Thursday, February 09, 2006

FAITH: Solution TO CONFUSION


“Faith” is what you grab onto when you don’t really have a deity worth its salt. Faith is especially important when your religion is slapped together and makes little sense. Example: Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The Father roars, “Kill and make war!” while the son whispers, “Love and be poor.” (The Ghost is mum). The result? General confusion. Whaddya go with – killing or loving?!? And who’s the Ghost, anyway? At this point, “faith” gets invented. Definition of “faith”: “Sit down, shut up, do as you’re told, or god will hurt you.”

Real religion can be seen and felt. No one needs “faith” in the green wingback chair sitting in your living room. It’s there, and you know it. It makes sense. Likewise, Goddess worshippers don’t need faith, since the Goddess too can be seen, touched, and heard. She’s the trees behind your house. She’s the wind rippling through the trees. She’s the brown earth, the hills, the green plants sprouting in spring. She’s you when you look in a mirror. She’s logical: she’s the Female source of all life. She says “Love others as all good mothers love their children.”

When our kids are born is when we run to the shelf and pull down “faith.” When our children say, “But Daddy, why didn’t Eve get born from a mommy? You said everything gets born from a mommy,” we need Faith.

When the dear darlings say “Hows cum god says fight wars but Jesus says have peace? Who’s right?” you need Faith.

One falls back on faith at “Mommy, hows cum god says to stone people to death? (Lev. 20 et al.)” or “Hows cum god turned her into a pillar of salt? You said he loves everybody!” or “Hows cum everybody in the Bible is a boy? Doesn’t god love girls?” or “Why did god set fire to people?” (Gen. 38:24; Lev. 20: 14) or “Why did god tell that daddy to burn his little boy?” or “But, but – how did Cain get married, ‘cuz where did the girl come from?” or “God lied! He said Adam would die if he ate the apple, and Adam didn’t die!” or “But, but, but – you just read that god made the plants first! And now here it says the people came first and then the plants! (Gen. 1 vs. Gen. 2)”

When you can’t see, feel or hear a deity, that’s bad enough. But when the deity also defies logic -- that’s a crime. But, hey. When you use torture to get anyone to “join” your “religion” (which is how Christianity and Islam originally bagged virtually ALL converts), who needs logic?

Nevertheless, “faith” helps. “Why? Because I said so! Shut up, and do as you’re told, or god will hurt you!”
_________
Thnx to snack for the foto of the pillar of salt

13 comments:

a lept rabbit said...

Absolutely!

Paxton said...

I was under the impression that the original Christian converts were victims of torture not perpetrators of it. Either you have a skewed understanding of "original" or I have a skewed understanding of history.

"Mommy, hows cum god says to stone people to death?"
(from Lev. 20) In some cases because the people have been slaying their children as sacrifices to Molech.

All the other reasons appear to be because of abuse of sexuality, and there is also one verse where people who speak disrespectfully of their parents are to be killed. I don't have the understanding to answer those cases.

“Hows cum god turned her into a pillar of salt? You said he loves everybody!”
Speculation: she was drawn to look back at Sodom and Gomorrah in direct disobedience to words recently spoken by an angel of God. Possibly she was, in that moment, rejecting God and embracing Sodom and Gomorrah even in their destruction. But I don't know her heart. I won't speculate further.

“Hows cum everybody in the Bible is a boy? Doesn’t god love girls?”
^ terribly flawed statement

“Why did god set fire to people?”
Factually incorrect (for Genesis 38). The order to burn was issued by equally-guilty father-in-law. And nobody ended up being burned after all. Granted, according to the laws of Leviticus they had commited a capital offense. That is the extent of my knowledge on that subject.

"Why did god tell that daddy to burn his little boy?"
That question is answered in the Bible. =)

“But, but – how did Cain get married, ‘cuz where did the girl come from?”
I don't know much of this either, but as I remember it, the Bible does not say that Adam and Eve stopped having kids.

“But Daddy, why didn’t Eve get born from a mommy? You said everything gets born from a mommy,”
all this means is that there are special cases that daddy did not mention. Daddy's incomplete statement does not make God a liar.

“God lied! He said Adam would die if he ate the apple, and Adam didn’t die!”
If Adam didn't die then he would be able to comment on your blog too. But he did die -- not immediately, but surely. (One can also follow the thinking that Life means being with God, and Death means separation from him).

“But, but, but – you just read that god made the plants first! And now here it says the people came first and then the plants!”
A quick readthrough makes the chronology seems fuzzy, but I don't have a good answer to explain it.

On a wholly different incidental note I found a verse in Lev 19 that tells Israelites to love any foreigners living in their country as much as the Israelites love themselves.

Anne Johnson said...

Especially all those slaves.

rhondda said...

I was brought up with all that shit. When my oldest son was born, I looked at him and knew there was no such thing as original sin. It took me a while to know what I knew, but at least my kids know what a lie that was and is.

Morgaine said...

“Hows cum god turned her into a pillar of salt? You said he loves everybody!”

PAXTON replies:
Speculation: she was drawn to look back at Sodom and Gomorrah in direct disobedience to words recently spoken by an angel of God. Possibly she was, in that moment, rejecting God and embracing Sodom and Gomorrah even in their destruction. But I don't know her heart. I won't speculate further.

MORGAINE COMMENTS:

Have you read why God rewarded Lot and his wife by telling them about the coming destruction of S & G ?

Some "Sodomites" - whatever the hell that meant- came to the door demanding to "know" some travelers that took shelter in Lot's home. Instead, Lot suggested that the Sodomites rape his two virgin daughters. The travelers turned out to be angels, who rewarded Lot by helping him escape.

SO, tell me why I'm supposed to look up to a deity who rewards a father who offers his daughters up for gang rape? Because, frankly, I don't consider that father someone worth saving.

Paxton said...

Morgaine, *nowhere* in the passage is it indicated that he was rescued as a reward for offering his daughters up for gang rape. It says in verse 16 that the angels rushed them out of the city because God is merciful.

Don't read hastily =)

Incidentally the daughters were not raped after all. The angels struck the Sodomites blind before they could cause any harm.

Morgaine said...

TEST

Morgaine said...

I've read this many times, especially when I first discovered it, because I couldn't believe what I was reading. But that's what it says.

Genesis 19:

1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;
2 And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.
3 And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.
4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,
7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.


***Since saying hello is rarely considered wicked, we must assume they mean "know" in the "biblical sense."***

Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

***In other words, 2 virgin daughters, rape them if you want, but leave the men alone.***


9 And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.

***That's another clue - the mob at the door was violent. ***

But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.
11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
12 And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:
13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.
14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.
15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my LORD:
19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:

***
No, they weren't raped because the angels interceded. The fact remains that their father offered them up to a violent, rowdy mob and "God" saved his life. You need to learn to read between the lines - think like the King James interpreters reading the rantings of a bunch of misogynistic tribal hash heads.

As far as I'm concerned, what Lot did was worse than anything anyone in the cities could have been doing. Pimping out your daughters for any reason is about as low as you can get... no, wait, impregnating your daughters is even lower and he does that next. It's blamed on the girls, of course - abusers always blame the victim.

***
30 And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.
31 And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth:
32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
33 And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
35 And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.
37 And the first born bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.
38 And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.

***So we are supposed to believe that his daughters were impregnated by him and he knew nothing about it. Do you think it's possible to rape a man and have him not know it? They didn't have roofies in those days.

There was nothing about that man worth saving. That the people who go out and thump that book are too stupid to read it and understand it is the great tragedy of Western culture. Try using a little critical thought when you read. The only good stuff in it is in the New Testament, but none of the bible-thumpers seem to have read it. I promise you, nowhere does Jesus say "Blessed are the Money Grubbers" nor does he say "Blessed are the War Mongers."

People who read the bible and don't understand it are dangerous. People like me have been murdered because of misinterpretations in that book. Our country is sliding into a feudal theocracy, and I have no patience left for you sheep and your ignorance. PEOPLE ARE DYING BECAUSE OF YOU ***

Paxton said...

I agree that people who attempt to give Biblical sanction to unGodly things are dangerous. And I am a sheep but I am not ignorant, and I trust my shepherd =)

As for whether Lot was worth saving:

-- The fact remains that Lot's rescue was not a reward for offering his daughters up to be raped. In the text, Lot's abhorrent sin does not even intersect with God's reason for saving him. You cannot make inferences about either one from the other. You tell me to learn to read between the lines. I tell you to learn the read the lines.

-- No doubt Lot's offer was disgusting. The angels saved his daughters from the mob, and saved him from committing great wickedness out of fear and weakness and selfishness.

-- I am compelled by thoroughness to point out that Lot's motivation was not entirely bad. There was hospitality to guests, and perhaps aversion to homosexuality (another topic entirely, I won't say another word on it =). There was also a great deal of selfishness and cowardice, and a heartbreaking lack of love for his daughters. I will not pretend otherwise. His goodness does not cancel his rampant badness (but the reverse is also true).

-- I don't know Lot's heart either, and I don't even remember most of the stories about him, but I do not think that he was a "good man". I may not have thought him worth saving either. Yet God saved him, and he did so out of mercy.

Do you see what you are doing? You are condemning God's mercy on Lot. Lot was not worth saving, you say. Then you are condemning God for destroying other wicked people.

You criticize him for grace and mercy, and you criticize him for punishment. You are wrong on both accounts, because God is always good -- but even without believing in God's goodness, surely you can see that your two criticisms cannot BOTH be valid?

Jesus was, incidentally, very much a student of the Old Testament.

contratimes said...

How interesting to skew Christianity's elevation of faith by mocking its abhorrence of reason. Your weapon? Irrationalism.

First, you commit the fallacy of the straw man (straw woman, if you must) in your opening paragraph. Do you really think Christianity is that daft? Do you really think Christians, like Aquinas or Pascal or Descartes, C.S. Lewis or G.K. Chesterton or Joan of Arc or Dorothy Sayers; or Jews like Maimonides or Abraham Joshue Heschel, are illogical? Really? How interesting.

It is wildly interesting that you think that Goddess theology is logical, reason-based, positing for us that we can touch the Goddess, that she is all around us. For it is interesting to learn, not that you are a mystic, but that you are an empiricist. Of course, I am sure you have delved completely into all Western philosophy, you know, that part that deals with the irrationalism of basing truths on sense experience; the problems associated with knowledge in general, with phenomenology and so on. Surely you see that trusting reason's correspondence with experience is itself not deductively verifiable; surely you see that faith is involved in connecting what one touches with what is real, true.

Odd that you would find the Goddess, manifested all around us, as a source of love, when in fact the earth is an extremely inhospitable place. The earth is rife with pestilence, parasitism; competition breeds under every stone, in every stream bed, beneath every lambent moonbeam. There is no peace on this planet: beneath sunsets and dewy lawns; in trees and forest and fen; in the hollows of gentle dales and on the slopes of mighty peaks, there is nothing but pain and predation, and the fight for survival. Peace, love, justice, equality: these are quaint poetic and religious fictions, with no ontological correspondents in the Goddess world you say I can touch in my very lovely, sylvan back yard. You say you see a Goddess, while all I see is a vicious bacteria place. Is my vision irrational, or is yours?

Lastly, if the Goddess is all around me; if, as you say, she is me "in the mirror," then surely she is me when I am irrational; surely she is me when I am full of faith; surely, if she is indeed all things to all empirically minded persons, then she is, also, a Christian, for Christianity is part of the very world you say I can touch. In fact, if your argument holds water at all, then this must be true: The Goddess is irrational, full of faith, for the Goddess is Christianity.

Interesting.

contratimes said...

Alas! How could I have forgotten? For if what you said is true, that the Goddess is me in the mirror, then the Goddess has written everything I just typed.

Or am I misreading you?

Again, peace.

Athana said...

Peace, my good contratimes,

Are you certain what you “know” is what you know?

You say: “It is wildly interesting that you think that Goddess theology is logical, reason-based, positing for us that we can touch the Goddess, that she is all around us.”

Goddess theAlogy is most certainly not reason-based. Unless you define “reason” as something that comes through touch, sight, smell, and intuition.

And yes, I do think Christianity and your list of Christian thinkers and theologians are “daft” (using your word). They were sold a bill of goods. Even bright people are sometimes caught in traps.

“The irrationalism of basing truths on sense experience” as you put it, seems an irrational statement to me. Are you certain you really know where “Truth” comes from? Would you know “Truth” if you saw it?

“The earth is an extremely inhospitable place”? Hmmm. Can you swear to me that you really know how much joy and satisfaction any creature on this planet experiences before its death?

Excuse me, but if all you see of this world is “a vicious bacteria place,” then perhaps you need to consider cashing in your warrior god for a loving Goddess.

Again, sir, peace be with you. +

contratimes said...

Dear Athana,

I thank you for your response, but I am not sure I understand you.

You're answering my questions with questions (which is your right, of course), though my questions address things that you wrote:

Real religion can be seen and felt. No one needs “faith” in the green wingback chair sitting in your living room. It’s there, and you know it. It makes sense. Likewise, Goddess worshippers don’t need faith, since the Goddess too can be seen, touched, and heard. She’s the trees behind your house. She’s the wind rippling through the trees. She’s the brown earth, the hills, the green plants sprouting in spring. She’s you when you look in a mirror. She’s logical: she’s the Female source of all life. She says “Love others as all good mothers love their children.”

I am not the one who said I know anything about the Goddess or knowledge; you're the one who boasted this about yourself. You claimed that Goddess worshippers don't need faith; I made no such claim. Moreover, you said the Goddess is logical, I didn't; and you said that knowledge of her comes through the senses. So, your questions of me --"Are you certain you really know where 'Truth' comes from? Would you know "Truth" if you saw it?" -- are unfair, since they are questions you should be asking of yourself. I am the one who doubts your argument; I'm the skeptic who does not believe.

As for your criticism of my argument that the world is a vicious place, well, that still holds. The reification of ideas like peace, harmony, equality, and justice is a religious act, based entirely on faith; the earth gives us no evidence of any of these things. Darwin's foundational principles remain unchallenged: the earth is full of conflict and struggle for survival right down to the smallest one-celled organism. Peace is an illusion.

This is not me being dark or sullen or cynical. I am looking wide-eyed at the Goddess world, refusing to edit it according to some faith-based religious myth I hold. I mean, surely you would laugh at me if I suggested that the Iraqi family bombed last year had "much joy and satisfaction" before they were vaporized; or that the little girl raped for three days and buried alive (she died) could face death having once known "much joy and satisfaction;" or that the mother drowning her babies is not a sad sight, since I know "how much joy and satisfaction" her children had before they died? For if I did argue thusly, I would be justifying all kinds of horrors. I am merely pointing out one overwhelming fact; death is everywhere, death from pestilence, tsunami, volcano, avalanche, viper, tumor, fire, wind, water, lightning, spider, nerve gas, self; and mother and father and sister and brother; and since the Goddess is everywhere and everything, then the Goddess must be cruel, vicious and indifferent (since I can see these things). She is hardly loving, creating life as She does only to abuse and neglect it so fully; creating men and their warrior-gods to oppress women, creating myths that blind their adherents, myths that justify all kinds of suffering.

Peace to you, always,

BG