The Old Testament God is a Bumbling, Primitive, Idiot?

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posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 05:21 PM
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Dear ATSers,

This thread is dedicated, with thanks, to Cogito, Ergo Sum, and his post claiming that the God of the Old Testament is a bumbling, primitive, idiot who cannot be worshiped by any sane human.

In my time on ATS I've come to learn that, when an astonishing statement is made, things are usually returned to normal by reading the source article and seeing what the poster has left out. I wondered if that might be the case here.

This time, the source article is the entire Old Testament. I’m not familiar enough to recall all that’s in it, nor am I planning to read the entire set of books for this thread. What I will do is look at a few examples and see if there are clues to what is really going on.

One of the most common objections is based on Leviticus. Commands such as

Do not clip your hair at the temples, nor trim the edges of your beard, do not lacerate your bodies for the dead, and do not tattoo yourselves. I am the Lord.
Leviticus 19:27-28

The objections are usually, “What a silly law,” and “Why don’t today’s Christians follow all of them?”

One of the main purposes of these laws was to keep the Israelites identifiable and separate from their neighbors. God had set them aside to be a special people dedicated to Him, and things like scraggly beards were simple ways of doing that. Other laws, such as the dietary and health laws also served to re-emphasize the distinction between pure and impure.

Christians aren't obligated to follow all of those laws for two reasons. One:

These are the commandments which the Lord gave Moses on Mount Sinai for the Israelites.
Leviticus 27:34.

Two, some of the laws are based on their culture and the surrounding world. They don’t necessarily apply now. Also, Jesus explained how the law would be fulfilled in His acts and His teachings. As an example, He gathered grain for His disciples on the Sabbath while explaining the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

But some of the laws are in a different category, they are moral laws. Even if “Thou shalt not kill” was found nowhere in the New Testament, that moral law is binding upon all, throughout time.
____________________________________________________________

Now, what about the slaughter of the six nearby nations? Surely that shows God to be barbaric?

However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them – the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites – as the LORD your God has commanded you.
Deuteronomy 20:16-17

Consider the people whom God ordered destroyed. They practiced adultery, bestiality, burning children as a sacrifice to Molech, and temple prostitution, among other practices. Apparently, according to Clay Jones,:


“Molech was a Canaanite underworld deity represented as an upright, bull-headed idol with human body in whose belly a fire was stoked and in whose arms a child was placed that would be burnt to death.” Jones goes on to inform his reader of Plutarch’s report from that time in history: “…the whole area before the statue was filled with a loud noise of flutes and drums so that the cries and wailing should not reach the ears of the people.”

I think I can understand God’s response:

Because their land has become defiled, I am punishing it for its wickedness, by making it vomit out its inhabitants.
Leviticus 19:25
God couldn't allow His chosen people who would produce the Messiah, or the rest of the world for that matter, to be influenced by the survival of Malech worship in the lands promised to the Israelites.
___________________________________________________________________

One other charge that Cogito, Ergo Sum makes deserves a brief look, I suppose. That is that God created faulty humans, humans that could do wrong things. The statement would be correct if altered to read “God created free humans.” Does Cogito, Ergo Sum really fault God for not making people to be robots who could only do what God wanted them to do? His position seems to be that a God who created free people can’t be worshiped, and a God that created unfree people can’t be worshiped.

In reviewing his post, I see that Cogito, Ergo Sum, is also concerned that Jesus had to be tortured and killed as a sacrifice to atone for humanity's sins. God, and even unbelievers, seem to be consistent in believing that serious crimes need to be punished by death, even if our current tradition only requires that the offender die in jail.

But even in our "enlightened" modern times, judges see that life in prison just isn't a severe enough punishment. That's why you'll occasionally see sentences of 3,000 years, or some other impossible sentence. When God saw the sins of the world, past and future, it was obvious that killing one sinner, or even a hundred, wasn't the appropriate sentence. But as we are all sinners, and God had promised not to destroy the entire world, the best solution was the one He chose. But even that isn't the point of Christianity.

The point, the glory of Christianity, isn't Christmas when He was born, it isn't Good Friday when He died, it is Easter when He rose from the dead. He gave us hope with His resurrection, the promise of Life after death. He showed us the path we can follow. How key is the Resurrection?

And if Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, your faith. . . . and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.
1Corinthians 15:14, 16.

This thread was intended to help me explore some serious questions that are frequently raised. I don’t believe that I have found completely correct and final answers. My thanks in advance, therefore, to those who are willing to help me explore this subject.

With respect,
Charles1952




posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 05:31 PM
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All the gospels and most religious text is useful in my opinion for only one thing....to show the(a way).

Anything else is vanity and glorifying the sun(son)..

The journey is made in a solitary and personal way, any one tell you different they are full of $&@&.

There may be nothing new under the sun, but there is none living that know the complete path to ultimate truth, it's not possible just by our very nature and from this perspective.

That's my opinion anyway lol.

Cheers.



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 05:33 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 

Yes, I've been working on a series of threads tackling the laws of the Old Testament (for after I finish with 1 Corinthians), addressing the same kind of questions.

The basic themes running through them would be;
The laws were designed for the society of the time, and based on what the cultures of the time were doing any way
Nevertheless, they were already an improvement on what other societies were doing
And in any case they were not God's last word on the subject.

That last point helps to answer the question about why Christians don't need to obey them.
The classic example is the divorce issue, where Jesus points out that the Mosaic law was not what God really wanted and was only allowed because of their "hardness of heart".
I think "concession to hardness of heart" is a concept which will account for many other "hard" aspects of the laws.


edit on 18-11-2013 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 05:40 PM
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The Old Testament in a nutshell:



Sounds about right.




posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 05:41 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 




Consider the people whom God ordered destroyed. They practiced adultery, bestiality, burning children as a sacrifice to Molech, and temple prostitution, among other practices.

Wouldn't it make more sense to convert them? I wonder what the "other practices" are and if any of them are practiced today? Should we still destroy these people or their descendants? If He didn't want His people to be influenced by the others, what does that say about His creation? Imperfect or He wasn't sure what they would do.

Finally, the biggest flaw I see in organized Religion is, why would God make people with souls? Why have those souls inhabit bodies only to die later and join him in Heaven? Why not just keep them in Heaven? There is no point to it unless we are just bags of meat.


My 2 cents.



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 05:42 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 




The laws were designed for the society of the time, and based on what the cultures of the time were doing any way Nevertheless, they were already an improvement on what other societies were doing And in any case they were not God's last word on the subject.

Does that mean we can expect another burning bush?



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 05:43 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


Im not sure IF i'd call the OT God a bumbling idiot... Perhaps a maniacal terrorist... Even a Wrathful, Jealous, envious Spirit who has been worshiped by those who didn't know any better...


Even if “Thou shalt not kill” was found nowhere in the New Testament,


On the contrary... Love thy neighbour covers all the law and the prophets...

Killing isn't even an option if one abides by the law of love...


Consider the people whom God ordered destroyed. They practiced adultery, bestiality, burning children as a sacrifice to Molech, and temple prostitution, among other practices.


Well... Considering the book was supposed to be about stories and people from centuries before the book was actually written... I would say these "practices" where probably made up to influence the Israelites to conquer the land... Similar to what happens these days...

The dead give away that this is a false God is that women and children were also killed in the slaughter... IMHO


isn't Christmas when He was born, it isn't Good Friday when He died, it is Easter when He rose from the dead.


Likely not... Christmas is a pagan influenced tradition based around the birth of the sun God

but at least its fun...

m sure you've seen this thread... but since the OT God is the topic of this thread, why not reintroduce you...

Jesus Vs the OT God




posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 05:43 PM
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reply to post by superman2012
 

We got Jesus, even better.



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 05:46 PM
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DISRAELI
reply to post by superman2012
 

We got Jesus, even better.



He's back!?!?? I didn't even get a chance to get my suit properly pressed!



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 05:48 PM
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reply to post by Akragon
 

Aren't most the "Christian" holidays "borrowed" days from other religions to allow an easier transition into the Christian religion?



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 05:49 PM
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reply to post by superman2012
 


Perhaps we should stick to the topic at hand brother... but yes




posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 05:54 PM
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reply to post by superman2012
 


yes and mainly from pagan beliefs.. Easter, Christmas etc.. even Halloween. People didn´t want to lose their parties so .. why not let them have them but with christian message.



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 05:58 PM
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reply to post by superman2012
 

"We got" was past tense, referring to a past event.
If I meant that he had returned, I would have said "We have got"- present tense.



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 06:09 PM
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Not sure why Jesus is worth the title of hero if he sacrificed almost nothing.

If I knew..absolutely knew beyond a shadow of a doubt and in a very concrete objective way that I would, upon death, become not just a inhabitant of a magical dimension, but basically ruler, then death would frighten me about as much as a very minor papercut.

The fact that Jesus -knew- full well of his nature invalidates the sacrifice. It turns the entire process into little more than a show for ??? purposes (probably to demonstrate the neat trick of resurrection).
So
Jesus then made no sacrifice of note, but, if he was the word of god, then what is important is the message, not the death or resurrection. That was just to impress the primitive minds of the time, and its time we move on from the slight of hand / magic show and get to the core of the message.
And that is, since Jesus fulfilled (read: revoked / amended) the former rules, it demonstrates that the diety in question is -not- infallible.
Creator of mankind? sure, but possibly more on a science based creation verses a omnipotent based magic creation perhaps...

If God can make mistakes (and have the wisdom to try and correct it after he realizes its made of fail), then awesome, but that's the only way the whole story makes sense.

bumbling fool? no, but I would classify the being in question as a inquisitive scientist if real and did create mankind moreso than a deity. I imagine also teaching the finer points of advanced philosophy to cavemen would be a bit fruitless, so a bit of thunder and fright may be required to get them working together.

It actually makes no real sense, lets be honest. the tower of babel sort of clinches the deal of it being just fantasy, but fantasy should have a greater plot..and I think the plot of the bible story (old + new) is the story of a person (or most likely persons) testing their hand out at abiogenesis and new intelligent life.
(aka, hinting on alien theory), just missing book 1 and 4 (Koran is not book 4, its sort of a spinoff imo as it doesn't really add anything new).

Personally I would like to read the first book, not the OT, but the story of the deity and how he/she/they went from whatever their origin is to galactic seeders and the struggles faced. origin stories are always interesting.
___
In regards to the nature of God, all that can really be said is that if the OT is to be used as a basis, then the deity has a very rigid and specific way to look at things. Given every religion based on the Abrahamic deity, and almost every person within all the various religions feels they know what god wants and thinks, and soo many polar opposite views, this demonstrates the deity actually has no connection to any religion, or person on this world (else it would be a global consensus about things like anger, persecution, killing verses murdering, jesus verses god, etc etc). So, its a tale by men for men, and in that respect, yes, the OT God is a bumbling fool, because men are, and it is simply a manmade story of something. Is there a deity? Who knows..maybe, maybe not, but I would bet a nickel that if there is a deity of all, it is nowhere even remotely close to the being described in the bibles, or pretty much any other holy , theological, new age, or other book we have.

Because a deity simply can't be as stupid and 2 dimensional as we create it. Totally a mans creation the religions follow...and not even good creations..its almost a joke of how simplistic and trivial we have created these deities (but in saying that, anything old we call religion, anything new we call fantasy. I vote for Gandalf to be our new deity...or Neo from The Matrix (close enough, anagram for One anyhow)



35'On the eighth day you shall have a solemn assembly; you shall do no laborious work. 36'But you shall present a burnt offering, an offering by fire, as a soothing aroma to the LORD: one bull, one ram, seven male lambs one year old without defect; 37their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bull, for the ram and for the lambs, by their number according to the ordinance

Yes, God loves the smell of a barbecue.
-shakes head-

Manmade.



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 06:10 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


That was over 2000 years ago. Where is the angry vengeful wrathful OT God? Is he on a break now, or are we forgiven until the end of humanity because of Jesus?

My earlier questions still haven't been addressed. I asked my earlier questions because I was hoping for an answer.



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 06:13 PM
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reply to post by superman2012
 

Dear superman2012,

Sorry, I stepped away from the machine, and when I got back the thread was flooded. I suppose I'll start here.


Wouldn't it make more sense to convert them?
It might, if you could covert everyone of them and keep them converted for their entire lives. Odds aren't very good on that happening.

I wonder what the "other practices" are and if any of them are practiced today? Should we still destroy these people or their descendants?
Oh, I'm certain that they are. But destroying them wouldn't help to keep God's chosen people separate and dedicated to God, so that the Messiah could come forth from them. That kind of destruction isn't needed today.

If He didn't want His people to be influenced by the others, what does that say about His creation? Imperfect or He wasn't sure what they would do.
His creation was fine, but it is apparent, even to us, that man has the power to choose corruption and death. His creation chose to become imperfect.


Finally, the biggest flaw I see in organized Religion is, why would God make people with souls? Why have those souls inhabit bodies only to die later and join him in Heaven? Why not just keep them in Heaven? There is no point to it unless we are just bags of meat.
Seriously? That's the biggest flaw you see in religion? You could even take it back a step and ask why God created anything at all.

Think about love for a moment. if between a man and a woman, at some point one is picked out among all others. Love can't be had for a rubber doll (sex, maybe, but not love), it requires something far above the animal. Two people form a unique bond, willingly and deeply. Bags of meat can't do that. Bags of meat don't write or become inspired by poetry, symphonies, or the smile on the face of a sick child you're taking care of. Robots can't love, bags of meat can't love. God wanted creatures who could love, would overflow with love and share His love for them with all the world, and return it to Him.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 06:16 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 





Seriously? That's the biggest flaw you see in religion? You could even take it back a step and ask why God created anything at all.


Serious. Yes. Yes I could. That still doesn't answer the question of why, if we have a soul, we are on this rock tumbling through space. You made a good case of why physical beings exist, but you did not answer my question.

Edit: There are quite a few scientific studies that state and show that most of what we call "love" is due to chemical reactions meant for procreation and for our species to breed and multiply. I love my children and want them to live healthy lives and have children of their own. That doesn't mean that God made me feel that way nor does it mean that I don't love them. What is love? I suppose if you could answer that you would be a rich man Charles.
edit on 18-11-2013 by superman2012 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 06:18 PM
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superman2012
reply to post by DISRAELI
 


That was over 2000 years ago. Where is the angry vengeful wrathful OT God? Is he on a break now, or are we forgiven until the end of humanity because of Jesus?



Well, you know how it is. 2000 years is only a blink in god terms. He's probably been down in the Caribbean enjoying one of those drinks with the little umbrellas in them, or perhaps Planet B-975G in the Betelgeuse system partying with the green dancing girls. They're somewhat like the ones in Star Trek but they have 8 arms a piece and some rather entertaining talents...

He'll be back soon. What with all the trouble he was having with the humans back then, I'm sure he won't want to leave us alone to our own devices for long, lest we get into, y'know, World Wars and such.



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 06:23 PM
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superman2012
That was over 2000 years ago. Where is the angry vengeful wrathful OT God? Is he on a break now, or are we forgiven until the end of humanity because of Jesus?

Only if you want to be forgiven, but the answer is approximately "Yes".
God is a teacher, and like any good teacher he adjusts his teaching to the capacity of his pupils.



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 06:38 PM
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reply to post by Akragon
 

Dear Akragon,

I am so happy to see you! I was hoping you'd jump in here. If it won't ruin your reputation on these boards, I'll tell you that you're precious to me. Well, let's see what you've got for me.


Im not sure IF i'd call the OT God a bumbling idiot... Perhaps a maniacal terrorist... Even a Wrathful, Jealous, envious Spirit
Well, then you have a disagreement with Cogito, Ergo Sum. I'd pay a nickel to watch the contest between you two to decide who can come up with the better perjorative. But, really, it's between you and God what you call Him. I'd suggest respect, but that's up to you. Even one of today's judges could be called the names you've used (except, of course, for spirit).


who has been worshiped by those who didn't know any better...
You're absolutely right, I agree. I've listened to arguments, been a part of various faith traditions, read books, examined claims, and after all that I don't know anything better than to worship God.



Even if “Thou shalt not kill” was found nowhere in the New Testament,

On the contrary... Love thy neighbour covers all the law and the prophets...
Killing isn't even an option if one abides by the law of love...
You may have missed my point. I was saying that some of the Old Testament laws are moral laws which are binding regardless of whether they're found in the New Testament.


Well... Considering the book was supposed to be about stories and people from centuries before the book was actually written... I would say these "practices" where probably made up to influence the Israelites to conquer the land... Similar to what happens these days...
If you want to say the Old Testament is fraudulent and has no relationship to reality, fine, that's your call. Some would argue about evidence from archaeology and the fulfillment of prophecy, to the conclusion that it is real.

But if you stick by your belief that the Old Testament is a fabrication, isn't it a little "slippery" shall we say, to argue:

The dead give away that this is a false God is that women and children were also killed in the slaughter... IMHO
Which is it going to be? The Old Testament is a fabrication, or the Old Testament is the truth?


isn't Christmas when He was born, it isn't Good Friday when He died, it is Easter when He rose from the dead.

Likely not... Christmas is a pagan influenced tradition based around the birth of the sun God
Would it have helped if I had skipped the shorthand and said "It isn't the day when the Church decided to celebrate Jesus' birth, it isn't the day when the Church has decided to commemorate Jesus' death, it's the day when all Christians should give a hoot and a holler as they explode in joy over Jesus' resurrection?"

Really, I don't care what holidays may have been influenced by what traditions. I care about what the holiday (Holy day. Get it?) means now.

With respect,
Charles1952





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