Ridiculing Religion 2 - The Ridiculining

Discussion in 'Four Corners' started by gUt, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Snoop

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    They weren't sex slaves.

    The women that were killed were the ones who led Israel astray as Numbers 31 points out. The Israelites could not do whatever they wanted with the young girls. They had to follow the law.

    I'm vegetarian but even so that doesn't make human death a good thing.

    Then their death was a bad thing.
     
  2. Mr Spock!

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    These are four pieces of theological and literary work written nearly 30-70 years after the event. They were not even eye-witnesses. And their accounts are nothing like the witnesses of a crime.

    It's totally dishonest to say Mark was saying the same thing as Matthew who actually changed what Mark was saying.


    John Dominic Crossan:

    What do the gospels have in common? Is it possible to say what they do share?

    What the gospels do share, of course, is Jesus. But that is almost trivial to say that. Because they are interested in not simply repeating Jesus. They are interested in interpreting Jesus. Matthew, even when he has Mark in front of him, will change what Jesus says. And that's what's most important for me, to understand the mind of an evangelist. It is that Matthew is saying, "I will change Mark so that Mark's Jesus speaks to my people." Now, there's a logic to his change. He's not just changing it to be difficult. He will change Mark, but what Jesus says in Mark does not make sense to Matthew's people.... What is consistent about the gospels is that they change consistent with their own theology, with their own communities' needs. They do not change at random. If you begin to understand how Matthew changes Mark, you see it worked again and again and again. You don't have to make up a different reason for every change. Once you understand Matthew's theology, you can almost predict how he will change.

    How significant and discrediting to belief are the differences between the four gospels?

    For somebody who thinks the four gospels are like four witnesses in a court trying to tell exactly how the accident happened, as it were, this is extremely troubling. It is not at all troubling to me because they told me, quite honestly, that they were gospels. And a gospel is good news ... "good" and "news" ... updated interpretation. So when I went into Matthew, I did not expect journalism. I expected gospel. That's what I found. I have no problem with that.

    So, in other words, they're doing what they set out to do, but it's not what we think they're setting out to do.

    We have the problem, not Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They do a superb job, or Christianity would not be still around, of doing what they had to do. We want them to be journalists and we're very unhappy with them.

    Can you characterize the way Mark portrays Jesus and what kind of audience he's trying to play to?

    Let me compare Mark with John to explain how two gospels do it differently in an episode we call "the agony in the garden". Now, there is no agony in John and there is no garden in Mark, but we call it the agony in the garden because we put them together. Mark tells the story in which Jesus, the night before he dies, is prostrate on the ground, begging God, "If this all could pass, but I will do what you want." And the disciples all flee. Now that's an awful picture. That makes sense to me because Mark is writing to a persecuted community who know what it's like to die. That's how you die, feeling abandoned by God.

    Over to John. Jesus is not on the ground in John. The whole cohort of the Jerusalem forces come out - 600 troops come out to capture Jesus, and they end up with their faces on the ground in John. And Jesus says, "Of course I will do what the Father wants." And Jesus tells them to "Let my disciples go." He's in command of the whole operation. You have a Jesus out of control almost in Mark, a Jesus totally in control in John. Both gospel. Neither of them are historical. I don't think either of them know exactly what happened. Mark is writing to a persecuted church, "Here is how to die ... like Jesus." John is writing, I think, to a community that's hanging on by its fingernails. It's getting more and more marginalized. Its Jesus is getting more and more in control, in control of the passion, in control of Pilate. The more John's community is out of control, the more Jesus is in control. Both of that makes absolute sense to me. But both are gospel.

    What's the significant difference between Matthew and Luke and Mark? What kind of differences do they bring in?

    If you look at Luke 4, for example, the opening, almost paradigmatic, scene in Luke. Jesus goes into the synagogue. He takes the scroll of Isaiah. He is literate of course, he can read. And he's a scholar. He can find his way around an unpointed Hebrew scroll and find exactly the place he wants and reads it and comments on it. Jesus is a scholar. Jesus is rather like Luke, actually....

    Luke gives us his big scene up front. Matthew does the same with the Sermon on the Mount. It's on a mountain, where else? Moses is on a mountain ... Sinai. Jesus is on a mountain saying, "You've heard what was said to them of old, what I say to you." I couldn't imagine Matthew starting off with something else. Jesus is a new Moses. All of that is coherent within the theology of each evangelist....

    There is no Sermon on the Mount and there is no mountain to have a sermon on in Mark, and there is no scene in the synagogue at Nazareth where Jesus reads Isaiah and is almost killed. None of that is in Mark. One is in Matthew. The other is in Luke.
     
  3. Mr Spock!

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    Ehrman didn't say that at all. that's a bogus statistic which has been uncritically thrown around apologetics circles.

    Ehrman

    "Like some of my readers (who commented), I just don’t see the problem. I don’t think our New Testaments are likely ever to change much. And I don’t think we know in a lot of places what the originals said. Where’s the contradiction? I’m not saying that we *know* that we have the original text in 99.9% of the passages of the NT. I’m saying we *don’t* know – for a wide variety of reasons that I haven’t gotten into very much here. But I’m emphasizing the word “know.” We simply don’t know.

    Do I *suspect* that most of the time we are pretty close or even there? Yes, that would be my guess. But it’s just a guess based on scholarly assumption and suspicion.

    I should stress that (despite occasional requests) I really can’t give a percentage of how many places we are relative comfortable with, as having the original or something very close to the original. That is very much unlike many of my critics, who somehow think they can say things like “we are sure about the text in 99% of all cases.” Where in the blazes does that 99% come from? What does it mean? How are they counting? *What* are they counting? What statistical model have they employed? And how would they know?"

    But we can't be sure about what Jesus actually said......

    Ehrman

    """Occasionally I see a bumper sticker that reads: “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it.” My response is always, what if God didn’t say it? What if the book you take as giving you God’s words instead contains human words. What if the Bible doesn’t give a foolproof answer to the questions of the modern age-abortion, women’s rights, gay rights, religious and supremacy, western style democracy and the like? What if we have to figure out how to live and what to believe on our own, without setting up the Bible as a false idol–or an oracle that gives us a direct line of communication with the Almighty."


    Btw my Bibles have 3 different endings of Mark....
     
  4. Mr Spock!

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    They were sex slaves...

    Numbers 31

    "15And Moses said to them, “Have you spared all the women? 16“Behold, these caused the sons of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, so the plague was among the congregation of the LORD. 17“Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. 18“But all the girls who have not known man intimately, spare for yourselves."

    30“From the sons of Israel’s half, you shall take one drawn out of every fifty of the persons, of the cattle, of the donkeys and of the sheep, from all the animals, and give them to the Levites who keep charge of the tabernacle of the LORD.” 31Moses and Eleazar the priest did just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

    32Now the booty that remained from the spoil which the men of war had plundered was 675,000 sheep, 33and 72,000 cattle, 34and 61,000 donkeys, 35and of human beings, of the women who had not known man intimately, all the persons were 32,000.

    36The half, the portion of those who went out to war, was as follows: the number of sheep was 337,500, 37and the LORD’S levy of the sheep was 675; 38and the cattle were 36,000, from which the LORD’S levy was 72; 39and the donkeys were 30,500, from which the LORD’S levy was 61; 40and the human beings were 16,000, from whom the LORD’S levy was 32 persons. 41Moses gave the levy which was the LORD’S offering to Eleazar the priest, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

    Getting a wife Bible style.....

    Judges 21
    10And the congregation sent 12,000 of the valiant warriors there, and commanded them, saying, “Go and strike the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the little ones. 11“This is the thing that you shall do: you shall utterly destroy every man and every woman who has lain with a man.” 12And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead 400 young virgins who had not known a man by lying with him; and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.

    13Then the whole congregation sent word and spoke to the sons of Benjamin who were at the rock of Rimmon, and proclaimed peace to them.14Benjamin returned at that time, and they gave them the women whom they had kept alive from the women of Jabesh-gilead; yet they were not enough for them. 15And the people were sorry for Benjamin because the LORD had made a breach in the tribes of Israel.

    16Then the elders of the congregation said, “What shall we do for wives for those who are left, since the women are destroyed out of Benjamin?”17They said, “There must be an inheritance for the survivors of Benjamin, so that a tribe will not be blotted out from Israel. 18“But we cannot give them wives of our daughters.” For the sons of Israel had sworn, saying, “Cursed is he who gives a wife to Benjamin.”

    19So they said, “Behold, there is a feast of the LORD from year to year in Shiloh, which is on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south side of Lebonah.” 20And they commanded the sons of Benjamin, saying, “Go and lie in wait in the vineyards, 21and watch; and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to take part in the dances, then you shall come out of the vineyards and each of you shall catch his wife from the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin. 22“It shall come about, when their fathers or their brothers come to complain to us, that we shall say to them, ‘Give them to us voluntarily, because we did not take for each man of Benjamin a wife in battle, nor did you give them to them, else you would now be guilty.’” 23The sons of Benjamin did so, and took wives according to their number from those who danced, whom they carried away.

    You would make a good apologist for ISIS....killing children and women is a good thing.....

    You can keep telling yourself that but no one believes it. I suspect you don't either.

    Well done for proving that religion makes good people justify and do bad things.

    Btw plants die as well.....so that you can live....

    Interesting. You've never been with a dying person who is suffering before have you?

    So far you've justified genocide, sex slavery, slaughtering women and children, cursing women with pain and complications of childbirth, killing gay people......

    Are you ISIS?
     
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  5. Mr Spock!

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    CREATIONISTS FOR GENOCIDE

    If every creationist might not be willing to defend Luther, it is different when it comes to biblical genocide. Indeed, all creationists defend biblical genocide in both the Hebrew Bible, which Christians call the Old Testament, and in the New Testament. First, there is little dispute among academic biblical scholars (Jewish, Christian or secular), or even among creationists, that genocide is the proper term for the practices evinced in some biblical texts.

    This is clearly reflected in Show Them No Mercy: 4 Views on God and Canaanite Genocide (2003), a book edited by four Christian conservatives. [35]

    Among the most important of these genocidal biblical texts is Deuteronomy 20:16-18:

    Deut. 20:16 But as for the towns of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not let anything that breathes remain alive.

    Deut. 20:17 You shall annihilate them -- the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites -- just as the LORD your God has commanded,

    Deut. 20:18 so that they may not teach you to do all the abhorrent things that they do for their gods, and you thus sin against the LORD your God.

    And this text against the group called the Amalekites in 1 Samuel 15:

    1. And Samuel said to Saul, "The LORD sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore hearken to the words of the LORD.

    2. Thus says the LORD of hosts, "I will punish what Am'alek did to Israel in opposing them on the way, when they came up out of Egypt.

    3. Now go and smite Am'alek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass."

    Christians, in particular, have been more reticent to define certain New Testament passages as genocidal or even as violent. Consider the violence that Jesus plans for the enemies of Christians at the last judgment.

    Matt. 25:41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels...

    Matt. 25:46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

    As I have argued elsewhere, some New Testament authors actually advocated a type of violence that was much higher, in both quality and quantity, than what is found in the Jewish scriptures. The Old Testament god may often wish to injure or kill you, but only up to the limits of your earthly lifetime. The New Testament advocates eternal torture by fire. Imagine Hitler saying that he did not want to kill Jews in ovens, but rather just torture them forever in ovens, and you would see the moral depravity of such an idea. In fact, most creationists forget that the burning of opponents is a punishment advocated by the Bible, not by Darwin's books.

    Love as a reason for Genocide

    Recall that Weikart believes that Christianity taught the universal love of all humanity. But the fact is that "love" itself can be defined in such a way as to render genocide a loving act. Consider this passage, from R. A. Torrey, one of the contributors to The Fundamentals, a series of anti-evolutionary tracts that helped popularize the name "fundamentalist":

    The extermination of the Canaanite children was not only an act of mercy and love to the world at large; it was an act of love and mercy to the children themselves. [36]

    Indeed, Christian "love" has been a very common defense for violence throughout Christian history.

    Moreover, some creationists even use medicalized language, quite similar to that of Nazi ideologues, to explain the necessity of genocide of the Canaanites. Gleason Archer, a renowned evangelical creationist, phrases it thus:

    Just as the wise surgeon removes dangerous cancer from his patient's body by use of the scalpel, so God employed the Israelites to remove such dangerous malignancies from human society. [37]

    Archer has no trouble thinking of Canaanite children as being part of the "malignancy" that had to be removed.

    Sin as a reason for genocide

    Another approach to defending biblical genocide centers on the charge that the Canaanites deserved it because they were sinful. Glenn Miller provides such a rationale in a lengthy blog post titled: How could a God of Love order the massacre/annihilation of the Canaanites?[38] Specifically, Miller says that the Canaanites deserved the killing of their women and children because they engaged in these activities:

    • Child sacrifice
    • Homosexual sex
    • Incest
    First, let's recall that the very notion that "sin" and sexual depravity can justify genocide is also similar to Hitler's rationale in combating miscegenation: "To bring about such a development is, then, nothing else but to sin against the will of the eternal creator." [39] Hitler, it should be observed, also wanted to eliminate homosexuality, something that marks him again as more similar to some biblical authors (e.g. Leviticus 20:13) than he is to Darwin.

    Moreover, Miller assures us that God treats everyone the same for such sins:

    And God allowed no double standards. When Israel began to look like 'Canaanites', God judged them IN THE SAME WAY...and 'vomited' them from the Land as well. This expulsion was also accompanied by the harsh measures of warfare faced by the Canaanites.[40]

    However, the Israelites were not treated the same as the Canaanites. The Canaanites were to be completely annihilated (Deuteronomy 20:16: "you must not let anything that breathes remain alive") not just expelled from the land. There is no similar punishment that demands that, when a Hebrew commits a sexual sin, all Hebrew women and children should be killed so that nothing is left of them.

    If incest is a reason for genocide, it does not appear to be so in the case of Abraham, regarded as of the most blessed man on earth, despite the fact that he married his half-sister (Genesis 20:12), and had multiple sexual partners (Hagar and Sarah in Genesis 16).

    Moreover, incest with a sister or a half-sister is to be punished by death according to the Mosaic law (Leviticus 20:17), which would have applied to Abraham, who married "the daughter of my father but not the daughter of my mother" (Genesis 20:12).

    So Miller ends up trying to convince us that a whole city, including children, should be burned in Sodom (Genesis 19) because God did not like certain sexual acts to be performed, but yet God blesses a man that commits sexual acts that are explicitly prohibited in the Mosaic law. If the objection is that the Mosaic law was not in effect at the time of Abraham, then we should note that it was also not in effect at the time of Sodom's demise. God is the biggest moral relativist of all in biblical literature.
     
  6. Mr Spock!

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    Child Sacrifice is biblically approved

    Miller's justification of Canaanite genocide is premised on the idea that child sacrifice is unconditionally repugnant to the biblical God. Miller forgets that child sacrifice may have been perfectly acceptable to the biblical god, something demonstrated in painstaking detail by Jon Levenson, the Albert A. List professor of Jewish Studies at Harvard Divinity School. In his brilliant treatment, The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son (1993), Levenson states that "only at a particular stage rather late in the history of Israel was child sacrifice branded as counter to the will of YHWH and thus ipso facto idolatrous." He points to Ezekiel 20:25-26, as one example where Yahweh says:

    [25] Moreover I gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not have life;

    [26] and I defiled them through their very gifts in making them offer by fire all their first-born, that I might horrify them; I did it that they might know that I am the LORD.


    But of which statutes is Yahweh speaking when referring the sacrifice of a first-born son? That statute may be the one in Exodus 22:29-30:

    [29] "You shall not delay to offer from the fulness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses.

    "The first-born of your sons you shall give to me.

    [30] You shall do likewise with your oxen and with your sheep: seven days it shall be with its dam; on the eighth day you shall give it to me.


    As Levenson observes, many Christian and Jewish scholars have tried to mitigate or eliminate the obvious meaning of these passages. But even Moshe Greenberg, author of a major commentary of Ezekiel, and who otherwise minimizes the idea that normative Yahwism engaged in child sacrifice, admits:

    The polemic against child sacrifice (to YHWH) in Deut. 12:29ff.; Jer 7:31; 19:5, 32:35 indicates that at least from the time of the last kings of Judah it was popularly believed that YHWH accepted, perhaps even commanded, it. [42]

    For Levenson, it was late texts that sought to substitute animals for actual human first-born sons. Genesis 22, which shows Yahweh substituting a ram for Isaac, is part of a late biblical tradition. Indeed, in Genesis 22, Abraham seems to presume that child sacrifice is not an impossible request, and it is the substitution of the ram that is unexpected. For most of biblical history, Yahweh was not against child sacrifice per se, but rather against child sacrifice to other gods.

    And, of course, Miller forgets that sacrifice of a son is the foundation of Christianity. After all, Jesus Christ is viewed as the only-begotten son of God, who must be sacrificed to redeem the world because of "love" (John 3:16). Christ's sacrifice is premised on the sort of blood-magic inherited from the ancient Near East. This blood-magic is evident in Hebrews 9:22: "Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin." Christian creationists might claim that their god has the authority to order sacrifice, but this claim is no more verifiable than that of any other religion that practices human sacrifice.

    Then there is the sheer logical absurdity of the pragmatics suggested by Sarfati and Miller, who argue that the Israelites had to kill Canaanite children because the Canaanites were killing their children. This, of course, leaves unexplained why we have to kill the children, instead of killing the perpetrators of the infanticide. Such a measure is, in fact, attributed by Tertullian, the famous church father, to a Roman official:

    In Africa infants used to be sacrificed to Saturn and quite openly, down to the proconsulate of< Tiberius, who took the priests themselves and on the very trees of their temple, under whose shadow their crimes had been committed, hung them alive like votive offerings on crosses. [43]

    This is a far wiser and most just punishment than killing children so that they will not be killed by their parents. Such actions by the Romans refutes the usual apologetic mantra that Christianity was needed to finally stop such killings.

    Furthermore, Miller's suggestion violates at least one biblical commandment found in Deuteronomy 24:16:

    The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor shall the children be put to death for the fathers; every man shall be put to death for his own sin.

    But, as usual, creationists often disregard their own scriptures or pick-and-choose scriptures that favor their view. Whatever the biblical passages chosen, Miller wishes to convince us that it is logically acceptable to kill children because those children are being killed.

    http://www.talkreason.org/articles/Genocide.cfm#child
     
  7. myrrh ken

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    That numbers 31 is something else. Kill all the men as they have sinned. All the women and boys too. Same reason. Spare the virgin girls though - they're okay. Im sure youll find a use for them
     
  8. Surely

    Surely Moderator Staff Member

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    32000 virgins,now I know the Bible is a crock of shit
     
  9. Mr Spock!

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    I wonder how they worked out who the virgins were.

    Show of hands?
     
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  10. Surely

    Surely Moderator Staff Member

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    I think back then it was smell, an ability we have lost.

    Much like their great oral tradition where they recite things that happened down through generations and it was so accurate they wrote a book containing these recitals, another ability we have lost, a story told today and repeated is totally different in a matter of weeks.
     
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  11. Mr Spock!

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    Can you smell if a person has ever had sex???

    .....Fascinating.....

    Probably more likely they topped all the uglies, fatties and oldies and left the hotties and young uns for themselves.

    The interesting thing is that these pieces of propaganda to bolster the fictional early history of Israel are actually leading to a total rejection of the story.

    As for so-called oral tradition.........you only need to look at today and how events are differently interpreted on the same day.........let alone over thousands of years.

    I wonder if the same logic appeals to the Aboriginal Dreamtime.

    The rivers really were vomited out of a giant frog because oral tradition.
     
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  12. Mr Spock!

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    Yeah because intermarriage made god angry which caused a plague......

    Whereas it would be different with virgins!!!??????

    I'm sure there's some logic in that but I can't find it.

    And the little boys - probably too many mouths to feed...Much better for them to just kill them.
     
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  13. Snoochies

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    Mr Spock surely you must be an atheist by now??
     
  14. Mr Spock!

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    I'm atheistic to lots of gods.......especially psychotic ones.
     
  15. Snoochies

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    Which one/s do you believe in?
     
  16. Mr Spock!

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    I certainly don't believe in gods which have the attributes of Bronze and Iron Age thinking eg slavery, killing gay people.

    As someone said, we have people throughout the ages who created God in their own image.

    I'm more inclined to believe that god exists in everything ie Energy.which is what sustains everything.
     
  17. gUt

    gUt Coach

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    So a deist.

    Won't be long now... ;)
     
  18. Snoochies

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    Cool, you spend so much time talking about what tou don't believe but not much about what you do.

    Whi or what is this energy/god you believe and why?
     
  19. Snoop

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    Sounds more Eastern or panthiestic/panentheistic than deistic.
     
  20. Mr Spock!

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    I know that confuses people like yourself who want to interrogate people over what they believe but I'm not interested.


    Its actually called negative theology.

    God is not....

    Misogynist
    Homophobe
    Racist
    Pro slavery
    Exterminator
     

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