a better world and a more ennobled humanity, perhaps it might be possible to at least try to justify it.

The results are anything but promising.  Yahweh takes off.  Again.  Noah plants a vineyard, gets drunk out of his skull, and ends up lying naked in his tent.2  His son Ham sees him in this state.  There's no evidence that he sneaks in and buggers the old man, or anything like that.  He does tell his brothers.  We don't know if he does so mockingly or just as a matter of fact, but maybe he laughs.  The text doesn't say.  Shem and Japeth discreetly back in with a blanket and cover their father up.  Then Noah, the great righteous guy, the one patriarch out of all humanity worth saving awakens and finds out what happened.  Like his Father in heaven, he takes no ownership of his own responsibility for what's gone wrong.  Instead, like Yahweh, he utters a thundering curse--on Ham?  Nope.  On Ham's kid Canaan, and all his unborn descendants, to be slaves forever--or at least until Moses, Joshua, and their descendants get around to exterminating them.  Genesis 9:20-27.

Thanks, Noah, way to start a brand new world!     
 

NOTES:

1. Whenever angels make an appearance in the Bible, they are always portrayed as male.  Since Yahweh (all three of his personae) is male, the Satan is male, and all the demons are male, it is arguable that resurrected women will be given male "spirit-bodies" in order to conform to the standards of an otherwise entirely male spiritual cosmos.

2. What's he doing in a tent, when he has a massive ship sitting there?  Sure, it may stink from holding all those animals, but if Noah could build that, he could cannibalize some of the building materials to build a decent house, couldn't he?
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline kcrady

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1255
  • Darwins +374/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Your Friendly Neighborhood Cephalopod Overlord
    • My blog
Episode IV: A New Hope
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2008, 08:43:41 PM »
Quote
And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.  And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. [sic]  And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top [may reach] unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. [sic]  And the LORD said, Behold, the people [is] one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

--Genesis 11:1-6

Progress at last!  In Yahweh's absence, humanity gets its act together and creates a stable, unified civilization.  They pool their efforts to build a great city.  They take advantage of their single language to communicate with each other and exchange ideas, so that, within a few centuries of the world's destruction, they are able to plan a great "tower unto heaven."  While this may sound a bit like a space elevator of carbon nanotubes used to fling spacecraft beyond Earth orbit, in historical context it's a ziggurat, an astronomical temple.  To build it, they would have had to rediscover the arts of architecture, mathematics, and geometry, division of labor, writing, and all of the trades and arts required to build a large-scale organized society.  This ziggurat (a large stepped pyramid with stairs leading to an observatory/temple at the summit) would be precisely aligned to the cardinal directions, and used to make the accurate astronomical observations for which the Sumerian and Chaldean civilizations were renowned.  Science!

Yahweh returns from his latest trip to discover that, rather than killing each other, his children have set up such a shining civilization that even he acknowledges its unlimited potential.  Nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do!  Surely he must be relieved, and proud that the kids have turned out alright.  What parent who tells their child, "You can grow up to be anything you set your mind to, even President of the United States!" wouldn't be delighted to see them find some great, challenging dream and achieve it? 

So Yahweh's gonna be happy as a pig in shit, and maybe give the kids a boost by showing them Kepler's equations and Newton's laws, right?  Right?

Quote
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.  So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.  Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

--Genesis 11:7-9

Oh, man.  Can't this guy do anything right?!  Remember, our boy Yahweh is supposed to have a thing against violence.  He destroyed the world because of it.  What's going to happen as a result of dividing humanity into separate ethnicities and cultures that can't talk to each other?  That's right: warfare!1  And when he gets a bee in his bonnet to do "the Jesus thing" and issue the command to spread his "Gospel" to all the world, what's going to be the biggest obstacle in his path?  Language!  All those incompatible, ever-changing languages he made are going to force people to translate, re-translate, and re-re-translate his "Word"2 over thousands of years.  And it takes thousands of years to get his "Word" out...because of all those languages, and nations with jealously-guarded borders.

Does this end up causing all sorts of distortions and confusion as to what his "Word" means, so that sincere believers can interpret it in all sorts of different ways, to the point that they kill each other over it?3  So that there is an entire branch of sophisticated scholarship dedicated to peeling back the layers of multiple translations and garbled copying, to try to decode the ancient linguistic idioms and shades of meaning inherent in the languages spoken long ago--and even the scholars can't all agree completely on what the texts say?

You bet your bippy it does!

We already know from Genesis 3 and 4 that communication isn't Yahweh's strong suit.  One might imagine that even he would have figured that out by this point, and thought long and hard about the idea of making the task exponentially more difficult for himself.  But then, he's not too swift when it comes to planning ahead, either.

Well, OK, maybe he was scared of the science and technology the ziggurat represented, and wanted to make sure that humans were kept in a primitive state, so they wouldn't get any ideas about launching themselves toward the stars.  That worked out really well, didn't it?



NOTES:

1. On the plus side, this will make sure that the descendants of Canaan won't just interbreed with everybody else in a homogenous, unified civilization.  That way, Noah's curse can come true, and the descendants of Shem and Japheth can conquer them and use them as slaves forever (until the Israelites come along and kill them all).  That's worth causing racism, nationalism, and war for, isn't it?     

2. Believe it or not: an omniscient, future-seeing deity who deliberately sabotaged humanity's ability to communicate with each other chose the written word--human language--as the way to get his all-important message out.

3.  And Yahweh doesn't like violence.  Right?
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Generous George

  • Guest
Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser: A Series
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2008, 08:47:10 PM »
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!   :D

Offline john

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 527
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • All hail Wilson
Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser: A Series
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2008, 09:49:13 PM »
There are 40 chapters in Genesis.  Kcrady is on number 11.
If anything can mean everything, then nothing can mean anything.
I can also be found at isgodimaginary.com

Offline leese

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 38
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser: A Series
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2008, 11:03:39 PM »
Excellent Penny Dreadful!
Bookmark
"Humanity without religion is like a serial killer without a chainsaw."
-- unknown

Offline spider

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 510
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • ATT ambassador
    • Atheist Think Tank
Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser: A Series
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2008, 12:47:44 AM »

Offline john

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 527
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • All hail Wilson
Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser: A Series
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2008, 04:56:49 PM »
Would I be stealing your thunder if I pointed out that the idea of transubstantiation (that wine/bread used in communion become the essence of Jesus' blood and body) is a continuation of the Cain precedent?
If anything can mean everything, then nothing can mean anything.
I can also be found at isgodimaginary.com

Offline Former Believer

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 708
  • Darwins +0/-0
Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser: A Series
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2008, 05:30:22 PM »
Adam and Eve must not have truly understood the serious nature of violating God's command.  They were in paradise and were warned that they would die by eating the fruit.  If you really know something is going to kill you, you don't do it.  If I know that a grapefruit is attached to 10,000 volts of electricity, I'm not touching it, regardless of how deilcious it looks.  If I have to jump three feet off of a cliff to grab a papaya, I'm not jumping off the cliff, regardless of the tastiness of the papaya.

This story also challenges the fundy contention that mankind inherited a sin-like nature due to the "original sin" of Adam and Eve.  The first two people who had a chance to sin did so, and seemingly without a lot of hard thought or struggle.  Seems to me like they were created with a "sin-like nature".

I think most Christians would argue that biblegod would never sin.  Why is that?  Is it because he has special understanding of the consequences of wrongdoing and/or a greater capacity than man to refrain from temptation.  Either way, I would argue that biblegod created man with a design flaw that he does not possess--the desire to sin or the inability to truly appreciate the fatal consequences of doing so.  Either way, it seems very unfair to create a handicapped being and then sentence him to an eternity of hell because a manufacturer's defect causes him to fail to perform up to the manufacturer's standards.
Faith unsubstaniated by the facts equal foolishness

Offline Ashe

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1639
  • Darwins +10/-1
  • Gender: Female
Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser: A Series
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2008, 05:32:38 PM »
Whoa, bookmark.

Let the learning begin!  ;D
2 miles!
"All men(humans )were demon possed and were planning to attack God. Just like if you talk back to your parents." - Failbag quote

Generous George

  • Guest
Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser: A Series
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2008, 06:35:10 PM »
Only those with the capacity to be honest with themselves will learn....but it is a great opportunity for caring and thoughtful Christians to respond to these points in an intellectually honest and objective way. ;D

TrueSceptic

  • Guest
Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser: A Series
« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2008, 05:38:48 PM »
There are 40 chapters in Genesis.  Kcrady is on number 11.
There is a saying, "We are not worthy". This might be a joke most of the time but in this thread we can say it and really mean it.

Kcrady, I hope you plan to publish this as a book. It is far too good for that not to happen.

(My first post in this WWGHA. I was in the old one as Nikyzf but stopped posting there a while ago.)


Offline kcrady

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1255
  • Darwins +374/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Your Friendly Neighborhood Cephalopod Overlord
    • My blog
Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser: A Series
« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2008, 04:42:57 AM »
There is something else written in the Bible and I think it is true, because every time a human being tries to explain the Almighty God looks that way:
 "The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do noe call upon the Lord? There they are in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous." Psalm 14
 

LOL.

Quote
The fool says in his heart, "There is no Isis." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good. The Goddess looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after Isis. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do noe [sic] call upon the Isis? There they are in great terror, for Isis is with the generation of the righteous." Psalm 14


There!  I just proved that Isis exists and all the Christians are depraved fools!  Such a powerful argument!

The fool says in his heart, "There is a God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good. The Lord doesn't look down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do noe call upon the Lord? There they are in great terror, for God is not with the generation of the righteous." Psalm 14

Now I just proved that atheism is true.

It is funny how people try to explain and in the same way distort God`s Word for their own excuse...
 
 IT IS A FACT THAT THE WHOLE HISTORY CHANGED - BEFORE AND AFTER CHRIST. THIS MUST BE A GREAT PERSON!!!

Careful with that shift key, frellolcat.  BTW, shouting doesn't make a dumb argument any smarter.  Jesus (if he existed) didn't change history at all.  Apart from a couple fraudulent passages in Josephus, there's no evidence that anybody contemporary to "Jesus" noticed that he existed. 

Paul of Tarsus changed history by spreading a cult of "Jesus" beyond Judea.  Interestingly, even Paul doesn't seem to know much, if anything, about a Jesus who lived in Judea, had a mother named Mary, a father named Joseph, a close friend named Lazarus whom he resurrected from death, or any of the other details of Jesus' life.  The Jesus who walked in Galilee was apparently so insignificant even his leading advocate didn't bother to learn anything about him beyond a very abbreviated Passion/Crucifixion narrative.

Also, Mohammad changed history, as did the Buddha, Confucius, and Alexander the Great.  Are they supernatural incarnate god-men? 
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline Count Iblis

Re: The God of the Bible is a Loser: A Series
« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2008, 06:09:24 PM »
Paul of Tarsus changed history by spreading a cult of "Jesus" beyond Judea.  Interestingly, even Paul doesn't seem to know much, if anything, about a Jesus who lived in Judea, had a mother named Mary, a father named Joseph, a close friend named Lazarus whom he resurrected from death, or any of the other details of Jesus' life.  The Jesus who walked in Galilee was apparently so insignificant even his leading advocate didn't bother to learn anything about him beyond a very abbreviated Passion/Crucifixion narrative.

My guess is that he didn't know about this stuff because it hadn't been invented yet.
Religion is an act of sedition against reason.--P.Z. Myers

To find out more about the Evil Atheist Conspiracy visit http://www.atheistthinktank.net/

you know, hell is going to be so jammed full of lying Christians that I fear I will never get in.  --velkyn