More about god…

As I have said, I am a very devout agnostic. Reading the Bible is a very weird experience for me. You see, I think that anyone claiming to have knowledge of god’s plan is full of bullshit. I can’t imagine how big one’s balls have got to be in order to make such a ridiculous claim. God clearly works on a higher plane than we can understand as mere mortals. How is it even possible that the human mind can wrap itself around god? (I don’t think it’s possible at all.) For that reason I believe that the writers of the Bible, Talmud, and Koran were the most presumptuous people to have ever lived. All they were doing was taking shots in the dark. Sure, there may be some small chance that they got one or two things right, but I find that highly doubtful. For that reason I think that anyone who lives by the word of the Bible is living a blind life. That’s what these religious texts are: blindfolds.

In closing, I’d like to make a slightly inflammatory statement: Everyone who isn’t agnostic is an ignorant fuck. Convert now.

The Christian creation myth

So in both versions of the Bible that I am reading (Amplified and Apologetics Study), the fruit-bearing trees, birds, and animals are referred to as having been created “according to their kind.” This, to me, would suggest that god had some sort of form or template in mind when creating these things, and they were simply made material (presumably from a spirit source). This strikes me as similar to the Greek philosophical idea that every physical instance of something is merely an interpretation of a higher, perfect “form” (I believe it was Plato who thought up this one, or at least he popularized it). The best way to explain it is that the physical world is really a world of shadows or reflections cast by these forms.

Also, thanks to the ASB, I realized that there are time problems present in the creation myth. First, in Gen 1:1-2, it is not made clear whether the earth was plunged into darkness immediately or if this happened at a later date (according to the ASB, some New Agers use this ambiguity as an argument for time for a lost civilization, which I like because I happen to believe in the LC theory). Also, it is not made clear whether the six days of the creation were consecutive or even 24-hour days. This is an argument old Earth creationists use.

Furthermore, man and woman are created twice in the Bible. This woman could have been Lilith, the mother of the vampires. It’s an old pseudo-Christian myth that never really made it into the Bible, but basically Adam had an affair with Lilith and the resulting children became the Christian demons. Later, Lilith named herself Queen of the Demons and began abducting boys and young men and turning them into vampires.

I have secured some Bibles

So I told my mom that I wanted to read the Bible, but I wanted a reliable translation. I asked her if she had the Amplified Bible, but she did not. However, being super-religious and hoping that this would convert me, she rushed out and bought me my very own copy of the Amplified Bible. Also, she got me something called the Apologetics Study Bible, which may be pretty interesting. It sounds like it attempts to combine the field of Bible study with various other fields and reconcile it with history, science, etc. I’ll read them simultaneously, switching off after each chapter to compare the translations. (I thought of switching off after each book, but I chose chapter increments because it would be fresh in my mind and I’d be able to better pick out the differences.)

I’ll post my findings periodically.

About my Bible reading

So the only copy of the Bible that I own is called The Message and is a translation in very contemporary English. After reading the first few chapters of Genesis, I got the feeling that the translator was editorializing. Also, a reader of this fine blog turned me onto what is now one of my favorite blogs, God Didn’t Say That. Anyway, I just read a post on that blog that implied that my gut feeling was true and that the translator misses the point entirely.

I wish my Greek and Hebrew were good enough to be able to translate the original text of the Bible. All I really know is Latin, and I decided that if I translate it from Latin I might as well be translating it from French or German. So I’ll attempt to find a well-respected and less flowery translation of the Bible and use God Didn’t Say That to help me navigate that translation.

Ignorant Super Bowl commercial

I recently read on I Blame the Patriarchy about a Super Bowl commercial that noted right-wing fanatic group Focus on the Family is making with some football star whose name I gather is Tim Tebow (I think?) and his mom. The gist of the commercial is that this dude’s mommy dearest was told when she was pregnant with him that she should abort the fetus because of immediate danger to her health. She ignored her doctor’s advice and carried the parasite to term and actually survived the ordeal. Focus on the Family is using this story, which is not representative of seriously complicated pregnancies, to argue that evil doctors are tricking innocent women into killing babies. Ridiculous! I certainly hope no women listen to this trash. I know they will, though, and I only hope no one dies because of this ignorant filth.

In other news, I learned from a friend that this Tebow guy is a hardcore Christian and paints Bible verses on his face during football games. I love it when people think that they’re some sort of “chosen one” and that their talents are gifts from god. Even more hilarious is when sports stars or celebrities thank god for their winning some match/award. As if god actually has nothing better to do than pick its favorite celebs. God is not rooting for your team from heaven so shut up. God’s too busy causing an impoverished third-world country even more harm to take your call.

My beliefs regarding god and religion

So I guess in light of my whole interest in the Bible, I should explain my spiritual beliefs. You see, I am incredibly lucky. Despite being very poor, I always come into money when I really need it. Also, despite constantly reaking the law and doing ethically questionable things, I have never faced repercussions for these acts. The few times I’ve been caught I’ve been let off the hook. When I was homeless, I had a huge circle of friends who let me crash with them in exchange for art or doing work around the house. I was also in a very wonderful relationship, and I consider myself lucky for that. I sometimes wonder if all this isn’t luck, that maybe some higher power is looking out for me. More frequently, I wonder if Taosim is accurate and since my general attitude is to just go with the flow, I have less spiritual friction with the Universe. However, I don’t believe any once religion is correct (I think the closest things we have to correct religions are Taoism and Buddhism). I certainly don’t think the Bible is the literal word of god, especially not the English translations, and I highly doubt that it was even inspired by god.

You see, I have been into philosophy since I was 10. I’m very well versed in philosophical topics, especially issues of logic. And, as Immanuel Kant has shown us, the existence of a universal being is an atinomy of pure reason. For those of you who aren’t up to speed with you logic, that that means that every logically valid proof for the existence of a universal being is also inherently a valid logical proof against it, and vice versa. This is why neither atheism nor theism can be said to be true. The only thing left is agnosticism, which is why I’m agnostic. (I get very pissed off when people lump atheists and agnostics together.)

In case you’re wondering how this can be true, let me provide my theories on the subject. The first reason I thought of is that logic is very black and white; either something is true, or it’s false. Perhaps there is some sort of grey zone between true and false that we don’t know about yet, and maybe that would be how to accurately define god. Or, more recently I came up with this simple explanation: if god created existence, it would have to function outside of/separate from existence. We can only have knowledge of things that exist, therefore we cannot have knowledge of god since god would transcend the existence/non-existence continuum.

I’m certainly not always hostile to religion; the only times I take a hostile attitude is when I see religion being hostile (e.g., when people use the Bible to deny others of certain rights). I see plenty of evidence of religion being good; the hope it gives many people makes it very valuable to them, and they would probably be pretty lost and depressed without it. Some people, like my mom, just need that sort of crutch. However, you also need to remember how much violence and war is waged in the name of religion. I’ve never heard of agnosticism being used to justify murder (or atheism for that matter). In short, religion can be good, but it can also be one of the most evil things humaity has ever invented.

A brief pause on the Bible thing

I have come upon a dilemma in my Bible reading. The only version I have is one my mom gave me which is translated into contemporary language, obviously aimed at hip teenagers. I get the feeling that the translator took liberties in his task. Therefore, I’ve decided to track down a copy of the Vulgate and translate it for myself from the Latin. I feel this will give me the most accurate possible reading of the book. I am very well versed in Latin, so I don’t think it should be so hard. The only hard part is finding a copy of a Latin Bible.

My first discovery about the Bible

So, apparently, God said there would be war between Woman and the serpent because the serpent tricked Woman into eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Obviously the serpent is a phallic symbol and this is a war between the sexes. I’m like 5 pages into the Bible and already I find blatant sexism.

The Bible

I read the Bible once when I was 10 and found out there were tons of contradictions. Seeing as how that was 14 years ago, I’ve decided to read it again. I’ll keep you posted.