Sodom and Gomorrah
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19-05-2012, 12:34 PM
RE: Sodom and Gomorrah
(17-05-2012 04:19 PM)ThePolymath Wrote:  Is there any historicity to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah? Is there any archeological evidence?

Absolutely none

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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19-05-2012, 01:12 PM
RE: Sodom and Gomorrah
As with many things in the Bible verification is problematic at best. I do not believe there is any archaeological evidence to back up this part either.

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
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19-05-2012, 02:33 PM
RE: Sodom and Gomorrah
Just like all the Bible story's. It's mythology at best or down right fabrications. Plagiarized from other myths rapped up in a book for mystical reasoning. It's garbage!!

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a
free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their
political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their
own purpose. ~ Thomas Jefferson
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19-05-2012, 02:38 PM
RE: Sodom and Gomorrah
It really isn't "garbage". How is a myth about being hospitable to strangers "garbage" ?

What's "garbage" is the way some have misused it.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein (That's a JOKE, ya idiot)
"And you quit footing the bill for these nations that are oil rich - we're paying for some of their *squirmishes* that have been going on for centuries" - Sarah Palin
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19-05-2012, 02:54 PM
RE: Sodom and Gomorrah
You don't need a religion to be moral. It's total garbage. It has caused more death and killing than any other book in history.

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a
free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their
political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their
own purpose. ~ Thomas Jefferson
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19-05-2012, 03:07 PM (This post was last modified: 19-05-2012 03:31 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Sodom and Gomorrah
(19-05-2012 02:54 PM)N.E.OhioAtheist Wrote:  You don't need a religion to be moral. It's total garbage. It has caused more death and killing than any other book in history.


That morality arises from religion is not the question here. Irrelevant.
Understanding how and why the book got put on the shelf is not. No need to fear the book.
Books don't jump off the shelf and kill people.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein (That's a JOKE, ya idiot)
"And you quit footing the bill for these nations that are oil rich - we're paying for some of their *squirmishes* that have been going on for centuries" - Sarah Palin
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19-05-2012, 03:35 PM
RE: Sodom and Gomorrah
(19-05-2012 03:07 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(19-05-2012 02:54 PM)N.E.OhioAtheist Wrote:  You don't need a religion to be moral. It's total garbage. It has caused more death and killing than any other book in history.


That morality arises from religion is not the question here. Irrelevant.
Books don't jump off the shelf and kill people.
No just the assholes that read them and take the Bullshit literal. Then you have say the Spanish inquisition or some of the other great crusades by the church. Need I go on and on and on. The so called people of God have used the Bible as a reason to kill the so called pagans for 2000 years now. A off shoot from that shitty book and logic came puritanism what the extreme right wing is now. So you keep that fable and myth to yourself. It's filled with stupid logic and hate. How anyone can defend that book of shit is beyond me. It defends slavery,killing, genocide, the list goes on. The old testament is ripe with stupidity, the new is just as bad.

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a
free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their
political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their
own purpose. ~ Thomas Jefferson
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19-05-2012, 04:06 PM
RE: Sodom and Gomorrah
Understanding and study are not "defending". If I choose to meet them on their own ground, that's my choice. If I need any advice about what to read I'll be sure and ask.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein (That's a JOKE, ya idiot)
"And you quit footing the bill for these nations that are oil rich - we're paying for some of their *squirmishes* that have been going on for centuries" - Sarah Palin
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19-05-2012, 04:12 PM (This post was last modified: 22-07-2013 01:09 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Sodom and Gomorrah
Homosexuality as an "orientation" was unknown in the history of human ideas until the late Nineteenth Century.
There was no, (supposed), "lifestyle" until the Twentieth Century. The idea of "orientation" arose when Psychology began to develop as a science. All men were assumed to be straight, and only straight, all women straight, and only straight.
There was also no notion of a continuum of sexual behaviors, (bisexuality), as science recognizes today.
Any "different" behavior was seen as "deviancy" from an absolute inherent norm, which the person was assumed to inherently possess, completely by virtue of birth gender.

In Ancient Israel class and status distinctions were extremely important.

The injunction in Biblical times, (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13), was against (assumed), STRAIGHT men, (and only men), (as they ALL were assumed to be straight), engaging in same-sex behaviors. (There is a mistaken use of the Sodom and Gomorrah myth in this context also, which is misguided, and I'll deal with that last).

Why ?
It had to do with class structure, and male status. A male, who held the highest position in society, and held the highest class status, was seen to be "feminized" by penetration, and designated as a social inferior, (female), by a male of lower class status, and thus his status was lowered, to that of a woman.
THAT is the reason the culture forbade it. It had NOTHING to do with sex. It was status, and only status. This concept remains very much, (subliminally and overtly), in place today. This law code, in Leviticus, (the latest law code to be written), is the ONLY place this appears in the Old Testament. The author of Leviticus was very interested in the "equality of all" before God. It was that author's agenda. He also said strangers, and others from outside Israel were all to be treated with equal rights and dignity, which was a departure, from other texts and codes. It is ironic, indeed, this equality has been turned on it's head, to treat gay people, less equality. The author of Leviticus WANTED all people treated equally, and that is why he wrote the injunction into the text, in the first place, to PREVENT inequality. The ideal society for this author was classless, and that could not happen if a male penetrates a male, and makes him thereby, a lower class. It's about class, not sex.

This cultural origin was true in the Old Testament culture, as well as the New. That is the reason it ended up in the Bible, and the ONLY reason it was there.

The law in the Old Testament : "You shall not lay a male as with the laying of a woman, it is an offensive thing". (note: the correct translation is NOT, "it is an abomination"). (The word "toi-va" is used, and in archaic Hebrew, EVERYWHERE else is translated, "an offensive thing").

Why is this important ? Because there are levels of "offensive things", and levels of meanings of "offensive things".

There were a number of levels of offensive things in the Old Testament.

#1. was something which was offensive to God, and this was the worst.
#2. was something which was offensive to other peoples and cultures, (for example the same word is used with reference to some foods being "offensive" to other cultures, (as hagas might be to Americans), or for example the Egyptians didn't eat, with non-Egyptians, as that was "offensive", or in today's language, "bad manners".
#3. was something which was just generally "offensive", with no further relational attribution.

So it can be "offensive" to some people, but not everyone, and is relative to the situation, or to god, or just in general.

The injunction against male same sex behavior is the third kind of offensive. It's not related to either God or anything, or anyone else.
(There are other verses around it that are stated to be offensive to God, but not this one).
So in this text, it is offensive to the authors of the text, and that specific culture, (only).

Same-sex behaviors (upper class man penetrated by same class or lower class men), was forbidden, for class reasons.
Equal class men, doing non-penetrating activity, or women together was not forbidden.
( Woman with woman, in general, was not addressed, and the class issue was not important.)

So what does this tell us ?
It tells us the laws were written into the Bible by HUMANS, for human culturally relative, and internally referenced reasons.
The laws in the Bible REFLECTED their OWN culture, of the times, and did not "inform" the culture.
The direction of information flow is crucial. Every Biblical scholar knows this. The Bible was informed by the culture, NOT the other way around.
There are no "ultimate" claims possible from culturally relative, historically rooted, human local customs.

The other main text used to justify the fundamentalist nonsense about homosexuality, is the Sodom and Gomorrah myth in Genesis.

Hospitality of Abraham : In Genesis 18, there is a myth about the hospitality of Abraham, (he welcomes two strangers, who turn out to be angels), as that was an important cultural value, in a society where a wandering desert dweller could get lost, and die.

The myth is followed closely by it's counter example of in-hospitality in the Lot myth, (Sodom and Gomorrah). It is not about sex. It's a counter example to the hospitality story, of in-hospitality. The context is important.

The great irony is that some religious fundies use the Bible to keep gay people away from their "table", and feasts, using the very texts that the Bible intended to teach hospitality, to do the opposite.

ref : Drs. Shawna Dolansky, and Richard Elliott Friedman, "The Bible Now", and "Who Wrote the Bible"

It would really help if religionists got their facts straight, and learned about their fucking Bible.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein (That's a JOKE, ya idiot)
"And you quit footing the bill for these nations that are oil rich - we're paying for some of their *squirmishes* that have been going on for centuries" - Sarah Palin
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