Judeo-Christian really different than pagan religions ?

ex-minister
atheistHigh Level ModeratorSilver Member
ex-minister's picture
Posts: 1708
Joined: 2010-01-29
User is offlineOffline
Judeo-Christian really different than pagan religions ?

 One thing I learned growing up about Christianity (and Judaism before) that is the BIG difference between it and pagan religions is that pagan religions worship wood and stone. You had the golden calf story when Moses was on the mountain top. The Torah is a stories of cleansing Israel of worshiping man made objects.

And you have the commandment not to make any graven image of anything in heaven and on earth.

But did pagans really believe that they were physically holding their god or was it no more than a simple representation of their faith in that god. Reading some of the Sumerian text it seems they knew their god was elsewhere just like the Israelis believed god was in heaven. I think this smacks of saying this made them unique but I am not buying that and want others (e.g. pauljohn)  to comment on this.

And then again did Israel really not have their own images?  After laying out the 10 commandments and the avoidance of graven images,  instructions is given on how to build the temple. Right there they are commanded to build two golden cherubims and place them on each side of the ark which housed the 10 commandments (not posted on the courts steps, mind you, but hidden away). Frickin' angels - graven images. And the ark was all powerful and whats-his-name was struck dead trying to steady it. They used it in battles. It was an object of power and worship. Then there is the cross today which is plastered everywhere and quite prominent, especially the ones with larger than life images of Jesus dying. I remember being young and looking at it with sadness that I had done that to Him. 

So really does Christianity have this on their side as proof they are better than pagans?

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
All depends, of course, on

All depends, of course, on your point of view.

You may infer that all too many people worship the golden calf - especially the gold part.  Of all religions and faiths and even us atheists.

My sister - the JW - insists that Catholics are the scum of the earth because they worship idols.  She is referring to saying prayers to the saints and Mary.  I know that isn't exactly what the Catholics are doing, but there is no use trying to tell her.  And just get her going on the golden calf and the lack of same in her life.  Her middle name should be "acquisitive".

And in a sense, she too, prays to an idol - except her idol is JC himself.  She was really pissed at me when I pointed this out to her.  But then she gets pissed with me real often.

We all have idols in one sense or another.  I believe a big part of religion is saying "we are better than they are because we do (not) ..... and they do (not)."  And fill in the blank with whatever nonsense you care to.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


ex-minister
atheistHigh Level ModeratorSilver Member
ex-minister's picture
Posts: 1708
Joined: 2010-01-29
User is offlineOffline
 The abomination that makes

 The abomination that makes desolation whatever the hell that means is quoted by a group that believe Christians have come to worship the bible and the bible itself is the mark of the beast.       So that might be worthy to share with your JW sister at an opportune time. IT IS THE WORD OF GOD TO THEM. 

http://www.youtube.com/user/BIBLEisMARKofBEAST

 

When you walk into a Catholic church you peer down and see the Lord's Supper table where they worship the eucharist, the blood & body of Christ "on a cracker". When you walk into a Protestant church you see the pulpit and most likely a table in front of it with an open bible, the thing they worship.

 

Religion sets you up to think that objects are sacred and it is a great temptation to give those objects power. For me I would have gotten slapped on the back of the head if I ever put anything on top of a bible. It took me years to get over that one. But now I got a version that I write all kinds of crap in it and it is buried under a pile of other books.

But my proposal is that Christianity doesn't own this one. They are no better than the pagan religions because on both sides of the coin, pagans didn't believe that the physical object was god and the christians also had objects of worship but they know it was not god. There are number of Catholic churches that have the bones of saints that they hold in reverence. Its all BS and believing in NO god makes nothing sacred. I might hold something has having more value but they contain no supernatural powers. I may not be making my point cuz I am sleepy. Will ponder some tomorrow.

 

However, I don't believe in "You got to serve somebody" (like Dylan sang). That is drain bramage talking from all the drugs he did.

 

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


luca
atheist
Posts: 400
Joined: 2011-02-21
User is offlineOffline
kill your idol

Quote:
And in a sense, she too, prays to an idol - except her idol is JC himself.

I absolutely agree with this. Who cares if what you adore isn't physical? It's an entity all the same! The FACT is that their religion tells them that idolatry of PHYSICAL items is bad, no idolatry in itself. As another example take magicians and prophets: christianity explicitly tells they are all irrefutably BAD -- but not the christians ones, in fact Moses was a mage and the bible is full of "respected" prophets! Anyway I would not call that hypocrisy, if anyone asks me.

Quote:
But did pagans really believe that they were physically holding their god or was it no more than a simple representation of their faith in that god.

Theists ARE.NOT.HONESTS. But it's not their fault, it's education (or diseducation, to be correct). Theology and philosophy are good for two things:

-learn big words;

-insults.

That's all they do. Well, there's another aspect, which is to learn how a population thinks (in a determined epoch), but it requires scientific approach.

In the end I think someone in effect did believe that the idol hosted a god, but just so to talk I think it was more often a channel of communication than an avatar. Theists are not honest (but as I said it's not their fault, it happens wherever there is people with strong ideologies) in the sense that they do not really care about the others... They just search every way to diminish the dignity of every other religion, it doesn't matter if by truth or lying (as does everyone else). It's an interesting but long argument. From my observations I deduced that it's substantially a primitive way of thinking, where the "opponent" doesn't deserve to be treated well (he hasn't "rights" ), and it's because the person spreading bad words doesn't know well the argument, and expecially this person has not associated anything (anyONE, above all) with that "bad" concept.


harleysportster
atheist
harleysportster's picture
Posts: 3273
Joined: 2010-10-17
User is onlineOnline
ex-minister wrote: However,

ex-minister wrote:

 

However, I don't believe in "You got to serve somebody" (like Dylan sang). That is drain bramage talking from all the drugs he did.

 

 

I totally agree with you on that one.

It's the same thing as that theist argument "everyone has to have faith in something, when you crank your motorcycle, you have faith it will start do you not ?,". Which is a bullshit fallacy of equivocation in my opinion.

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


ex-minister
atheistHigh Level ModeratorSilver Member
ex-minister's picture
Posts: 1708
Joined: 2010-01-29
User is offlineOffline
harleysportster wrote:  I

harleysportster wrote:

 

 

I totally agree with you on that one.

It's the same thing as that theist argument "everyone has to have faith in something, when you crank your motorcycle, you have faith it will start do you not ?,". Which is a bullshit fallacy of equivocation in my opinion.

 

Exactly. It is not your faith the motorcycle will start. It is simple expectation. I have started it hundreds of times before and it has started up. I also can see it (which helps things along) and know if it has been properly maintained. I know it has gas, spark and compression. It probably is going to start.

Faith is believing in something unseen, something which you don't have any hard evidence for, at best it is only a feeling, which trust me comes and goes. I don't base my bike starting on a feeling. 

Speaking of that I am going to take out my Ducati now. My wife and I will be going to lunch. Zero percent chance of rain. A nice trip over hill and dale. Sweet. Thursday I rode Skyline drive with a friend. I wrote about it on my blog with a twist.

 - no bugs in my teeth this time of year.

 

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


pauljohntheskeptic
atheistSilver Member
pauljohntheskeptic's picture
Posts: 2484
Joined: 2008-02-26
User is offlineOffline
ex-minister wrote: One

ex-minister wrote:

 One thing I learned growing up about Christianity (and Judaism before) that is the BIG difference between it and pagan religions is that pagan religions worship wood and stone. You had the golden calf story when Moses was on the mountain top. The Torah is a stories of cleansing Israel of worshiping man made objects.

The OT also has stories where worship in the high places is considered to be wrong as well, see 1 and 2 Kings and Chronicles where it is constantly mentioned as continuing.

The Northern kingdom aka Israel, had 2 calves or possibly a bull set up in Bethel and in Dan, see 1 Kings 12:25-33. An interesting thought here is El, the Canaanite god was often represented as a bull or called Bull-El.

Then there are epods and teraphims which are graven images, idols, or such. See Judges 17 where Micah makes some.

Found throughout the OT, Genesis 31. Judges 17, 1 Samuel 15 and 19, .... etc.

Supposedly outlawed by Josiah in 2 Kings 23

See wiki for teraphim - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teraphim

dictionary definition - teraphim - A small image or idol representing an ancient Semitic household god.

Epods are supposedly garments or vestments, through they seem more elaborate than that. Perhaps part of performance as an oracle to the god or partly a representation in some ways.

see - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ephod

 

ex-minister wrote:

And you have the commandment not to make any graven image of anything in heaven and on earth.

Pretty obvious this comes far later on, perhaps under Josiah when the law is suddenly discovered in the Temple by Hilkiah the priest. In the book Who wrote the Bible, by Richard Friedman, he claims Jeremiah wrote Deuteronomy, aka the Law. Perhaps so as so many of the people in Judah especially violated many aspects of the Law for generations including making graven images.

ex-minister wrote:

But did pagans really believe that they were physically holding their god or was it no more than a simple representation of their faith in that god. Reading some of the Sumerian text it seems they knew their god was elsewhere just like the Israelis believed god was in heaven. I think this smacks of saying this made them unique but I am not buying that and want others (e.g. pauljohn)  to comment on this.

It is clear from pagan writings the idols were representations of the gods and not thee god at all. The rant against them is done such that it appears otherwise.

In Babylonian and Sumerian writing the ziggurants were made to allow the gods to come down to their level as well as allow the people (priests) to reach up to the level of the gods.

As the literature describes the gods coming down to the earth, it's clear the idol is not thee god.

ex-minister wrote:

And then again did Israel really not have their own images?  After laying out the 10 commandments and the avoidance of graven images,  instructions is given on how to build the temple. Right there they are commanded to build two golden cherubims and place them on each side of the ark which housed the 10 commandments (not posted on the courts steps, mind you, but hidden away). Frickin' angels - graven images. And the ark was all powerful and whats-his-name was struck dead trying to steady it. They used it in battles. It was an object of power and worship. Then there is the cross today which is plastered everywhere and quite prominent, especially the ones with larger than life images of Jesus dying. I remember being young and looking at it with sadness that I had done that to Him.

As indicated above the Hebrews and their supposed descendants, if that is what they were, all had graven images.

The ark and its cherubim are also in some way graven images. As with the other nations who took their idols to war so too did the Hebrews/Judahites/Israelites.

I really don't like using the word Israelites or Israel to describe the Yahweh believers as I'm very uncertain of what or who was worshiped in the Northern kingdom, so I usually don't use the word Israel to describe the Yahweh believers.

ex-minister wrote:

So really does Christianity have this on their side as proof they are better than pagans?

 

As Christians pick and choose from the OT they have no problem dodging any idol worship by the Hebrews/Judahites as the people sinning against the god, even when it involves main characters such as David.

In the case of the cross however it is not considered by them to be a graven image, just a reminder of what the Jesus did for them supposedly. Of course when you add the Jesus to the cross, it seems to take on aspects of being an idol.

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.