Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Kill. Unless it’s Homos. Or Anybody Working on the Wrong Day.

Yesterday, a friend posted a link on facebook with the quotation: “There's a schism in the world of atheism. New atheists — led by Richard Dawkins — insist that religion is stupid and dangerous. The old guard may not believe in God but are willing to work with religious liberals on shared goals.”

This spawned a debate, which of course, rapidly regressed into an idiotic comparison between Moses and Hitler. Godwin’s Law. I started to respond, but then I decided, with the amount of work I was putting into this, that I might as well make it a bona fide blog entry. So here goes:

I usually like to note that there is a difference between atheism and anti-theism. Atheism is just not theism, just like asexual is not sexual, or asymmetrical is not symmetrical. You don't see amoebae protesting sex, and you don't see oddly-shaped polygons boycotting squares. Not often anyway.

Dawkins’ brand of atheism seems to be anti-theism. I will never understand why any sane atheist would bother engaging in a head-on debate with a theist, or a creationist. It’s like telling a dog to stop thinking about food. That dog is going to go on thinking about food as if it’s somehow going to get food as a reward for staring at you until you get blue in the face, and give up talking. Believers in “the good book” don’t hear logic, just like most dog don’t hear most English. Their minds don’t work that way.

I’m with the school of atheism that sees theism as a mental illness that will sort itself out over time. Sooner or later, people are just going to give up on religion entirely. Because the truth is, it is stupid. It doesn’t take very long to figure out that you can’t depend on the bible for anything. Its argument collapses because of its own incoherence and inconsistency. Allow me to illustrate:

Exodus 20:13 says: don’t kill. Leviticus 20:13 says: kill homos. There. Bible debunked. What? You’re not satisfied? Very well…

According to bible scholar Dr. Reuben Alcalay, the exact Hebrew wording of Exodus 20:13 is lo tirtzack, which actually translates to "no killing of any kind of whatsoever." In other words, forget about that rule about only killing kosher, or not eating pork – you can’t kill anything. You can’t swat flies. Now that we know about microscopic germs, we can’t scratch either.

Exodus 31:15 says: kill people who work on the Sabbath. The Sabbath, by the way, is Friday for Muslims, Saturday for Jews, and Sunday for Christians. Guess what? If we were to put just this rule to the test, there would be no one left. (Unless, of course, we advocate a 3-day week-end, which frankly, would be kinda cool.)

Of course, you’ll astutely notice that this really only attacks the Torah, or the “old testament,” which Christians love to excuse with the junk expression: “Well, that’s the old testament. When Jesus came along, he absolved us of that.” Did he really? Where in the bible, pray tell, does it say that? They don’t have an answer for this of course, because they’re full of shit, and they’re obviously making it up as they go along.

Okay, I’ll be fair. After much scouring, there may be something in Acts 13:39. I’m not convinced this means that Christians no longer have to obey the laws of Moses, particularly the Ten Commandments. That seems counterintuitive.

It’s late, and I think I’ve strayed from my original point – so I’m actually going to end this rant on that weak note. Consider it an invitation to perhaps enlighten me as to how none of the logic issues I’ve raised are a problem. I doubt it, but you’re welcome to try.


Shadowthorne said...

This is an interesting entry you have here....

I am not really religious. And you KNOW I did many things against the teachings.

But deep in my heart, I know that there is God, and I will burn in Hell for what I did in life.

My two cents anyway.

p.s. - and you only mentioned the contradictions in the Bible. There are actually 4 holy books in all Christianity, Jew and Islam. The Torah for Moses (in Ibrani). The Zabor for David (in Qibti). The Bible for Jesus (in Suryani) and The Qoran for Muhammad (in Arabic). I must admit I agree with you with the many contradictions in the Bible, which comes in many 'versions'. Somehow along the way, some people changed the meaning and interpretation of the verses.

Don't beat your head. You don't believe anything anyway. :)

Malice Blackheart said...

I have a hard time believing that god is up there, just waiting to smite you in retribution for showing so many women such a good time. You Malaysian stud.

If one god exists, and he happens not to like sex, he should have made us reproduce in some other way. Like puke-babies.

Mrs. B. Roth said...

Oh, you make me laugh.

I think the Bible becomes incomprehensible when you want it to be The Literal Word of God. It's just can't be.

Scriptures are written, at best, by prophets, who are fallible men. They have been translated and retranslated and parts have been edited/added/changed to serve specific, probably not divine, purposes. For any religion to work, I believe there must be an acknowledgment of personal revelation - why bother praying if He never talks back?

Religion isn't stupid and dangerous; people are stupid and dangerous. Religion is just a way to encourage good behavior through peer pressure. Right, Jesus? (He says, "Right, Brandy.")

For Halloween, I'm going with a Deut. 22:5 inspired costume, with a bit of Rev. 17:4 influence. I hope they don't stone me at the church Chili and Trunk-or-Treat party.

I just want to believe that knowledge and intelligence are eternal. It's fine it they aren't, but I want them to be. And maybe they are.

Malice Blackheart said...

See? Even the Mormon admits you can't trust the bible. Case closed.

It's interesting that you should bring up the cross-dressing passage, Mrs. B - because cross-dressing IS the sin. It's not like dressing up like an Amalekite, a Vandal, or a cowboy, where the clothes don't make you what you're dressed as. (Though admittedly, they will make you look stupid.) I find it interesting that the simple act of wearing clothes - even for a festival, could be "wrong." Part of the Purim tradition is for Queen Vashti to be played by a man. Last time I went, she was played by the Rabbi. I guess he's going to hell too, huh? Years and years of reverence to God - but nope, it was all in vain. He slipped up.

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