Tower of Babel (not really that impressive)
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13-11-2013, 11:11 AM (This post was last modified: 13-11-2013 11:19 AM by Raptor Jesus.)
Tower of Babel (not really that impressive)
I know this well not be very ground breaking, but every once in awhile I’ll recall some thought I had as a child when I was trying to understand the bible from the perspective of a believer, put on my “God” glasses as apologists would put it. I remember getting to the Tower of Babel story, and it really simply making no sense to me.

I know this is one of those super easy arguments to make, like pointing out that snakes can’t talk, but people still chose to believe it anyway, so I don’t think I’m breaking new ground here. But I do find it odd, that this story is not pointed to more for its blatant erroneosity (probably just made up a word, but it fits).

As I recall the story, it goes basically like this: all men (post flood) lived in one place and spoke one language, and decided to build tower tall enough to reach heaven, so that they could make a name for themselves. (which is odd because they are the only ones, so they are making a name for themselves for themselves?). They were apparently making good progress as “God” felt threatened, that if he allowed men to continue to work together, man would be able to accomplish anything (apparently that is bad). So “God” knocked over the tower, and changed all their languages so they could never again work together, and caused division between mankind.

As a kid, I remember the first thing I thought was, there is no way their baked brick tower approached anywhere near the height of our modern day steel sky scrapers. If that brick tower was close to heaven, then surly the New York sky line is looking down on it. Plus, that is an idea of heaven being a literal, physical place, in the sky. We have planes now, clearly it's not there. I know these are easy critiques to make, but that's the point, they are easy critiques to make.

Plus where were those people’s “free will” when “God” intervened and literally changed the way their brains worked in order to change their language? Also, we can clearly still speak to people who speak different languages. And why was “God” trying to create strife and discord amongst people? Simply because they built a short little tower? What was “God” so insecure about? Man was building a tiny tower, by today’s standers, but “God” could create the whole of the cosmos, so what is “he” feeling so threatened by? This story gave me a very odd perspective of "God", not the most enlightened being in the universe as I was let to believe "him" to be.

There are Christians that will tell you I missed the point of the story. It’s about hubris, like kid Icarus flying too close to the sun. But either they mean it literally about hubris, or metaphorically. If they mean it metaphorically, that of course brings up the old, “how do you determine when it’s metaphorical and when it is literal” argument, but then it has no more importance as a story than Aesop’s fables. If literal, my point still stands, what is “God” so insecure and threatened about. It’s like me seeing an ant hill outside and getting mad that they will one day make a house as big as mine, except worse than that, because based on the enormity of the universe, the ant hill to house scale is way off. Plus, at what point did “God” just decide, “Fuck it…build your damned towers if you want. I’ll leave them alone and simply move heaven to outer space where you can’t reach it". And then when we made it to space, instead of “God” batting us down, he just got out of the way. What is more hubris, building a tallish tower, or landing on the moon. "God" doesn't really seem to care how high in the sky we go, because we went far farther than that tiny tower, so why did "God" do what "he" did then, if "he" doesn't really seem to care?

In light of all we have accomplished as a collective society, dispite this upper limit "God" placed on us at building a brick tower, what is the point of the story? And again, if it is only metophore, then I'd rather read Aesop. People don't kill over a book with stories of talking animals... ...oh...wait...

...
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13-11-2013, 11:19 AM
RE: Tower of Babel (not really that impressive)
(13-11-2013 11:11 AM)Raptor Jesus Wrote:  I know this well not be very ground breaking, but every once in awhile I’ll recall some thought I had as a child when I was trying to understand the bible from the perspective of a believer, put on my “God” glasses as apologists would put it. I remember getting to the Tower of Babel story, and it really simply making no sense to me.

I know this is one of those super easy arguments to make, like pointing out that snakes can’t talk, but people still chose to believe it anyway, so I don’t think I’m breaking new ground here. But I do find it odd, that this story is not pointed to more for its blatant erroneosity (probably just made up a word, but it fits).

As I recall the story, it goes basically like this: all men (post flood) lived in one place and spoke one language, and decided to build tower tall enough to reach heaven, so that they could make a name for themselves. (which is odd because they are the only ones, so they are making a name for themselves for themselves?). They were apparently making good progress as “God” felt threatened, that if he allowed men to continue to work together, man would be able to accomplish anything (apparently that is bad). So “God” knocked over the tower, and changed all their languages so they could never again work together, and caused division between mankind.

As a kid, I remember the first thing I thought was, there is no way their baked brick tower approached anywhere near the height of our modern day steel sky scrapers. If that brick tower was close to heaven, then surly the New York sky line is looking down on it. Plus, that is an idea of heaven being a literal, physical place, in the sky. We have planes now, clearly it's not there. I know these are easy critiques to make, but that's the point, they are easy critiques to make.

Plus where were those people’s “free will” when “God” intervened and literally changed the way their brains worked in order to change their language? Also, we can clearly still speak to people who speak different languages. And why was “God” trying to create strife and discord amongst people? Simply because they built a short little tower? What was “God” so insecure about? Man was building a tiny tower, by today’s standers, but “God” could create the universe, so what is “he” feeling so threatened by? This story gave me a very odd perspective of "God", not the most enlightened being in the universe as I was let to believe "him" to be.

There are Christians that will tell you I missed the point of the story. It’s about hubris, like kid Icarus flying too close to the sun. But either they mean it literally about hubris, or metaphorically. If they mean it metaphorically, that of course brings up the old, “how do you determine when it’s metaphorical and when it is literal” argument, but then it has no more importance as a story than Aesop’s fables. If literal, my point still stands, what is “God” so insecure and threatened about. It’s like me seeing an ant hill outside and getting mad that they will one day make a house as big as mine, except worse than that, because based on the enormity of the universe, the ant hill to house scale is way off. Plus, at what point did “God” just decide, “Fuck it…build your damned towers if you want. I’ll leave them alone and simply move heaven to outer space where you can’t reach it". And then when we made it to space, instead of “God” batting us down, he just got out of the way. What is more hubris, building a tallish tower, or landing on the moon. "God" doesn't really seem to care how high in the sky we go, because we went far farther than that tiny tower, so why did "God" do what "he" did then, if "he" doesn't really seem to care?

In light of all we have accomplished as a collective society, dispite this upper limit "God" placed on us at building a brick tower, what is the point of the story? And again, if it is only metophore, then I'd rather read Aesop. People don't kill over a book with stories of talking animals... ...oh...wait...

When I was about nine I decided it was a "Just So" story to explain the many languages that existed.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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13-11-2013, 11:42 AM
RE: Tower of Babel (not really that impressive)
(13-11-2013 11:19 AM)Chas Wrote:  When I was about nine I decided it was a "Just So" story to explain the many languages that existed.

Yeah, exactly. For all the same critiques I just gave it, it was clear to me that it wasn't a real thing. It was blatantly, on the surface of it, just a story to explain why there are different cultures, languages, and societies around the world. Just an explanation of why, like of like the stories of "How the Leopard got its Spots". One of my elementary school teachers even had us write stories like this. I think the one I made up was "How the Swordfish got it's Sword".

That's how I took the whole bible from a very young age. Just a collection of stories of "How", or moral lessons like Aesop's, or Mythology of why is there is a sun, or how did the earth get here. At this same time, when I was around seven, I had an older brother and sister, who loved reading about Greek and Roman Mythology. I otherwise would probably have been too young to have picked it up on my own, but they exposed me to it, and I always loved it. Better stories than the Bible. But I clearly knew that those stories were not true, because I knew I was not meant to think they were. But I just didn't see the difference between those myths, and the bible myths.

The biblical myth of why we have rainbows, sounds no more convincing than the Greek myth of why we have earthquakes. It was always clear fantasy for me. And even when I, as in the case of my OP, tried to read it from the view of a believer, there was still nothing there that said it was any different than reading the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper, and believing that to be true.

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13-11-2013, 11:47 AM
RE: Tower of Babel (not really that impressive)
(13-11-2013 11:11 AM)Raptor Jesus Wrote:  I know this well not be very ground breaking, but every once in awhile I’ll recall some thought I had as a child when I was trying to understand the bible from the perspective of a believer, put on my “God” glasses as apologists would put it. I remember getting to the Tower of Babel story, and it really simply making no sense to me.

I know this is one of those super easy arguments to make, like pointing out that snakes can’t talk, but people still chose to believe it anyway, so I don’t think I’m breaking new ground here. But I do find it odd, that this story is not pointed to more for its blatant erroneosity (probably just made up a word, but it fits).

As I recall the story, it goes basically like this: all men (post flood) lived in one place and spoke one language, and decided to build tower tall enough to reach heaven, so that they could make a name for themselves. (which is odd because they are the only ones, so they are making a name for themselves for themselves?). They were apparently making good progress as “God” felt threatened, that if he allowed men to continue to work together, man would be able to accomplish anything (apparently that is bad). So “God” knocked over the tower, and changed all their languages so they could never again work together, and caused division between mankind.

As a kid, I remember the first thing I thought was, there is no way their baked brick tower approached anywhere near the height of our modern day steel sky scrapers. If that brick tower was close to heaven, then surly the New York sky line is looking down on it. Plus, that is an idea of heaven being a literal, physical place, in the sky. We have planes now, clearly it's not there. I know these are easy critiques to make, but that's the point, they are easy critiques to make.

Plus where were those people’s “free will” when “God” intervened and literally changed the way their brains worked in order to change their language? Also, we can clearly still speak to people who speak different languages. And why was “God” trying to create strife and discord amongst people? Simply because they built a short little tower? What was “God” so insecure about? Man was building a tiny tower, by today’s standers, but “God” could create the whole of the cosmos, so what is “he” feeling so threatened by? This story gave me a very odd perspective of "God", not the most enlightened being in the universe as I was let to believe "him" to be.

There are Christians that will tell you I missed the point of the story. It’s about hubris, like kid Icarus flying too close to the sun. But either they mean it literally about hubris, or metaphorically. If they mean it metaphorically, that of course brings up the old, “how do you determine when it’s metaphorical and when it is literal” argument, but then it has no more importance as a story than Aesop’s fables. If literal, my point still stands, what is “God” so insecure and threatened about. It’s like me seeing an ant hill outside and getting mad that they will one day make a house as big as mine, except worse than that, because based on the enormity of the universe, the ant hill to house scale is way off. Plus, at what point did “God” just decide, “Fuck it…build your damned towers if you want. I’ll leave them alone and simply move heaven to outer space where you can’t reach it". And then when we made it to space, instead of “God” batting us down, he just got out of the way. What is more hubris, building a tallish tower, or landing on the moon. "God" doesn't really seem to care how high in the sky we go, because we went far farther than that tiny tower, so why did "God" do what "he" did then, if "he" doesn't really seem to care?

In light of all we have accomplished as a collective society, dispite this upper limit "God" placed on us at building a brick tower, what is the point of the story? And again, if it is only metophore, then I'd rather read Aesop. People don't kill over a book with stories of talking animals... ...oh...wait...

*If it was an astrological observatory, then they would have "attempted to ascend" via the tower and etc.

*the gospel seems to be in Babylonian astrology with its virgin, justice scales, the lion, twins (substitution), a ram, a bull, a water bearer/fisher, fish itself, etc.

*apart from a few modern revisionists mainline scholars agree language families all come from where the tower was located in Mesopotamia/Babylon/Iraq

*the language barrier was supposed to have been reforged via the gospel at Pentecost, etc.

*and so on
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13-11-2013, 11:52 AM
RE: Tower of Babel (not really that impressive)
(13-11-2013 11:47 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
(13-11-2013 11:11 AM)Raptor Jesus Wrote:  I know this well not be very ground breaking, but every once in awhile I’ll recall some thought I had as a child when I was trying to understand the bible from the perspective of a believer, put on my “God” glasses as apologists would put it. I remember getting to the Tower of Babel story, and it really simply making no sense to me.

I know this is one of those super easy arguments to make, like pointing out that snakes can’t talk, but people still chose to believe it anyway, so I don’t think I’m breaking new ground here. But I do find it odd, that this story is not pointed to more for its blatant erroneosity (probably just made up a word, but it fits).

As I recall the story, it goes basically like this: all men (post flood) lived in one place and spoke one language, and decided to build tower tall enough to reach heaven, so that they could make a name for themselves. (which is odd because they are the only ones, so they are making a name for themselves for themselves?). They were apparently making good progress as “God” felt threatened, that if he allowed men to continue to work together, man would be able to accomplish anything (apparently that is bad). So “God” knocked over the tower, and changed all their languages so they could never again work together, and caused division between mankind.

As a kid, I remember the first thing I thought was, there is no way their baked brick tower approached anywhere near the height of our modern day steel sky scrapers. If that brick tower was close to heaven, then surly the New York sky line is looking down on it. Plus, that is an idea of heaven being a literal, physical place, in the sky. We have planes now, clearly it's not there. I know these are easy critiques to make, but that's the point, they are easy critiques to make.

Plus where were those people’s “free will” when “God” intervened and literally changed the way their brains worked in order to change their language? Also, we can clearly still speak to people who speak different languages. And why was “God” trying to create strife and discord amongst people? Simply because they built a short little tower? What was “God” so insecure about? Man was building a tiny tower, by today’s standers, but “God” could create the whole of the cosmos, so what is “he” feeling so threatened by? This story gave me a very odd perspective of "God", not the most enlightened being in the universe as I was let to believe "him" to be.

There are Christians that will tell you I missed the point of the story. It’s about hubris, like kid Icarus flying too close to the sun. But either they mean it literally about hubris, or metaphorically. If they mean it metaphorically, that of course brings up the old, “how do you determine when it’s metaphorical and when it is literal” argument, but then it has no more importance as a story than Aesop’s fables. If literal, my point still stands, what is “God” so insecure and threatened about. It’s like me seeing an ant hill outside and getting mad that they will one day make a house as big as mine, except worse than that, because based on the enormity of the universe, the ant hill to house scale is way off. Plus, at what point did “God” just decide, “Fuck it…build your damned towers if you want. I’ll leave them alone and simply move heaven to outer space where you can’t reach it". And then when we made it to space, instead of “God” batting us down, he just got out of the way. What is more hubris, building a tallish tower, or landing on the moon. "God" doesn't really seem to care how high in the sky we go, because we went far farther than that tiny tower, so why did "God" do what "he" did then, if "he" doesn't really seem to care?

In light of all we have accomplished as a collective society, dispite this upper limit "God" placed on us at building a brick tower, what is the point of the story? And again, if it is only metophore, then I'd rather read Aesop. People don't kill over a book with stories of talking animals... ...oh...wait...

*If it was an astrological observatory, then they would have "attempted to ascend" via the tower and etc.

*the gospel seems to be in Babylonian astrology with its virgin, justice scales, the lion, twins (substitution), a ram, a bull, a water bearer/fisher, fish itself, etc.

*apart from a few modern revisionists mainline scholars agree language families all come from where the tower was located in Mesopotamia/Babylon/Iraq

*the language barrier was supposed to have been reforged via the gospel at Pentecost, etc.

*and so on

And snakes and donkeys talk...

...
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13-11-2013, 12:00 PM
RE: Tower of Babel (not really that impressive)
(13-11-2013 11:52 AM)Raptor Jesus Wrote:  
(13-11-2013 11:47 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  *If it was an astrological observatory, then they would have "attempted to ascend" via the tower and etc.

*the gospel seems to be in Babylonian astrology with its virgin, justice scales, the lion, twins (substitution), a ram, a bull, a water bearer/fisher, fish itself, etc.

*apart from a few modern revisionists mainline scholars agree language families all come from where the tower was located in Mesopotamia/Babylon/Iraq

*the language barrier was supposed to have been reforged via the gospel at Pentecost, etc.

*and so on

And snakes and donkeys talk...

Are you saying the astrological symbols don't include the same symbols as the NT?

Are you saying that you don't agree with mainline scholars that the language tree root is in Iraq?

Are you saying you disagree that the tower could have been a planned astrological observatory?

Are you saying you didn't know that Christians understand the loop to be closed between Babel and Pentecost?
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13-11-2013, 12:03 PM (This post was last modified: 13-11-2013 12:07 PM by cjlr.)
RE: Tower of Babel (not really that impressive)
Double post.

Stupid forum software!

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13-11-2013, 12:07 PM
RE: Tower of Babel (not really that impressive)
Hoo boy. A literalist interpretation of the Tower of Babel?

This should be good.

(13-11-2013 11:47 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  *If it was an astrological observatory, then they would have "attempted to ascend" via the tower and etc.

And yet God seems to have no problem with the millions of other observatories, prior to, contemporaneous with, and since the time of the Babylonians. Funny, that.

(13-11-2013 11:47 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  *the gospel seems to be in Babylonian astrology with its virgin, justice scales, the lion, twins (substitution), a ram, a bull, a water bearer/fisher, fish itself, etc.

That appears to have nothing to do with anything.

(13-11-2013 11:47 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  *apart from a few modern revisionists mainline scholars agree language families all come from where the tower was located in Mesopotamia/Babylon/Iraq

You seem to have that backwards.

The Tower of Babel is necessarily within historical timeframes, and most of the world was long-since populated. And they already had their own languages. And this is incredibly well-attested. And the proposed origins for modern major langauge families are pretty much were you'd expect - austronesian in indochina, indo-european on the pontic steppe... Even if one wishes to get silly and claim Nostratic to be a real thing (this is the exact opposite of what 'most mainline scholars agree'), that leaves sub-saharan Africa.

African language families are by definition autochthonous, so that right there doesn't even make sense. Just as with genetics, there is more linguistic diversity within sub-saharan africa than in the rest of the world combined. But if you're pretending evolution doesn't exist, well, that solves that problem!

(13-11-2013 11:47 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  *the language barrier was supposed to have been reforged via the gospel at Pentecost, etc.

Right then.

(13-11-2013 11:47 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  *and so on

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13-11-2013, 12:37 PM
RE: Tower of Babel (not really that impressive)
(13-11-2013 12:00 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Are you saying the astrological symbols don't include the same symbols as the NT?
a) What in the fuck are you talking about?
b) What in the fuck are you talking about?
c) Who the fuck cares?
d) What in good hell does that have to do with anything in the post?
e) What in the fuck are you talking about?


(13-11-2013 12:00 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Are you saying that you don't agree with mainline scholars that the language tree root is in Iraq?
Firstly, I am not a lingual anthropologist, and as such have not done extensive study on triangulating the location of the “first” language. But having a background in physical anthropology, I have no problem with the extremely generalized area of eastern Africa (…on into Asia, Europe and the rest of the world) as a budding original of language in primates, including hominids. But consider, others of the Homo genus would have had spoken language as well. These languages would have had similar evolutionarily biological origins, would have developed both independently, and through shared interaction over a period of tens to hundreds of thousands of years, and depending on how you class “language”, into the millions. Language did not began fully formed, but developed as we developed and evolved the ability to use it. To say something as simple as, here is the original place of all human language, is a very meaningless thing. You can triangulate the location of shared linguist, but this is not how human language evolved. Here is a fellow TTA member’s recent link for more insight: The Talking Ape

Secondly, even if we accept your concept of original language, how does that then equal, there for “God”?


(13-11-2013 12:00 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Are you saying you disagree that the tower could have been a planned astrological observatory?
I refer you back to “c) Who the fuck cares?”, and “d) What in good hell does that have to do with anything in the post?”

And secondly, again, even if we accept your concept, how does that then equal, there for “God”?

(13-11-2013 12:00 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Are you saying you didn't know that Christians understand the loop to be closed between Babel and Pentecost?
I am saying, I do know that Christians understand that snakes and donkeys can talk…'nuff said.

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13-11-2013, 01:00 PM
RE: Tower of Babel (not really that impressive)
(13-11-2013 12:07 PM)cjlr Wrote:  But if you're pretending evolution doesn't exist, well, that solves that problem!
Laugh out load

(13-11-2013 12:37 PM)Raptor Jesus Wrote:  
(13-11-2013 12:00 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Are you saying the astrological symbols don't include the same symbols as the NT?
a) What in the fuck are you talking about?
b) What in the fuck are you talking about?
c) Who the fuck cares?
d) What in good hell does that have to do with anything in the post?
e) What in the fuck are you talking about?
You forgot:
f) All of the above

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