Friday, December 3, 2010

Noah's Ark

Noah's Ark Found

More than a year and a half since Christian explorers trumpeted their alleged discovery of Noah's Ark atop Mount Ararat in Turkey, a war of words is escalating among fellow believers who call the claim an intentional deception that will disparage an actual find of the biblical vessel.


In this photo from Noah's Ark Ministries International, an explorer is purported to be investigating a wooden structure on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey that it says may be the remnant of Noah's Ark mentioned in the Bible.


"Every false report undermines the potential of a true discovery by bolstering the critical view that Noah's Ark is a myth and therefore cannot be found," says a new report issued by the Virginia-based World of the Bible Ministries.

"Every false report further diminishes the potential of a true discovery by constantly exciting the public consciousness with a sensational claim that fails to deliver. The 'cry-wolf syndrome' then takes effect in society so that no one really cares even when the real thing is finally found."

When I was just a young girl there were stories circulating about the finding of Noah's Ark. I chased every story from my teen years until well in my adulthood. Haven't thought about it much in many years but I found this story interesting.

With the many scientific analysis of the feasibility of the bible story it surprised me that any one is still looking. However, I do hope someone does eventually find something to corroborate the story; then I guess there would still be argument about it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Original Sin

Considering the root of christianity is derived from an amoral god, can one be good with god?
-Alan Bombria (a friend)

"Damnation is the start of your morality, destruction is its purpose, means and end. Your code begins by damning man as evil, then demands that he ...practice a good which it defines as impossible for him to practice. It demands, as his first proof of virtue, that he accepts his own depravity without proof. It demands that he start, not with a standard of value, but with a standard of evil, which is himself, by means of which he is then to define the good: the good is that which he is not...


We are told from birth that we are sinners and evil doers. We are also told that we are made in the image of god. We are told we have free will and that we must choose to accept Jesus in order to get rid of the sin we got when we were created in god’s image.

“The name of this monstrous absurdity is Original Sin. A sin without volition is a slap at morality and an insolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality. If man is evil by birth, he has no will, no power to change it; if he has no will, he can be neither good nor evil; a robot is amoral. To hold, as man's sin, a fact not open to his choice is a mockery of morality. To hold man's nature as his sin is a mockery of nature. To punish him for a crime he committed before he was born is a mockery of justice. To hold him guilty in a matter where no innocence exists is a mockery of reason. To destroy morality, nature, justice and reason by means of a single concept is a feat of evil hardly to be matched. Yet that is the root of your code."


This is an excerpt from John Galt's speech in the novel Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, and it deals with the Christian notion of original sin.

The longer version can be found here

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What's wrong with teaching ID?

So, who wants to go to heaven?

I was reading face book posts today and found this on a friends blog. It makes me think about many things I have pushed aside for a while. He is talking about heaven and the Christian concept of such. His comments are so poignant I find myself agonizing for my believing children.


I have been told that if I perform the correct Jesus Worship Ritual, that when I go to heaven, I will not be troubled by those who are not there. Some people have told me I would forget that they existed. Others have said that I will remember but will not care because heaven will be so wonderful. If either of these is true, then I fully believe that I would no longer be myself. I am a person who cares about the suffering of others, and who is hurt when my friends are hurt. Some of the people who are already in hell were very dear friends. They were good people who tried very hard to make the lives of their friends better. I would not be who I am without their memory. So if the god Jesus intends to erase my memory, I think that is the same as a death sentence.

Even more troubling is the idea that the god Jesus will make me so uncaring because of my own pleasure that I will not bother to grieve for my lost friends and family. By all measures of goodness that I know, that would make me an evil person. I do not wish to become evil, so I do not wish to go to heaven.


My poor kids; either they will not remember me or they will remember me and not give a damn that I am burning in hell.

I'm glad I don't believe it and nothing anyone can say to me can make me feel bad about not putting that burden on my children.

If you want to read more of his reasons check out his blog.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Poll on religion finds ignorance

A new survey of Americans' knowledge of religion found that atheists, agnostics, Jews and Mormons outperformed Protestants and Roman Catholics in answering questions about major religions, while many respondents could not correctly give the most basic tenets of their own faiths.

Forty-five percent of Roman Catholics who participated in the study didn't know that, according to church teaching, the bread and wine used in Holy Communion is not just a symbol, but becomes the body and blood of Christ.


More than half of Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the person who inspired the Protestant Reformation. And about four in 10 Jews did not know that Maimonides, one of the greatest rabbis and intellectuals in history, was Jewish.

The survey released today by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life aimed to test a broad range of religious knowledge, including understanding of the Bible, core teachings of different faiths and major figures in religious history. The U.S. is one of the most religious countries in the developed world, especially compared with largely secular Western Europe, but faith leaders and educators have long lamented that Americans still know relatively little about religion.

Respondents to the survey were asked 32 questions with a range of difficulty, including whether they could name the Islamic holy book and the first book of the Bible, or say what century the Mormon religion was founded. On average, participants in the survey answered correctly overall for half of the survey questions.

Atheists and agnostics scored highest, with an average of 21 correct answers, while Jews and Mormons followed with about 20 accurate responses. Protestants overall averaged 16 correct answers and Catholics followed with about 15.

Level of education was the best predictor of religious knowledge.



Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/09/28/20100928religion-poll0928.html#ixzz111kkn1sN

Friday, September 24, 2010

Origins of the Bible

Although I have been doing the same thing, in searching out the origins of the Bible, this is not my work. It did not get a lot of discussion at the original post site, so I am reposting to see how others think about this subject.


After discovering the actual fraudulent beginnings for the Book of Mormon I have become very curious about other religions beginnings. The Bible, because of its relationship to Mormonism, particularly intrigues me. The actual orgins are fascinating.

As I have been reading over the last year or so something occurred to me. The Bible is actually a result of the geographic location of the Canaanites at the crossroads of three continents. The Bible originated with the Canaanites who gradually morphed into the Israelites sometime between 400-700 BCE. The stories in the Bible are collections of older myths from the surrounding cultures. Those who originate from that region possess DNA that indicates they intermixed with the many groups of people who traversed the lands they wandered for centuries.

"While the Jews of today are connected historically and religiously to the Jews of ancient Israel, the DNA evidence also indicates that a significant amount of Jewish ancestry can be traced directly back to their Israelite/Middle Eastern ancestors. However, these ancestors represented a heterogeneous mix of Semitic and Mediterranean groups, even at their very beginnings. The Israelite Kingdom arose in the 11th century BCE in an area between modern-day Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Current archaeological evidence indicates that the Israelite kingdom arose out of the earlier, Bronze Age Canaanite culture of that region, and displayed significant continuity with the Canaanites in culture, technology, language and ethnicity (Dever 2003, pp. 153-154).

While the Canaanites were a Western Semitic people indigenous to the area, they appear to have consisted of a diverse ethno-cultural mix from the earliest times. It is from this diverse group that the evolution of the Israelites occurred. Although little is known about these groups, they probably included some of the following populations:

1. Amorites: Western Semites like the Canaanites. They were probably the pastoral nomadic component of the Canaanite people.
2. Hittites: A non-Semitic people from Anatolia and Northern Syria.
3. Hurrians (Horites): A non-Semitic people who inhabited parts of Syria and Mesopotamia. Many kings of the early Canaanite city-states had Hurrian names.
4. Amalekites: Nomads from southern Transjordan. Even inimical references to this group in the Hebrew Bible "tacitly" acknowledge that the Israelites and Amalekites shared a common ancestry.
5. Philistines: Referred to in ancient texts as "Sea Peoples." They invaded and settled along the coasts of ancient Canaan. Their culture appears to stem from that of Mycenae.

(Dever 2003, pp. 219-220)."


"As far as we can see on the basis of the archaeological surveys, Judah remained relatively empty of permanent population, quite isolated, and very marginal right up to and past the presumed time of David and Solomon, with no major urban centers and with no pronounced hierarchy of hamlets, villages, and towns." -- p. 132

"There is no trace of written documents or inscriptions, nor of the Temple or palace of Solomon, and buildings once identified with Solomon have been shown to date from other periods. Current evidence refutes the existence of a unified kingdom: "The glorious epic of united monarchy was -- like the stories of the patriarchs and the sagas of the Exodus and conquest -- a brilliant composition that wove together ancient heroic tales and legends into a coherent and persuasive prophecy for the people of Israel in the seventh century BCE" (p. 144).

"...most of the Israelites did not come from outside Canaan - they emerged from within it. There was no mass Exodus from Egypt. There was no violent conquest of Canaan. Most of the people who formed early Israel were local people - the same people whom we see in the highlands throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages. The early Israelites were - irony of ironies - themselves originally Canaanites!"-Finkelstein and Silberman


Numerous encounters over several centuries led to the adoption of other cultures myths and intertwining these myths into a loose collection. The occasional traveler probably stayed and the occasional Canaanite probably left with the travelers.

I personally find the actually origins more interesting than the mythical tales. It is actually a reflection of the evolution of most cultures around the world. Isolation is actually VERY rare in the course of human history.


One comment

This is important info that hundreds of millions of people need to read and become familiar with. I think it is very cool that archaeologists are bravely finding and telling the truth about these Bible-based myths, golden calves and shibboleths. Maybe in the future the planet can actually become free of the concept of "chosen people", "god's favored children", etc..

I'm really glad that this work is being done and published to the world in my lifetime. Coming to understand how scriptures are written and edited within cultures and societies has been liberating for me. The "Bible veil" is beginning to wear exceedingly thin, and may soon tear away from the mass mind altogether. I look forward to a freer world for our descendants

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Religion and the Supreme Court

I received the following from a friend and thought it interesting enough to try and get some feed back.



Now that Elena Kagan has been confirmed on our nation's high court, for the first time in its history, the US Supreme court is: devoid of Protestants.

Kagan is Jewish, as are Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Everyone of the other justices — Chief Justice John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Sonia Sotomayor — are Catholic. How did this situation come about in a country that was historically pretty much born of, and bred by, Protestants?

Amid the abundant number of articles and commentary on the new percentage of both women and liberals that are now on the Court now that Kagan has ascended to it, the utter lack of comment on the changed religious make-up of the court is far more interesting in and of itself. Why the lack of discussion on this topic? It is going unmarked.

What does the over-representation of Jews on the court tell us? Is it as significant as the over-representatrion of men has been, for instance?

What does the lack of any protestant on the Court tell us, and is it significant? Are we as a country abandoning all our founding Calvinist thoughts? Are we subconsciously (or maybe even consciously) fleeing all things redneck? After all, WASP means "white anglo-saxon protestant."

The religious change-over that has taken place in the Supreme Court is an extremely interesting topic on many levels. I would love to see some discussion of it out there, but it may be like the proverbial "elephant in the room," and just way too big to mention.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

What is an Atheist?

I have been and still am quite busy with my daughter and the grandchildren but I ran across this quote and wanted to post it for posterity.


"I look at everything around me like you do, with amazement, but the amazing circumstances of life on this planet are not justifiably answered with blind faith, science answers questions with evidence, religion raises questions with lack there of."

"YOUR PETITIONERS ARE ATHEISTS and they define their life-style as follows. An Atheist loves himself and his fellow man instead of a god. An Atheist knows that heaven is something for which we should work now -- here on earth -- for all men together to enjoy. An Atheist thinks that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue, and enjoy it. An Atheist thinks that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the under...standing that will help to a life of fulfillment.

Therefore, he seeks to know himself and his fellow man rather than to know a god. An Atheist knows that a hospital should be build instead of a church An Atheist knows that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said.

An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man. He wants an ethical way of life. He knows that we cannot rely on a god nor channel action into prayer nor hope for an end to troubles in the hereafter. He knows that we are our brother's keeper and keepers of our lives; that we are responsible persons, that the job is here and the time is now."

Madalyn Murray (later O'Hair), preambleto Murray v. Curlett, April 27, 1961

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Believer and the Apostate

It is no secret that the believer and the non believer have dificulty getting along..a bit tongue in cheek...but I had not reall looked at the reasons in depth. This article paints a picture that is right on.
There is quite possibly no greater threat to the believer than the existence of the apostate. In order to reduce dissonance, the true believer must assume that their own particular system of faith is so obviously true that no open-minded seeker who is fully appraised of the facts can fail to accept it. The apostate represents the real-world disconfirmation of this assumption. It is possible to ascribe the existence of non-believers to several sources – the work of the Enemy, or a deliberate (and thus rebellious) close-mindedness or even, in some cases, non-election. The apostate, however, is in a different class altogether. The apostate is defined as a person who, at one time, fully accepted the dogma and tenets of the particular system, who participated in its rituals, and who defended it from the attacks of unbelievers. However, the apostate at some point reached the conclusion that the system was intellectually bankrupt, and defected from the faith, either for another tradition, or for a system of freethought.Thus, the apostate cannot exist in the worldview of the believer.
Rational thought is the true enemy of the believer.
This line of defense usually produces a curious paradox. Most human beings need rational thought in order to function effectively in the secular world. They are thus quite able to effectively apply logic and reason in everyday situations. But, it is important that this light of reason never be brought to bear on one’s own system of belief. The reason for this is not difficult to determine – very few, if any, religious systems can survive a dispassionate, rational dissection. This fact is acknowledged by the believer, usually unconsciously.
Complete article here


Imagine

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fairness

Life is not fair; get used to it. – Bill Gates

Perhaps it is truth that life is not fair. I have been thinking about that a lot lately because my family has faced a lot of “unfairness”.

But is it?

What is fair?

Definitions of fair on the Web:

•free from favoritism or self-interest or bias or deception; conforming with established standards or rules; "a fair referee"; "fair deal"; "on a fair footing"; "a fair fight"; "by fair means or foul"


•not excessive or extreme; "a fairish income"; "reasonable prices"

•bonny: very pleasing to the eye; "my bonny lass"; "there's a bonny bay beyond"; "a comely face"; "young fair maidens"

•(of a baseball) hit between the foul lines; "he hit a fair ball over the third base bag"

•average: lacking exceptional quality or ability; "a novel of average merit"; "only a fair performance of the sonata"; "in fair health"; "the caliber of the students has gone from mediocre to above average"; "the performance was middling at best"

•fair(a): attractively feminine; "the fair sex"

•carnival: a traveling show; having sideshows and rides and games of skill etc.

•clean: (of a manuscript) having few alterations or corrections; "fair copy"; "a clean manuscript"

•gathering of producers to promote business; "world fair"; "trade fair"; "book fair"

•honest: gained or earned without cheating or stealing; "an honest wage"; "an fair penny"

•fairly: in conformity with the rules or laws and without fraud or cheating; "they played fairly"

•a competitive exhibition of farm products; "she won a blue ribbon for her baking at the county fair"

•free of clouds or rain; "today will be fair and warm"

•join so that the external surfaces blend smoothly

•fairly: without favoring one party, in a fair evenhanded manner; "deal fairly with one another"
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

So let’s look at some of these from my perspective:

• free from favoritism or self-interest or bias or deception; conforming with established standards or rules; "a fair referee"; "fair deal"; "on a fair footing"; "a fair fight"; "by fair means or foul"

No favoritism here. Cancer has stricken several in my family including my youngest daughter. Self-interest; of whom? No rule book for life and no referees.


• not excessive or extreme; "a fairish income"; "reasonable prices"

Is it excessive that I have lost 5 siblings to cancer and that it has now attacked my daughter?

• fairly: in conformity with the rules or laws and without fraud or cheating; "they played fairly"

How does one cheat when there are no rules?

• fairly: without favoring one party, in a fair evenhanded manner; "deal fairly with one another"

So I suppose if this one applies the 2 siblings and 3 children I have may be “dealt with” fairly.

However, lest I sound morbid, which is not my intention, I go in another direction.

My beautiful daughter is a special person. She is facing a difficult time in her young life and she is facing it with humor and grace. So I am not bitter about this. She has a strong faith and she feels that her faith will sustain her. I admire her as she faces each day with courage and strength. She has God on her side (she believes). But….

I don’t understand the strength she gets from prayer but I will not deny that she has it. She credits her god with all the good things in her life but never blames him for the pain and suffering. I don’t get it but I don’t have to.
She is an amazing person and I only see her strength and her courage: maybe there is something supernatural about that!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

God is Busy

Read this on another site and in light of what is going on in my life right now just had to repost.





"A United States Marine was attending some college courses between assignments. He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the courses had a professor who was an avowed atheist, and a member of the ACLU.

One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, "GOD if you are real then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes." The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am GOD, I'm still waiting." It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Marine got out of his chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him; knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold. The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked and stunned, and sat there looking on in silence. The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked, "What in the world is the matter with you? Why did you do that?"

The Marine calmly replied, "GOD was too busy today protecting American soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid stuff and act like an idiot. So He sent me."

The classroom erupted in cheers!

=======================================
End of email
=======================================

It sure hits all the talking points, doesn't it? Military, academia, atheism, and violence as an answer to difficult questions.

I recently got an email from a student of mine. She was concerned that since I teach a Philosophy class, I would be an atheist, and she was prepared to either drop my class or "turn me in." Apparently, she had a Psychology professor in the past that asked her to examine her beliefs, and it made her very uncomfortable. So now she's on a mission to root out atheists in academia and make sure they all end up losing their jobs.

...and a response... (I particularly like this well stated response)

The story is messed up in many ways.

First, as mentioned by others, the violent act is at odds with the ideals (notice I said "ideals") that are supposedly espoused by Christians and other religionists.

Second, it makes "GOD" look like an incompetent boob, because: (1) he can't multi-task by handling an atheist professor while simultaneously protecting "American" soldiers (forget about non-American soldiers); (2) He doesn't do a very good job of protecting soldiers; and (3) if he really wanted to protect soldiers, he should have prevented the war from breaking out in the first place.

Third, it doesn't pass the smell test. These types of stories all have the same feel to them. I call it the "Reader's Digest feel" because they always sound like something that's a bit too Norman Rockwellish and cartoonish to be true. If anyone had really punched out a professor with enough force to knock him out cold, the professor would be needing serious hospitalization. This story has the professor coming to like something out of the TV shows or cartoons where people are getting hit on the head to knock them unconscious (like it's some kind of on/off switch) and they always come to with nothing more than a headache. It doesn't work that way. When enough force is applied to knock someone unconscious, things like paralysis, broken jaws, broken noses, fractured cheekbones, concussions, etc., are the typical results. The Marine would have been looking at criminal and civil charges.

Finally, if the American soldiers are supposedly "over there" protecting the First Amendment, why the hell is the Marine using violence back home to render it meaningless??"


I recently learned that my youngest daughter has breast cancer. She is Mormon. The whole ward is praying and fasting tomorrow, in her honor. I hope their god is not too busy to listen and act.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I’m Suspicious

Check out the story here for what is reportedly another miracle. It seems that god led him to the little girl. Maybe, but it seems really strange to me. Check out the comments; I’m not the only one suspicious.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter

My #2 daughter and I went to lunch on Sunday. We get together quite often since we are the “without partners” in the family. She was somewhat upset. When I asked her what was wrong she told me the following story. I need to tell you also that she considers herself a Christian, although she is anti-religion. She does not go to church but she believes in God and prays.

“ I called #3 (her sister) this morning to wish her a Happy Easter. I then asked her what kind of plans they had for Easter. She said that it is General Conference Weekend so they weren’t even going to church. I was shocked! She is so religious and so into her LDS church, why was she sitting out the most important holiday of Christianity?”
I knew this about the Mormons but I think my #2 is just beginning to realize how strange they are.

“I asked her why there was not a special service at church. Then she told me that Mormons celebrate the life of Jesus and not the death. Mom, she said, isn’t Easter all about His life? The fact that he rose from the grave as promised by God?”


I am no expert certainly, but I do remember when I was a Christian, Easter was the most important holiday at church. Even my parents who rarely went to church, made sure we were all dressed and in the pews on Easter Sunday.

My #2 doesn’t understand the Mormons but this was incredibly hurtful to her. She thought her sister was a good Christian. She told me that there is no way she could be Christian and not celebrate the resurrection of the Son of God.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

So What am I?

I think a woman has a right to choose to have a child or not, but I think the father has the same right.

I think women on welfare who have a second child out of wedlock should be cut off.

I think people who live and work in this country should be legal, if they aren’t they should be deported. I think businesses who hire them have a responsibility to check them out and make every effort to be sure they are legal. It they aren’t and the company hires them, the company should pay, dearly.

I do not think an employee who is offered paid insurance, should be able to turn it down in order to get Medicaid.

I do not think that private schools, including charter schools, should get public funds when they have the right to choose who attends. I think that students should have to be legal citizens to attend public school but public schools must take all students so public funds should be used for public schools.

I think the school day should be longer and that summers should be shorter. American students rate so low it is embarrassing. I think teachers should be paid in direct proportion to the success of their students. I was a teacher and I still think so.

I do not think it is beneficial to our country to have Congressmen and women in office over and over, even if they are elected. They should have term limits…and they should NOT get retirement for life after serving.

I think Social Security should be paid to those who pay it in and it should not be reduced because I draw $700 a month on teacher retirement.

I think capital punishment is barbaric. I think our prisons should be bare minimums without televisions, game systems and computers. Prisoners should work not go to school for a BS, BA, Masters or PHD at our expense. Training for acclimation into society and productive work should be required.

I think that religion should be taken out of government, completely. That means when someone runs for office it is off limits to talk about or use his religion or lack thereof in any capacity while campaigning or while in office.

I think that drugs should be legalized and controlled. Prohibition does not work. As it is now the criminals are making a lot of money and kids have ready access to whatever they want. The so called War on Drugs is not working and the money spent could be put to better use.

I think everyone deserves good medical care but I don’t have any idea how it should work. I am, however, glad that someone is working to get it done.

I think the office of president deserves all the respect we can muster, even when we don’t particularly like the one who resides within. I think his/her personal life is personal and not fair game for the media.

So what am I? Democrat, Republican, Libertarian? No, American.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Perfect: What does it mean?

“If you wish to converse with me,” said Voltaire, “define your terms.” That might be a good rule to follow here as well.

per•fect–adjective

1. conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type: a perfect sphere; a perfect gentleman.

2. excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement: There is no perfect legal code. The proportions of this temple are almost perfect.

3. exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose: a perfect actor to play Mr. Micawber; a perfect saw for cutting out keyholes.

4. entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings: a perfect apple; the perfect crime.

5. accurate, exact, or correct in every detail: a perfect copy.

6. thorough; complete; utter: perfect strangers.

7. pure or unmixed: perfect yellow.

8. unqualified; absolute: He has perfect control over his followers.

9. expert; accomplished; proficient.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/+perfect

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why do people Cuss?

It is interesting to note that profanity exists in every language. When I began to learn Spanish the first words I learned were the “bad words”. It was funny because I could say them and most people didn’t know what they meant. I did get caught a few times…

Profanity changes over time. When I was growing up my parents would have washed my mouth out for saying ass, or damn or hell, now those are pretty benign words. Shakespeare writings are full of profanity but few recognize it now. Words like sblood (God’s blood) and zounds (God’s wound) cause little ruckus now but in the day they were considered especially outrageous. And, do you know anyone who shops at Gadzooks? That was another reference to the crucifixion of Christ (God’s hooks).

Although I cannot quote book and page, I understand that cursing in public will get you a fine. However, for the most part bad language is more prevalent today than it was in the 50’s and 60’s when I was growing up.

Does that mean it is more accepted? In some circles yes, but for many , myself included, I see the use of bad language as a clear indication that one has limited vocabulary. Maybe it’s the teacher in me but with the vast and rich texture of our language, surely one could find a more appropriate word.

So why do people cuss? There are generally considered two types of profanity: those that refer to deity and those that refer to bodily functions. Both can be quite vile. I think, and this is strictly opinion, that many swear to be accepted by a group; they think it is expected. Others think it makes them feel important (don’t ask me why). For some it is a natural reflex; stub your toe and, “Oh shit!” just pops out. I learned to say “Oh sugar!”…my mother was rather prudish. But I think the reason most people cuss is to make a point, whatever that point is.

So now…is it sacrilegious to use “the lord’s name in vain”? Probably to some, but I tend to believe that most people are not thinking of the lord when they use profanity. I think “taking the lord’s name in vain” is something else altogether…but that’s my opinion.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Literal Bible Truth

Agnostics, Atheist, Anti-theist, Brights and now the Jews. Reading a thread at RFM, I clicked on the link and to my absolute surprise…proof that the bible is fiction.

Well, maybe not proof but certainly a step in the right direction. Someone else said it but I will repeat it here: I can’t wait to hear the Christians claim they know more Jewish history than the Jews.

Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

The notion that the Bible is not literally true ''is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis,'' observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to ''Etz Hayim.'' But some congregants, he said, ''may not like the stark airing of it.'' Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that ''virtually every modern archaeologist'' agrees ''that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all.'' The rabbi offered what he called a ''litany of disillusion'' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have ''found no trace of the tribes of Israel -- not one shard of pottery.''
http://

www.nytimes.com/2002/03/09/books/new-torah-for-modern-minds.html

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hell

Several blogger have posted on the topic of hell; I have also but I am going to do another---from a different angle.

Where did we get our idea of hell? I don't mean that it exist but what it looks like. I have just read "Go to Hell" by Chuck Crisafulli and Kyra Thompson and I learned a great deal about the origins of our idea of hell.

The bible tells us that hell is a separation from god but, and I know you will correct me if I am wrong, the bible does not really describe hell or tell us exactly where it is. So where is it? What does it look like?

i believe that one of the oldest recorded stories of hell comes from the epic tale of Gilgamesh but our most vivid idea of hell comes from Dante Alighieri the author of Divine Comedy and artists Hiieronymus Bosch and Auguste Rodin.

One of the more interesting parts of the book is "My Hell"...snippets fro people you know on hell. I'll give you two:

William Shatner

Hell, for me , would be to leave here today.
Right Now.
Maybe tomorrow--that would be all right.
But not today.
I'm having too much fun.
And to leave right now...?
That would be hell.

Bob Newhart

I was thinking about hell and the "gnashing of teeth". So, I imganie everyone there would have really bad teeth. There would be a dentist ---but no Novocain.

There are many more but I do not want to infringe on a copyright so 'nuff for now. The book is great...check it out.

But for now what is your hell? So in the spirit of the the book here is mine:

My Hell
Listening to television preachers 24/7
That would be hell.

Friday, February 26, 2010

What is the Lesson of Judges 15?

Judges 15 >>
King James Bible
________________________________________
1 But it came to pass within a while after, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber. But her father would not suffer him to go in.

2 And her father said, I verily thought that thou hadst utterly hated her; therefore I gave her to thy companion: is not her younger sister fairer than she? take her, I pray thee, instead of her.

3 And Samson said concerning them, Now shall I be more blameless than the Philistines, though I do them a displeasure.

4 And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails.

5 And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyards and olives.

6 Then the Philistines said, Who hath done this? And they answered, Samson, the son in law of the Timnite, because he had taken his wife, and given her to his companion. And the Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire.

7 And Samson said unto them, Though ye have done this, yet will I be avenged of you, and after that I will cease.

8 And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and dwelt in the top of the rock Etam.

9 Then the Philistines went up, and pitched in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi.

10 And the men of Judah said, Why are ye come up against us? And they answered, To bind Samson are we come up, to do to him as he hath done to us.

11 Then three thousand men of Judah went to the top of the rock Etam, and said to Samson, Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us? what is this that thou hast done unto us? And he said unto them, As they did unto me, so have I done unto them. 12 And they said unto him, We are come down to bind thee, that we may deliver thee into the hand of the Philistines. And Samson said unto them, Swear unto me, that ye will not fall upon me yourselves.

13 And they spake unto him, saying, No; but we will bind thee fast, and deliver thee into their hand: but surely we will not kill thee. And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the rock.

14 And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.

15 And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.

16 And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.

17 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramathlehi.

18 And he was sore athirst, and called on the LORD, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?

19 But God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: wherefore he called the name thereof Enhakkore, which is in Lehi unto this day.

20 And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.



So just what are we to learn from this? If the Bible is the word of god, as Christians profess, then what is this all about? It seems to me that it is nothing more the a story told about a man, his wife and her interfering parents and the chaos that it causes.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Vengful God, I Guess!

One of my favorites, listed to the right, is the God of the Bible site. It is a skeptic’s guide to the atrocities of god of the bible. I went there this morning looking for a passage in James. Why?
Well, yesterday I took my car in for an oil change and while waiting for it I picked up a book Life-Lessons: Book of James-Practical-Wisdom. Never having seen it before, I began to read. It starts out telling about the author and that he is believed to be the brother of Jesus. I wasn’t there long enough to finish it but I think the idea is to use the bible to glean practical lesson applicable to living in today’s world. Nice idea; I guess.
So….my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to check out the book of James. That took me to the aforementioned website. From there I got to another site which gives a count of how many people god killed, based on the bible. How many has God killed? WOW!

So check it out. Bet you didn’t know what a ruthless guy your god is.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Contradictions?

I am posting this as a new thread to avoid the long length of the previous topic.

February 14, 2010 12:56 AM
Rick b said...
Hello Interested, well as I said before I am kinda busy with School and work, plus a family of five. Anyway I will cut and paste a section from the blog you sent me to and talk about it in the next section below, other wise I would run out of my word limit.

Let’s take a look at a passage all Christian’s should be familiar with. It is just 4 small verses Mark 10:17-21. In the NIV these verses are titled the rich young man

17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” 18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’” 20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” 21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”

Ok, seems clear enough. The question asked Jesus was how do I get eternal life. The answer Jesus gave was follow the commandments including the one you think is hard, giving charity isn’t exactly a commandment but close enough. Please keep in mind that this was a young man. Now let’s fast forward a few years when this rich young man squandered all his money and went out into the world and got himself a job. Wasn’t a great job but the benefits were that he could beat prisoners whenever he felt like. He was a jailer, as luck would have it [not luck, my version of events] he was the jailer where Paul and Silas were jailed. Let’s take a look at Acts 16:30-31.

30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

February 17, 2010 8:40 AM
Rick b said...
First off the Blog author implies that the Rich young man speaking to Jesus and the Jailer were the same person. Can you or anyone show me from the Bible where it states this? Asking where this is stated is called evidence, It's not in the Bible, you guys are assuming this is the case, your assuming it is the same person.

Since your simply assuming you then believe this poses a contradiction since Jesus told him to sell all, and Paul says Believe.

This is another case of Atheists not having a clue of what the Bible says and then saying it is filled with problems.

Maybe if you guys were a little more honest I would not give you a hard time.

Yes Jesus did tell that man to sell all, But he was only speaking to THAT MAN, Jesus Did not say, everyone who hears my voice or reads this letter sell all, He simply said it to that one man.

I really find it funny how you guys trash the Bible, but then when I point out your flaws you guys ignore what I say or have no honest feed back. Why is that?

I will post more as I get time. Rick b

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It's a Miracle!



Just had to post this. Too funny to miss.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Food for Thought

The following is a quote from slate in 2006

"Others, myself included, would not, under most imaginable circumstances, vote for a fanatic or fundamentalist-a Hassidic Jew who regards Rabbi Menachem Schneerson as the Messiah, a Christian literalist who thinks that the Earth is less than 7,000 years old, or a Scientologist who thinks it is haunted by the souls of space aliens sent by the evil lord Xenu. Such views are disqualifying because they're dogmatic, irrational, and absurd. By holding them, someone indicates a basic failure to think for himself or see the world as it is.

By the same token, I wouldn't vote for someone who truly believed in the founding whoppers of Mormonism. The LDS church holds that Joseph Smith, directed by the angel Moroni, unearthed a book of golden plates buried in a hillside in Western New York in 1827. The plates were inscribed in "reformed" Egyptian hieroglyphics-a nonexistent version of the ancient language that had yet to be decoded. If you don't know the story, it's worth spending some time with Fawn Brodie's wonderful biography No Man Knows My History. Smith was able to dictate his "translation" of the Book of Mormon first by looking through diamond-encrusted decoder glasses and then by burying his face in a hat with a brown rock at the bottom of it. He was an obvious con man. Romney has every right to believe in con men, but I want to know if he does, and if so, I don't want him running the country.

One may object that all religious beliefs are irrational-what's the difference between Smith's "seer stone" and the virgin birth or the parting of the Red Sea? But Mormonism is different because it is based on such a transparent and recent fraud. It's Scientology plus 125 years. Perhaps Christianity and Judaism are merely more venerable and poetic versions of the same. But a few eons makes a big difference. The world's greater religions have had time to splinter, moderate, and turn their myths into metaphor. The Church of Latter-day Saints is expanding rapidly and liberalizing in various ways, but it remains fundamentally an orthodox creed with no visible reform wing."
Jacob Weisberg http://www.slate.com/id/2155902/

There is much in this quote with which I agree. In fact, I’ll bet my supper that anyone reading this can find something with which to agree. However, I’d like to take in a bit further. I like others who have discussed this subject, do not agree that Christianity or Judaism get a free pass just because they have been around for a while. Just like Mormonism, they too teach intolerance and bigotry. And, like Mormonism, they do have some very strange beliefs. Let’s look at a few:

1. The earth was created in 7 days…Less than 6000 years ago
2. Snakes can talk
3. The Red sea parted long enough for the jews to escape but closed just in time to kill the enemies
4. A virgin can give birth to a half man, half god
5. A 12 - year old boy can convince a bunch of wise men in a temple to stop and listen to him
6. A man/god can walk on water
7. A man can turn water into wine and feed thousands with a few fishes and a loaf of bread
8. A man can cast out evil spirits and send them into a bunch of pigs
9. A dead person can rise after three days in a tomb
10. Three persons can be one person but still three persons in one,,,whew!
And, that is just a few.
I’m reading “The God Virus” by Darrel W. Ray and he compares religion to disease. When we had not knowledge of disease it was natural and normal to blame the supernatural. Humanity has progressed beyond that. We know that disease is caused by bacteria or virus and that many can be cured by medicines and treatments. But even those that do not have cures are not blamed on god; we continue to look for a cure.
I hope to live long enough to see the god virus cured.