Inconsistency: Tower of Babel vs. space program

by tootired2care 8 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • tootired2care

    Several years back I remember listening to a public talk. The title of the talk escapes me; but one of the points (albeit wierd) that was brought out, is that the part of the mytholgy behind the symbol of Apollo was defiance of god. He made this jump by linking Apollo with Ishtar (Nimrods wife) wife somehow...He used this point in connection with the NASA space program to make the point, that the space exploration was a defiant action against god, as a modern day like Nimrod account. Does anyone recall how the outline made this leap?

    The bible states that the Tower of Babel was an act of defiance against god by aiming for the heavens, and during those days god violated the prime directive, and intervened going to extraordinary lengths to change one language into many, so they would not concentrate their energy/brainpower and spread out.

    Since this was such a big deal for god back then, why isn't it today? Why the glaring inconsistency from a god who claims he doesn't change?

    6 “For I am Jehovah; I have not changed.. . . (MAL 3:6)


  • Bobcat


    On the surface, you have a valid point. The space program, aviation in general, skyscrapers - they are all far more daring than anything Nimrod and his crew attempted. So, based on the statement that you quoted from Malachi 3:6, one would think that there would be an appropriate response from Jehovah.

    You might say, too, that modern man has brushed off God more so than Nimrod and his bunch. The statement in Genesis 11:4 ("for fear we may be scattered over all the surface of the earth") seems to have them at least acknowledging the possibility that God might intervene in their affairs rather than blithely assuming that God will simply bless their efforts. (To me, that presents them as having a somewhat grudging respect for God.)

    At any rate, I know some will cover the ideas that it is just a hokey story. I'll let them do that. I was going to offer a different possibility, that is, that the Genesis chapter 11 account does not contain the entire story about why God acted in the way He did.

    As an example, the story about the defection in Eden in Genesis chapter 3 does not bring in any information about Satan the Devil. You have to read about that in other places. If the entire Bible is authored by just one person, namely God (many will contend that, but your question in your initial post presupposes that to be true), but if you accept that as a premise in your question, then, the reason for the omission of extra information has to be intentional. That is to say, God only wanted to say so much about it at that point in Genesis. Any seeming conflict in the way God has acted is just that. It only appears that he has acted in a contradictory fasion because of not being aware of all of His motives/reasons. Such misunderstandings happen between humans all the time.

    I'll also add, that the commentary you heard in a public talk was just the speakers impression or opinion. Nor does the Society understand why God acted the way He did in Genesis chapter 11, beyond what the chapter says about it. I can say that because they haven't been able to answer the question you posed.

    Take Care

  • Leolaia

    Average distance to the moon: 384,400,000 meters.

    Height of the ziggurat at Babylon: 91 meters.

  • King Solomon
    King Solomon

    OP said:

    so they would not concentrate their energy/brainpower and spread out.

    So if you apply that same OT logic to today, then any JW who lives in a city is violating God's Divine Will by not inhabiting unpopulated areas (God apparently favors a rural lifestyle).

    Furthermore, anyone who learns a foreign language to facilitate communication sinning, flaunting God's Divine Will, since they're working against his intent at Babel by de-confusing languages (Berlitz is on God's "Hit List" in Armageddon).

    Some other ancient sources have suggested the sin underlying the Tower's construction was the dastardly plot to build to the level of the copper firmament (you remember that, the dome-shaped covering to which the Sun, Moon, and stars are attached, so they can roll across it's lower surface, like trac-lights). From there, the plan was to cut a hole in it, and stage a surprise raid in heaven (which is right above the roof). It goes without saying that God wouldn't allow THAT to go down, so he scrambled languages instead. It does show a bit of pro-active thinking on His part, much better than the after-the-fact mitigation shown in the Garden of Eden.

    (Of course, scrambling the languages only gave Him another opportunity for Glory demonstrations, thus creating the capability for future prostelitizers to miraculously "speak in tongues". They weren't just speaking gibber-jabberish, either: I think they were just speaking a language no one recognized, simply because the land where that language was spoken hadn't been discovered yet...)

  • kepler

    Didn't seem to mind the pyramids either.

    Subsonic transport in the stratosphere with turbofans seem to have an approval too.

    More by far head for the scrap heap than are downed by angry lightning bolts.

    The Bible does not acknowledge a difference between space and the stratosphere.

    Nor does it have a proscription against launch of artificial moons.

    From a modern perspective, it looks like that if you build a "tower", over specialization of the builders will result in a proliferation of languages. Half the time I didn't understand what my co-workers were trying to tell me...

  • mP


    You have mis understood the Tower of Babel story completely. The tower represents an attempt to gain knowledge of the sky. If one examines Xian art, we can see the message is that the tower was a platform to study the stars. Back then this meant astrology. The tower is shown to have 7 levels each representing each of the 7 visible bodies, like the Sun, the moon and remaining planets.

    By attempting to rebel and build their own device to explore and understand the stars and seasons, the buildings are rebelling against authority. They are trying to learn about timne and the seasons so they can control their destiny. Most stories in the Bible are about authority, never good or evil.

    The story of David is a perfect example. Hes a blood thirsty murderer, but never wrong for all his killing. hes never punished because he is the establishment. The authors of that text want to keep their position, the status quo, thus they always support and defend David. The same was true of Saul. David would not kill Saul because he was the chosen one of God. However when Sau;s time passed things changed. The king and priests are never wrong. They may be evil but they must always be oebeyed unquestioning.

    We can also see the same in the Adam and Eve story. God is also pictured as a king in that Gensis account. he walks about in the garden and is defnitely not omnipresent. A&E just want to know stuff, God wants to control information so he can provide direction about time, seasons, medicine and remain in control. The story can only be explained that way. No king ever wants a rebel, its like the first unwritten rule of tyrants.

    The part about confusing the languages to stop the tower is of course nonsense. Simply reading the previous chapter shows that many langs were present before the tower. This is of course just creative bullshit to emphasize the story. WHen one sees or reads 7 or 12 is almost always talking about the big seven and twelve in anybody lives. The planets and the seasons, or astrology. Thats how the ancients attmpted to explain their unknown world and the magnificant forces of nature that they did not understand.

  • heathen

    I remember hearing that the belief was that nimrod was building the tower because of the flood and more or less antagonizing God to break his promise of flooding the earth and instead of an ark they would survive because of the tower .

  • Etude

    I remember in 1969 when I was young and stupid and had just started to study with the dubs, I said to a friend in High school that God would not let man land on the moon because man had dared to venture into His realm. I'm not sure if I came up with that one myself or I had heard it from some of my equally stupid JW teachers. What a maroon!

  • King Solomon
    King Solomon

    Etude said:

    "I remember in 1969 when I was young and stupid and had just started to study with the dubs, I said to a friend in High school that God would not let man land on the moon because man had dared to venture into His realm."

    Ahhh, 1969: a good time to be a JW making brash predictions, lol! You'd think that would've been a hint to some, but apparently not?

    (Of course, you'd think 1975 would've been a big hint too, but....)

Share this