Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Did Yahweh Create the Jews, or Did the Jews Create Yahweh?

Let me begin by paraphrasing Ludwig Feuerbach: "Yahweh has not created the Jews, but the Jews created Yahweh."  I will prove that this is the case, in that the attributes ascribed to Yahweh in the bible by Jews and Christians came from them, and are not based on the dispositions of an actual entity.

To "ascribe" something means to credit or assign, as to a cause or source; attribute; impute.

For example, the alphabet is usually ascribed to the Phoenicians. This however, does not necessarily mean that the Phoenicians are responsible for developing the alphabet, it just means that it has been ascribed to them as they are the most likely group to have first developed an alphabet. Another example would be ascribing the property of "brittleness" to chalk.  We know this to be true, as we have experienced the brittleness of chalk. 

Now let us examine the case of the Jews and Yahweh. Is their description of the attributes of Yahweh based on an actual entity with the attributes ascribed?  In other words, is there an actual entity named Yahweh with the attributes ascribed to him by the Jews?  Just as in the examples stated above, ascribed attributes do not necessarily mean that they are actual and real, based on an actual cause or source. I will prove using the best explanation argument, that they are not.

Let us assume for the sake or argument that the attributes ascribed to Yahweh are as stated in the bible by Jews and Christians.  In the OT he is described as an angry, vengeful, jealous god, whose love is conditional to obeying his laws and commandments.  In the NT, Yahweh is described as all-loving, and all-good.

I do not go just by definition, but by arguments as well.  Problems with the attribute theory arise when we apply scripture to the Christian god. For example, let's assume what the bible, Tom Gilson and other Christians say is true, in that Yahweh/Jesus is love.  The logic below tells us that he could not have the ascribed attributes of love and jealousy.  Although the Jews and Christians ascribe the attribute of "love" to their god, the scriptures themselves make it clear that god is NOT love:

"But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love." 1 John 4:8

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud " 1 Corinthians 13:4

"You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,"  Exodus 20:5

In the logical form of Modus Tollens, the following is the conclusion drawn from the above passages:

IF god is love, THEN god is not jealous. God IS jealous.  Therefore god is NOT love.

The above illustrates clearly that the bible is contradictory, and inconsistent, and Yahweh cannot have the attributes of love and jealousy ascribed to him, as according to the bible, they are inconsistent and contradictory, or it leads to absurdity that Christians must accept the fact that the bible is wrong as the definition of love that I cited above comes from the bible!! Therefore, the best explanation is that the Jews ascribed the attributes to their god that they wanted him to have, or, the Bible is wrong!

A similar problem exists for ascribing the attribute of being "all good" to Yahweh, which I have already proven in the following post:  Christian Ethics Exposed

I reiterate my conclusion, "Yahweh has not created the Jews, but the Jews created Yahweh," or the bible is wrong, and the attributes ascribed to Yahweh in the bible by Jews and Christians came from them, and are not based on the dispositions of an actual entity. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS IS FALSE! Otherwise, the Christian claim that Yahweh is "all-loving" is false, as he was jealous, and he can't be all-loving and jealous at the same time. either way, the bible is wrong!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Of Hurricanes, God and Power

Today I ventured to the "Thinking Christian" website and came across a blog post in which the author who was in the midst of a hurricane, seemed almost tempted to venerate the gods of nature and humble himself to their powerful forces.  Interesting.  He obviously is unaware of the fact that his god Yahweh is in fact, a storm/war god.  Yahweh IS a nature god--just as most, if not  all the ancient gods and goddesses were.

 But that was not the best part of the post. That came later.  When I read the following, I literally laughed out loud:

"I said I could almost appreciate the urge to deify nature. Skeptics will often tell you that monotheism evolved out of nature religion or other primitive forms of polytheism. I seriously doubt it. When it first sprang up in the Hebrew tradition, it sprang up whole, in remarkably advanced form.  Plato and Aristotle reasoned from first principles to something vaguely resembling one God, but the Hebrews beat them to it by centuries. They ascribed personality to their God, including holiness and love. This is not what springs immediately to mind when I look out the window this morning." 
In my previous post, I mentioned some of my favorite texts, one of which is "Materialist Approaches to the Bible."  This book explains the ideologies of the people in question, and how their social/religious/political lives developed.   In the case of the monotheism of the Jews, when Moses said that Yahweh said to "put no other gods before me," this did not mean that they believed there was only one god in existence and no others.  As the statement implies, and the bible notes, their claim was that there were many gods and goddesses, and that this one particular god Yahweh, would become their supreme being.  It is not the case that they were monotheistic, and their journey to monotheism was not "remarkably advanced" at all.  In fact, the first religion to say that there is one god and no other god was Zoroastrianism.  Furthermore, in most tribal religions, there was one supreme god who ruled over lesser gods and goddesses--which made them monotheistic and polytheistic at the same time.

The Jews were polytheistic, and each tribe of Israel had their own pantheons of gods and goddesses, and when David merged the tribes of Israel, the tribes were forced to give up their supreme god in favor of David/Solomon's supreme god in order to assimilate the traditions of the northern tribes with the southern tribes.  The scriptures actually begin with Solomon, and the narration and succession of David (2Sam 9;20; 1Kings 1:2) are said by many scholars to be some of the very first written texts of the bible.*  The "J documents" of the scribes of Solomon portray their god as "Yahweh" as opposed to the "E documents" of Moses where "elohim" or "gods" is used.  In making a single god out of the local divinities and giving him the name Yahweh, the J document assimilated the traditions of the northern tribes with the southern tribes  and reinforced the political power of Solomon by basing it on a unified religious ideology that, thus idealized, would give him a better grip on power. **

It was all about power, and how to gain and maintain it, but that is not what made me laugh.  What made me laugh was the faux pas the author made when he said, "THEY (the Jews) ascribed personality to their god, including holiness and love."  Yes, folks, he admitted that the Jews gave their god certain attributes--god had nothing to do with it!!  I'm still laughing......  This is no different than what other groups did with their gods.  Zeus is a storm god,  just like Yahweh, and he too was "ascribed his personality" by his followers.  This can be said for any god or goddess, as people create them in their own minds.  And some Christians it seems, can finally admit that.

Finally, I wanted to point this out to him, but he blocked me quite a while ago.  It is obvious that apologists that claim to "defend the faith" can't/don't do a very good job of it.

*Materialist Approaches to the Bible p. 13
**Ibid. p. 25