Making Everybody Unhappy

Time to make everybody unhappy, again. Where to start? I haven’t poked fun at religion for several hours. It must be time to do it again.

Found on the Internet

Let’s start with the Jews. Jews are a good target, because they started it all. The bulk of modern religious idiocy can be laid at the feet of the Jews. So, I’ll start with the Jews, then take on the Muslims and then the Christians. This is a little out of sequence, because first came the Jews, then the Christians, then the Muslims. But the Christians are a big fat target, and I’m going to save them for later. Including the Catholics, the Mormons, and the fundamentalists. Hindus and others after that. Let’s start with the beginning.

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

That’s it. Can I quit now? How much idiocy does it take to sink an ancient myth?

Where did they get this stuff? Follow the link. Read the entire thing. I will wait.

OK, properly interpreted, the Book of Genesis says that the Universe and everything in it was created about 6000 years ago over a period of six days. Not only does this story fly in the face of reason, it’s against all known facts. Even the wording is contradictory:

  • God divided the light from the darkness? The Earth divides the light from the darkness. The night is the dark part of the Earth away from the sun, and the day is the sunlit side.
  • I’m going to pass over the firmament business, because I never understood what this all meant.
  • God made two lights, meaning I think the sun and the moon. But wait. There needs to be a sun before there is light and darkness. Night and day require the earth to be a (nearly) sphere, with night on the side away from the sun and day on the sunlit side.
  • What’s all this first day, second day, third day stuff even before the sun was created?
  • God made man in his own image? Early man was an ape-like creature. Is God an ape-like creature? Man has since evolved to look like me, or even better. Had God evolved, as well?

Wait, there’s more:

Genesis 2
King James Version (KJV)

20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

Adam named every beast? He named the Jaguar, which was on another continent, and Adam never laid eyes on a Jaguar? Besides, there are many thousands of species of animals, and Adam named them all? Adam must have been a very busy man, and for all that he forgot to write it all down, and modern scientists have had to go back and rename the animals all over again.

Genesis 1
King James Version (KJV)

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Genesis 2
King James Version (KJV)

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

So, which was it? God created man and woman at the same time, or God created Adam, then thought about it a while and did some magic and created one woman out of one of Adam’s ribs? Did anybody just once proofread this manuscript?

I particularly like this part:

Genesis 3
King James Version (KJV)

3 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

Forget for a moment how silly is this argument between the woman and the snake. Does anybody besides me notice that the snake is talking? You want me to be a Jew and follow the teachings of the Bible, and you load it up with nonsense like this?

Jesus, it even gets worse:

Genesis 4
King James Version (KJV)

1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.

2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

This is where the Bible begins to get interesting with all the sex and violence. Adam screwed Eve, and again, and they had two sons. Then one son killed the other and lied about it and was banished, and he went off to another region and found another wife.

Readers, the arithmetic does not pan out. Only four people on Earth, then three after one is killed, then another appears from out of nowhere. And you still want me to be a Jew?

Can it get any worse? Does the bear… Well you know. Anyhow, the answer is yes:

Genesis 5
King James Version (KJV)

27 And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.

28 And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son:

29 And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.

30 And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters:

31 And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.

32 And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Genesis 7
King James Version (KJV)

17 And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.

18 And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.

19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.

20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

I included that part about Methuselah and Noah living such long lives, because I wanted to illustrate just how absurd this story is becoming. Take a look at the last part. A cubit is about the length of a human forearm. And water fifteen cubits deep is going to cover all the mountains?

This is the point where I give up quoting the Bible, because only a first-grader is going to believe all this shit. Then maybe not.

The book goes on to tell about the Hebrews being enslaved in Egypt and then escaping and wandering 40 years in the desert and coming to a land that God has promised to them, and all of this is demonstrably bullshit. There is no record, either written or circumstantial that the Hebrews were ever in Egypt. All of this has been previously covered in an item in The North Texas Skeptic from August 2002:

Daniel Lazare has recapitulated the current status of the story in the March issue of Harpers.[1] The gist of the July lecture was taken from that essay.

The traditional story of the Bible has the world being created about 6000 years ago and being destroyed by a world-wide flood a few hundred years later. Only eight people were saved from the flood, and they restarted the human race from the region of Mount Ararat in Turkey. A tribal leader named Abraham brought his people into what is now Israel and Palestine from Mesopotamia (land between the rivers), in what is modern Iraq. Thence there was a migration into Egypt where the ancient Hebrews worked as slaves for about 500 years before quitting and returning to Canaan (Israel/Palestine), where they had to conquer the Canaanites to get back in. Subsequently, the Hebrew tribes split into Israel in the north and the powerful kingdom of Judah to the south. Israel was conquered by the Assyrians in 722 BCE, and Judah was conquered by the Babylonians in 586 BCE Only Judah survived after a period of enslavement, and modern Judaism derived from the history of those people.

But it ain’t necessarily so. Here are a few of the points of contention raised by recent archeological studies:

Use of camels. Abraham sent out a servant with camels to find a wife for his son, Isaac. This was about 2100 to 1800 BCE Actually, camels were not much used for transport in this area until after 1000 BCE

Isaac and Abimelech. Abimelech was king of the Philistines, and Isaac sought help from him, which could not be much later than 1800 BCE Problem is, there were no Philistines present until after 1200 BCE

Heshbon and Edom. Hebrews fought King Sihon at Heshbon and also the king of Edom. But these two cities did not exist at the time of the supposed battles.

Forty years in the Sinai. Archeologists cannot find any trace of such a large number of people living in the Sinai during the time the Jews were supposed to be wandering or camped there.

Invasion of Canaan. There is no indication of an invasion. It appears “a distinctive Israelite culture arose locally around 1200 BCE as nomadic shepherds and goatherds ceased their wanderings and began settling down in the nearby uplands” according to Lazare.[2] The Israelites were there all along and were much like other cultures in the area at that time. They differentiated themselves from the others by abstaining from pork, as evidenced by a lack of pig bones in the archeological digs.

Envy of the hillbillies. Supposedly David and Solomon of Judah built a great civilization and lived lavishly during the time 1005 to 931 BCE and also ruled over the kingdom of Israel to their north. Archeological evidence does not indicate the southern mountain tribes were all that prosperous. Evidence does exist for a prosperous and worldly tribe of Israel, and there is no indication the two nations were ever joined.

In short, it would seem the dominance of Judah was built into the written history after the demise of Israel through the Assyrian conquest. As mentioned previously, Judah survived the Babylonian conquest and went on to write the history.

Lazare is of the opinion the priests of Judah promulgated monotheism as a counter example to the polytheistic Israelites. If you don’t want to go the way of the Israelites, you had better toe the party line and stick to the one true god. Yaweh (Jehovah) was the god of one of Solomon’s wives, and Solomon made Yaweh the chosen deity and built the now famous temple. A lot of the accepted history seems to have been written to accommodate this result.

References:
1 Daniel Lazare, “False Testament.” Harper’s Magazine, March 2002. pp. 39-47.
2 Ibid.

I’m going to stop here. What we call the Old Testament, the Bible of the Jews, is a litany of bullshit. When people ask me why I am not religious, especially why I am not Jewish, I generally remind them that I have to live in the real world, and in the real world, when you get your facts wrong, when you screw up, bad things can happen. People can die. You want me to be religious? Then start by telling me the truth.

The Jews predicted a savior, a messiah, who would come to deliver them from their awful plight, and awful it was. Anyhow, a following post is going to deal with the religion based on this supposed messiah, but first I’m going to tell you about another desert prophet. And you are not going to believe what happened. Please keep reading.

And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.

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One thought on “Making Everybody Unhappy

  1. Pingback: Fool’s Argument | Skeptical Analysis

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