I was just reading a post on another thread about the 10 commandments and the subject of adultery was raised. The point was that the apparent imbalance between the sexes regarding the law was that women had a lower status in the Hebrew culture. Fair enough. However this raises the issue that the Hebrew leaders can't possibly have been listening to God when the laws were written. Here's why.
Anyone alive today in a civilised Western society knows that women have or should have equal status to men in all things. It's the common sense position to take and to claim that women are inferior is wholly illogical. It may be true that women have no idea about how to park a car or read a map, but then I'm clueless about embroidery. Anyway on balance men and women are equal in terms of intelligence and value.
Now let's assume that God also values men and women the same, and indeed Christians would be the first to say that all was lovely in the GofE, and Eve was taken from Adam's rib symbolising equality etc..... So God is on our side in this yes? Yet clearly the Abrahamic religions devalued women. Even today, Islam insists women are inferior because that stupid brainless bint Eve tricked the very clever Adam into sin.
Why should this be so? Didn't they listen to God who agrees with us? When for example God gave the law to Moses, a man steeped in a tribal culture where a woman was a possession a little higher than an camel, why didn't God say to Moses "Hey Mo, I'm not happy with your Hebrew culture, I want to make some changes, set you up as an example to the rest of World, something that 21st Century Western society will marvel at saying you were ahead of your time, that kind of thing. I want you to drop all this sexual discrimination sh!t, make women your equals, give them rights, independence, and self determination. You treat women like dogs because you think Eve caused Adam to sin, but the truth is Adam was a schmuck...."?
So we have a couple options here:
1) God is a sexist for not giving Moses a set of laws that promoted sexual equality.
2) God was a sexist but changed his mind in the late 20th century.
3) God is impotent in that attempting to change ancient tribal sexist attitudes was too difficult for him.
4) God told Moses to promote sexual equality but he didn't listen.
5) Moses just made up the laws himself and never spoke to God.
6) Some other explanation.
It's not just Moses. Every subsequent Israelite leader and prophet singularly failed to grant sexual equality even though God a perfect God must by definition be above culture and promote equality. The Church was no better either and today does not on the whole let women become pastors or bishops.
No, but they were really tuned into politics.
I don't think it's so much a matter of if they were tuned into God or not. I think it's more a question of if they actually acted upon what they were tuned into and if so to what extent they applied and acted.
Very interesting post Disappearing Head.
I think the first question it raises is really Does God have a gender?
Traditionally the Abrahamic God is depicted, described and referred to as a male. Yet for the singular God of the Universe, with no parents, siblings or potential partners with which to procreate, the idea of a gender simply breaks down. God, as an organism, is wholly unique.
Only when the framework of a culture that discriminates against women and is biased toward men is imposed on God does God become a MAN who is right there agreeing with these cultural inequalities. This is something I've been talking about in a lot of my hubs, the imposition of human beliefs, morals, concerns and attitudes on God.
Now I'm an atheist as you know but I have no problem with the proposition that a God might exist. So if a God exists what do we know about it? What can we know about it and how exactly do we go about getting that information? It seems to me that when you look at almost any deity that mankind has ever believed in you can pull apart its characteristics to find humanity has imposed them upon it.
This is why God seems to change "his" opinion on so many moral and doctrinal subjects, because people are putting words into the mouth of God rather than the other way around.
Take slavery for another great example. The ten commandments is in Exodus 20 and contains several references to God's triumph in saving "his" people from slavery and how much honor "he" deserves for it. The very next chapter, Exodus 21, has God speaking to Moses and laying out the ground rules for the Hebrews to keep slaves of their own. This isn't some second-hand speech given in the priestly books about arbitrary rules on what you can eat and whether its okay to shave once and a while, this is direct from the mouth of God telling Moses that it's alright to beat slaves as long as they don't die and can go back to work within a few days time. This is, in Christian eyes, the creator of this magnificent and stupendously massive cosmos telling some dusty deposed Egyptian Prince and his group of Middle-Eastern refugees that its okay if you want to sell your daughter into slavery for the rest of her life.
Something just doesn't add up.
Either there is a God who did interact with the ancient Middle-East and the people just ignored what he said and made up stuff of their own.
Or this really is how immoral and barbaric an actual God wants us to behave. (In which case I posit that we are more moral than said God and therefore better capable of governing our own behavior and interactions)
Or there is no Abrahamic God at all.
If they were in tune with an omniscient and benevolent God, then these little mistakes wouldn't have slipped past their radar:
The Earth has corners. (Revelation 7:1)
Whales are fish, not mammals. (Jonah 1:17 + Matthew 12:40)
Light was created long before any source could emit it. (Genesis 1)
An old man rounded up all 2 million species of modern animals, as well as 500,000+ species of dinosaurs, on a boat one-third the size of the Titanic. (Genesis 6)
A sphere of water encircled the Earth before The Flood and then magically disappeared. (Genesis 1 vs. Genesis 6)
Pontius Pilate was a nice guy who didn't want to execute an infamous Jewish rebel. (Luke 23:20)
God creates evil, and seems awfully proud of it. (Isaiah 45:7)
I looked up five different versions of the bible and none of them refer to the fish as a whale.
" And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights."
Big fish to swallow a man and then allow the man to survive for three days.
Interesting this the only one you contested as if contesting this one made you point.
Are you biblical scholars that you have definite proof of who and what God is?
Do you think women, today, in the western world are treated with respect and equal to men? If you look at magazines in check-out stands in the grocery store you would know that isn't true.
So you think biblical scholars have a better understanding of wether or not God exists?
The point is not that women and men are treated equally, it's that they should be.
My point is that today men and women ARE treated equally as individuals in the West today. Even if this does not practically work out in society, they are equal under the law. No matter which way we look at it the laws of Western societies today have a much higher standard of morality and social progression than ancient Hebrew law. So if the Hebrew law really was given by God, why is it inferior with regards to human rights and equality to our society? Why was God unable to effect change in that culture through the law or at least provide a law that would present an exemplar for all time?
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