Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"Must" Reading

Many of you know that we "believe in" *
1. a pantheon of deities, of which all are human constructs;
2. a syncretic monotheistic Prime-Mover-type deity that set this existence off and then retired.
The other day in reading Richard Dawkins' "God Delusion", we came upon this description of the Abrahamic god of what is often called the Old Testament. We repeat it here for your amusement and perhaps your enlightenment. Do read the book, for one thinking man's take on a conventional path.
Our hope is that you will find as much validity in Dawkins' description as we have found, as one recovering Anglican and one recovering Baptist. Here's what he says.

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sado-masochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

We urge you never, never to let a young person read a single page of the Bible without close adult supervision.
Blessed be! Gavin and Yvonne
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* Yvonne says, "Wait a minute! 'Believe in'? Sure, I acknowledge that lots of jujus-on-sticks exist; that lots of Jungian archetypes exist; that there are thought forms or (gasp) the idea of unseen specialists, if you will, in this or that aspect of human experience and longing. But believe in? Thanks, but I'm voting with my feet. Give me Guides and Elder Ones any day. Them I find credible, indeed essential, to my own spiritual path. Others need to find their own way.

3 comments:

The Pagan Temple said...

I think any religious text will be a reflection of the times in which it was composed. We have become allegedly much more civilized over the course of the last two to three thousand years, at least on the surface. Really, we haven't changed that much, but we have at least aspired to try to reach a higher level. We now are able to look at certain writings as bloodthirsty and barbaric rants, when in years past the same passages would not have raised an eyebrow, as it was just the commonly accepted way of looking at things.

Even back then, people had to be offered excuses and justifications for certain actions. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah was little more than a propaganda piece written to explain why it was necessary to eliminate the original inhabitants of Canaan, in my opinion.

We would also look askance these days at the suggestion that it would be within reason to take prisoners during the course of a war and make the womenfolk sex slaves, as occurred in the Iliad. A great portion of it revolves around Athene convincing Achilles to take part in the war, after he withdrew in anger after Agamemnon stole from him the Trojan woman he had enslaved for his own sexual pleasure.

In other words, these were brutal, bloodthirsty times, and anything composed during these times have to be read in that context.

I tend to look at the deities as archetypes as well. Other than that, I am also very cautious with the term belief. I don't really know what I believe, I only know what I know, which isn't much. I won't go so far though as to say I do not believe. I personally find it very hard to believe in any kind of being that "created" the universe, at least in a conscious, purposeful way. Other than that, I just have to say I don't know and leave it at that.

Sometimes I have to wonder if we should even care. Is it possible that all this "belief" and "faith" is just manifestations of a vain hope that our lives mean something when in reality they don't really mean anything?

DieticianGuy said...

I dont see the God of the Old testament or Torah as being those things. I think the bible turns negative with Paul and the apostles. I think that in the old testament God did what he had to do, when your dealing with such a "stiff neck" people-who constantly whined, complained, ate raw meat, got sick, argued constantly, didnt want to follow the simplest of directions. I mean what a God to do? But then again, the "bible" is nothing more than a political publication.

Jim Hootsell said...

Have you read, The Bible Fraud by Tony Bushby?

Detailed history sharing how the cults of the book evolved into todays bickering groups.

This should be required reading for all who have opened their aura, and invited a deity to enter!