a first cut at putting it all together

A_Nony_Mouse
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a first cut at putting it all together

Preface

Let us make no mistake here. Lets us not permit believers to "discover"I am hostile to religion and those who promote religion. There is no question I am openly hostile to religion in any form, organized, unorganized and even chaotic. This is not a secret. This is my premise.

Let me also be clear. I have no intention of presenting myself as more gentle than Muslims, more charitable than Christians or more peaceful than Buddhists. I am not going to pretend you can be better than your goals in your religion by rejecting religion. I have no intention of out-doing the preachers and giving you a new religion called non-religion.

=====

It is not what you know that is a problem. It is the things you know that are not true that cause you problems.

reading about the archaeological finds in bibleland and slowly realizing what you are not seeing. You are not seeing the kind of things found in other ancient civilizations. You are not seeing palaces, temples, statues, columns, magnificent ruins. You are seeing here and there a wall. And when you do read of an important find like Jericho you find it shows the bible story can not be true.

You are not reading about ancient inscriptions about the people and events of the bible showing them in a different light.

You slowly realize what you are not finding in all your reading. You are not finding biblical Israel.

READING this article will be a challenge to many. It is not easy to stop accepting things which a person has been told all his life. This must be done for all religious traditions unless there is physical evidence for them.

The only way to find the physical evidence for these stories is by archaeology. When one realizes there is no archaeological evidence in support of any religious tradition about the Old Testament stories it is viewed in an entirely different light. It is not a view which is favored by the religious establishment.

I.     Archaeology
II.    Religious Tradition
III.   Literal v Figurative God stories

=====
=====

I.    Archaeology

How much has to be found in bibleland to confirm the existance of biblical Israel?

ALL of it. The standard of archaeology is the Troy Standard.

BIBLICAL ISRAEL == The Troy Standard

At this point review what you once thought you were reading about the archaeology of biblical Israel and take a close look at what you were reading instead. You were reading religious traditions masquerading as facts. You noticed you were not seeing palaces, temples, statues, columns, magnificent ruins. If you asked you read they did not make statues because they were prohibited. OK. So where are the palaces, temples, columns, and magnificent ruins without statues? Why was it so easy to read about statues and find the absence of everything else making sense?

Where did these religious traditions come from? No one knows. Who created these religious traditions? No one knows? When were they created? No one knows. Were they taken seriously when created? No one knows. We know absolutely nothing about religious traditions save that they exist.

Believers would like you to assume there is something special about religious traditions simply because they are the traditions of the religion dating back as far as they can be traced. So also are Mormon religious traditions which does not sway most Christians. So are Islamic religious traditions which do not sway most Christians. So are Christian religious traditions which do not sway most Jews.

So if we are to take a fresh look at this subject the credible place to start is with Jewish religious tradition which does not sway either Christians or Muslims nor even Mormons be they Christian or not depending upon your position in the matter.

If Judaism crumbles so also does Christianity and Islam.

What constitutes the religious traditions of Judaism? Without pretending to name them all let me be clear that the Old Testament is a set of religious traditions no matter how it arose. What do we know for sure about the Old Testament? Damned near nothing.

We have many religious traditions as to the origins of the OT but nothing more than religious traditions. We have not one evidenced answer regarding the who, what, when, where, and why of the OT.

Take for example the question of when it was written. As little as two centuries ago the first five books of the OT were written by Moses around 1200 BC. Today the when is a range of dates from about 600BC to 200BC with no agreement at all. What we do know is a collection of these stories appeared in Alexandria around the mid 3rd c. BC in Greek. Later several different collections of these stories appeared which are commonly called the Septuagint. So also this collection is called the Old Testament of which there are several different collections. So also there are the scrolls of the Jews which is another different collection.

The only source of a claim that the Greek collection is a translation of an original in another language is the forged Letter of Aristeas from the early 1st c. AD and in the late 1st c. AD Josephus cites this forgery as his only evidence of an older version in another language.

If you believe there was something older than the stories in Greek that appeared in Alexandria that is your religious tradition. There is no evidence any such thing existed.

"But wait," you shout, "we know the Hebrew is older." No you do not. All you know is there is a tradition it is older. There is no evidence of it. Belief is not knowledge. There is not one single inscription of any passage from the Septuagint to be found any place in bibleland which is older than when the Septuagint appeared in history.

Yes there are many fragments of writings found in bibleland. They are in two different scripts, Phoenician and Aramaic. Surprise for the uninitiated, the present day script we call Hebrew is Aramaic. There is no unique Hebrew script. And before the Aramaic appears there is only Phoenician script.

What inscriptions are found in the Phoenician script are declared by many to be a "hebrew" language distinctly different from Phoenician. Their evidence is tenuous at best. Let us not dwell upon that but turn out attention to the inscriptions in this "hebrew" instead which relate to the religion of the people who wrote in "hebrew." They always mention Yahweh and Ashara as the pair of gods which ruled the land. There is no mention of Yahweh without Ashara. If this is in fact the language of the bible people then in fact they worshiped both the god and goddess not just the god.

Based upon the evidence there is no basis to say the people prior to the Septuagint only worshiped one god.

But is not in question as we know the was a temple to Ashara in the upper city on the so-called Temple mount in the 2nd c. AD. We also know from Josephus that the temple of Yahweh was in the lower city.

=====

Everyone is the same without evidence of a specific difference relevant to the issue being addressed.

===== LITERAL VS FIGURATIVE

        Literal vs Figurative

How were the stories in the OT viewed when they were created?

Fiction of course. And fiction of the fantasy genre no less.

The ancients created stories about their gods. They were not believed but taken to be fantasy or perhaps a separate category of god fiction just as today we refer to this type of story as mythology.

The Iliad and Odyssey are convenient examples attributed to the same author, Homer. There are gods in both poems. The difference is in the former the gods are figuratively involved. In the latter the gods are literally involved.

As a modern example Patton claimed to pray "every damned day" and specifically to pray for victory. After battle he would offer prayer thanking his god for the victory. No place do we expect to read of his god appearing on the beaches raining down heavenly fire on the enemy. We expect figurative involvement of a god in stories about the war. We do not expect literal involvement.

In the Iliad we find such prayers and sacrifices both for victory and to celebrate victory. We do not find a god breaching the walls of Ilium nor setting the city ablaze. We find the kind of story we tell about our own battles and do not expect to read of any literal involvement of a god. All the references are to figurative involvement of the gods.

In the Odyssey we find a different kind of story. We find the literal involvement of gods, children of gods and supernatural beings as critical parts of each story. He blinds the Cyclops, the son of the god Poseidon. As the god of the seas Poseidon keeps Oddyseus wandering the seas for ten years as punishment. This we see as god fiction, i.e. mythology.

However revered these works of Homer and however seriously the Iliad was taken as an epic tale of a real war no one took the Oddysey as literally true. Similarly no one took the other tales of the gods as literally true. The Greeks viewed the stories of the gods the same way we view them, as mythology.

Similarly the Romans, Egyptians, Persians and others did not view their god stories as literally true. On the simple assumption that the Jews were the same as everyone else there is no reason to think they viewed their god stories any differently, that they viewed the stories as myths. There is no reason to think the Jews were different and believed their god stories were literal rather than figurative.

=====
 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


ClockCat
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 I have to disagree with your statements that they didn't believe the stories about their gods were true.

 

There were a great number of people in those societies that did, and would cite the stories not only as warnings, but found their gods "sacred". Keep in mind that blaspheming resulted in a death sentence in ancient greece.

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diagoras_of_Melos is a famous man that was accused of impiety.

 

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


A_Nony_Mouse
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ClockCat wrote:

 I have to disagree with your statements that they didn't believe the stories about their gods were true.

Disagreeing is not an issue but I have not found a single instance in which the literal truth of any myth was taken seriously. The obvious fact that they stories changed over time and that new stories appeared should make it clear they were not considered immutable truth.

ClockCat wrote:
There were a great number of people in those societies that did, and would cite the stories not only as warnings, but found their gods "sacred". Keep in mind that blaspheming resulted in a death sentence in ancient greece.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diagoras_of_Melos is a famous man that was accused of impiety.

While wikipedia is suitable for high school students I do not discuss such matters with high school graduates.

Blasphemy in this sense was with regard to the gods not the stories about the gods. I am certain if one entered Athens and declared she was really Hermes in drag that would result in a speedy trial and a slow execution. That is blasphemy. The stories about her were many and not reconcilable and I know of no penalty for making up a new one. Compare this to the consequences of making up a new story about Jesus such as his ministry in the New World after his death in Jerusalem.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


ClockCat
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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

 

Blasphemy in this sense was with regard to the gods not the stories about the gods. I am certain if one entered Athens and declared she was really Hermes in drag that would result in a speedy trial and a slow execution. That is blasphemy. The stories about her were many and not reconcilable and I know of no penalty for making up a new one. Compare this to the consequences of making up a new story about Jesus such as his ministry in the New World after his death in Jerusalem.

 

 

How about making up stories of BEFORE he died? What would the consequences of that be?

 

Oh..right. Probably nothing. So it is easily comparable to the Greek gods still.

 

As to your pointless hate on wikipedia, I was talking about the man, and the wikipedia article was a short synopsis of him if you did not already know who he was. Considering he was one of the first men famously recorded for being an atheist...I thought you might know of him already, but just in case I provided it to help you.

 

I'm not sure why you went on a rant about wikipedia when I wasn't quoting it as a reference for anything.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


A_Nony_Mouse
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ClockCat wrote:
A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
Blasphemy in this sense was with regard to the gods not the stories about the gods. I am certain if one entered Athens and declared she was really Hermes in drag that would result in a speedy trial and a slow execution. That is blasphemy. The stories about her were many and not reconcilable and I know of no penalty for making up a new one. Compare this to the consequences of making up a new story about Jesus such as his ministry in the New World after his death in Jerusalem.

How about making up stories of BEFORE he died? What would the consequences of that be?

Oh..right. Probably nothing. So it is easily comparable to the Greek gods still.

Yes. The only new thing I am saying is simply the Judeans/Jews were no different from anyone else and did not take their stories any more seriously than did anyone else. As an atheist, I am saying they were not stupider than the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and others. Some have suggested saying they were as smart as the Greeks is antisemitic. Some people are dumb.

How people came to become dumber than the ancients is another story which I do not have good words for yet. However it was an egalitarian approach which damned any separate understanding based upon any differentiation of any kind including education. At least this is the outward pretention today.

ClockCat wrote:
As to your pointless hate on wikipedia, I was talking about the man, and the wikipedia article was a short synopsis of him if you did not already know who he was. Considering he was one of the first men famously recorded for being an atheist...I thought you might know of him already, but just in case I provided it to help you.

I'm not sure why you went on a rant about wikipedia when I wasn't quoting it as a reference for anything.

A correct assessment of Wikipedia is not hatred. It is merely correct. It is not suitable for high school graduates. Its purpose is to exactly mimic other general encyclopedias like Britannica without copyright. It is not intended to present the best information but only to duplicate information.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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You might want to pick up a

You might want to pick up a few copies of Biblical Arcaheology. There were indeed many palaces, statues and the like along the coast of the Levant. In land involved small farming communities. It was almost like how today we have Californian Jews and the Orthodox Jews.


A_Nony_Mouse
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ClockCat wrote:
A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
Blasphemy in this sense was with regard to the gods not the stories about the gods. I am certain if one entered Athens and declared she was really Hermes in drag that would result in a speedy trial and a slow execution. That is blasphemy. The stories about her were many and not reconcilable and I know of no penalty for making up a new one. Compare this to the consequences of making up a new story about Jesus such as his ministry in the New World after his death in Jerusalem.


How about making up stories of BEFORE he died? What would the consequences of that be?

Oh..right. Probably nothing. So it is easily comparable to the Greek gods still.

I can go further. If I remember correctly we know of 22 other gospels and well over 40 epistles attributed to the apostles but not considered canonical. Of all of them the only case I have found regarding a penalty for creating them was one where the priest claimed it fell from the sky after a thunderstorm. His bishop sent a letter telling him to destroy it and recant his claim else he would personally come and beat the crap out of him.

Even today there is a modest industry in christian god stories that are not frowned on although the major effort is stories about saints. There Jewish industry in embellishments to the OT stories is huge and as Josephus obviously was not using the OT material surviving to this day the industry was thriving his in day and he, a priest, had no problem using it. [Which leads to a side issue as the survival of the bible books of the Jews is via the Christians as they have none of the extra material Josephus used.]

So there is no difference here. The OT was not taken any more seriously by the Judeans than the Christians took their dozens of gospels.

ClockCat wrote:
As to your pointless hate on wikipedia, I was talking about the man, and the wikipedia article was a short synopsis of him if you did not already know who he was. Considering he was one of the first men famously recorded for being an atheist...I thought you might know of him already, but just in case I provided it to help you.

All assistance is greatly appreciated.

ClockCat wrote:
I'm not sure why you went on a rant about wikipedia when I wasn't quoting it as a reference for anything.

The purpose of Wikipedia is no more than to create a copyright free source of materials no different from any other encyclopedia. The primary market for encyclopedias are new parents. Their purpose is nothing more than an aid to grade school students.

That said I have seen the interjection of its material into way to many discussions as though it was the final word. Rather than recite why it is no more than high school level material I dismiss it out of hand.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


Vastet
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Wikipedia wasn't useful ten

Wikipedia wasn't useful ten years ago. Today is a different story. It is the cheapest location of accumulated knowledge in the world, and is used even by college and university students. It is the first step to take in researching, and only questionable if it is the only step used. Your arguments against it are ignorant.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Vastet wrote:
Wikipedia wasn't useful ten years ago. Today is a different story. It is the cheapest location of accumulated knowledge in the world, and is used even by college and university students. It is the first step to take in researching, and only questionable if it is the only step used. Your arguments against it are ignorant.

A mere 46 years ago one of the lecturers for freshman orientation informed the assembled, idealistic masses of which I was a member but not humble even then that no encyclopedia was a suitable citation for college work. A bit over a year ago the use of wiki by college students was brought to a head and the disagreement was over strictly prohibiting it and whether there might be a limited exception for its use.

Keep up with the news and learn the universities started publicly rejecting its use only two years after I saw and challenged the trend.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


Vastet
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"A mere 46 years ago one of

"A mere 46 years ago one of the lecturers for freshman orientation informed the assembled, idealistic masses of which I was a member but not humble even then that no encyclopedia was a suitable citation for college work."

Which is why they have sources. Duh.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Vastet wrote:
"A mere 46 years ago one of the lecturers for freshman orientation informed the assembled, idealistic masses of which I was a member but not humble even then that no encyclopedia was a suitable citation for college work." Which is why they have sources. Duh.

Which is why a proper academic source requires it be from the primary source and be so attributed. It is against the rules to cite Herodotus using the encyclopedia reference instead of the pedia reference.

Duh indeed.

Speaking of atheism I have gone through the nonsense of believers posting from the OT with chapter and verse as some kind of authority. A very long time ago I learned to RTFB, read the fucking bible, and find that every verse cited was misrepresented because it was out of context. It was usually contrary to the meaning in context and occasionally on misrepresented in context. It NEVER meant what was implied by the separate statement out of context.

Just yesterday, time zone willing, someone was trying to contradict my citation of an impeccably Jewish source of the world population of Jews during WWII by citing a wikipedia reference to the Wannsee Protocol. Please tell me what a Wikipedia citation has to do with the subject. One can easily read the protocol itself and see that its numbers are unsourced and as such have no validity as a citation of actual numbers only as the participants common acceptance of the numbers. Yet wikipedia was cited as authoritative.

I have other examples if you need them.

Why do you I need to explain this to you?

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


ClockCat
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 My university classes have supported the use of wikipedia with citation.

 

*shrug*

 

I've never ran into any poblems with it. It is more reliable than the university library because if an article is incorrect checking it's sources is a lot easier.

 

If an something is incorrect in the university library, I'm not going to suffer trying to find the original information that is likely incredibly aged, not in the library... and invalid from conclusions made with old data.

 

Looking at books on astronomy in the library is okay for a laugh though. Laughing out loud Just have to try and keep it muted. It is a library, after all!

 

 

 

 

Also, I still fail to see why you are raging over linking to a description about a man. Where would you rather I link to if you don't know about him?

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


Vastet
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"Which is why a proper

"Which is why a proper academic source requires it be from the primary source and be so attributed. It is against the rules to cite Herodotus using the encyclopedia reference instead of the pedia reference."

And the best place to find sources is an encyclopedia. Duh indeed.

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 http://philosopedia.org/index.php/Diagoras

 

Is philosopedia better? Laughing out loud

 


A_Nony_Mouse
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Vastet wrote:
"A mere 46 years ago one of the lecturers for freshman orientation informed the assembled, idealistic masses of which I was a member but not humble even then that no encyclopedia was a suitable citation for college work." Which is why they have sources. Duh.

And if all of the previous answer is not sufficient, cite the authority for the wikipedia reference. Who specifically is the expert whose work was included in the wikipedia reference?

At one time I changed the obvious nonsense that Rome named the region Palestine to the mention of its name by Herodotus as Palestine. I was banned for violating the sacred word by reciting a fact in evidence.

The purpose of research is to do it. The purpose is not to recite the nonsense of anonymous sources as though they were your own research.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


Vastet
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"And if all of the previous

"And if all of the previous answer is not sufficient, cite the authority for the wikipedia reference. Who specifically is the expert whose work was included in the wikipedia reference?"

The source it was attributed to. Have you never used one? Only someone with no experience with encyclopedias could be so dense.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


ClockCat
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 I still fail to see why you are raging over linking to a description about a man. Where would you rather I link to if you don't know about him?

 

Theism is why we can't have nice things.