Friday, August 11, 2006

How odd of God

I've covered the lunatics who believe the New Testament requires them to pick up poisonous snakes and dance around with them in church. The believe the Bible requires this sort of action. In other words, they think God mandated this sort of nutty behavior.

But how odd of God to do this. How can a god, who is supposedly the god of the entire planent, mandate something which is impossible to do in various places of the world. You couldn't follow this rule in New Zealand for instance. No serpents at all, let alone poisonous ones. Yet they have the same New Testament. How negligent of God to command they "take up serpents" and then forget to provide serpents. Some Christins will point to the camel' s hump as God's design allowing a camel to survive in a dry climate. Fine, but why did God remember the camel while forgetting he told his followers to dunk each other in pools of water which he neglected to provide?

Of course they don't mean just any serpent but poisonous ones. Again you run into trouble. God forgot to put poisonous snakes in Maine, Alaska and Hawaii as well. It gets a bit more confusing with Ireland. One sect says God wants you to pick up snakes but another, the Irish Catholics, said St. Patrick, under the power of God chased them out. No poisonous snakes in Ireland either. In the UK it is very difficult to see any snake at all let alone waltz with them in church. In fact there are various places around where, even if there are snakes, they are so rare and difficult to find that obey God's command would be almost impossible.

Take the "ordinance" (or sacrament if Catholic) of baptism. Now most fundamentalists want to dunk you completely under. Yet there are places in the world where finding that much water in one spot would be damn difficult. You can survive but accumulating that much water is not an easy thing. Today it's not so difficult since we have modern plumbing and so forth. But when God issued the orders that wasn't the case making it more difficult.

Another thing to consider is the issue of communion. Here we have wine, for most people, or grape juice for the fun-hating fundamentalists. Either way you can't have wine or grape juice without grapes and for that you need vineyards. But not all regions of the world are endowed with vineyards. Of course international trade now makes such things available everywhere. But there was a time when a Christian couldn't rush down to the grocery store for the "fruit of the vine" to follow the commands of God.

In many ways God was negligent. He really didn't think things through very well. He comes up with his "word". I don't care if you mean Old Testament, New Testament or Qu'ran. Take any of them it doesn't change the point. So here he has his "word" and he wants people to read it. So what does he do? He brings it out at a time when almost no one reads and there was no easy way to publish it. And even if people could read it wouldn't make difference since there was nothing for them to read. It took the invention of the printing press to make books affordable and easily reproduceable.

So why would God put his word in a book at a time when producing books was extremely difficult?

If God had just waited until the printing press came along, or had given that invention a bit of a push himself, then the distribution of his word would have been much easier. Apparently he didn't think of that.

He supposedly send his son down to preach before there was any means of accurately recording what he said. Now imagine you are God and you want your son's message to get round. Would you send him to some backwater region of the world to preach in an enviroment where the accurate recording of his message was nigh unto impossible? Surely he should have waited until television or at least motion pictures were invented. Then we could get an accurate record of what he really did say. But again it appears Jehovah didn't think of that. And if a god is this negligent in his duties well, can one really call him a god?

3 Comments:

Blogger Norm Nason said...

Hello,

I enjoy your blog and sometimes reference your essays in my website newsletter. Since I don't see a way of contacting you, would you mind contacting me, so I can discuss future writing with you?

All the best,

Norm
solaris@adelphia.net

August 11, 2006

 
Blogger Bazza said...

Hi. This is a very interesting and well argued blog but I think the kind of people who indulge in these kind of religious pursuits are not open to any kind of rational arguements.
I think that the vast majority of those with religious faith are born and brought up with it and sometimes I envy them but simple logic prevents me having faith. However along with all the harm I can see some benefits in religion, such as strong community, strength in times of crisis etc however if you don't believe what can you do?

August 12, 2006

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Bazza: Thanks for the comment. I would argue that some religious people are open to logic. I know. I was one of them.It is true that many are not. But this is cultural and can change. Just look at sane Western countries with small religious populations (your own for instance). The US is in a pathological spiral of religiousity which can be cured. Others have gotten over the delusion and so can they.

As for the positive benefits. Almost anything has benefits and costs. It would be odd for something to only be one or the other. But on balance the costs are very high -- much higher than the religious realise. And that cost rises in direct proportion to the seriousness of the faith. Most your fellow citizens are Anglicans and most Anglicans don't take it too seriously so the cost is relatively low. They don't try to impose their values on others as much and don't get into destructive patterns for themselves as a result of their faith. Born againers don't leave others alone, won't leave others alone, and often get in bizarre things like faith healing which lead to deaths (the real loonies then try to raise the dead).

One example of the costs that we are all paying is the disaster in the Middle East. Fundamentalists of all stripes are anxiously working to bring about the end of the world literally. The Christian dispensationalist wants the end time war to start as this God's plan and brings Jesus back to earth. So they push a fundie president to push for war, war and more war. Fundamentalist Muslims are doing the same thing. Zionism, whish is a combination of two bad ideas (socilism and religion) do the same thing. It is a disaster that could easily become a nuclear disaster.

One can point to benefits from taxes for instance. But on a whole all taxes are more destructive than beneficial. Drug laws no doubt have helped some people but harmed more than they helped. In life few things ever are totally good or totally evil. But that doesn't mean things re not predominantly good or predominantly evil. I would put it this way regarding religion. All religion has evil components within it which are magnafied the more seriously one takes the religion. This is why we mainly speak about the serious faith addicts here not the casual users.

Norm: you should have received an email from me via a intermediate.

August 12, 2006

 

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