Victoria NeuroNotes

Into the Gray

Question

128 Comments

In a recent post on A Tale Untold , Peter commented:

“What always puzzles me is how Christian apologists talk about the Bible containing perfect morality given by ‘God’. They should read Numbers chapter 31 everyday for a month.

There are a number of aspects about Numbers 31 that make it especially worthy of consideration:

  • – the action is specifically ordered by ‘God’ against a people, the Midianites who were living well outside the ‘promised land’;
  • – the motive of ‘God’ is given in the text, it is revenge;
  • – after the battle the Israelites were chastised for only killing the adult men, this was not enough for ‘Moses’ who said they should kill all the male children, all the adult women, the only people spread would be the females who were virgins. Moses said if they did not do this then ‘God’ would send a plague against the Israelites;
  • – the virgin females would be kept by the Israelites as sex slaves, they are listed as booty in the text:

 

“The plunder remaining from the spoils that the soldiers took was 675,000 sheep, 72,000 cattle, 61,000 donkeys and 32,000 women who had never slept with a man.” [Numbers 31:32-35]

 

Listed right there after the donkeys. Yet Christians claim that people are special and way above the animals, apparently not if you are a Midianite.

– the Almighty ‘God’ blessed this slaughter by enabling the Israelites to slaughter the midianites without the loss of a single Israelite.

How is it that Christians can’t see this as appalling? This is right up there with ISIS in morality! Yet we are told this book is the source of all morality. That is beyond a joke. People who can’t see this surely are deluded.”

 

Nan replied:

“Peter, they don’t see it as appalling because most of them don’t even know it’s in the bible! They feed on what’s issued from the pulpit and/or their church school, not the actual “Word” (unless, of course, it’s one of those “salvation” scriptures).”

I can relate to what both Peter and Nan said. The three of us are ex-Christians. It wasn’t until I started seriously studying the Bible that I had to ask myself some hard questions from an ethical and moral standpoint.

Several months ago, I was watching the news with my mother.  Actually, it was a special on CNN about ISIS. Women, who had been taken captive by ISIS and escaped, where sharing their horror stories about how they had been treated, and witnessed their children and husbands being slaughtered. My mother, a believer in the Christian god, turned to me and said, “that is horrible — absolutely horrible what ISIS is doing.”  I replied: “It certainly is, and it’s behavior that is condoned by the Judeo-Christian god in the Bible.”

She looked at me as if I were joking, and said, “no way.”

Yes way.

I pulled out the Bible and read from Numbers 31.  She was stunned. I told her that this behavior is not isolated. It’s throughout the Bible.

Silence.

 

I came across this video today; a letter from an anonymous ex-Muslim. It’s applicable to Bible-believing believers, too.

 

I understand the cultural pressures to conform to social norms, and the consequences if you don’t. I understand that Judeo-Christianity provides a sense of belonging–community. I understand that people find tools to help them cope with death anxiety. I also understand the power of indoctrination.

But, what I don’t understand is why believers, who are familiar with the contents of the Bible, make excuses, even justifications, regarding the behavior of the Patriarchs and the Father god they worship.

I don’t want the comments here to turn into a Christian bashing session. This question may seem counterproductive, but I sincerely want to understand why anyone would want to spend eternity with such a god.


 

 

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Author: NeuroNotes

Victoria predominately blogs about religion, and the brain's role in religious type experiences.

128 thoughts on “Question

  1. Want to?
    The more appropriate question would be along the ones of how does someone like your mum remain a Christian for so ,long?

    Her response to you reading Numbers pretty much sums it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s interesting, because she immediately disassociated herself from the Bible, but not Christianity. She still prays to the biblical god “Our Father who art in heaven, hollowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Excerpt from Mathew 6:9

      She still believes she will share real estate with the same god for eternity. Why would she want to?

      Like

  2. I had a similar conversation with my (late) Dear Mother. All she could do is shake her head and give the old, “God’s ways are not always our ways” excuse and changed the subject. Spending eternity in Heaven where you get to see friends and loved ones who passed before you is a strong “carrot dangling from the stick” which trumps most logical arguments , Victoria.

    My Grandmother died when my Mother was only 10. Her Number 1 desire was to see her again. Christianity in her mind gave her the most plausible chance to do this. However troubling scriptures would present themselves didn’t matter to her.

    Sad but true.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Cognitive dissonance and, as you’ve often said, indoctrination are at work here. To be taught something so “undeniably true” for so long, that God is great, you need him, and you’ll burn forever if you don’t love him and see him as a loving being, are concepts drilled into people’s minds from birth. Such thoughts, I believe, form, for many, the sense of who they are as individuals. So, even when reading of the horrendous things our pal Yahweh does and demands his followers to do, in the Bible, the mind of the true believer echoes with the words, “Well, since God loves me, and will burn me for all eternity if I doubt him or don’t love him back, what he does, no matter how seemingly bad it may seem to others, isn’t really bad because…he’s the one doing it, and he loves me and will burn me forever if I don’t believe this. So God is always kind and wonderful, see?” To change one’s core belief on this matter is a task that, I imagine, most true believers will find daunting and agonizingly painful. It’s better to believe than to change and far easier. A huge gap is left in the life of the true believer who realizes his god ain’t so grand, and he’s not really needed after all. Now, I’m off to praise Allah, the One True God. $Amen$

    Liked by 1 person

    • “To change one’s core belief on this matter is a task that, I imagine, most true believers will find daunting and agonizingly painful.”

      It can be, yes, which is why deconversion is not for the faint of heart in most cases. But, what’s interesting is that in secular countries, where humanism tends to thrive, and where the citizens’ basic needs are met, you don’t find religion flourishing. Death anxiety doesn’t seem to impact them as much. In the book, Parenting Beyond Belief. Dr. Kendyl Gibbons writes about how to talk to children about death as secular parents. She states that “the particular challenge for secular parents is the absence of comforting answers supplied by doctrines and images from various faith traditions.” Yet, she says, parents can equip their children with the necessary tools to understand death and accept it as a natural part of life, and to find meaning in their grief.

      I also understand the power of indoctrination. I was a victim of it for most of my life. I had the same fears as other believers. I experienced death anxiety. I believed in hell, and yes, it was comforting to know that someday I would see loved ones who had passed away. I also believed that the Biblical god could do no wrong. Studying the Bible changed all that. I could not, in good conscience, worship the biblical god. Once I made that decision — the fear of death and the desire to live forever, faded away.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Such thoughts, I believe, form, for many, the sense of who they are as individuals.

      Besides being part of what makes religion so hard to shake – or even to question – I think this is part of the tragedy of religion, in and of itself – the way it attaches to people’s identities. e.g. “He must increase; I must decrease.”

      He isn’t there – what a waste.

      Liked by 4 people

      • “- the way it attaches to people’s identities”

        An excellent point, Ratamacue, which, when you think about it, is quite daunting since Jesus purportedly tells his followers to pray to the OT god, Yahweh — that “His” will (Yahweh’s will) should be done on earth.

        This “He must increase, I must decrease” is just another word for brainwashing — reprogramming.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I do not understand the pressure to remain in a religion any more than I understand staying in a abusive domestic situation. GET OUT ! as fast as you can. Because both seem to hurt people. However I do know it happens and for many reasons, economic, family , familiar, and even things I don’t understand. However I just wrote a comment on Arks blog that may relate to this in some way?

    https://attaleuntold.wordpress.com/2016/11/21/oh-dear-damn-those-inconvenient-details/comment-page-1/#comment-55000

    In my early youth and young adulthood people told me I needed to conform. I simply never did. It was because of the contradictions you mention, the many church people spouting off about how horrible to god and sinful gays were, when I knew they were cheating on their spouses. It became very clear to me these “leaders of the church” could do as they want, but the rest of us were under a different rule. I never like that situation. Hugs

    Liked by 4 people

    • You make some very valid points to GMF. See, I’m not coming from the angle of belief in a creator. As you made clear in your comment to bruce, I am specifically honing in on the Abrahamic god(s), and the holy books people like bruce cleave to. I’m not addressing those who’ve never read the bible, and have only been fed cherry-picked scripture. I am addressing those people who claim to have read and studied the bible and still chose to worship such a deity. This whole thing about not leaning on our own understanding, and/or not questioning god’s ways, is not, IMO, a valid reason to chose to worship such a deity.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Victoria, in answer to your question, I stick by my comment to Peter. They simply don’t read the entire bible. I would daresay in a room of 100 Christians, less than 1% has read anything in the OT — except perhaps the passages frequently quoted from the pulpit (ex. scriptures to “verify” Jesus as the Messiah, the “fall” of Lucifer, the walls of Jericho, etc.) IOW, they simply don’t know what’s there. Your mother’s reaction proves this.

    For many believers, the New Testament is “where it’s at.” But even then, the scriptures they are so quick to quote are those that have been repeated over and over in sermons. When someone points out a “contradiction,” they’ll tell the person they simply aren’t reading “The Word” in the “spirit.”

    Besides, as Ken commented, the “dangling carrot” is pretty much all that truly matters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In an article from Christianity Today “The Epidemic of Bible Illiteracy In Our Churches”, it states:

      “Christians claim to believe the Bible is God’s Word. We claim it’s God’s divinely inspired, inerrant message to us. Yet despite this, we aren’t reading it. A recent LifeWay Research study found only 45 percent of those who regularly attend church read the Bible more than once a week. Over 40 percent of the people attending read their Bible occasionally, maybe once or twice a month. Almost 1 in 5 churchgoers say they never read the Bible—essentially the same number who read it every day.

      http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2015/july/epidemic-of-bible-illiteracy-in-our-churches.html

      Now, what’s interesting is that CT also accepts the horrid behaviors of the biblical god, and is promoting, en masse, a desensitization towards unethical behavior from their deity. This creates desensitization in believers towards others. However, I will say, and I’m sure you know this as well, many if not most conservative clergy are not shy about desensitizing their flock on ethical matters.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. But Victoria, you do understand. And that’s the point. You know people make excuses and ignore what they don’t like.

    Crock of shit really, but people get something out of it. Life, isn’t easy. An imaginary crutch and pretend friend help people through the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The U.S. elections were telling,. People voted for Trump, at the expense of others. I see little difference in people choosing to worship an authoritarian god in hopes of some creature comforts, at the expense of others, and voting for an authoritarian government for the same reason.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree as both are false and full of broken promises.. to mention much more. I love how you put it, I will be better off if I can just get someone, anyone, my god even, to hurt that other. You just distilled the entire election into truth. Thanks and hugs

        Liked by 2 people

        • Just to be clear, I don’t think everyone who voted for Trump did so for the sole purpose of hurting others. I do, however, think it was telling that they were willing to vote for him and other politicians who want to dismantle the social safety net, reverse civil and human rights laws, etc., if they believed they were going to benefit, personally, from it.

          Liked by 1 person

          • By benefiting personally, do you mean feeding their prejudices?

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            • Nan, while I’ve no doubt that there were many people who voted to validate or feed their prejudices, my comment was more about people voting for Trump because he promised them a carrot, using Ken’s analogy, like better living standards.

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          • I agree again. I also talked to Ron this morning about how the facts meant nothing to the people who voted for them. They voted on what they wanted to feel, not what was true and provable. I have never seen people so willing to simply deny what is clearly plain fact. Hugs

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  7. People in our own (sceptic) camp are responsible for creating and reinforcing the delusion Christianity is ~better than~.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Virgin females are spared only because of their value as sex slaves… my goodness.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What curious timing you have Victoria. I’ve been having a conversation about this very matter (and a few others) with Wally and his fans over on his blog for the last week or so.
    According to him, all you need to get into heaven is to have faith in Christ. That’s it. You can be a rapist and murderer and still get into heaven. I asked him why on earth I (or he) would want to live with the most wretched, vile scum of the earth. Funny, I never did get a response….

    Liked by 1 person

    • I rarely visit Christian blogs. Only when someone has pointed out a post or comments. I think that people such as yourself, and other nonbelievers who frequent those blogs, can offer people (often lurkers) who are sincerely questioning, information that may help them navigate through the thick fog of indoctrination. But, generally speaking, people like Wally, aren’t interested in these questions, and I doubt they have much of an impact on their thought processes.

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      • Oh that much is for sure. I am quite certain that there is nothing I could say that would ever make Wally question his Christianity. The commenters on his blog are just as brainwashed, if not more, than he is. I just love reading all about heaven and hell and what god wants and what we’re supposed to do and who’s going to heaven and blah blah blah blah knowing full well that they can’t possibly know this stuff and they’re making it up as they go along. I can sometimes get them to a point where they trip themselves up and blatantly contradict earlier statements, but they never admit it. The problem is usually that I “don’t get it” or I am “woefully uninformed”.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve asked myself this numerous times as well as I became more familiar with the entirety of the bible. I remember talking to a student who was very Christian, but who at least had a bit of worldliness about her and thus felt comfortable talking religion with her. I think I told you that she was the one who experienced these occasional episodes where the world appeared in vivid colors to her and she believed that was a sign of God. As we discussed it was most likely a type of epilepsy. Anyway, when I questioned her about some the less that savory things in the bible, which she clearly didn’t know about, her only response was “well I haven’t looked into it, but I am sure there was a good reason for it”. Not much you can say in response to that. I suspect though that one might approach an answer to your question similarly to why arguments against human-induced climate change don’t work is that they only attack a small piece of a large problem, and that even if a claim was true, it doesn’t go into explaining the many other observations we see in the climate system.

    While we might think the Bible as the word of God should pretty much be the whole kit and caboodle it’s not. The community, the years of indoctrination forging all those neural pathways, the good parts of the religion that they hold dear, and the ways in which their faith has helped them through difficult times. For many their faith is a little like a friend who has helped them through hard times and they feel loyalty to that faith, even if that faith is built on a false narrative of the religion that they ascribe their faith too. Like the student above, the experience of the world coming alive with colors and why she believed it was happening to her would be a powerful experience, one that, for them is part of a large body of evidence, in which horrible passages in the bible are only a small part of that body of evidence, personal to them. I use the term “evidence” here loosely of course, but as I’ve argued before what people consider evidence is subjective, and for many their personal experiences constitutes evidence for a thing to be true.

    Interesting question and thought provoking post. This just represents a stab at an answer, one that I’m not completely convinced of because it still befuddles me from time to time as well!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks Swarn. I absolutely see your point, and I agree that people may tend to blow off the “less than savory things in the Bible.” I’m just curious as to why people, who know these behaviors are very unethical and immoral, would still want to spend eternity with this deity, which also includes an eternity of worship.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Again it befuddles me, but again if we know that if the same area of the brain is activated when people are asked about what God wants and what they want, it’s pretty clear it’s all an invention. People talk a good game about heaven and hell, but ultimately I don’t think it’s possible for the human mind to really buy into something that is completely within the realm of imagination without coloring it themselves. People with death anxiety want to relieve that anxiety by imagining this wonderful God and this wonderful heaven. I think these existential punishments and rewards are really about controlling behavior here on Earth and not a lot of scholarly work goes into constructing these people and places in other planes of existence that you can never actually observe. It all lives in the land of emotion, and believing something that makes you feel better. And people just see God as creator and father and sometimes father’s have to be strict and that’s the long and the short of the depth in their thinking. I’m not saying that any of it is good, because of course it puts you in a position to be easily used, exploited and swayed by more powerful people who don’t really follow the religion themselves but want your money and unquestioning support. Not that this is all religious leaders, some really do want to help others. But in the end I think people are just really reticent to relinquish something they’ve spent a good portion of their life investing in. I know you still look back on those wasted years of your life when you were in the church with some regret…I think it takes more courage than you realize to walk away from that. You probably wouldn’t have if you were born into that situation no matter what facts would be presented to you. It’s sad really how conditioned we can become.

        Liked by 1 person

        • “I think it takes more courage than you realize to walk away from that. You probably wouldn’t have if you were born into that situation no matter what facts would be presented to you. It’s sad really how conditioned we can become.”

          But I was born into it, and so were most of the ex-Christians who have commented here. I was also deeply devout, as you know, as were many ex-Christians.

          I agree with Ken that it’s the lure of the carrot dangling on the stick. I was seduced by that dangling carrot once, too. But I snapped out of my carrot induced stupor after reading and studying the bible.

          Liked by 2 people

          • But you were born into a different faith, and you traveled around a lot when you were young giving you a more diverse experience than most. Obviously people do break away, but such people are much more the minority. The belief may less for a time, and then strengthen with old age, but a small percentage people walk away saying this is all a bunch of hooey. I think secularism is slow to develop because of the way indoctrination works in the brains of people, and it doesn’t keep pace with what scholarship reveals about the truth of religions. It lags behind quite a bit.

            I agree that the dangling carrot is a big part of it, but that is also an emotional response, and that’s my point is that the logic and reason play little role compared to these emotional stimuli…unless you are emotionally charged by logic and reason, then it’s easy to break through those walls. lol I mean that’s the killer isn’t it…when religion tries to suppress our natural curiosity, the chances of escape from religious indoctrination I would think go way down.

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            • People tend to use religion for their own benefit, and I’d say that’s pretty indicative of most believers. I went the distance, because I sincerely had a desire to serve and love god. I was very involved in the ministry, and I gave up many “worldly” opportunities. I studied the bible diligently because I wanted to get to know god. I’ve met very few in my very religious community (and family) who’ve gone the distance requiring a “dying to yourself”.

              I’m just realizing that you really haven’t grasped the magnitude of my dedication to my faith, even after all this time we’ve known each other. I made a lot of sacrifices. A. Lot. Your comment came across as devaluing my very painful deconversion, by saying that I don’t understand the courage it takes for people to walk away. It’s not at all unusual for Christians to travel around a lot, even when they’re young.

              Liked by 1 person

              • I’m sorry that my comment came across that way, that isn’t what I intended, I meant to applaud the courage that it takes because I do realize how deeply you were into it, and so few have the ability to walk way from it. I think it takes a special kind of mind, and I think it’s rare. This question you posed in this post was of an intellectual nature, predicated upon intellectual facts about what the bible says. My answer to the question is that it is much more about the emotional investment we make into the religion. You seemed to be arguing that those facts should make a difference about why we believe, perhaps I misinterpreted, but I feel, and this is just my opinion, that this is not the case, and that deconverting from strongly forged neural pathways tied to strong emotional value is not easy. It’s like breaking up with someone you really love, the emotional journey is so painful, and to choose to take that journey is no easy task. So I am sorry, I was wrong to phrase it that way perhaps…what you learned intellectually perhaps helped you make the journey, but for so many those things are just rejected or bypassed because there is no way they want to take the emotional journey.

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                • “This question you posed in this post was of an intellectual nature, predicated upon intellectual facts about what the bible says. My answer to the question is that it is much more about the emotional investment we make into the religion.”

                  More like an emotional investment in one’s culture.

                  “and that deconverting from strongly forged neural pathways tied to strong emotional value is not easy. It’s like breaking up with someone you really love, the emotional journey is so painful, and to choose to take that journey is no easy task.”

                  ———————————————-

                  I’ve been deeply immersed in a religious culture most of my life. I’m fully cognitive of the fact that to walk away is not easy, but not necessarily because people were emotionally invested in their religion — not in the way you seem to be indicating. Some, like me, and Peter, actually devoted our lives to the Judeo-Christian god, the one in the Bible, building a relationship with said god, which requires studying the bible to get to know this god and his will for your life. I’ve written several post about the power of indoctrination, and the neurological mechanism involved that led to programming. But, not everyone gets programmed because they don’t immerse themselves, faithfully, in their religion.

                  What the research shows is that people embrace religion primarily because it offers community and the benefits that come with it, like not getting shunned. Many people believe to curtail their death anxiety, and that’s understandable. However, we live in a culture that exacerbates death anxiety. You don’t see this phenomena in secular societies. But most Christians are cultural Christians, and are simply clueless about their own religion, and that includes the god they claim to believe in.

                  My question was a thought experiment.

                  Bart Erhman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and is a leading authority on the New Testament and the history of early Christianity. Every semester he asks students in his class to raise their hand if they’ve read a certain popular novel. He says that nearly every one raises their hand. Then he asks how many have read the Bible. He said in every case, only a scant few raised their hands.

                  He then says, “If God wrote a book, wouldn’t you want to read it?”

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            • I also meant to add that it’s not unusual for Christians to change denominations. Growing up, and remaining in one denomination doesn’t make it more difficult to break away from belief.

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    • when I questioned her about some the less that savory things in the bible, which she clearly didn’t know about, her only response was “well I haven’t looked into it, but I am sure there was a good reason for it”. Not much you can say in response to that.

      Maybe something like, “I have looked into it, and thought about it a lot, and I can’t reconcile _____ with the notion of a moral or benevolent god. Would you be willing to look into it, too? I’m interested to know of whatever ‘good reason’ [her words] you find.”

      Basically, politely challenge her to put her money where her mouth is.

      Although my wording above is arguably disingenuous – “interested” could imply that you expect she might change your mind and convert you – it’s good to be doxastically (sp?) open, which also sets a good example. You could add something about seeing if one of you changes your mind…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Depending on the particular religion, there are several, sometimes conflicting bits of dogma that, to a person so ready, perhaps afraid, definitely not wanting to accept full personal responsibility for choices and consequences, is willing to latch onto and accept. And thus is born religion, opiate of the masses as might be. I know many are looking to be better people, so I want to give them their due. But when listening and memorizing doctrine leads to loss of discernment and blind obedience, I have to ask what use it is. ‘Man’has ever created gods in ‘his’ own image. And so justification is perpetuated, sometimes without mercy. Which I have a problem with. Ad infinitum. Aloha, V.

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    • Yes, I agree that there are people who are genuinely wanting to become better people. I am, for the most part, targeting a specific group of believers who know of the horrors committed in their holy book, condoned and commanded by the god for which they give their full allegiance to. These are people who are generally well read when it comes to their holy books, and yet, they still remain loyal with full knowledge of their deity’s depravity. I’m just curious as to why they would want to spend eternity with this deity.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I did hear that emphasis – was on my iPad and had to comment, but man, autocorrect on that 3 is a bitch. That being said, now on laptop and much happier. As for Christians as a whole, I cannot say. The Mormons I know justify it by saying well, that was the God of the Old Testament and WE have the new Revelation, the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and the New Testament, blah, blah, blah. (My point is that justification always depends on the strong willingness – nay, the aching Need – of a collective people who need to be told by some authority What God Says. And damn the facts!) This God is THEIR God, cut from The Church’s cloth, even illustrated by The Church’s artists, and the images can be powerful.

        Thus these people become, at least to my observations, very well read about Certain scriptures, perhaps those they hear expounded upon in church or those someone has emphasized at some point along the way. I’ve spent most of my life countering scripture with scripture – it’s written in such an archaic language, as you know, and so very open to interpretation. And me sharing my observations is moot. Only the Priesthood receives and passes on Revelation. And these are men, never women. And congregants will stick by the Priesthood’s (or whomever’s) interepretation and hold onto it like a life raft. There is a certain Stepford glaze that impedes logical or scientific or factual penetration, and personally I don’t even try anymore.

        Aloha, Victoria -great post – and I’m sure you’re getting Loads of feedback! 😀 Good on you!

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        • Bela, thankfully you live in Hawaii. Gotta spare room? haha 😀 I live in an area surrounded by people who were beyond thrilled to put an Yahweh-like authoritarian in office. They’re still celebrating here. These are people who support divine command theory — that morality is ultimately based on the commands or character of God, and that the morally right action is the one that God commands or requires.

          Here is an example from a well-read (biblically wise) evangelical Christian who frequents one of the blogs I follow. Several of us engaged him in discourse. I brought up the behavior and methodologies of the god he worships. Keep in mind that his mentality is more common than you may be aware of:

          _________________________________________

          God, that is, THE God, who in the beginning created the heavens and the earth, is Himself the standard by which ALL things are measured. That means when he commands Joshua to kill every man, women, child and beast in Canaan that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. It means that when he causes Israel to eat their own children as reported in Jeremiah 19 that that is PERFECTLY holy righteous, just and good. It means that if He has decreed all of the horrific human misery, suffering and death in all of history that that is PERFECTLY holy righteous, just and good.

          It means that if He has decreed the existence of billions of human beings for the expressed purpose of casting them into the lake of fire in judgement for sin that He also decreed that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. It means that if He has purposed that everything we consider to be bad, immoral and unthinkably terrible shall be so ordered by divine mechanisms known only to Himself, to His own glory for reasons sufficient unto Himself that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good.

          It also means that His not caring one bit how you (or I) feel about that is most assuredly PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. I sleep like a baby knowing that every time I hear about some gut wrenching blood curdling act of barbaric depravity, that my Father God has from eternity seen fit to assign purpose to it that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good.” ~ Tiribilus a.k.a. Greg Smith

          —————————————————-

          Other Christians I’ve encountered in the blogosphere, and in my communities may not express it in exactly that way, but they believe it.

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        • “(My point is that justification always depends on the strong willingness – nay, the aching Need – of a collective people who need to be told by some authority What God Says.”
          That’s point I’ve been trying to hammer through Wally’s thick skull for several posts to no avail. Evolving morality?!?! That’s ludicrous! Who makes “the list” of what’s good and bad, what’s moral and immoral, etc, etc?!?!?! If you don’t have a list, you have evolving morality and anything that anyone says goes!!!!!
          Quite evident (and is in fact what I told him) that his mind operates not on HOW to think but on WHAT to think. He needs to be told what to think is moral and immoral. Funny when I bring up the subject of slavery, and how it’s explicitly condoned in the bible (and not even repudiated by the savior of all mankind, Jesus) that he suddenly clams up and refuses to discuss it.

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          • Interesting. Perhaps he’s not actually wanting someone to tell him what to do (edited to add: or how to think). Perhaps he’s wanting someone to tell him what he wants to hear.

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            • I’ve posted a little too much over there in the last few days and although I give him credit for allowing all of it (which I know is setting the bar pretty low) he’s not really willing to engage that much with me any more. The last few questions I asked were ignored, by him and his clapping seal fans so I don’t want to become one of those nagging type guys.
              I just go there every now and then and some of the things on there are just appalling. Did you know that the lack of men in the home in America is a HUGE issue? Did you also know that a lot of Christian men are deferring too many duties to the wife in regards to child rearing, household decision making, etc and as a result are becoming essentially nut-less eunuchs? It’s a tragedy Victoria I tells ya. How we should yearn for the days of old, when women knew there place and kept quiet.
              Good f*&king grief. This guy is literally stuck in the 1950/60’s. My jaw dropped when I was reading some of this misogynist garbage.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Not long ago, Michelle Obama said: “The measure of any society is how it treats its women and girls.”

                I read an article in the Harvard Review regarding the thoughts and attitudes of working class men. It stated, and I quote: “For many blue-collar men, all they’re asking for is basic human dignity (male varietal). Trump promises to deliver it.”

                Note “male varietal”. This is code for patriarchy. They want their, and I quote: “human dignity back” — (white male privilege), seemingly at a great cost to others.

                Just like the biblical god promises comfort to men if they follow his rules, the Harvard Review article states:

                “Manly dignity is a big deal for working-class men, and they’re not feeling that they have it. Trump promises a world free of political correctness and a return to an earlier era, when men were men and women knew their place.”

                The article goes on to say that it’s “comfort food” for these guys and that they “felt like losers — or did until they met Trump.”

                Liked by 2 people

                • Spot on comment, Victoria. Sums up much of what tRump into office.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Jeff, it is really difficult for me to witness the dismantling of 50 years of progress regarding humans and civil rights. What is really troubling is that these guys (who deeply admire the rich) as noted in the Harvard Review article, don’t seem to grasp the fact that they are in this position because of the very ones they admire. But, instead of addressing the root cause, they have turned on the poor, minorities, women, and homosexuals, through their vote for Trump and an authoritarian government. Through propaganda, Trump and his Christian neocons used them to gain power. This same behavior has been observed among baboons. The lower ranking male baboons (blue-color workers) take their frustrations and aggression out on the females. It’s indicative of a highly stratified social construct.

                    Liked by 3 people

                    • Again, perfectly stated. As a person who needs Social Security and Medicare to live, this horrid turn of events in our country is just that for me, horrifying. And as you stated, the very people who voted this megalomaniac and his Christian cronies into office will be hurt by his administration as much as I will, but they’ll blame everyone BUT Trump and themselves for their worsening hardships. Their blind devotion to hateful authority figures who promise them happiness and joy if they but believe, have truly fucked us but good. That so-called Christians can so blindly follow and worship an orange buffoon like Trump, shows you the sickness that is their religion. “Me God. Me a man. Me powerful. You follow me. Me fix everything. Me kill everyone not like you. Ugh!” I’m as outraged by this as I am terrified by it.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • Thank you for saying what I can not. Hugs

                      Liked by 1 person

  12. I think they may want to spend tine with their chosen God because the alternative is nothingness and that scares a lot of people.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, that seems to be a part of it — those who’ve been indoctrinated to fear nothingness as though they would have an awareness of it. Like Mark Twain said:

      “I was dead for millions of years before I was born and it never inconvenienced me a bit.”

      Carl Sagan said

      “I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking. The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.”

      That, to me, is far more honorable, than giving allegiance to a deity who has exhibited the behavior of the worst of human dictators, in exchange for the promise of eternal life.

      Like

  13. I haven’t read all the comments so I don’t know if this has been brought up yet, but: anything in the OT is considered invalidated by the NT. In the old days god had to slaughter everyone/anyone because he needed a blood sacrifice (the bible doesn’t state exactly why blood is necessary, but it is). In the NT, God was satisfied because he slaughtered his son (now there’s a deity up for the Father of the Year award). So put your mind at ease Victoria, as god is all sweetness and light after having his only son whipped, tortured, and nailed to a tree. Hey, I rest easier knowing this! 😉

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hey Violet, you bring up a good point, except we see these same behaviors in the NT. For example Revelations 19, where the angel of the lord called all the birds to gather together for the great supper of God, to gorge themselves on the flesh of all the people who didn’t get saved, and it further states that Jesus is will “tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God.”

      If I may break Godwin’s Law, how is this behavior (both in the OT and NT) any different than, say, the behavior of a psychopathic dictator like Hitler. How many people would want to spend eternity with him?

      Like

      • A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” [Revelation 14:9-11]

        But I am told that ‘God’s’ wrath is somehow part of his love.

        Revelation is a pretty nasty book, not much sweetness and light here.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Now that there peter, that’s some good catholic $hit. 😀

          Countless sermons I’ve heard about that verse…and which of us was marked by the beast.

          Like

          • It was only a couple of years ago that the mark of the Beast worried me. I wondered if it was a triple layer barcode, like those used in supermarkets. It made sense to me where it said ‘no-one could buy or sell goods without the mark’. I would fear that this would be new technology introduced by the Government to stop financial fraud, some sort of personal security tatoo. I then wondered what I would do if this was introduced, could I resist?

            Liked by 1 person

            • Hey, the same concern was going around our church, that the barcode was going to be the mark. But if that is what was required to buy food, how could we refuse such a thing? I guess the good christians would have all starved.

              Our priest liked to say that many of us “knew” we had the mark of the beast, and we had infiltrated god’s church to take it down. We were to keep an eye out for these people, their sinfulness, and be careful not to be contaminated by the punishments god would deal out to them. It was a horribly divisive concept and pit people against each other, because of course the priest couldn’t tell us what the mark actually was.

              Thinking back, I guess The Mark was having a brain and using it! 😉

              Liked by 1 person

      • I’d forgotten about that whole “birds feasting” bit…what a wonderful bit of imagery that is.

        Catholics would call this a “holy mystery.” Meaning, Victoria, you should sit down, shut up, and stop asking unanswerable questions. 🙂 I like that you’re a woman who’s not prone to such submission.

        I also heard protestants say god was perfectly right and proper in killing his creation…after all He was the master. Whatever is his whim is our fate. Plenty of people I knew were perfectly happy to reside in heaven with such a being. becuase they were assured they’d not personally suffer once they got there (to hell with everyone else).

        Liked by 2 people

        • “Whatever his whim is, is our fate.”

          Another way to look at it is, if God says it’s OK, moral, than we believe it’s OK, moral, and act on it, creating a hell on earth for others, that they wouldn’t want to be subjected to, themselves. The outcome of the election spoke volumes, did it not?

          Liked by 1 person

    • To quote the New Testament:

      In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. [Hebrews 9:22]

      I gather it is to do with the blood containing the life force.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Well *why* does it have to be blood for goodness sake? Seems like god could have changed it to something easier…like perhaps leaves or plants (which have their own life force according to some), and this whole problem of having to murder people would be a non-issues. Perhaps He didn’t think of it. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think Christians can get away with completely throwing out everything in the OT. I mean some of their favorite excuses for persecuting gay people are in there. Also some of their favorite excuses for denying evolution and the big bang are there too. But perhaps more importantly it is the Old Testament that prophesies the coming of the messiah. It’s the whole reason why Christians can just snatch away their old testament, and tell them that all Jews are going to hell for not believing that Jesus is the messiah foretold. If the OT is completely useless why not get rid of it? There is a lot of picking in choosing in that OT and it’s got all sorts of mixtures of love and violence to make you ready for any situation!

      Liked by 3 people

      • I shall rephrase: christians throw out the OT only when it’s convenient to them. 😀

        My mom, an extremely devout christian, does say the OT is completely irrelevant because jeebus fulfills the “new covenant.” She has not read the OT because it’s obsolete. In fact she’s only read the four gospels, and this is what she bases the truth of the bible on. She has no problem condemning homosexuality or women’s right (women are to submit to men). If anyone challenges her beliefs she’ll say, “it doesn’t matter what we as humans believe or if the bible contradicts itself. God is god and my church is the only true interpretation.”

        I once asked what would happen after death if the Jews ended up having the right interpretation of the bible. She said she’d deserve to burn in hell if that were the case, and she’d happily do it for being wrong. 😦

        Liked by 2 people

        • Wow. That makes me sad, because I am sure in some ways it’s hard to hear your mother say such nonsensical things, especially when those attitudes are harmful to others, and really not all that helpful for herself either. 😦

          Liked by 1 person

          • Her comment about her deserving hell if she were wrong about the bible made me burst into tears. I know my mother deeply believes I deserve to burn in hell for leaving the faith. She begs me daily not to make her watch me be tormented in the lake of fire for eternity. It’s very stressful for me. It’s also stressful to anyone who dares to believe differently than her. Tolerance is not something she’s known for.

            Liked by 2 people

            • I’m so sorry Violet. That mixture of positive emotions to the person who raised you, but the realization that while she might be loving you in her own way, it isn’t a healthy unconditional love is a terrible feeling. In some ways it is perhaps similar to what I feel as a child of an alcoholic. Alcohol just comes first as much as my dad says he loves me. It’s a difficult pill to swallow. For your mom, her beliefs about things on imaginary planes of existence come first and that’s just a feeling of suck that there is nothing you can do about. 😦

              Liked by 1 person

              • You’ve summed it up well, and I thank you for your empathetic words.

                There is a national support group for Children of Alcoholics, because the damage done can be so severe. They should add a group for the Children of the Devout.

                My mother is a good woman and raised me well, but her religion is toxic. Here in the midwest of the US these kinds of belief are common, and it is why I can’t lessen my stance that religion is *harmful.* Most people would say my mom is a nice older woman with nothing but love in her heart (and she does have a LOT of love)…but look deeper, and you’ll see an intolerance which is shocking.

                While I’m not willing to fight my own mother (who won’t change anyway), I can fight in other ways. I fight with my vote (didn’t work out so well this last time), with my online voice, and with my real life actions. We must find a way to stop this perpetuation of hate.

                Liked by 2 people

                • There should be indeed Violet. Your fight is definitely a worthy one. Perhaps there is a God, but any religion that portrays a God that doesn’t ask for love and empathy as a primary drive of it’s followers has got it all wrong.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  • John Zande (of WP fame) wrote a book called The Owner of All Infernal Names…it does a damn fine case of stating how if there is a god, he/she might indeed be malevolent. It’s a good book! I think Victoria has it linked on her main page.

                    Liked by 1 person

            • Perhaps you mother should read Revelation:

              “He will wipe every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 21:4)

              I do think that the concept of eternal torture in Hell is one of the great weaknesses of Christian dogma, as I don’t think anyone truly believes such an outcome is in anyway just. They may try to persuade themselves that it is fair, but surely deep in their heart they know it is not.

              Also given the anguish in their own heart on the matter, does it makes sense to them that they are more loving and merciful than ‘God’?

              Like

              • I don’t know peter, I think a lot of people do like the idea of hell. When I was a christian and hadn’t deeply examined my beliefs yet, I really held onto the idea of divine justice being a righteous thing. To me, hell was god giving justice and keeping heaven pure. This concept works in an abstract sense until you pick it apart and really delve into it. With indoctrination though, you’re not taught how to pick any religious concept apart, and so most people simply go along with the idea that it’s fine.

                As an atheist now I find the concept of hell horrifying.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Although my immediate family was Christian, my extended family was no. This got me thinking about Hell quite a bit as members of the extended family died without ever embracing the Gospel. The more I thought about Hell, the more I could not see it being fair or just. My dead relatives were just ordinary people not especially good or especially bad, but I could not see how they deserved exactly the same punishment as Hitler.

                  I could only see Hell making sense if there were varied levels of punishment, whilst some non Biblical teaching suggests this, the implication in the Bible is that everyone gets the same outcome.

                  But even in the case of Hitler I could not see the value of eternal torture. To me a few hundred years would be more than enough. To go on for eternity made God seem somehow worse. Infinite punishment for finite crimes did not make sense to me.

                  Like

                  • It comforts me that there were some thinking people in the church peter, you being among them. Then the thinking people either leave the church or get thrown out, and there’s nothing left but the echo chamber. Egads.

                    Like

  14. The short answer I think is that it’s easier to ignore information that contradicts a perceived image. It’s not about worshiping and living forever with a deity that complains about not killing enough women and children; it’s about this contrived image of bits and pieces cobbled together to form a narrative of something comforting. They can be okay with it because it’s not the same deity they believe exists.

    By extension, this means that a lot of people really aren’t okay with living with the deity of Numbers 31. This is regardless of whether they’re Bible literalists or just casual readers. How does one get people to see the connection is there?

    It’s almost enough to make someone start a blog called TheNumbers31Project. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • ” They can be okay with it because it’s not the same deity they believe exists. By extension, this means that a lot of people really aren’t okay with living with the deity of Numbers 31.”

      I once believed that until this past election, where people knowingly elected a Yahweh-like man for the most powerful position in the world, who plans to increase torture, the military, appoint YECs, and unravel human and civil rights.

      Trump: “I would bomb the shit out of ’em . . . and I’d take their oil.”

      The people cheered.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Even with the people supporting Trump, when pressed, many of them relented when confronted with the specifics of those policies. For example, the wall Trump proposed isn’t actually something his supporters thought would happen. They just liked it because he talked a big game.

        I think that highlights the disconnect. It’s okay to bomb countries and take war loot, but it’s not okay to stone your daughter for having sex outside of marriage. From my own personal experience, I’ve seen Christians be okay with terrible things in the abstract, but when it gets applied to them, they actually consider the ramifications of such things. Of course, it only gets done to a point. My parents, for example, will concede a point by forgetting the conversation ever happened. Their faith is intact, and no pesky ideas exist which challenge it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • “The just liked it because he talked a big game.”

          Absolutely, especially since there are more Latinos leaving the U.S. (voluntarily) than are coming in and they are not taking their jobs away.

          “It’s okay to bomb countries and take war loot, but it’s not okay to stone your daughter for having sex outside of marriage.”

          No, they just “stone” them in more subtle ways. “Women are up to 40% more likely than men to develop mental health conditions, and 3 times more likely than men to attempt suicide. Women are approximately 75% more likely than men to report having recently suffered from depression, and around 60% more likely to report an anxiety disorder. The result is based on analysis of 12 large-scale epidemiological studies carried out across the world since the 1990s,”

          The Center for Disease Control found that while males are 4 times more likely than females to die by suicide, females attempt suicide 3 times more than men. The reason that men were more successful at ending their life was because they used violent means (such as a firearm) to end their lives, where as women tended to attempt suicide through non-violent means, like poisoning.

          The same can be said about how they treat homosexuals. They may not stone them to death, or drop them off buildings, but they will shame and bully them to the point where they commit suicide.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I get that, but if you present those same points to a lot of Christians here in the States, they’ll find a way to dissociate themselves from it all. You’ve heard the excuses as well as I have. They’re either shaming people for someone else’s good, or they’re claiming it’s not part of their belief structure, or they’re claiming it’s only the “bad Christians” that do it.

            And that’s why I think it’s some sort of dissociation. It’s the same thing behind telling Christians how their faith hurts people, and their first instinct is to tell them they need more Jesus.

            Liked by 1 person

            • “And that’s why I think it’s some sort of dissociation.”

              I agree with this to an extent. I know of many Christian who are OK with it — because god can do damn well what he pleases, according to them, and such behavior is considered moral, righteous — hence, Divine Command Theory.

              Studies show that if a person experiences a shock, for example, someone finds out that their partner is having an affair, their reward chemicals associated with attachment (oxytocin) decreases or stops producing. When this happens, neural circuity that had been deactivated, reactivates. When this happens they start to see red flags — flaws, behaviors and personality traits they didn’t notice previously. There attachment had neurologically blinded them.

              “[ . . . activated regions specific to each, as well as overlapping regions in the brain’s reward system that coincide with areas rich in oxytocin and vasopressin receptors. Both deactivated a common set of regions associated with negative emotions, social judgment and ‘mentalizing’, that is, the assessment of other people’s intentions and emotions.

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15006682

              This happened to me. My brain was shocked as I delved deeper into into the Bible. I know I’m not the only one who experienced shock. Several people I’ve met in the blogosphere experienced that same shock, which is what started their deconversion process. I am inclined to think a big part of why people continue to be OK with this inhumane behavior from a supposedly holy and righteous god is because they’ve become desensitized — lacking empathy.

              “[ . . . behavioral studies point to OT (oxytocin) functions more complex than a mere cuddle-drug, as OT can also boost social exclusion, xenophobia, and selfishness (De Dreu et al, 2011).

              http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v37/n8/full/npp201271a.html

              Liked by 1 person

  15. If there were only two alternatives, eternity as the lackey of a bully or eternity being incarcerated in the bully’s torture chamber, then I would be a lacky. That portrays me as a weak willed coward, but eternity is a long time.

    However Christians see the choice as different to how I portrayed it. They persuade themselves that ‘God’ is not a bully, but the epitome of benevolence. ‘God’ does not want to send people to Hell, but really has no choice. ‘God’ only destroyed the Midianites because they served it and so on.

    Many Christians who think deeply about the portrait of ‘God’ as portrayed in “God’s” own book do find it hard to reconcile the lubby dubby character of ‘God’ of Christian propaganda. So often ‘God’ is displayed in a way that suggests a very human frailty of being moody and thin skinned.

    In Numbers the people of Israel grumble so ‘God’ sends snakes and fire from heaven to kill them.

    Among the most bizarre stories is David’s census from 2 Samuel 24:
    – God was angry with Israel;
    – God incited King David to take a Census;
    – After King David took a Census, God said King David had committed a great sin;
    – King David was given the choice of three punishments;
    – Seven years of famine;
    – Three months of running from their enemies;
    – Three days of plague.
    – King David chose three days of plague;
    – After 70,000 people had died, King David sought the mercy of ‘God’;
    – ‘God’s’ anger was placated by the pleasing aroma of a burnt offering of some slaughtered oxen.
    As they say, ‘Go Figure’.

    Based on my own experience I had been indoctrinated with the idea of ‘God’ being good and loving long before I tried to make sense of the sort of stories like that of 2 Samuel 24. THus I looked at these stories through the ‘God’ is good and loving prism. When it all made no sense I just had put it into the Holy Mystery file {since renamed Cognitive Dissonance} and trust that ‘God’ knew better than me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Maybe it’s be only the catholics who think god isn’t all loving and kind…we fully acknowledge he stokes the fires of hell with our sin, and if you do something to slightly piss him off, you deserve a world full of trouble. I’ve always been confused about this whitewashed image of god others talk about, but apparently other sects don’t focus on his wrath so much.

      Like

    • “If there were only two alternatives, eternity as the lackey of a bully or eternity being incarcerated in the bully’s torture chamber, then I would be a lacky. That portrays me as a weak willed coward, but eternity is a long time.”

      Yet, you are not a weak-willed coward. I do have compassion and empathy for those who go with the flow for fear of pain and suffering. However, I am not sympathetic towards those who have been presented, over and over again, with abundant scholarly information showing that Yahweh and the patriarchs are historical fiction. This information, of course, has a direct impact on the idea that Jesus was divine.

      Like

  16. I’m going to show my ignorance here. The bible is a book, supposedly authored by several different people. It’s their take on events of their time. There was no true science in their time. They were looking for any effect to explain life and it’s purpose. Religion was all they could turn to. I read many books as most of you do. I take the good in them and leave the rest. I don’t base my whole belief system on a book written by fallible people. Make a point and you can find passages to both support it and refute it in the bible. It is, at the end of the day, a book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Al, yes, that’s true that one of the reasons the Abrahamic god was invented was to help make sense of their world. Understandable. From what I am gathering,, based on most of the comments, believers (who are quite familiar with the Bible, really don’t care about the character of their eternal landlord, so long as they secure a piece of the real estate. I have mixed feelings about this. One represents empathy (due to the indoctrination of hell) and other feelings represent disappointment and concern, to put it mildly.

      See, where I’m coming from is that I read comments from a lot of believers who support divine command theory — that morality is ultimately based on the commands or character of God, and that the morally right action is the one that God commands or requires. That is the disappointment and concern part I speak of. Why? Because it means that all the progress we’ve made as a species, regarding human/civil rights, could be reversed by virtue of a vote and majority rule.

      So glad you stopped by to comment.

      Like

  17. But, what I don’t understand is why believers, who are familiar with the contents of the Bible, make excuses, even justifications, regarding the behavior of the Patriarchs and the Father god they worship

    I think they don’t relate what they have read and their daily lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hey, I finally had time to watch your linked video and it was *really* good. The same could be easily said of christianity. Once again Victoria, you say important things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Violet, thanks so much for watching the video, and for your comment. I’ve asked the question for several reasons. One of them has to do with this past election, where Congress, newly elected cabinet members and both the president-elect and VP- elect have ideologies that align with the god, priests and patriarchs of the OT. It is possible that soon-to be far right SCOTUS will follow suit.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. The quote from Albert Camus reminds me of the La Fontaine fable called The Bear and the Gardener: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bear_and_the_Gardener .

    Indeed good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence.

    You´re right as usual, Victoria Neuronotes! You’re one of the cleverest girlsl/women in the blogosphere!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Well since I don’t have permission to hit this with a baseball bat I’ll just answer your question as best I can 🙂

    “I sincerely want to understand why anyone would want to spend eternity with such a god?”

    You can count me out! I not only have no interest in spending an eternity with such an inconceivable monster, I also have no interest in spending an eternity with those that would worship it.

    That may have been a little bashing in a sense, but it’s the best I can do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You might not want to spend eternity with such a ‘god’. But it does depend a bit on the alternative.

      Alternative 1: cease to exist – fine by me;

      Alternative 2: be tortured for ever by that ‘god’: Well I am not too proud, to grovel and brown nose.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m fairly certain alternative one is our only option. The afterlife insurance policy sold by religion, where the people pay their premiums once ot twice a week at services, is a wonderful scam. (from the position of “damn I wish I’d thought of that!”)

        Alternative two I see this way. We are supposed to worship a jealous, petty, genocidal, homicidal, maniacal, monster under threat of eternal damnation. If such a god exists, and I ever stand in front of it, I’d spit in its eye. You see it does not depend on the alternative, it depends on the perspective.

        Lastly if a god is so all powerful it should be able to provide satisfactory evidence for its existence. A dusty old magic book full of contradictions does not meet that standard. If my lack of belief is to be put anywhere it is at the feet of the gods themselves.

        Liked by 2 people

  21. Spending eternity in worship and song and praises to god doesn’t appeal to me. I’ve been to family reunions, and after an hour or so everybody stands around and wonders “is this it?” The real fun of eternity must be to continue on in the traditions of the fathers? No thanks. To bloody for me

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well said ! As a kid I asked what the purpose of forever life in heaven was for. I was told it was to constantly tell all the universe of the glory of the lord. I was like, why? Really why should I have to do that and only that. I wanted to do other things in heaven and was told I was being a bad child. Oh well. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Talking about religion is always very very difficult. I wish you a peaceful happy new year!

    Like

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