Monday, April 7, 2014

Genesis 8 - 20

So after my first blog post I had two arguments essentially given to me. The first being that I mentioned that taking everything literally while understanding that some of it may be meant metaphorically was basically going against myself. I have to agree to this statement because,'s true. I'm not pouring hours upon hours into this and very little editing or structure is going to come into play. It's just generally ideas as they come up. Having said that, it's also dangerous to take the text strictly metaphorically. First of all there are a LOT of people who believe it is the literal word of God, and don't you dare say otherwise. Secondly it stays fairly unbelievable throughout, so I would have to discount ALL of the stories as metaphorical if I took the course of anything hard to swallow must not have been meant as literal. So anyways, that's a lot of words to say, I'm lazy and inconsistent. Oops.

The second thing brought against my first post was that without digging deeper into things historically, philosophically, and linguistically that a lot of what's going on is going to be missed. This issue I also agree with and regret more than the first. I just don't have the time. So at some junctions I will detour into digging through a thing or two, and I may even start one blog entry by going back and covering something in a previous one, but for the most part this will stay the course it's on.

I was told the question I raised in my first entry on where did Cain's wife come from, or where did all the wives in general come from was easily answered. So I went to my good friend Google and it tells me that of course Adam and Eve had a boatload of children, sons and daughters, so it can be inferred that Cain took one of his sisters for a wife. Now I'm not sure if this was the answer the person intended me to find, but I don't think it solves anything. We know now that having children with your siblings causes quite a bit of complications for the baby. The chance of the kid being born in a bad way goes up quite a lot. So if everyone born in the beginning was born from the same branch of the family tree, and it went that way generation to generation.....well one could imagine the genes would be pretty fried. So enter Genesis 8 where this problem compounds itself. God killed everyone on the planet with a flood except Noah and his family. Which means that after the entire population started from two points, it got reset and started AGAIN from two points. So the next time you bring up evolution and someone gets upset because they couldn't possibly conceive coming from a monkey, maybe remind them then that they must have come from two pretty thorough rounds of inbreeding.

At this point the flood is over all the ark has come to rest on top of a mountain. Now we know the water was deep enough during the flood to cover the highest mountain, but what we're not told is how all the animals and Noah and his family breathed that thin oxygen at that altitude for so long. But luckily for him it's all over. I wonder if when all the animals got to leave the ark if it was like the scene in Hunger Games where they come out of those tubes in the ground and start fighting. There had to be some hungry carnivores in that boat waiting for a good meal.

Speaking of good meals, Noah then cooked up some bacon for the Lord, and because bacon is so good he promised never to wipe us all out again......Really? A little bit of meat and it's like "Oh, my bad. You guys aren't such huge dickheads after all. Let's be BFFs and pass the gravy please." Turns out in Genesis 9:4 though that God doesn't like his meat rare, because it's a no-no to eat it if it still has blood in it. Now an interesting note here, this is why some Jehovah's Witnesses won't get blood transfusions, because it's "blood eating". So as I mentioned in the last post, nobody is 100% sure who wrote Genesis, but there are people willing to die horrible deaths instead of receive modern medical treatment because it says in Genesis not to....(as a note I do realize this is mentioned in other parts of the Bible). On top of that, Catholics go for the original sin idea found in Genesis, but are ok with drinking wine that turns into blood during communion. Can someone please explain any of this to me?

On a slightly happier note, God makes rainbows to remind himself that he promised not to kill us all again.

So at this point Noah starts a vineyard to get drunk. I'm going to assume that not speaking up for his fellow man and letting every last one of them drown horribly maybe didn't sit so well with him, so he turned to drinking. He gets drunk, passes out naked, and then his son Ham we are left to imagine rapes him. He wakes up and curses not Ham for raping him, but Ham's son Canaan. I would point out how little sense this makes, but Noah was probably still fuzzy from the wine and raping, so we'll let it go.

Genesis 10 is just a lot more begetting going on.

Genesis 11 is the tower of Babel. Basically everyone speaks the same language, and so they're able to work together and start building a tower to heaven. God then comes down from heaven, scatters them all, and gives them different languages to speak so they can't talk to each other and pull that kind of shenanigan on him again. So two problems here, the first being that they were building up to heaven and he came down from heaven, but we've been to space and we didn't crash into heaven on the way up there. Secondly, we've overcome the language barrier now, so is nothing restrained from us? Would that mean we no longer need God as we're perfectly capable without? Oh yeah, and some more begetting goes on.

Genesis 12 God basically decides Abraham is cool and he's going to bless him. So Abraham and his wife Sarah go to Egypt, but Abraham realizes his wife is a hottie and the Egyptians will kill him to steal her away, so he makes her tell everyone that she's his sister so he won't get killed. So the Pharaoh takes a liking to Sarah and takes her in, so God gets mad and sends some plagues. So Pharaoh asks Abraham what's up and kicks him and his girl out.

Genesis 13 Abraham and Lot can't get along, so Abraham tells lot to take his sheep and go one way and he'll go the other. Lot settles into a nice place outside of Sodom and God gives Abraham a bunch of land.

Genesis 14 some war goes on and Lot gets captured, so Abraham gathers up some people and goes on a rescue mission. Then everybody celebrates their victory.

Genesis 15 starts with God coming to Abraham in a vision. Why didn't he just come to him in person like he had before? Anyways he promises him his descendants will get a bunch of land.

Genesis 16 starts with Sarah really wanting some kids, so she tells Abraham to knock up her slave. Abraham obliges and slave gets knocked up. Then Sarah gets jealous and Abraham tells her to handle it however and she throws down on her pregnant slave till she flees. God finds the runaway pregnant slave and tells her to go back to being a slave. So she goes back and pops out Ishmael.

Genesis 17 God promises Abraham a bunch of good stuff as long as he circumcises all his kids and his slaves. God tells him Sarah will pop out Isaac and that Ishmael will have a bunch of mini-Ishmaels. So Abraham goes home and has a circumcision party.

Genesis 18 Abraham does what Noah did not do and asks God not to nuke Sodom because they can't be that bad.

Genesis 19 So two angels go to Sodom and go to Lot's house. He takes them in and feeds them and all of a sudden every horny dude in town comes over and asks Lot to bring them to them so they can rape them. Lot recommends everyone rape his two virgin daughters instead since, you know it would be rude to rape the company and all. (WTF) So the angels tell Lot to get his family out of Sodom because it's about to get real. So they leave and God nukes the place. Lot's poor wife turns around, probably thought she left the oven on, and turns into a pillar of salt. So Lot and his two daughters go to live in a cave. Then Lot's two daughters decide to get him drunk and rape him. So they took turns doing that and got knocked up.

Genesis 20 has Abraham pulling the "The wife is my sister" card again, and again causes some strife.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Genesis 1-7

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.