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John Byrne
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Grumpy Old Guy

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Posted: 19 September 2023 at 1:00pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

God creates, in Genesis chapter two, a perfect couple who are without knowledge of good and evil. Then he sets them up for The Fall (not in Genesis chapter one) so that they can “redeem” themselves.

Lewis Black is right. God is a prick.

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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 19 September 2023 at 4:25pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Adam and Eve might be just the first two Hebrew people. There may've been other kinds of people around before that (who would their two sons have ever married) but these were going to be the special chosen tribe starters, and maybe the being messed with by The Lord ensured that somehow? They must've gone on to teach the rest of us how to be ashamed and guilt ridden and all those other things.

And then there's this Lilith, the original devil woman, but I just know I like Sarah McLachlan music well enough if not the erstwhile associate of Dr. Frasier Crane.

If there weren't a 'Holy Bible' would Superman be the same, or other super characters that have followed? They say Supes' baby rocket is like Moses in the basket floating down river.
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Evan S. Kurtz
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Posted: 19 September 2023 at 11:18pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I’ve long been taught that the Bible is not meant to be taken literally, though, particularly in evangelical Protestantism, since at least the end of the 19th century, folks often have been taught to do exactly that. I find it equally baffling when Christians insist that it be taken literally as when atheists do. “If you believe in God, surely you must believe in this.” Isn’t that basically Sophism, at its core? If your intent is to convince people the errors of their ways, shouldn’t you focus on their actual ways, rather than their presumed ones? 

It’s particularly ironic to me, when you look at modern Catholicism. The church that once persecuted Copernicus and Galileo now advocate for science and embrace the evidence supporting evolution, albeit from a creationist angle, and, as an institution, do not teach a literal interpretation of the Bible. Which isn’t to say they aren’t still backwards AF. 

BTW - I suspect that if folks respond to this, there will be assumptions about what I believe. I am not an atheist. I do not believe that Christianity, or Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, or any organized religion is “right.” I guess I’d fall under the “more things in heaven and earth” camp, though I’ve always been particularly intrigued by Buddhism. But it’s also pretty easy for me to argue things from a “Christian” perspective, since I grew up in a Christian household, and it just feels to me that trying to dismantle that religion using assumptions about God and the Bible misses the mark, considering that the earliest stories within were first told sometime around half of 1% of humankind’s existence on this planet ago. Same for all the other faiths. 

Religion is just how we express belief in something truly beyond our ability to comprehend, by choosing to place that belief into something we rationally know cannot be true. The problem, as always, is when people are so insecure in their beliefs that they externalize their doubt, villainize those who believe differently, and convince themselves that their doubts will magically go away if only they “convince,” often by force, the “heretics” and “skeptics.” But obviously that’s just my opinion.

Sources:



Edited to fix a typo



Edited by Evan S. Kurtz on 19 September 2023 at 11:25pm
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 20 September 2023 at 4:34pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

As we've seen with politics there can be a lot of smoke without any actual fire, or just a tiny one, which sort of does in my old idea that there must be something since all these people over the centuries all over the planet believed in God(s). Not too sure on that one now. Did all Aztecs or Minoans go happily under the knife to 'please' invisible powers? Maybe our* planet is just under galactic quarantine because we have some virus that effects the brain? And ever now and then a saucer comes to collect a specimen to see if we're still nuts and contagious and to maintain the quarantine apparatus.

I'm sure I'd be stoned to death by some orthodoxies and cultures, even today. I do know good 'religious' people and believers... that would keep me from hating any general group, and I sure don't think I'm better than them. It probably serves a positive purpose for many and I will continue to respect that as well as keeping the door open at least a crack.

* - typo fixed also... I type 'out' for 'our' fairly often. See Avengers #181 (just because it's cool).

Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 20 September 2023 at 4:37pm
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Evan S. Kurtz
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Posted: 20 September 2023 at 9:31pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I feel like people scapegoat religion quite frequently for the monstrous behaviour of others. Sure, by the numbers, most butchers and mass murderers were part of one religion or another, because the vast majority of all humans who have ever lived were part of one religion or another. But in the absence of religion, we've still seen that kind of destructive behaviour. It's human nature - in the absence of glorifying an invisible deity, we just glorify our sacred living leaders instead, and do whatever evil they ask us to commit. 

I've long believed it was a product of evolution - we as a species have evolved under the evidence that there's safety in numbers, and so we tend to congregate and look toward one leader to tell us what to do. We also are hardwired to mistrust "the Other," which can be anything from someone who just looks "weird," or has a different skin colour, or comes from a different country, or even just a different part of our home city, or, yes, has a different religion from us. 

But we as a species are also only really capable of having actual relationships with, what, 100, 200 people at the most? Our evolution hasn't kept up with the speed of human advancement, where a person can now be adored by millions, or even billions in some cases. I think that's partly why people who become impossibly famous tend to go a little haywire and do destructive things, and in cases of so-called "ultimate" or uncontested power, we end up with death squads and mass graves, especially when faced with that dreaded threat of "the other." 

I feel like anyone who claims that behaviour would change if religion was gone is deliberately ignoring natural human behaviour, not to mention human history. We'd still do it all, just for different reasons. That's the real problem we face, and there's no simple solution to that one. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 20 September 2023 at 11:35pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I feel like people scapegoat religion quite frequently for the monstrous behaviour of others.

•••

Scapegoat? Seriously?

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Evan S. Kurtz
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Posted: 21 September 2023 at 4:09am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Absolutely seriously. People don’t need religion to act like monsters. If there was no religion, people would still act like people - and, unfortunately, some powerful people are always going to be incredibly monstrous. There are examples of that in the world today.
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 21 September 2023 at 5:17am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

That is very true.
But organised religion has certainly provided the backdrop for many
horrendous crimes on scales undreamed of by most criminals
Be that mental, physical, war, sexual (both physical and discriminatory),
against mothers/children, race … the list could go on.
What makes it worse is that the religious institutions then provide a closed
support/defence for those who perpetrated such crimes.

I’m a practising Christian, whose wife is a church pastor, & even I think that
statement is disingenuous @ best, ridiculous & offensive @ worst.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 21 September 2023 at 9:11am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Two different unrelated points here. Yes, non-religious people can act horribly and/or people can act horribly without religious motive. However, that does not mean "people scapegoat religion quite frequently for the monstrous behavior of others." Quite frequently? What are the examples of those who directly engaged in demonstrably "monstrous" acts but without any religious motive that people deliberately erroneously condemn as religiously based such that doing so would merely be scapegoating? 
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John Byrne
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Grumpy Old Guy

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Posted: 22 September 2023 at 5:03pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

…wife is a church pastor…

•••

Biting my tongue….

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John Byrne
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Grumpy Old Guy

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Posted: 22 September 2023 at 5:06pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I’ve long been taught that the Bible is not meant to be taken literally…

•••

Not so very long ago that would have gotten you burned at the stake.

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James Woodcock
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Posted: 23 September 2023 at 12:20am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Biting my tongue
—————-
I know, I know.
Trust me, you couldn’t say anything worse than has already been said to
her.
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