So I've joined an Atheistic book club that is reading the Bible from front-to-back over the course of a year. The overall idea is to read and share thoughts and ideas about the text and just explore it without the usual "you're not allowed to ask this or that" approach that comes from a more religious reading. This opens a lot of doors I've never really had open while reading it in any other fasion. While this has a great possibility to turn into picking on things for being silly, I'm hoping it also offers a chance to evaluate where there may be good moral ideas as well as where there may be not so good ones. As a Humanist this is why the Bible continues to fascinate me. It's a give and take on so many different levels that get glanced over way too often.
So this will be my "companion blog" to kind of get down my thoughts and ideas as I go through the book. Some of these may be long entries as I have a tendency to dive into things quite a bit when I find them interesting. Some of these may also be extremely short as I just have one or two observations for that day's reading.
I will say this; this is going to be an unfiltered view. It is mine and mine only. I will question everything I deem worthy of questioning. While a lot of people requested that I do this blog, I do not recommend everyone read it. If you are struggling with your faith you will find no solace here, so please move along. If you are easily offended I recommend you do the same. This isn't meant to attack anyone but to merely catalog my own thoughts as I go through this, so take nothing personally, but know that what you hold dear I necessarily do not. If you are religious feel free to read it and solidify your faith by refuting my questions on your own. Maybe you can start a companion companion blog? You know, as God said to Noah, "Whatever floats your boat." Oh yeah, and I'll probably make a few bad jokes.
So before I get started, if you would like to follow along, here is the schedule for reading:
So the beggining. Genesis. The book of Genesis is an Atheist's playground. It's just one contradiction begats another contradiction begats another......etc. etc. etc. We love it. It's what we call low-hanging fruit. But we all know the Earth and the entire Universe weren't made in seven days. You can't have night and day before stars that make light. So on and so on and so on. So let's skip all that shall we?
So my first question is who wrote this? Well according to Google it was Moses, or maybe God with a little help from Adam and Moses, or maybe these four other guys and Moses or Noah was the editor, or maybe.....the point is nobody knows. But that should be kind of a big deal right? I mean the idea of original sin comes from Genesis, so if we don't know where Genesis came from, shouldn't we be a bit leary on taking stock on the details?
So maybe the point of the first couple of chapters isn't to catalog the creation of all things, but to set up God as 1) Pretty powerful and 2) a rule maker. Fair enough. My problem at this point is God makes some completely illogical choices. He puts two people in a garden with talking animals and says "Hey don't eat from this tree and that tree." Problem is one of those trees holds the knowledge that disobedience is wrong. So it was simply inevitable that one of thsoe two trees was going to get snacked on at some point.
Enter the second problem I came across - I thought God was all knowing. Yet he asks Adam if they ate the fruit from the do not eat tree. Shouldn't he have known? He also asks Cain what happened to Abel. Well.....yea......You liked Abel's bacon more, so what'd you expect to happen. Also while we're on the subject, if God made Adam and Eve and they had two kids, where do all these wives come from? There's too much knowing and begatting going on.
Let's move onto the great flood. So Noah builds a wooden ship larger than any wooden ship that has ever been built, even though it's his first time building one.....Then he fits the millions of types of animals and all the food for said animals and his family aboard said ship for forty days and forty nights. Ok.....
So here's my issue with this. We're told that Noah is pretty much the most righteous moral dude in all the land. So God says, he get on this boat while I kill EVERYTHING. Noah just gets on the boat and sails off. Ok, well....if someone says they're going to kill all my friends, neighbors, and even that guy down the road Pete thatI don't like very much, well....I'm probably going to tell them to screw off. I'm certainly not joining their team.
*note if you're easily offended by rationale please stop reading now*
So let's say Hitler asks you to get on a train and come with him because he really likes you and he's going to bomb the entire town you're in into oblivion because they're not good Nazis. If you get on the train are you a good moral person? I'd say no.