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Common Creationist Arguments - Morality ^

Posted on 03/10/2002 11:53:20 AM PST by JediGirl

Common Creationist Arguments


The subject of religious morality is a thorny one. Believers of Judaism, Christianity or Islam bristle at any suggestion that their religions may justify or encourage violence, yet they all must deal with histories of incredible violence, many of which are enshrined in their own holy books. Worse yet, they actually have the gall to vilify atheism, secularism, and humanism as the source of immorality!

My position on the morality of Islam, Christianity, or Judaism is simple: most modern followers are somewhat moderate, and I don't have any problem with them. They balance their ideologies against the values of secular humanism, and they come up with a compromise that, I suspect, works very well for them. Moreover, most of them are not even aware of the sheer extent of the violence and hatred in the Old Testament (see my Reference page on Old Testament violence, and you may be surprised).

However, the so-called "far-right" fundamentalists are a different breed; they have generally studied the Old Testament, and they don't see anything wrong with it. They will look you straight in the eye and insist that there was nothing wrong with butchering the women and children and little babies of Jericho, or that it was "just" and "righteous" to murder the babies of Egypt for the sins of their fathers!

To forgive or defend such atrocities is to proclaim that one's ideology is more "real" and more important than human life itself, and therein lies the seeds of violent fanaticism. When faced with such delusional zealotry, most people simply try to walk away, under the assumption that it is best to let sleeping dogs lie. Most people let them spout their hatred towards atheists, humanists, "pagans", heretics, and everyone else who doesn't share their ideology, because most people don't want to get into an argument about religion.

However, I am not "most people". I believe that if a zealot wants to start an argument about the "immorality" of secularism, he should expect criticism of his own belief system in return. I believe that zealots should not be buoyed by the apparent reluctance of others to confront them directly. I believe that religious beliefs are not a sacred shield against criticism, and that if someone defends atrocities, they should be held accountable for that, just as Nazi sympathizers and apologists are vilified in society today. And so, in addition to my Biblical Morality pages, I present the following arguments.

Please note that when I say "God" in the following arguments, I'm referring specifically to God as envisioned by the fundamentalists, and as described in the Old Testament. Their God is hopefully not the same as your God, if you have one.

"How can you defend the morality of evolution theory? Could anything be more ruthless than "survival of the fittest"?

Evolution theory identifies natural selection as an existing mechanism in nature. It did not invent it. It does not praise it. It does not pass any kind of moral judgement upon it. Evolution theory only describes it. Don't shoot the messenger.

"How can you defend secularism, with its drug abuse, divorce rate, pornography, and materialism?

Don't be ridiculous. Secularism has nothing to do with drug abuse or divorce rates. In fact, the largest opium producer in the world is the Taliban religious theocracy in Afghanistan, and in the 18th century, it was evangelical Britain. Furthermore, there is no evidence whatsoever that divorce rates are higher among atheists than they are among Christians, and in fact, the only attempt to produce statistical evidence for such a difference (a Barna Research study) backfired on its Christian backers: it found that Christians were more likely to divorce than atheists!

As for pornography and materialism, you have yet to produce evidence that either is bad. Pornography is merely the open expression of human sexuality, and while it may offend your prudish Victorian sensibilities, it is a victimless "crime" and there is nothing immoral about it. Violent pornography or child pornography is immoral, but it is the violence and statutory rape that makes it immoral, not the fact that it is pornography. Statutory rape is immoral regardless of whether it is filmed, and excessive violence in films is immoral regardless of whether sex is involved. As for materialism, it is merely the notion that the material world is all that exists; it is the underlying philosophy of science, and it is hardly immoral. You are obviously confusing it with greed, and quite frankly, given the history of church greed (particularly in the Catholic church, not to mention modern television evangelists), you throw stones from a glass house.

In short, there is no evidence whatsoever for a difference in ethical behaviour between atheists and Christians, despite the incredible volume of slanderous bigoted remarks made about atheists by Christian preachers across the world every Sunday. Your religion does not make you better than me. Get over it.

"Secularism condones hedonism: if it feels good, do it. Where's the moral self-restraint?"

Strawman. It's not "if it feels good, do it". It's "if it feels good and you're not hurting anyone, feel free to do it". And while that may offend your masochistic values of self-denial, it is not immoral. Self-restraint is admirable if it is employed toward some useful goal, such as not over-eating in order to preserve one's health or not succumbing to anger in a difficult situation. However, pointless self-restraint is simply stupid, and avoiding pleasure simply for the sake of self-denial is definitely pointless.

In fact, the world could use a little more hedonism and a little less ideology. When Hitler seized power and began to exterminate Jews, did he derive any physical pleasure from it? No, he was fighting for a twisted ideology. When terrorists plant car bombs, do they derive any physical pleasure from it? No, they are fighting for an ideology. Does anyone derive any physical pleasure from war? No, the soldiers fight and kill for ideologies and nation-states, and the politicians order them to do it for the same reasons, or in some cases, out of lust for power.

Even rape is not motivated by pleasure. More than half of all sexual assaults do not even involve a complete act of copulation. Many rapists can't do it at all; they are impotent, or they have reduced sexual function. Furthermore, sex with a struggling victim can't possibly provide the same kind of physical pleasure as sex with a willing partner. Rapists get off not on physical pleasure, but on their ability to dominate and humiliate their victims. They get off on their victims' pain and anguish, and physical pleasure quite frankly has little or nothing to do with it.

Many other social problems such as drug abuse and adultery and drug abuse are also not motivated by physical pleasure. People become drug abusers because of poor self-esteem and poor judgement, not physical pleasure. Anyone with even the most vague knowledge of drugs will know that while they may provide a short-term "hit", they eventually burn out the pleasure centres in your brain, thus robbing you of all life's physical pleasures. In the long term, drugs reduce physical pleasure. And what of adultery? Adultery is motivated by the excitement of its illicit nature and perhaps by dissatisfaction with one's marriage. However, to put it bluntly, another woman's vagina will not feel a whole lot different than your wife's vagina. To put it even more bluntly, the vagina of the most beautiful woman in the world won't feel any better than the vagina of an unattractive woman. Men stray for myriad psychological reasons, none of which have anything to do with physical pleasure. In the end, adultery is a relationship problem, not a hedonist problem.

You may find that my defense of hedonism offends your sensibilities. If so, ask yourself whether the world would be a more peaceful and harmonious place if people simply pursued their own physical pleasure instead of fighting over nation-states and ideologies. Whether it be good food, a good massage, or good sex, physical pleasure in and of itself harms no one. However, its demonization by religious zealots has harmed a lot of people.

"You're being unfair to the Bible. You mention all of the worst parts, but what about the good parts?"
[This is usually followed by a list of nice quotes from the Bible, such as "Thou Shalt Not Kill" or "Love Thy Neighbour"]"

You can't cancel out evil words or deeds by saying something nice. If your neighbour beats his wife but tells you that he abhors violence, would you believe him? Of course not! So if God murders and tortures millions of people but tells you that he's a "God of Love", why do you believe him? Al Capone once said that "you can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word." He was talking about his own ruthless approach to life, but he could just as easily have been talking about the Old Testament God.

Yes, God has a few kind words in the Bible. However, like Al Capone, he bundles every kind word with threats of violence, and then he ruthlessly demonstrates his capacity for violence, so that you will take those threats seriously. From his genocidal bloodlust in the Great Flood to his massacres at Sodom and Gomorrah, his infanticide in Egypt, his ethnic cleansing of Canaan, and his violent persecution of heretics, God demonstrated stunning cruelty and ruthlessness all throughout the Old Testament. And with his promise to torture unbelievers for all eternity, he attempts to enslave us through fear of even greater horrors. You can't make up for that kind of evil by simply saying a few nice things.

"You're wrong about the Bible. In [insert passage name here], it says quite clearly that [God never changes, God is perfect, God is just, God is merciful, whatever]. So much for your claim that [God changes, God is not perfect, God is unjust, God is unmerciful, whatever]"

Adolf Hitler claimed that he was perfect too. Get it? It doesn't matter whether God describes himself as perfect! What matters are his actions, and his actions speak for themselves. He commits all sorts of atrocities that are classified as acts of evil when committed by a human. Unlike moral relativists like you, I insist that the definition of evil is absolute. Evil is evil, regardless of who does it. Adolf was evil for his brutality, and God is evil for his brutality. God punishes children for the sins of their fathers. He murders indiscriminately: women, children, babies in their cribs. And after all of that, Jesus claims that he is a God of "love". In other words, God can change (or at least, claim to), he is imperfect, he is unjust, and he is unmerciful. The fact that his propaganda denies it proves nothing.

"God is all knowing and all powerful. We cannot judge God."

Power = righteousness? Wrong. The growth of the secular humanist democratic state is the direct result of people finally realizing that power does not confer unquestioned moral authority. That's why we replaced "rulers" with "public servants".

Evil is evil, no matter who does it. Kings, queens, emperors, and gods must observe the same ethics as everyone else, so if we can judge Adolf Hitler for mass murder, we can judge God for the same thing.

"The massacres of the Old Testament were righteous because God rewarded his innocent victims (such as children and babies) with an eternity of bliss. Only the truly guilty were truly punished, and they only got what they deserved."

Two-part rebuttal:

#1: So massacres are OK because innocent victims go to Heaven, eh? Thank you for demonstrating so clearly that I am 100% correct. Your religious beliefs do help you rationalize atrocities such as baby-killing! I have always maintained that the chief problem with Judaism and its offshoots is that it contains justifications for murder, warfare, and crimes against humanity, and you have just proven me right.

#2: So sinners get what they deserve in Hell, eh? How can anyone possibly deserve an eternity of torture? Even if you tortured ten people to death, their combined suffering would be a drop in the ocean compared to an eternity in Hell. And what of people who simply worship the wrong gods? Do they "deserve" an etenity of torture too? Is this God's "perfect justice"? If our justice systems were as harsh as God's "perfect justice", spitting on the sidewalk would be a death penalty offense.

"What gives us the right to judge anyone, much less God? Only a higher power has the right to pass judgement."

One word: Why?

Why does "higher power" confer the right to judge? Why should the powerful be exempt from judgement? Why can't the weak judge the strong?

I am nauseated by the common belief that judgement is based on a hierarchy of power rather than a rational, objective, analytical process. I am sickened by the common belief that standards of right and wrong should be unilaterally chosen by the strong and then imposed upon the weak through force, rather than being decided by the weak themselves, through reason, sympathy for others, and a genuine desire to make the world a happier place.

Throughout history, it has always been the weak who suffer from evil, whether it be Hitler's evil, Stalin's evil, Torquemada's evil, Columbus' evil, or God's evil. Who, then, is best qualified to judge what is and isn't evil, if not the weak? Who but the victim has the "right" to judge?

The authoritarian mindset betrayed by your argument is nothing more than medievalism, and it has no place in the modern era. Didn't you ever notice that a criminal suspect is judged by twelve of his peers? Not by a king, not by a bishop, and not by a pope, but by his own peers. Didn't you ever think to ask why?

"Jesus died on the Cross for our sins. Doesn't this prove that God truly loves us? He sent his own son to die for us! The only way to Heaven is through the Salvation of Jesus Christ. His perfect love ... [yadda yadda yadda]"

Tell me something about this "Salvation" of yours. Salvation implies a threat, correct? You must be saved from something. So who or what are we supposedly being saved from? God himself. What's the danger from which we need salvation? An eternity of agonizing torture, courtesy of a "loving" God. Call it God, call it Jesus, call it the Holy Trinity or the Heavenly Host, but whatever the name, the result is the same: he's supposedly "saving" us from himself.

Quite frankly, salvation doesn't mean a whole lot when the person "saving" you is the same person who's threatening you! The notion of Christian salvation is quite frankly the most incredibly audacious example of spin-doctoring in human history. If a mugger holds a gun to your head and says that out of his love for you, he will "save" you from his own violence as long as you give him your money, would you think him wondrously merciful? Would you be glad you ran into him? Or would you think that he's a deranged, violent sociopath?

TOPICS: Philosophy
KEYWORDS: creation; crevolist; evolution; religion
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1 posted on 03/10/2002 11:53:20 AM PST by JediGirl
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To: crevo_list
here we go round again.... :-D
2 posted on 03/10/2002 11:57:09 AM PST by JediGirl
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To: JediGirl
Very well done.
3 posted on 03/10/2002 12:26:51 PM PST by gcruse
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To: JediGirl
For a serious analysis of certain aspects of Christian morality versus atheism go here:

4 posted on 03/10/2002 12:29:00 PM PST by RLK
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To: JediGirl
Quite frankly, salvation doesn't mean a whole lot when
the person "saving" you is the same person who's threatening you!

Who knew the Stockholm Syndrome was the ground
of being for theology??

5 posted on 03/10/2002 12:29:46 PM PST by gcruse
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To: JediGirl; crevo_list; jennyp; longshadow; radioastronomer; vaderetro; junior; scully; thinkplease
This one should be interesting. Certainly worth a bump.
6 posted on 03/10/2002 12:32:30 PM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: JediGirl
Bravo, bravo!

However, I hope you've upgraded your flame suit recently.


7 posted on 03/10/2002 12:36:03 PM PST by Da_Shrimp
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To: JediGirl
That was certainly a long run for a short throw.

But, I forgive you.

8 posted on 03/10/2002 12:47:43 PM PST by keithtoo
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To: JediGirl
These original thoughts from your own website are worth sharing, too, don't you think?.

All of the bloggers on this site are residents of a hellhole in (state deleted). We regret that we live here but seeing as how the majority of us are minors, broke, and couldn't live on our own even if we so desired, our asses are stuck here for the time being.....

(Minor's name deleted) is the loser french horn player who runs this pathetic site. She wants you to suck her toes and bathe her in whip cream and cherry sauce.

(Minor's female friend) is lazy. She rarely blogs. I don't know if she has yet. You may kick her ass, please.

(Minor's female friend) is wonderful, mahvelous and worthy of your praise. Bow do.

(Minor's male friend). lord. (Minor's male friend)...what else can I say? The apple of my eye? The cherry on my sundae (do i see a pattern with cherries emerging?) His rants light up my life and might light up yours as well.

(Minor's female friend) is the wonderful cellist whom I worship before I go to bed at night. You should try it as well.

9 posted on 03/10/2002 12:48:52 PM PST by lsee
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To: gcruse
God doesn't threaten anyone with eternal damnation genius. Even an elementary knowledge of Christianity would inform you of that. Man, left entirely to his own self, would will independence from God. Damnation is not a result of any perditious action, it is a result of inaction, of not according God His due office. God doesn't send anyone to Hell, which is nothing but separation from God and his divine grace. He merely gives those that seek to ignore Him, their wish.

The bottom line is that God is a 'gentelmen', He doesn't go where He is not invited. If you wish to exist separate from Him, you can have your wish. If you like anarchy and evil without any force to stop it, you can and will have it.

As for me, I will trust Christ to have paid for my sins, past and present. I look forward to spending eternity with someone who loves me with a love supassing my own understanding and who wishes nothing but to give me what a loving Father would give his own.

10 posted on 03/10/2002 12:58:39 PM PST by keithtoo
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To: lsee
These original thoughts from your own website are worth sharing, too, don't you think?

The author of the thread's article, OTOH, is one Michael Wong, from Canada not Louisiana.

11 posted on 03/10/2002 1:02:52 PM PST by VadeRetro
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To: keithtoo
God doesn't threaten anyone with eternal damnation genius.

The Hell you say.


12 posted on 03/10/2002 1:04:34 PM PST by gcruse
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To: VadeRetro
Yes, I'm aware JediGirl is not the author.
13 posted on 03/10/2002 1:05:22 PM PST by lsee
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To: JediGirl
Of course this anti-religious screed seems to only be aware of the Augustinian version of Christianity in which salvation is indeed from God's (purportely just) wrath.

As an Orthodox Christian, I regard it as perhaps the Evil One's greatest tactical victory in his rear-guard action against Christ's victory over death and sin that he has convinced so many, Christian and non-Christian alike, to identify Christianity with a theology and soteriology of calumny. Too many believers and non-believers alike see salvation in Christ as salvation from God's anger (the "threat" of the article) rather than from our self-imposed isolation from Him, which is spiritual death. They, like Blessed Augustine, mis-read "in the day you eat of it you will die" as "in the day you eat of it, I will kill you."

The warning on the Tree was like the poison warning on a cylinder of chlorine gas, not a threat of capital punishment for an arbitrarily defined transgression. To think otherwise is to make God out to be a tyrant, thereby proudly joining the Evil One. We openned it (prematurely--many of the Fathers of the Church teach that when Man (Adam in Hebrew) was ready, God would have permitted us that knowledge), and the knowledge of good and evil is loose, much to the woe and disorder of the world.

14 posted on 03/10/2002 1:18:14 PM PST by The_Reader_David
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To: lsee
JediGirl, I'm sorry. Please ignore my post.
15 posted on 03/10/2002 1:25:03 PM PST by lsee
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To: JediGirl
The subject of religious morality is a thorny one. Believers of Judaism, Christianity or Islam bristle at any suggestion that their religions may justify or encourage violence, yet they all must deal with histories of incredible violence, many of which are enshrined in their own holy books. Worse yet, they actually have the gall to vilify atheism, secularism, and humanism as the source of immorality!

Wars in Europe amounted to organized gang fights sponsored by the royal houses of the various countries until roughly 100 years ago with the exception of the crusades which were in fact provoked by vicious treatment of Christians in the holy land. The only things resembling major modern wars in all that time were the wars of Chengis Khan and those were motivated by greed and a kind of a Nietzschian will to power; Chengis Khan, Subudai, Jebe, Muhuli et. al. basically did not give a rat's A$$ for religion or religiously motivated wars.

And then, starting in the middle of the 1800's you get this secular-humanistic atheistic pseudoscientific ideological doctrine called evolution and the two major isms which that doctrine spawned, communism and naziism, and you get two wars separated by twenty years which outdo all of Chengis Khan's wars for pure butchery and which totally dwarf anything ever seen in the Christian or Islamic worlds prior to that.

I mean, there's no comparison at all; the worst the Christian world ever had to offer, e.g. the Spanish inquisition or the crushing of the Albigensians was paradise compared to that.

Now, if you want to talk about the age of the Old Testament, fine, but that takes a lot of study to try to get any sort of a handle on. Basically, in those days, you had entire nations hearing inner voices and powerless to disobey the commands OF those inner voices, and today we get a case like that once in a blue moon (e.g. the David Berkowicz story) and call it schizophrenia when we do, but it turns out that what we call schizophrenia was NORMAL 3000 years ago and that's a long story.

Ancient literature described a number of things which we do not see in our present world, including:

Hypnotism and schizophrenia, which still exist, are also remnants of the antique paradigm for the use of the human mind.

Prophesy originally involved a trance state, and the prophet attempting to join his mind to that of God in order to know God's intentions, or what he would have us do. The OT prophets speak of "visions", and prophets of a somewhat later time came to be like the Greek oracles in that they did not recall what they had said during the trance. Seeing into the future was a fringe benefit of joining ones mind to the mind of God, presumably since God exists outside our notion of time, but was not the main point of the whole deal.

There is no essential claim of prophesy in Christianity. Christianity in its most basic sense amounts to a claim that God came to this Earth in the person of Christ, to instruct men in proper conduct. Moreover, there is reason to believe that Christianity marks a turning away from older religious practices, based upon things like oracles, prophets, idolatry etc. etc., and amounts to a more rational basis for religion.

There are two starting points for understanding this ancient paradigm of the human mind. One is a curious book titled "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" by a psychology professor at Princeton named Julian Jaynes. Nobody can easily remember a title like that but if you tell the folks at Borders or Barnes/Noble that you need a copy of Jaynes' "Origin of Consciousness", they'll get one for you. The second starting point is a series of pamphlets written by Al DeGrazia and Hugh Crossthwaite on the general topic of electrostatic phenomena in ancient times, and the role they played in antique religious practices. Those works I have in PDF form on my own site Click here to download from Bearfabrique. The two, taken together, tell a story.

Jaynes was a classicist and, reading through numerous ancient sources, began to notice the curious absence of decision making which you observe in the Illiad and in basically everything prior to it, i.e. the fact that at every point at which you or I would have to stop to consider how to proceed, the people in these ancient narratives are being told precisely what to do by inner voices, which are described as Gods and godesses.

It began to dawn on Jaynes that what we would call schizophrenia today, hearing voices, was the normal state of affairs in ancient times. He also noticed, in odd places such as Assyrian bass reliefs, references to a particular point in time at which these voices ceased, people were left to their own devices, and the gods and godesses which had formerly guided humanity vanished, so that an Assyrian sculpture might show a king pointing to an empty thrown which his god had vacated:

There are two kinds of crime in the Old Testament, i.e. minor crime such as rape, robbery, and murder, and then your really bad, serious crime such as making up little dolls and idols to worship. Jaynes noted the big, hypnotic eyes which these idols seem to have more often than not:

and it occurred to him that something a lot more serious than just some sort of archaic pop culture was going on. Could it possibly be that these people were really hearing voices emanating from these idols? Not only does that turn out to be the case, but it also turns out that a voice which is inside somebody's head cannot easily be disobeyed, hence such primordial formulations as "to hear and obey" in English, or the verb to obey being a reflexive form of the verb to hear in Russian (slushats/slushatcya).

Now, fighting wars and sacraficing children at the behest of wooden idols is not a formula for success in life and, it is for this reason, i.e. the fact that the tendency to idolatry turned the world into an insane assylum for the thousand or so year period between the flood and the time of the Trojan war, that idolatry is viewed as the ultimate crime in the Old Testament, and the first commandment reads as it does.

I assume that at this point, Jaynes, working at a large university, went to the people in neurophysiology and asked them what, if anything could there be in the human brain which would cause people to hear voices.

What they told him was that there is an area on the right side of the human brain which appears to be an analog to the speech center (Wernicke area) on the left side, and a bridge cropssover between the two. This right side analog appears to be like the human appendix and serves no known purpose; nonetheless, when this right side analog to the Wernicke area is stimulated with electrical probes in experiments, subjects more often than not claim to be hearing voices, as real as if you or I were speaking to them.

Jaynes naturally enough surmised that this right side analog area had been in regular use during biblical times, hence his use of the word 'bicameral' to represent the "two chambered" nature of the human mind in antique times.

Now, Jaynes assumed a purely evolutionary model and assumed that all of the phenomena which he described were "auditory hallucinations", and that mankind had simply evolved into a state in which human societies were governed by a well-ordered system of such auditory hallucinations. That is clearly unworkable, since 200 people in a village heeding inner voices would amount to 200 Sons of Sam walking around. To the extent that evolution ever works at all (microevolution) it works by favoring progressively greater levels of functionality. You cannot evolve INTO a disfunctional state, and the world of the Old Testament was intensely disfunctional. Jaynes did not investigate the following possibility: that in an age just prior to the age he studied, i.e. the true antediluvian age, the kinds of phenomena he describes might have amounted to a normal and functional means of communication, and that what we note in most of the OT descriptions are vestiges of a system in an ongoing state of breakdown.

In fact, the word "prophet" only occurs once in Genesis (20:7)in the story of Abraham, which was after the flood. There were no prophets before the flood nor were any needed; men could communicate with the spirit world directly.

That is one problem with Jaynes' analysis. The other is that he does not offer any sort of a believable rationale for the breakdwn of the bicameral system, and the development of the individualized consciousness which we experience today. He vaguely ascribes these massive changes to changing social and cultural conditions, which is not credible simply because the change he describes is an overwhelming biological change. He is claiming that the entire manner in which the human mind and brain are used has totally changed over a period of just a few thousand years and he backs that claim up with massive scholarship.

This is where the works of DeGrazia and Crossthwaite which I mentioned above come in. DeGrazia and Crossthwaite heavily document the fact that many of these phenomena which Jaynes describes as bicameral were also electrostatic phenomena, and you don't really need to be Albert Einstein to put two and two together for four. The basic reality is that the electrostatic nature of the planet itself, vastly stronger just a few thousand years ago than it is now, ENABLED the bicameral phenomena and that, as this archaic electrostatic field broke down, the bicameral phenomena broke down with it and died out.

DeGrazia and Crossthwaite note that the pyramids were basically huge lightning rods, the conductive golden tips of which glowed eternally, the root of the Greek word 'pyramid' being the same 'pyr' which we note in 'pyrotechnics' or 'pyromania', i.e. 'fire'. The ark of the covenant amounted to an exercise in miniaturization of such religious electrotechnics, i.e. a leydon bottle or primitive capacitor, the two golden "cherubims" being electrical conductors:

EXO 37:7 And he made two cherubims of gold, beaten out of one piece made he them, on the two ends of the mercy seat;

EXO 37:8 One cherub on the end on this side, and another cherub on the other end on that side: out of the mercy seat made he the cherubims on the two ends thereof.

And then we read things like:

2SA 6:2 And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims.

from which it is pretty obvious what these people were looking at (i.e. what do you see between the two terminals of a capacitor?).

This doe not mean that Moses, Joshua, Solomon, David and all those people were a bunch of ignorant rednecks worshipping an electrical arc; it DOES mean that communication with the spirit world at that time was getting harder. Again, there is no mention of anything like this in Genesis because there was no need for it, particularly before the flood, when communication with the spirit world was believed to be natural and freely available to any and all.

All of these phenomena in fact were associated with static electricity. Hugh Crossthwaite documents the manner in which Greek oracles were located in areas of heightened electrostatic charge (making the job of oracle a somewhat dangerous one):

"Good electrical effects could be obtained on high ground, e.g. Parnassus, Cithaeron, Mount Sinai, etc.. Cithaeron, as well as being the scene of The Bacchae, had below it the town of Erythrae. There is another Erythrae in Asia Minor. Clefts in rock if possible combined with water, as at Delphi, would be helpful. Homer speaks of "rocky Pytho." Such places, together with oak groves, as at Dodona, were likely to be enelysioi, containing Zeus Kataibates, Zeus the sky god who descends in a thunderbolt. One may compare the mysterious flame that burned in Thebes on the tomb of Semele, mother of Dionysus, killed by a thunderbolt from Zeus, and also the fire round the head which did not burn [7]."

Starting around page 300 or so of Origins, Julian Jaynes documents the manner in which all of these kinds of phenomena became progressively more difficult to accomplish and finally broke down. The inner voices first became inconsistent from person to person, and then inconsistent in the mind of the same person, the information obtained from such practices became totally unreliable, and finally people who kept on trying to use their minds this way began to be viewed as we view the occassional throwback like Son of Sam now, i.e. as lunatics, so that the Old Testament is replete with stories of some judge or king driving large numbers of them out of the country or killing them:

SA1 28:3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.

1KI 18:4 For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)

1KI 18:40 And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

and, at long last, we read Zechariah describing prophets as unclean spirits, categorizing them as part and parcel of the same thing as idolatry, and advocating that parents kill children who use their minds this way:

ZEC 13:2 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.

ZEC 13:3 And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.

ZEC 13:4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:

Lisa Beth Liel, a very serious scholar and expert in Hebrew language and biblical antiquities, informs me that at the time of Zechariah, the Jewish council asked the Lord to lift the curse of idolatry from the world and that he did, but that they lost prophecy at the same time. I interpret this to mean that, with the final breakdown of the antique electrostatic fields, all such phenomena finally vanished.

All of that was several hundred years before Christ. and amounts to the single great contribution which Israel made to the world, which was the throwing off of bicameral and idolatrous religion.

|                    . .                     , ,
|                 ____)/                     \(____
|        _,--''''',-'/(                       )\`-.`````--._
|     ,-'       ,'  |  \       _     _       /  |  `-.      `-.
|   ,'         /    |   `._   /\\   //\   _,'   |     \        `.
|  |          |      `.    `-( ,\\_//  )-'    .'       |         |
| ,' _,----._ |_,----._\  ____`\o'_`o/'____  /_.----._ |_,----._ `.
| |/'        \'        `\(      \(_)/      )/'        `/        `\|
| `                      `       V V       '                      '

Splifford the bat says: Always remember:

A mind is a terrible thing to waste; especially on an evolutionist.
Just say no to narcotic drugs, alcohol abuse, and corrupt ideological

16 posted on 03/10/2002 1:41:45 PM PST by medved
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To: keithtoo
I'm not sure just how relevant this thread is to evolution vs. creationism, but since it's here...

The bottom line is that God is a 'gentelmen', He doesn't go where He is not invited. If you wish to exist separate from Him, you can have your wish. If you like anarchy and evil without any force to stop it, you can and will have it.

Ah, that takes me back to a heart-to-heart talk my spirit-filled Christian sister had with me, 15 years ago. She explained to me why I couldn't talk to God & have Him talk back to me as a voice inside my head like she experiences constantly: God is a gentleman.

But my problem with this argument is, God is not a gentleman. He suffers from a phobia of some kind. He won't step into our world & show Himself. He won't provide us with the kind of plain evidence that He even exists, let alone whether we should follow Him or not.

OTOH, I don't much care if most people agree with or love me, but I at least show people that I exist all the time: I go out of the house & show my physical body to everyone who's out there. I talk to people on the phone. I email & post to forums online, calling myself jennyp.

None of these acts is difficult for me. Why is it so hard for God? Why is God only willing to "step into this world" as a voice in a person's head? And then only after that person has first decided that He does in fact exist, and after that person has experienced a paroxysm of suicidal despair & begs for God to take over her life?

As I say, that's not being a gentleman. That's expressing lalophobia, scopophobia, anthropophobia, caligynephobia, pedophobia, sociophobia, opthalmophobia, haptephobia, phonophobia.

As for me, I will trust Christ to have paid for my sins, past and present. I look forward to spending eternity with someone who loves me with a love supassing my own understanding and who wishes nothing but to give me what a loving Father would give his own.

The whole bit about having his son pay for our past & future sins really is an incoherent analogy, IMO. Can you envision a justice system that lets an innocent 3rd party step in & take the real criminal's punishment? We would immediately recognize such a system as unjust and fundamentally flawed. But here it's supposed to be convincing evidence that God is wise and loving??? (Loving maybe, but certainly not wise!)

17 posted on 03/10/2002 1:47:17 PM PST by jennyp
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To: JediGirl
18 posted on 03/10/2002 1:52:13 PM PST by onedoug
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To: medved
I interpret this to mean that, with the final breakdown of the antique electrostatic fields, all such phenomena finally vanished.

Commies and their damn flouridation if you ask me.

19 posted on 03/10/2002 2:08:26 PM PST by VadeRetro
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To: JediGirl
It's "if it feels good and you're not hurting anyone, feel free to do it".

Are you suggesting this is a moral absolute, which should apply to every living thing?


20 posted on 03/10/2002 2:12:31 PM PST by WhiteKnight
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