• when it hapend

    September 2017
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  • My Blog

    this is going to be my new blogsite for regular rants of mine.

    This hopefully will supplement my webpages.

    please, if you comment stay on subject. I am interested in feedback, especially real thoughtful feedback. if you don't agree with what i believe that's fine too, but argue about why you believe differently, if that's appropriate.

    and of course, this is for fun interest and for something to think about, not to offend anyone's ideas or beliefs.

  • admin thingy:

Ethics in Christianity

For many years I have looked into different aspects of morality and ethics in the Bible. The hardest discrepancy to resolve with Bible scholars is the differences between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament has a lot more violent and intolerant behavior than the New Testament. We do not understand the reasoning of God and never can. Sadly, I think the initial reason I started trying to research this topic was because this is one of the new arguments Atheists and Agnostics have used to discredit the Bible and the Christian religion. Here, is one of those typical arguments on YouTube; (I will tell you in advance, these two have attitudes that are hard to deal with on a certain level, but what they say has a certain amount of merit.)

A rudimentary background of Christian ethics informs us that their ethics of the New Testament is based on the Old Testament. This paper also mentions how the Christian religion has to treat ethics differently because Christian morality is tied to Christian ethics. This page, oddly, says almost exactly the same thing. Which, means these guys can argue the morality, and therefore ethics, they say are lacking in God.

Tolerance is considered a bad word in the Church because Christians are not supposed to tolerate people who sin, or go against the word of God, (which is odd anyway because Christians are not supposed to judge others.) Christians are supposed to Evangelise to sinners, which to me always meant, invade someone’s privacy and private space and talk to them about things that are really personal, without knowing more than their name, before they know the slightest thing about your religion as soon as they walk in the doors of the church. Which, to me, contradicted church doctrine. Typically, my family would begin going to a new church, and as soon as we walked in the door, some members of the church would see we were new, and would make it their duty to evangelise to us, and try to make us go up to the front of the church. By this action, they were judging all of us teens in the family to be non-christians and in need of saving and accepting Christ into our lives. By the time I was 11 years old, myself and my younger 3 siblings had become Christians, so when these evil church people judged us to be non-christians, it really showed us what kind of people they were. Being a liberal myself, this showed me they were sheep who followed without thinking. In trying to evangelise to us they were showing Pride, Gluttony, and Greed, 3 of the 7 deadly sins! As soon as I heard their spiel start I would feel sorry for them and sorry for myself. How could church people act so immoral? Because it is the church doctrine that tells them they should act this way.

Sadly though, the Bible contains the three ‘isms’ that modern society hates, slavery, sexism and racism. I think these are really throwbacks to what the world was like in those days when the Bible was written. In the past one thing that really troubled me was that the slavery in the Bible was considered a bad thing if it was one of the favored tribes, like Moses’, but acceptable if it was one of the other tribes or individuals that were enslaved, which to me just is another way of God advocating racism.

The traditional Ten Commandments are what most people think of when they think of the morality of the Bible, but they have been slandered by God himself. Not only that, they aren’t the real “Ten Commandments” as delivered by God to Moses on the Stone Tablets from Mt. SinaiGod advocates killing, rape, murder, slavery, and many other things in the Bible, and usually advocates them to be used by his people only, because they are his followers.

………………..       …………………..   ……………….      …………………   …………………

A Genocidal God?

The other reason I really wanted to ask all these questions, is because something else I came across really started bothering me. We were always taught in the Church to fear God. If you do bad you may be turned into pillars of salt, like those in Sodom and Gomorra. And if you think your sin isn’t as bad as theirs was, all you have to do is read the passage:

“Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10).  

15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer. And you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself.” (John 13:31-35)

It came to me in spurts luckily or it probably would have sent me into shock. First, I read about Abraham, and his family moving back and forth across the dessert. I laughed at all the incest, which back then, was acceptable, because Abraham was told by God that his family was not to marry outside of his race, they were the only ones who were sanctified. I blocked some of it out, I hate the racism, ethnicity-ism, and the toleration of racism, it’s just a sad part of our history.

But then I switched over to Moses and started reading about the plagues and the exodus. I sort of got to the end, I wanted to read the vernacular of how they described the parting of the Red Sea, because I’m a word nerd. I got to that part and the wording  for the people who came after Moses to the Red Sea was all inclusive:

(Exodus 14: 17-18 ) “ 17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”

Then I went back to the telling of the plague, and read the previous verses about the first-born plague:

(Exodus 13: 13) “13 The Lord said to Moses, “Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine.”

So now I’m thinking, “Did God kill all the Egyptians?” He killed the adults, elderly, children and babies who were firstborn, then in the Red Sea all the horsemen and soldiers, and all the rulers of Egypt. He also killed all the baby firstborn animals, too. With animals that you kill for meat, they are a seasonal stock, so killing all the firstborn would mean that one season they would have no meat, no livestock. The hundreds of thousands of slaves in Egypt at that time were not “Egyptians” they were foreigners. Anyone who was Egyptian at that time were guards or rulers.

I went back further and re-read about the plagues and the last plague was locusts which ate up all the plants. So, now there is no meat for one season and nothing green on the land:

(Exodus 10: 15)  “1They covered the face of the whole land, so that the land was darkened, and they ate all the plants in the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Not a green thing remained, neither tree nor plant of the field, through all the land of Egypt.”

So, I have read the whole Bible a couple of times, though, so I wondered, how could I have missed this? So, I thought he didn’t kill them all, God doesn’t kill whole races of people. But then, I remembered that he does. I forgot somehow about Sodom and Gomorrah, the Canaanites, the tribe of Benjamin, Noah and the Flood, and other acts of genocide. [More][2nd Part of More]

One person commented, “you just said that the flood was punishment for people being evil… is that not god killing sinners? why use the flood? he could have just let them die naturally and then punish them by sending them to hell,” and I really still don’t even know how I would respond. God doesn’t follow his “Ten Words.”

I remembered what I was taught in Sunday school, we can not judge the acts of God because his reasoning is beyond what we can understand. God is just, not necessarily moral. God is to be feared.  “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge….The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom…” (Prov. 1.7, 9.10).

I never believed my God was a moral God. I learned in Sunday School that God does what he wants and by his reasoning it is moral. God is Good; By that we mean that what God does, is by definition Good. If I think about killing someone, God says that is murder, and technically that is bad. God may show his grace and I can go to Heaven. If, However, God tells me to kill someone, then that murder is considered killing, and killing is justified/lawful. This is the reasoning some people use to explain why American soldiers aren’t going to Hell? Hopefully, their reasoning has merit in God’s eyes.

So, in conclusion, Racism, Sexism, and Slavery, are OK by God. Murder is wrong, but killing is lawful, and genocide is OK if sanctioned by God.

….. Some people believe they have higher morals and ethics than God….

I say all this in a way that is meant to be pernicious, facetious, and maybe satirical at the same time, yet serious. This is a popular argument among Atheists, and Agnostics, and Church going people. Many people are saying they would never go to a church where the congregation worships a God who kills discriminately, hates whole races of people, does not believe that women are equal, advocates sacrificing animals and kids, commits genocide. One guy posted online, “Here’s a good source for who gets stoned to death.”

The Christian Church says in reality, God is Good, he can not do anything immoral, because his doing it means that it is Good. You make think it is immoral or unethical or that God is a hypocrite, but you would be wrong in your assumption. And it specifically says in the Bible that God is an angry God, who if you follow him and worship him will give you everything you need and will help you get rid of your enemies:

13Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. 16Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah. 17Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. 18Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors, 19thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the Lord said.”

So, in the end, God’s has strong morals because by definition, anything God does is Good. Ethics is defined as: moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior.” God has good ethics because God created the morals and ethics that he follows. Man on the other hand has different ethics than God in most cases, so if he/she/you/me follow those ethics than we are ethically good people. If we do what God has done than we would be considered immoral and unethical, because the group that we belong to would consider them unethical.

 

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Scientists ?

Why is it that we Christians think of Science and Scientists differently than Math and Mathematicians ?

I was in conversation before with some Atheists who believe that being logical and being scientific is contrary to believing in God. Just shows me the state of our educational system is going dangerously downhill. Is America really SO conservative that people are not allowed to question what they are told or theorize or otherwise be creative ? Don’t people read their history books? All the times that scientists “proved” something and then later came back and said they were wrong and now they’ve found the reason and now they’re sure they are right. And we all get confused and say ” how can they be so sure they are right this time ?”

I wonder when science was developing as a subject, when did it change from the study of how things work, to a religion where some people who study it actually say that Science counters Religion ? In order for that to happen, some people would have to believe in Religion and the others would have to believe in Science.

I still believe that scientists are just like mathagicians, they study our world and figure out how it works. They’ll never figure out WHY is works, but I can surely tell you WHY it all works.

Look at a mathematician, they study how numbers work and number theory and all kinds of neat stuff. Never in their studies do they say, “well, hey. Fibonacci numbers have been proven to show the shape of a snail’s shell, so Math must have created snail shells.” We all understand that math defines numbers and studies life and numbers. Math tries to define numbers in our world.

Science, on the other hand, says, “we looked at the snail-shell and we saw a snail being born, so you have to prove to us that God created it and not Science.”

The difference is in the application of the tool. Math is a tool. Science is a tool. They both define our world and help us to understand it. But they didn’t create it. They don’t prove that God doesn’t exist. They actually prove that he does.

Do you honestly believe that with millions of operations going on in a billions cells in your body, multiplied by the billions of people on our planet, they are just accidentally happening correctly for years ? Your body works consistently the same 90% of the time, yet cells are malleable and can change anything about their structure or makeup by accident or mutation at any time. Yet, they don’t.

Belief in Science is a problem of Christians, not Atheists who believe science is the answer. Christians need to realize that there are people who study and experiment and prove things and are scientists. There are others who say science proves that the universe started with a Big Bang, but you can’t prove that your God exists. Of course, I say God created the Big Bang, because they can’t prove he didn’t. But they are basically saying that Science is the antithesis of God. I think the two co-exist, but for some reason many people can’t understand that.

The point though, and I don’t think of this lightly, these people who believe in Science, are the enemy of all religions.

Paul didn’t know Jesus

my conclusion: we don’t know. we didn’t have a clue before, now we have an educated clue.

CNN has a blog somewhere similar to my blog, “Time Travel”, and they say if certain things happen Hubble should be picking up images from billions of years ago, and if we look in the right spot we may be able to revisit the “Big Bang”. which really makes me wonder about our concept of “time” since that time for us has already happened, but here it is still happening there.

but anyway, our concept of time has changed numerous times. they used to measure time with the sundial and it was only accurate to within an area of time. sometimes the minute hand was considered accurate, but when the seasons change then the minutes’ positions change. more recently we’ve had clocks/watches that if you do not wind them at exactly the same time everyday they aren’t accurate. then later with the atomic clock and the internet, scientists have found that seconds were too large a measurement of time to be accurate. then with internet synchronization they found that they had to synchronize once a day. the time on the computer would be off because computers measure time in eighths or tenths, and time is in sixths. (60 seconds in a minute vs. 100) but a computer chip runs in tenths but then it has to communicate with the other chips in bits, so 8, 16, 32….

One of the guys who commented on my other blog was curious about how long we’ve been around.

before scientists were invulnerable, and what they said was golden. but then some other scientists cam along who said we don’t know that carbon dating or uranium isotope deterioration is correct. obviously, we have not been around for 12,000 years, so we could never even tell you that is what carbon would be like after that long. then they said we don’t know that carbon ages in that way each time. under different conditions it may decay at a different rate. also, the atmospheric conditions of the time in question may have been different than what we know today. A little more detail on both sides of this argument.

so, keeping that in mind, i read another story in an archeological periodical or magazine, that told about them digging into a mesa out west around Colorado. mesas are easier to measure because whatever the height of the mesa is how far you don’t have to dig down, but still get material from that rock period in history. 

archeological dig example so these archeologists went down into different layers of the rock and found animals and bones at different levels and tested all of them to see how old they were. on the outside layer of the Mesa, however, there could be remains from any period from where it was over washed with flood waters.

but, when the archeologists dug into the Mesa they found lifeforms in the upper layers that were older than animals in the lower layers. they would find a fossil and compare it to a list of fossils that had been previously dated to see how old it was.

here, the archeologists had a problem. the layers had to be laid on in the correct order because they layer like the layers of a tree trunk, one on top of the older one. so, how could the dating be wrong on the animals that they had found ?

They could not find an acceptable answer. Me ? i just don’t think we really know what we’re doing yet.

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but don’t you let me let this argument be one sided !

religion has it’s own inaccuracies to deal with. First, the Gospels’ stories do not match factually. i, and many other people believe these books were written as parables by the disciples. Nowhere in the Bible does it mention Jesus’ actual appearance, which just shows some things were intentionally left our of his description, and the details of the stories. Luke and Matthew write different accounts of the stories as do Mark and John. if these accounts were handed down directly from God, then these guys didn’t double-check what they wrote.

That aside, people have recently stated a new argument. I’m still reading Jesus Papers by Michael Baigent, in which some archeologists and theologians have been working together for 50 years and have read ancient writings from the Bible and historical texts. even though Paul had never met Jesus, he talks of him as if he has. in those same words that Paul talks of Jesus, Matthew, Luke, and others talk of him. when most of the writers in the Bible talk of Jesus they speak of him in a 3rd person kind of way, more like the person who fulfilled the prophecies would be the Messiah. the Gospels write of Jesus as the one who fulfilled those prophecies, therefore, he was the Messiah.

if you look at Jesus this way, and if i have made any sense the way i have written it, you may be able to see how the Bible of parables, was written about the story of the Messiah, and that Messiah would be Jesus and the son of David and Abraham. but the Jesus that lived and the Jesus written about may not have been the same. the Jesus in the Bible was a prophesy, Jesus the man came later.

While i believe in God, and i believe the Bible is sacred, what else we know about time, our history and where we’re from, leaves a lot of questions.

Those People

I’m watching “Bones” and of course that close-minded Booth is on there. usually, no big deal, his character is supposed to be that jocky-football player in college-lady’s man-badboy-type of guy, the kind you are forced to take with a grain of salt. as they say, “it’s just a tv show”.

anywho, he was talking about some kids who he considered low-lifes i guess, and they were just people who did not fit his idea of the norm. of course Bones was just thinking, “oh really?” and with that look she gives him sometimes.

it struck me this time maybe because i’ve been watching the courtroom Law and Order, (whichever one that is), and they kind of have the same idea.

and of course i get it. i was one of those people that dresses different, not necessarily one of the punks, i had my own style. i had hundreds of safety pins in my pants leg, and different sized buttons on my shirt, and i had pants on that were 10 sizes too big, (before that was popular of course), and i was anti-social. and of course, i think those social, conforming, everything has a hole that it fits in type people are oddly abnormal in their own way.

but Booth was just judging them by the way they dressed and talked and role-played this game they played, and was basically saying they were useless dregs of society, i’m paraphrasing, but it was awfully close. the first thing i thought was, hey if that’s the reaction people give them, how are they supposed to be expected to feel like they are accepted or that they do “fit in” ?

the idea of “fitting in” comes directly from the conformist strategy to box everything into categories and label people a certain way. i have to admit that’s the way most of us understand other people, by associating them with other people we understand. that’s simplifying it, but hey.

and what i think is devastatingly strange about the whole judgmental attitude and categorizing thing, is that it stifles art, and creativity, and enterprising ideas. the creative and smart people who engage in being different in these ways are basically castrated at birth by conformist ignorance.

i would be the first to admit that conforming to some advents of the status quo serve a purpose; however, i still have to admit that to conform you have to somehow identify what is “normal” or “average” and that makes absolute conformity impossible, so chew on that you straight laced mofos ! (just kidding !)

i remember when i was a kid trying to be different and thinking, ” I will show them that you can be different and better and not be like them and not just succeed, but be better than them ! not just at a single thing, but at everything.” and i tried. of course lots of the people who were trying to fit in were basically spending all their time trying to be cool. i was learning linguistics, plumbing, welding, music writing, programming, and anything else i could find.

i would have been one of those kids Booth was making fun of and degrading. but what was i wasting ? nothing. i cut class and stole passes from the guidance counselor’s office. and i used the money to buy cigarettes. i skipped class 100 days of 175 and still passed all my classes.

but i was speaking spanish and german and learning sign language. i was studying fibonacci numbers and prime numbers and how their ratios to 1 and Pi show relationships between evolution and God’s world. I was doing 100 miles of camping, canoeing, and hiking to work towards my Eagle Scout. i could memorize a chapter of my chemistry book and read it later. i ran track to practice for my Army physical fitness test and the rest of the track team got yelled at because i came in second running against them. their coach said they should have done better seeing as how they were on the track team and i was nobody. i decided not to run with them again, they didn’t need the hassle.

so i had spiked hair that was bleached blond with blue on the tips and 3 earrings.

makes me wonder what Booth was doing in High School.

oh Jesus !

let me preempt this by saying i do believe in God and Jesus. I have faith, i even have faith that one day churches can be used for good.

let me also say that race is the government’s way of classifying people, to divide them into groups. we’re all earthlings.

no matter how you look at the world, evolution or Divine Intervention Theory (DIT), the beginning of the world started with one race. with evolution, the theory is that people came from the Fertile Crescent. in the Bible, the same. there is a lot of ambiguity about who was living in the Fertile Crescent at that time. but i’m not attempting to prove who was there, more who wasn’t there.

In that area there is Iraq and Iran which were the home of the Bible lands. Israel is there. The area of Greece is close. If you think in terms of languages, however, you will remember that the Greek language is not as old as Hebrew. I would say that the Greeks emigrated there from the Fertile Crescent area, then developed the Greek language after that.

now, according to evolution, people developed different color depending on where they lived, how much sun they got. according to the Bible, after the Tower of Babel incident, God made everyone different colors and speak different languages so they could not continue to make fools of themselves building towers to heaven. So, during the Fertile Crescent era, very few races existed according to evolution, or just 1 according to the Bible. Some people have said to me that the Bible does not say there was only 1 race of people before the Tower of Babel, only that he separated people more, after. I say that there was just the one Adam and Eve in the beginning, and people remind me of all the history of Adam and Eve that is left out of the Bible, such as Cain and Abel’s childhood and wives and brothers and sisters.

bottom line, Jesus was a Jew. Jesus’ parents were from Israel and Iraq. below is an image of a forensic anthropologist’s idea of what Jesus would have looked like.

Popular Mechanics link here to the story: http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/research/1282186.html

as we all know, and as the article mentions, all cultures have artists whose geographical and cultural background influences how they depict Jesus in their paintings/recreations of him in churches and synagogues and such.

So my take on this really is still partial, in that, if this is the true image of what Christ looked like, great, let’s hang it in the church. However, if Hispanics want to hang a picture of an Hispanic Jesus in their church, great, let them. which is to say, the race or ethnicity does not matter. But, to be really frank, Jesus was not white.

Like the article says, “Judas had to point Jesus out to the soldiers, because they could not recognize him from the others in the crowd”. Jesus was like all of us and represented all of us. All of us earthlings.