Why I Believe
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08-04-2017, 01:16 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(08-04-2017 12:59 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(08-04-2017 12:36 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Are you talking about moral instruction, or scientific theories?

Wouldn't both work?
They would, yes

(08-04-2017 12:59 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  We know that you don't get speckled offspring by having animals mate in front of sticks placed on the ground. We know, and can show, that genetics doesn't work like that.
This always baffled me, but because it was so strange, I simply assumed I was missing something and so ignored it. Still unsure as to what the ancients were doing here.

(08-04-2017 12:59 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Pi is not equal to 3, and both the Egyptians and Greeks had calculated it out a few decimal places centuries before.
I never knew this was a biblical point of fact. Still, they knew 'of' pi, might they be rounding to whole numbers (or have I just made a complete ignoramus of myself here)?

(08-04-2017 12:59 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  The world is not flat, and was known to not be flat for a century before the Pentateuch was written down. Eratosthenes even managed to roughly calculate the circumference of the world before 200 BCE.
To be honest, I've seen the arguments about this and I'm not sure either way. Four corners, seeing the entire earth at once, etc, it could all just be, a flowery way of writing. Sorry, not sure what the correct term is. Poetic license?





(08-04-2017 12:59 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  What possible justification could there be for killing the whole world? Even assuming you had such a justification, was drowning the most humane way to do it? What crime were the unborn children of pregnant mothers guilty of to deserve such condemnation?
Duly noted

(08-04-2017 12:59 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  How did the empires of Egypt and China both fail to record being wiped out by the global flood Noah survived? Resilient people they must be.
Interesting and valid point

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08-04-2017, 01:35 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(08-04-2017 01:16 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  
(08-04-2017 12:59 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Wouldn't both work?
They would, yes

(08-04-2017 12:59 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  We know that you don't get speckled offspring by having animals mate in front of sticks placed on the ground. We know, and can show, that genetics doesn't work like that.
This always baffled me, but because it was so strange, I simply assumed I was missing something and so ignored it. Still unsure as to what the ancients were doing here.

(08-04-2017 12:59 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Pi is not equal to 3, and both the Egyptians and Greeks had calculated it out a few decimal places centuries before.
I never knew this was a biblical point of fact. Still, they knew 'of' pi, might they be rounding to whole numbers (or have I just made a complete ignoramus of myself here)?

(08-04-2017 12:59 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  The world is not flat, and was known to not be flat for a century before the Pentateuch was written down. Eratosthenes even managed to roughly calculate the circumference of the world before 200 BCE.
To be honest, I've seen the arguments about this and I'm not sure either way. Four corners, seeing the entire earth at once, etc, it could all just be, a flowery way of writing. Sorry, not sure what the correct term is. Poetic license?





(08-04-2017 12:59 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  What possible justification could there be for killing the whole world? Even assuming you had such a justification, was drowning the most humane way to do it? What crime were the unborn children of pregnant mothers guilty of to deserve such condemnation?
Duly noted

(08-04-2017 12:59 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  How did the empires of Egypt and China both fail to record being wiped out by the global flood Noah survived? Resilient people they must be.
Interesting and valid point

The whole point of the speckled sheep was Jacob getting back at his employer after being screwed on a deal himself. I think the agreement was to work for 7 years to get one of the dude's daughters hand in marriage, but when the marriage came around, he tricked him and swapped the daughters in order to get him on the hook for another 7 years (also, hooray for polygamy). Part of this second agreement was that after the additional 7 years, Jacob would also get to keep all of the speckled sheep bred out of the flock he watched over; and of course he was given a flock consisting entirely of plain sheep. The sticks were a part of his plan to get speckled sheep for himself.

This is biblical animal husbandry, obsolete even by the standards of the Dark Ages.

As for Pi, 3.14159 is not the same as 3, and is more of a stickler for strict biblical littealists. Because if you have to use creative license to explain away something as small and obviously wrong as Pi, that opens to the door to what else has creative license? How can you tell what is and is not being fudged? It's really just a easy way to piss off absolute litteralists.

As for Hebrew cosmology, which is the simpler answer? That they and their god knew the world was in fact spherical, but chose to obfuscate it with poetic license? Or that the ancient Hebrew borrowed their ideas from the Canaanites and their other regional neighbors, who also had similar fictional cosmologies, but attributed them to different gods and pantheons. Not only is that the more simple explanation, but it's one back up by archaeology; we have ancient Hebrew artifacts dedicated to an entire pantheon of gods, lifted almost wholesale from the Canaanites. Ever wondered why Yahweh is so worried about having no other gods before him? Doesn't sound so funny when you take into account that Yahweh wasn't always a singular supreme being, but rather used to be Yahweh Sabbaoth the Lord of Hosts, their regional war deity with jurisdiction over Judea. Those other references to Bhaal, Ashera, El Elyion, and El Shadai in the Old Testament? Those were other Jewish gods.

Monotheism was itself an invention of Zoroastrianism, one the ancient Hebrew also borrowed and applied to Yahweh after the Babylonian exile.

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08-04-2017, 01:39 AM
RE: Why I Believe
The bible is precisely what you would expect from a group of people trying to make sense of their surroundings at the time.

If you're not aware, Christianity is a bit like Frankenstein's monster. It is cobbled together from large sections of other religions around at the time. Even the idea of a resurrecting savior is far from original, and "the golden rule" predates Christianity.

If it helps dispel some of the power the book has over you, the bible is full of known forgeries. For example, every time Paul mentions "the man" Jesus, it's in later additions that were made to tailor the story in a new direction. And the ending where people are actually seeing Jesus after the "resurrection", rather than simply being told about it by some guy, is also a forgery. Jesus was not originally even meant to be God. The story has mutated and been fudged over time.

The book has a magical field all around it, perpetuated by oral myths. Even many atheists I've talked to have a kind of reverence for it, and the idea that there must be "something" in it. Even I was shocked when I looked into it more closely and found out that Jesus is not a well supported historical character, but more likely an amalgamation of bits and pieces of several people coupled with copious fiction. Obviously I knew the magic stuff wasn't real, but I've now found out even the mundane stuff is highly questionable.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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08-04-2017, 01:50 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(08-04-2017 01:39 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  The bible is precisely what you would expect from a group of people trying to make sense of their surroundings at the time.

If you're not aware, Christianity is a bit like Frankenstein's monster. It is cobbled together from large sections of other religions around at the time. Even the idea of a resurrecting savior is far from original, and "the golden rule" predates Christianity.

If it helps dispel some of the power the book has over you, the bible is full of known forgeries. For example, every time Paul mentions "the man" Jesus, it's in later additions that were made to tailor the story in a new direction. And the ending where people are actually seeing Jesus after the "resurrection", rather than simply being told about it by some guy, is also a forgery. Jesus was not originally even meant to be God. The story has mutated and been fudged over time.

The book has a magical field all around it, perpetuated by oral myths. Even many atheists I've talked to have a kind of reverence for it, and the idea that there must be "something" in it. Even I was shocked when I looked into it more closely and found out that Jesus is not a well supported historical character, but more likely an amalgamation of bits and pieces of several people coupled with copious fiction. Obviously I knew the magic stuff wasn't real, but I've now found out even the mundane stuff is highly questionable.

Yep. You can make solid arguments that early Christianity was a Jewish take on the mystery faith religious fad of the time. There were mystery cults with very similar tenants and beliefs to early Christianity, but dedicated to the preexisting deities of other faiths, such as Mythras and Dionysus. The similarities included, among other things, the deities going through a passion (a Greek originating word, denoting a arduous trial of sorts), before transcending the this world for the next, and passing on the secret to following in their footsteps to their followers. Also they were all allegorical, with the 'real meaning' being hidden in plain sight. They had stories that were taught as literal truth to outsiders and the lay believers, but those who advanced sufficiently were made privy to the 'real story', the allegorical meaning of the tales, and how they were not literally true as written.

There's a lot more there to dig into, this is just what I can remember off the top of my head at 4am.

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08-04-2017, 03:45 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(08-04-2017 01:35 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  The whole point of the speckled sheep was Jacob getting back at his employer after being screwed on a deal himself. I think the agreement was to work for 7 years to get one of the dude's daughters hand in marriage, but when the marriage came around, he tricked him and swapped the daughters in order to get him on the hook for another 7 years (also, hooray for polygamy). Part of this second agreement was that after the additional 7 years, Jacob would also get to keep all of the speckled sheep bred out of the flock he watched over; and of course he was given a flock consisting entirely of plain sheep. The sticks were a part of his plan to get speckled sheep for himself.

This is biblical animal husbandry, obsolete even by the standards of the Dark Ages.
Thanks for the info

(08-04-2017 01:35 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  As for Hebrew cosmology, which is the simpler answer? That they and their god knew the world was in fact spherical, but chose to obfuscate it with poetic license? Or that the ancient Hebrew borrowed their ideas from the Canaanites and their other regional neighbors, who also had similar fictional cosmologies, but attributed them to different gods and pantheons. Not only is that the more simple explanation, but it's one back up by archaeology; we have ancient Hebrew artifacts dedicated to an entire pantheon of gods, lifted almost wholesale from the Canaanites. Ever wondered why Yahweh is so worried about having no other gods before him? Doesn't sound so funny when you take into account that Yahweh wasn't always a singular supreme being, but rather used to be Yahweh Sabbaoth the Lord of Hosts, their regional war deity with jurisdiction over Judea. Those other references to Bhaal, Ashera, El Elyion, and El Shadai in the Old Testament? Those were other Jewish gods.

Monotheism was itself an invention of Zoroastrianism, one the ancient Hebrew also borrowed and applied to Yahweh after the Babylonian exile.
I really want to study the multiple gods angle and how the Hebrews settled on monotheism.

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08-04-2017, 03:50 AM (This post was last modified: 08-04-2017 03:56 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Why I Believe
(08-04-2017 03:45 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  
Quote:Monotheism was itself an invention of Zoroastrianism, one the ancient Hebrew also borrowed and applied to Yahweh after the Babylonian exile.
I really want to study the multiple gods angle and how the Hebrews settled on monotheism.

A History of God - Karen Armstrong

[Image: history-god1.jpg]

Really good on the history, right up until the last chapter. There she gets all touchy-feely, trying to dance around what 'god' can mean to us in the modern era. Even with all her research, she still compartmentalizes things enough to try and carve out a space for a god in the gaps of her own knowledge.

But before the last chapter's spiritual drum circle? Yeah, pretty solid mainstream research about the origins of Abrahamic monotheism.


Or, you can watch the TL;DR version.









Yes, these are two of the videos from the deconversion series I posted for you earlier in your resource thread. His primary source is Karen Armstrong's book. That and all of his other sources are cited in the video's description on YouTube.

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08-04-2017, 04:08 AM
RE: Why I Believe
A little thought experiment for you! Maybe it will help.

Imagine you meet up with me, and I've never heard anything about Christianity, or any religion. Your job is to convince me that "hell is a real place".

How would you go about this? How convincing do your arguments sound?

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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08-04-2017, 04:24 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(08-04-2017 04:08 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  A little thought experiment for you! Maybe it will help.

Imagine you meet up with me, and I've never heard anything about Christianity, or any religion. Your job is to convince me that "hell is a real place".

How would you go about this? How convincing do your arguments sound?

I'll knock you out, build a fire pit, tie you to a stake in the middle, and light the fire just as you start waking up. I will consent to rescue you if you sound convinced that hell is real Smile

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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08-04-2017, 04:28 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(08-04-2017 03:45 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  
(08-04-2017 01:35 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  The whole point of the speckled sheep was Jacob getting back at his employer after being screwed on a deal himself. I think the agreement was to work for 7 years to get one of the dude's daughters hand in marriage, but when the marriage came around, he tricked him and swapped the daughters in order to get him on the hook for another 7 years (also, hooray for polygamy). Part of this second agreement was that after the additional 7 years, Jacob would also get to keep all of the speckled sheep bred out of the flock he watched over; and of course he was given a flock consisting entirely of plain sheep. The sticks were a part of his plan to get speckled sheep for himself.

This is biblical animal husbandry, obsolete even by the standards of the Dark Ages.
Thanks for the info

(08-04-2017 01:35 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  As for Hebrew cosmology, which is the simpler answer? That they and their god knew the world was in fact spherical, but chose to obfuscate it with poetic license? Or that the ancient Hebrew borrowed their ideas from the Canaanites and their other regional neighbors, who also had similar fictional cosmologies, but attributed them to different gods and pantheons. Not only is that the more simple explanation, but it's one back up by archaeology; we have ancient Hebrew artifacts dedicated to an entire pantheon of gods, lifted almost wholesale from the Canaanites. Ever wondered why Yahweh is so worried about having no other gods before him? Doesn't sound so funny when you take into account that Yahweh wasn't always a singular supreme being, but rather used to be Yahweh Sabbaoth the Lord of Hosts, their regional war deity with jurisdiction over Judea. Those other references to Bhaal, Ashera, El Elyion, and El Shadai in the Old Testament? Those were other Jewish gods.

Monotheism was itself an invention of Zoroastrianism, one the ancient Hebrew also borrowed and applied to Yahweh after the Babylonian exile.
I really want to study the multiple gods angle and how the Hebrews settled on monotheism.

The Canaanite religion predated Hebrew religion, the Hebrews didn't even bother to change the name of the Canaanite god, they simply asserted that Yahweh was above all of the others.

There are some verses in the bible when it admits it openly:

Psalm 82:1 -God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; He judgeth among the gods.

And there are several references to Yahweh's wife Asherah in the bible.

Of course the bible references it as a "graven image", the Hebrews were not going to admit that Aherah/Asheroth was the wife to their Yahweh, they had major problems with their people worshiping Aherah, since it was the Hebrew priests that wrote the books of the OT, Asherah was going to be declared as a false goddess by the Hebrew priests.

That's what a lot of the bible is, it's priests trying to declare why THEIR version of god is the correct one and that you just might wind up dead if you keep worshiping these "pagan" deities.

When they got humiliated by the Babylonians, the Hebrews used the most brazen example of post-hoc rationalization ever. Instead of conceding that their god was weaker and suffered defeat at the hands of the Babylonian gods, they simply asserted that their god WANTED to humiliate the Jews because they worshiped other gods.

Their god was in control the whole time and it was their fault for bringing the Babylonian exile upon themselves. Facepalm

So they could still declare Yahweh's supremacy even in the face of utter defeat, this was the Hebrew's primary contribution to religious thought - the post-hoc fallacy. Facepalm

There's nothing you can't excuse when you use this fallacy, so thanks you fucking barbarians! You created a convenient excuse-generating template that all religions could use to rationalize the most absurd things imaginable.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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08-04-2017, 05:19 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(08-04-2017 03:50 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  

My mind is a little bit blown by the video.

I mean, isn't that probably the greatest evidence that Monotheistic Christianity has been constructed by the ancients? That Yahweh was just one of multiple gods and not even the main god? I'm not sure what to do with this information.

I mean, at first glance this seems like very strong evidence that it was all constructed purely for political reasons, for controlling the masses. Surely if this is true, then there is no point trying to figure out if the behemoth in Job was a sauropod, or if the Hebrews believed the sky to be a hard dome (snowglobe theory), or that there's no resurrection mentioned in the first gospel of Mark. Does it?

The very first verse in Genesis, the bible, and everything after it is, all built on a religion created by Israel and Judah's political history?

Can't be as easy as that. Why aren't knowledgeable Christian academic certified scholars mentioning this? For that matter, why are no knowledgeable Christians talking about this, why not the media?

This info is out there, it's too easy for anyone to look at and comment on. I'm not saying it's not true (or true), the point I'm trying to get across is that the content seems to me to be extremely damaging to the claims of Judaism, Christianity, and the rest, and it is so easily accessible I cannot believe nobody hasn't rebuffed this. But then, how would you do that?

What's the catch, what are Christians saying about this?

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