Thursday, August 2, 2007

beet analogy

Janice's beet analogy
I liken it to a child growing up being told to eat beets, they're good for you but not really knowing why they're good for you.

The first line of this analogy is about obedience. It wasn't said to this child, "Would you like to try something new?" Or "Here, this is one of my favorites, you might like this." The child is told to "eat beats". It isn't explained that there are vitamins and minerals that will help prevent colds, cure the chicken pox, and clear up acne. (Can beets really do that stuff?)

Yet it is highly appropriate that the beet analogy begins with a demand for obedience. For the christian god demands unquestioning obedience from his followers. God is the master, man is the slave and is not permitted, under pain of eternal damnation, to use his own judgment about morality.

How do you not recoil in horror that god killed every first born in Egypt?
Exodus 12:29-30
Does it not horrify you that 42 children were mauled to death by two bears for teasing Elisha for being bald? 2 Kings 2:23-24
What war crimes tribunal would not be absolutely correct to convict a leader that ordered, "Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off. The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows. They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children."? (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)

Janice, I mean these questions very sincerely. I am not trying to ridicule you or make fun of your faith. How do the attrocities commanded by, ordained by, and carried out by god not fill you with condemnation, moral outrage, horror, or disgust? As a mother, aren't you the least bit appalled that a child was hideously murdered by a bear because he ran with the wrong crowd?

Back to the beet analogy

As for complimenting the meal, Easter and Christmas come to mind. FE admits to the joy she feels during Christian holidays while denying the existence of God.

The post Janice is referring to is me and christmas and is exclusively about christmas, I never was a fan of easter. The summation of what I like about christmas is food, decorations, lights, weather, singing, candles, family time, and Santa presents. Then after waxing rhapsodic about the details of each of these I go on to talk about my current disillusionment with the holiday.

I still miss it. I miss that special feeling that christmas engendered. That inner quiet beauty, sense of light, wonder. Awe that a supernatural being came to earth as a baby because he loved me.

Janice- if christianity stopped there, with his love for me, I'd be ok with that. But it doesn't. And it is all the rest of christianity that is unacceptable to me. To return to your beet analogy, I like beets, especially beet pickles. But if every time I ate them I got hideous stomach cramps and a migraine, I wouldn't eat them again, regardless of how much I liked the taste.

I look back on the list of things I really liked about christmas and a lot of them don't have to be religious. They could be secular. But now that I no longer believe there is a deity...well... it seems like a lot of effort to go through for nothing.

I guess the beet analogy here would be growing the beats, harvesting the beets, pickling the beets, canning the beets, and then throwing them away because they were poisonous to me.

No Janice, I do not deny god. I am incapable of believing in him. My reasoning brain has found no evidence to support his existence. No evidence that isn't better explained by science. I am also emotionally incapable of believing in a god that does not have to answer for his appalling actions. Should it come to be that the christian god exists I would demand an accounting of him for the Inquisition, the Holocaust, and certainly the entire Old Testament. And if he said, "Who are you to question me?" I would reply, "I am Fiery, I am who you made me to be, and you knew I would be this way. Now stop dodging the question."

If god knew, the moment he picked up clay to form man and before he bent to breathe life into its nostrils, that billions of his creations would spend an eternity roasting in a lake of burning fire... why did he keep going? Why did he breathe life into it at all? Why is the torment of billions an acceptable trade off for the worship of millions?

Janice, you said you wanted to understand my position about beets, and christianity, and christmas and morality. I hope this has shed some light on those issues.


janice said...

The "beet" analogy was lame. I was having a difficult time getting it out of my head and having it make sense. I failed.

Yes, the Torah, Bible and koran are full of violence against those deemed evil and who turned away from God, G-d or allah.

I'll have to think about your post before I respond. I don't want to offend anyone. But, the wrath of God in Egypt was after Pharaoh murdered all male children under 2 years old. Thus, Moses was saved and raised as a prince under Pharaoh.

I'm not saying "tit for tat" on behalf of God, He was trying to show His existance to the Egyptians. But I don't want to get beat up (no pun intended) over this.

Let me get back to you. I'm going to read and reread your post and respond.

Thanks again for being open and helpful.

Fiery said...

Wasn't Pharaoh's heart hardened against the Israelites by the Lord himself? I'm not sure if I have the chronlogy correct here.

Analogies are always lacking in some respect, but they can be revealing in others.

janice said...

The first 9 plagues did harden Pharaohs heart. Then he admitted he could not fight this god and let them go after his son was murdered. He later chased them and the whole parting of the sea happened.

But, Pharaoh murdered the male, Israelite children years before. That's how Moses came to live in Pharaohs court.

janice said...

Let me get my Chronlogy Bible, and I'll get back to you.

You've got my mind spinning, in a good way!

Keith Sader said...

Yes, but why did YHWH hate the horses?

Exodus 9:1-7 - YHWH kills all the horses.
Exodus 9:8-10 - YHWH now covers all of the dead horses with boils.
Exodus 9:20-24 - YHWH now hails upon the dead, boil-covered horses. Egyptians who were smart have drug their dead, boil-covered horses inside. Those horses not brought inside are killed - again.
Exodus 10:1-16 - YHWH now starves the dead, boil-covered horses by sending locusts to eat all of the grain
Exodus 11:1-5 - YWHW now kills the firstborn of all of the dead, boil-covered starving horses, even those brought inside.
Exodus 14:8-25 - Pharoah in a fit of rage hooks up the dead, boil-covered starving horses to chariots and drives them after the Hebrews where YHWH drowns them in the Red Sea.

Fiery said...

Janice, been giving a lot of thought to the whole first born thing. Here is a further clarification on the issue. You say that god wanted to prove how mighty he was after the egyptians murdered all male children under 2 years of age. Wouldn't it have been MORE impressive to prevent the slaughter of the innocents? To make them impervious to the sword ala Shadrack, Meshack, and Abendigo and the fiery furnace?

He chose mass death. He allowed innocents to be slaughtered and then turned and murdered more.

Isn't it better to stop a child from strangling one of 2 kittens, then turning around and murdering the other to show the child how wrong it was to strangle the first one?

Tommy said...

Janice, if the Bible is to be taken literally, we are expected to believe that God, the creator of the universe, befriended a man named Abraham, promised Abraham and his descendants the land of Canaan in all perpetuity, but when they settle there the land is stricken with famine and the family has to go to Egypt, where God tells Abraham his descendants will have to live in slavery for x amount of years.

Why? Because he loves them? How absurd can one get?