The First Holocaust

by nicolaou 47 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Diogenesister
    , the result of following gods command in genesis has been to cause mass extinctions except for the animals that are useful, or tasty.

    Oh THIS joey

    By FAR the greatest bad the old testament did is telling humanity we had dominion over all animal life. Making us believe we were somehow special and different. All mammals and many other species feel every emotion we do, more importantly they have the same capacity for suffering. Fear. Maternal love. Devotion in breeding pairs. Bereavement. Cunning. Humour. Loneliness.Generosity. Depression. Madness. Altruism. Jealousy. Friendship. Same sex attraction.

    If we believe someone with severe learning difficulties with no capacity to contribute to society in the present, has done so in the past or will in the future, has the right to 'life, love and the pursuit of happiness' insofar as they are able, why not a gorilla, an Orca or sperm whale? If killing the disabled is murder and experimenting on them evil, why not a chimpanzee??

    Bible believers say the answer is humans have special privileges because they are made in the 'image of God'. That concept has caused more suffering and misery than any other IMHO. If you believe it doesn't count because i'm not referencing human misery, all I will say is mother nature is coming to repay us in the near future with interest.

  • slimboyfat
    cause mass extinctions except for the animals that are useful, or tasty.

    I can assure you our pet cat Sanders is neither useful nor tasty. 🐈‍⬛

  • TonusOH

    The flood story also brings up an interesting thought: doesn't it speak to god's failures?

    First, we have a world that he created and populated, a creation that he 'saw was good.' It doesn't take very long for the first two humans to wreck his plans by listening to a snake and eating a piece of fruit. Fast-forward, and the entire population of the world (with perhaps eight exceptions) is so iredeemable that god decides to wipe the slate clean. He kills everyone (except those eight) along with nearly all other life on the planet. Fresh start!

    One of the first things Noah does is get drunk and strip naked, and his son sees this and tells his brothers. It appears that simply looking upon his drunk and naked dad is enough to earn this son his father's condemnation. These were the only people god felt justified in saving from destruction.

    Before long, humanity gets together and begins building a tower that will stand as a testament to their unity and power. God himself wonders at this, figuring that if they accomplish it, nothing might be out of their grasp. So, this is a good thing, isn't it? NO! God panics, confuses their languages, and scatters them. Disunity and conflict are guaranteed for generations to come.

    And today, we watch people try to interpret and discuss the Bible. And often, there are differences that are difficult to settle because the languages the texts were written in have their own differences from our modern versions and consensus seems impossible. This is thanks to that time when god invented a bunch of languages and forced them on to people in order to divide humanity.

    Jehovah is not just a wicked person; he's embarrassingly incompetent.

  • westiebilly11

    60 million? Really? Supposition. Unhelpful in any serious consideration of the subject.

  • slimboyfat

    This thread has inspired me to buy this book. It looks epic! I’ll let you know how I get on.

  • peacefulpete

    The people of ancient Palestine were unfortunate to have lived at the nexus of 3 continents, a valuable piece of real estate for any ambitious empire. As a result, they were forcibly exposed to a parade of foreign cultures. In some ways it forged a resilient people, an adaptable people. Ultimately, the loss of so much, spawned a religion obsessed with their sacred stories and racial separateness. In the absence of political independence and temple the Torah became everything. This, more than anything else, is why these stories perpetuated. When the indigenous mythologies of the Hittites, Sumerians and Babylonians were lost, needing to be rediscovered by archaeologists, the Jews kept them alive as the foci of their identity. Ironically, had they existed in a more remote quarter of the planet and left to a more typical development, we would likely have never heard of a Noah.

  • KalebOutWest
    The flood story also brings up an interesting thought: doesn't it speak to god's failures?

    When we leave the Jehovah's Witnesses, we might often focus our disappointment in "God" and do our best to criticize (in an honest and rational way) what we might see as a betrayal on behalf of the trust we once put forth.

    The mythology of the Hebrew Bible is not stating what the Watchtower taught us or what you or I believed when we faithfully went to the Kingdom Hall. Ancient peoples of various cultures believed that the present world, in fact the entire universe was created from a previous existing one that had been wiped out of existence by the cosmic forces closing in on themselves and starting from scatch.

    They did not believe in a vacuum of space but that the world was flat and covered with a bowl that likely held the stars and sun in place and kept the cosmic waters from falling upon us, allowing only some of them to sprinkle upon us every now and then in the form of rain or snow.

    But practically each culture, not just the Jews, had this view. Since they all believed that the forces of nature were either controlled by the gods or were gods, they blamed this cataclysmic restart on their deities.

    The Vikings blamed their Norse gods for flooding the previous world, starting over and creating the world we previously live in now. And North American Hopi taught that the world has had not just one restart but that we are currently living in the fifth world! (If you thought Jehovah was a failure...)

    The gods that started all these horrific restarts in these stories, slaughtering millions, perhaps billions, each time in these mythologies, do you believe any of them are real? Or are you just angry at God in Genesis because you were once one of Jehovah's Witnesses?

    What makes the God of the Bible more of a failure in the Noachin flood when that is clearly just the same sort of creation type of mythology? Should we blame stories that were clearly creation/origin myths, including any or all deities that are clearly the product of another culture or our misunderstandings that were not even produced by the people who wrote these myths but were introduced to us by others?

    If you are going to think with a critical mind, is it logical to be angry at a mythical god in a myth based on the interpretation made by a cult that is run by unlettered and uneducated men who cannot even read the myth in its original language? Critically, where does the blame really lie? The deity? The myth? The cult? In us who believed the false teaching of the cult at one time?

    The story is even considered allegorical by Orthodox Jews, and they take most of the Hebrew Bible at face value. And we angry about a flood that even Orthodox Jews said never happened? Think about that for a while. What rational mind would spend time being angry about something that never happened?

    Just some things to consider. We may not have answers right away. We might not all have the same answers or agree.

    One this is certain. A lot of blame should be placed at the feet of the Watcthtower leaders who offer impossible interpretations of Noah's Flood that cannot be traced to the original sources or type of writing that these type of stories are meant to reflect to ancient peoples.

  • nicolaou

    Some miss the point through a genuine misunderstanding, some through a wilful misdirection.

    Honestly, I pointed out that according to Genesis God killed every child on the planet but hey, never mind about that. The quibble about the size of earth's population at the time is far more important.

    Again. Every child, every baby killed by god. Every single one. Slimboyfat's response?

    I think (god) has some kind of plan that may be beyond my understanding. I trust that he knows better than me what he is doing.


    You'd think it couldn't get much worse but then you get to PetrW who, unless I've completely misunderstood, appears to be likening babies and children to Nazis who deserved their death in the choking floodwaters.

    Slim', you did at least ask a sensible question;

    what else should I conclude, that I a puny human have worked out the ethics of life and death and can teach the creator my conclusions?

    Yes, precisely that. What makes you think that morality automatically attaches to power? Or conversely that being human and mortal necessarily means a weaker moral capacity? If god exists and created us why assume he is a moral being at all?

    The Abrahamic god as recorded in the Bible is most certainly not.

  • TonusOH

    KalebOutWest: Or are you just angry at God

    No, because that wouldn't make sense. Not if approached rationally. I cannot be angry at a god that was made up, and I cannot be angry at long-dead people who created them and wrote stories. I can't even be angry at the people who believe in them, since I was one of those for a very long time.

    I was pointing out how the stories present the god of the Bible from a straightforward reading. Many people believe that this being has certain specific qualities. Do these stories reflect them? Stories about the noachian flood (and those stories that followed) give the impression of a person who is a poor planner. A petty and vindictive tyrant. A frightful bully. These are not the qualities we were taught to understand that he had, nor are they the qualities that many who worship this god insist he has, or represents.

    Growing up, I was taught to approach these stories in a certain way, which is very different from how they read if you just... you know... read them. So I do that, and I express my thoughts as to what such an approach reveals.

  • KalebOutWest
    I was pointing out how the stories present the god of the Bible from a straightforward reading...Stories about the noachian flood (and those stories that followed)...

    First, the Noachin Deluge is the newer myth. It was composed after the Babylonian Exile, around 538 BCE, and was added to the Torah during the Persian Era. We know this because it has the editorial earmarks of Gilgamesh tablet 11. The other stories came before, they did not follow. In fact, some scholars are in agreement that the redactors of the Torah might be making fun of the Atrahasis (another older Mesoptamian flood legend) and the Gilgamesh story by showing that Yahweh hangs up his weapon at the end and won't be like the heathen gods in the other stories by his limiting his power via covenant-making, a new element not found in the other flood myths.

    These are not the qualities we were taught to understand that he [God] had, nor are they the qualities that many who worship this god insist he has, or represents. Growing up, I was taught to approach these stories in a certain way, which is very different from how they read if you just... you know... read them.

    As a Jew I can attest that we do not teach anywhere in our Scriptures that "God is love," like it does in 1 John chapter 4:8 & 16.

    Is God just? Is God merciful? Is God omnipresent? Omniscient? In Judaism, God is often not even considered an entity let alone a deity. Humans created deities. Many Jews are atheists, agnostics or don't put belief in God central in their religious lives. (It sounds weird to Christians who measure religion by what "God" is, but yeah.) One's view of God can change from one day to the next.

    The word "Israel" means "he who wrestles with God." Our nation and people is called "Israel" and not "Abraham" because we wrestle with the God-issue. We don't obey or believe blindly.

    As for reading these stories, we Jews know how to read them. We understand that the first 11 chapters are filled with mythology and legends. And Genesis is part of the Mosaic Law, not the Mosaic History. It's a book teaching Jews how to perform the Law. It's stories having a bearing on how to perform the Law: the first chapter of Genesis about why it's important to observe the Sabbath, the second chapter about our need to observe the commandments, the third about what happens when you break a commandment and so on, etc. It's not really about history. It the Torah. It teaches you lessons to be a good Jew. It wasn't written to be read literally or outside the idea that it wasn't the Torah or wasn't the Mosaic Law.

    I was there for a few years with my JW aunt in the Kingdom Hall and listened to how people were taught that this meant this and that meant that. So? What if you were taught that Star Wars was a real story all your life when you were raised as a Mormon? And then you grew up and learned it wasn't? Are you going to hate Luke Skywalker? Or George Lucas?

    It's fiction. You had a wrong view of it. Others taught you that wrong view. There was a correct view, but you never learned it. The more you refuse to learn that there is a possible correct view, that it is fiction, the more you will just sit being angry.

    You anger isn't wrong. It's just misdirected. There are people who you should be angry at.

    A myth and a mythological god are not to blame, especially when the story had a completely different context than you thought it did.

    (I mean, God is not even named "Jehovah." That name means nothing to us Jews. That should tell you something right there. You can't even read the story straightfoward either. It's in Hebrew. We can, and we do. You folks argue over whether or not you have a good or correct translation, and can't ever be sure if you have a correct one. We don't need a translation. That should also tell you something.)

    Be mad if you want to. But I would direct my anger at the right people and do something constructive with it instead of being mad at, for example "Luke Skywalker" and "Darth Vader." They were never real to being with. And being mad at them all day ain't gonna make them "realler"

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