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Using God to Justify Human behavior

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Time Zone: EST (New York, Toronto)
Messenger: IPXninja Sent: 11/21/2019 5:24:57 AM

Jahcub asked if I've read the book of Jasher. This is a continuation of my thoughts in response.

First I want to talk about MOTIVE. And just think about how this plays into what you read; not just with the bible but anything you read.

For example... the treatment of women in the bible makes me wish white people DID write it. It's abominable and embarrassing and yet we cannot deny our history. We (men) treated women like property that you could buy. Spoils of war. It is shameful.

A woman challenged me on this and that was the catalyst for my change in consciousness because my support for the God of the bible was strong but it was always based on righteousness. To me, that is ultimately the most important thing. If you tell me God can rape and murder because he's the "most high" you lose me. Especially since the whole idea of vertical hierarchy is very much a human invention. And I hate hypocrisy. So if you think about the arguments that humanity has used just since the beginning of America. We can point to tragic events that were almost all justified on the basis of religion and the "word of God".

This includes:
naziism ("jews killed Jesus + they're taking our jobs")
slavery ("black people are cursed + we want them to take our jobs")
trail of tears ("manifest destiney + do they even have jobs?")
salem witch trials ("witches are the new heretics + we don't want women taking our jobs!")

We can also go backwards to include the dark ages but the point should be clear. We're constantly looking to the bible to tell us how to be better humans on one hand, but on the other hand we're constantly using the bible to excuse our very worst behavior. And when its good, we say its all the same God. When it's bad we say your god is different from my god. And by "bad" I simply mean that its "good" for one group and not so good for another. The Christian God isn't cool with chopping off heads. The Muslim God "seems to be" okay with this. And of course, coincidentally, neither god is talking which allows the other side to claim the other side's god isn't real.

Imagine that...

And this takes away from the idea of a universal God that is fair to all people. Instead, it gives rise to a xenophobic tribal sort of god that only cares for his tribe(which is a PROJECTION of the PEOPLE); at least in part on the basis that they make themselves his servants and worship him. Which again... goes back to the central question of my previous thread. Why does God want worship(another PROJECTION)? Because if he didn't care about it (because he's actually has healthy self-esteem and isn't a narcissist or a megalomaniac?) then he wouldn't require people to believe in him or to worship him and might even be embarrassed by people praising his name and tell them to stop.

But we tend to treat him like a psychopath, willing to destroy us in a heartbeat if we don't act like his toys. I have literally sat in conversations with people and heard them argue that God should be able to do whatever he wants with us because he created us.

By whose logic? If a parent kills their own child is this somehow more permissible? Or do we think they're even MORE of a monster because its their duty to protect their child who they should love. If you would kill your own people (Moses) you're even MORE of a monster than if you go to war, unprovoked, against others. Using God's name to justify raping and pillaging may help to pacify their own conscience because they were less evolved, morally speaking, but its not working on mine. If God told me to murder someone I would tell God to do it himself.

But since I'm not trying to commit rape and murder I have no need to justify it and therefore no motive to use God as a justification. And therefore no need to write a book that explains how God told me to tell you that these foreigners are really bad people and should be "our" enemies because they don't obey our God. So let's drive over there (yes, its almost 2020 so we're driving) to their block, gun down their men, capture their women, and possibly kill their children just because we don't want them growing up with some kind of grudge and getting back at us as if we're doing something wrong because CLEARLY we are obeying the Lord.

If someone told you that in 2019 you'd call the cops. Right? But how is it any different from the bible? They didn't NEED to conquer anyone. If they truly had God with them then God could have created an oasis for them in the desert. Am I lying? He created the whole planet, right? So why did they ever need to fight giants?

Imagine if someone said, "God told me to tell you to come on and let's go kill them and take their food." but right before that they told you how hungry they were. God could magically fill your belly so why would God want you to steal it if stealing is wrong? We are supposed to believe that God is great because he helps you to fight people to steal their stuff for your own benefit instead of making it so you didn't feel desperate enough to steal. If stealing becomes right based on need then the world descends into chaos. And when you have to kill someone's kids in order to have a place to live and the peace of mind that no one is going to come back later to take it back (justice), then you are the evil that a just God should be protecting us all from. But the Hebrews were so used to fighting as a way of life that their God was simply a projection of their own culture of war and people taking from each other by force.

They simply used God to justify it.

Messenger: IPXninja Sent: 11/21/2019 6:01:41 AM

There was a woman named Ellen White. If you have seen a Seventh Day Adventist church, she is probably the biggest reasons this denomination still exists. She never technically claimed to be a prophet but a "messenger" instead. I grew up in this church. And I promise I'm getting back to apocrypha soon. They used the bible as a primary source but... they also use a bunch of writings by this Ellen White person, believing that God had sent her.

The wikipedia article leaves out a lot of information on why people believe she was telling the truth. I believe that she believed... that she was special and chosen and all of that. But this belief was based on what she desired and believed to be true. So if you convinced her that 2+2=6 then she would tell you that 2 x 2 = 9. If you lie to someone and they believe you then what they will convince other people will also be a lie. They just wont know they're lying. Like many children, she was convinced that Jesus was going to return very soon and so she was convinced that it would be in her lifetime.

And what the White Estate has tried to cover up is the simple fact that she was spectacularly wrong in her visions of the future. She thought God was revealing to her things she was seeing in dreams. The bible opens the door for this by saying dreams and visions are an avenue that God uses to communicate without any caveat. Dreams and visions are created by the mind. The mind will use whatever you believe in order to construct a dream. If you believe in ghosts you have a nightmare where you'll see a ghost. So if you feed your mind all this belief that Jesus is about to come back then you may have multiple dreams seeing it happen or witnessing events leading up to it. Because that's what your mind is focused on. She thought it was God but it was really just her powerful imagination.

She would use her imagination to write more detail into the already known stories of the bible, adding more detail to different characters, why? The answer is in psychology. Why did it need more detail? There have been a number of rabbis and the like who have had questions. It would be fair to say that they were critical of certain aspects of stories; like, for example, who did Adam's children have sex with? Apparently the original author (who is supposedly inspired by God) didn't think this was important enough to include in the original manuscript. And maybe that's because the original author wasn't trying to tell that story or maybe it wasn't a literal non-fiction story at all. So someone else steps (to add to God's previous inspiration) in to "fix" it to their own satisfaction. How? By using their imagination. Goliath was the smallest of 10 brothers. They wanted revenge and David, being such a Luke Skywalker type hero, he slew them all with his mighty glowing magic sword, Excalibur!

Obviously... not. But people, even in the bible, exaggerated the tales of David's victories because that was part of their culture. They weren't sitting there thinking about how best to document all this for people thousands of years into the future.

But this is what story tellers do. And its not like the biblical authors had copyrights and patents. The reason we have these things today is because, if we don't, (and still even though we do) people will copy, rewrite, change, etc. Many movies have been sued because they ripped off earlier films without even changing that much. It happens in music all the time too. So yes... it also happened to the bible, both OT and NT. Everybody wanted to get in on this popular library of tales because it was like the Star Wars saga of their time. Do you know how many Star Wars books there are?

A lot.

But this is why I've never gone down the rabbit hole when it comes to the "Extended Universe" of the bible. Once I read the "Extra" stuff about Noah, I was already like... "yeah... I just can't buy this." It seems to me to be too obvious that these writers exaggerate in order to make their own writings appear more relevant. And for this and other good reasons people far more expert than myself categorized these books as apocrypha and psuedepigrapha because they couldn't justify including them in canon. They couldn't legitimize them because they knew they were spurious. It's one thing to not know who the writer is. Many biblical books suffer from that issue. But when it seems like the writer has read the previous book and wrote too far into the future about a time period they may not have even been born in... you have to draw the line somewhere.

So I understand. There is a certain level of excitement that these are kind of "new books" but in most cases (I'm not saying all), it's probably not remotely accurate. And in my mind, even though I know there are lies, I do believe certain things were true and certain things happened even if they were exaggerated. And if I mix even more true-sounding fictional elements into that story, as a critic of the original story, I feel like it wouldn't be fair because I feel like I would subconsciously judge the original story unfairly based on stuff it never even said. So as a critic I now want to stay away from those other books, if that makes sense to you. Some people treat these books like Ellen White's writings are treated. And I don't think that's fair to the bible. Each of those books needs to be treated separately and researched for authenticity separately. Just because one sounds plausible doesn't mean it or the rest are any more credible. Ellen White sounds very credible but that's because of a few different factors; such as borrowing from other writers.

There's nothing wrong with gathering wisdom from these or any other books. I personally think there's a lot to learn from Star Wars, Tron, and the Matrix. In fact, I like sci-fi more because there's no chance of people taking these stories literally and thus missing the point to them. There are different kinds of writers. Some are journalists and are interested in preserving an accurate account of history. But many want to tell a story that people can learn from or grow from. We have libraries separating fiction from non-fiction, from science fiction. In the old world a book was a book. And religion mixed everything together... on purpose. The gods were imaginative actors that were used to tell stories for education about how the earth and humans came to be.

Creation myths weren't meant to be taken literally, but rather to give children a sense of pride and power because humans struggle with that just like we struggle with our own mortality. So hence, you are secretly a prince of the universe that the king of the universe personally sculpted out of clay and you might die but not really because the king will bring you back to life.

We told ourselves what we needed to hear. That's what the bible is about. Because even when we did bad things, we told ourselves what we needed to hear to pacify that voice in our head. "Men and women are equal... but didn't God say that you could have two or even three wives if you can afford it".

If this reminds you of the serpent in the garden, it should. But what if there was never a talking snake and Eve was simply tempted within her own mind, questioning God. After all, this story is about questioning God. And the moral of it is, "don't do it".

It therefore is the perfect preamble to Exodus because it conditions you to accept what Moses said God told him the same way you should have accepted what God told Adam. Questioning was demonized and so the woman was demonized and pushed down into a servile position.


It was because the woman was ALREADY in a servile position that the writer chose to blame women for the original sin in order to justify how men were treating women. Which came first? The story? Or the behavior they wanted to justify? The egg? Or the chicken? Maybe some people were questioning the status quo; questioning why women weren't being treated as equals? Perhaps there was a feminist movement that they were trying to suppress. Maybe there were matriarchal societies they felt threatened by. Whatever the case, I think we need to contemplate the real reason why these stories exist and why they are told the way they are told.

If you know a person's motives you can't be fooled by them.

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