Metal Working Before God Created The Earth??

If you believe in a evangelical fundamentalist God

What in modern times is the country Armenia, was in ancient times a very valuable resource for mankind…it is thought that much of mans knowledge of metallurgy was gained here around the ancient city of Metsamor.  It was occupied from around 7,000 BC to perhaps 1700 AD and was an astronomical site as well as metallurgical.

Excavation of the ruins has discovered a very large metal industry including a foundry with 2 kinds of blast furnaces.  The foundry is known to have extracted and processed gold, copper, and several types of manganese, zinc, strychnine, mercury, and iron.  Metal from the foundries of Metsamor found their way to Egypt, Central Asia and China.

Several Huge underground caves have been uncovered that are believed to have been storehouses for base metal, as well as a grain storage for winter months.  The first iron in the ancient world may have been forged here.

It is believed that metal working got its start there about 5,000 BC…one more blow to the Young Earth Creationists who STILL believe the earth was formed by a Mesopotamian god around 4000 + BC, and Tubal-Cain invented metal working well after the creation, but before the “Flood” on or about 2400 BC

There are many very ancient human sites around the Armenia/Turkey area going back at least 9,000 to 11,000 years or more.  The whole Babylonian/Turkey/Armenia/Iran/Iraq/Israel/Egypt area is the largest cradle of human civilization…although humans were not originally from there, when we migrated out of Africa to the areas they were found to be very conducive to human life.

Pretty cool chart about the petroglyphs and early writing in the area
http://www.ancient-wisdom.co.uk/Images/countries/Turkish%20pics/alphabetbig.jpg
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Sargon the Great and Moses

Sargon of Akkad / Mesopotamia (c.2300BC to 2215BC)
His birth story from Wikipedia Here
“My mother was a high priestess, my father I knew not. The brothers of my father loved the hills. My city is Azupiranu, which is situated on the banks of the Euphrates. My high priestess mother conceived me, in secret she bore me. She set me in a basket of rushes; with bitumen she sealed my lid. She cast me into the river which rose over me. The river bore me up and carried me to Akki, the drawer of water. Akki, the drawer of water, took me as his son and reared me. Akki, the drawer of water, appointed me as his gardener. While I was a gardener, Ishtar granted me her love, and for four and […] years I exercised kingship.”   
The river would have been the Euphrates.

Moses of the Hebrews / Egypt / Promised Land / Israel (c. 1396 BC+- to Feb-Mar 1271 BC+-
His birth story From the Jewish Encyclopedia Here
In the Exodus account, the birth of Moses occurred at a time when an unnamed Egyptian Pharaoh had commanded that all male Hebrew children born be killed by drowning in the river Nile. Jochebed, the wife of the Levite Amram, bore a son and kept him concealed for three months. When she could keep him hidden no longer, rather than deliver him to be killed, she set him adrift on the Nile River in a small craft of bulrushes coated in pitch. Moses’ sister Miriam observed the progress of the tiny boat until it reached a place where Pharaoh’s daughter (Bithiah, Thermuthis) was bathing with her handmaidens. It is said that she spotted the baby in the basket and had her handmaiden fetch it for her.
Hmmm…Sargon the Great, who we know was real, was born in secrecy and his mother built a small craft and set it / him free on the river. Story from somewhere around 2300-2200 BC in the Babylon / Mesopotamian area.  Sargon is the first individual in recorded history to create a multi-ethnic, centrally ruled empire, and his dynasty controlled Mesopotamia for around a century and a half.

Moses whom many Biblical scholars now think may be a mythical character who lived around a thousand later than Sargon…if he (Moses) were real, has the same birth myth as a great historical character who lived a lot earlier. Also to be considered in this story is that those same Biblical scholars think that the story of Moses and his writings was a pious fraud, written by Hebrews who were exiled in Babylon (Mesopotamia) in around 587 BC to help bring the Hebrews tribes together in faith.

One could reasonably conclude that parts of the birth myth of Moses was “borrowed” from Mesopotamian writings they came into contact with in Babylon.

Also one could look at the mythical Gilgamesh flood story (circa 2700 BC), the greatest surviving work of early Mesopotamian literature, and see some mighty close similarities with the story of Noah and his Ark…which was part of the Pentateuch that Moses was supposed to have written around 1270 BC, but was probably written by Hebrew scribes in the 6th century BC.

I think this part of Biblical myth can also be reasonably thought of as another Hebrew “borrowing” of storyline from the Mesopotamians.  Boy those Hebrew’s are sharp…

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What I Learned in Bible School

In very late 2006 or very early 2007 some friends of mine convinced me that I should take a Bible study.  As my wife had within the previous few years took on the mantle of a professing Christian, the friends intimated that my following in her steps would be good for me and for my wife.  Having long been at least agnostic, and leaning very heavily towards atheism, I told them several times that they would probably be wasting theirs and my time.  Well they didn’t listen and they finally wore down my resistance.

I would meet with them once a week for what was supposed to be a 1 hour study. Inevitably that 1 hour stretched into 2 or 3 hours.  There was not one page of their study material that I did not question or have some legitimate objection too.  I was not trying to be difficult or mean to them—they were friends after all—but what they were saying and the stuff from the Bible just made no sense to me.  I was excited because I was finally laying out and writing down what was heretofore just a vague feeling or sense.  I was getting organized and I researched and researched everything, I was learning about the Christian history and its dogma…and it did not bode well for the Christians.  I started this blog in November of 2007 to try to keep some track of what I was learning.

I learned that the earth, sky, waters, animals, plants, and the human race are not roughly 6,000 years old. There is just too much conclusive evidence that this is not true

I learned that there was no Adam and Eve (4000+- BC) as portrayed in the Bible. There are thousands of anatomically modern skeletons and hundreds of thousands of human bones that go back hundreds of thousands of years.  There is no doubt, at all, that modern humanity did NOT begin 6000 years ago.  Then there are the tens of thousands of bones of human type species (Homo-erectus, Homo-habilis, Homo-neanderthal, etc.)  that did not make it through to our times, and they made and used tools and fire and there is some evidence of art.  They walked upright and didn’t live in trees and surely they were our long lost cousins.  I also learned that All of humanity alive today has their ultimate roots in Africa.  The fact that there was no Adam and Eve has tremendous consequences down the road.

I learned that there was never a whole earth covering flood (2350+- BC) that destroyed all of mankind except for a mythical man, his wife and three sons and their wives.  The evidence against the flood has been known since the 1700’s and keeps getting stronger as the years go by.  I learned that people keep searching this one mountain in modern day Turkey for remains of Noah’s Ark in vain and that at least 5 people have perpetrated a hoax on the public by announcing they have found the Ark. One person even doctored some wood planks at home to try to make them look old enough to have come from such a vessel.

I learned that there was never a Tower of Babel scenario (2000+- BC) such as told in Genesis.  We now know beyond a doubt that there were already millions of humans spread ALL over the earth at that time.  The Biblical story is nothing more than a fairy-tale, a crude attempt to try to explain the different languages that were spoken at the time the story was written.

I learned that Moses was probably a fictional character, as we know that the work attributed to him (The first five books of the Bible…the Pentateuch) was written by more than one person (3-4) and was probably written around 600-550 BC as a fictive work passed off as holy to bring the Hebrews tribes together again after the exile in Babylon.

I learned that the Exodus as described in the Bible is just a fairy tale. Archaeologists have been scouring the Sinai for over a hundred years looking for signs of at least a million people passing through and living on the land for 40 years…they have found Nothing!  They did find evidence of much earlier humans visiting and living there, but no Israelite signs from the era supported by the Bible story.  This also means that there was no exodus of Hebrews trodding across the Red/Reed Sea, no burning bush, no water spouting rock, no Ten Commandments carried down Mount Sinai, no golden calf, and no manna from heaven.

I learned that Joshua did NOT fight the battle of Jericho. Extensive archaeological work has determined that most all of the towns he was supposed to have squashed were already empty and in ruins at the time indicated in the Bible—both the 1400’s BC and the 1200’s BC theory. But then he was a fictional character anyway so it doesn’t matter.

I learned that Moses couldn’t have written at least some parts of Genesis because he wrote (probably in the 1400’s BC) that Abraham came from “Ur of the Chaldee’s” but we know from history that the Chaldeans did not control the city until around 600-500 BC.

Also Moses wrote that Abraham rescued Lot from the city of Dan which did not exist under that name at the time of Moses.  300 years later the town of Laish was captured by the tribe of Dan and renamed Dan.

I learned that God cannot defeat Iron Chariots used by us war-like humans.

I learned that God does not answer prayers…at least not of those with limb amputations.  Not once in all of recorded history has God ever restored some poor person’s amputated arms or legs and there have been many, many millions of people who have suffered this. You may even know someone from the armed forces who lost a limb or two in Iraq or Afghanistan…or Viet-Nam. The Bible tells us that Jesus raised the dead and threw out spirits or demons and healed some really bad diseases, and he himself was supposed to have risen from the dead, but no mention of limb re-growth anywhere.

I learned that God was really really mean. One mistake in the garden and He curses Adam and Eve and ALL the billions of their offspring to a miserable life with disease and famine and wars and all manner of horrible torture and deaths.  He orders the tribes of Israel to murder man, woman, and child of innocent villages or towns. He fire-bombs villages, He orders running thru pregnant women with swords, bashing babies skulls against the walls or rocks, beheading hundreds or thousands, tossing live people into the fires and who knows what else. And, the animal cruelty you don’t even want to know about.  All in all, the God as described in the Bible is a horrible figure…not God-like at all.  Of course we know that the entire God ordered killing was just the Hebrews way of conquering territory and booty.  There was no God to order all that murder and mayhem.

-end part 1

Warning: This video has a few cuss words…easily offended–don’t watch.

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Some Failed Prophecy of the Bible

Genesis 26:4
“I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed”

Here God tells Isaac that his descendants (Hebrews) will be as numerous as the stars. There are billions and billions of stars…obviously this never happened

Isaiah 17:1
“An oracle concerning Damascus: See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins.”

Carbon-14 dating at Tell Ramad, on the outskirts of Damascus, suggests that the site may have been occupied since the second half of the seventh millennium BC, possibly around 6300 BC. However, evidence of settlement in the wider Barada basin dating back to 9000 BC exists.  Damascus is known as the oldest continually inhabited city in the world.  There has never been a time when it was not a city since its founding.

Isaiah 19:4-5
“I will hand the Egyptians over to the power of a cruel master, and a fierce king will rule over them, declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty. The waters of the river will dry up, and the riverbed will be parched and dry.”

The river mentioned here is the Nile which has never in recorded history dried up.

Isaiah 52:1
“Awake, awake, O Zion, clothe yourself with strength. Put on your garments of splendor, O Jerusalem, the holy city. The uncircumcised and defiled will not enter you again.”

There are uncircumcised and defiled people living in Jerusalem; has been for over a thousand years.

Ezekiel 29:10-11
“therefore I am against you and against your streams, and I will make the land of Egypt a ruin and a desolate waste from Migdol to Aswan, as far as the border of Cush. No foot of man or animal will pass through it; no one will live there for forty years.”

Never in its long 6000+ year history has Egypt ever been uninhabited for forty years.

Ezekiel 30:10-11
“This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will put an end to the hordes of Egypt by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He and his army – the most ruthless of nations – will be brought in to destroy the land. They will draw their swords against Egypt and fill the land with the slain.”

Ezekiel predicts that Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon will conquer Egypt utterly destroying it, slaying and scattering its people. In 568 BCE Nebuchadnezzar tried to conquer Egypt and Egypt survived with no apparent damage. Aahmes ruled for another generation over a prosperous Egypt and lived to see Nebuchadnezzar die. The Egyptians were not/ever scattered or dispersed.

Matthew 16:28
“I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Matthew 23:36
“I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.”

Matthew 24:34
“I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.”
Jesus states that all the signs marking the end of the world in Matthew 24 would be fulfilled before his generation ended. That generation ended 2000 years ago, and the world has not come to an end, neither has all those signs been fulfilled.  Since Jesus pronounced this lie many, many disciples of this possibly fictitious character have predicted the end times….and here we are still living and breathing.  Never fear though, the faithful keep track of the predicted signs and they have still not been fulfilled.

Old Testament…A Work of Fiction

“Biblical history totally lacks an historical basis and its character as a largely fictional composition or wholly imaginative history is motivated by the theology of the time of its compilation in the Persian or Hellenistic periods, centuries after the alleged events took place.  At best, it contains only vague and quite unreliable information about early Israel.  Yet, the continuing power of the Biblical narrative is testimony to the literary skill of the authors as they produced a compelling propagandistic work to a highly receptive audience.”  Israel Finkelstein, “The quest for the Historical Israel”, Society of Biblical Literature, 2007

Israel Finkelstein is an Israeli archaeologist and academic. He is currently the Jacob M. Alkow Professor of the Archaeology of Israel in the Bronze Age and Iron Ages at Tel Aviv University and is also the co-director of excavations at Megiddo in northern Israel. Previously, he served as Director of the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University from 1996-2002. In 2005 he received the Dan David Prize.

Born in Petah Tikva, he completed his studies at Tel Aviv University, writing his Ph.D. thesis on The Izbet Sartah excavations, for which he was also the Field Director.
Bio data from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_Finkelstein
Israel Finkelstein’s CV: http://www.tau.ac.il/humanities/archaeology/directory/dir_israel_finkelstein.html

For a hundred plus years or so we have known that the Old Testament had some major problems; such as…who wrote it, when was it written, are the stories true, etc?  Professor Finkelstein went out…did the science…and found out.

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About The Holy Bible

A man ahead of his time. In the mid to late 1800’s a man named Robert Ingersoll was writing essays against religion, the Bible, slavery and any number of other things that struck him as intellectually or morally wrong.  His wit and intelligence made him popular, but he was reviled by many a pastor, priest, or minister for exposing the many, many wrongs and downright evil things that are promoted in the Bible.

Below are a few short excerpts from his writings “About the Holy Bible.”

“This book is the enemy of freedom, the support of slavery. This book sowed the seeds of hatred in families and nations, fed the flames of war, and impoverished the world. This book is the breastwork of kings and tyrants — the enslaver of women and children. This book has corrupted parliaments and courts. This book has made colleges and universities the teachers of error and the haters of science. This book has filled Christendom with hateful, cruel, ignorant and warring sects. This book taught men to kill their fellows for religion’s sake. This book funded the Inquisition, invented the instruments of torture, built the dungeons in which the good and loving languished, forged the chains that rusted in their flesh, erected the scaffolds whereon they died. This book piled fagots about the feet of the just. This book drove reason from the minds of millions and filled the asylums with the insane.

This book has caused fathers and mothers to shed the blood of their babes. This book was the auction block on which the slave- mother stood when she was sold from her child. This book filled the sails of the slave-trader and made merchandise of human flesh. This book lighted the fires that burned “witches” and “wizards.” This book filled the darkness with ghouls and ghosts, and the bodies of men and women with devils. This book polluted the souls of men with the infamous dogma of eternal pain. This book made credulity the greatest of virtues, and investigation the greatest of crimes. This book filled nations with hermits, monks and nuns — with the pious and the useless. This book placed the ignorant and unclean saint above the philosopher and philanthropist. This book taught man to despise the joys of this life, that he might be happy in another — to waste this world for the sake of the next.

I attack this book because it is the enemy of human liberty — the greatest obstruction across the highway of human progress.”   Robert Ingersoll

IS THE OLD TESTAMENT INSPIRED?
If it is, it should be a book that no man — no number of men — could produce.
It should contain the perfection of philosophy.
It should perfectly accord with every fact in nature.
There should be no mistakes in astronomy, geology, or as to any subject or science.
Its morality should be the highest, the purest.

Its laws and regulations for the control of conduct should be just, wise, perfect, and perfectly adapted to the accomplishment of the ends desired.
It should contain nothing calculated to make man cruel, revengeful, vindictive or infamous.
It should be filled with intelligence, justice, purity, honesty, mercy and the spirit of liberty.
It should be opposed to strife and war, to slavery and lust, to ignorance, credulity and superstition.
It should develop the brain and civilize the heart.
It should satisfy the heart and brain of the best and wisest.
It should be true.
Does the Old Testament satisfy this standard?
Is there anything in the Old Testament — in history, in theory, in law, in government, in morality, in science — above and beyond the ideas, the beliefs, the customs and prejudices of its authors and the people among whom they lived?
Is there one ray of light from any supernatural source?
The ancient Hebrews believed that this earth was the center of the universe, and that the sun, moon and stars were specks in the sky.
With this the Bible agrees.
They thought the earth was flat, with four corners; that the sky, the firmament, was solid — the floor of Jehovah’s house.
The Bible teaches the same.
They imagined that the sun journeyed about the earth, and that by stopping the sun the day could be lengthened.
The Bible agrees with this.
They believed that Adam and Eve were the first man and woman; that they had been created but a few years before, and that they, the Hebrews, were their direct descendants.
This the Bible teaches.
If anything is, or can be, certain, the writers of the Bible were mistaken about creation, astronomy, geology; about the causes of phenomena, the origin of evil and the cause of death.
Now, it must be admitted that if an infinite Being is the author of the Bible, he knew all sciences, all facts, and could not have made a mistake.
If, then, there are mistakes, misconceptions, false theories, ignorant myths and blunders in the Bible, it must have been written by finite beings; that is to say, by ignorant and mistaken men.
Nothing can be clearer than this.

For centuries the church insisted that the Bible was absolutely true; that it contained no mistakes; that the story of creation was true; that its astronomy and geology were in accord with the facts; that the scientists who differed with the Old Testament were infidels and atheists.

Now this has changed. The educated Christians admit that the writers of the Bible were not inspired as to any science. They now say that God, or Jehovah, did not inspire the writers of his book for the purpose of instructing the world about astronomy, geology, or any science. They now admit that the inspired men who wrote the Old Testament knew nothing about any science, and that they wrote about the earth and stars, the sun and moon, in accordance with the general ignorance of the time.

It required many centuries to force the theologians to this admission. Reluctantly, full of malice and hatred, the priests retired from the field, leaving the victory with science.

They took another position;

They declared that the authors, or rather the writers, of the Bible were inspired in spiritual and moral things; that Jehovah wanted to make known to his children his will and his infinite love for his children; that Jehovah, seeing his people wicked, ignorant and depraved, wished to make them merciful and just, wise and spiritual, and that the Bible is inspired in its laws, in the religion it teaches and in its ideas of government.

This is the issue now. Is the Bible any nearer right in its ideas of justice, of mercy, of morality or of religion than in its conception of the sciences? Is it moral?

It upholds slavery — it sanctions polygamy.
Could a devil have done worse?
Is it merciful?
In war it raised the black flag; it commanded the destruction, the massacre, of all — of the old, infirm. and helpless — of wives and babes.
Were its laws inspired?
Hundreds of offenses were punished with death. To pick up sticks on Sunday, to murder your father on Monday, were equal crimes. There is in the literature of the world no bloodier code. The law of revenge — of retaliation — was the law of Jehovah. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a limb for a limb.
This is savagery — not philosophy.
Is it just and reasonable?
The Bible is opposed to religious toleration — to religious liberty. Whoever differed with the majority was stoned to death. Investigation was a crime. Husbands were ordered to denounce and to assist in killing their unbelieving wives.
It is the enemy of Art. “Thou shalt make no graven image.” This was the death of Art.
Palestine never produced a painter or a sculptor.
Is the Bible civilized?
It upholds lying, larceny, robbery, murder, the selling of diseased meat to strangers, and even the sacrifice of human beings to Jehovah.
Is it philosophical?
It teaches that the sins of a people can be transferred to an animal — to a goat. It makes maternity an offence for which a sin offering had to be made.
It was wicked to give birth to a boy, and twice as wicked to give birth to a girl.
To make hair-oil like that used by the priests was an offence punishable with death.
The blood of a bird killed over running water was regarded as medicine.
Would a civilized God daub his altars with the blood of oxen, lambs and doves? Would he make all his priests butchers?
Would he delight in the smell of burning flesh?  Robert Ingersoll Reformatted somewhat…no words changed, altered, or deleted

Many of Robert Ingersoll’s works can be found at the link below

http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/.

More details of Robert Ingersoll’s life and more links to his works can be found on Wikipedia at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_G._Ingersoll

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Truth Saves

Will We Ever Agree About Religion or Is God Real Part 4

Hi John Andrew, thanks for your reply.

You write:
“After stating that you’re not hung up on pain and suffering, you immediately bring up an argument that says maybe you are! “

And:
“We don’t understand why God ordered the wiping out of certain people groups, but when we judge God for being unjust, we are a lot of things, none of them right, none of them just, and none of them smart. God has much more information than you. He has reasons for the things you complain about that we cannot possibly understand, because we have too small a perspective and our capacity to understand is so much more limited than God’s.”

John I’m sorry I don’t seem to be explaining myself very well.  What I am trying to say here:

“If God and Jesus were preaching a sermon of love and understanding, what the hell is going on with all the so called Christians killing each other for over a thousand years? Is/was this Godlike?

What on earth was the Jewish God thinking when he was going around telling “His” people to kill and maim everyone in sight?

I’m thinking that if you take in and consider all the horrible things that have happened in the history and name of Christianity or YHWH or Elohim or El, or whatever you want to call this God…it’s all a lie…what we have seen and read about is not worthy of a real God…a real God would not allow such a screwed up operation to go on for over 2,000 years and still be in such disarray…unable to agree on anything.

Why do you think we have so many religions and schisms and enclaves and crazy people running around killing each other….”

I’ll put in plainer talk here.  The whole history of the Christian movement seems to be a chimera…fake, wholly made up by men, a figment of some Hebrew sheep/goat herders imagination, phony, a lie, does not fit the real evidence of our known history.  The known history of the beginnings of this religion does not have any signs of being directed or led by a God. We only know what men have done and there is no signs of Godly leadership or help.

I’m not concerned by all the deaths that are on the hands of Christians…I’m just using the history of the genocides that were caused by them as an example of the absence of a God behind the men who were doing all of this in the name of God…no God would do such a thing.  There was never a God behind all the murders and torturing going on…men did this and used “God” as an excuse for doing it. There was never a God anywhere near the early or later Christians.

The church that brought the Scriptures through the Dark and Middle Ages was the Catholic Church and the Popes associated with it.  Read some non-church history of the “Mother Church” and the Popes and leaders of the times.  Your Scripture was handled exclusively by, and redacted by, evil men of the early church for over 1200 years, again a sign that there is no God behind all of Christianity.

This taken together with other things we have learned about the Bible such as; no flood of Noah, no Tower of Babel, no Exodus and consequent parting of the Red/Reed Sea, modern men/women being on earth for 200,000 years, pre-human Neanderthals walking around for over 200,000 years…which pretty much means no Adam and Eve, and if we lose Adam and Eve there is no original sin story for Paul to concoct, or for Jesus to have to expiate our original sin by dying on the cross for.

If there are mis-truths or lies or false information in the Bible, it losses all authority.  If you can’t tell what is true and what is made up (and there really is a lot of made up stuff in there) how can anybody believe it?

You write:
“With respect, let me also caution you on something. God will not be mocked. When you go from asking legitimate questions to angry dismissals of God and his goodness, you commit the very sin for which God threw Satan out of Heaven. You appoint yourself judge over God! Could anything be more absurd?”

John, with respect to you…I don’t believe there is a God to mock. The evidence is nowhere to be found.  If I were to join a religion I would surely do my homework and examine and inspect it. I would study its history both from its own perspective and from an outsider’s viewpoint.  If it claimed to be the only source of Truth and that it had the only “True God” I would surely examine the claims from all sides, and try to divine and verify its “realness”

This God whose name has been at one time or another; Yahweh, Elohim, Jehovah, El, Baal, Allah, El Elyon, Yeshua, Adonai, El Shaddai, and who knows what else, does not seem to be anything more than an idea. He has evolved from a God that had a wife, to a stern taskmaster who intrudes in the day to day affairs of a tribe of sheep/goat herders and directs these sheep/goat herders to slaughter other tribes, finally to a “Loving God” under the watchful eye of Paul, who totally changes Jesus’ message.

Don’t feel bad for Christianity though. My examination of Islam and Hinduism and Buddhism did not turn up any better.  Although I did not do as thorough an investigation of these religions as I did of Christianity, I can tell you with confidence that they are pretty hokey and infantile also.  The level of violence is pretty high in both Islam and Hinduism, probably at the same level or slightly higher then Christianity, with Buddhism being fairly gentle.

Their stories and God(s) and histories are about as dopey as Christianity’s is, that is to say they don’t make much sense in our modern times. They also are clearly the product of their times and the sophistication and knowledge level of the ancient writers.

Christians are not the problem…religion is.

You write:
“The fact remains that if one is to learn, one must be willing to be taught.”

In my early years I was taught, in my later years I took Bible study, in my ‘now’ years I have taken to self study.  All the old evidence is still there, and new evidence is falling down faster and harder than at any time in history.

I remain open to change, but there must be better evidence behind it than there is now.

twom

Will We Ever Agree About Religion ??

I’m having a great discussion at the “Bloom Where You’re Planted” blog Here. It started with his blog on the resurrection that I replied to around Easter time, and quickly blossomed into a full discussion on religion.

You write:
“…it has relevance for anyone who is getting their information about Christianity from secular sources like college, Wikipedia, and the internet in general.  Our modern culture in the USA is so ruled by secular thought that it’s hard to even see where the bias comes in.  When the founding fathers of our country determined that there should be a wall of separation between the church and the state, they had it exactly right.  But their intent has been so mangled that it has come to mean something much different from what they intended…”

In regard to this opening sentence in your reply. Where else does one get information about religion but colleges, encyclopedias, other books, and the internet? One cannot just go to the Bible and theistic tomes written by the founders of a particular sect and expect unbiased and factual information. You must check many sources and compile diverse viewpoints and thoughts to arrive at a synthesis or approximation of truth. If you only follow one line of thought or viewpoint then your understanding of that subject is necessarily biased…and may not be true in a literal sense.

When our founding fathers erected that wall of separation between religion and state they were responding to the religious darkness that had for so long constrained and controlled the world that our forefathers knew. They and their ancestors had suffered religious and spiritual control by kings and religious leaders of the old country. Our main founding fathers were mostly agnostic or non-believers and they didn’t want the same kind of government leadership they were breaking away from.

As for the intent of the founders being mangled, I think what you are talking about is the normal expansion of knowledge and understanding that intelligent people experience as their civilization grows and begins to comprehend the truths and reality of the world around them.

I agree with you about the USSR and China and their treatment of the various religions they try to suppress. My only thought in bringing up the genocides that Christians (and other religions) have committed is to make the point that no matter the religion…one is not better than the other in regard to human rights.  In fact, if you think it through, all religions and all secular authorities have abused humans throughout time. Even Solomon hired out his citizens for slaves labor.  We in the US do it as well as anybody.

You write:
“It’s really interesting that you’ve mentioned your belief that Adam and Eve never existed at least three times now.”

In regard to Adam and Eve, should one take it as a literal story… were they (and the rest of the universe) really created and placed in the Garden of Eden about 6,000 years ago? If that is your position…you are up against tremendous-testable-scientific-evidence that modern mankind (and the universe) has been around for waaay longer than 6,000 years, and then of course there is the Neanderthal’s which in all ways appear to be a natural human predecessor and 98.5% human.  Then there are the other various predecessors to the  Neanderthals such as Homo-habilis, Homo antecessor, Homo erectus, etc.

You write:
“…by the way, the original sin was actually committed by Satan, and the sin was pride.  He decided that he really didn’t need God telling him how he should live.  So he led a revolt, and for this he and his minions were cast out of heaven.”

I’m talking about the “original sin that Paul wrote of in Romans 5:12-21 and 1 Corinthians 15:22 for its scriptural base, and see it as perhaps implied in Old Testament passages such as Psalm 51:5 and Psalm 58:3. According to Paul, Adam and Eves consumption of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was the origination of sin in all humans thereafter.  Jesus was our redeemer of that sin, to make us OK with God again, by his death on the cross.

A short aside here, the Bible says that God does punish the son for the sins of the father and then it says in a different place that he does…which is right?

Just a thought about Satan’s revolt…God deconstructs him…end of problem.

You have to wonder about this; God (omnipotent and omniscient) made evil in the form of Satan and fully allows him to exist and foment seriously bad Mojo for us humans…key point here being–“God allows this”  The tremendously bad logic in this story just overwhelms me…does no one else see it?

I’m talking here of the theology that the evangelical fundamentalists have been championing in our times as the reason for Jesus’ being alive and being crucified. He died for our “sins” so we would/will have eternal life.  Without Jesus dying to atone for this inherited sin we would all go to hell.  Yeah, I know it’s kind of a hokey story, but remember Paul was making this stuff up 2,000 years ago. So the natural logic here is that if Adam and Eve did not exist; as they surely didn’t, we have no real need for Jesus. Now Jesus mentions God making humans, but he does not name names, even though as a Jewish rabbi he had access to the Torah or Tanakh

You write:
“…Without God’s definition of right and wrong, it’s up to man to decide, and we have a hard time agreeing on anything.  Some societies see it as OK to murder if you have a good reason, others say it’s never OK.  You say you’re against abortion, but not enough that you would actually agree with a law that made it illegal.  You say that you would never want to “impose my feelings or morals about these matters on anybody else”.  But you do.  You also say you are “totally on the side of women on this matter.”  So you’re saying you won’t take sides, but you are on the side of women.”

Our society right here in the US says it’s all right to kill…not murder. Distinction?  I agree with you that mankind has a hard time agreeing on anything, but we have had some success in the past at this and there is the UN statement on human rights which is a step in the right direction, however futile it appears now.

The thing is that people live together and decide that there are certain ways to conduct themselfs when in this societal milieu, and most people follow the rules.  When there are disruptive forces afoot then we tend to make laws to punish the wrong-doers who step out of line.  When families are involved we are much more controlling of social misfits. All societies will make laws against murder and thievery and the more common misdeeds naturally. In smaller social groups the laws tend to be unwritten but known by all, in larger groups they get written down and advertised …think of the code of Hammurabi in Babylon.

The point is that as groups of people get together they tend to set guidelines for behavior, which is simply a way of living peacefully and without fear.  The God of Moses seems to go way overboard when Gods laws include how to treat women when they’re menstruating and what to eat and how to prepare it, and many other weird commandments or laws that Deuteronomy puts forth.  I really feel that this is not God’s thinking.

Men have been able to visualize “perfect societies forever…they did not, and do not, need a god to instruct them in what’s good for them; that information has been floating around forever and is self evident.  By the way most Biblical scholars believe that Moses did not write the Pentateuch. It was written anonymously in the late 7th. Century with later additions after the fall of Judah in 586 BC

You write:
“…You say you’re against abortion, but not enough that you would actually agree with a law that made it illegal.  You say that you would never want to “impose my feelings or morals about these matters on anybody else”.  But you do.  You also say you are “totally on the side of women on this matter.”  So you’re saying you won’t take sides, but you are on the side of women.”

I admitted that although I did not like the idea of abortion, I believed that there are exceptions to this, as there is to most things in life.  To me the mother’s life takes precedence and if there’s a problem in this regard…the baby is sacrificed. Rape or incest is arguably the worst thing that can happen to a woman or girl-child, and making a woman/child carry a baby under these circumstances amounts to pure evil. These are decisions to be made by the women alone…not some church or government official. I would not vote or champion a cause to take away this right of women.

I would not impose my feelings or morals on someone, that’s not the same as talking about these things. Impose has the connotation of forcing ones viewpoint on someone…forcibly making a person do or not do whatever evil it is you are selling.  I don’t believe I said I would not take sides. I will not force (by legislation or other means) my position on others.

By the way I would welcome your input on the thought of abortion and how it has slowed population growth in the US, thereby, in some ways, helping our quality of living by alleviating some eco-concerns. Think of how bad smog and water quality (or availability) and crowding and scarceness of resources, etc. would be if we had an additional 100 to 150 million people living in our country right now.

You write:
“Have you ever watched the movie Bruce Almighty?  Funny, but it made a good point or two.  For one, when Bruce had the ability to be god, he didn’t do too well at it.  He tried to just grant every prayer request, but it went completely amuck.  For another, when he couldn’t make his girl love him without taking away her free will, God (played by Morgan Freeman) said ‘Welcome to my world, son.  If you figure that one out, you let me know….'”

I never saw the complete movie, but am familiar enough with it to understand what you are saying.  I wrote a post awhile back about the matter of free-will, I’ll have to find it and give you the Biblical references, but the gist of it is that the Bible says in many places we have free-will and many places it says we don’t  have free-will.  I still haven’t figured this out.

If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; … Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.— Deuteronomy, Chapter 17:2-3,5

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The Book of Genesis is a Fraud

The Book of Genesis is a Fraud

The further I investigate the Christian religion and survey the timelines and civilizations that were flourishing around the Levant and Mesopotamian areas, in the supposed time of Adam and Eve, the more I realize that the creationist people at ‘Answers in Genesis’ (AiG) are right in their most loudly proclaimed message.  The whole truth or lie of the Bible and the Christian religion is depended on that single chapter of Genesis. The information given in this seminal work of Christianity absolutely has to be true or the whole house of cards falls apart.

AiG and their brethren, the hundreds of evangelical fundamentalist sects out there, have to have this key grounding to their beliefs or the whole theological mess makes no sense.

The earth and the universe have to be only 6,000 to 10,000 years old; otherwise their Noah’s Flood and ‘Flood Geology’ story falls apart because it is dependent on the figuring of generations since Adam.  The Tower of Babel explanation is connected to the timing of the spread of language and the 6 procreating passengers of the Ark. The story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden play the most important part of all.

All of these stories intertwine and depend on each other to shore up the modern day exegesis of the Christian faith as expressed by evangelical fundamentalism.  The drama that is to follow Genesis has to have the elements of this first chapter in it to make sense, for Jesus mentions both Adam and Eve and Noah in the New Testament scriptures.

Matthew 24:37-39: (Jesus speaking) “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

Matthew 10:4: (Jesus Speaking) “And he said unto them, ‘Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female?”

It needs to be mentioned that of course Jesus had the Hebrew ‘Bible’ (Tanakh) to read in his time on earth, as all the old stories, including Genesis, had been recorded and saved by Hebrew scribes around 500 to 600 BC, probably during or just after the exile. So if Jesus were not the Son of God or God Himself (that Trinity myth gets me so confused) and have firsthand knowledge of these happenings, at least He would know the story and know it was part of His heritage

After the flood subsided and the sons and daughters-in-law of Noah (Noah had no other children according to the Bible) spread over the earth they of course were to multiply and subdue the earth again, and they all spoke one language, as they came from the same land and family.  This ties the Tower of Babel story inextricably to the Noachian Flood.  If a normal person were to hear or read the stories of Genesis (and who hasn’t?) and our beginnings without applying any basic reasoning skills or knowledge of what’s going on in the world now, I think the normal response is to believe they are reporting actual historical happenings.

These stories in Genesis and the other Biblical writings of the Hebrews of the Old Testament and the later scribbling of Paul and other writers of the New Testament have been pushed upon the Western world as an absolutely-totally-accurate description of how our world and humanity began.  Well they have to do this because we’re talking about ‘The God of Everything’ and it’s not possible that He could be wrong, if He is found to be wrong then He has no real authority or potency…in fact He would not be a God.

For two thousand years they have pretty much got away with it.  In the Dark Ages after the downfall of Rome and in the Middle Ages up till around the 1800’s there was little-to-no resistance to the Christian world-view and in fact you could get into serious trouble by actually speaking out about and denying the truth of God, Jehovah, Yahweh and Jesus. Actually, in some places you could get into serious trouble up into the 1900’s for sins against God.

The church and its leaders were quick to protect their turf and muzzle any dissent or opposition to their perceived “Truth.” It is factual recorded history that many many thousands, maybe millions of human were killed in the establishing and early continuation of Christianity.  Many Popes and early leaders of the ‘Mother Church’ were totally depraved and preyed on their flocks, much wealth was stolen and put into church vaults and Cathedrals and buildings and to supporting extravagant lifestyles of the elite.  All in all, the rise of the Christian faith has been a bloody non-Godly event in our human history.

Now, the Christian faith and its sourcebook, the Bible, is facing increasing pressure to prove itself to be a religion of truth or actual relevance as more and more evidence of our earth’s history and the history of mans beginnings is coming into focus. When this Bible was written I doubt there was much thought given to us humans eventually being able to figure out what actually-really happened in our past.  The Hebrews were writing in a time of mythical constructs and beliefs, they had already been through a number of gods before and none of them proved to be strong enough or able to bring the people together. A synthesis was needed.  The Egyptians and Sumerians were next door so to speak and they had pretty well developed theories of godship…Hmmm.

There are many methods to date old artifact, and dating only as far back as 4,000 or 5,000 BC is totally easy and totally doable by a plethora of dating methods that can be easily cross referenced, and for a lot of the times, there are written records.  Egypt and the Mesopotamian area of this planet are arguably the most studied, measured, and scrutinized places on earth. Archaeology has been going on in the Holy Land and surrounds forever, it seems. Scholarly men and women have been digging up and analyzing every sign of ancient habitation for over 200 years there.  We have a tremendous store of factual data on the real history and goings on in this area of the earth.

The Bible says that the earth was created in 6 days and that Adam and Eve were created on the last day…or maybe the first day…depends on your interpretation.  The religious right says this was 6,000 years ago, plus or minus a few years

It is an easily checked fact that Egypt in the Nile valley and Sumeria in Mesopotamia were functioning city states/civilizations at this time.  A little harder to find, but the facts are out there, is that the Indus Valley Civilization in parts of what is modern day Pakistan and India and the Chinese civilization in Asia were flourishing at the Biblical time in which God was supposedly creating the earth, our solar system, the whole universe, and Adam and Eve. You have to wonder what these people were thinking… 🙂

The Sumerian civilization lasted from the first settlement in Eridu in the Ubaid period in the late 6th. millennium BC through the Uruk period in the 4th. millennium BC and the Dynastic period of the 3rd. millennium BC until the rise of Babylon in the early 2nd. millennium BC.  These dates are not disputed by archaeologists who work in the field, and are fully supported by many different methods of dating…in short, these are facts.  The Sumerians already had a pantheon of gods as evidenced by their artifacts and ruins, but that did not include Jehovah or Yahweh.  The plains of Shinar and the Tigris and Euphrates fall into this real estate, and some say the Garden of Eden was in this area.  So why didn’t the Sumerians know of our God?   (Hint: he wasn’t invented yet)

In Egypt, by about 5500 BC, small tribes that were living in the Nile valley developed into a series of unique cultures that demonstrated a firm understanding and control of agriculture and animal husbandry. They can be identified by their unique pottery and personal items they produced, such as combs, bracelets, and beads. The largest of these early cultures in Upper Egypt, the Badari, was known for its high quality ceramics, stone tools, and its use of copper.

In southern Egypt, the Naqada culture, similar to the Badari, began to expand along the Nile by about 4000 BC. Over a period of about 1000 years, the Naqada culture developed from a few small farming communities into a powerful civilization whose leaders were in complete control of the people and resources of the Nile valley.  By 3100 BC Upper and Lower Egypt were unified under Narmer and he became the first king or pharaoh of the First Dynasty.  For nearly 3,000 +- years after this event Egypt was the center of civilization

Again, as in Mesopotamian ages, the Egyptian ages are easily found and cross checkable by different methods and held to be true by working archaeologists and other scientists all over the world.  These ages are known facts as opposed to the myths written by a tribe of wandering Hebrew sheep/goat herders.

So what do you think the reaction of the average ancient Egyptians would be to God/Yahweh/Jehovah moving to and fro across the earth while they were trying to farm it and build monuments and such? Those Egyptians were around then, of that there is no doubt at all.  What were the Sumerians thinking as this God/Jehovah/Yahweh was flying around setting up the Garden and making the “first” humans in the middle of their farm fields and interfering with their building of the first true cities.

Something seems to be incompatible and out of place here.  The actual-real-physical evidence says there was no “Garden of Eden” here and that humans had been around for many thousands of years before.

So there was no actual-real-physical creation of Adam and Eve anywhere near 4,000 BC in or around the Middle Eastern area. If in fact there is a God who created the first Humans he did not make them there, and he did not make them in or about 4,000 BC…and we can prove it.  Christians have a book written by a tribe of sheep/goat herders that has many-many errors of dating and impossible goings on.  This book has no more reality attached to it than the works of Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, or any other religion. It has no more claim to be true than any other.  Actually less if you factor in how much scholarship has been expended on it and come up with no factual proofs of its beginnings

What happens if the story of Adam and Eve is proven wrong? Do we just say ho-hum and go about our business, but still believe in Christianity, still believe in the divinity of Jesus? Do we still believe in Angels and magic?

What do we do with the story of Jesus?  If Adam and Eve are not true…they weren’t created in a garden somewhere in Northern Africa or around Mesopotamia about 6,000 years ago, and all the real evidence points to this; what do we do with Jesus?  There is no need for him to redeem original sin that never happened, in fact we can break free of this 6,000 lb. elephant that we have carrying around on our back since Paul invented this lie.  To carry this even further, we can break out of this creepy drama that God supposedly set up for his creations to go through and maybe set up a rational version of SkyGod worship.  🙂

The circumstantial evidence is overwhelming that the creation of Adam and Eve is not a real historical event and that the Bible timeline in relation to the beginnings of humanity and the earth is just wrong in ALL ways…it is all made up by our human ancestors…there is no truth there.

As for the other crap that the people at ‘Answers in Genesis’  believe such as; Ice Age after the flood, Neanderthals being offspring of one of Noah’s sons and living after the flood, etc,….well, I won’t even go there…yet

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God and Religion are Lies

“…atheism is not a conscious act of turning away from all gods. It is simply the final destination for those who think. …you will be pleased to discover that the sky does not fall down on your head. … if you still want to pray, you can (the success rate of your prayers is unlikely to change).” Guy P. Harrison

After going over all of this God and religion stuff for nearly two years now and not really finding any new facts (except for occasional new science coming up…that all supports, so far, the ‘No God’ theory that I hold) I have boiled it all down to this….

The fact that Adam and Eve did not exist (among other things that are known to be untrue in the Bible), completely unhinges the Christian religion. For, if there was no Adam and Eve, the whole Christian scheme of redemption falls completely apart. There is no need of Jesus…as there was no original sin. The God story keeps falling apart upon close modern examination.

Year after year the science gets better, and it invariably proves something else is not true in the Bible.

It can be proven, by many paths, that the Flood, the Tower of Babel, Adam and Eve, and the Exodus are not historical happenings. A real God would not write this untrue stuff…but men would.

Christians can deny this all they want and it will not change the facts. The evidence keeps getting stronger, not weaker.

…” I deny the existence of all Gods: those of the Mayans, the Hindu, the Ancient Egyptians, and the God of the Old and New Testaments. If I am right, all of these are fictional constructs invented by clever humans for … a variety of purposes, ranging from psychological comfort to entertainment.” Doug Jesseph

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