Many religious and secular scholars know that the Bible is not based on facts, but it is often claimed that one of the major reasons for continuing to spread the Christian belief is the moral teaching of the Bible. I guess without religion we would all be too stupid to figure out all by ourselves what is right and what is wrong. However, the main teaching of the bible is to obey god; consequently, if God is not moral then the bible isn't a moral guide. How much does belief in God have to do with morality? God is always watching, and those who don't obey Him will be condemned to eternal hell. Believers are told that if they believe in and obey God they will live forever; it's fear of hell and the desire for immortality that believers are going through the paces for - it's not about morality.
The 10 commandments were copied from chapter 125 in the Egyptian book of the dead; they existed long before God incredulously gave the "Ten Commandments" to Moses on the top of Mount Sinai. The God who commands things like rape, murder, and slavery is at the same time described as the source for morality in the world. There are many examples in the Bible of God ordering people to commit immoral acts or acts of violence against their fellow man. Most of the lessons in the Bible demonstrate setting aside common moral behavior in order to please God. God frequently orders and sanctions acts that violated His own moral law against murder. God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac. The commandment against murder is suspended so that Abraham can prove his obedience to God.
If God doesn't follow his own moral laws then He is immaterial for establishing a moral code of ethics. We know what is right or wrong without God, but I'm not too sure He does. Religion is just needless as a moral guide. All over the world people who believe in the Bible have very different ideas of what is right or wrong because of cultural differences, not religious differences.
Under god's law all sin is equal and all sinners deserve to be condemned to burn in hell forever. This is torture which most civilized cultures denounce. Job 4:17 "Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his maker?" Under mans law all violations of the law are not equal, and the punishments are not equivalent either. If the punishment doesn't fit the crime then it is vengeance not justice; a moral entity would be more interested in justice than vengeance. Deuteronomy 24:16. The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin. That means no one can die for your sins? No person (or Lamb of God) can receive the death penalty to pay for the crimes of another person. This is in conflict with the fact that (it is written) God blames everyone for the "original sin" of Adam and Eve. God was completely in agreement with the torture and killing of his son Jesus for everyone else's sins. I would think that a perfect god could make up his mind. Many Bible passages are contradictory concerning Gods moral guide, and many of them are immoral by self-governing standards. There are passages where God expressly commands others to kill people, and several stories where God irrationally kills or tries to kill for no apparent reason. Violence is definitely the most often mentioned activity in the Bible. There is a huge conflict between what is written in the Bible and civilized people's concept of what is just, loving, caring and benevolent. God justifies slavery and defines women as inferiors and the property of men. There is no industrialized or civilized country that would sanction genocide, but God ordered it many times. Anyone can deny these facts, but they are the facts, and these facts seriously question the morality of the God of the Bible. 'The Golden Rule' according to Jesus when he was asked what is the greatest commandment of the law, Jesus replied, "Love thy Lord."
Confucius 6th century BC Chinese sage and founder of Confucianism from the Analects "love thy neighbor as thyself. Do nothing to thy neighbor, which thou wouldst not have him do to thee hereafter." These were verses were not original to the gospels. The Sermon on the Mount is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew and Luke about fifty years after Jesus allegedly gave the sermon. The Gospels of Mark and John say nothing about The Sermon on the Mount and neither do Paul, Peter or John because the Sermon on the Mount was recorded in the Book of Enoch at least 100 years before Christ, as the Dead Sea Scrolls reveal.
The Dead Sea Scrolls tell the story of a Jewish movement based in Qumran going back at least 100 years BCE until the year 70 CE when the Qumrans were totally destroyed. They were waiting for the messiah to appear and deliver them. The messiah according to their Jewish belief was not a God figure; their messiah was to be an empowered King who would destroy the enemies of the Jews and regain their Holy Land. According to the prophecies the messiah never came. Nowhere in the Dead Sea Scrolls is the name of Jesus. What the people who say they are Christians believe is just not based on any facts.
The Christian beliefs are based on the stories told by the Romans who combine existing beliefs to create a religion based on a messiah mixed with popular pagan myths to end a civil war, unite the Roman Empire and make Constantine the only Emperor. Constantine called the council of Nicaea to deify Jesus. The deity Jesus' (a human sacrifice for sin comes from the pagans as well) birth date 25th of December was chosen to coincide with the pagan rebirth of the sun festival in order to entice the sun worshiping pagans over to Christianity. Italian archaeologists have unearthed an underground grotto that they believe ancient Romans revered as the place where a wolf nursed Rome's legendary founder Romulus and his twin brother Remus. A few feet from the grotto is the Basilica of St. Anastasia that Emperor Constantine built where Christmas was first celebrated on 25th Dec. Christianity did not end paganism; it embraced it.
The problem with following the Christian belief or myth is that it makes it possible for people to do evil by deferring to God's sense of morality and not what is in fact moral. These kinds of beliefs give some people an excuse to harm others because of intolerance while using the "obeying God" excuse. Belief in God or any Holy Book does not necessarily inspire moral behavior, even though, the believers promote the idea that the solution to social problems is more religious belief when it is abundantly clear that it has no effect on society's ills at all. This has been proven by investigative studies that examined the least religious industrialized countries and they had far less violent crime, unwanted pregnancies and a much higher sense of social justice than the countries that are very religious.
The parable of the Good Samaritan in the New Testament is an anti-Semitic tale. Anti-Semitism was a central part of Christianity, because the Romans were at war with the Jews over slavery and other issues. The Romans didn't care what religion anyone adopted they were at odds with the Jews over political issues. Christianity was thought up to prevent the slaves from joining forces with the Jews. The motive for "The parable of the Good Samaritan" was to show the virtuosity of Christian morality over Jewish morality. If the writer of Luke 10-29 only wanted to demonstrate morality with this tale why pick a Samaritan (an enemy of the Jews). Samaritans were opposed to the Jewish Temple at Jerusalem, and the Samaritans built a rival temple on Mount Gerizim. The Jews would go around Samaria to get to Jerusalem. Jesus allegedly told the Parable of the Good Samaritan that is recorded in Luke. Why would Jesus, a Jew himself, spin a story elevating this group of people over his own in morality? The story depicts the Jews not helping the man in distress. Luke is a title not a name (nobody knows the author) but the storyteller certainly would have known, that the priest and the Levite of his story were types of the Jewish clergy depicted as indifferent or merciless. The Torah commands the practice of kindness to non-Jews - to everyone. The needy person's belief does not change the obligation; the Jew must practice ways of peace toward that individual or group.
There is proof of the anti-Semitism of Christianity from the beginning. Pope Innocent III called the Fourth Lateran Council 1215 (Christian Era) to further influence the masses in supporting the Pope as the universal authority of the Roman Empire. One of the obvious indications of the hostility felt by Christians toward the Jews was the Council mandating that Jews wear special identifying markings on their clothing. Jews were prohibited from holding public office, and a tax was forced on them for being Jewish. This Council produced the document (Latin) Extra Ecclesiam nulla (meaning) Outside the Church there is no salvation. This is a statement that non-Christians are not considered worthy of civilized treatment and acts of violence against them was acceptable - not immoral. From God's mouth to the Pope's ears.
A Jew was accused of host desecration in 1243 and this led to every last Jewish person in Berlitz being burned alive, and there were many more atrocities against Jews and others using this fake charge. These people thought that God was telling them to perform heinous acts that they would not under any other circumstances ever even conceive of doing. God is defined to be good, no matter how lethal or heinous His acts. If obeying God's whim is considered a moral imperative as Christians claim the case for an objective morality is lost.
Hitler in Mein Kampf states his belief in God numerous times, including this statement: "Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."
"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it 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." Nobel laureate Stephen Weinberg
Some of the first things that turned me off of religion and the god of the bible were the utter immoralities in it. Start off with the fact that Abraham and Sarah are related to each other, then marry each other. Ew. Follow that up with the condoning of slavery, the subjugation of women (all because of an apple, for christ's sake), the murderous rampages, the "sacrificial" slaughter of animals, etc. If this "holy" book were written by someone today-someone starting a new religious movement -human rights groups and therapists would be on every talk show warning you to stay away from it-it is an abusive and irrational cult.
Sometimes reality isn't pleasant. When you are an adult and have had enough life experiences, you realize a lot of things about the "morality" of god. For instance, why would god allow thousands of little children to be used for prostitution and human trafficking? Why was Adam Walsh murdered? Why are there companies like Formosa Plastics being allowed to poison our water and food, and cause children to be born with horrible birth defects? To me, there is no justifiable answer that you could give me to say that an "all loving and all powerful" god allows such things.
I don't know if the fruit was an apple, the bible never said exactly what the fruit was, but the "curse" was brought about because Eve acquired wisdom through eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge. The moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened. That is what caused god's curse, and that curse is why man needs to seek redemption through Jesus. This is the same Jesus whose very existence depends on documents that are proven forgeries and the stories by unknown authors in the Gospels, who wrote contradictory accounts long after the events.
The bible warns against acquiring knowledge throughout, but when the evangelicals interpret the story of the Garden of Eden in Genesis they claim that disobedience is the "sin" in story. The story in Genesis says God cursed the ground, and there is not one word about "sin" or "original sin" in the story.
This story is not in the Hebrew Scriptures, because this story started with Christianity, and those promoting Christianity. It's a way to get people to believe that they are damned to hell and need to accept Christianity as a way out of damnation. There is no concept of hell in the Hebrew Scripture.
Disobedience is not the reason for the "curse" it was their desire to be wise, or to gain knowledge. That was the only reason they should not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. The story of the tree of knowledge is certainly about gaining a higher knowledge. The ignorant Eve was surely no contest for the talking snake that persuaded her to eat the fruit. God should have warned her against talking to snakes.
Christianity thrived because it was preached to the illiterate, ignorant peasants; scholars rejected Christianity. The scholars who rejected Christianity were accused of being (smart alecks) heretics and they were murdered. Christianity hangs on ignorance, superstition and fear.
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The ACA Lecture Series continues Sunday, February 4th, 12:15pm at the Austin History Center, 9th and Guadaupe. Chase Hunter will speak on "Inside Scientology 2: the Sea Org". The lecture is free and open to the public. The building opens at noon.