"Good" and "evil" are concepts we apply to human behavior. When are these terms accurate, and when are they labels of convenience we apply out of laziness or prejudice?
Since it is we who decide, it's our choice.
Discrimination is evil. Affirmative action (legally mandated and required discrimination) is good.
Killing people is evil. Capital punishment is good.
Stealing is evil. Taxation (legal theft) for purposes unrelated to the good of the country is good.
Mistreating groups of people is evil (denying gay marriage). Doing it for God is good.
Absolutely it can be convenience, including politically convenient.
I think everyone is born with a conscience about what is right and wrong. Often, no one needs to say and action is good, evil, or indifferent, as they just know it instinctively. Some disagree on those things of course, but you can usually tell what a person thinks about an action, if you apply it as happening to them, to imagine how it would be if it happened to them or a loved one.
I think you can tell when a person is applying it out of convenience or selfishness, or a simply egocentric point of view. Sometimes it is laziness, or climbing on a bandwagon, or simple prejudice born out of a held belief about another person or group. It often isn't about the facts, reason, or logic in those cases. That is another way to tell.....when they maintain the stance in light of the true facts, reason, or logic. A stance, belief, idea, or actions that hurt another or others. Good question.
I would disagree on people knowing the difference instinctively. If that were true all cultures would have the same mores, yet they differ and sometimes radically. Consider the natives in Brazil that kill infants when food is short, the cannibalism that has been seen in various places and the wildly differing ideas of proper dress. What is evil also changes with time; witness the concept of slavery in our own country.
No, the ideas of good/evil, right/wrong, etc. are all learned from parents and society.
You make a good point. I guess I can only speak for my own moral compass, not that of another. It comes down to nature vs. nurture. I always questioned everything my parents, religious institutions or society wanted to instill in me, but perhaps that is more unique to Western society than I might imagine.
In this case, I think, "nature" includes the society and culture one is raised in. A great deal of our morality comes from there, unconsciously absorbed without any real teaching. "Nurture" also plays a great part, of course, but in the end it is all learned and not instinctual.
I think when parents and society can be wrong, people can still know what is right and wrong. Its not too often a whole society is wrong, but societies have gone wrong directions before in history.
Its a battle with our consciences and thinking so often. You don't have to "buy" a parent's idea, or any authority, or any society, if you know something is wrong. Sometimes, these people are the heroes we see written about in stories.
You can test this when you learn of people that have left what they were taught, in the society they were taught it in, and were brave enough to get out of it. Its crazy hard, and takes a strong person, but it can be done and usually people esteem it. I don't believe we have to be victims of evil ideas and people, in the sense we have to automatically adopt those ideas. We are free creatures that can think for ourselves. No need to be bound by someone elses bad idea, or a cultures bad ideas. Unless you are literally bound in some way, which is another form of evil, and I don't think anyone would argue that.
I agree with the idea that deep inside everyone has a moral compass. Yet we sometimes see very large groups of people committing horrible acts. Short of mass insanity, what do you think is happening in such a case?
I think it depends on the situation exactly, and we can look to history and psychology to help explain such behavior on a larger scale.
I believe in good and evil. Evil can have a way with even large groups of people when destruction of life and freedom are the goal and there is a true distortion in thinking, and a quieting or killing off of one's own conscience.
Facing that kind of evil head on can be hard. I heard of a story and have a picture in one of my hubs, of a situation during or around WW2, where a bunch of armed men were going to kill all these farmers in a field that were of the wrong nationality. They were told to line them up and kill them all. One man couldn't do it, wouldn't do it. He was made to line up with them and die with them, and he chose to do that instead, because he couldn't kill them. That is some serious good standing up to some huge evil, and probably made some of those people think.
Your question is good, and has probably many facets to it, ways that it can be answered. People are scared of evil, so sometimes join it, thinking it will save them or work out somehow in the end..... Its just a trick, and hurts them still in the end I think. Evil has an appetite that is never satisfied, and I think it is part of what we are seeing these days. I think it makes the good shine all the brighter though, wherever it can be found. I think good and evil are very real things, and not relative.
Perhaps then evil exists so that good can exist. If so, then the opposite must be also true: yin and yang actualized.
Or another possibility that there is no evil, it is all good and we are choosing to not see it or something is hindering our view of it and that choice of, or hindrance of, is a created evil.
Very interesting. I think its possible that evil is allowed to exist for a time, but its very existence depends on the good that exists ongoing. I think good could exist without evil, but not the other way around. As for yin and yang... perhaps its like how hatred and cruelty can make love and gentleness and grace shine all the more, and be more coveted, so to speak. We can appreciate freedom and life so much, because we can see how in our history a lack of it is horrible, perhaps.
I would not compare good and evil to yin/yang, actually (if I may toss in my 2 cents on that).
The yin/yang are complementary forces, not opposing forces. The goal with yin/yang is not to obliterate one another. Neither is to be resisted, and the ideal is not to choose sides, but to find balance between the two.
Neither sides in yin/yang represent good or evil-- good or bad can live in both if they are not balanced.
I think the answer is in why we think something is good or evil. It's not an arbitrary thing at all.
There are objectively negative acts and positive acts relative to a subjective being.. Real objective harm that is done and real objective good. Harm is what we call evil, and positive beneficial acts are called good. The terms themselves are just convention and change with language. But the conditions relative to us are objective and most of us no matter what culture we live in would categorize someone who is torturing us as being evil.
We would almost all agree that someone providing food when we are starving is being very good to us.
But outside of real harm or real good being done we often use those words in subjective ways. This is where an act that does no real harm but offends the sensibilities of an individual for what ever reason is deemed an act of evil, where as others experiencing or witnessing the act see no real direct harm in it.
A lot of these acts fall into the category of ethics, not morality.
This has a lot to do with our sense of fair play. Again, that sense is rooted objective conditions. Fair play avoids conflict, conning people creates and escalates conflict.
For subjective beings, conflict is what we try to solve, and conditions that create it are bad and to be avoided, with laws if need be.
Now, is anything objectively good or evil on it's own? No. The universe doesn't care what we do, it just reacts to it according to what it is. But it is good or evil relative to subjective beings, namely humans and the more advanced biology of the planet.
The directive of living things is to continue living in peace and relative comfort as long as it can. what really or actually threatens that is objectively negative to the goal.
So, is morality subjective? yes. But it is based on objective problems humans have, and addresses the real objective conditions we face.
If I close my eyes or someone blindfolds me, does the sun stop shining? Perception of reality and reality are two different things.
Except that good and evil are defined concepts, not actual and real events or things. And that definition changes with culture, people and time.
So yes, blink your eyes and what was evil is not good or vice versa.
I am tempted to ask, "What is real?" The world in front of us is real because we perceive it so with the help of our senses.
All definitions change with circumstances and time.
Yet the definitions of a "real" thing do not change but little. The sun was mentioned here - we all know what a sun is and that has not changed. Our understanding of what makes it up or how it behaves has changed of course, but that it is that yellow ball in the sky has not. But the definition of evil has changed throughout history and will continue to do so as we develop as a people.
In think what is real is what actually exists, however it exists, despite what anyone thinks about it, believes about it, or does about it. What is real, just is, and isn't limited to any constraints people might try to put on it.
I think opinions and definitions can change, but what is real isn't reliant on those things.
For once I completely agree with you. But I also completely agree with wilderness, except to say that learning is not the only factor at play here. There is a dynamic between learning and genetic predisposition. So on the genetic side there can be a predisposition to a sense of fair play, empathy, etc, which can make a person just seem to know that to harm others is wrong, if only because they do not want harm to come to them or can imagine/feel other people's pain and cringe at the thought of inflicting that pain on someone.
Born without a sense of empathy, no amount of learning is going to give it to someone. But that does not mean those people will automatically inflict pain on others and enjoy it. There are other built in and learned factors that determine such actions as well. Your beliefs play a big part, and again they are formed through this dynamic between learned and predisposed. .
Even a person with empathy can kill if threatened. We can all learn to hate, even learn to hate hate and do violence to those who hate others.
It all depends on which factors are dominant at that moment.
Are Muslims evil? No. But a radical faction of them believes it is their duty to god and to themselves to protect themselves from western influence. But coming to realize they can't, have decided that to wipe out western influence is the only way to protect what they believe.
They also believe that the middle east should be one religion, their form of it of course. Much like the Catholics felt during the inquisition periods and just like the Protestants and Catholics felt during that little 300 plus year war they had with each other.
Is it wrong? It certainly is as far as we are concerned they are the evil ones. But they see us as evil. Both sides see themselves as good and right. Remember that we have not been angels when dealing with the middle east in the past.
Is it wrong to settle your differences with blood? I'd say so. But without another solution humans turn to killing each other, always blaming the other for the conflict. There are always other solutions but too few that have the power or will to see them through.
Are these radicals evil? No. They are, as far as I am concerned, delusional. Their delusion stemming from their belief. Same as the Christians up to a couple hundred years ago..
Belief is dangerous, plain and simple. But people haven't learned that yet.
Do you really think that all belief is dangerous? I think we believe in all kinds of things for all kinds of reasons. I was speaking more about what is real, and I am glad you agree with me at least in part.
All I ask is for people to be fair about these topics, and if they are not, to be able to maybe look at why that might be. I am not sure all people are totally fair to just how much they believe about things. Especially when they put down belief in others. This is my observation over time, by the way, in many people. I even think it could be said that belief in the idea that belief is dangerous, is a belief. That you think people just need to just be corrected that don't yet agree with you (if you really believe that) is another possible belief. (Since you may have wanted an example from me for saying what I said.)
Sorry for the delay in response. I think we do agree that forcing conversion at the tip of a sword is wrong, since you brought up history. (Tip of the sword, or forcing people to change their beliefs or else suffer in any way, I think is immoral, and I think most would agree with that.)
The New Testament says that only God is good and Jesus said that he only spoke the words God told him to say. Jesus is also described as being without sin and sin is an archery term meaning: to miss the mark. Accordingly, good represents teachings which come from God and evil represents teachings from any other source....
Every individual defines good and evil by their own personal experiences and desires.
Religions have defined good and evil under their religious beliefs.
Society defines good and evil through mutually agreed upon civil laws.
Perhaps, good is whatever promotes abundant life and bad is whatever destroys it.
What is life?
Life on earth?
Life in Spirit?
It is a constant?
Does it apply to all in every situation?
Was it good that I cut down and chopped up my beloved plum tree? It was old and half dead… but only half dead. The water table was too low for some of its roots to reach… but, not all. It had become unattractive. Was it good or evil that I terminated its existence. I feel terrible… even for a tree!
Was it good or evil that I put down my dog who still had joy of life… He had terminal cancer and could no longer take himself outside to relieve himself…Was it for his good or mine? I still feel terrible about that too.
Are there some necessary evils?
Are there some senseless evils?
Life, it seems, is always good...Untimely death, not so much.
Now, when death comes naturally, that is good…Right?
So, Perhaps Good is whatever promotes happiness and bad is whatever destroys it.
According to Plato, Justice is good and consists in giving a man what is owed.
What are we owed? Whatever it is, it is good. When it is denied, it is evil.
Freedom, Liberty, Independence. These are good. To take them away is evil. Because they are owed.
(Be careful what you willingly give up.)
A lovely, thoughtful answer.
I agree that nothing is black and white. Also I observe that often things that seem to be of a positive nature turn out to be negative and also the reverse. Good and evil are not so easy to define, it seems. But I like what you chose to define. I think these choices are mostly true.
"Freedom, Liberty, Independence. These are good. To take them away is evil. Because they are owed."
By whom? Who owes you these states of being? No one. And no one can grant them. They are negotiated with others or taken. They are ideals many of us strive for. They are not intrinsic natural rights. Where did we get these rights?: Through the development of constitutional democracies and entrenched bills of rights and freedoms.
You can always do what you want until others stop you. But that's you claiming something is your right. It only becomes your right when others agree.
And we can agree as to what rights we have because we live with others who share our desire for those rights. Hence we all agree that we all have specific rights. Someone threatening your right then threatens everyone else's too.
For you to be guaranteed your rights you have to give up the right to stop others from having their rights. That's the price of freedom.
I believe we are "endowed by our creator with inalienable rights." They are natural rights.
"Natural rights are those not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable." W
And where does he do that and how are they guaranteed? I must have missed that part of the bible. It's mostly about what you can't and or must do.
They aren't worth much if they can be taken away.
There are no natural rights. In nature rights are taken until something takes them from you. Humans have fought hard for societies we have in the west. Many don't have the rights we have.
We are born free with free will. Who ever takes it away is evil…Good is granting free will. By "free" I mean self-guided.
We have will, to be sure. But again, no where in the bible does it say god granted you free will. In fact he doesn't want you to use it if you have it, he wants you to do his will. Am I wrong? And are you not supposedly punished for going against his will?
So, If the human laws say you can not kill others, is that law saying you are free to kill others anyway, it's just that you will get punished if you do? No. The threat of punishment means you are not free to do it. You physically can do it, but there are consequences. Being free to do something means there are no consequences except those that come with the choice naturally.
That is to say, you are free to choose what flavour ice cream you eat depending on availability. No government in the west is going to punish you for your choice unless your ice cream contains something illegal. You might gain a few ounces, and if you think that's something you don't want then you probably should not choose to eat it. But that gaining of ounces or pounds is not a punishment because no agency, god or otherwise, is putting those pounds on you for wrong action. It is just a natural cause and effect scenario. You may even want to gain a few pounds.
Being able to do something and having the right to do it according to society or god (if there is one) are two separate things.
I will agree that we are self guided because we all have will. But what is will? What are you?
Will is the manifestation of your conditioning, both genetic predisposition and environmental (learned) and how those two factors play on each other.
You are the result of that conditioning. What else could you be? That conditioning is you and how you will choose. Each of us are unique due to having unique conditioning. That means that though you may have the ability to take something that is not yours, you may not be able to if theft goes against your conditioning. Others are able to because their conditioning allows for that choice.
You have the ability, but will not have the will, So while you have many possible choices in any given scenario, You will choose that which you feel is right or necessary. You will do it through your will and therefore think and feel self guided. And you are. Self is the culmination of all your conditioning.
The fact is, none of us can do as we like without considering the effects of what we do on others. We owe others peace, regard, consideration and kindness. We must follow The Golden Rule. We must have a basis for free will: boundaries of right and proper behavior. Evil is not following these boundaries. The Bible points out the boundaries that will help us avoid negative consequences. Many stories in the Bible are teaching lessons which illustrate right thinking and behavior. What are they based on? Love. God's love for us. Without boundaries in which to guide one's free will, anarchy, tyranny and lawlessness result.
In other words, Freedom and Boundaries are two sides of one coin.
You can't have one without the other.
If that is the case then both Islam and Christianity are both evil as neither one follows the golden rule. Both do their best to impress their religion on everyone else, while deploring the efforts of any other religion to do the same.
Like I always say, the atheists are not afraid to reveal the dogmas of religion. There is certainly room for improvement in both religions as far as how they are interpreting and preaching their religions. The truth is in the fine print I guess. Maybe they don't look there.
One of the very basic tenets of each religion (and some of the others as well) is to gain converts, which is the basic problem. That and a self proclaimed right to control how others live.
Does that make the whole religion evil?
Religion can be a dangerous thing, it's true. Terrible acts have been committed in the name of religion since we had the idea. But religion at its best can be a comfort, a community and a way to help people get a perspective on life beyond their own needs.
I couldn't agree more. It;s the boundaries we may disagree on at times
This right here is why I find the God of the bible most relevant.
The fact that we even have these discussions about morality is because each of us are capable of actions and behaviors that go well beyond what we all can agree is immoral. The mere fact that we're able to choose and determine our own behavior flies in the face of what we understand about the natural world. If we truly are capable of willfully choosing our actions and behaviors, then that is significant.
Science is the study of behavior of matter and energy. And matter and energy behave in such consistent ways that we are able to define laws around those behaviors. If we are actually able to choose our actions and behaviors through reason and intellect, then that makes us truly unique. As far as we understand, because our brains are made up of matter/energy, we should have no more willful control over our actions as a river has in choosing its path. Which would mean we're under the illusion that we're in control, when in actuality we're just passive observers experiencing the brain first-hand, fooled by it into thinking we're in control.
The fact that the central theme of the bible has to do with human behavior being out of whack with the creator of the natural world is significant. If we humans are truly capable of choosing our own actions and behaviors willfully, then we are the only bundles of matter in all the universe whose behaviors and actions are not governed, at least as far as we know. And as humanity has shown, we don't exactly fit in with the rest of nature. We used to. Now we don't. We've disconnected.
Like Mr. Smith says in the Matrix ... “It came to me when I tried to classify your species, and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment; but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply, and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer on this planet, you are a plague.”
Though he's a fictional character, there's a lot of truth in what he's saying. We don't live in harmony with nature. We don't behave the ways other mammals do. We're destructive. All other life exists in harmony with nature. There's a balance there. There's an island-sized pile of trash floating around the Pacific ocean right now because of us. A hole in the ozone. We don't fit. But there's a very particular time and place that we started behaving this way. And it just so happens that's exactly where/when the events of Genesis are said to have taken place. The free will that it's speaking of, being introduced into the world, is what changed humanity. Disconnected us from the natural system we're a product of.
These moral discussions are a testament to that. No other life has to sit down and hash out what is moral and what isn't. All around the world a horse is a horse and a cow is a cow and a bear is a bear. Behavior wise, we know what to expect. Humans, on the other hand, are a whole different matter.
This is the primary reason why I find the God of the bible so relevant. The central theme of that story is the most relevant thing it could have been. If there's anything a God powerful enough to create the universe would show such a vested interest in such a seemingly insignificant species in a seemingly insignificant corner of the universe, this is why. Anything that exists, whose behavior is not governed by natural law or instinct, would be of the utmost of interest. Free will means we're creators. We create and add to this universe things that are not 'of God's will', but is 'of our will'. Just like everything else, we're a physical part of this universe. And just like everything else, our behaviors and actions effect the world around us. Free will is a big responsibility. It's a dangerous and volatile element. It makes evil possible.
We have been through this discussion before and we vehemently disagree.
You are mistaken on so many fronts. First, all animals will reproduce to the limit of the environment; it's why deer must be killed by man as they will reproduce until starvation or disease reduces their numbers otherwise. Even the predators face this simple rule that there is a limit to what the environment can sustain.
Man is unique in that he is capable of changing that environment and in other ways providing for a much larger population. Medicine, GMO foods, high tech agricultural methods, etc. all combine to greatly increase the possible population and of these perhaps the ability to eliminate other species is the greatest of all. But man is no different than any other animal in that they all do whatever they can to increase their population - none practice birth control in any manner outside of natural causes such as starvation except man.
As far as biblical morality, it consists mostly of "Do what I say or else". Whether it's God speaking, the priesthood, or just organized religion it all comes down to that and is simply unacceptable. Only Jesus, and then only some of the time (remember the destruction of property in the temple?), gave us some moral guidelines and few of the religious community make a real effort to follow them.
What were they doing in the TEMPLE? They were not focused on spirit, on love, on God. They were focused on greed, on money, on superficial existence. Jesus had a right to upset them! He was setting the boundaries.
Yes, exactly. Man is unique. That's the whole point. We didn't start changing and taking control of the environment until the Ubaid culture of Southern Mesopotamia, roughly 5500 BC. Humans had been anatomically modern since 200,000 BC. Our brains, or at least brain size, had not changed in this time. And behavior remained unchanged for 195,000 years. But then we started acting differently. Rather than living in harmony with nature, viewing nature in much the same way that indigenous cultures always had, where there was no personal possession of land, they began to draw boundary lines on maps and organize militaries and enslave groups. For much of our history we lived right in harmony with nature along with the rest of the natural world. That all stopped in a very particular place and time. The same place and time that Genesis says those events took place. When God introduced free will into the world. When Adam/Eve ate of the tree that was to give them 'knowledge'.
Many cultures, beyond the one that wrote Genesis, wrote about this behavior change. It was dramatic enough to be noticed. This is when evil first began. Like in the way the Roman poet Ovid described it ....
""There broke out ... all manner of evil, and shame fled, and truth and faith. In place of these came deceits and trickery and treachery and force and the accursed love of possession ... And the land, hitherto a common possession like the light of the sun and the breezes, the careful surveyor now marked out with long boundary lines." - Roman Poet Ovid from Metamorphoses
"As far as biblical morality, it consists mostly of "Do what I say or else"."
Yes. The God of the natural world had created an existence where everything worked in harmony because it all behaved according to His one singular will. But then came free will. Individual wills that were not of God, but were of man. We no longer fit in with the rest of nature. We no longer worked in harmony with the system that we came from. We no longer inherently, naturally, worked according to God's will. That's why God would have to threaten retribution. Without free will there's no need for commandments or judgement. The story of the bible is the story of a world no longer in God's control. God literally tried everything to control behavior. He gave them laws, made threats, struck down some in full site of others. All of this was only necessary after the introduction of free will.
-maybe free will evolved to the point where humans took more and more freedom. Now SOME are trying to take more and more in a huge way…
There are different levels of consciousness, spiritual evolution and powers along with varying IQ 's within mankind, of course.
"God literally tried everything to control behavior."
I disagree here.
God tried to give boundaries to enhance free will.
He has always been invisible… why?
To give us freedom to guide our wills.
An evolved free will suggests a gradual progression that is just not seen. These behavioral changes were rather sudden, and very specific in time and place. And it was anything but gradual ....
"In his work, History Begins at Sumer, Samuel Noah Kramer lists 39 `firsts’ in human civilization and culture that originated at Sumer. His list includes:
The First Schools, The First Case of `Apple Polishing’, The First Case of Juvenile Delinquency, The First `War of Nerves’, The First Bicameral Congress, The First Historian, The First Case of Tax Reduction, The First `Moses’, The First Legal Precedent, The First Pharmacopoeia, The First `Farmer’s Almanac’, The First Experiment in Shade-Tree Gardening, Man’s First Cosmogony and Cosmology, The First Moral Ideals, The First `Job’, The First Proverbs and Sayings, The First Animal Fables, The First Literary Debates, The First Biblical Parallels, The First `Noah’, The First Tale of Resurrection, The First `St. George’, The First Case of Literary Borrowing, Man’s First Heroic Age, The First Love Song, The First Library Catalogue, Man’s First Golden Age, The First `Sick’ Society, The First Liturgic Laments, The First Messiahs, The First Long-Distance Champion, The First Literary Imagery, The First Sex Symbolism, The First Mater Dolorosa, The First Lullaby, The First Literary Portrait, The First Elegies, Labor’s First Victory, The First Aquarium." - http://www.ancient.eu/article/71/
"God literally tried everything to control behavior."
I disagree here.
God tried to give boundaries to enhance free will.
He has always been invisible… why?
To give us freedom to guide our wills.
Yes, exactly, He gave us free will and doesn't infringe on it. But He did need to ensure specific outcomes. Like making good on His promise to Abraham that he'd make his descendants numerous. To do this God gave the Israelites over 600 specific rules. He interacted with them more directly through the tabernacle. He'd punish some in full site of others. He sent plagues and floods. None of this would have been necessary without free will.
Q What is the nature of "specific outcomes," (past and/or future.)
Keep in mind, forcing was/is taboo. Yes?
...issuing consequences is not the same as forcing.
"Q What is the nature of "specific outcomes," (past and/or future.) "
Future. Like realizing a high number of descendants as promised to Abraham, even though God did not have control over the behavior of those descendants. Another would be realizing the birth of Jesus from this line. God still has to ensure things play out the way they need to in an environment not completely under His control.
"Keep in mind, forcing was/is taboo. Yes?
...issuing consequences is not the same as forcing."
No, I don't think so. Assigning consequence to one of the choices is not taking the choice away. The choice still has to be there for the consequence to be relevant.
So saying God is all powerful and all knowing would be a lie?
This is most likely where the mafia got the idea that it's okay to extort people. God does it so it must be the moral thing to do? The Catholic church must endorse it as well as the mafia uses the Vatican Bank to clean it's money. Is extortion good or bad?
How does God exhort people? Is this close to forcing?
God forces us to be a certain way? to do certain things?
Or are you thinking *blackmail?*
What made you say this?
"So saying God is all powerful and all knowing would be a lie?"
It is possible, He is in control of many things and can change many things. The one thing He has no control over is our self guided/controlled will.
Does He RESPOND to many things? To what extent is he arranging things behind the scenes… Like a play director? For instance: If one commits adultery one will receive very detrimental results… No bells will ring… no alarms will go off, but bad things will happen… Very bad:
Loss of love, loss of respect, loss of home. Perhaps even loss of life as others shun you to that extent. Your husband could cast you into the desert. Your wife could die of a broken heart while you shack up with your young love. No alarms, no exhorting, just natural consequences. Would He punish a person who commits adultery, say with cancer? I wonder if he has that type of control. On the other hand, would He give someone cancer so that person can learn certain things toward some sort of Ultimate Goal.
For instance, is He causing a drought in California to make us appreciate forces beyond ourselves and stop taking God's existence/gifts for granted? Or is the drought the result of our lack of Focus on God.. our greed, laziness, arrogance…
Or does God just sit back and watch everything?
Or... of course there is no God doing anything
Blackmail is demanding something from someone under the threat of revealing compromising information.
Extortion is the practice of obtaining something, through force or threats.
The God of the bible is using extortion as he is threatening hellfire for our worship. Is it okay to use extortion?
Headly thinks "God still has to ensure things play out the way they need to in an environment not completely under His control" which means he is not in complete control, doesn't know the future which means he isn't all knowing or all powerful.
So are you one of those who think natural disasters are orchestrated by God? If so should we simply look to parts of the world who has the least natural disasters and assume they are living out Gods plan?
I think this is just a testament to how significant a free will is. It really is a will apart from His. The rest of nature behaves exactly as He wills it. But humans, we're different. He gave us our own will, meaning He really did create a boulder so big even He can't move it. He really did create a will so free that even He can't control it. It's out of His control, by design.
Extortion is inevitable. Because people have free will there will always be a want/need to control their actions. I guess it really depends on the intention behind the extortion. Would you say trying to get your kids attention by threatening a spanking because they're running full speed towards a busy street is bad? What if the intention behind the extortion is because you're trying to help somebody who doesn't know any better?
exactly. Its less about controlling and more about being proactive: guiding, prodding, steering in the right direction to avoid detrimental natural consequences.
Yeah, exactly. I think too often the whole element of free will in the stories of the bible is under-appreciated. Most often people go into the bible with the impression that everything they're reading is exactly as God intended it. It's all in His control. When actually I see a much more dynamic story than that where this God really is interacting with humans trying to steer their development without being able to control their behavior. So He tries all kinds of things. He tests Abraham to verify there are favorable traits in him, then breeds from him. Making his descendants many. But to actually accomplish that God has to interact with them rather directly. So He speaks to them directly through the ark in the tabernacle, He gives them a very specific set of rules as far as who to breed with and who not to, and He gives them some rather dramatic punishments if they don't adhere. I see a God trying literally everything to control the behaviors of a bunch of free willed humans, which would be like trying to herd cats. I think it's an important element to the story that often gets overlooked.
We behave exactly as we evolved to. You see, we can't say he is all powerful and all knowing if he is not.
There is never a need to spank a child or person.
So extortion is an acceptable way of forcing people to do things you desire. Why do we have laws against it?
You insist God exhorts. I do not. You insist God is all controlling. I do not. You insist there is no God. I do not.
Each to their own.
Whatever works for your life.
But I can prove the God of the bible (writers) use extortion.
the practice of obtaining something, through force or threats.
The God of the bible and quran is asking for belief and worship under the threat of hellfire. That is extortion. It's immoral.
We behave exactly as we evolved to. You see, we can't say he is all powerful and all knowing if he is not.
I'd say indigenous humans behave exactly as we evolved to. They're also the example you can look to to see what living totally within God's will would be like. You can see it in our progression. We became anatomically modern 200,000 years ago, showed very little changes over the next 195,000 years, then around 5500 BC, behavior altered completely. How humans lived with one another changed. They invented civilization and all of those things listed above. If it were evolved, there would be a progression. We see the opposite of a progression. It's a change that took root in that group of humans, then that behavior pattern spread all throughout the world, overtaking cultures who acted as humans had before. This other group was much more aggressive. And behaved a lot more like they were entitled to all the land they "discovered" along the way. Justifying taking it from the original inhabitants.
God is all powerful and all knowing. This existence, this timeline, has already played out. He's seen how it ends.
There is never a need to spank a child or person.
So extortion is an acceptable way of forcing people to do things you desire. Why do we have laws against it?
Say you're talking about a child who keeps messing with the breaker box in your house. To make him understand the danger of electricity is still a little beyond his capacity, but it's become clear that you simply saying "don't" isn't working. There comes a time when a child is more capable of getting themselves hurt than they are at understanding the dangers of the world. Sometimes you have to give them something they do understand. Threat of being grounded, or not being able to watch TV or something similar. Something they'd actually understand a lot easier than understanding how electricity works.
You're talking about recorded history and assuming anything before recorded history was different even though the evidence proves otherwise.
Then why does he test us? Why does he test if he knows the results? Why bother? It's got to be incredibly boring.
Are you really assuming the only thing adult humans understand is everlasting pain? I have a 20 and a 17 year old who are well adjusted people who have part time jobs and attend university who I have never threaten with bodily harm. Why can't a God do that?
What evidence? I'm not just talking out of my ass, making assumptions. As I usually do, I have evidence to back up what I'm saying. What evidence are you talking about?
Look, I know this can be difficult to get. He tests us because of free will. Just because God can see all the future doesn't mean He knows what you'll do in a given situation. So, to test, God will create that situation to see what you'll do. If you've never been in that situation then the ability to see all time all at once is irrelevant because the situation never existed that caused you to make a choice. So He tests us by creating the situation that then makes us choose.
I don't think it's a matter of what God can and can't do. It's all about we beings with free will will do. God is illustrating that it really doesn't matter what He does. No matter what He tries, we're still going to do what we're going to do. He gives us example after example. He explains to Adam/Eve that if they eat the forbidden fruit they'll die. Lays it all out and tries to simply explain it to them, they do it anyway. He shows His power by sending plagues, then tells the Isrealites to follow these rules or there will be consequences. They break the rules anyway. The biblical stories are example after example of God trying different approaches and showing that us free willed beings are literally incapable of following.
"Just because God can see all the future doesn't mean He knows what you'll do in a given situation."
I don't think it's possible to write a more self-contradictory sentence. Can you explain your meaning some other way?
"No matter what He tries, we're still going to do what we're going to do."
You understand that you just denied God's omnipotence? If he can't control the actions of His own creation I seriously doubt he is capable of making a universe.
The miracle is that He gave each of us free will. If he made himself controlling over our will what fun would it be for Him? In each of us?
The two statements in question are: 1)God knows the future. 2) God does not know what you will do in the future. The two are completely inconsistent with each other, and wondering what fun an alien creature from another universe could have if we didn't have free will (inconsistent with knowing the future) has nothing to do with the truth of the statements.
If I had the ability to know the future, I still could not know which you'd prefer, dark chocolate or milk chocolate, if no situation ever existed throughout your whole life experience where you were given those two choices and chose one. Which means, I would then have to create that situation, somewhere along the way in your life, so I would then have an example to look to.
Knowing the future is irrelevant if you've never done what I need to know. The statements are only contradictory if what I want to know you'll do actually exists in that future. If it doesn't then my ability to know the future is irrelevant.
If you had the ability to know the future you do not need to create the circumstance of my choice to know I would take chocolate. You don't, in other words, need to test your knowledge to know it is true.
Creating a sophistry where you don't know what you know just doesn't cut it in the world of logic. If it didn't happen, then it isn't the future and you won't know it but you WOULD (if omniscient) still know the results of the "what if" question. There may be valid reasons for God to temper the iron that is a man, but finding out what happens in specific events isn't one of them.
And I would submit that the tempering could be done, by an omnipotent God, without resorting to pain, distress or sending them to Hell.
This is exactly what I'm saying. Most people don't seem to truly understand or appreciate the free will theme of the story, which means you can't truly understand the story being told. Like my chocolate example, I would have no knowledge of your choice is you never made the choice. My knowledge of the future doesn't give me this answer if you never made the choice. Unless the situation exists somewhere on that timeline that I can look to to see what you'd choose, then I'd have no knowledge of what you'd choose.
If being omniscient meant you knew the "what if", then free will wouldn't truly be free.
Without pain and distress, our choices wouldn't really matter because there'd be no real consequence. Pain and distress, consequences, give our decisions weight. Makes what we do matter. You choosing your preferred type of chocolate, doesn't really matter. Whether or not Abraham would be willing to kill his son, that does matter.
Free will is the reason for everything. It's the whole reason God created the universe and us. If you were capable of creation, which would you prefer? An existence where everything you created did exactly as you expected and willed? Where everything would behave exactly as you wanted, and loved and listened to you because that's how they're made? Or would it not be more meaningful if they each have their own minds and wills and choose to love you and listen to you of their own volition? Free will is an extraordinary gift. But it's also a very volatile thing. Our having free will would be like all matter in the universe being able to choose whether or not its going to conform to natural law. The universe wouldn't work as it does if matter/energy behaved any differently than it does. We're the only bundles of matter/energy, in all the universe to our knowledge, capable of choosing our actions and behaviors through logic/reason, and not purely dictated by natural law or instinct. That's a big deal. That's the primary purpose for the whole biblical story. Everything God does in the bible is to achieve that end. It's all in the interest of creating free will.
We have no disagreement in the existence of free will - I also think it exists within the limits of what we can physically do. There are choices virtually built into us, but even then we CAN do something else.
The question, though, is whether your God is omniscient (knows all, including the future). This is totally incompatible with the concept of free will, and as far as I can see the only conclusion is that no God is omniscient as that denies the possibility of free will. We agree here, apparently, that no god, even yours, has that attribute.
The second question (that you did not address at all) is that of God's omnipotence. If God cannot force our actions, regardless of free will (and you have denied that capability) then God is not omnipotent, either. The god you reference is severely lacking in what I've always considered to be His attributes, then - either accept that or conclude that your entire perception of God is badly flawed.
You're mistaken. God knowing the future does not remove our capability to make our own choices in any given moment. God is described as being the creator of the universe, which means He exists apart from the universe. We now understand this to mean that He would also exist apart from space/time as we perceive it as neither space nor time as we perceive it existed before the universe did. This means there'd be no span of time between past and future for God to have to first traverse. He's not impacted by time because He doesn't exist within it. So, He would see all time all at once. Not as a linear gradually passing thing, but in its entirety. But God seeing time all at once does not remove our free will. God having knowledge of what we'll do in each moment does not mean we did not have an actual choice in each moment, because we're the ones making the willful decisions, and we do exist within time.
Whether God can or cannot force our actions isn't the question. I'm sure He can. The thing is, He won't. Or that would undermine the whole concept of a free will. God respects our decisions. The whole point is to give us the capability to make our own choices. He may very well be capable, but He doesn't. What would be the point of going through all that trouble to give us free will if He then just decides to override it and force our actions?
Absolutely God knowing our future actions means we have no free will; we cannot act in violation of what God knows will happen and thus cannot make choices that violate that knowledge. No free will, and to try and say that both are true is simply false. It cannot be.
Example: assume for the moment that God has written down all your choices in a big black book. He knows everything you will do and thus has that ability. You will have milk for breakfast tomorrow; the book says so. Can you have coffee instead? If so, did God lie (unthinkable), did He make a mistake (equally unthinkable) or did he not, after all, know the future?
You are making conclusions about God that you are not qualified or knowledgeable enough to make. Does God exist in a universe with time? Did he tie that time to this one? Did he simply extend a "bubble" of His own universe? Did He put us into His universe and just say He made it? I submit that you do not know the answer to ANY of those questions and therefore your meanderings about time and God are unsupported by any fact. They are suppositions only, made because they fit what you want your God to be and do, and do not necessarily have any basis in fact.
If God can change the actions of people and won't, he is directly responsible for sending people to burn for eternity. He could not only change the person burning, but the person causing others to burn (by killing them before they convert, by convincing them not to convert, by any number of actions). Indeed, He made the monsters, and their defects, that do this sort of thing. This is NOT a god that is deserving of our worship regardless of how bad it wants it or perhaps even regardless of His punishment if we don't worship Him. No thank you - in an eternity of time anything possible can and will happen, even the unseating of a god. Perhaps those in hell can make a new god to replace the evil one sentencing innocent people to hell.
I'm sorry, but that's wrong. Let me use your example. If God had written in his black book that you're going to have milk tomorrow, that means that you did have milk that day. God is just seeing time all at once, while we're having to traverse it day after day. Whatever is written was YOUR choice in that moment. You made the choice in that moment. God's capability to see that or know that does not remove your ability to choose. Your choice is already made from His perspective.
I am making conclusions based on available information. The bible clearly describes God as the creator of the universe. We now understand that time as we perceive it began to exist only when this universe began to exist. So, God cannot be the creator of the universe and exist as a part of this universe within the time of this universe.
God being able to change actions does not make Him responsible. We each have free will so we are each responsible for what happens. We have to willfully choose Him. He can't force us. Or, He won't force us. Personally I don't believe in a hell. I think the "eternal fire" that it speaks of is the fire that is eternal, not the punishment. The most well-known verse in the bible says "...that whosoever believeth, SHALL NOT PERISH....". Perpetually burning is not perishing. None of us were given the choice to be here. It was the actions of our parents that determined us being here. So, if you of your own free will decide to reject God, you will cease to exist. Like before you were born. It really is a fair exchange.
"God's capability to see that or know that does not remove your ability to choose."
Of course it does. Tomorrow morning has not happened, but when it does you canNOT choose coffee. Of course that's also the result of a fixed, immutable time line - something I do not think exists but is necessary to know the future. To say that from some other viewpoint the choice is already made does not mean you have the free will to make a choice. It just says that you cannot make any other choice, which means there is no choice available at all.
"I am making conclusions based on available information."
No you're not; you're making conclusions based on your personal interpretation of what ignorant peasants wrote thousands of years ago and what educated men attempting to increase their power base chose to re-write it as. The bible has almost NO information at all; just myths and beliefs from a bygone era.
Actually, God COULD exist in our universe (if he made it compatible with his form of life) but certainly he didn't originate there. If He DID originate; the common theory seems to be that His universe, God and everything else associated directly with Him has existed "forever" (if that term has any meaning in His universe).
Perhaps you're right about the punishment, but of course we have no way of knowing. Certainly those knowledgeable men that assembled the bible were a lot closer in time and culture to those that actually wrote it (whoever they were) and they certainly disagree with you, but maybe you're right. That would be a good thing as no intelligent person would want to live forever, whether at God's feet, or burning in fire or in any other circumstance..
"Of course it does. Tomorrow morning has not happened, but when it does you canNOT choose coffee. Of course that's also the result of a fixed, immutable time line - something I do not think exists but is necessary to know the future. To say that from some other viewpoint the choice is already made does not mean you have the free will to make a choice. It just says that you cannot make any other choice, which means there is no choice available at all."
I know this can be difficult to understand, but you have to understand you're making a common mistake and are still framing this hypothetical scenario in a linear-time frame of mind. For example, "Tomorrow morning has not happened, but when it does you canNOT choose coffee." We're talking about seeing time all at once. Not having to watch it unfold linearly. The reason that future exists for God to see is because you participated in that moment, which was at that point your present, when you made a willful decision. From God's perspective, that's the decision you 'made'. You can only live that moment once, and can only choose what you chose. Whatever God sees is what you chose. If you having the knowledge that He already knows causes you to alter your decision, causing you to choose milk instead, then the future that God looked forward to would have been that. He sees it BECAUSE you did it, already. But in that moment you had the freedom to make your own decision. God seeing that, or writing it down, doesn't change that. The only reason that moment exists at all for God to see it is because you have 'already' made that decision.
It has been interesting to watch the original discussion morph into this one. I think it is a valid idea that the point of view of a being that lives at once outside and inside time/space would be very different from ours. I would think it a point of view that would be impossible for us to truly, fully grasp. For this reason I feel that discussions about the finer points of an individual's belief system, though interesting, can never be truly based in fact. Yet as so many of us try to define our universe for our own comfort these discussions can provide that for many.
It is perhaps inevitable that a discussion of good and evil will lead to a discussion of the nature of God, because we tend to make God the keeper of all we do not understand and/or fear. When large groups of religious people take to raping, torturing and killing children in the name of the Deity, one may question, in a world with God, how this can happen. If God has a purpose for example, how can acts like this fit in with that purpose? How does the mass slaughter of innocents fit in with the idea of a benign Creator?
I think you're absolutely right about designing a belief system for our own comfort. I believe in free will, with absolutely zero evidence to back it up, because it makes me feel good. People have always designed their own gods in such a way that it makes them feel good and done so without need for evidence of any sort.
As far as questioning God's actions, the typical and common answer is "God's ways are inscrutable and not for man to know". A simple answer meaning "I don't know and don't want to think about it".
These are two of the reasons why I see the God of the bible as being very much relevant and something I can't set aside as pure nonsense. One is the fact that the biblical stories focus in on human behavior. If you think about it, we're the only things in all the known universe whose behaviors and actions are in no way governed. We have to have discussions about good/evil and morality to arrive at an agreed upon location of the line between right/wrong. All other life just instinctively operates within the boundaries that all of their kind has in the past. We're the only beings whose actions and behaviors are determine through logic and reason. That is the single most relevant thing that I would think an all powerful God would have a vested interest in.
The second reason is that the God being described is way to sophisticated and elaborate for the authors to have just made up. One example is in regards to time/space. If this God created the universe, then He exists apart from both time and space. From His perspective there's no span of time between past and future and no span of space between here and there. From our perspective this would mean that He's exactly the same, unchanged by time, in every moment everywhere. Much like described ...
Psalm 90:4 - A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.
2 Peter 3:8 - But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
Psalms 139: 7-10 - Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
Proverbs 15:3 - The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.
"... in a world with God, how this can happen?"
Imagine a species that's evolved generation after generation, behaving much the same way as it's ancestors. Then, somewhere along the way, behavior is no longer solely determined by naturally evolved habits or instincts, but rather are decided logically/rationally. Where before there was no question of right/wrong, now it must be defined.
In my mind the whole point to all of this is to make free will possible. But free will is a large responsibility. We all know, like the butterfly effect, that our actions and decisions can have an impact well beyond what we're even aware of. We don't have the knowledge to know the full extent of everything we do and our impact on the world around us. That's what I think this life is for. To let free will run rampant. Human history, with all of it's failures and tragedies and seemingly senseless acts, this is just the kind of knowledge base a being would need to wield free will responsibly. I think it has to play out this way.
Besides, it's really easy to point to all the bad things that happen and say 'how could God allow that'? But without those things, if there were never rap or torture or children killed, would we know we have it good? If nothing bad ever happened, would we have the frame of reference to know how good it is that these things don't happen, or would we then just be complaining about menial things because those menial things are literally the worst things we've ever heard.
Why would God ask someone to kill his son for him? If God stopped him he would have never known we would have gone through with it would he? The only way he would have really known was if he let him kill the kid. These were simple stories designed to get us to think we have to follow Gods word. And who decides what Gods word is? The leader of course.
Fun for him? Really? Fun? Must bee a hoot. Loot at all those people killing each other, dying of cancer and starving to death. Good times.
To answer your first question, let me give you an example. I'm sure you're familiar with the story of God testing Abraham by commanding he sacrifice Isaac, then stops him in the last moment. Now, think about this. If God had never commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, then there would not exist a moment in all of history where God could look to to see if Abraham would be willing to do this. God actually had to create the situation by commanding Abraham, to then create the instance in time where Abraham was faced with that choice. If God had not created the situation, then no matter where He looked in time, He would not be able to see what Abraham would do. Abraham's decision only exists if God creates the scenario that makes him choose.
This is my whole point. Free will is so often misunderstood or underappreciated, and if you don't properly understand it you can't properly understand the stories being told. The bible itself supports what I'm saying. If I'm denying God's omnipotence, then so does the bible.
Let me answer with another example....
Gen6:6 - The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.
What could make an omnipotent/all-knowing God regret anything? Free will. In this portion of Genesis it's explaining why the flood was necessary. It says the 'sons of God' (Adam's family) began having children with the 'daughters of humans', who it describes as being "mortal" in comparison, stating that they only live 120 years just after Genesis 5 showed that Adam's family lives for centuries. Because of this intermingling, it says humans became wicked. God had created humans on the planet in the same image/likeness of Adam and his family, and God gave Adam/Eve, and everyone born of them free will. Through their own free will they began to mate with humans, introducing free will into mortal humans, causing them to become wicked.
This is an example of something happening through free will that God did not anticipate, that caused him to 'regret' His decision. From God's perspective, seeing all time all at once, there are two timelines here. One without free will (Adam/Eve), one with free will. Without free will, if Adam/Eve had never have been introduced everything works fine. Like it says at the end of Gen1, God looked on all He created and deemed it "good". But once Adam/Eve (free will) is introduced into the world, this is a will that is not His, so He can't actually know what'll happen until He does it. Once He does He sees what happened, that this intermingling would happen, causing wickedness in humans, warranting the flood. This is why it says God regretted putting humans on the earth.
The Abraham story above is another example of this. Why would an all-knowing God have to test Abraham? Because He really didn't know what Abraham would do. Free will truly is a will apart from God's. Free will makes us each creators. We create things that are a part of this universe that are not of 'God's will', but are of our own wills.
It sounds like we are in agreement. God creating us with free will could be comparable to us creating a computer program that uses random numbers for decision making. We made the computer but cannot know what it will do. God did the same.
God, therefore, and by definition, cannot know the future. The first of God's attributes is denied; He is not omniscient.
And, just like the computer, God made us but cannot control us except by destruction. God's second important attribute is also denied; He is not omnipotent.
(And talking around the issue by claiming God knows the future but does not know the future shows nothing but desperation to maintain a fiction you have logically proven to be false by insisting we have free will).
But God does know the future. There's only one timeline, and we cannot do anything outside of this one timeline, so even though we each have free will, all of our decisions were made on this one timeline, which He can see beginning to end. So He does know the future.
The whole point to free will is that we have our own minds and wills and make our own decisions. For God to overpower and override that would be completely the opposite of what He has created. By design, free will is out of God's control.
I'm not talking around the issue. I'm talking within the context of the story being told. I'm not insisting we have free will. The story being told says we have free will. That's what the whole story is about. The primary theme to all the bible is that human behavior is often contradictory to God's will. The Adam/Eve story directly illustrates this. We, from Adam/Eve forward, are able to behave contrary to God's will, of our own will.
But he would have know we asked. BTW, that's a pretty sick think to do for a moral God. If humans did that we would think them insane. That should be a clue that it never happened.
I'm not sure you understand this whole time thingy very well. If one can see the future then it's already happened. "What could make an omnipotent/all-knowing God regret anything?" Bad writing. We can't say he knows everything if he doesn't.
LOL, well I am talking out of my ass and I've showed you plenty of physical evidence that contradict your view.
Yes, it, does. Knowing the future means know how he will test us and how we will respond. Why would he even test us? Would any person of sound mind test their child by asking them to kill their own child to see if they will obey? It's madness.
Humans don't follow the bible or the quran because it's makes no sense. When we see people actively following those books we call them extremist or fanatical.
I like what you say here, but right now there are people torturing and killing people because they don't have the right religion, according to the killers. These people seem to feel the opposite - that death and torture are good, and happiness is irrelevant.
I know if I look deeply within, I see we are all connected. I am told that if I were to look deeply enough, I would find that we are all one. I cannot say that I would never harm another, but I can say I would never harm someone simply for their beliefs. It seems so alien to me. Yet it seems to happen a lot.
To simply say that what "they" are doing is evil somehow misses the point for me.
- what "they" are doing is taking lives…
is this not evil??? Isn't this the point?
If they are killing in the name of religion how confused are they?
They are sinning in ignorance.
No, they are acting with evil intent..intentionally.
Yes, I wholeheartedly agree. Yet, since we are all connected, what is my role in this?
I feel compelled toward taking action or demanding that action be taken, yet I have said to myself that I trust the universe to unfold as it should. I know anger is weakness, yet these horrific acts make me angry.
I feel there is a very high priced lesson to be learned here, and I get the feeling that attempts have been made to teach us this lesson many times before.
But I think that perhaps this just might be nature culling the herd. We act as our own predator.
Thought to be an interesting question...and many different interpretations, evil vs good... depending on where in this world you live.
What is considered civilized to some differs from others.
It can be an inherited act or society taught, how would one realize, if there is nothing to counter act the deed ?
It appears the majority of human nature is to follow the leader..regardless..hence the likes of Hitler/Jimmy Jones/Osama bin laden/ to name just a few...it takes a strong individual to break from the folds and follow their own heart without question.I feel there are those out there, but few and far between...can they eventually overcome ? We will never know that answer...just my thought...
by the way awesome thought provoking question.....
Good= whatever promotes:
2. Liberty within appropriate boundaries.
3. The ability to pursue happiness.
Evil= Whatever needlessly takes away:
2. The conditions or boundaries which promote freedom.
3. The right to purse whatever promotes individual happiness, as long as it does not infringe on the happiness or rights of some one else.
I don't believe in good and evil in a religious or spiritual literal sense. I don't believe the world is engaged in a battle of good vs. evil. The term good is very broad and general, but when paired with 'evil' it makes me think of forces outside of ourselves, that are innately benign or malevolent. I just don't believe it.
I see the world more in shades of grey than black-and-white terms like that. Yes, there are some things that are wonderfully good, and some things terribly terribly bad. Most things fall somewhere in between and a lot of times it's a matter of opinion, not fact.
I think it could very potentially show prejudices, because people usually mean what I like/believe in/agree with is 'good' and what I dislike/don't believe/disagree with is 'evil'.
I would differ on the point that deer must be killed by man, since as you said, Wilderness, starvation or disease will do the job anyway. But it does bring into my brain the idea that the deer is 'designed' to need a predator, not just to limit its numbers, but to help the process of natural selection.
Another idea is our difference from animals. Except for our brains we are very much like animals. In the world of animals, killing another animal for food is certainly not evil. Neither is fighting, perhaps to the death, for the privilege of mating. Yet these activities are considered evil (in Western cultures, at least) among humans.
Perhaps we can view the ideas of good and evil as being out of step with nature, as Headly suggests we are.
I think, however, that it is really arrogance on the part of humans to think themselves as apart from nature. I think it is a dangerous delusion to think that we are immune from, or somehow above nature's cycles.
Since we are 'blessed' with a brain organ capable of guessing with reasonable accuracy complex outcomes, perhaps the greatest evil lies in caring only for ourselves, without regard to the future of our species.
I will say a little about the Bible, although I don't read it much anymore. It is full of stories rich with the kind of ideas we are discussing here. It is full of stories about people trying to do the right thing, whatever that is, or trying not to do the right thing, and what happens as a result. The "good" are not always rewarded; neither are the "evil" always punished. It is a complex and layered text where one can learn much.
"Except for our brains we are very much like animals."
That's probably because we ARE animals (at least I am; some people I've known resemble plants more than animals )
"In the world of animals, killing another animal for food is certainly not evil."
Few animals kill their own species for food, and man is the same. It has been done of course, but is quite rare. Animals kill other species for food, including the animal labeled "man", and do not find it evil.
No, we are not apart from nature; we are PART of nature. That was kind of my point; that we are no different than any other animal. We all have our strengths; man's just happens to be the best brain (we think) on the planet.
I think your statement above encapsulates the concept of good/evil. Carl Jung said 'the only real danger that exists is man himself', 'we are the origin of all coming evil'. Evil doesn't exist without man.
Evil doesn't exist without conscious intent to do harm. And that intent, of course, only applies to conscious beings; be they human or animals or gods.
This evil exists even when the intent of the being is good from its own perspective.
We have no problem killing millions of bugs because they invade our homes. We don't consider that evil though the bugs might find us very evil if they could think in those terms, as their intent is just to survive. But we can't let them take over our houses or it is we that won't survive. So are we evil? Most would say no.
Yet extermination of an entire population of humans by people who fear that they will, in the end, exterminate them or their way of life; is seen as evil by almost everyone except those who are doing the exterminating.
The bible tells stories about people being told by god to exterminate every man woman and child of several tribes along the way to the promised land.
Those tribes probably would have attacked them had they just tried to cross their land, so we can see why preemptive measures would have been taken. But it was common in the time to try to kill everyone you you were attacking. Kids grow up and want revenge. Woman want revenge and will teach their kids about who killed their father. So it was a matter of survival for them.
The problem is, wasn't that evil? It is by today's standards. And if a god did indeed tell them to do that, a god who could have done this any other way, wouldn't we consider it evil for that god to intentionally choose that way of doing things? Why don't the religious consider it evil?
The god of the bible even admits to intentionally creating evil in Isaiah, yet Christians tell us he didn't mean what he said. It's amazing.
The religious have a double standard as to what evil is. What is evil for humans is not evil for god, because it is what defines good and evil so is above them. They don't apply.
Yet evil is evil isn't it? So of course it applies. So if this god intentionally created the conditions for evil, it's intent was that those conditions would be used, and is therefore responsible for evil. One might say it was an evil thing to do.
But if the universe has no such god, and nature, so to speak, is god, (defined as that which produced all this) then it just is as it is because it couldn't be any other way and even though nature created the conditions for evil, it can't be considered evil for doing it because it has no conscious intent.
And then humans are indeed on the hook for the evil we do. No one to blame but us, and our nature.
And still. great good is in us as well, and that is what we strive for as a whole, to rid ourselves of evil and conflict.
And I do think things have gotten better. Slavery is now considered evil, genocide is considered evil, ownership of woman and children by the father is no longer the case in the west, and the list goes on. We have come a long way, but there is a long way to go.
That's evolution for you.
That is very interesting...... I don't recall hearing that quote by Jung. Thanks for sharing it.
One of the reasons I continue to think as I do about life and everything, is because what I believe answers that problem of evil in humanity. We as humans are very unique in this way. We know what is wrong and sometimes do those things anyway. It is a problem, and it could sound like we are just up a creek or without hope, but I don't think that is the case at all. I think there is great hope and for that I am very grateful.
We are creatures who have evolved to live in a different environment, one without lights and computers and stores and cars and within very small groups. Mess up in that group and someone will slap your hand and put you one the right path, no one to do that know so many do as they please. All these other things like lights at night and stores and computers that constantly give us new information are have an effect on our lives and causing all kinds of problems. We are biological creatures like every other biological creature and we do what we have evolved to do. Not unlike what rats do when they are overcrowd we attack each other.
All other creatures do things they shouldn't do as well. Leave a sandwich on the floor by a dog and leave the room.
Evil is something we invented to explain bad things that people do. It's not evil for a lion to chase down and eat something even before it's dead. But we would consider someone evil for eating something while it's still alive. There are no real evil forces, just bad people and of course corporations.
Tom Rubenoff, powerful subject and so misunderstood. After 6 decades, I think I understand it a little, but my learning continues every day.
First and foremost, we are spirit. Spirit is superior to the physical, yet we are mostly oblivious to our spiritual nature. That obliviousness is the evil and source of all evil.
With spiritual awareness comes love, connection and a lack of self-concern (Ego).
Self-concern (Ego) is the source of all evil. It's difficult for most people to imagine not being self-concerned. Some think they will disappear without at least some self-concern. Nothing could be further from the Truth.
Good and evil in this physical plane are both Evil! When a person is good for reasons of self-concern, then they are perpetuating evil. Even if they are innocently giving and seemingly altruistic, any self-concern attached to their actions pollutes the good and keeps it in the realm of effect, rather than spiritual cause (creation).
Jesus talked about this "good" being evil. He mentioned that the First (egoist) shall be last, and that the Last (humble) shall be first.
The Buddhists knew of this. They talked of this in their paramitas. Any dichotomous action (good-evil, right-wrong, generous-selfish, wise-stupid, compassionate-indifferent, etc.) will be tainted by evil. These are the vectors of Ego. Only the paramita actions -- those of pure good, right, generous, wisdom, compassion, etc. -- will result in real good results.
Paramita confidence, for instance, rises above physical law, to the point of creation. Thus, walking on water is possible. Thus, healing others of great illness and physical deformity is done. Thus, mountains can be moved effortlessly.
Ultimately, we will come together as one, but great suffering will happen, first, if we do not heed the lessons of love.
Ego perverts everything, including love. Self-concern is poison and disease. Every crime stems from Ego. Every victim is borne out of Ego.
The antidote is humility. The cure is love absent self-concern.
Yet we have a self and ultimately that self is the challenge because we never loose it.
As I Understand.
Sure we do. Unconsciousness looses the self.
Alzheimer's patients loose them selves.
This loss is temporary, Radman. It is temporary.
As I Understand.
We take on a new body and try it again every 500 years or so... LOL!
We'll be back!
Back it up. I can make up all kind of stuff as well.
You won't listen to history or words of Jesus... or Krishna. Read the Bhagavad Gita!
So what is THEIR evidence? What proof do THEY offer? What experiments/observations did THEY make? Or do they just make claims without ever offering proof?
Check it and see! Get an interpretation of the Gita. You can say all we have is speculation and little physical evidence of metaphysical reality... But you can check out valid sources of knowledge and then experiment and use your intuition to know for sure. I can't convince you. The knowledge of the science behind religion comes more clearly from the East. There is truth and science behind the teachings of Krishna to Arjuna.
If there is a way in there is also a way out.
When intuition is used for things it hadn't evolved to do, it's usually wrong. That a proven fact that can be demonstrated. Intuition evolved to let us know if we are in immediate danger based on past experiences not wether or not a God exists.
One time you told someone to not sell themselves short… good advice here... for yourself.
I'm not selling myself short, I'm understanding what things work and what don't. My intuition may tell me that Harry Potter is real, should I go with that?
To the author he was real and look what happened!
But, seriously God is real and we are what God is: Energy, consciousness, awareness, power, love... as lone77star keeps saying, beyond the ego. Meditation allows one to get in touch with that which operates the ego… the spirit. We are little spirits of the big Spirit. Meditation also shuts off the senses and allows one to perceive reality directly. It takes practice and it takes developing concentration and sensitivity to reality feedback within. Ultimately it takes love of Spirit. And evidence of Spirit is everywhere in this miraculous universe.
Yes. I have good intuition, but intuition is always something we must develop through use and practice. We have gotten out of the habit of relying on reality feedback within us and depend on the senses. I often get flashes of God's reality while meditating. These flashes are feelings of joy and love. Sometimes guidance. Sometimes prayers are answered soon after.
Have you ever sent love to one of your adult children and then they call or come over soon after? That happens a lot with me too. They pick up on my love intuitively.
(PS Thank you in advance for not mocking me. I am interested in your opinion and the way YOU think about the matter… But, please do not comment negatively about my honest response to your question. I will never respond to you again, if you do.)
As I said before intuition has evolved to help us out of difficult situations. If used for anything else you are most likely getting the wrong answer.
When meditating you are changes your brain patterns and one could have all kinds of experiences that are simple a product of your brain. For example I sometimes get a sense that I'm extremely hug or really small and sometime I get a sense that my proportion have alters, like have a really large head or something. But that doesn't mean any of those things are factual.
I hope this didn't come across as mocking in any way.
"If used for anything else you are most likely getting the wrong answer." You are arguing with me here. To avoid arguing you could just add, "in my way of thinking," or "in my opinion..etc." Then you don't have to add the obligatory lie, "most likely..." (I know you would have rather said "most definitely…"
Why should we argue about experiences which are real to us? Your experiences do not disqualify mine or vice versa.
Well, you will not agree with that idea for some reason or other…
Each to their own!
... why can't you leave it at that? No one says you have to believe in God!
I say, if you don't, you don't... and its better to be honest about it. I appreciate your honesty.
Because these are facts that can be proven. Intuition will give you the wrong answer most of the time (some chance of coming up with the right answer by chance).
What we are experiencing may have nothing to do with reality. When I read Harry Potter I experienced it, that doesn't make it real or part of reality.
You want to simple make claims without suppling any evidence to back them up and you expect others to simple except them as truth.
No. Now you are now accusing me of something I did not do. I do not expect anyone to believe me. I am only sharing. Take it or leave it, I always say.
What is wrong with "Each to their own?" If you don't want to see that life itself is evidence of spirit, love, power, intelligence and that it is all miraculous then you don't have to. It is your choice to not believe in miracles. Life is either a miracle or not according to one's outlook. We are free to have any outlook we choose.
But now that you mention it I forgot to add The Way I See It
TWISI on my very audacious post:
I said, "Check it and see! Get an interpretation of the Gita. You can say all we have is speculation and little physical evidence of metaphysical reality... But you can check out valid sources of knowledge and then experiment and use your intuition to know for sure. I can't convince you. The knowledge of the science behind religion comes more clearly from the East. There is truth and science behind the teachings of Krishna to Arjuna."
There. I apologize.
Sure, and I'm just giving you my opinion, which is based of fact and evidence. You don't have to except it at all, but when I see someone making false claims about known facts I'll step in.
You seem upset, I'm not meaning to upset you at all. However if you are making claims you should be able to back them up. Would you like people who read this start making decisions back on your opinions about intuition? Perhaps I should buy a car based on solely on intuition? When I arrive home my wife would wonder where I got the $400,000 Ferrari. I'll simply tell her my tuition told me to get another mortgage on the house to buy it. Intuition evolved in humans to get us out of dangerous situations, it should be used for nothing except that.
I knew a man that did that once; bought a new car. Emptied both their personal and business checking accounts and bought a new Cadillac for cash, leaving them penniless. He's bipolar, and in his manic phase everything will be all right and it will all work out in the end...needless to say, his wife didn't agree.
Well, Good.. So, I believe whatever brings us to the awareness of Spirit and the spirit of ourselves is good… everything leading us away from awareness of "heaven within" is evil…
The Way I see It
In My View
As I Believe.
Pardon My Mental Instability.
Pardon My Craziness. (Hmmm, I think I will use that from now on instead of TWISI)
Is that better, guys?
As what is bringing what you define as "spirit" comes from within you, from your own mind and brain, I have to agree that it is good. Of course, that brings up the matter of the person that feels their god is telling them to kill, murder or otherwise do evil...
I'm not the one struggling with understanding this "time thingy". Look, I know it can difficult. Let me try it another way. The only reason a future even exists for God to look to is because you were there to make the decision. What is future to one self is present to another. God seeing what you "did" doesn't mean you didn't have a choice. The fact that you made a choice gave God a future to look at.
Remember, in the context of the story Isaac was the son that Abraham and Sarah always wanted. God promised them a child, even though they were too old to bare children. So Isaac represented a gift from God, a blessing. God, to test His free-willed creation, gave him a choice to either obey and 'sacrifice' his cherished son, or have his personal-self be unable to let go of this gift and override God's command. Remember, God's trying to accomplish something if the story is read in the right context. He's acting just like any breeder would. He examines the flock, finds the ones showing the favorable traits He's trying to establish, breeds from them. He also manages what they eat and separates them from other herds.
God tests Abraham, then says his descendants will be many, then begins to breed through them, giving them very specific rules about who to breed with, what to eat, etc. That's why, I think, God did it. Sacrificing Isaac was most definitely something Abraham was going to be very strongly opposed to. That was the test. Would the wants of the self, the free-will, override God's will? Abraham showed a willingness to override his own will and carry out God's, a favorable trait, so God then promises to make his descendants many. And that's what the rest of the bible is about.
So... kind of on a side note, why do you think, if its as you say and the authors of Genesis are merely slave owners who are looking to justify their actions, why make beating a slave to death a punishable offense? I'm just curious.
Why would a God make owning and betting a slave Okay as long as he didn't die?
I'm asking from your perspective. If these were just slave owners trying to justify their actions in how they treat their slaves and their women, why make it a punishable offense to kill a slave? This seems counter-intuitive to your viewpoint of what the bible is.
I don't think God "made slavery okay". I think the world that free will created is a world where slavery was a reality. God didn't override free will by abolishing this practice, but He did put some guidelines around it. Many people tend to read the bible as if everything they're reading is exactly as God intended or wanted. Not acknowledging the fact that a lot of that was the free willed choice of humans.
Besides, slavery is a lesson humanity learned over time. For God to come down and abolish slavery would have taken that opportunity to learn away from us. We still, to this day, in conversations regarding the rights of individuals, still refer to our slavery past. What if that were removed from our history? I think, in your haste to point out something you find to be terrible about God, you're undervaluing the lesson to be learned and the wisdom to be gained by allowing us to learn this lesson ourselves.
He comes down and makes homosexuality punishable by death. He gave us all kinds of rules that only make sense if looked at from coming from some guys trying to keep what they have. Why would any loving ethical/moral God tell us it's okay to beat anyone with a club as long as you don't kill them? Why would any God say that if a girl isn't found to be a virgin on her wedding night put her to death, yet say nothing to the men? I could go on and on.
First off, it makes sense, considering God's primary goal was to realize His promise to Abraham by making his descendants many and breeding through him, that homosexuality would be counter-productive to this effort. However, for this to be the decree of slave owners, that one doesn't really make any sense either.
You're dodging the question. I'm asking from your perspective. If the bible is what you say it is, then how does it make sense that they'd make killing a slave a punishable offense? How does that make any sense from your point of view?
Because they want slaves. So they don't want the dead. They also don't like homosexuals. We both know making laws against homosexuality doesn't work. If they had laws against heterosexuality would it work? Why didn't he just snap his fingers and make men or women not have any homosexual tendencies? It just happens that homosexuality happens in all mammals. Why would he make mammals this way if he doesn't want it?
Please stop and think about this for a moment. Who would most like right a law that says you can keep and beat a slave to within an inch of his life, a slave owner or a moral perfect God?
Who would most likely right a law that states that you kill someone a girl is she is found not to be a virgin on her wedding night, but doesn't mention the man?
What is the most likely truth, a virgin birth or a girl lied to prevent her likely death? If you had a daughter who came home and said she was pregnant, but hadn't had sex and an angel told her God put the baby there. Would you think she was lying or telling the truth?
There you go again, asking why God didn't just "snap his fingers" and override free will. That would undermine the whole concept. So why do you think these slave owners didn't like homosexuals? Wouldn't that mean less competition for the men as far as women are concerned? How does that make sense? You just assume they didn't like them? So they decided to make a law to kill them? Based on what? I'm sorry, but if your view is right, it'll make sense across the board. This whole part makes no sense whatsoever.
I would say slave owners making up their own thing to justify their actions would be less likely to write in a punishment for themselves.
Again, the priority is all about controlled breeding. To control breeding it's better to ensure the women are not sleeping with others other than who they are meant to. It goes against the whole priority of what God was trying to accomplish.
Personally, the virgin birth aspect of the story is unnecessary and makes less sense. Considering God is going through all of this effort to breed for a particular outcome, it would make sense, in the context of the story being told, that Jesus' birth be natural. Both mother and father came from this line. Besides, what made what Jesus did so significant was that he was human. Jesus being half-God would make what he accomplished less significant.
Do you think people will to be gay? They decide to live a harder life? Is it something they choose? Funny I don't remember any laws stating women can't sleep with other women as a man sleeps with a women? Wonder why? Typical male stuff, written by heterosexual men.
Why, we make rules for us to live by, why not make rules for other slave owners to live by?
Sounds like something racist people would tell you.
So you might consider that part an exaggeration, what other parts are exaggerations? All of the so called miracles? Rising from the dead? What if he didn't actually die, as it was said they didn't leave him on the cross for as long as they usually kept people? If the NT is based on exaggerations and lies, wouldn't one question the OT as well?
Clearly, if there had to be a law to address it, it was happening. I don't think someone chooses to be gay. Like you said, it can be seen in other mammal species as well.
As far as there being nothing about women with other women, I think that has more to do with sexual relations not being the same for women than for men. Without getting into too much detail, women with women can only go so far. There's a deeper level of... let's call it commitment... for male homosexuality. There's also a much higher risk of disease and infection and that kind of thing.
Seriously with the racist thing? It makes it clear, through numerous laws, that they are only supposed to breed with their own kind. These aren't blanket laws that apply to everyone. They applied to that particular group in that particular time to achieve that particular desired outcome. Anyone doing controlled breeding would do the same thing. They keep certain groups separated from one another so cross-breeding can't happen.
The reason I went back to the OT to find the right context, is to find solid ground to stand on to then make determinations about other parts of the bible. I don't think the virgin birth is so much an exaggeration as much as it's a translation error. Raising from the dead, however, does fit the theme of the rest of the story. As for miracles, I think you're missing the whole point of a miracle. What makes something a miracle is that it doesn't usually happen that way. What's significant about a guy who's been dead for three days getting up is that that usually doesn't happen. What's significant about a talking donkey is that, generally, donkeys don't talk. That's kind of what makes something a miracle. If donkey's talked all the time, not that significant.
As you well know, I have questioned the OT. Extensively. And I've found it stands up and there's a ton of evidence to back it up.
Keep in mind that confirmation bias goes both ways. If there's something you want to see, chances are you're going to see it the way you want to see it. I've grounded what I've found in historical evidence and can show a timeline that matches up and a series of events that are accurate both chronologically, as well as location wise. You just seem to be making wild assumptions, then confirming to yourself they're right, though they make no logical sense.
I'm simply asking what makes most sense. Does it makes sense that a God would make these laws for these people or would the people make these laws as Mohammad did? It's not uncommon for people to pretend or think they communicate with God, crap even G.W. Bush did it. Rally the troops.
When the Nazi's tried to breed on group of people he was being a racist, but if someone says God told him to do it he's not a racist? Why? Well because he is simply following God's laws.
I'm making wild assumptions? You are assuming that impossible unethical stories written a few thousand years ago are factual and I'm making WILD assumptions. Now if heard it all.
But your assumptions don't even fit what's said. What's said doesn't match up with what you're assuming the text is. Like slave owners writing a law that punishes themselves if they kill a slave. Slaves are their own property in their eyes, yet they're to be punished for killing their own property? And what would they have against homosexuals? Again, homosexuality would only benefit heterosexuals.
These stories aren't impossible or unethical. And I'm not assuming they're factual. I can illustrate that they are. Big difference. You see these laws as racist, when clearly they're only continuing what was naturally happening before. Let me ask you this. You know nature is harsh, right? So why is it that if there were a God who created this natural world, do you think this God should resemble anything other than the harshness that we see in nature? Mass extinctions played a role in our being here. At least six times over 90% of all life on earth was wiped out. That's nature. That's fact. So then here's this God whose said to be the creator of that natural world, and how He behaves in these stories resembles what we see in nature remarkably well. LIke the flood, for instance, that follows a trend of mass extinctions that these people didn't know about. So why do you think God should be so different than nature?
I already explain this to you. To prevent someone from needlessly killing good slaves. That's the law you seem to think proves the existence of a God? You can beat them to within a inch of their lives with a club, just don't kill them.
It makes more sense that people thought it was unnatural than God wanted those gay men to marry women they would never be able to love.
You've attempted to illustrate that on many occasions unsuccessfully. The stories are impossible because they go against what we know of happening in the universe, they are unethical because they force people to do unethical things.
"If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” 21 Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid."
Or do you think stoning a young person to death for not listening to his parents to be the ethically and morally responsible?
I'm not saying that law proves the existence of God. I'm saying that law doesn't fit with your explanation. The mere fact that these slave owners would go through such trouble to concoct such an elaborate story to justify their actions, only to then write in a law that actually protects slaves? How does that make sense in your view? It doesn't. Yet you continue to ignore that and go along thinking you're still right, in spite of all the contradictions.
What makes sense is that homosexuality removes men from the gene pool. If the goal is delivering on what was promised to Abraham, then homosexuality directly conflicts with that. But in your view, it makes no sense that these authors would even have a problem with homosexuality. Why would they?
I've attempted to illustrate that on many occasions unsuccessfully? Why unsuccessfully? Because you don't accept it in spite of the evidence? I'm unsuccessful? The evidence proves I'm successful. Your refusal to recognize and accept is not my fault.
I think you're continuing to ignore the central theme of the story. According to the story, free will has just been introduced. Behavior has been altered dramatically from what it 'naturally' was before. Now, rather than natural instinct and engrained behaviors determining what's done, now people are deciding of their own free will what to do and how to behave. Like the drunkard/glutton. If you take the time to understand the story being told, then it makes perfect sense.
I think your continuing to try to read this with your modern sensibilities, not taking into account that social norms had not yet been set. All the things you take for granted, like living under the protection of your government, not having to fend for yourself and tens of thousands of others in a harsh environment, are making it impossible for you to simply understand the story being told. If you did, if you took it and considered seriously long enough, you'd realize that everything it says fits right in line with what's happening in the context of the story.
Say you're an archeologist from a culture that exists hundreds of years from now, and your studying American history. You dig up a copy of a book called 'Gone with the Wind'. Because you don't yet have a full understanding of the context of the story, like it being set during the American Civil War, there are all of these elements in the story that seem harsh to you and don't make sense. Then, later, as you continue to investigate, you learn all about this civil war and you go back and re-read this book. Now, all of the sudden, it reads very differently, because you actually know and understand the context of the environment this story is set against.
You clearly don't take the history of the region into consideration. You don't give the text the respect it deserves because you've already dismissed it as propaganda. Do you not see a problem with your approach? Is that good practice? Or are you much more prone to making bad assumptions? What I'm trying to explain puts these stories in an accurate context that matches what we know historically, and manages to not conflict with anything the story says. Consistency is how you know whether or not you're on the right track. If there are contradictions, like the contradictions I'm pointing out with your 'theory', then that's a problem. Notice how all of my explanations manage to keep the same theme throughout. No matter what part we're talking about. The answers are always the same. That's consistency. That's what it looks like when there are no contradictions. If you actually gave a shit, and didn't already have your mind made up that this text is valueless garbage, then you'd recognize that. But your mind's made up and you're only confirming your own bias at this point, whether or not it actually makes any real sense.
It makes perfect sense, slaves are a resource they didn't want to do without so they told slave owners not to kill them when they beat the with a club. Do you really think that's protecting them? And to make matters worse it doesn't say what the punishment for killing them would be. You more opt to believe a loving God allows slave owners to beat slaves with clubs as long as they don't die rather than understand that someone wrote laws to slave owners and for slaves.
That's right, in order for an all powerful God create his son he needs to control the gene pool of this line of fallen Gods.
So it's moral and ethical to have the entire town stone our sons if they don't do as told? Maybe the drunkard/glutton son was abused by his parents or a priest? But you'll have me believe that the ethical thing to do is have the town throw stone at him until he is dead?
You've made the assumption that not only does the bible describe history but it describes it because it was inspired by God. I'm questioning your assumptions and proposing a more possible explanation. If we read the OT understanding that no real God exists it's the only conclusion that can be drawn. If we read the OT understanding that the described God does exist then we are forced to come to the conclusion that God is unethical and immoral as you just suggested a few posts back. If you question the bible as you question the Quran and the book of Mormon you'd get a sense of what I'm talking about. There has been people before these people who have made miraculous claims and there have been people after to do the same. Why did Mohammad supposedly write or have written the Quran? Why did Joseph Smith write the Book of Mormon?
Can you give me another reason they would write the OT if no God exists? Do you think and unethical God exists? Most describe him a loving and caring.
So I ask you again, who would be the most likely writer of this?
"When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. 2 When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. 3 He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. 4 For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
I'm sorry, but you can't be offering a more possible explanation, when there are so many contradictions. Have you even tried to flesh out this view of yours to see if it stands on its own?
The God of the bible is way too elaborate for the authors you attribute it to. Have you seen the other written documents written about deities in that age? They don't even resemble what these people came up with. Yet, in your simplistic and clearly not very researched or thought out view, this was all just an elaborate fiction so they could beat and trade slaves. They were doing that anyway, they didn't need this document to do it more.
"the prevailing view is still that male dominance, along with private property and slavery, were all by-products of the agrarian revolution...despite the evidence that, on the contrary, equality between the sexes - and among all people - was the general norm in the Neolithic." -Riane Eisler, American Scholar, Cultural Historian
See, male dominated societies, private property, and slavery all first showed up in this age. That's free will. It's right there. It's written all over our history.
I more opt to read the story in the right context. And in the right context, like it or not, slavery was a free will invention. And it really did show up in history in this particular region and time. And it's been ever-present ever since. And slavery being the result of the introduction of free will makes sense. Everyone from the Greeks and Romans to the writers of the bible to ancient Chinese scribes all spoke about how human behavior changed. Like these ...
The ancient Indian epic of Mahabharata says that the "holy men of old' were "self-subdued and free from envy," suggesting a lack of self-awareness and self-assertion.
"While according to the Chinese myth of the Age of Perfect Virtue, when human beings fell out of the Tao they developed a new kind of individuality and self-sufficiency. They started to live by their own will rather than the will of nature."
Private property was a foreign concept to humans before this age. Then all of a sudden, not only did the love of possession show up for the first time in human history ever, but included in personal possessions were other people, or slaves. Think of the gall it takes for a human, who's only been on this planet for a fraction of the time the planet's been here, to stand on a piece of land and say, "This is mine. This belongs to me." Well, for tens of thousands of years humans didn't do that. The whole concept of personal possession in general was foreign. Yet in this age that the stories of Genesis are set in you have the first examples of slavery, and the first examples of civilizations drawing out boundary lines on a map.
I'm sorry you think these stories are to tell their people that they're descended from gods. But the fact is, history supports what they say. Even the gods part. Every culture from around the Mediterranean say the same thing. These beings were real. Like it or not.
I don't care what "most" say. What do you say? You know nature is harsh, right? Baby birds fall to their death all the time. Hideous creatures hijack the nests of animals and devour their young all the time. Things are eaten alive so other things can live. Predators have sharp teeth, powerful jaws, sharp claws, stingers with poison. Six times in Earth's history almost all life died all at the same time. So, why do you think this creator God should in no way resemble the harsh natural world we all know? Would it not be expected that He do things just as the OT describes? Floods? Death by stoning? Why do you insist that this is somehow inconsistent? Is this not the kind of thing you should expect the see if this God did indeed create this natural world?
Can you give me a legitimate reason they would write the OT if no God exists? That isn't riddled with inconsistencies like your view is now?
I hate to tell you, but wars are inevitable in human history. If these people were going to survive that harsh environment they were going to have to form an army and fight. The Egyptians, the Sumerians, they had armies. That's why they were in power. You were either the group in power, and owned slaves, or you were enslaved by those in power. Yet God took the Israelites away from their protected status as slaves of the Egyptians, and took them out into the open. And what the Israelites did at that point, how they had to take land by force, that's what you had to do in that age if you hoped to survive. To provide for such a large group you have to have land with good soil and a water supply. Any land with good soil and water was already taken. If you wanted your people to live you had to take it. Take it by force or die in the desert. These were your options.
I'm sorry you seem to think everyone should have been nicer. But that doesn't even remotely resemble reality. But the OT, it does resemble reality. This is exactly what you should expect to see, given what we see in the natural world. Your expectations aren't realistic.
How do you explain the fact that the native peoples of the Americas kept slaves way before they made contact with Europeans?
"Evidence of slavery predates written records, the practice of slavery would have proliferated after the development of agriculture during the Neolithic Revolution about 11,000 years ago."
"The Book of Genesis and Book of Exodus describe a period of Hebrew servitude in ancient Egypt, during decades of sojourn in Egypt, the escape of well over a million Israelites from the Delta, or the three months journey through the wilderness to Sinai. Although most histories of ancient Israel no longer consider information about the Exodus recoverable or even relevant to the story of Israel's emergence due to the complete lack of direct evidence for its historicity."
Interesting, I was just doing a little research and it appears the only record of Jewish slaves in Egypt are from the OT. They apparently kept extensive documentation, but forget to mention a few million Jews? It also said that the Jews of that time were said to have lived for over 130 years while the rest of us about 50. You would think the Egyptians would have mentioned something about that or about all the plagues.
Why again did God need to kill all those babies rather than simply killing a few of the slave owners?
It appears that slavery became more rampant when land was plentiful and labour was scarce.
Easily. Because there's a very good chance the Europeans weren't the first to make contact. The Olmecs, who were the 'parent' culture to Incas, the Mayans, and the Aztecs, began up in north-western Canada. The Olmecs, Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans all share a lot in common behavior wise with those others. And there's a good chance they're actually from Asia, post behavior change. Evidence for this includes cultural similiarities between Indians of the Pacific north-west and dynastic Chinese culture (such as artwork, clothing, drums and diet) and linguistic similarities. Chinese archaeologist H.M. Xu argues that the Olmecs sailed to Mexico from China after the fall of the Shang Dynasty in 1122 BCE. He notes that around this time about 250,000 people disappeared, and suggests that at least some of these traveled to America. This explains the presence of what appear to be Chinese symbols in Olmec written records, and strong similarities in art, architecture, religion and astronomical knowledge.
Not sure where you got this, but this is demonstrably wrong....
"the prevailing view is still that male dominance, along with private property and slavery, were all by-products of the agrarian revolution...despite the evidence that, on the contrary, equality between the sexes - and among all people - was the general norm in the Neolithic."-Riane Eisler, American Scholar, Cultural Historian
There are numerous reasons why we find no record of the Exodus in Egyptian written history. For one, Egyptian scribes were notorious for leaving out or glossing over events that painted the Egyptians in a bad light. So they would often not record defeats..
"R. Alan Cole observes that "Egyptian monarchs were never given to recording defeats and disasters, and certainly not the loss of a chariot brigade during the pursuit of runaway slaves." The ancient Egyptians wanted to put the best face on everything that happened."
The Agrarian Revolution includes the Neolithic Revolution which started about about 11,000 years ago.
Yes, I know. And that is what Eisler is saying in that quote. That the general norm of that period in human history was equality between the sexes and all people. So, no slavery. The point being, it's often assumed that the beginning of slavery came with the beginning of farming, but that is not the case. The behavior change that brought about slavery didn't come until 3000 years after the beginning of farming. Over 5000 years after the quote you used that said 11000 years ago. There were numerous largely populated farming cultures that came and went without the use of slavery.
From your "History of Slavery" wiki page ... "Slavery was known in civilizations as old as Sumer, as well as almost every other ancient civilization, including Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, the Akkadian Empire, Assyria, Ancient India, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the Islamic Caliphate, and the pre-Columbian civilizations of the Americas."
The Sumer civilization started with the Ubaid culture around 5500BC ... "The Ubaid period as a whole, based upon the analysis of grave goods, was one of increasingly polarised social stratification and decreasing egalitarianism. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubaid_culture
This is the earliest and first form of social stratification known anywhere in the world. And like your "History of Slavery" article says ... "Slavery is rare among hunter-gatherer populations, as it is developed as a system of social stratification."
It makes sense they hunter/gatherers wouldn't have any use for slaves and it makes sense that farms would. It was farming that changed our behaviour. It's also what gave us time to think about life and what's after life. It said there is evidence that slavey existed 11,000 years ago, it was written about later and when it was written about it was very well established.
No need to inject a God into this story, unless one is a slave owner who wants more land.
I'm sorry, but you're wrong. If you were right I'd agree with you, but you're not. The Ubaid culture is the first time anywhere in the world where there was enough inequality for there to be slavery. That's what I was trying to point out to you. Farming had been around for over 3000 years before that behavior change and slavery. And these were no small cultures. They had populations in the thousands.
This is from my hub The Evolution of the Human Mind Part 2 ....
"Exceptionally large settlements developed in Catal Huyuk (7,500 to 5,700 BC) in Turkey and the Lepenski Vir settlement (dating back to 7,000 BC) located in the central portion of the Balkan peninsula. The Lepenski Vir culture gave way to the Vinča-Turdaș culture (5,000-4,500 BC), which at one point had populations estimated at 2,500 or more in some of the larger sites."
I just gave you experts quotes that directly refute what you're saying. You're making a common mistake, which is why there are quotes that directly refute it. Because a lot of people make the same assumption you are. But it's wrong.
"Slavery began with civilization. For hunter-gatherers slaves would have been an unaffordable luxury – there wouldn’t have been enough food to go round. With the growth of cultivation, those defeated in warfare could be taken as slaves.
Western slavery goes back 10,000 years to Mesopotamia, today’s Iraq, where a male slave was worth an orchard of date palms. Female slaves were called on for sexual services, gaining freedom only when their masters died.
Early abolitionists arose in the form of two Jewish sects, the Essenes and the Therapeutae, who abhorred slave-owning and tried buying slaves in order to free them."
Slavery A world History by Milton Meltzer
"Where farming or herding had gone beyond this early stage, and agricultural people could produce far more than they needed, and this made the taking of slaves practical. Instead of killing a defeated enemy, the victor enslaved him… Now he found that his own kind - like cattle, sheep, or dogs - could be domesticated, too."
No mention of any Gods.
"Slavery began with civilization."
True. But civilization began after 5500BC in the Ubaid culture, or more accurately, the Uruk culture which came after, starting roughly 3800BC. Farming and largely populated, organized farming cultures had already been around by this point for nearly 6000 years.
"Western slavery goes back 10,000 years to Mesopotamia"
False. Like, irresponsibly false. Notice this is just stated as fact with no explanation as to what this 'truth' is based on.
"No mention of any Gods.
Haha. No, but thematically right on point with the story of the bible. Free will and the impact it's had. The terrible things we did to one another in our pursuits of self-centered interests. The key here is to understand and recognize the psychological change that obviously happened in humanity that had a dramatic impact on our development and made us what we are today. Hunter-gatherer humans didn't practice slavery, not because it wasn't really convenient or needed for their lifestyle. They lived the lifestyle that lived for as long as they did because they had no want or desire for anything more. They didn't need to find a way to settle and lay down roots. They had migrated for millennia successfully with no need for these things. Humans changed.
We changed how we treated the natural world around us, breaking it down and transforming it rather than living in harmony with it. And changed how we treated one another. No longer living in peaceful organized farming societies with no social stratification or sexual/social inequality ,with each and every one living in the same size home and buried in the same size grave. Humans changed, and that change is what brought on both slavery and civilization. It's the fundamental change that set the stage for the human history we've watched come to fruition in the ages since. Where humans from these civilizations fanned out, "discovered" new lands, and enslaved or butchered those who lived there previously. Indigenous cultures the world over nearly pushed completely out of existence today. Only existing still in places of the world that don't really offer anything of real value to us. So we haven't taken over yet.
There's a particular time and place that humans began to look at the natural world around them, not as the living/breathing thing that it is, but something to be manipulated and owned. Including other humans. No longer was everyone interconnected in natural, social harmony, but now treating other humans as property to be bought, traded, used and sold. There's a very real shift to a more self-interest themed behavior. Where it became more about material possessions and personal/individual status. Where people are then paired off into classes. Levels of importance and usefulness.
This isn't about proving God. It's about recognizing truth and avoiding delusion in whatever form it takes that leads us away from truth. It's about not dismissing something prematurely because you think you already know it's all bull. I know there's a lot of people who have adopted this materialism philosophy. This 'it only exists if you can observe it scientifically' mentality. And they've made this direct association to science. And they begin to think that because science is right, they're right.
If you'll notice, you're the one that brought God up. Don't let the whole atheist/theist dialogue get in the way. I'm trying to point out to you that the assumption you're making, that "it was farming that changed our behaviour" is demonstrably wrong. There is a large gap between farming and this change. This change doesn't follow the progression of farming. This behavior shift happened once. It was something psychological. Something in the unseeable/unobservable mind. That one element totally invisible to us scientifically, yet played such a large role in the events surrounding it. This psychological change happened in a very specific time and place that just happens to be the same series of events that Genesis is describing. This isn't about arguing whether or not we think the God of the OT is too mean to be real, or too irrational. This is about recognizing truth when we see it, and not rejecting it because of delusion. Delusion is a human thing. It takes the form of religious beliefs, but it takes other forms as well. The mind is a tricky thing. You have to keep a (third) eye on it. It'll trick you.
Site after site and book after book says it was farming that changed us rather than we changed and started farming. Books and sites also seem to say 11 or 10 thousand years ago.
But of course you're wrong and he is right. Why? Cause he said so. As David Smalley posted in the thread I started on dogma debate of Jeremy ' s quotes to me after the show "he had plenty of time to demonstrate. All he did was pontificate. They are not the same thing".
I have yet to see any significant proof of this theory other than just words spoken in a studio, words typed on a layman forum and random Wikipedia links. These do not amount to proof, and he brought no proof to the show. He explained this one of a kind theory, had no backup and got frustrated and accusatory of bias when the hosts didn't roll over and accept it. It's arrogant, assumptive and absurd. He was treated just as fairly as anyone else, given practically a whole show to speak, and brought no evidence. Yet he'd rather sit and argue about it with laymen who have no expertise than compile it all in writing with sufficient evidence (not Wikipedia) and get it passed for peer review.
My next step is organizing what I have and putting a book together. I made the mistake while on the show of getting into creation. I shouldn't have done that. David's right. He gave me nearly an entire show. And I wasted that opportunity. I won't do that again. I will make sure I boil this down to its essence and just stick to that from now on. My experience with Dogma Debate is something I greatly appreciate. It's something that taught me a valuable lesson.
David and them haven't even hardly heard the theory yet. But I don't think saying they're bias is unfair. Clearly they are. Just as a believer will be biased. It's natural to be biased. Especially when you're an atheist program making a name for yourself in the atheist community. How could you not be biased? How can you honestly say they're not?
I have since written David and Lydia and Rachel. I haven't heard anything back yet other than an acknowledgement that they received it. In it I expressed my want to get this vetted through official channels. I know I have the truth. Why? Because I did it the way you're supposed to and the method proved itself. The evidence proves it. The accuracy of my predictions prove it. You're free to look into it for yourself. I've given you plenty of information. Start with one of those books. I recommend 'The Fall: The Insanity of the Ego in Human History and the Dawning of A New Era' by Steve Taylor.
My failure to 'do it right' does not take away from what I'm presenting. I've made plenty of mistakes, and I'm sure I'll make plenty more. But that doesn't take away from the fact that what I'm presenting is undeniable. I'm sorry if I come off as arrogant, but I know I've got something. I wouldn't so brashly say so if I wasn't so certain. I obviously have a lot to learn about how to properly convey it and speak about it. I've found out in my two appearances on Dogma Debate that I'm a much better writer than I am a conversationalist. So I'll learn my lessons and move forward from here. But what I have is important. Not in a religious kind of way, but in a human history kind of way.
Sooner or later it'll come to light what I'm pointing out. It's too obvious not to. Soon enough others will see what I see. It's only a matter of time.
Can I get to this forum thread you posted? Is it on the 'pay' side of the dogma debate site?
Ugh, this is just chapping my ass the more I think about it. Let me give you an example. On the show we got into that ridiculous "discussion" about creation. Lydia, who at first I was excited to see was there, got all hung up on the word "made" and started saying "words mean something". Ugh!
Okay, so let's really flesh this out and think about it. To accept what they were saying means I have to accept that even though the author of creation specifies the 'light' at the beginning as indeed being the light of day, and even though the author made it clear during the 'day 4' portion that they understand the light of day comes from the sun, because of the word "made" being used during the 'day 4' portion, I'm supposed to accept that what the author actually meant is that disembodied light existed before the sun? That's really the "right" way to read that? The only right way to read the creation account is to first assume the author is a total moron?
At first I was glad Lydia was there because just a show or so before she had stressed the importance of recognizing this is a text written in Hebrew, then translated. And Hebrew and English aren't exactly compatible languages. It is not at all uncommon in Hebrew for them to first bring up a subject, like the sun, then make a statement about it. God made it. Now, that doesn't mean He made it right then. In fact, what it says is that these lights "appeared" in the sky. Which is exactly what they did when the atmosphere became transparent. They "appeared". That's true. And no matter what you think of me and no matter what you accuse me of, the fact is what is said in the creation account is what you would actually see. That is true. I'm sorry if you and others don't accept that. But it's true.
Even the two "science" people on the show argued with me about the atmosphere not allowing light when the planet first formed. They're wrong....
" Formation of the oceans
At the same time, another important series of events began to unfold that led to the formation of sedimentary rocks through the processes of erosion, drift, and accumulation. These processes began to occur as soon as the surface cooled enough to allow the water cycle to establish itself. In fact, the primitive Earth long remained covered in darkness, wrapped in dense burning clouds into which continuously poured water vapor from volcanic emissions. When temperatures finally cooled sufficiently, the clouds began to condense into rain, and the primordial atmosphere produced storms of unimaginable proportions, under which the Earth groaned and flowed. At first, falling on incandescent rock, the rain evaporated, but the evaporation gradually cooled the crust until the water could accumulate in the depressed regions of the Earth's surface, forming the first oceans. On the primordial continents, the first river networks were created, and they transported detritus torn from elevated regions and then deposited on the bottom of the primordial seas. The metamorphism and remelting of the products of the erosion ultimately produced magmas and lava increasingly rich in silicates, and therefore of different composition from the mantle and the primitive crust." - http://www.palaeos.org/Hadean#Formation_of_the_oceans
Notice that isn't a Christian site. That's a science site. And it says exactly what I was saying. That for a long time the earth actually was shrouded in darkness while oceans existed. That is true. That is fact. That is physics. So, the creation account specifically addressing light is a big deal. For one, it really is a significant development that happened right when creation says it did chronologically. But on the show I'd just get this chorus of "No!"s. I'm sorry, but it's true. And not only that, but each thing specifically addressed in the creation account after that required the sun. Like the earth's water cycle and the establishment of the 'firmament'. Both required light.
But no, clearly, the right way to read this is to assume the author meant disembodied light existed days before the sun. Right. That makes sense. I'm such an idiot.
Yes, as we've covered a lot of people make the same assumption that you do. But the evidence doesn't at all line up. If farming were the cause then we should be able to see that. Yet, like I've pointed out multiple times, there were large farming communities in northern Mesopotamia that had been around for thousands of years. Highly populated and organized societies. Yet there's no evidence of anything other than equality amongst all who lived there. There's no male dominance, no class system. Everyone had the same size house and the same size graves. No one group had more as far as personal possessions than anyone else. And these were cultures with populations in the thousands.
When those sites says 11 or 10 thousands years ago, this is what they're talking about. These farming communities. Yet there is absolutely no evidence of slavery in these culture. Feel free to look them up yourself ... Catal Huyuk (7,500 to 5,700 BC), Lepenski Vir settlement (dating back to 7,000 BC), Vinča-Turdaș culture (5,000-4,500 BC). If you track the progression of farming you'll see that in no way traces this behavioral change that started in the Ubaid Culture (5800-4000BC) and spread from there. This is where civilization started. And that same tendency towards male-dominance and class stratification that started there, appeared in each place where civilization sprang up.
As you've seen plenty of people will take this assumption of theres and run with it. Misleading you and others by talking as if its fact. It isn't. I'll post this again ...
"the prevailing view is still that male dominance, along with private property and slavery, were all by-products of the agrarian revolution...despite the evidence that, on the contrary, equality between the sexes - and among all people - was the general norm in the Neolithic." -Riane Eisler, American Scholar, Cultural Historian
Further, who might write this stuff? A God or an army general? Where do you think Mohammad got his ideas?
When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it.
And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee.
And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it:
And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword:
But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.
Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations.
But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:
But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee:
Headly, nobody doubts some of the findings in the books you've read or research you've done, but there is no evidence whatsoever to backup the way you've lined it up with the Bible. If things don't line up, it's easy to say it is a translation error, or you have to have this other perspective. But there is literally no backup for his whole theory at all, which is why you keep running into the same challenges and oppositions with every person you talk to.
Wrong. There's a very specific timeline given that can't be twisted around. I have pointed out a series of events that line up chronologically with the stories of the bible that actually did happen in that same region of the world. Not only do these happen along the same timeline as what's specified in Genesis, in the same place as what's specified, but these events actually did have the same impact as what's described. To say there's "no evidence whatsoever" means you clearly haven't looked very deeply into this. Which is disappointing, considering how much you and I have discussed.
The flood happened 1656 years after Adam's creation. Cain's banishment happened within the first 130 years of Adam's existence, based on Seth being born (as Abel's replacement after his death) when Adam was 130. 1656-130 = 1526 years. This is the same length of time as the Ubaid culture (5500-4000BC, 1500 years). The Ubaid culture is the first site where that behavior change happened... "The Ubaid period as a whole, based upon the analysis of grave goods, was one of increasingly polarized social stratification and decreasing egalitarianism." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubaid_culture
Not only did the Ubaid culture last the same length of time as pre-flood Genesis, it actually did end abruptly due to a large flood... "Woolley was one of the first archaeologists to propose that the flood described in the Book of Genesis was local after identifying a flood-stratum at Ur: "...400 miles long and 100 miles wide; but for the occupants of the valley that was the whole world". - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Woolley
Then, the clincher, I made a prediction that said if this hypothesis is true, then I should see an event that mirrors what's described in the Babel story where people were scattered all throughout the world. According to the story this happens roughly 100 years after the flood. So, if true, then there should be an event that mirrors the Babel story around 3900BC in this particular part of the world. That was the prediction based on my hypothesis. And right there, at 3900BC, in that same region of the world ....
"The 5.9 kiloyear event was one of the most intense aridification events during the Holocene Epoch. It occurred around 3900 BC (5,900 years BP), ending the Neolithic Subpluvial and probably initiated the most recent desiccation of the Sahara desert.
Thus, it also triggered worldwide migration to river valleys, such as from central North Africa to the Nile valley, which eventually led to the emergence of the first complex, highly organized, state-level societies in the 4th millennium BC." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.9_kiloyear_event
Genesis 10:32 - These are the clans of Noah’s sons, according to their lines of descent, within their nations. From these the nations spread out over the earth after the flood.
Sumer (3500BC), Egypt (3400 BC), the Indus Valley Culture (India)(3300 BC). Each with their own unique language.
And those are just the events. That doesn't even include the fact that the behavior change I often talk about started in the Ubaid, and spread from there. This behavior change is another expected result, another prediction, based on this hypothesis. It starts right where/when predicted, and spreads as predicted.
These are no small predictions. These are very specific in time, in place, and in context. To say "there is no evidence whatsoever" is wrong. If you can honestly say that then I have to assume you've never really looked into this. There's no way you could say that if you'd actually looked at the evidence.
I should specify that what you're saying is true where the creation account is concerned. I can only point out how what's described is what could be seen in that order by an observer from the surface. But there's absolutely nothing to show a concrete correlation. Much like our creation conversations, and my creation conversation on Dogma Debate went, it's a lot of arguing with no real resolution and no concrete answers.
Gen2-11, however, is different. That portion of the story gives a very specific timeline and a very specific series of events. I can actually prove what I'm saying by using the highly documented evidence of that period of time in that part of the world. We actually know quite a bit, and I can show how the events described in Genesis line up with a series of events that happened right there in that very place that really are the events that set the modern human world in motion. This is the part that I feel it's most important be recognized and acknowledged. This is our human origin story, and it turns out Genesis is undeniably talking about those events in particular. Whatever happened there, whether or not you agree what happened is what Genesis says happened, something significant happened to humans right here in this part of our history. We changed. It's a significant development in our history that must be understood if we ever hope to gain a better understanding of ourselves. Because it's these events that most shaped and molded us into what we are today.
It would only make sense that these people were describing events that happened in the past and attributing them to Gods. Maybe the world wide flood was local, but that doesn't mean a boat was needed or made by a God like person with the local tools of the time. The story no longer makes sense when you say it was a local flood because God could have simply directed the animals in that area and Noah to get out of that area. A local flood would not have been able to cover mountains.
It also makes more sense that people would change when they started farming and needed and fought over land. Rather that changing and start farming. Again with this story you have to change the story to fit with what we know happened. We have a group of people who told themselves that they have a powerful God behind them. Why? Well because that's what others were doing at the time and that's what works. It also made great warriors of the Christians and the Muslims. The people you are talking about described themselves as descendants of fallen Gods and Gods favourites with a God given right to land and resources.
BTW, it's my understanding some still think that way today and feel that Jewish souls have more levels and are more complex that the rest of us.
Yeah, it would make sense that these people were describing events that happened in the past. What doesn't make sense is how they so accurately, down the number of centuries, kept track of what happened when over a 2000+ year span.
What the flood would have accomplished is it would have cleared out all of this land for a new beginning. Sending them elsewhere would have just meant going into another populated area. A large flood would clear the way for them to start again, with no other life other than what they brought with them.
As for people changing when they started farming and "fought over land", that just isn't true....
"There is the same lack of evidence for violent conflict throughout the simple horticultural period of history as in the hunter-gather era. Graves don't contain weapons; images of warfare or weapons are still absent from artwork; and villages and towns aren't situated in inaccessible places or surrounded by defensive walls." - Steve Taylor
"If this was the case - and most scholars agree that it was - then we would expect the transition to agriculture to be accompanied by a great deal of conflict as the groups competed over dwindling resources. But as we've seen, there is almost no evidence of warfare in these areas until the fifth millennium BCE, more than 3,000 years after the advent of agriculture" - Steve Taylor
In any case, anthropological studies have shown that scarcity of resources does not necessarily lead to conflict between groups. Data collected by the anthropologists Carol and melvin Ember establishes that "chronic, ordinary resource shortage is not a significant predicator of war." Or, in the words of R. Brian Ferguson, "the data just does not support a direct association of increasing [population] density and increasing war." - Steve Taylor
It's important that we understand what happened in this age. But misassigning causes isn't going to bring us closer to the truth. You're doing as a lot of others are doing, by assuming farming must have been the change that changed humanity. But the evidence says otherwise. This change happened independent of farming. It did not happen alongside farming like you'd expect if farming were indeed the cause.
LOL, independent of farming. Right. It just by chance happened in the extremely small percentages of land that was being farmed over and over again. First farming starts and then wars start, but they of course are independent of each other.
Tell me, I believe women should have equal rights, I believe that slavery is wrong, I don't think we need to fight for land. I certainly don't think I can convince many Canadians to take over the U.S. Do I have free will?
"What doesn't make sense is how they so accurately, down the number of centuries, kept track of what happened when over a 2000+ year span." (bolding added)
Accurately? You mean like forming the universe in 7 days? Like making a man from dust or a woman from a man's rib? Like a world wide flood that killed all the animals (but not the vegetation)? Like a man in Africa gathering animals from Australia and South America? Or an ark that lasted for months with 2 or more of every animal on earth aboard it? Like a sea that split, leaving dry land long enough for thousands of people to walk across but not soldiers? Like the firstborn of every Egyptian dying in a single night? Like a woman becoming a pillar of salt? Like a bush on fire that does not burn? Like a dead man that rots for 3 days and then walks about?
Are these the kinds of "accuracies" you refer to?
You do understand that's a style of writing, right? It's poetry. It's a literary device to break the story up in days. It's pretty obvious by what's going on between those lines about the days, like life being told to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, that it's clearly talking about things that take way longer than a day. It's talking about procreation, an already rather lengthy process, carried out enough generations to populate the earth.
How inaccurate is that really? We are made of star stuff, are we not? The same elements that make up the physical world around us came into being in a supernova just like the elements we're made of did. And we now know there's enough genetic information in a rib to grow a whole other person. Just a change to a chromosome and that other person is female. This is closer to reality now than has ever before been understood.
You know, nearly 5,000 years after that flood Columbus set out to find a new route to India, not realizing that there were whole other continents between him and his intended destination.
To these people, the whole world was the land they lived in. The flood that happened in the Mesopotamian valley around 4000BC was 400 miles long and a 100 miles wide. It ended a 1500 year old culture. A culture that had thrived, and was actually still on the rise when it ended abruptly due to this flood. To them, that was the whole world.
Besides, it's important not to be so anxious to dismiss this or that as ridiculous and give this ancient text the respect it deserves. I know we get into this theist/atheist mindset and get knit-picky, but let's really think about this. The actual authors lived in a time when that valley was the whole world to them. And then, centuries later, translators who always just assumed a global flood, translated it that way. Making 'hills' 'mountains' and making 'all the land' 'all the earth'. They had no idea what all the earth was. No concept.
Besides, even within the context of the story, there are survivors of the flood. In Genesis 6 it talks about the "Nephilim" being on the Earth in that age (before the flood) and after (the flood). Then, later, in the book of Numbers, Israelite spies report seeing descendants of the Nephilim. So even within the context of the story, it couldn't have been global. It's just been assumed to have been global for a very long time.
Wilderness, I think you're missing the whole point of a miracle. What makes a miracle so significant is that's not how things usually go. People who are dead three days don't usually get up. Bushes on fire usually burn. What makes a talking donkey significant is that donkeys don't usually talk.
This God this book is talking about is working in a world dominated by free will. These humans He created are out of His control. He tries all kinds of approaches to get them to do what He needs them to do. Adam and Eve made necessary a savior. God had promised Abraham many descendants. To accomplish these things God tried literally everything. And they still didn't listen most of the time. He threatened them with terrible punishments, struck some down in full view of others, turned people into salt, killed the firstborn male of every family in Egypt, literally carved commandments into rock. Still, these people would not follow the rules He gave them.
So how do you get one of these humans' attention? A burning bush. A talking donkey. If a donkey talked to me, I'm pretty sure I'd be hanging on every word so later, when I went to tell somebody, "Dude, you're never going to believe what happened to me, a freaking donkey talked to me." The first thing they're obviously going to want to know is what did the donkey say. Donkey's don't usually talk. This one is. He has something on his mind, and is somehow able to tell me.
Headly, the Sumerian King lists have been dated around 4000 BP. It's thought that Genesis was written around 2500 BP. Both contain 10 generations of leaders/kings chosen by Gods or brought to earth by Gods who live very long lives before a flood. For both the third on each list have names that mean "mankind" and had advisors that ascended to heaven, and the seventh figures on each list share a solar symbolism. Both at fourth on the list have connections with craftsmanship and at 10th wen the hero that survived the flood.
Yeah, I'm familiar with the Sumerian King's List. Parallels are to be expected between the biblical accounts and the Sumerians since it was the Sumerians who lived in the land that the stories of Genesis were happening in.
So you don't think one group toke to the idea from another much like Muhammad and Joseph Smith expanded of the concept for there own doing? Researching the origins of Genesis leads one to understand why we have repeated stories of the same events.
There are repeated stories of floods all across the earth thousands of years ago, but they could be explained by the melting of the glaziers when sea levels rose. Much like today some think
Gods are responsible for natural disasters.
I find it funny that in each of the stories of the local floods people assign their God as being responsible for saving humanity. The story is also told in Africa.
BTW, Even the Quran describes the flood as something Alah has done for Islam.
Of course it's a possibility one group could have been inspired by the stories of the other. But I don't think that's what happened here simply because the physical evidence lines up with what's described. Another expected result would be echoed themes in Sumerian stories.
Such widely spread repeated stories of floods all across the earth could maybe be explained by melting glaziers. It could also be explained if the ancestors of all these different groups all around the world were in the same valley that flooded. Before 'all the world's nations' were dispersed, they were all in the same part of the world when a rather large flood happened. So for all these different cultures to share such a common story, the most likely explanation isn't different floods all around the world, but one flood happening and those who remember it being dispersed all around the world.
"It could also be explained if the ancestors of all these different groups all around the world were in the same valley that flooded."
Unfortunately both Australia and the western hemisphere were occupied by people long before the biblical flood. It seems rather unlikely, then, that the tales of a world wide flood came from one group in the area of the Hebrew people.
"In a genetic study in 2011, researchers found evidence, in DNA samples taken from strands of Aboriginal people's hair, that the ancestors of the Aboriginal population split off from the ancestors of the European and Asian populations between 62,000 and 75,000 years ago—roughly 24,000 years before the European and Asian populations split off from each other."
Yeah, that doesn't affect this. The entirety of the globe was already populated by 10,000 BC, 6,000 years before the flood. But the story would have still propagated the same way if the people from that valley were dispersed into an already populated world.
You miss the point. People the world over talk about a giant flood, whether it was in a little valley in Africa or in South America. Nearly every point on the globe has been flooded at one time or another - even the tip of Mt. Everest was probably under water before it rose.
So it doesn't need a flood tale to travel with people as they disperse; it is already there. Plus of course, any tale would be for the area left and not the "new world" they inhabited over time.
For it to be within the realm of human memory then you've got a pretty limited section of earth's history to allow for such wide spread flooding. I'm sure the last time the top of Mt. Everest was submerged in water was long before humans were around to recollect it.
The much more likely answer is that this one large flood in southern Mesopotamia inspired tales told the world over. Especially since we can tell, by the archaeological record, that those that lived in that valley at the time really were dispersed all throughout the world by a climate change. And they took with them a distinct behavioral change that then propagated everywhere they went, so we can actually track their progression archaeologically all across the world. Given this information, combined with the rather catastrophic flood that came just a century before that mass dispersion, I would say this is the more likely explanation for all the flood stories the world over.
Especially when you add in how many share similar non-flood like themes. Like, did you know tales of giants existing before the flood are also pretty wide-spread?
But the top of Mt. Everest is covered in water even today! Given than the last couple of miles or so of "water" would have had to be snow/ice, perhaps Noah's flood was around 650 million years ago? If we consider the "flood" as snow covered ground instead of liquid covered ground there is even enough water to do that.
Noah's flood could not have been that long ago considering humans didn't yet exist 650 million years ago. Besides, Noah's flood is specifically described as liquid water/seas.
You almost got that right. Noah's flood couldn't have been.
Tell me the one about the majick boat again.
So, in spite of overwhelming evidence of an actual flood, despite the fact that multiple sources state these stories are true, you're going to go on with this majick boat nonsense? This is how atheism halts progress. No matter which belief system you subscribe to, as soon as you start denying evidence in favor of what you prefer to be true, you're halting progress. It's the same thing no matter what side of the fence you sit on. Ignorance is born of idealism, not any particular idealism, it's not specific to religious beliefs. Your beliefs make you susceptible too. Any group that thinks they know better, for whatever reason, when it's not based on facts, is a detriment standing in the way of others finding real truth.
There have no doubt been hundreds of thousands of floods throughout history. So what? You were the one said the bible description of the boat would float and was built by a 600 year old man. By majick. Please stay on point.
What majick? You're the one that keeps veering off point and talking about majick. And it's not just me, but literally every culture from around the Mediterranean Sea, the Sumerians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Hittites, numerous cultures claimed there were immortal male/female beings in their past. Not just the bible. But the timeline the bible gives, based on those long ages, lines up with actual history. Down to the number of centuries in between each event we can actually see in the historical record events that line up with the story its telling. In fact, everything we should expect to see if beings ever did actually live that long is there. Think about all the ancient mythologies and where each came from. Its only the cultures from this part of the world that were predominately polytheistic, speaking of multiple male/female gods. If Noah and Adam and the rest really did exist and really did live as long as stated, then to the perspective of "mortal" humans, they would be god-like. This is exactly what one should expect to see if true.
Prove its nonsense. If it's indeed nonsense, that should be an easy thing to do. I'll wait.....
I've got plenty of evidence to illustrate that what I'm saying isn't nonsense. Where's your evidence to back up your claim that it is? Or are you just trying to force your preferred truth onto me and others?
You're the one claiming people lived for 900 years so it's up to you to prove it. The people Sumerian King lists En-men-lu-ana as reigning for 43,200 years. Do you believe that? There kings simply descended from heaven, do you believe that?
Keep in mind though that when people translate numbers in Sumerian texts they generally use base-60, because that's what the Sumerians generally used. Cuneiform is the form of writing they used, which much like roman numerals has a value for a 1 and a 5 and a 10. They're symbols. If you take those same symbols, but convert them using base-10 instead of base-60, they come out to very similar lengths of lifespans as what Genesis says.
I'm not sure how else I can prove it. Everything you should expect to see if it's true is there. From the events told along that timeline really fitting that timeline in the archaeological record to multiple cultures claiming they're real. Everywhere you look, if this really happened, the evidence supports it. An entire section of the world, multiple cultures, all claim its true. And these weren't backwoods cultures easily given to speculation. These were the inventors of astronomy and mathematics. These were the inventors of logical thought and reason. They all spoke as if these immortal beings were actual history. Which is exactly what you should expect to see if those Genesis stories actually happened. All the people in the background of those stories, like the Sumerians and the Egyptians, claim it's true. Even more than that, they actually claim they were taught to do things we know they actually did by those beings.
Also, on a side note, it's not their kings that descended from heaven, it's the "kingship". The scepter and crown that anointed one the king was what descended from heaven. The whole concept of what a king is 'descended from heaven'. They were the "decrees of the gods foundational to those social institutions, religious practices, technologies, behaviors, mores, and human conditions that make civilization". They're known as 'mes' .... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_%28mythology%29
This is how the Sumerians say these immortal beings taught them civilization. We know they actually did invent civilization, as well as the first monarchy form of government, and literally dozens of other things. They actually did invent these things. But according to them, they were taught by these beings. Which is just more evidence these beings were real because the Sumerians really did invent all kinds of things that they claim these gods taught them. Why would they attribute all of this to gods, and not give their ancestors the credit, if it was actually just their ancestors that invented all of this stuff?
Okay, so you also believe in the Sumerian Gods. What about the Hindu Gods?
I don't think all these different cultures just came up with roughly the same explanation for things they didn't understand based on nothing. I think there are such similarities between all the various different versions because they were most likely inspired by the same beings. I think it's a mistake to not consider this a real possibility, and just put it away as nonsense. I think we should keep our minds open and not be so quick to deem something out of the realm of possibility just because it doesn't fit what we already think.
I wouldn't say they're the same, but they're both morality- based and they both claim the existence of numerous immortal god-figures.
You want me to prove that humans cannot live to 6-900 years old? You have zero evidence. Typical of you. Posit nonsense and then say "prove it wrong."
"Burden of proof" - heard of it? You are the one claiming people live to hundreds of years old - prove it.
I have evidence that supports it. When and where they lived. Multiple witnesses that state it to be true. Multiple cultures who swear they were a real part of their past. And the impact these beings were said to have had, the things they taught, those things really exist. The point is I know you can't prove it wrong. Because I've tried. And when you actually try to prove it wrong you'll actually find that there's more and more evidence that supports it. Every direction you look. That's what I found. I was sure this idea was ridiculous. I just needed something to point to to say, 'that right there is WHY it's ridiculous'. Two years later and still nothing but more and more to support this actually happening.
I realize you have motivations to deny this. It's not what you prefer to be true. But you simply stating something is 'nonsense' carries no weight. The truth is what we see in the evidence is exactly what one should expect to see if this actually were true. Across the board. The only thing we lack is physical evidence or actual remains. But whose to say we'd even be able to tell by that. We determine the age of human remains based on bones and what we know about how bones grow and develop. But what if these beings lived that long simply because their systems didn't move at the same speed. Maybe they just developed much slower. Would we be able to tell? Who knows. What we do know is that the cultures that existed in this part of the world did things no other humans anywhere did. And when we look to their writings we see that according to them they were taught by these gods that they speak of as actually existing. In fact, according to the Sumerians, these gods physically lived in the temples that actually do exist at the center of each of their city-states.
I'm asking you to prove it wrong because I know what you'll find if actually bothered to look. You'd find more and more reason to actually consider this a real possibility.
Ah - sorry. That is not evidence. Humans living to 900 years old is nonsense, and your "witnesses," ? surely they all died in your flood? I don't think I need to prove that it is impossible, any more than I would ask you to prove that Thor did not rid us of ice giants.
Can you prove it? I have evidence.
But according to the story they weren't "humans". They were created separate from the naturally evolved human line. It may be so that humans living that long is ridiculous. But you can't say beings like this didn't exist. There's plenty of evidence to support they actually did.
But no, they didn't all die in the flood. A lot of them did, but not all of them.
Wow - the entire human species was populated by non humans now? How odd we immediately started living such short lives. "Evidence" - look it up.
Actually, the world was already fully populated by the these beings were created. The story says these beings started mating with "mortal" humans, and from that point on each generation's lifespan was shorter and shorter, down to normal mortal lifespans around the time of Abraham.
So no, the entire human species was populated just as science says. But these beings got involved and dramatically changed how humans live.
Sorry - you are getting even more ludicrous. And no - I will not "prove it wrong." Genetics already has.
Genetics, huh? How? I just explained how genetics would have little to nothing to say on the matter because these beings were created outside of the naturally evolved human line. They were created in the same 'image' and 'likeness', but not the same genetic line. You don't even know what to look for. You're just trying to push what you prefer to be true, with no grounds to do so.
Genetics has little to say on human makeup? OK then. No grounds huh?
Okay, I'll bite. Explain to me how Genetics has already proved what I'm saying wrong. Go ahead and explain yourself. In the course of doing so maybe you'll actually realize for yourself why what you're saying doesn't work. Go for it.
No - perfectly likely that a race of non human super beings created Noah and then all trace of them was lost. How arrogant of me to think it might be wrong. Weird though - you would think the occasional vestigial 600 year old would have shown up throughout recorded history.
None. Ever. Prove me wrong.
Vestigial 600 year old? Hahaha... So you think what determines our lifespan is genetic? Well there's part of your problem. It's not a genetic trait. It's simply a fact that there are a limited number of times a cell can split. It's not like there's a gene that determines we're going to die in our 90's.
There may very well be genetic evidence to be found. If we could isolate genes from remains found dating back to that time, maybe there would be signs of a "foreign" genetic code. But no, genetics has not "already" proven what I'm saying wrong. According to the story these beings were created completely outside of the bloodline of naturally evolved humans. It then says they mated with humans, and created offspring, so we can assume they, like us, had compatible genetic code. But no, there's nothing we know genetically that "proves me wrong".
Not at all. You are claiming that they must have some how slowed their development - or some other such majick. This would be the evidence you seek and would be available to us through genetics. And as it does not appear to be in our genetics, it does not exist, therefore genetics has proven you wrong. If it did - there would be the occasional throwback that developed slowly - or whatever majick you are falling back on.
So - you rely on majick. As usual.
No, I'm not claiming that. That was a what if. I don't know 'how'. I have no way of knowing 'how'. But the physical evidence supports the events of Genesis being real, including the beings that lived that long. If the events of Genesis happened as described, starting about 5500BC in southern Mesopotamia, what we see in the physical evidence is exactly what we should expect to see. Do we see a dramatic impact on the behavior of the people at the time? Yes. Do we see dramatic changes in lifestyle? Yes. Do we see these characters mentioned in the writings of other cultures? Yes. Everything we should expect to see, from the city it says Cain built (Eridu) to the 1500 year old culture wiped out by a flood, to the climate change that caused an event that mirrors what the Babel story says happened, all of it, really happened. And the humans that lived in that region of the world during that time claim these beings were real. Actually built temples for them. And they actually did do all the things they claim these beings taught them. That's all true.
Besides, you're talking as if we know our genetic code so well that we'd actually be able to know. We don't. We're still a long way from knowing to that degree.
No - it is not true. Sorry. But at least you seem to agree there are no genetic markers left behind and - as you don't know how - you rely on majick with no evidence.
Please stop lying at me - there is no physical evidence of Genesis being real.
There most certainly is physical evidence. Simply placing the Genesis story starting about 5500BC matches up to actual events, actual impacts that can be seen in the archaeological record. Well beyond mere coincidence. Genesis is told along a very specific timeline. That same timeline and series of events can be seen right there in that specifically described part of the world, and not only that, but a dramatic change in human behavior and the birth of multiple civilizations right at ground zero of where these events are happening. This is all about the evidence, recognizing the validity of this ancient book, and recognizing the truth, once we can get past our mass delusions. Ideals, like the one you harbor, that has you so certain you're right, won't even allow you to consider the possibility that I'm right. You assume I'm lying. You assume I'm delusional. "Rely on majick". Whatever.
"The science delusion is the belief that science already understands the nature of reality in principle, leaving only the details to be filled in. This is a very wide spread belief in our society. It's the kind of belief system of people who say, "I don't believe in God, I believe in science." It's a belief system which has now been spread throughout the entire world. But there's a conflict in the heart of science betweeen science as a method of inquiry, based on reason, evidence, hypothesis, and collective investigation, and science as a belief system or a worldview. And, unfortunately, the worldview aspect of science has come to inhibit and constrict the free inquiry, which is the very lifeblood of the scientific endeavor. Since the late 19th century science has been conducted under the aspect of a belief system, or worldview, which is essentially that of materialism, philosophical materialism." - Rupert Sheldrake from TedTalks
OK - assuming you change what the bible says. *meh*
I don't believe in god and I don't believe in science either. Science is not a worldview. Sorry for your loss.
Yeah, that's how delusion works. The deluded person is usually the last to know or realize it. On the surface you claim that you understand science is not a worldview and that you don't believe in it, yet everything you say, your every response and reaction, say otherwise.
Just because I don't believe your ridiculous claims does not make me deluded. Science is not a world view - sorry. I don't "believe" in it,. Odd how anyone who does not believe your claims is deluded. One of the many reasons your religion causes so many conflicts.
My assessment of your delusion has nothing to do with you rejecting my claims. It's based on statements you've made.
Oh - like making the irrational assumption that humans have never lived to be 900 years old?
No, it comes from my being familiar with your view based on numerous discussions we've had. You are a prime example of someone operating under the science delusion.
Besides, this isn't an irrational assumption. This is an evidence based hypothesis that has successfully predicted many things.
I see - tell me about the majickal boat again. I like that one. This is a prime example of why your beliefs always cause conflict. I call you on your outlandish, baseless claims, point to actual facts instead - you attack me as being delusional.
Outlandish? Baseless? I'm pointing to actual facts. And actual facts that were predicted by this hypothesis. Please, feel free to illustrate through evidence that what I saying is outlandish or baseless.
You keep trying to insist that I'm injecting "majick" because that's the only possible explanation your particular viewpoint can rationalize what I'm saying. Since you already know it can't be true, despite the evidence, the only conclusion you can reach in your deluded state is that I must be injecting majick, changingng the bible, whatever. Like the boat you keep bringing up. I showed you how another vessel built the same size and shape as what's described proved to be a buoyant vessel. That's just physics.
Rewriting the bible and claiming myths as facts is not working for me - sorry. I am not going to - once again - point out where you are mistaken. You simply ignore it when I, or the many others that have done so take the trouble.
Tell me about the majick boat again. That's my favorite.
Once again? You've never pointed out mistakes. You've given no valid reason whatsoever as to why you reject what I'm saying. You make baseless statements, like that I'm "rewriting" the bible, but then don't even give what you're basing that on.
Untrue. But - yes - I reject your claims that people used to be 900 years old (amongst other things). And - yes - you need to rewrite the bible, as I have explained many, many times - you simply ignore it.
Do I really not have a "valid reason" to not accept your claims of people living for 900 years?
Do you have a valid reason to reject it? I've got loads of evidence supporting what I'm saying.
Yes - I think I have a valid reason to reject it. The fact that it is impossible for a start. You have no evidence at all. Sorry,
To say I have no evidence isn't true. To state that it's impossible is a belief. The evidence says it very well could have been possible. Many things once thought impossible turned out to be proved true. You just have to have an open mind to first consider it without rejecting it in favor of what you prefer to be true.
You have no evidence. It is impossible until you can prove it is possible. You have not done so. I believe it is not possible in the same way I believe man cannot fly unaided.
I don't consider believing nonsense as being open minded. Trust me - I would much rather live to be 900 years old, although not as a decrepit wreck.
It's one thing to reject my evidence or what I'm saying. But it's entirely dishonest to say I have no evidence. I have mounds of evidence that supports this hypothesis being true. Everything one should expect to see if this is true is there. Everything. This hypothesis even predicted things I didn't know about beforehand. Like that climate change at 3900BC or the dramatic behavior change that can be seen starting in southern Mesopotamia and spreading from there. That's how you generally know a hypothesis is accurate. When predictions made off of said hypothesis prove to be true. And this one did. Many times over. That's how it's done.
Initially I thought the same thing you do. That this is ridiculous and can't be true. But I cannot honestly discredit it. The evidence says it very well could be true. I could find no reason to reject it, though I tried.
You have not provided any evidence. I reject your claims as baseless and unproven.
I want to give you an example of a prediction I made through my hypothesis to maybe give you a sense of my process and hopefully help you understand why I would think I’m onto something.
- Preflood Genesis = Ubaid Culture (6500-4000BC) "The Ubaid period as a whole, based upon the analysis of grave goods, was one of increasingly polarized social stratification and decreasing egalitarianism." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubaid_culture
- The Flood (4000BC) = "Woolley was one of the first archaeologists to propose that the flood described in the Book of Genesis was local after identifying a flood-stratum at Ur: "...400 miles long and 100 miles wide; but for the occupants of the valley that was the whole world". - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Woolley
* This is the same flood spoken about by the Sumerians that brought an abrupt end to the Ubaid culture, noted in the Sumerian King's List and spoken about in the Epic of Gilgamesh.
- The Babel Story (3900BC) - "The 5.9 kiloyear event was one of the most intense aridification events during the Holocene Epoch. It occurred around 3900 BC (5,900 years BP), ending the Neolithic Subpluvial and probably initiated the most recent desiccation of the Sahara desert.
Thus, it also triggered worldwide migration to river valleys, such as from central North Africa to the Nile valley, which eventually led to the emergence of the first complex, highly organized, state-level societies in the 4th millennium BC." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.9_kiloyear_event
That last one was a big one. By that point I had already pinpointed a particular place in history, and I had a very specific timeline built into my hypothesis because of the information that Genesis gives. The prediction was, if this hypothesis is true, I should see a rather large event that mirrors the Babel story about a century after the flood (4000BC) in that specific region. That’s when I ran across the above mentioned 5.9 kiloyear event (3900BC). Just as Babel describes, humans in the region were dispersed in all directions. They settled on land along rivers, which you can imagine was already populated. The Tigris/Euphrates to the north, the Nile to the west, and the Indus Valley to the east. It is known that after these people arrived in each of these cultures, the first civilizations began to spring up. As it says above, this event is recognized as a catalyst that led directly “to the emergence of the first complex, highly organized, state-level societies in the 4th millennium BC”.
Genesis 10:32 - These are the clans of Noah’s sons, according to their lines of descent, within their nations. From these the nations spread out over the earth after the flood.
Multiple civilizations sprang up within centuries of one another, in Sumer (3500BC), in Egypt (3400BC), in the Indus Valley (3300BC). Each with their own unique language.
It’s a little hard to dismiss that one as confirmation bias. I found exactly what I predicted, in the exact time and place that I predicted it. What are the chances of that? I had no prior knowledge of this event. And that’s not the only time that happened. That was one of quite a few predictions that proved true. That behavior change I mentioned was the same thing. If this happened as described, then there should be a distinct behavior change. This was to be the most daunting task as far as investigating. I was going to have to study behavior patterns of countless cultures throughout history. Thankfully, I ran across two books that were already tracing a behavior change just like predicted, and both books show it to begin right in the same time/place that my hypothesis predicted. These are no small, insignificant predictions. These are very specific in time and place and impact, and happen to match up with significant events that really did play an important role in our history.
Sorry - not seeing this as evidence of people living to 900 years old.
The whole Genesis timeline given, the one that lines up down to the number of centuries with actual events that really did happen in that specific region of the world, if based on the ages given. But the point of what I'm giving you here isn't to prove that particular bit. It's to show how I arrived at this hypothesis and how predictions made off of this hypothesis proved true.
Another prediction was that the people who occupied this specific region, if these beings existed and if these events happened as described, they could not have gone unnoticed to these people. Well, those people, the Sumerians, claim exactly what we should expect to see. Genesis 4 says Cain was banished and sent out on his own, where it later says he built a city. The Sumerians say a god-like character showed up one day and established a city. A city we know actually existed. They say he lived in the temple at the center. A temple that we know actually existed. Everything lines up. Not only were the people in question affected as predicted, they specifically describe what should be expected if true.
And we know they really did do things no other human culture before them did. According to them they were taught these things. And they tell a very similar story. According to their stories there was a large flood survived by one man who built a boat. And according to their stories lifespans used to be much longer before the flood than after. And they also say a once universal language was confused into many. If what Genesis is saying is true, then these people would be the ones that existed in the region at the time. And their stories line up with what Genesis is describing. Including the bit about long-living people.
Well - go ahead and show me the evidence you have that people live to be 900 instead. These old myths are entertaining and all, but not evidence. Sorry.
Well, sometimes we have to determine what happened without having the physical evidence. We do it all the time. It's called science. We form a hypothesis based on known information, then test against that hypothesis to confirm its validity. That's how it's done. There's a lot you'd have to reject if you instituted these same standards across the board. We'd never have found out half the things we know about quantum mechanics if we didn't use this method.
Evidence isn't always available. But if you want to continue to stay in the dark because this truth isn't the truth you prefer, well that's how ideals get in the way of progress. We humans do it all the time. We find some reason why we don't want to accept something, despite the evidence that says the contrary.
Right, you've got no evidence, and what we can see from our world today people like to follow Gods even when they are not Gods and 123 years is about the limit.
So, what? Ignore the fact that this set of stories happens to set right along with a series of events that really did play a large role in shaping modern humanity? Nevermind the predictions it got right? This could actually be true, actually be a real part of our past, that would explain a lot. But we're just going to ignore it because things like that don't happen. We all know that. We've never actually seen a universe just expand into being. Things like that don't just happen. So reject it and move on.
Just close your eyes and your mind and go back to sleep. Wait for the smart people of the world to figure out all the details. Nothing to see here. Nothing to think about. Nothing to consider. Figures.
Sure we have and we are living in it. It's happened.
Right, let's look at human behaviour and let's look at the lies leader make to gain control and keep it. Let's look at the evidence right in front of us. We have direct evidence that leaders tell their people that they are Gods and people believe them. You have no evidence that Gods have ever existed or that anyone has ever lived for hundreds of years.
LOL, yes the brightest people we have are working on this right now.
But we haven't seen it. We've only hypothesized, based on what's observed, what's happened. That's how we actually determined that that's what we're living in now. That's exactly what I'm doing. Just like this. We're living now in a modern society. A form of life that started right there in that part of the world. The same events that Genesis lines up with are the same events that set this modern human world in motion. We know that. There's no denying that.
We have numerous cultures telling us that's what existed in their past. They took the time to write down their history and this is what they wrote. No one had ever done it before. Writing didn't even exist before. Yet your assumption is that propaganda was invented at the same time as writing. The difference is, any other example of someone claiming they are gods, yet they don't have the significant changes to go along with it. The kind of impact that you'd expect to see if something like this were true. They completely altered how humans behaved and lived. They invented things that never existed before.
Usually when we see changes this dramatic, something caused it. We can demonstrate that it wasn't farming that did it. The people that actually lived during that time took the time to write down what they say happened and this is what they describe. What if this were actually true? What if this were actually the answer? How would we ever really know? By doing what I'm doing. It's one thing to claim what you're claiming. That it's just this simple explanation. But that completely ignores all of the parallels with history. All of the parallels with actual events that actually did shape human history.
This IS evidence. Ancient stories that line up with things we've only determined to be true in the past 100 years. This should not be ignored. This is our human origin story.
It's only evidence that people attributed inventions to Gods. We see this all the time, but don't see any Gods. How many Quarterback thank Jesus for a win rather than the rest of his team?
On the other side of the world beginning as early as 7000 BC indigenous cultures began the domestication of maize, beans, squash and chili, as well as the turkey and dog. Written language and wars and religions and human sacrifice followed.
Let's not forget the Norte Chico civilization. Scholars more generally now believe that civilizations arose independently at several locations in both hemispheres.
Right, cultures began domesticating livestock and crops and such. In other words, rather than living in harmony with nature, they began to control nature. Many cultures talk about this shift in human behavior. Before it was a completely foreign concept to claim ownership of land. That also started in this age. As did slavery, ownership of other people. Personal possession in general started at this same time. These are signs of free will. A will no longer tethered to the natural world, but rather a will that now treats the natural world as something separate. Exactly what we should expect to see if Genesis really happened.
Now, what if that team the quarterback that thanked God, always won. Became the best most winningest team to ever play the game. That's the Sumerians. That's what we're talking about.