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I have decided to seek evidence to support a new theory that suggests religion and collectivism have a common source…

I wanted to write these down before I lost track of the verses so I thought I might as well do so in a facebook note.  I got involved in a couple of discussions where I brought up a common [trick] question I ask of many Christians, mainly:

     Where in the bible does the following quote come from?:

The good lord helps those that help themselves

It’s a trick question because it’s not in the bible, but like so many other things believers believe, the fact of that eludes them and they presume that it does.  The sentiment shows up in various writings going back thousands of years and the first similar reference to it shows up way back pre-BC in Aesop’s fables in a story about a man with a cart that gets stuck in the mud.  He prays to Hercules for the help of his strength and Hercules actually shows up and tells him that his cart will not go free if he just sits and prays all day.  (it’s also where the phrase, ‘put your shoulder to the wheel’ comes from Hercules and the Wagoneer)

The reason I find this question pertinent is because the Christian bible and the Judea old testament that it springs from don’t say this.  In fact, they tell quite a different story entirely.  Namely that you are not supposed to help, do or think for yourself but simply obey and serve.  The message(s) repeated throughout suggest that one is not supposed to think for themselves, not supposed to do for themselves, one is told that judgment is not theirs to make, greed and want are sins, self-motivation or self-determination are the acts of a fool and the ability to ‘know’ is the original sin.

So I’ve started collecting the various verses that pertain to this type of thinking and I will add more later as I find them.  If you know of any other good verses in this vane, please feel free to let me know and I’ll check them out and add them to the list:

Old Testament

proverbs 3:5

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart  and lean not on your own understanding

proverbs 3:7

“Do not be wise in your own eyes”

proverbs 21:30

“No wisdom, insight, or counsel can prevail against the LORD”

proverbs 28:26

“Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom [of God] are kept safe.”

Psalm 53:1

“The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.”

Jerimiah 9:23-24

“This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows [God]”

Jerimiah 10:23

“LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.”

Jerimiah 17:9

“[Man’s] heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.”

Isaiah 5:21

“Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.”

Isaiah 44:25

“[I am the Lord]  who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense”

Isaiah 47:10

You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me.’”

New Testament

John 15:5

“If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

1st Corinthians 1:19

For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

1st Corinthians 1:20

“Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?”

1st Corinthians 1:25

“[the] foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.”

1st Corinthians 8:2

“Those who think they know something don’t really know very much.”

1st Corinthians 3:18-19

“Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.”

1st Corinthians 13:8

[with the coming of God’s ‘perfection’] ” if there is knowledge, it will be done away.”

2nd Corinthians 3:5

“Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.”

original sin in the Old Testament

Genesis

2:17 “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

3:4-5 “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

(amazing that right there in the beginning of it all, we not only learn our greatest sin is our own sentience and daring to exercise free will, but in the process we meet the so-called evil Satan through the serpent – by way of God telling a lie and the serpent telling the objective truth and being the cause of man gaining knowledge and exercising free will.  That should tell you something right there about the ‘true’ nature of Judea mythology.  If that doesn’t convince you, try counting just how many people the ‘good guy’ God kills in both books some time and compare it to the number killed by the ‘evil guy’.

Who killed more people in the bible?

And no, this is not a ‘pro-Satan’ sentiment. Both notions – the existence of an all powerful God and the existence of an evil adversary that the all powerful God allows to wreak havoc on the so-called beings he created and loves – are equally absurd! I point it out merely to show the idiocy of bible doctrine. It might make for good fiction but for a way of life that you are told to follow blindly and never question? Are you serious????)

Additions:

I was driving behind a pickup today with a bumper sticker that read ‘pride kills’ then referred to this proverb:

Proverbs 16:18

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

This is not quite as immediately obvious in relation to the others until you look up ‘pride’ in the dictionary. Although it acknowledges modern connotations of an inordinate self-evaluation, it also refers to “pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by or belonging to oneself or believed to reflect credit upon oneself”

This translates to a condemnation by religion in any self acknowledgement of doing things well, or taking joy or pleasure in your achievements and the possessions you earn as a result of it. Thus it is in fact the same principle – you should only be ‘glad’ according to the church, if you ‘glorify God’. And since only God can judge your adherence to these things – well, I guess you are SoL, you just can’t be glad! Your only joy is the joy of the obedient, non-thinking moron!

Further comment: [2/22/2013]
This list is specific to those verses that describe man’s pursuit of knowledge and use of his brain as being ‘foolish’ or otherwise discouraged and worthy of condemnation. If I get time, I will try to put another one together that spells out all the instances in both books of the bible that depict man as worthless, deceitful and otherwise gutter trash without the almighty revelations of ‘God’ and these unsubstantiated mythologies. I say ‘if I get time’ because I can see already that any post of that sort is probably going to be at least 10 times as long as this one due to the number of times it occurs.

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(originally posted to Facebook on Friday, November 26, 2010)

I figured having a reference for all the ‘socialistic’ altruism in the bible might be useful.  I’ll add more as I come across them.

Old testament

Exodus 22:25
“If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest.”

Leviticus 23:22
“And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not make clean riddance of the corners of your field when you reap, neither shall you gather any gleaning of your harvest: you shall leave them to the poor, and to the stranger.”

Leviticus 25:25
“If your brother becomes poor and sells part of his property, then his nearest redeemer shall come and redeem what his brother has sold.”

Leviticus 25:35-37
“If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you.  Do not take interest of any kind from him, but fear your God, so that your countryman may continue to live among you.  You must not lend him money at interest or sell him food at a profit.”

Deuteronomy 15:1
“At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts.”

Deuteronomy 15:7-8
“If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs.”

Deuteronomy 15:11
“There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.”

Deuteronomy 23:24-25 *
“If you enter your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat all the grapes you want, but do not put any in your basket.”

   * I need to remember this one next time I’m at a devout Christians house – the fridge is free game baby!

New Testament

Matthew 5:42
Jesus said, “Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”

Matthew 6:2,3
Jesus said, “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do… when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”

Matthew 19:21-24 (also Mark 10:21-25, Luke 18:22-25)
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

Luke 14:13,14
Jesus said, “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Acts 2:44-45
“All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.”

Acts 4:32-35
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had… There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.”

1 Timothy 6:17-18
Paul says, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.”

2 Corinthians 8:13-14
Paul says, “Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality.”

2 Corinthians 9:6-7
Paul says, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

That last one is a cute one.  ‘not reluctantly or under compulsion.’ And what’s the alternative under Christianity?  BURN IN A FLAMING HELL FOREVER!!!!  Translation:  “God loves blind obedience.”

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(originally posted to facebook on Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 2:39pm)

In light of the hullabaloo over the mosque at ground zero, someone attempted to point out to me an alleged difference between Islam and western (Judea) religions.  Their claim was that Islam promotes ‘Jihad’ against the ‘infadels’.  In other words, the actual nature of the religion encourages the followers to kill the non-followers of Islam.

In that allegation was the implied notion that ‘Judea’ based religions do not do this.  So let’s examine this notion shall we?

 Ya better pray on Sunday!!

Exodus 31:14 You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death.

Kill in the name of God or be cursed!

Jeremiah 48:10 A curse on him who is lax in doing the LORD’s work! A curse on him who keeps his sword from bloodshed!

Abraham and Isaac

Abraham and Isaac

Kill even your family if they do not follow the Lord or be killed!

Exodus 32:26-27 So [Moses] stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the LORD, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him. Then he said to them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’ ”

Worship Yahweh or perish

Numbers 25:1- 4 “the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate and bowed down before these gods. So Israel joined in worshiping the Baal of Peor. And the LORD’s anger burned against them. The LORD said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of these people, kill them and expose them in broad daylight before the LORD”

Follow your parents beliefs or die

Leviticus 20:9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death

Stone to death all followers of wicca, psychics, astrologers, etc.

Leviticus 20:27 ‘A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.’

Exodus 22:18 Do not suffer a witch (sorceress) to live.

Stone to death any who speaks ill of Yahweh

Leviticus 24:14-16 Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. Say to the Israelites: ‘If anyone curses his God, he will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death.

Followers of other prophets (uh, like say, Muslims who follow Mohammud???) must die!

Deuteronomy 13:5 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you [..],
and he says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” [..]
It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. [..]
That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the LORD your God [..]
You must certainly put him to death. [..]

Deuteronomy 13:12 If you hear it said about one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you to live in that wicked men have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known),  then youmust inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town.

(it goes on to speak of raising the entire town, and again in Deuteronomy 13:12-15, the same thing is again re-iterated in Deuteronomy 17:2-7)

Kill even your own brother if he is of another religion

Deuteronomy 13:6-9 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known,  gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other),  do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death.

Only make sacrifice to Yahweh!

Exodus 22:20 Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the LORD must be destroyed.

Holy vanquishing!  It’s not just for Muslims!

(and before you say “but this is all in the old Testament” remember that Jesus affirmed the old testament as the true word of God.  Just one example:

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

And of course, if you want to throw out the old testament for the sake of the new, along with it goes all the Eden myth, all the arguments against homosexuality, transsexuality, abortion, and those sticky 10 commandments)

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Many people have tried (and ultimately ended up regretting it later) to corner me on my ‘beliefs’ – or at least those ‘beliefs’ that would most closely resemble what most consider to be a ‘belief system’.

i.e.:
“Do you believe in God?” (big ‘G’)
“Do you believe in life hereafter?”
“What is your religious affiliation?”
etc.

It is of course, not an easy subject to address due to the potential misunderstandings that will occur as I try to relate what I know to be extremely abstract concepts.

This has become an increasingly growing debate as of late due to the apparent need of my mother to broadcast her new found interest in the ‘church’. (My impression on the subject is that she is feeling guilty for never really having taken an interest in the church previously, perhaps getting ‘worried’ as she grows older that her ‘immortal soul’ may have trouble getting past the proverbial gates and also beginning to feel ashamed for who knows what reason that my brother and myself turned out to be rather secularist and pluralized – go figure!)

This is of course also an ongoing debate in society – we see it rear it’s head in the abortion issue, partisan political debate, animal “rights”, euthanasia and probably about 90% of the recent ACLU case load. Of course the subject of religion as it pertains to public schools has not been the least of these issues.

The most recent of the church-in-schools issues that seems to be rising to the surface appears to be the so-called ‘new’ intelligent design theory and the whole brew-ha-ha over whether or not it should be taught along side evolutionary theory in public schools. To me, even though I understand the alleged differences, it is just another euphemism for ‘creationism’ – i.e. a Judea-biblical view of creation. In short, the notion is that some organisms are seen to be so infinitely complex that one should therefore conclude that they had to have been ‘intelligently designed’. This waxes as euphemistic to me because a design by itself is little more than paper on a drawing board until someone actually ‘creates’ something from the design – the fact that something can be seen and in turn assumed to have been designed requires the intermediary action that someone or something else has to actually build the design. Or if not build ‘the’design (in the case of a life form you are observing), at least build ‘a’ design to spawn the one you eventually find yourself staring at under the microscope.

The Watchmaker argument

The theory is perhaps best displayed through a metaphor that often comes up – mainly, William Paley’s “Watchmaker” argument. The metaphor goes as follows:

. . . when we come to inspect the watch, we perceive. . . that its several parts are framed and put together for a purpose, e.g. that they are so formed and adjusted as to produce motion, and that motion so regulated as to point out the hour of the day; that if the different parts had been differently shaped from what they are, or placed after any other manner or in any other order than that in which they are placed, either no motion at all would have been carried on in the machine, or none which would have answered the use that is now served by it. . . . the inference we think is inevitable, that the watch must have had a maker — that there must have existed, at some time and at some place or other, an artificer or artificers who formed it for the purpose which we find it actually to answer, who comprehended its construction and designed its use.

As with most things, my view on this is a little different than most. When I see to people (or groups) involved in a heated discussion, I have learned one of the better things to do before taking a side is to look not only at both views but, and more specifically, to look for view points that both groups are missing or at least are not focusing on in the process of their argumentation. The concept of the watchmaker listed above also brings up thoughts of the metaphor often used to describe probability, mainly the Infinite Monkey Theorum:

It stands to reason that if an infinite number of monkeys are each left banging on one of an infinite number of typewriters with no specific time limit, sooner or later one of them will type out the entire works of Shakespeare.

For most of us, such a concept seems absurd, thus the need for the metaphor. When speaking of concepts such as probability within incredibly large samples, it can be difficult to fathom the abstract concepts necessary to gain a full understanding. When speaking of natural selection in a universe that is said to be tens of billions of years old on a planet that is about 4 1/2 billion years old, we and the duration of our lives are less significant than a fly spec on a dinosaur’s butt! How could we possibly fathom the process of evolution of life taking place over the majority of that span!

Nature’s a Mutha!
In addition to this unfathomability, there is something else that is often overlooked. Nature itself is not a vacuum – to invoke another metaphor, mother nature is a bitch!

[Darwin’s] evolutionary theory doesn’t simply involve the concepts of the “common ancestor” and subsequent changes through “descent and modification”, but it also includes the notion of ‘natural selection’ – the proverbial ‘survival of the fittest’. In short, it is not just simply a room full of monkeys typing away on a bunch of typewriters. There is also this very fickle bitch running around with a really big stick, and whenever any monkey is typing something that looks closer to Hamlet, she pairs him off with some other sweet little monkey who is also doing good on her key-banging to make more little monkeys. But if she sees some monkey typing something she doesn’t like, she clobbers him over the head to make room for other little monkeys!

Some proponents of the Intelligent design theory point specifically to what they refer to as infinitely complex‘ microorganisms as one of the greatest signs of proof of intelligent design. Basically saying that some of the extreme complexities in even some of the simplest of creatures therefore equates to the watch found in the field.
However, using the above reasoning in regards to both the age of the universe/earth and the bitch-with-the-stick in a room full of monkees, it would stand to reason that the organisms that would have been around the longest [on earth] and thereby would have had the most trial-and-error (and bang-on-the-head with the big mutha’s stick) would be the microorganisms. Therefore, extreme complexities in such creatures would not only be observable, but likely.

I saw a good reference to put this in perspective; if someone was dealt a royal flush in a game of cards – and they fully understood the improbability of getting such a hand straight out of the deck – they would likely not assume, therefore, that the hand couldn’t possibly exist. Or, since I really like to quote from Douglas Adams:

…imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in—an interesting hole I find myself in—fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ — Douglas Adams, speech at Digital Biota 2, Cambridge U.K.



Let’s Flex those verses!

Most of those supporting ‘Intelligent design’ will of course claim it is a ‘new theory’ (it is not, it actually stems from similar notions pre-dating Darwin), that it is not creationism in a new package, etc. Specifically, most ID‘ists will point to the fact that they do not ascribe to the notion that the earth is only 6000 years old and they do deny that some level of ‘changing’ of organisms occurs on earth – a nice way to save face with the fact that observable facts since the Beagle voyage seem to give strength to some (if not most) of Darwin’s notions.

So, which part or parts of the bible are to be taken literally?

  • Many hasidic orders of judaism still follow precepts of grooming, clothing and behavior ascribed in various books of the old testament. If all of ‘christian’ society would do the same, men would similarly wear their hair with curls down the sides of their faces with beards (or no beards depending on which book(s) of the bible you read) and women would all still be wearing long gowns, staying at home, serving their husbands and only speaking with permission.
  • Many judeau church celebrations have been merged with pagan or non-christian holidays and even moved half-way around the calendar to increase the popularity of the church. (ever wonder what bunnies and eggs had to do with calgary? Or trees, wreaths and red/green with bethlehem?)
  • George Carlin managed to launch his career in part by out of pointing to the hypocrisies of church dogma – “how many guys are in hell still doing time on the meat rap?”


Over the years the ‘word of God’ (big ‘G’) has been used by Christians to support any number of questionable acts from war and genocide to the spread of hatred, ignorance and prejudice. They have brought us the crusades, the inquisition and many would even argue World War I, World War II and even the revolutionary war. (and no, we are not talking about Muslim fundamentalism here) It seems that when necessary, the [Christian] Bible (and any other religious texts for that matter) can be used to construct any number of poor choices and be used to justify any number of bad actions or results.

So it begs the question, just how ‘flexible’ is the interpretation of holy scripture? Is the bible a living document?

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