Friday, October 4, 2013

Deuteronomy Part III: Just a Few Questions

With ALL of these questions posed in regards to the Bible wouldn't it be nice to be able to access the questions in one place instead of flipping between blog postings? Now you can! The questions for the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch are now in one compilation, and there is no need whatsoever to flip-flop between various posts! Go here for your copy:

The Truth in a Message:
Is it in the story, in the message of the story, or in the words of the story?

What is the truth of a message? Is the truth of a story in the message, as in the retelling of the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? Is the truth of a message in the story itself, as in the recounting of Goldilocks' actions and the bears' actions? Is the truth in the literal translation of the story, as in did three bears really live in a fabulous house in a gorgeous wood where upon one sunny morning Papa Bear, Mamma Bear and Baby Bear all went for a walk while their porridge cooled? What happens when the truth of a message is slippery enough to escape the scrutiny of the questioning individual?

Perhaps the best that a questioning individual can do is approach whatever the subject is from all possible angles. Consider the purpose of the story being told. Is the story being told out of boredom or a sense of entertainment? Consider the message of the story. Is the story meant to convey some kind of ideal or requirement that people are supposed to recognize and assimilate into their day to day lives? Consider the literal words of the story. Were the words of the story actually intended to be taken literally or in a different manner?

Think about what truth is to you, what you have been taught about truth, what you understand truth to be and why. Is truth something that cannot change? Does truth comply and conform to reality regardless of whether or not ANY individual recognizes the truth in question or the reality that truth exists within?  

Now, take this mesh of understanding of what you think truth is and apply it to the Bible, actually, to any religious text for that matter. Think about everything you are reading in the Bible, everything in the Bible that you are expected to take as literal truth (that would be the ENTIRE Bible, right?). Think about this TRUTH that is supposedly within the Word of God. Ask yourself if truth requires fact, a showing of indisputable evidence, because if truth DOES require such then individuals who hold the Bible and God to be indisputably true are in BIG trouble. Why?

They have zilch when it comes to possession of indisputable evidence.

To compound the problem, when many believers are asked to show something, anything in the way of indisputable evidence a common response is to demand that the questioner prove (provide indisputable evidence) that God does not exist. The questioner's inability to provide indisputable evidence for the NON-existence of God is then used by the believer as proof that there IS God. This is a stupid, poor, and pointless response since an atheist does not need to prove the non-existence of someone/something that they hold does not exist. 

The burden of proof is on the believer. The burden of proof has ALWAYS been on the believer. Trying to use a non-believer's lack of knowledge or understanding as to where everyone and everything came from or what first cause is does absolutely nothing to strengthen the argument FOR God. I do not know first cause. I do not know how man really came to be. While I do not know the answers or all the possibilities what I DO know is I will keep searching, questioning, considering, and striving for more knowledge. I refuse to place stock in absurd beliefs that hold about as much water as a bucket made out of Swiss cheese.

So, Christians and Believers, answer these questions for each book in the Bible. Provide something indisputable, solid, true, and consistent. Do not give half-ass answers where you solely try to prove the truth of the Bible by using the Bible itself as proof of that truth. That is a pathetic cop-out. Be creative, inventive, philosophical...whatever you need to do to provide what you hold to be indisputable evidence.

These questions are part of why I DO NOT believe that the Bible is anywhere near or similar to or even remotely resembling the truth, why I DO NOT believe in the existence of God. Now, you tell me your reasons WHY you DO believe. Show me what I am missing. Provide consistent and valid thought patterns and reasoning. Give me a TRUE reason to believe.

And now we continue with the questions for Deuteronomy.

1. Deuteronomy 6:10-11
10 And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build,

11 And houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full,

     1) Is the reason why God didn't give them the land sooner because God wanted to wait until all the work was done by the regular inhabitants of the land?

     2) If God DID wait until someone else did all the work of building the cities why did He order the destruction of so many? Isn't that a huge waste of time and resources, not to mention spiteful?

2. Deuteronomy 7:2
and when the LORD your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them.

     1)!! How does this work out being as though God is supposed to be a God of mercy, but apparently He shows no mercy?

     2) Is it even possible for a God of endless mercy to speak in such a horrific manner, much less behave so?

     3) They cannot make a covenant with them? Sooo...does God believe that it is better to kill them all instead of make a peace accord with them? Geeze, that could go a long way in explaining the problems in the Middle East.

3. Deuteronomy 7:15-16
15 And the LORD will take away from you all sickness, and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict on you, but he will lay them on all who hate you.

16 And you shall consume all the peoples that the LORD your God will give over to you. Your eye shall not pity them, neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.

     1) So basically God is saying to do everything He says to do and so long as you do that He will keep you alive and healthy? Of course the inverse of that is implied as well, correct? So the people will suffer evil diseases unless they do what God wants?

     2) Oh, and as an added bonus God will protect you from the people who hate you because of what you do to them under God's direct command?

     3) Oh, and remember to show NO MERCY because showing mercy just may lead to showing pity, and of course showing pity just might mean you will let someone live when God really wants you to kill them?

4. Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 5
And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.

And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the LORD your God disciplines you.

     1) God might humble the people? Don't you mean that God will more than likely break their spirit in a thousand unpleasant ways?

     2) Man shall not live by bread alone but by the Word of God? Doesn't that really mean that man does not eat unless God says he can eat and allows him to eat and decides that man even deserves to eat?

     3) What is the deal with the Bible trying so hard to hide the cruelty of God in pretty little lines of poetry?

     4) God disciplines man in the manner a man disciplines his son? I don't fucking think so! What do you think would happen to a father that does half the shit to his son that God does to man? 

     5) If a father treated his son in the same manner that God treats man, out of necessity wouldn't he be labeled a sadist?

5. Deuteronomy 9:3
But recognize today that the LORD your God is the one who will cross over ahead of you like a devouring fire to destroy them. He will subdue them so that you will quickly conquer them and drive them out, just as the LORD has promised.

     1) The LORD God goes ahead of the people to devour their enemies, to subdue them? How can this possibly be true when the people still have to send in spies and figure out what the freaky-doo is going on before they 'take possession' of the supposed promised land?

     2) Doesn't God still tell the people to freaking slaughter ENTIRE cities, including women and children, and is allowing such a wretched thing to happen what qualifies as subduing in God's terms?

     3) Sooo...if God is using the term 'quickly conquer' are we to assume that He is NOT including the nearly forty years that His people stumbled around the cat box desert in the Middle East?

6. Deuteronomy 9:18
18 Then, as before, I threw myself down before the LORD for forty days and nights. I ate no bread and drank no water because of the great sin you had committed by doing what the LORD hated, provoking him to anger.

     1) Being as though the average human being can survive without water up to seventeen days and without food for up to eight weeks, are we to assume that since Moses made it forty days (there's that magic forty number again) without food AND WATER that he survived with divine intervention?

     2) Why does God absolutely press the people of Israel to the extreme limits of needing water, needing food, and needing proper provisions and then when the people freak out (as any human or group of humans in extreme need would do) and seek ANY kind of help (other godly or not) God claims that the people are provoking Him?

     3) Isn't it true that with all of His persistent meddling and cruel manipulation it is GOD doing the provoking and not anyone other then God alone?

7. Deuteronomy 10:17-18
17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.
18 He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.

     1) And WHY doesn't God take bribes? Could it be because He has all the power and so figures He can do whatever the hell He wants to do at any time and at any place?

     2) And how in the world is God NOT partial when everything He does must be His way and when everything others do must ALSO be His way? Wouldn't that qualify as being partial to Himself?

     3) Considering that God often tells the people of Israel to eliminate entire cities or kill all the adults (making many fatherless) or kill all the soldiers (making many widows), to take whatever they want from the people of a land or the land itself whenever He freaking feels like willing the property of one to another in the blue blazes can God ever be considered to be one Who executes for justice?

     4) it okay for God to pervert what justice is and morph truth into some kind of ugly tool to kill other cultures with, is it okay for Him to do that because He is God?

8. Deuteronomy 10:22
22 Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven.

     1) See this verse here? This is one of those verses that people point to when other people claim that EVERYTHING in the Bible is literal and total truth, right? How is this verse NOT an outright LIE, hum? There are more than a HUNDRED THOUSAND MILLION STARS in the Milky Way Galaxy alone. ALONE. Many scientists agree there could be one hundred BILLION galaxies in the universe....SO...
     ...Does God need to adjust or amend His definition of what "as numerous as the stars in heaven" means? Because I gotta tell you, if the 'stars in the heavens' refers to all the stars in the universe God just proved to everyone He is one...big...giant...LIE, isn't He?

     2) What is the mathematical formula for God's original group of seventy going down into Egypt and metamorphosing into one hundred billion hundred thousand million people? He DID say the descendants WOULD number as the stars in the heavens, right?

     3) This is one of those 'between a rock and a hard place' things for proponents of the Bible as absolute truth, isn't it? If they say that God meant something else when He said the descendants would number as the stars in the heavens then they have to admit there are things in the Bible NOT intended to be taken literally, and Lord forbid if God really didn't mean that people who believe differently or who are gay or who have psychic powers should be literally killed, right? 
     Then again, what can total truth proponents do to explain away the idea that the descendants of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob would be as numerous as the stars, something that is clearly impossible? I mean, how many earths would God need in order to accommodate that many people? 

9. Deuteronomy 11:17
17 then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and he will shut up the heavens, so that there will be no rain, and the land will yield no fruit, and you will perish quickly off the good land that the LORD is giving you.

     1) THIS God's version of free will? God basically says, "Go ahead, Man. You are free to choose 'A' or choose 'B.' Just remember that if you choose 'B' I will starve you, send legions of armies after you, will let you die from great thirst, will not send rain so that your fruit trees with not give you their bounty, and for good measure I will shrivel your wombs after I strike you with great plagues."
     What is the explanation(s) for this, hummm? Make it good. Make it count. Make it at least a teeny bit believable. 

10. Deuteronomy 12:6
and there you shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, your vow offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock.

     1) If God is commanding, demanding ALL of these offerings from His people, shouldn't He find a different name for the so-called "freewill" offering being as though if He is commanding and demanding the people make this offering it is therefore no longer something that may be reasonably considered having been presented by the freewill of the offering individual?

11. Deuteronomy 13:6-9
Suppose someone secretly entices you--even your brother, your son or daughter, your beloved wife, or your closest friend--and says, 'Let us go worship other gods'--gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known.

some of the gods of the peoples who are around you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other,

you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him.

But you shall kill him. Your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people.

     1) So are the repressive, murderous commands of these verses supposed to be expressions and examples of God's endearing and enduring love that He has for all men?

     2) If the word of God never changes and withstands the passage of time and all of that hoo-hah that goes along with that, doesn't that mean that these verses must STILL be taken as God originally intended them to be taken?

     3) If God no longer intends that His people/believers should kill people as He specifically instructed in these verses in His holy and enduring and everlasting Word of Truth (the Bible) how can you rectify the assertion that this absurd edict from God is no longer good but still insist that the Word of God stands FOREVER and NEVER fades or changes or withers?

12. Deuteronomy 14:2
For you are a people holy to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

     1) Why is God showing preferential treatment to one group of people over all the others? Isn't this wrong and a direct impediment to anything that is supposed to be JUST and righteous?

     2) Out of all the peoples on the earth why did God choose this group? Was it because they were the ones most likely to be bamboozled by His bullshit promises of land and riches? Or, was it because they were the group MOST frightened by this jealous, vengeful, assuming, cruel, emasculating, womanizing, sadist deity that seems to have an attitude problem and a violent streak a mile wide to match?

13. Deuteronomy 15:11
11 For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’

     1) Sooo...if there are always going to be those people of Israel who will always be poor and needy then how can it be claimed that God provides for all of His people a share of this mega promised land where milk and honey apparently flow together?

14. Deuteronomy 16:20
20 Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

     1) What version of justice is God referring to because the definition I found says justice is a concept of moral rightness based on reason, laws, ethics, fairness and all that happiness, and I do not see anything that indicates God is concerned or will ever be concerned with any of these things?

15. Deuteronomy 17:16-17
16 Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’

17 And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.

     1) Uhmmm...didn't many of the Israelite kings in the Old Testament have oodles of wives and sometimes even more concubines? 

     2) Didn't the kings spend a lot of time acquiring great wealth, usually by smashing the hell out of some hapless town and taking all of their valued goods as everything else was left to burn?

     3) Weren't David and Solomon fairly freaking rich in things like silver and gold, especially when it came to the temple of the Lord? Are the valuables 'owned' by God for temple worship NOT included in a king's value of accumulated wealth?

16. Deuteronomy 18:10-12
10 There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer

11 or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead,

12 for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you.

     1) cannot offer your son or daughter as a burnt offering? But didn't God instruct Abraham to do that with Isaac? I mean, sure God stopped him at the last moment, but the point is that God still instructed him to freaking do it. So how is this explained?

     2) How in the fuckey-doo are the people of Israel who freaking killed animals for burnt sacrifice offerings EVERY DAMN DAY any fucking better than or more deserving of anything good than the charmers, mediums, necromancers, dream interpreters, or sorcerers? Is it because the people in such groups are seeking answers and if it is anything God does NOT want people having it is any answer other than the twisted ones He provides His people with?

     3) Isn't the true meaning of abomination "...anything contrary to what God demands, commands, or directs..." regardless of the place or time or situation or the people involved?

17. Deuteronomy 18:21-22
21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’—

22 If the prophet speaks in the LORD's name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the LORD did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared.

     1) How can so many believers around the world believe the bullshit crap evangelists and television preachers just love to spew and NOT take these verses into consideration?

     2) How many preachers and how many times will those preachers pop off at the mouth about the Antichrist and the end of the world before people finally figure out they are full of shit?

18. Deuteronomy 20:10-15
10 When you draw near to a city to fight against it, offer terms of peace to it

11 And if it responds to you peaceably and it opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall do forced labor for you and shall serve you.

12 But if it makes no peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it.

13 And when the LORD your God gives it into your hand, you shall put all its males to the sword,

14 but the women and the little ones, the livestock, and everything else in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as plunder for yourselves. And you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which the LORD your God has given you.

15 Thus you shall do to all the cities that are very far from you, which are not cities of the nations here.

     1) How in the hell does forced labor qualify as a friggin' term in a peace agreement? Can a so-called peace agreement even contain such a term and still be considered a peace agreement?

     2) Sooo...if they do not accept your offer of peace for all of them to participate in forced labor you may then kill them and take everything they own, or kill some of them, still take everything they own, and then force the rest of the living to labor for you?

19. Deuteronomy 20:16-17
16 But in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes,

17 but you shall devote them to complete destruction, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the LORD your God has commanded,

     1) Isn't the most common excuse provided by believers when asking them for an explanation of why God kills so many freaking people or why He commands others to kill so many people that God will not stand sin to be in the midst of His people and so destroys it, or something similar?


Ester Lighthorse said...

If you believe this, surely you are willing to defend this. So do it. I defend my atheism so why not defend your belief in God. I asked these questions about what you hold to be true, so give your answers and at the same time you will be challenging my atheism. Don't you see the benefit in that? By answering these questions you are both defending your faith and God and the Bible WHILE AT THE SAME TIME challenging my atheism. That is a pretty damn good deal. All you have to do it provide some valid answers/explanations.

Ester Lighthorse said...

Come on, you Christians out there. At least answer question number two. I am sure you can do it. Don't be shy.