Monday, October 6, 2008

Sparring with Jovies, part 3

And my response, again without hello/goodbye remarks:

--- REGRET ---
I figured the "regret" issue would have linguistics behind it, and I won't belabor the point too much. But, I will stress once again that the passage says "And the LORD regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel". It doesn't say, "And the LORD was really upset that Saul was disobedient." This passage implies that God was sad about Saul's disobedience, but it SAYS that he regretted something He had done. BUT, I must say that this was really a side note...God's ability or inability to regret his own actions, change his mind, isn't likely to convince me of his existence or nonexistence. I do thank you for your attention there, though....

--- BAD GOD ---
Putting aside for the time being the idea that the bible isn't the word of next biggest issue with religion, and Christianity specifically, is what we talked about next - that God is most DEFINITELY not a role model. If this god actually existed, I would turn my back on him. But I think that the portrayal of him as a being of love, contrasted with the very CLEAR evidence that he is not, is massive evidence to the fact that he is a work of fiction embellished over thousands of years.

Think of this line of thought: Our people are just and true, loving and good. We are right about God, we are right about the way we live our life. (Clearly we are right...if we were wrong, we'd live some other way!) Those people over there are wrong, they are destroying our culture and threatening our very lives. God wants us to survive and thrive, therefore god must want us to triumph over those people. To triumph over them, to make sure their wicked way of life ceases to be, we must eradicate the lot of them. Except maybe for a few of the women - virgins all, because who wants old used-up women? - so the soldiers can get their groove on.

I'm being a little flippant, but this is the way things work. God didn't tell these people to rape, murder, enslave, and destroy...people rape, murder, enslave, and destroy and then justify to themselves, to the world, to the annals of history. I think it goes way beyond "faith" to decide that rape, slavery, genocide, and the outright murder of infants and children is okay because God Knows Best. Just because it happened thousands of years ago doesn't make it the tiniest bit less evil.

Another side note: "Such sparing of only virgins would serve to protect Israel from false worship and no doubt from sexually transmitted diseases." So how is it that murdering women, but not the virgin women, protects Israel from false worship? Sexually active women then were idolaters, but virgins weren't? Or maybe because the virgins were all kids, probably under 12, and so easily converted by the men who were raping them? It really doesn't sound so good when it's spelled out...

--- REASON ---
We are not children. Taken even in the context of an all-knowing omnipresent God, we are not children. By your religion, we were given free will, we ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That means we can tell right from wrong. If we are responsible enough for our own actions to burn in hell (or by your beliefs, cease to exist) for choosing wrong, or be rewarded eternally for choosing right, then we are quite responsible enough to judge for ourselves whether God is what his followers say he is. This god is not the god of love, he is a fairytale con artist-cum-mass murderer/sociopath.

I would be at all impressed with the god of the Old Testament if he'd done anything at all to actually improve life for the people of that time - brought peace, empowered women, forbidden slavery, improved medicine and/or farming significantly, etc etc. Instead he spent quite a lot of time telling these people to wipe those people out if they didn't take the "opportunity" to surrender and become slaves. This says to me that there is no god, never was a "God"...the men of the time believed things and wrote them down. PEOPLE covet, PEOPLE wage war, PEOPLE justify. There is nothing in history that needs a god to explain it.

--- SUMMARY ---
At the end of my last email, I asked, "you're too nice of a person to agree with a being who's into rape and infanticide. So what explanation do you have, among yourselves, for these apparent incongruities?" Your answer more or less boils down to two things:

- The people who were murdered down to the last infant deserved everything they got. They weren’t his "children" anyway.
- There are things in the bible that God did/commanded that sound evil, but really aren't when you consider what a great guy he is. The same book that tells us about His wroth also assures us that He is perfect.

I am a person, specifically a woman. I'm terrifically lucky to be alive at all, and more so in the time and place that I am. We here and now are better educated, better provisioned, better protected, and have more freedoms than any other women - any other PEOPLE - in the history of life on this planet. I am standing on the shoulders of thousands of generations of people whose lives were a misery...worthless, hopeless, joyless. I am grateful for those people who survived long enough to lead to me, and for the happenstance that places me in 21st century America. My life and the history leading up to it make perfect sense without a god, and especially without a god that claims to be love, and then is nothing but jealous, cryptic, misogynistic, brutal, etc etc etc. Understand, then, that I am not rejecting God. I reject Allah, Zeus, Poseiden, Mars, Ganesha, Jehovah, the tooth fairy, and Zombie Elvis all together, and for the exact same reasons.

I'm having these talks with you not so I can convert you, and certainly not so I can be converted, but because...well, one time I got into a discussion with a co-worker, a guy I respected very much. It turned out he was a Christian, and never swore. So I asked him why...the Bible doesn't specifically forbid swearing, just blasphemy. The explanation he gave was lucid, and while I didn't agree with it, I also respected that it made sense and was based on reason, considering he followed the Bible. What I'm looking for here is that same kind of lucidity...I've had these talks with a lot of people, but I've rarely if ever come across anything like that again. There's an awful lot of faith in the faith, so to speak, and not a lot of reason. I guess I'm just looking to see how much a person who believes in the Bible is truly consistent with themselves. Something like that.

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