Ten Plagues and Moses

“And if anyone can show me one example in the history of the world of a single spiritual person who has been able to show either empirically or logically the existence of a higher power with any consciousness or interest in the human race or ability to punish or reward humans for their moral choices or that there is any reason other than fear to believe in any version of an afterlife, I will give you my piano, one of my legs, and my wife.”  Tim Minchin

God: Moses…
Moses: ……
God: Moses…
Moses: Eh, what?
God: Moses I have been thinking about the plight of the Jews in Egypt.
Moses: Really…You have…after only 400 years, you’re thinking of us?
God: [pause]  has it been that long?
Moses: Yes, but it’s alright Boss…good…thank you.
God: I will take your people out of bondage after 10 very terrible and nasty plagues.
Moses: [pause] ten…plagues?
God: Is that a problem?
Moses: Well, it’s just that 10 is a lot of plagues.  Couldn’t you do it in maybe one or two?
God: I don’t think so; for you see, I will harden Pharaoh’s heart against me.
Moses: Wait a minute…you are going to stop Pharaoh from setting us free from slavery?
God: Yes.
Moses: So…so you can bring more terrifying plagues upon the people?
God: Yes…Hmm, I’m thinking maybe something with first-born also.
Moses: Do you see nothing wrong with this plan God?
God: [pause] No…why?
Moses: Is there like maybe a supervisor up there I could talk too?
.
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Was Moses a Real Person

A few wandering families — poor, wretched, without education, art or power; descendants of those who had been enslaved for four hundred years; ignorant as the inhabitants of Central Africa, had just escaped from their masters to the desert of Sinai.

Their leader was Moses, a man who had been raised in the family of Pharaoh and had been taught the law and mythology of Egypt. For the purpose of controlling his followers he pretended that he was instructed and assisted by Jehovah, the God of these wanderers.

Everything that happened was attributed to the interference of this God. Moses declared that he met this God face to face; that on Sinai’s top from the hands of this God he had received the tables of stone on which, by the finger of this God, the Ten Commandments had been written, and that, in addition to this, Jehovah had made known the sacrifices and ceremonies that were pleasing to him and the laws by which the people should be governed.

In this way the Jewish religion and the Mosaic Code were established.

It is now claimed that this religion and these laws were and are revealed and established for all mankind.

At that time these wanderers had no commerce with other nations, they had no written language, they could neither read nor write. They had no means by which they could make this revelation known to other nations, and so it remained buried in the jargon of a few ignorant, impoverished and unknown tribes for more than two thousand years.

Many centuries after Moses, the leader, was dead — many centuries after all his followers had passed away — the Pentateuch was written, the work of many writers, and to give it force and authority it was claimed that Moses was the author.

We now know that the Pentateuch was not written by Moses.

Towns are mentioned that were not in existence when Moses lived.

Money, not coined until centuries after his death, is mentioned.

So, many of the laws were not applicable to wanderers on the desert — laws about agriculture, about the sacrifice of oxen, sheep and doves, about the weaving of cloth, about ornaments of gold and silver, about the cultivation of land, about harvest, about the threshing of grain, about houses and temples, about cities of refuge, and about many other subjects of no possible application to a few starving wanderers over the sands and rocks.

It is now not only admitted by intelligent and honest theologians that Moses was not the author of the Pentateuch, but they all admit that no one knows who the authors were, or who wrote any one of these books, or a chapter or a line. We know that the books were not written in the same generation; that they were not all written by one person; that they are filled with mistakes and contradictions.

It is also admitted that Joshua did not write the book that bears his name, because it refers to events that did not happen until long after his death.

No one knows, or pretends to know, the author of Judges; all we know is that it was written centuries after all the judges had ceased to exist. No one knows the author of Ruth, nor of First and Second Samuel; all we know is that Samuel did not write the books that bear his name. In the 25th chapter of First Samuel is an account of the raising of Samuel by the Witch of Endor.

No one knows the author of First and Second Kings or First and Second Chronicles; all we know is that these books are of no value.

We know that the Psalms were not written by David. In the Psalms the Captivity is spoken of, and that did not happen until about five hundred years after David slept with his fathers.

We know that Solomon did not write the Proverbs or the Song; that Isaiah was not the author of the book that bears his name; that no one knows the author of Job, Ecclesiastes, or Esther, or of any book in the Old Testament, with the exception of Ezra.

We know that God is not mentioned or in any way referred to in the book of Esther. We know, too, that the book is cruel, absurd and impossible.

God is not mentioned in the Song of Solomon, the best book in the Old Testament.

And we know that Ecclesiastes was written by an unbeliever.

We know, too, that the Jews themselves had not decided as to what books were inspired — were authentic — until the second century after Christ.

We know that the idea of inspiration was of slow growth, and that the inspiration was determined by those who had certain ends to accomplish.

This was written in 1894 by Robert Ingersall in his book “About the Holy Bible

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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O Lord Our God, Help Us Tear Their Soldiers To Bloody Shreds

Quote of the day

“O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it…” The War Prayer—Mark Twain

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We Shall Abolish The Orgasm

Quote of the day

“We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent there will be no need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always—do not forget this Winston—always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”  George Orwell


No orgasms, no loyalty, no love, no laughter, no art, no literature, no science.  Sounds like a religious nut jobs wet-dream. Pat Robertson and crew would be behind this 100%.  Pat of course is a Dominionist (Sarah Palin is one also I hear), whose goal is either a nation governed by conservative Christians, or a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of Biblical law…primarily the Old Testaments first 5 chapters—the Pentateuch.

“In his 1992 study of Dominion Theology and its influence on the Christian Right, Bruce Barron PhD, writes,

“In the context of American evangelical efforts to penetrate and transform public life, the distinguishing mark of a dominionist is a commitment to defining and carrying out an approach to building society that is self-consciously defined as exclusively Christian, and dependent specifically on the work of Christians, rather than based on a broader consensus.

According to sociologist Sara Diamond, the defining concept of dominionism is “that Christians alone are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns”. In 1989, Diamond declared that this concept “has become the central unifying ideology for the Christian Right.”  In 1995, she called it “prevalent on the Christian Right”. Journalist Chip Berlet added in 1998 that, although they represent different theological and political ideas, dominionists assert a Christian duty to take “control of a sinful secular society.”
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominionism

They got their wish in 2000 (as they predicted) in electing ol’ GWB.  Of course there is still that controversy over his actually being “voted” in.  From that point the religious right had control of the Republican Party.  Its members are overwhelmingly evangelical fundamentalists.  The “teabagger movement” (who are totally controlled by outsiders) is really pissed that a black-man, who they deem an Islamic Fifth Columnist,  has control of “their America”…and he was actually “voted” in…How dare those lefty liberals.

The 2012 election cycle is going to be pretty exciting.  Keep an eye out for all those Republicans who might enter the primaries.  Really scary religious fundamentalists are waiting for their chance to take over.

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Is There a Heaven

Quote of the Day

“Heaven is constantly shifting shape because it is a history of subconscious human longings. Show me your heaven, and I’ll show you what’s lacking in your life. The desert-dwellers who wrote the Bible and the Koran lived in thirst – so their heavens were forever running with rivers and fountains and springs. African-American slaves believed they were headed for a heaven where “the first would be last, and the last would be first” – so they would be the free men dominating white slaves. Today’s Islamist suicide-bombers live in a society starved of sex, so their heaven is a 72-virgin gang-bang…”  Lisa Miller,  Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination With the Afterlife

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God bless atheism Pat Condell

True Nature of Heavenly Causes

Quote of the Day:
“Philosopher Paul Churchland points out that throughout history people have expressed doubt that science will ever be able to explain some phenomena. The first-century astronomer Ptolemy (c. 85–165), the greatest astronomer of his age, said science would never be able to capture the true nature of heavenly causes because they were inaccessible. He didn’t have Newton’s inspiration that the laws of physics are universal, meaning they apply both on Earth and in the heavens. The nineteenth-century philosopher Comte (d. 1857) similarly argued that we could never know the physical constitution of stars. He didn’t know about atomic spectra. As late as the 1950s, most people were still expressing doubt that life could be explained purely materialistically and believed instead that some life force was needed. With the 1953 discovery of the structure of DNA and the great success of the theory of evolution by natural selection, science saw no need for, and indeed no evidence for, a special force of life.”

By Victor J. Stenger, Mr. Stenger is emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Hawaii and Visiting Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Colorado. On the Skeptical Inquirer here:
http://www.csicop.org/sb/show/thoughts_and_matter/

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