My Christian grandmither sent me this link claiming that she was shocked that I actually did all of these things. Take a look:

http://www.tencommandments.org/heathens.html

Tags: anti, atheist, idiot, propaganda

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@B.A. - pretending for a moment that god exists and the Bible is true, here's a thought you might want to share with your theists - the "original sin" explanation behind the cause of death is the biggest hoax god ever perpetrated!

First, what kind of loving god would sentence all Humankind to death for the sins of two, and why do all animals die, as only Humans disobeyed the commandment?

Secondly, what kind of low-tech god stores the knowledge of good and evil and the secret to eternal life in the fruit of trees?!

Thirdly, if god is truly omniscient, he foresaw the fruit would be eaten long before it was, so why go through the charade?

And lastly, and most importantly, if god had any intention of Mankind not dying - assuming they hadn't eaten of the fruit - why would he say, regarding the Tree of Life (Gen, 3:22): '"....Behold, the man has become like one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of Life, and live forever...." He never finishes that sentence, but in the next verse, he throws them out of the garden, so it's not difficult to see where he was going with that. What IS difficult to see, is that he had no intention for Humans to live forever, or he wouldn't have been so relieved to see the tree of Life untouched.

Spread some of that on your theists --

All valid points Arch.  Some knowledge for you if you are unaware of it.

Number 1:  Any theist worth their salt in understanding Genesis will tell you that it is not a literal book of literature and it is redacted and edited by a series of unknown authors at different points in the history of the book existing.  None of it is literal history.

Number 2: Redactions can be seen in the comparison of Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.  It both chapters, the world is being created; however, the order of creation is different and so it the way in which it takes place.  For example, in chapter one, God creates man and women together - at the same time - through spoken word. There is no "fashioning them together like a potter does with clay, and there is no hierarchy in that initial creation - suggesting through literary interpretation the equality of the sexes.  However, the moment we jump to chapter 2, the very nature of God changes and there we find him fashioning man and then women which does suggest a hierarchy of importance. Doing so suggests that, whoever put Genesis together in its final form had a socio-political agenda that was entirely sexist.  Now, we could say that the author was just drawing a biological comparison that women are typically weaker than men in physical strength - particularly upper body strength, but based on the evidence of sociological and political history, that is doubtful.  There is an obvious agenda.

Thus, the very verse you point out is further evidence that Genesis is nothing more than a redacted, edited, patch-work book of stories where humanity is trying to figure out it's place in the universe - in the world in which he exists, and the consciousness and awareness of self he has been given biologically.

Number 3: When I look at Genesis, I do not see literal history.  I see an epic tale of humanity trying to figure out it's place in a chaotic, "fallen" world, and since man craves order and stability to ensure his survival and prosperity, it is no wonder we have this rendering.  Essentially, this is ancient man's attempt to figure this strange thing called existence out.  Is there divinity in it - in discovering the "self" (what makes us human)?  Yes, thus the divine inspiration. Can we say that we can possibly know the mind of God? No, no one really does, but people like to think they do and what's worse is that Humanity hates change, because change brings chaos.  This is why when challenged and confronted, the theists that you are against always bring up Biblical Authority - which is really just a fancy expression to describe tradition, and tradition (in my opinion) is always meant to be broken at some point.

I guess my point in all of this is to say: "You are correct in your challenges, but to get a theist admit it - especially a staunch arguer for tradition and fundamentalist?  It almost impossible.  Their intellect simply cannot handle it.  This is one of the reasons why I cannot  admittedly be loyal to them because what they often propose and espouse is so characteristically flawed and that flaw show up not only in their arguments but also in their character of behavior and actions.  I find such adherence to a book limiting, and prefer experience over it all.  In my mind the book is not hard law, it really a set of guidelines to be taken with a grain of salt - understood contextually, but not literally since time has past and we now know more about human existence than anything.  In this, I am known (of which I am fond of) a heretic.

 

@Barry - That is really well explained and I completely agree with number 3.

Redaction - I just looked it up -  Its important to understand that when thinking about how the bibles were constructed isnt it ...

There is also this:

"Redactional fatigue

Redactional fatigue is an important related concept: when making changes to a large text, a redactor may occasionally overlook a piece of text that conflicts with the redactional goals. Since many important ancient texts are likely to have been redacted at least once, such snippets open a window into an earlier form of the text. The nature of the conflict between the bulk of a redacted text and the contradictory windows can suggest what the goals of the redactor might have been."

 

You got it!

To be more precise, Barry, Chapter 1 of Genesis, according to the Documentary Hypothesis, which is accepted by most reputable biblical scholars, up to, and including, the Catholic Church, was written by a group of Priests in captivity in Babylon, sometime after 722 BCE, known as the Priestly (P) Source, and was originally intended to replace Chapter 2, written about 950 BCE by the Yahwist (J) Source, on the grounds that the Yawist group depicted their god as to anthropomorphic, too human-like, and the Priests felt he should be more ethereal, not sewing together loin cloths for Adam and Eve. But the Redactor (R), who pieced together all four sources that went into the making of Genesis, said, "Hey, I'm not getting' god pissed at ME for throwing out the wrong chapter, I'll just put 'em both in there and let god sort it out!" And so it was --

It is for this same reason that we have two accounts of how many animals went into The Minnow - sorry, Noah's Ark.

I discuss it in great detail on my website.

Then you are more than familiar with it.  And to be more precise, I bet "the Redactor (R), who pieced together all four sources that went into the making of Genesis" did not say, "Hey, I'm not getting' god pissed at ME for throwing out the wrong chapter..." But rather: "Hey, I am not getting the High Priests pissed at me who can't tell their asshole from their elbow, but nonetheless are my bosses!"  "I'll just put 'em both in there and let god sort it out!" And so it was -- 

Unity for the Jews during their exile was an imperative importance for their culture to survive, and more importantly for the priests to maintain their status in the power structure of the Jewish culture and identity.  After all, once exile was over, many Jews were called upon to return to Jerusalem, and if you happened to be involved in a mixed marriage, you were expected to leave your wife and children or your husband.  If you did not, you were banished from Jewish culture and considered trash in the name of "Jewish purity." As a result, a sub-Jewish culture arose known as the Samaritans. Thus, ALL of Genesis in this light (a cultural context exclusively Jewish) is a woven together as a sociopolitical narrative of the Jewish culture with theological propaganda.

RE: "Hey, I am not getting the High Priests pissed at me who can't tell their asshole from their elbow, but nonetheless are my bosses!"

I think you may have misunderstood the situation - it was the priests, his bosses in your analogy (though they lived 300 years earlier), who wanted Gen 1 to replace Gen 2, so if the Redactor was concerned with displeasing the priests, Gen 2 would have disappeared.

Actually, the Jewish elders petitioned the Persian conquerors to be allowed to return to Jerusalem, and about 50,000 went, while a great many chose to remain in Iraq - they had been there for 55 years, and had established new lives for themselves, in fact, most, if not all, had been born there, and Judea was a foreign land to them, familiar only because of tradition.

I think you may have misunderstood the situation - it was the priests, his bosses in your analogy (though they lived 300 years earlier), who wanted Gen 1 to replace Gen 2, so if the Redactor was concerned with displeasing the priests, Gen 2 would have disappeared.

That is a matter of debate within theological circles.  You obviously subscribe to one particular view point, based off of what you read.  However, there is s a diversity of opinion.  After all, there is a camp that says none of it is redacted - that there is no such thing as to Creation Stories in the Genesis, though they are mostly fringe now.

All I am doing is trying to look at it from another angle. I am not disagreeing with you, just thinking outside the box of what your sources claim

Actually, the Jewish elders petitioned the Persian conquerors to be allowed to return to Jerusalem, and about 50,000 went, while a great many chose to remain in Iraq - they had been there for 55 years, and had established new lives for themselves, in fact, most, if not all, had been born there, and Judea was a foreign land to them, familiar only because of tradition.

Tell me something I don't know here.  When I said that "many Jews were called upon to return to Jerusalem/Judea, I meant the Jewish elders called upon the Jews living in exhile to return home.  Not all of them did, and I didn't think I implied that they did.  Many of them, as you say, stayed put.  Some did go, and even some brought their families with them - mixed or not.  But they were not seen as "pure and loyal Jews" - at least not to those who wrote Ezra and Nehemiah.  There is a great deal of xenophobia in those books.

Oh, as for the Samaritans remark I made.  I fell into error on the general detail.  The Samaritan sect primarily arose out of a religious dispute between two groups within the Semitic culture of Jewish faith - not because they were of the population of Jews who remained out of Judea.  However, this said, they did become a sub-culture of Judaism, and they were not seen as pure Jews, but trash during the Second Temple Period.  

RE: "Oh, as for the Samaritans remark I made." - I didn't even critique that statement, as I felt I had done enough already.

I know, I was making a self correction.  Surprised that a human can admit making a mistake?  I can make a mistake and admit to it, you know - an ability a lot of people lack in this world.  Oh, and to be fair, I was never debating you.  

"as I felt I had done enough already."  Is this an "intellectual" slap?  If so, it doesn't serve you. If not, then carry on.

I am not here to prove whose dick is bigger.

I think you're getting a bit over-defensive.

I think you would be right.  I hadn't slept well the past few nights, but had an opportunity to get in a nap a couple of hours ago, so everything is good.  :)  The lack of sleep must have made me a bit edgy.

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