God or Jesus, a synopsis for believers to evaluate and relate.

No, I do NOT believe in the end of the world.

 Some end-of-world predictions can be observed as age-old, including the one allegedly made about 2,000 years ago by someone named Jesus, but the world still exists; Jesus had allegedly predicted that the world would end before the “passing away of this generation” but this so-called generation had passed away 2,000 years ago and we are still here and the world is now, comparatively speaking, more alive and kicking, with a hugely larger population. According to Edward O. Wilson [American biologist, researcher, theorist, naturalist and author], if all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago; if insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.

 First, I have no qualms in saying that the Bible is a huge dunghill containing a minuscule amount of usable material, but otherwise overflowing with dung, that the Old Testament is brimming with false predictions or prophecies and that certain statements/predictions allegedly made by Jesus as reported in the New Testament can be observed as false or untrue. But for this synopsis, I shall exclude discussion of the OT’s false predictions or prophecies, the inclusion of which would likely take up a considerable amount of space but which in my opinion appear insignificant, in relation to the purpose of my writing, which is to show how different the image of God is, as portrayed in the Bible, the so-called “inerrant word of God,” from  the image of God that is held by Christians. In all, at least three encyclicals [official documents], were issued in the last two hundred years by the Catholic Church affirming the Bible to be books containing revelation without error and written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  If the Bible is the inerrant word of Yahweh/God, then Yahweh/God can be observed, from reading the script, as the greatest blunderer, contradictor or liar, or the greatest hypocrite, the greatest perpetrator of evil [for creating Hell and eternal punishment] and thus the greatest sinner or maniac.

 Included in the New Testament are four canonical books believed to have been anonymously written during a time span estimated to be somewhere between 60 years and 110 years after the death of Jesus – assuming Jesus was not a fictional character.  “Mark”, “Matthew”, “Luke” and “John” have been thought by Bible scholars as names being added subsequently to provide authorship-identification convenience for these gospels or to show that they were actually written by Jesus’ close disciples or disciples of his disciples. However, the New Testament, apparently, did not come to public attention until much later, centuries after the death of Jesus. What this means is that by the time the New Testament came into public readership, people who had supposedly lived during the life-time of Jesus were all dead including those who might have witnessed and those who might have been completely ignorant of the events that had allegedly occurred as described. It is possible that some people might not have even heard about Jesus, if he had existed or produced miracles. Other than what we can get from the New Testament or from the gospel writers, there is no historical record of the miracles allegedly performed by Jesus; hundreds or thousands of people had presumably witnessed one or more of these miracles, assuming of course these miracles had indeed occurred.

 In 1 Corinthians 15.16 we hear Paul making the claim of Jesus’ so-called resurrection being witnessed by five hundred people; but it seems that none of these so-called witnesses have ever been identified. No doubt news of this so-called resurrection, which must be considered a miracle indeed since it was allegedly witnessed by five hundred people, would have spread fast even in those days but Rome knew nothing about it and we have no historical account for this event, apart from the New Testament.  “Mark” projects an image of Jesus as a human, while “Matthew” and “Luke” project him as a demi-god; “John” is of course outstandingly distinct from the synoptic gospels in the treatment of Jesus: here, Jesus is all God [as the term ‘God’ is commonly understood in western tradition] . Any claim of Jesus being God is in a fact a devaluation or moral indictment  of the character of Jesus, exposing Jesus to judgment or condemnation for his barbarity, brutality, cruelty, hatred, immorality, racism, violence and insane genocidal instinct and other vices, as recorded in the Old Testament. The Bible as a whole is more about fire and brimstone than about love and forgiveness.

 No historical Jesus’ data of the kind found in the canonized gospels or in the epistles of Paul or other New Testament authors have been recorded in the writings of any non-Christian writers or historians who lived in the first or second century or who can be considered to be contemporaries of Jesus. For example, writings of Pliny the Younger, Tacitus and Suetonius, although they contain passages with general references to Christianity or early Christians they do not record any details of a historical Jesus. Jesus allegedly wrote nothing concerning himself; and have you noticed something unusual? Except for a few brief lines in Luke about Jesus sitting among the teachers in the temple courts, listening to them and asking them questions, the four gospels are conspicuously silent with regard to the first 30 years of Jesus’ life. Was there something wrong about Jesus in his earlier years that the authors found unworthy for the record? It is hard to argue that the story of Jesus is not made up of whole cloth. And it is easy to conclude that there is nothing much in the Bible that can be taken at face value.

 Christianity, it seems, has many similarities to the pagan religion of Mithra that preceded it by approximately 600 years and which was widely embraced by people in the ancient world. For example, Mithra, was born on December 25, died, was buried, and resurrected in three days. He had twelve companions as Jesus had twelve disciples. He also performed miracles, was called “the Son of God”, “the good shepherd,” “the way, the truth and the light,” “redeemer,” “savior,” “Messiah.” The Mithra religion had a Eucharist or “Lord’s Supper” and Mithra’s sacred day was Sunday. If you are in Rome and visiting the catacombs, be on the look-out for an image of the infant Mithra seated in the lap of his virgin mother, while on their knees before him were Persian Magi adoring him and offering gifts.

 [Text in italics extracted, with slight modification, from Michael Shermer’s The Believing Brain]

Over the past ten thousand years of history humans have created about ten thousand different religions and about one thousand gods. What is the probably that Yahweh is the one true god, and Amon Ra, Aphrodite, Apollo, Baal, Brahma, Gasesha, Isis, Mithra, Osiris, Shiva, Thor, Vishnu, Wotan, Zeus, and the other 986 gods are false gods? The story of Jesus’ so-called virgin birth is not the only one that has come to attention: among those alleged to have been conceived without the usual assistance from a male were: Attis, Dionysus, Horus, Krishna,, Mercury, Perseus, and Romulus. In addition to the parallels between Mithra and Jesus of Nazareth, consider the parallels between Dionysus, the ancient Greek god of wine, and Jesus of Nazareth. Both were said to have been born from a virgin mother, who was a mortal woman, but were fathered by the king of heaven; both allegedly returned from the dead, transformed water into wine, and introduced the idea of eating and drinking the flesh and blood of the creator, and both were said to have been liberator of mankind. In ancient Egyptian culture “Osiris” was the god of life, death, and fertility and one of the oldest gods for whom records have survived, with a following that was well established by the year 2400 BCE. Widely worshipped until the compulsory repression of pagan religions in the early Christian era, Osiris was not only the redeemer and merciful judge of the dead in the afterlife, he was also linked to fertility and, most notably, the flooding of the Nile and growth of crops. The kings of Egypt themselves were inextricably connected with Osiris in death. When Osiris rose from the dead, they would rise also in union with him. Not only pharaohs but mortal men believed that they could be resurrected by and with Osiris at death, if, of course, they practiced the correct religious rituals. Osiris predates the Jesus messiah story at least by two and a half millennia.

 [Text in italics extracted from Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code]

By the way, December 25 is also the birthday of Osiris, Adonis and Dionysus. The new-born Krishna was presented with gold, frankincense and myrrh. Even Christianity’s weekly holy day was stolen from the pagans. Originally, Christianity honoured the Jewish Sabbath of Saturday, but Constantine shifted it to coincide with the pagan’s veneration of the sun. To this day most churchgoers attend services on Sunday morning with no idea that they are there on account of the pagan sun god’s weekly tribute – Sunday.

 The God-Mary-Jesus story seems nothing extraordinary, in the context of mythologies antedating Christianity, including the myth of gods impregnating mortal maids who then gave birth to heroic figures. The Jesus story can be viewed for what it is:  an obvious borrowing and adaptation from earlier myths. But myths can be uplifting for some people. Where a myth is apparently uplifting, the truth of the matter is the least important.

 The Book of Revelations is an imaginative story that tells us, in no uncertain terms, that so-called divinity is no different from insanity. Revelations is revealingly insane, written probably by someone with a warped mind or suffering from a mental illness or brain-seizure; how anyone rational can believe in such trash is simply mind-boggling! A Christian believer who is not intellectually dishonest or not incapable of sound reasoning should consider this so-called revelatory narrative as diametrically opposed to, or as a contradiction of, the teaching of Jesus about love, mercy, and the principle of forgiving, like forgiving seventy times seven times. If you think of Jesus as the source of Revelations, and this is of course a matter of belief nothing short of being irrational, then it would also be irrational of you in not accusing Jesus of being a hypocrite.

 Let’s evaluate with reference to some Biblical excerpts [from the New International Version]:

In Mark 13.24/30 and Matthew 10.23, 16.28 and 24.29/36 we see Jesus projecting an image of making a second appearance or second coming following his death but before the demise of all the people he was speaking to at the time. Taking the Scripture at face value, we can’t avoid the fact that these people had passed away 2,000 years ago but there has been no appearance of Jesus [aka Son of Man] appearing in the clouds in all his glory. In fact, based on what Jesus had allegedly spoken, Jesus can be demonstrably shown to have lied at least on three other instances; he is reported to have said:  

  •  [1] [Luke 24.46]: “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day.” These words were allegedly spoken by Jesus to his disciples after he had allegedly resurrected. But nowhere in the Old Testament can any statement be found that talks about the messiah [Christ] dying and then rising on the third day, not even a narrative that can claim to be representative, whether closely or only marginally, of such a statement. In other words no such prophecy was made in the first place
  • [2] [John 7.38]: Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him but nowhere in the Old Testament can such a statement be found, and
  • [3] [Mark 16.18]: “they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

We have yet to witness whether any human being can survive or will not be hurt at all after drinking deadly poison. And it appears there would be no necessity for hospitals, modern medical treatment or trained or qualified doctors or other medical practitioners if placing of hands on sick people by God-believers will heal sick people of their sickness. If you fervently believe in Jesus’ so-called divine wisdom, including his assertion about faith and prayer being powerful enough to move a mountain, you can try putting his advice to the test by, for instance, placing your hands on the sick people in the hospitals and then see whether they get well immediately or shortly after. But, please, do not try testing Jesus by drinking deadly poison; in all probability you will not emerge unhurt and there will be no miracle to save you from the physical ailment or termination of your life that is likely to result. Jesus can be seen as being obviously ignorant of the old saw: “Never promise more than you can perform.” To some people at least, miracles occur only in the Bible and perhaps in the religious text of some other religions. And would a god supposedly omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent need to resort to threat? In Mark 16.16 we hear Jesus saying: Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Why the condemnation just for not believing? Why should anyone believe without evidence? Surely, Jesus with his so-called omnipotence and divine eloquence should have no problem in convincing the creatures he himself allegedly created; but it is obvious from reading the script that Jesus alone was not adequate; he needed the help of the so-called Holy Spirit. And yet what happened? The Holy Spirit descended on so-called Pentecostal Day but over the centuries Christianity has split into close to 34,000 denominations with disparate doctrines, beliefs or practices. Some so-called Christian sects do not embrace the doctrine of the Trinity or of so-called Holy Eucharist.

 Jesus [or the gospel writer?] can be accused of making another huge lie or fraud when he was allegedly making reference to “angels”, “Father” and “heaven” in this utterance: [Matthew 18.10]: See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. It is not infrequent that we hear of media reports of children, some of them toddlers, being made to suffer physically and/or mentally, or losing their lives, as a result of the actions of human adults, their own parents in some cases. The number of children who were raped and/or killed, say, in the last 50 years, is probably in hundreds of thousands if not in millions. Were these children given a chance to exercise their free will, for example, to live peacefully rather than be tortured, raped, killed or murdered? The simple answer is NO. They died or suffered pain, physically and /or mentally, through the irrational or rash actions of adults. What about the announcement of Jesus concerning angelic or divine oversight or protection?

 Pedophile priests in the thousands have apparently forgotten or disregarded Jesus’ teachings about celibacy or staying sinless or perfect, and it appears that the Catholic Church has paid billions or millions of dollars in compensation to victims of child sexual abuse, and been accused of attempts at covering up child sexual abuses committed by some of its clerical members, by arranging the transfer of  an accused member from one parish to another. It has been reported, in a book authored by a Queen’s Counsel, that one particular pedophile priest was assigned to nine different parishes, where he regularly re-offended for the next fifteen years. Indisputably, priests found guilty of pederasty can be labeled as homosexuals for having committed homosexuality. Of course, pedophilia is a condition that is not restricted to clerics [Catholic or otherwise] only; people outside the clergy, of various stripes or colors, including women, have also been charged for being pedophiliac.

 One can argue that there is nothing great or profound about the moral teaching of Jesus. Many of the utterances of Jesus as reported in the synoptic gospels can be said to be neither wise nor morally admirable. He appeared intolerant toward those who disagreed with him [Mark 6.11 and Matthew 10.14-15, 11.20-24] and, although he is reported to have preached the virtues of forgiving, he himself appeared as an unforgiving person [Mark 8.38, 14.21]; his constant harping on eternal punishment in hell is a sure sign of a character defect [note that it is only from the New Testament that we hear so much about hell and eternal punishment]. According to Jesus [Mark 7.21], sexual immorality, fornication, for example, is an evil that defiles a person.  In Matthew 5.17 we hear him saying: Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Thus Jesus can be seen as giving support to the proscription laid down in the Old Testament against homosexuality, an offence so allegedly serious as to merit the death penalty.

 Let’s recall the story of the fig tree narrated in Mark 11.12-14, 11.20-21 and Matthew 21.18-20. Jesus was allegedly hungry and saw a fig tree in the distance but when he approached closer he noticed that the tree was barren; apparently it was not the season for figs. Then Jesus allegedly spoke to the tree thus: May no one ever eat fruit from you again [Mark 11.14] or May you never bear fruit again! [Matthew 21.19]; according to script, the tree withered, as a consequence of this utterance of Jesus, interpreted as a curse. It can be assumed that Jesus with his so-called divinity could have easily caused the fig tree to produce, in an instant, fruits in abundance, for his own consumption and for the benefit of members of the public.. And that would have been a far more positive action or miracle, if causing the tree to wither can be judged as positive rather than negative. But Jesus’ cursing of the tree can be viewed as an adverse revelation of his nature, whether human or divine, and whether or not the cursing of the tree and its resultant withering is a metaphor for demonstrating the power of prayer, as amplified in these passages:

  •  Mark
  • 11.21. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
  • 11.22. “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.
  • 11.23. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.
  • 11.24. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

 My questions/message to Jesus: What about the children who lost their lives in earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, famine, diseases, etc? What about the Beslan massacre, where 186 children lost their lives as a result of stupid, delusional adult human actions, whether politically motivated or otherwise? And what about the deaths of 276 children  in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978 [People’s Temple/Jim Jones]? Where were the children’s angels? Weren’t you lying when you were making reference to “angels”, “Father” and “heaven”? Would you not agree that the Bible is messy, full of inconsistencies and contradictions, despite the belief of your followers in its inerrancy and that it was all written with the inspiration of the so-called Holy Spirit, a being interpreted in some quarters as your father [or you yourself?] who in terms of biblical script impregnated Mary in order to give birth to you? Were you wine-drinking and celebrating in Heaven with your disciples when innocent people, including innocent women, were tortured or burnt to death by people who were supposedly acting on your authority or under the banner of so-called Christian faith during the era of the Inquisitions? Jesus, I have no choice but to say that you are nothing but a huge lie and, possibly, the greatest fraud in the history of humanity.

In Galatians 1.11-12 we hear Paul asserting: I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. So when we hear him saying, in 1 Corinthians 11.23-25: For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me,” it has to be assumed this speech of Jesus was not something he gathered from the other apostles but a product of revelation from Jesus, not dissimilar to the numerous other instances of revelations received by Old Testament prophets from Yahweh or the revelations allegedly made to “John” as reported in the Book of Revelations. A skeptic familiar with Mithraism is likely to offer the explanation of Paul copying, probably with some modification, from Mithraic communion liturgical practice. Part of the Mithraic communion liturgy included the words, “He who will not eat of my body and drink of my blood, so that he will be made one with me and I with him, the same shall not know salvation.” And it would not appear unreasonable for the skeptic to conclude that Paul’s theology was incorporated into the gospels by the Church to reflect that it was Jesus who spoke those words at the Last Supper. Whether these words [1 Corinthians 11.24-25] were actually spoken by Jesus or a fabrication by Paul, the Jews are religiously forbidden to taste blood.

 Jesus is biblically portrayed as an observant Jew who allegedly came to fulfill Jewish religious laws and thus can be viewed as having acted strangely or inconsistently if he had indeed established a practice, merely symbolic or otherwise, for drinking his blood.  In Mark and Matthew, Jesus’ last words on the cross are reported to be: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” I wonder how many Christians are aware that these words can be found in Psalm 22.1: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? The probability of the author of Matthew copying from the author of Mark cannot be ruled out, while the probability of the author of Mark lifting these words from the Old Testament can certainly be ruled in.

 A belief in Yahweh, aka the obnoxious God of the Old Testament, is not necessarily a belief in Jesus; but to believe in Jesus is to believe in Yahweh, in view of the claim of Jesus of Yahweh being his God/Father. The Bible can be considered as a story of ancient Jews, but how much of it can be considered as a true account is highly debatable. From reading it, particularly the OT, one can glean that much of it is about belligerence, cruelty, hatred, malevolence, pillaging or robbing, racism, tyranny, murder or genocide, and the killing of men, women and children by the Jews at the so-called behest of their warmonger-deity [Yahweh]. Yahweh can be claimed to be a creation of the Jews but Yahweh, regardless of whether the claim is true, cannot be worthy of human worship, in terms of his abysmal portrayal in the OT, which is basically a translation from the Jewish Bible, which the Jews consider as an account of their early history and of Jewish religious worship and practices. Yahweh’s speeches/actions can be infamously gleaned from reading the Bible.

 The OT, not the NT, of the Bible can be considered as its backbone and incurably diseased, in the context of this declaration, allegedly from Jesus:  Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them [Matthew 5.17]. Hence non-Jewish Yahweh-believers can be observed to be providing, wittingly or unwittingly, a certain kind or level of sponsorship to ancient Jewish history or, as some people prefer, Jewish mythology, originated by silly, ignorant Jews for Jewish consumption. Unfortunately for humanity as a whole, many non-Jews have bought into the creation propaganda and all the rest, with the natural consequence that what is myth is no longer seen as myth but as reality, as the truth. Is there any logical ground for the creation of a world where rape and murder and all other forms of evil or suffering are common occurrences? The answer must be No, but Yes if the creator can be labeled a barbaric, cruel, genocidal maniac, not as an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being.

 More than one and a half centuries ago, many Christians were already convinced that the second coming of Jesus would occur in 1843. William Miller, an American Baptist converted from deism, and his supporters [number said to be over 50,000 at the time] believed that Jesus would make his appearance between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844, But Mar 21, 1844 passed without any incident and a new date, Apr 18, 1844, was adopted; however, Apr 18 also passed without any evidence or indication of Jesus’ return. Then someone, apparently linked to Miller, calculated that the correct date for Jesus’ appearance should be Oct 22, 1844. The Millerites were, however, greatly disappointed when the sun rose on the morning of October 23 like any other day. Arguably, predictions of future events appear to be a common feature of Christianity [see http://www.religioustolerance.org/end_wrl2.htm%5D; another group of so-called Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses [previously known as the Bible Student Movement, founded in the late 19th century by Charles Taze Russell], had also made several predictions that outturned unfulfilled. For details visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controversies_regarding_Jehovah%27s_Witnesses

 It would be easier to believe that the universe is infinite than to believe it is not; if the universe is infinite it can never have a beginning, hence there is no question of creation and no position or location, anywhere in the universe, can be considered central. If the universe is finite, then in principle its boundary can be established, provided we have the requisite technology or capability, but in this scenario there is a possibility of us facing this conundrum: What is behind the boundary, whatever the boundary is? Various scientific studies—radiometric dating of rocks and meteorites, radioactive study of uranium, thorium and lead isotopes, soil erosion, fossil and plant remains and salinity of the oceans—were undertaken to gauge the age of the Earth and all pointed to the age as being around 4 to 5 billion years; to be more precise, around 4.5 billion years. Science postulates that the Earth was formed from a remnant of a star’s explosion, called a supernova. Astronomical observations have led scientists to theorize the existence of 100-400 billions of stars [and thus billions of planets] in our galaxy [Milky Way] alone. And scientists think there are billions of galaxies in the universe. Earth can cease to exist but the universe will continue, regardless.

 The Earth is so insignificant in the immensity or infinitude [assuming the universe is infinite] of space that this analogy may seem inappropriate for merely stating our visibility or invisibility: the Earth is just not only like a grain of sand in the Sahara Desert but a grain among the aggregate collection of sands on this planet! Being a mere planet among the trillions of stars [many a star is millions of times the size of the Earth] and other planets [plausibly billions or trillions] scattered throughout the universe, the Earth in space is just like a microbe or a very tiny object that is visible only under the lens of a telescope. And think about space – can you imagine space being a creation? The Old Testament, by its narrative, points to the Earth as being around 6,000 years’ old; no rational person is agnostic on the question of whether the world was created in 4004 BC. If science is correct with regard to the age of the Earth, or to the existence of dinosaurs [from fossil records] about 60 million years ago, then it wouldn’t be unreasonable to form a picture of God/Yahweh looking on nonchalantly as a disinterested bystander for over 4 billion years prior to mankind’s appearance. Maybe, only a nincompoop god would do, or could have done, such a thing and only a nincompoop human would believe in God/Yahweh intervening in this manner. According to what science has unearthed, modern humans started their appearance only about 250,000 to 200,000 years ago.

 According to scientific findings, other animals existed on Earth long before the appearance of humans and many of these animals are reckoned to have suffered as their species became extinct. What explanation can we expect from God/Yahweh-believers for animal suffering, including the pain of being burnt alive, say, in a forest fire or being eaten alive by another animal? Would they say God/Yahweh is a cruel god with a zest for sadomasochism? Their response would probably rest on using Satan as a whipping boy – that it was Satan, not God/Yahweh, who created evil – bypassing, lamely but conveniently, their belief that it was God/Yahweh who allegedly created Satan. And if evil must exist, then what is this silly revelation that is offered in Revelation about evil being eradicated in the Armageddon, the so-called final climatic battle between God/Yahweh and Satan? Let’s hear the words of Epicurus, a Greek philosopher who lived centuries before Jesus, concerning God and evil: Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

 Indisputably, we are living in an imperfect world nothing short of being wasteful and messy, inefficient and full of imperfections. Hence it is nonsensical [or should we say anthropomorphic?] to profess God/Yahweh as being “perfect” or “all-loving.” Only irrational, imaginative people are capable of that, as there is no empirical evidence for his existence; God/Yahweh “exists” only within the covers of the Bible. And in terms of biblical portrayal the perfect description for God/Yahweh is “imperfect,” imperfect in myriads of ways and as a spoilt-brat in need of parental spanking for his unhealthy craving for sacrifice and for adult human attention.

 Let’s review some passages from the OT, which make Bible-reading so revolting:

  • Numbers
  • 5.11. Then the LORD said to Moses,
  • 5.12. “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him
  • 5.13. by sleeping with another man, and this is hidden from her husband and her impurity is undetected (since there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act),
  • 5.14. and if feelings of jealousy come over her husband and he suspects his wife and she is impure—or if he is jealous and suspects her even though she is not impure-
  • 5.15. then he is to take his wife to the priest. He must also take an offering of a tenth of an ephah of barley flour on her behalf. He must not pour oil on it or put incense on it, because it is a grain offering for jealousy, a reminder offering to draw attention to guilt.
  • 5.16. ” ‘The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the LORD.
  • 5.17. Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water.
  • 5.18. After the priest has had the woman stand before the LORD, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse.
  • 5.19. Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, “If no other man has slept with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you.
  • 5.20. But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have defiled yourself by sleeping with a man other than your husband”-
  • 5.21. here the priest is to put the woman under this curse of the oath-“may the LORD cause your people to curse and denounce you when he causes your thigh to waste away and your abdomen to swell.
  • 5.22. May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells and your thigh wastes away.”  ” ‘Then the woman is to say, “Amen. So be it.”
  • 5.23. ” ‘The priest is to write these curses on a scroll and then wash them off into the bitter water.
  • 5.24. He shall have the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse, and this water will enter her and cause bitter suffering.
  • 5.25. The priest is to take from her hands the grain offering for jealousy, wave it before the LORD and bring it to the altar.
  • 5.26. The priest is then to take a handful of the grain offering as a memorial offering and burn it on the altar; after that, he is to have the woman drink the water.
  • 5.27. If she has defiled herself and been unfaithful to her husband, then when she is made to drink the water that brings a curse, it will go into her and cause bitter suffering; her abdomen will swell and her thigh waste away,  and she will become accursed among her people.
  • 5.28. If, however, the woman has not defiled herself and is free from impurity, she will be cleared of guilt and will be able to have children.
  • 5.29. ” ‘This, then, is the law of jealousy when a woman goes astray and defiles herself while married to her husband,
  • 5.30. or when feelings of jealousy come over a man because he suspects his wife. The priest is to have her stand before the LORD and is to apply this entire law to her.
  • 5.31. The husband will be innocent of any wrongdoing, but the woman will bear the consequences of her sin.’ “

 So we have here a sign of an ignorant, asinine, barbaric god imparting bizarre ideas, or further ignorance or imbecility, to his already barbaric, ignorant or gullible followers.

 And in these passages, also from Numbers, God/Yahweh can be observed to be exhibiting his thirst for revenge:

  •  25.4. The LORD said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of these people, kill them and expose them in broad daylight before the LORD, so that the LORD’s fierce anger may turn away from Israel.”
  • 25.5. So Moses said to Israel’s judges, “Each of you must put to death those of your men who have joined in worshiping the Baal of Peor.”
  • 25.16. The LORD said to Moses,
  • 25.17. “Treat the Midianites as enemies and kill them, because they treated you as enemies when they deceived you in the affair of Peor and their sister Cozbi, the daughter of a Midianite leader, the woman who was killed when the plague came as a result of Peor.”
  • 31.1. The LORD said to Moses,
  • 31.2. “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.”
  • 31.7. [Moses said] Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man.
  • 31.27. Divide the spoils between the soldiers who took part in the battle and the rest of the community.
  • 31.28. From the soldiers who fought in the battle, set apart as tribute for the LORD one out of every five hundred, whether persons, cattle, donkeys, sheep or goats.
  • 31.32. The plunder remaining from the spoils that the soldiers took was 675,000 sheep,
  • 31.33. 72,000 cattle,
  • 31.34. 61,000 donkeys
  • 31.35. and 32,000 women who had never slept with a man.
  • 31.40. 16,000 people, of which the tribute for the LORD was 32

 This passage is addressed to God: God, first things first: Is this story true or false? If true, then, without doubt, it can be taken at face value and you can be accused of being an ungodly creature and a criminal with a lethal instinct for killing or revenge. It has been said that “revenge is always the weak pleasure of a little and narrow mind.” Are you capable of evaluating the presence of evil in your mind, God? A human court of law would have no hesitation in sentencing you, regardless of your so-called omniscience, to prison or the gallows. And no doubt, Moses, your right hand man, and his accomplices would have received similar treatment for their crime of genocide. It would not be unreasonable to say that you probably watched with relish the killing of every Midianite woman who had slept with a man. What if they were married women who had only slept with their husbands? Notwithstanding their marital status or that they had only slept with their husbands, all Midianite women were killed purely for being non-virgins. God, why did you create sex in the first place? According to Genesis and if Genesis accounts can be believed, you created sex when you created Adam [a male] and Eve [a female] for the purpose of sexual procreation, for increasing in number and filling the Earth. If the Genesis account of Adam and Eve is true then we can say their physical bodies were works of your divine artistry. But some present-day people have expressed the opinion that the human body seems to have a number of flaws. However, we shall discuss this on another occasion. Now back to the Midianite story. Without a physical examination, how can another human tell whether a girl or woman has slept with a man or is still a virgin? Under certain circumstances, the answer is Yes, otherwise the answer is No; obviously, for example, if a human female has sexually procreated, then she is no longer a virgin. Can a married woman/widow still remain a virgin? In case you are ignorant, the short answer is Yes if, for instance, her husband is/was sexually dysfunctional or has died before consummating the marriage, and I don’t think we need to delve deeper into the question. Presumably women who had to undergo a physical examination suffered the humiliation of being probed physically before escaping death for being virgin or losing their lives for being non-virgin. My apologies for assuming you might be ignorant since, as we have just said a moment ago, you supposedly designed the human body [male or female] and therefore can be assumed as having intimate knowledge that the hymen—supposedly a functional virginity test [but may not be the final arbiter in modern medical practice] for a female human being—is usually ruptured during sex. But I have no doubt that you would agree that any strenuous form of physical exercise, such as gymnastics, bicycle-riding, horse-riding, and perhaps any other form of physical exercise requiring movement of legs and body, may also rupture the hymen. Therefore, a ruptured hymen is no guarantee that a girl or woman is no longer a virgin. Would you agree? I suppose the answer cannot be other than Yes. But, then, we cannot discount that such possibilities were unknown to your stupid, unthinking, barbaric followers of this period. We must, however, also remember you were their God, their leader and you were, according to script, teaching them as to how they should live, that is, strictly according to your laws or guidelines. People say that the followers in a group or community usually follow in the footsteps of their leader and thus if their leader is cranky or irrational then one can expect no less of the followers. On the point regarding strenuous exercise, we have to acknowledge, however, that bicycles were non-existent hence this particular category can be removed from the equation. What about horses and gymnastics? Modern gymnastics, arguably, was developed much later in human history and that, presumably, can also be taken out of the equation. But what seems unquestionably clear is that a broken hymen cannot be taken as a conclusive proof of being a non-virgin and that this story is basically about hatred or revenge. Furthermore, using the non-virginity of women or girls as the sole criterion for terminating their lives can be seen as an act of madness only a mad god like you and his mad followers are capable of. Do you agree? What did you do with the 32 virgin women presented to you as your share? This story seems to say that virgin women or girls were objects of pleasure to you and to your maniacal people while boys, regardless of their virginity were considered as being of no value hence they were murdered. God, if this story is not true then the person who wrote it can be accused of fabricating; in which case, we cannot rule out that, possibly, there are other fabrications strewn throughout the pages of the Bible. But whether untrue or true, there is no denying that the Bible is littered with inconsistencies and contradictions and that it still has a vast following, notwithstanding the inconsistencies and contradictions. The people who take the Bible as myth are probably inclusive of those who find it hard to stomach the story of a barbaric, cruel, malevolent, maniacal god with a morbid instinct for revenge and genocide incarnating on Earth as a human for the purpose of teaching other humans the virtues of love, compassion and humility. One way of interpreting the incarnation story is to say that you can be accused of being a liar and a hypocrite or of suffering perpetually from an incurable amnesia. Another interpretation is that some people are probably suffering from a delusion, due to their inability to distinguish between fact and fiction or between reality and imagination. Thus your so-called existence, based purely on scriptural evidence, could be just stupid, irrational, human imagination, although no one can deny there is no empirical proof for your existence or non-existence. [End]

 Killing instructions from God/Yahweh [Exodus and Leviticus]:

  •  E19.12. Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not go up the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.
  • E19.13. He shall surely be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on him. Whether man or animal, he shall not be permitted to live.’
  • E35.2. For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.
  • L20.14. If a man marries both a woman and her mother, it is wicked. Both he and they must be burned in the fire, so that no wickedness will be among you.
  • L24.16: anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death.
  • Deuteronomy
  • 7.2. and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.
  • 7.16. You must destroy all the peoples the LORD your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pity and do not serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.
  • 12.2. Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains and on the hills and under every spreading tree where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods.
  • 12.3. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places.
  • 13.6. If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known,
  • 13.7. gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other),
  • 13.8. do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him.
  • 13.9. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people.
  • 13.10. Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery
  • 20.16. However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.
  • 20.17. Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the LORD your God has commanded you.
  • 21.18. If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him,
  • 21.19. his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town.
  • 21.20. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard.”
  • 21.21. Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.
  • 22.22. If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel.
  • 22.23. If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her,
  • 22.24. you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the girl because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.
  •  
  • Joshua
  • 6.20. When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city.
  • 6.21. They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every livingthing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.
  • 6.24. Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the LORD’s house.
  • 8.24. When Israel had finished killing all the men of Ai in the fields and in the desert where they had chased them, and when every one of them had been put to the sword, all the Israelites returned to Ai and killed those who were in it.
  • 8.25. Twelve thousand men and women fell that day—all the people of Ai.
  • 8.26. For Joshua did not draw back the hand that held out his javelin until he had destroyed all who lived in Ai.
  • 10.11. As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.
  • 10.30. The LORD also gave that city and its king into Israel’s hand. The city and everyone in it Joshua put to the sword. He left no survivors there. And he did to its king as he had done to the king of Jericho.
  • 10.39. They took the city, its king and its villages, and put them to the sword. Everyone in it they totally destroyed. They left no survivors. They did to Debir and its king as they had done to Libnah and its king and to Hebron.
  • 10.40. So Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded.

 What I have quoted is just a fraction of what can be found in the Bible, but some (or many?) Christians seem hopelessly ignorant of the existence of such passages; maybe not; maybe some of them are incapable of understanding Biblical text; maybe they are not concerned whether it is only a charade they are exhibiting.

My own ignorance of the Bible was a contributing factor for my becoming a Christian; my reading of the Bible, on a critical basis, was what led, ironically, to my de-conversion; there are numerous testimonials – see examples appended –  posted in the Internet of de-conversion, resulting from Bible-reading:

 “….Women were nothing to the scribblers of the Bible – women were too inferior to teach men, were to keep their mouths shut and not ask questions in church, etc. I wondered what in hell was so attractive about this trash to my mother and women like her, who devoted their time to a religion that despised them and a God who cared nothing for them! ….By the time I was thirteen, I had lost my belief in the Abrahamic nonsense [and yes, that means that I concluded that Islam is a load of rubbish, as well.] Today I look back on the childish, empty-headed belief system I swallowed as a kid, and I know that there is no God out there of the type spoken of in the Bible. I shake my head at my stupidity. ….So in closing, let me say that I am an example of the fact that nothing will turn you into an unbeliever as quickly as reading the source material.”

 “….The God of the Bible wasn’t the God that was praised so heavily by Christians. The God of the Bible was a very selfish, obnoxious, uncaring, unloving, hateful and sinister entity of evil that craved constant attention. Because of one man’s sin, he condemned everyone to Hell for eternity (unless they commenced obedience and repentance). He could’ve prevented that from the beginning, but instead, he gave people his distorted version of choices or lack thereof. He blames people for his own mistakes. Not only that, everything he spoke against was something he himself also practiced (example: murder, favoritism, perversion, hate). He encouraged genocide in which women and children were killed as depicted in the book of Judges.”

 “….I realized that the entire bible is full of contradictions that cannot be reconciled. How can this be the work of god? It obviously isn’t the inerrant thing I was taught it was. More, the god of the bible is downright EVIL. He condones rape, child sacrifice, pillaging, conquering, slavery, treating women as animals and as vulgar, unclean, overly emotional, unthinking, vain, inferior possessions. It’s despicable. I not only don’t understand how people believe it, but I don’t understand WHY anyone would want to.”

 “The dreadful actions of God in both the old and new testaments bothered me too, whether it was God commending Abraham for being ready and willing to murder his son Isaac for Him, killing the first born of Egypt, slaughtering whole cultures in Canaan, threatening to send mere non-believers to hell, or wiping out over a third of humanity in Revelations. God sounded more like an angry prudish tyrant or a cruel mafia don.”

 Some people, and the number may not be insignificant, may not be aware that most researchers agree that about 20 percent of all known pregnancies end up as miscarriages. Any God/Yahweh-believer against abortion should seriously consider querying God/Yahweh as to why, for all his divine intelligence, one in five fetuses has ended up getting aborted through miscarriage. Pro-life Christians seem to think that their God/Yahweh is against abortion or against baby-killing. Whether these people can be accused of being ignorant or not, the fact is, their God/Yahweh can be accused of being the greatest abortionist or the greatest baby-killer of all. If they think their God/Yahweh is not or cannot be viewed as a baby-killer, then it is obvious they have no understanding of or have not read the Bible. Listen to this braggadocio from God/Yahweh: “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord”? [Exodus 4.11]

 Some God/Yahweh-believers pray to God/Yahweh at meal times, to thank and praise him for the meal they are about to eat and, presumably, for everything else positive in their lives. But are these God/Yahweh-believers so ignorant or so naive that they are not aware of the things that have happened or are still happening around the world? Turn the pages of the newspapers, any day, and we can read of all sorts of mayhem taking place all over the world; natural disasters destroying lives and property, terrorism resulting in the loss of innocent lives, diseases taking their toll on human and animal lives, etc. Christians [all those who have prayed at one time or another, or are still praying, to God/Yahweh] can be critiqued as being hopelessly ignorant of the biblical passages that are a clear reflection of God’s/Yahweh’s weaknesses, for example, his apparent high dependency on his so-called human prophets to execute his so-called wishes/plans; in Exodus we see his dependency on Moses/Aaron to act as  his mouthpieces, and on Moses to produce  two new stone slabs [for so-called Ten Commandments] and build his so-called sanctuary on Earth, despite his creative powers, as demonstrated in Genesis. 

 There is no argument that the Bible is saturated with stories of all sorts of miracles; turning river water into blood, separating the waters of the Red Sea [in case one is not aware, the Red Sea is not a chest-level body of water; its average depth is said to be about 500m], changing water into wine, feeding thousands of people with just two loaves and a few fish, restoring sight to the blind, raising the dead to life, walking on water, walking through solid walls, closed doors etc. However, miraculous stories are not confined only to Christian religious literature but can also be found in the religious text of other religions and in Greco-Roman and  Egyptian mythologies and in other cultures of the ancient world. A suggestion to God/Yahweh-believers to give this a try: on your next praying occasion, pray to God/Yahweh to work a miracle such as causing heavy rain to come down hard on the entire Sahara Desert for, say, one month non-stop; or pray for the entire world, for everyone, for the eradication of hunger, poverty and all kinds of suffering. Please evaluate the effectiveness of your praying by making a note of the day you made this supplication to God/Yahweh and monitoring the  situation; what sort of time-frame would you assign to God/Yahweh for working this miracle: one hour, one week, one month? If your prayer for this miracle outturned ineffective, then simply admit it.

 It would be easier than a walk in the park [or the Garden of Eden?] for God/Yahweh to eradicate, overnight, hunger, poverty and all kinds of suffering; remember the story in Genesis – wherein God/Yahweh allegedly says: Let there be light, and, lo and behold, there is light? So there was darkness where light made its appearance; maybe God/Yahweh was moving about in uncreated total darkness and discovered light was essential for his eyesight. But who heard God/Yahweh saying this or that? Who witnessed God’s/Yahweh’s actions?  And remember, too, that God/Yahweh, supposedly omnipotent with the ability for creating solid objects out of nothing by merely voicing out his thoughts or commands, was allegedly highly dependent on Moses, supposedly his human deputy or one of his deputies, for building for his personal occupation a so-called sanctuary on Earth, or for cutting two new stone slabs for inscription of the so-called Ten Commandments. Only stupid people cannot see the stupidity so typically embedded in biblical stories.

 Presumably, you already know prayer can never move a mountain, notwithstanding the teaching of your so-called Lord, Jesus, about prayer. And, presumably, religious leaders appear to be a lot more pragmatic than their followers are wont to believe; these leaders prefer to rely on money collections or contributions from their parishioners than to pray to God/Yahweh/Allah to grow, say, a gold or diamond tree in the backyard of any church or mosque. Without a doubt these religious leaders are fully appreciative of the impossibility of the occurrence of this kind of miracle, as Emo Philips, an American stand-up comedian, discovered when he was a kid; Emo reportedly said this, after having gone through an experience: When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn’t work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me. We can’t be wrong in saying that many religious followers, as with their leaders, also appear pragmatic, in certain ways, despite believing in praying or prayer; for example, they would consult a physician and take medicine for their illness; and they would opt for prosthesis, denture or prescriptive lenses for, say, a lost limb, lost teeth or poor vision, rather than relying on prayer alone for growing a new limb, new teeth or vision restoration. Funnily enough, they think such miracles are impossible, notwithstanding their belief in the miracles narrated in their religious text.  Provided money is not an issue they will probably have no hesitation in spending vast sums of money to stay alive if they are unlucky enough to be stricken with, say, a life-threatening illness. Maybe, as part of the human psyche, some people are aware that there is no certainty about the unknown. The least we can say about such behavior is that their faith in God/Yahweh or Jesus is not solid but malleable, to be varied according to circumstances or as it suits them; their faith is no less tainted with doubt.

 A caution, though; prayer can also create problems, as highlighted in an incident that led to litigation. Remember the court case involving priests from the Novena Church at Thomson Road, Singapore? The priests engaged lawyers for their defense, instead of putting their trust entirely in God/Yahweh by relying, as the Scripture says, on God/Yahweh to whisper infinite words of wisdom in their ear should they come under cross-examination. Perhaps, in their opinion and the opinion of their superiors, that was the right thing to do. Thus faith in God/Yahweh in guiding them as to how or what to say under cross-examination was put on the back-burner or considered as a non-primary issue. Maybe, they had come to the realization that for them to get out of this sticky situation, prayer alone would not be sufficient, may even outturn futile or disastrous.

 Some of the faithful may not be aware that praying in a church or mosque can be highly risky, and may not have read of news reports of people losing their lives or getting seriously injured from suicide bombers. God/Yahweh/Allah, where were you? And you can accuse Jesus of lying because your prayer or praying for someone to get well from a sickness produced nothing positive as the healing that you had expected did not materialize. On the contrary, you saw only negative results, because the person you prayed for died from his/her sickness. Dale and Leilani Neumann were charged by a Wisconsin [US] court in 2009 with second degree homicide for the death of their 11 year-old daughter, Madeline, from diabetic ketoacidosis, on Mar 23, 2008; apparently Madeline’s death was attributed to the irrational religious beliefs of her parents, who believed in faith-healing and prayed for her instead of taking her to a physician even as her condition deteriorated, leading to a most unpleasant death.

 Who said: Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer – was evidently someone with a realistic viewpoint, and there is substance in this statement and in this one, from Frederick Douglass: I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs; Douglass [1818–1895] was an American author, statesman and reformer and one of the most prominent figures in United States history. Some Christians are of course too young to know the horrors of human history; but for adult, “educated” Christians there is no necessity to go too far back; if you are harboring lofty or fairy-tale notions or beliefs about God/Yahweh, think of these horrible events:

  • The so-called Taiping Rebellion in China [1850-1864] that ended the lives of about 20 million people.
  • World War I and World War II occurred in the 20th century and accounted, between them, the loss [in one estimate] of about 76 million people, not counting the wounded who survived.
  • The 1918/1919 Spanish Flu Pandemic that killed an estimated 50 million to 100 million people around the world.
  • About six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, comprising more than one million Jewish children, approximately two million Jewish women and three million Jewish men.
  • In the Indian subcontinent, at around the time of the partition [1947] of India into India and Pakistan, religious riots accounted for the death of about 1 million people and caused the displacement of over 10 million.
  • In 1975 to 1979 about 1.7 million Cambodians died in their own country, from execution, forced labor, disease and starvation under the Khmer Rouge regime.
  • In 1994 in Rwanda about 1 million people were brutally murdered over a period of approximately 3 months
  • The genocide in Darfur [resulting from a conflict that began in Feb 2003] has claimed 400,000 lives and displaced over 2,500,000 people.

 “According to the most recent compendium of history’s worst atrocities, Matthew White’s Great Big Book of Horrible Things (Norton, 2011), religions have been responsible for 13 of the 100 worst mass killings in history, resulting in 47 million deaths…Many religious massacres took place in centuries in which the world’s population was far smaller. Crusaders, for example, killed 1 million people in world of 400 million, for a genocide rate that exceeds that of the Nazi Holocaust. The death toll from the Thirty Years War was proportionally double that of World War I and in the range of World War II in Europe.” [http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/qa-with-steven-pinker/]. There is no doubt that religious beliefs, of the God-kind, particularly, have wrought immense suffering on humanity. This observation by Professor Steven Weinberg [an American physicist]: With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion – seems unsurprising, in the context of human cognitive faculties, which can be suspect concerning moral and religious matters. There is no denying the fact that we disagree or are uncertain or ignorant about many important moral and religious issues. “A man who thinks he has a higher purpose can do terrible things, even to those he professes to love.” [Denise Mina]. The deaths in the 20th century of millions of people of diverse ethnicities and beliefs, under, separately, the regimes of Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, were allegedly the result of the exercise of certain political ideologies; people were killed or murdered regardless of their background, religious or non-religious.

 Suppose a person or some persons had the power to prevent a disaster, natural or otherwise, from occurring and killing, say, thousands or millions of innocent people, yet coolly refused to do so. He/she/they would rightly be judged a monster or monsters. So why should God/Yahweh be excused, when you believe he exists, is all-powerful and all-loving? A kind friend or sibling or parent or benefactor doesn’t hide from you from before your birth until after your death and still expect you to feel love and trust and gratitude. Why should God/Yahweh? Religion is a crutch some gullible people got shackled to, one they never really needed in the first place but were convinced by others that they couldn’t live without. Once they become aware that it’s only an illusion, they will discard it gladly.

 Anyone who cannot see Biblical irrationality/stupidity/myth – Biblical inconsistencies and contradictions notwithstanding, and these are littered throughout the Bible  – is probably someone incapable of seeing the forest for the trees. In Genesis, God/Yahweh allegedly created Adam and Eve naked; it would of course be mere speculation to wonder whether God/Yahweh felt any shame or derived enjoyment from ogling, presumably with divine glee, Eve’s naked body, assuming Adam’s physical appearance, being of his own image, possessed nothing of interest for him. At the very least, in the context of Genesis, nakedness appeared to be something natural and acceptable to God/Yahweh. Despite God’s/Yahweh’s apparent appreciation or visual enjoyment of human nakedness, God/Yahweh can be critiqued as having counterfeit or conflicting standards of morality or dressing in the context of his speech as recorded in Exodus 28.42/43: “Make linen undergarments as a covering for the body, reaching from the waist to the thigh. Aaron and his sons must wear them whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting or approach the altar to minister in the Holy Place, so that they will not incur guilt and die. This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants.”

 Vide Deuteronomy, instructions were allegedly given to the Jews to bury their excrement in a hole in the ground to preempt the plausibility of God/Yahweh seeing anything indecent within the Jewish camp and turning away from them: [Deut 23.12-14] Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you. So God/Yahweh can be seen as having an aversion to “anything indecent” including, obviously, human excrement left uncovered on the ground; excrement buried in the ground being presumably beyond his sphere of view or knowledge.

 Please don’t forget Yahweh’s/God’s superstitions:

  • Do not allow a sorceress to live [Exodus 22.18]
  • Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast… [Exodus 34.25]
  • Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings [Leviticus 2.13].
  • Then the priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar [Leviticus 4.34].
  • He shall remove all the fat, just as the fat is removed from the lamb of the fellowship offering, and the priest shall burn it on the altar on top of the offerings made to the LORD by fire Leviticus 4.35].
  • Or if a person touches anything ceremonially unclean—whether the carcasses of unclean wild animals or of unclean livestock or of unclean creatures that move along the ground—even though he is unaware of it, he has become unclean and is guilty [Leviticus  5.2].
  • Or if he touches human uncleanness—anything that would make him unclean— even though he is unaware of it, when he learns of it he will be guilty [Leviticus 5.3].
  • Meat that touches anything ceremonially unclean must not be eaten; it must be burned up. As for other meat, anyone ceremonially clean may eat it [Leviticus 7.19]
  • But if anyone who is unclean eats any meat of the fellowship offering belonging to the LORD, that person must be cut off from his people [Leviticus 7.20].
  • If anyone touches something unclean—whether human uncleanness or an unclean animal or any unclean, detestable thing—and then eats any of the meat of the fellowship offering belonging to the LORD, that person must be cut off from his people.’ [Leviticus 7.21].
  • Say to the Israelites: ‘Do not eat any of the fat of cattle, sheep or goats [Leviticus 7.23].
  • The fat of an animal found dead or torn by wild animals may be used for any other purpose, but you must not eat it [Leviticus 7.24]
  • Anyone who eats the fat of an animal from which an offering by fire may be made to the LORD must be cut off from his people.’ [Leviticus 7.25]
  • When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden. For three years you are to consider it forbidden; it must not be eaten [Leviticus 19.23].
  • In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the LORD [Leviticus 19.24].
  • But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the LORD your God [Leviticus 19.25].
  • Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard [Leviticus  19.27].
  • A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads [Leviticus 20.27].
  • No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; [Leviticus 21.18].
  • no man with a crippled foot or hand, [Leviticus 21.19]
  • or who is hunchbacked or dwarfed, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles. [Leviticus 21.20].
  • No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the offerings made to the LORD by fire. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God [Leviticus 21.21].

 Yahweh/God needed animal sacrifice and the splashing of blood on his so-called altar; the smell of animal blood and burnt animal flesh is said to be pleasing to his empty nostrils. No one who is not incapable of sound reasoning, and familiar with the Bible, can fail to see how ridiculous or contradictory the belief in Yahweh/God being all-powerful and all-loving is, when it is juxtaposed against the so-called inerrant Biblical portrayal of Yahweh/God – as a barbaric, bloodthirsty, cruel, malevolent, sadomasochistic, genocidal maniac with a high dependence on his Jewish followers to execute his instructions. Only a fiendish, insane god would find joy in engaging in talks of taking revenge or of punishing the children and their children or grand-children for sins committed by their fathers or grand-fathers or great grand-fathers ages ago:

  •  Exodus
  • 20.5. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.
  • 34.7. …Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.
  •  
  • Numbers
  • 14.18. …Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.
  •  
  • Deuteronomy
  • 5.9. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.
  • 23.2. No one born of a forbidden marriage nor any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, even down to the tenth generation

 What kind of being do you think you are worshipping? Whether you care to admit or not, Yahweh/God can be labeled a moronic, unstable, freakish and immoral god with a zest for killing or genocide, in addition to his apparent racism and preference for creating enmity rather than harmony between non-Jewish tribes and Jews. Yet not a scintilla of empirical evidence can be found in support of his existence, if he exists; therefore it is perfectly legitimate to say that he exists only in biblical passages. Similarly, it is not illegitimate to say that Zeus, Apollo, Mars, Hera, Venus, Odin, Thor, Ra, Horus, Vishnu, Devi etc. are all deities that existed or exist only in mythology or in religious text.

 The Adam and Eve story as narrated in Genesis can be put down as Yahweh’s/God’s first failed endeavor; being supposedly omniscient he should have foreseen the consequences; yet no measures were taken to prevent access to the so-called Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil; and it seems the talking serpent was far more persuasive than anything Yahweh/God could have voiced, for example, issuance of a death threat. Next, Noah and his family members as the prototype of future humans also failed to live up to Yahweh’s/God’s expectations; In fact, the experiment with Noah and his family had already allegedly gone wrong long before YahwehGod decided on his human incarnation, as the story of the Tower of Babel reveals. What about the so-called incarnation on Earth? Notwithstanding the schism within Christianity [who are the ‘true’ Christians has become a debatable issue], Christians presently constitute less than one-third of the world’s population, after 2,000 years of so-called Christian teaching or proselytizing. In case a Christian is not aware, Christianity is tainted with a history of intolerance, of acting with hatred and malice and of killing non-Christians or so-called heretics; the Crusader Wars, the Inquisitions, the Witch-hunts,  the Thirty Years War and other religious conflicts that accounted for the deaths of millions of people can be attributed to actions initiated by the Catholic Church.

 To say Yahweh/God is all-loving is nothing short of being wishy-washy. To believe in things which are manifestly absurd is to be irrational. Unfortunately for humanity, billions of people are afflicted with the Yahweh/God-virus, a memetic disease that has obviously taken a toll on human reasoning. Yes, religious faith is blind without a doubt. But anyone who can still be considered to be capable of reasoning should consider abandoning certain notions of their faith that appear to be outright ridiculous or nonsensical. Do you think that there is a possibility that you could have been wrong, or could be wrong, even now? Yes or no? Maybe you have been looking in the wrong places; maybe you weren’t paying attention to the script while engaged in reading; maybe your beliefs are due for a fresh evaluation, but on a rational basis this time round. Most people who claim to have religious beliefs have scarcely ever analyzed the contents of their belief, and indeed are reluctant to do so even when prompted [Adele Mercier, Professor of Philosophy at Queen’s University, Ontario]. All or most of the comforts in living can be attributed to science and technology; what has religion offered or is offering? Prayers and more churches or mosques, with religious institutions growing wealthy or becoming richer from owning more land and buildings, bought or built with funds from the people?

 Arguably, what we believe or choose to believe, or what we do not believe or choose not to believe, will greatly influence our lives or the way we live and our attitudes toward ourselves and others. Hence we can never over-emphasize that believing, or having a desire or urge to believe, particularly the religious kind, can be a powerful force in the affairs of humanity, so powerful that wars have been fought, and people have died or suffered and others are willing to risk their health or wealth, or even to die as martyrs or to risk or sacrifice the lives of others, all for the sake of their beliefs, regardless of the fact that these beliefs are merely beliefs, with no empirical basis. The fact that some of our beliefs tell us only how things seem to be, not what they are, seems to be lost on some people. It can be ignorance or intentional disregard. To have no doubts at all about one’s beliefs can be symptomatic of irrationality, insanity or arrogant irresponsibility than of sound thinking. To face reality requires some courage. To engage in mystical magic thinking is not to face reality but can be seen as an attempt to produce a pseudo effect or solution to a real problem.

 And to round off, a couple of noteworthy quotations:  

  •  People don’t believe what you tell them.
  • They rarely believe what you show them.
  • They often believe what their friends tell them.
  • They always believe what they tell themselves.
  • [Seth Godin]
  •  We are all atheists about most of the gods humanity has ever believed in.
  • Some of us just go one god further.
  • [ Richard Dawkins]
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