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The Phoenix Atheists Meetup Group Message Board General Discussion Forum › Some thoughts since I started reading the bible

Some thoughts since I started reading the bible

Chuck A.
user 77661062
Phoenix, AZ
Post #: 1
Hello all. Assured atheist here,but started project this year of reading entire bible.Just so I am sure what is in it.Hard work because its a lot of unreadable garbage tho. I can only do so much at a time as I get a tad depressed thinking I am stuck on a planet ,in a country full of people who "believe it", yet no way have read it.
Just a couple thoughts here.And having read Hitchens,Harris and Dawkins I will try not to repeat their observations. Okay, Moses and Aaron are in Pharaoh's office,Aaron throws down his staff and blammo snake. Wait pharaoh has guys and they do the same.Here is my issue,must be another god besides bible guy in room for Pharaohs guys to do that trick too. Not worried about Aarons snake eating theirs as bible just admitted a second god exists? And at no point does bible god do away with that one. Also considering how jewish people have fared compared to Egyptians since then which god is looking out best for his peeps?
Later Moses is getting ready to go get commandments.A few guys and Aaron have dinner with god.They see him ect.Fire and smoke and lightning come to cover mountains and moses goes up. Fireworks do not leave? People can see and hear rumbling yet decide another god is needed and start new religion ? So moses races down smashes tablets as soon as he gets there and lays waste.How do we know what was on them?
Both Elijah and Elisha heal lepers,part water and raise the dead.that implies those feats are no big deal?
Lastly for now,jacob is wrestling with god and god can't end it or what is that about.Suddenly god touches his hip and wins.
Thanks for letting me vent.I will continue reading but limit musings unless something else absurd piques me. I love thos bears mauling mouthy kids.
Bill
Solitary
Phoenix, AZ
Post #: 24
smile If you are having fun now, just wait until you get to Leviticus. When I was six years old and my mother, a Methodist---you know the kind that have a burning cross as a logo, and like to burn crosses in people yards that don't conform to their standards---who told me about the talking snake and donkeys in the Bible and flew into a rage when I question that that was ridiculous. Here is a good question for you about there being more than one god in the Bible. When Adam and Eve were thrown out of Eden, who were the gods that God was talking to?

And here is another good question: What Bible are you reading? There are many Bibles and other fairy tales. And lets not forget the Old Testament that is also suppose to be God's word that the new Testament believers don't use anymore because God is the ultimate tyrant they can't accept. Eve is not the first woman either, it is Lilith, who would not lay down for Adam while having sex and wanted to be on top. wink Solitary AKA Bill
Chuck A.
user 77661062
Phoenix, AZ
Post #: 2
Hi Bill.I am past leviticus(it took awhile and seems designed to thwart reading now).Into numbers.When it gets too silly I jump around taking care to read all of what I start for "context".
I am really wondering myself about the version.I found a revised New International Version bible in the condo I bought.As I am too cheap at this point to pay for crap literature I am starting there.It is interesting that many oddities I read about in books by others like Dawkins ect.have been edited out of this version.I am thinking bible is evolving to be BETTER than it started and remove as much garbage as possible.
Lilith sounds fun.
I have noticed some believers recommend I start with new testament.I guess old makes them wary? i don't relish pointing out ridiculousness of bible but hope to point out that much better ways to decide how to live exist.I hope thumpers can be made to see it clouds judgement and we all pay for badly cast ballots. Thanks for posting ,Chuck
Bill
Solitary
Phoenix, AZ
Post #: 25
wink Of course they don't want you to see the Old Testament, they will say they don't go by that one, "we only follow the New Testament." I guess they don't realize that is God's word also, because their leaders don't want them to know what it says. I spoke to a Catholic theologian, when I was young, that told me the Catholic Church never wanted people to read the Bible because they would interpret it wrong.

An example is what the Church originally thought about the soul that is not what the clergy or followers think now. It was not identified with the ego, or what a person thinks is their identity. It was simply a spirit of life (Energy or essence that transcends death) that God breathed into a new born baby to make it a living "human." Quite different now with the claim that a fetus is a baby or human isn't it?

You are probably too young to know that our Pledge of Allegiance did not have "under god" in it originally or when I was young. It seems there are a lot of Christians that want this country to be a theocracy rather than a secular nation. I guess they don't know that Islam is based on the same Testaments that they believe in. I can't believe they don't realize how bad that would be for them also, and other believers of different religions or that have none.

As for a good way to live, get a copy of the "original" teachings of Buddha, if you can. He was not a god or thought his teachings were divinely inspired. There were no "prayers" or dogmatic rules to follow, only suggestions on how to live well to reach nirvana. He also change his mind about an after life when he got older. I have had modern Buddhist tell me that I was too ignorant to know what he meant when he said, "Para nirvana (death) is like blowing out a flame on a candle" or "We would have been better to never have been born." There were also no rituals to follow. These are all from "modern" Buddhism schools that have been influence by the Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions. Keep up the good work you are doing! Bill
David S
David_S-Phoenix
Phoenix, AZ
Post #: 112
I think we need a bible-study for non-believers! wink
Tish
LocaRosa
Mesa, AZ
Post #: 44
Hi Chuck,

Thanks for starting this - I'm enjoying the conversation.

Yes, in the Christian Old Testament there are many references to other gods. Lots of different cultures in the Levant meant lots of different religions with lots of different gods. The conquering forces (Israelites) got to write the history.

So true Bill, we should not be surprised with the inconsistencies of any scripture.

Once you have finished with the Christian Old Testament, try reading the English Masoretic translation of the Jewish Tanakh. http://en.wikipedia.o...­

TANAKH is what Jewish folk call their scripture. They DO NOT call it the Old Testament. You will find many discrepancies and omissions between the Christian Old Testament and the Jewish Tanakh. Jewish scripture was originally composed from oral sources into Hebrew and Aramaic; then, translated into Greek when Greece conquered the area; then, translated into Latin when Rome ruled; then into English for various other sectarian dogmas. Can you imagine the errors of scribes translating by hand?! Or the changes of meaning to promote various religious agenda?!

David, before the PAMG book club disbanded, we read some books from a Christian perspective on this topic by Bart Ehrman. From a Jewish viewpoint Richard Elliot has a book focusing on Torah (first 5 books of Jewish scripture). And Raphael Patai has a book I really like on the various ancient sources contributing to Jewish myths in Bereshith (aka Genesis).

Chuck A.
user 77661062
Phoenix, AZ
Post #: 3
Thanks everyone.I am tired tonite so will post tomorrow more throughly.I have read some about Buddhism and see some help there. (also some Kerouac). I am probably not ready to subscribe too any set of beliefs.I doubt I ever will. I have also read some idea of god having a wife(asherah) and the male scribes editing that out for political(power) reasons.One minor purpose for reading the bible is to gently try and get some people in my circle to just maybe consider that their solid republican votes (one issue voters,abortion) affect lots of other facets. I also think its best to understand as much as possible about anything you are taking a position on.Even being able to change your own perception.not saying I will ever believe in any gods,I am going to need evidence in the standard sense to believe that,(or aliens,bigfoot,nellie and leprechauns)Or even cubs winning it all. Nite all and play safe this holiday.
Bill
Solitary
Phoenix, AZ
Post #: 26
I think we need a bible-study for non-believers! wink

Hi David! I have just the bible for doing this---THE ATHEIST BIBLE---here is a short example of what it says: Did God create our universe? If so, who created him? "The Atheist's Bible" tackles these complex and important ancient mysteries. With the discoveries of modern science, author Geoff Linsley offers a new look at the questions most philosophers throughout history have thought unanswerable. Mysteries such as "Why does the universe exist as it does?" and "When did it come about?" are newly thought to be demystified by modern science.

Mixing scientific knowledge with common sense, Linsley answers these questions in an easy-to-understand dialogue. "The Atheist's Bible" compiles the case for an atheistic universe in a thorough discussion, provides facts that science has gathered about existence, and creates a new view of the nature of our universe.

Linsley searched through scientific discussions of how nature operates, through religious wisdom, and through topics thought to be paranormal to present the first complete theory regarding the origin and evolution of existence and humanity. A collection of several books with individual purposes, "The Atheist's Bible" furthers humanity's understanding of reality and helps to overcome its fear of the unknown. Linsley challenges the realm of theism and looks outside of it to explain how our universe functions.

Good to see your face again, even though it's not as blurry this time. confused He! He! Bill
Bill
Solitary
Phoenix, AZ
Post #: 27
Holla Crazy Rose! Thanks for responding. You mentioned the Tanakh. I find it interesting that the Native Americans that came over to North America from Russia are considered to be the Chosen People by some historians. Having a mother that was half Cherokee and Choctaw I have studied Native American lore and know the word they use for a white buffalo that is sacred to them is called Tanaka. It is probably a coincidence, but makes me wonder. I can't remember now, but I have heard of other words and things in Native American lore that support this also.

The Lakota Indians believe the Great Spirit is Wakan Tanka. The Maricopa tribe of Arizona consider the Earth was the mother and the Sky the father of creation. To all Native Americans the whole world is sacred united by a mysterious unseen power, the living spirit of the Great Mystery. Religious myths are interesting, especially how they have all evolved from former myths---all of which were considered as fact in their time, from the human condition of believing in magical thinking instead of sound and critical thinking. Bill

Richard K.
Lose_The_Woo
Mesa, AZ
Post #: 147
I think we need a bible-study for non-believers! wink

We could call it Comedy Book Club!
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Phoenix, AZ

Founded Feb 23, 2003

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