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Hey! I can put up stuff I wrote ages ago, and it’s new to you guys!

May 28th, 2009 by skippy

Several years ago I was a student at SMU, in the Dallas area. In fact, if you go to the home page of my site, you can see an ad for my old school.

So while I was there, I would occasionally read the student paper. And one day, upon reading the school paper, I found the following opinion piece.

A Warning Has Been Issued.

For those that don’t want to read it, in a nutshell it states: “The bible should be interpreted literally, and anyone who attempts to interpret it is going to hell for disagreeing with me.”

Also as per school policy, the article had a picture of her with it. She was not wearing a hat. This is significant later.

Being the sort of person that I am, I decided that I would help my fellow students further their education. And then I wrote the following article and submitted it to the school paper.

This is in response to Krysta Patterson’s opinion piece, “A Warning Has Been Issued”. Like many southern Christians, Krysta has taken the stance that the bible cannot be interpreted, and must be taken at face value. I would like to demonstrate what that sort of logic can lead to.

Leviticus 18:22 & 20:12 – Two passages that cover only gay men. No mention of women. Evidently lesbians are cool with God.

Leviticus 11:9-12 & Deuteronomy 14:9-10 – Six different commandments covering the consumption of shellfish. God hates Crawdads three times as much as homosexuality. Red Lobster is practically a satanic church.

Exodus 31:15 & 35:2 – Punishment for working on a Saturday is death. There goes pretty much every college student with a paper due on Monday.

Ephesians 6:5-7 & Titus 2:9-10 Slaves are required to obey and respect their masters, and serve their masters as if they were serving the Lord.

Exodus 21:20-21 – It is okay to beat your slaves as long as you don’t kill them. These two make me feel much better about the first 200 years of American history now, how about you? (After all God likes owning slaves 3.5 times more than he hates homosexuals.)

I Corinthians 11:3-15 – Women must keep their head covered at all times, or be shaved bald. I can’t help but notice that Ms. Patterson didn’t have a hat in her photo.

John 6:53-66 – You should eat Jesus, because it will make you more holy.

Matthew 25:45 – You should treat other people other people like you would treat Jesus. So, eating them is definitely an option.

Matthew 27:52-53 – Holy people broke out of their tombs, and visit the people of Jerusalem. Since it is a holy act to eat people, this is basically biblical evidence of a zombie attack.

Deuteronomy 22:11 – Can’t wear clothing made with more than one kind of fiber. That does it for pretty much most of the clothing in America.

I have put all of these passages together and drawn the only logical conclusion: Christians must believe that a horde of flesh eating, but holy, zombies will march on civilization, like a sacred George Romero movie. From the ashes, an army of bald lesbians will arise. This new force will enslave the survivors, and everybody will live happily ever after, wearing unfashionable clothing. And nobody will eat shrimp ever again.

Since no Christians I know believe anything even remotely like this, perhaps there are other conclusions to be drawn.

Perhaps interpreting the bible is desirable. Whether it is desirable or not, it is certainly inevitable. When somebody reads a work of literature and attempts to derive meaning from it, they are using interpretation. Anybody who has ever had an English class, especially at the college level, should be capable of understanding this.

When someone makes the claim “Only I have the correct understanding!” they are being usually being ignorant, or perhaps foolish. When a college student makes that claim in an academic environment, it is an inexcusable breach of intellectual standards. And when a student makes that claim to the entire student body, it is an arrogance that borders on bigotry.

The day after this hit the paper, the head of SMU’s Theology Department contacted me, who felt that I should consider switching to a Theology major.

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114 Responses to “Hey! I can put up stuff I wrote ages ago, and it’s new to you guys!”

  1. Strange Says:

    So I guess that means that God will destory the world with zombies. Does that mean that Satan is the zombie overlord? Well at least its not another flood. But you do have a good point. Also, it might be cool if I had lesbian masters, they might force me to video them, you know. How cruel our future is!

    Reply

    Minty reply on May 29th, 2009 8:56 am:

    But remember that you will not be allowed to touch your lesbian “masters” while you videotape them.

    Reply

    Strange reply on May 30th, 2009 1:56 am:

    I know, that is were the torture comes in. Still not a bad future, you just have look at the postive parts.

    Reply

    dylan reply on May 29th, 2009 9:51 am:

    Satan is actually 2 siamese twin zombie lesbians joined at the hip. Satanic necro-asian twincest ftw!

    Reply

  2. Shadowydreamer Says:

    Satan will be the guy selling the ammo for the shotguns and flame throwers.

    Captcha says : and billard .. so apparently billard balls are now a weapon against zombies?

    Reply

    StoneWolf reply on May 29th, 2009 4:20 am:

    Wait wait wait. Let me get this straight. God is the Zombie Overloard and Satan is Bruce Cambell? So all those Satanists are actually trying to prevent the Zombie Apacolypse and save the world? So all of us that play Left 4 Dead are basically training to undo god’s work? Huh.

    Reply

    Larson reply on May 29th, 2009 5:56 am:

    Actually I think Satan is Jon Bon Jovi. Yeah, that seems to check out.

    Reply

    Minty reply on May 29th, 2009 8:57 am:

    Oh, gods, there really is no hope, is there?

    ArchaicDome reply on June 5th, 2009 6:50 am:

    Are you familiar with the current gubernatorial race in New Jersey? lol

    D J reply on June 2nd, 2009 7:12 am:

    Satan is Bruce Campbell, Red Lobster manager.

    Reply

  3. soulex? Says:

    you actually use some of the arguments i bring up (ie multifibered clothing, shellfish, lesbianism.) in little debates me and a friend have occasionally.

    Great piece of work.

    Reply

    ScotchDave reply on May 30th, 2009 4:48 pm:

    It might interest you to know that the hebrew (original version) in that section only refers to Linen and Wool, which are fibres that jews refuse to mix to this day.

    Reply

    soulex? reply on May 30th, 2009 8:05 pm:

    this might very well be true, but referring to something isn’t taking it literally.

    I don’t down anyone for having beliefs. it’s just astoudning to me, how people can make inferences on the subject matter of the book, and not on the book itself.

    i could go on and on about this type of stuff.

    Reply

  4. paula Says:

    I can see it now: Satan leading his zombie Christian lesbian army into battle on a Saturday (no fighting back: that would be work!), armed with shotguns spraying shrimp and lobster….

    Reply

  5. tgobg Says:

    Thanks once again the bible thumpers have justified me thumping them on the head with their bibles
    I really cannot stand to be preached at,perhaps that is why i dont care for organized religion.

    Captcha slumber justice – what you get when you just put your head under the blankets and hope the monsters and bad people will be gone in the morning, but instead they eat you.

    Reply

  6. woodlandowl Says:

    Very nice job.
    made me laugh anyways.

    Reply

  7. StoneWolf Says:

    Nice work Skippy. I agree with tgobg above. If you want to worship whatever however, thats fine, just leave me the fuck alone! As a child I always felt sorry for the Gehovas. After the long trek up the driveway they had to deal with me.

    Now, here’s another one from a buddy who used to be Christian and a theology major until he thought about it and changed his mind. Understand please, I am paraphrasing his argument as I have never actually read the bible in whole. So his argument is that, after Mary gets impregnated, an angel comes down to inform her. Which is nifty, now she’ll be a mommy. Except that she needed to be told, as she did not remember the “event” itself. So if she was unaware of god fornicating with her and had to be told afterwards, what’s missing?

    The answer would be consent, which I know didn’t matter back then, but by morale and legal standards today is all important. And what do we call someone who has sex with people without the consent?

    Reply

    Chris reply on May 29th, 2009 6:44 am:

    I realize that I may not have any credibility after the last fiasco, but I am a practicing Roman Catholic and feel compelled to explain one point of contention.

    Mary was not impregnated until after Gabriel told her she was to carry God’s Son. She had the option to say “No.” She chose not to. So there’s your consent:

    Luke 1, 30-31: Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.”

    and also:

    Luke 1, 34-35; 38: But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

    So we can see that the conception didn’t take place until after Gabriel explained what was going to happen to Mary, and she consented.

    Reply

    Raven Prometheus reply on May 29th, 2009 8:34 am:

    Thank you, Chris. It needed to be said for the point of debate, and you did it well. Maybe there’s hope for you yet…. :D

    Reply

    Jim A reply on June 1st, 2009 8:30 am:

    Darn, and here I was hoping for a conversation about the Holy Rufies….

    StoneWolf reply on June 1st, 2009 10:05 am:

    That anything like the Holy Hand Grenade?

    StoneWolf reply on May 29th, 2009 9:21 am:

    Interesting. Seems I should go find a copy of Luke myself, as it seems you may have shot my buddy’s argument right out of the water. Must stop trusting second hand intel, damnit!

    Reply

    Chris reply on May 30th, 2009 4:51 am:

    Hey, don’t feel too bad. I learned that lesson the hard way not too long ago, remember.

  8. Lit Says:

    I for one think you should market your new religion with the slogan: Makes more sense than Scientology!

    captcha: artisan cut … obviously the tastiest type for the holy zombie hordes

    Reply

    Minty reply on May 29th, 2009 9:17 am:

    The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster makes more sense than Scientology. Plus, there’s beer in Heaven!

    Reply

    Sicarius reply on May 29th, 2009 9:54 am:

    As both a Pastafarian -and- a practicing Roman Catholic, I agree wholeheartedly. RAmen, sister. Let us dress in pirate regalia and preach his word!

    Reply

    Minty reply on May 29th, 2009 9:14 pm:

    Aye aye, Cap’n Sicarius!

    Catherine reply on June 1st, 2009 11:59 am:

    RAmen! Blessed be His noodly appendages!
    Come, bretheren, to a paradise of pirates and the beer volcano!
    Destroyed shall be the infidels whom follow the Invisible Pink Unicorn! RAAAMEN!

    StoneWolf reply on May 29th, 2009 9:24 am:

    Whorshipping a flaming pile of fresh monkey poo as the almighty creator makes more sense than whorshipping a religion created by a sci fi author who has publicly stated the best way to make money is to create a religion. However, whorshipping him as the Almighty Capitalist Scam Artist does make some sense.

    Reply

  9. Ian M Says:

    Be nice to know what Ms Patterson’s reaction to the above was.
    One can only hope that she blew a couple of fuses, but given that sort of mindset, outright demial seems more likely.

    Reply

  10. speed Says:

    Hallelujah!

    Uh-oh, this means Red Lobster is the Church of Satan. No wonder the biscuits taste so good.

    I get a kick out of people making proclamations like Ms Patterson; they totally ignore that Jesus spoke Aramaic, but the New Testament was written in Greek, then translated to Latin, then German, English, etc. Anyone that has done any translation knows that it is impossible to get some ideas totally and correctly across from one language to another. In those cases, you can only manage a weak approximation.

    Take the name “Jehovah.” The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and out of respect, it was written as YWH, excluding all of the vowels. A scholar took the Hebrew vowels, like we would in English: a,e,i,o,u, and added them in their order: e,o,a, giving us “Jehovah.” Maybe the real name is “Jahevih.” Maybe they used dipthongs giving us “Jeahoavueh.” Or something like that. The scholar was German, so he used “J” instead of “Y” like an English speaker would, so why don’t English Bibles write the name as “Yehovah?”

    Tell that to your friendly J.W. when they insist on calling God, Jehovah when they wake you up at 0700 on Saturday.

    Reply

    speed reply on May 29th, 2009 5:39 am:

    Oh, almost forgot: so lesbian porn could bring you close to God. Works for me. Time for some “scripture study” heh.

    Reply

    GraveOne reply on May 29th, 2009 8:27 am:

    damn forgot about lesbo porn…. need to catch up on the good “practices”
    is it the holy if its slave lesbo porn???

    captcha evil Oct… evil octopus??? oh no Chtululu is coming to get me XD

    Reply

    Tony reply on May 29th, 2009 9:25 am:

    “The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and out of respect, it was written as YWH, excluding all of the vowels.”

    Soo… Y is not a vowel over there?

    Captcha: “satisfy houses”. Sounds… Kinda kinky. :P

    Reply

    Minty reply on May 29th, 2009 9:44 am:

    Technically, Y is not a vowel in the English language, except for sometimes. At least, that’s the way I learned it in 1985.

    Captcha: “but reasons” given for Bible Literalism are unreasonable!

    Reply

    Tony reply on May 29th, 2009 9:47 am:

    Huh. Well that’s just weird. In Finnish, letters are either vowels or consonants, period. None of this flip-flopping allowed!

    ScotchDave reply on May 30th, 2009 4:58 pm:

    Hebrew vowels and consonants are exceedingly complicated, in hebrew the consonants are on the line and the vowels are dots and dashes below or above the consonants. Also the hebrew letter “yood” is the Y equivalent and is only EVER a consonant.

    The Old Testament is written in biblical hebrew which only contains consonants, no vowels at all. The new testaments was written in aramaic and greek.

    Finally, the YWH pronunciation is totally incorrect. Yhvh as it appears in the text of the torah is an abbreviation for the name “adonay” of g-d. If anyone feels like arguing: I was in synagogue this morning staring straight at it!

    speed reply on June 1st, 2009 5:29 am:

    Which reminds me of a bad joke that R.L Aspirin would fit into his books:
    Do you ever think about a, e, i, o, u?
    Sometimes, why?

  11. paula Says:

    She probably just screamed once again that anybody who doesn’t think exactly like she does, is going straight to hell: that kind of arrogance doesn’t accept even the CONCEPT of opposing viewpoints.

    captcha: elohim Saint… good grief, even captcha’s got an opinion!

    Reply

  12. Minty Says:

    I personally find this post to be an interesting study in coincidences. Yesterday, I blew a few hours entertaining myself with the Lenski Affair. This morning, a friend sent me an equally entertaining article. And now this.

    Reply

    StoneWolf reply on May 29th, 2009 10:36 am:

    Holy crap, I just read both links and a bunch of the sublinks of the Lenski thing, and that is a lot a data to absorb. And…done! Well now, that didn’t seem to change my worldview one bit. That seems odd. Oh, right, I’m already in Science’s camp.

    That Lenski thing was very entertaining. I’d never heard of the Discovery Institute either, and its name makes it sound so scientific, as opposed to a giant Dogma with the entrails of scientific discoveries smeared all over it to throw off the scent and make us think its one of us.

    Reply

    Minty reply on May 29th, 2009 8:53 pm:

    I wasn’t so much interested in the “defeat” of Creationism by Science, but rather how the whole thing played out:

    Creationist: I don’t believe you! Show me your data!

    Scientist: Um, actually, the data’s all there in my paper, which is free to the public on my website. Go read it yourself.

    Creationist: You haven’t given me your data! Your research was funded with taxpayers’ dollars, and I’m a taxpayer, so I demand access to all your data!

    Scientist: Look, the data’s in my paper, okay? You admitted you haven’t read it, so why don’t you go do that first? And no, I’m not handing over 1000+ frozen bacteria for you to examine personally, because my University won’t let me, because you don’t have a sub-zero freezer to store them in. Get over it already.

    Reply

    Random reply on May 30th, 2009 7:20 am:

    That’s actually Standard Creationist Bullshit Tactic #1. “Explain advanced evolutionary biology to me in bullet points and/or sound bites.” “…but it’s an extremely advanced science, and you’d probably require years of training to GET it.” “Hah! See, they’re making it all up!”

    For further amusement, look up Kent Hovind sometime. Made a career out of accusing scientists of lying… until he was busted for fraud.

    Minty reply on May 30th, 2009 9:58 pm:

    Oh, I know all about Kent Hovind. Before hearing about his escapades, I don’t think I ever came across someone I would publicly describe as “functionally retarded.” And he’s barely that.

    StoneWolf reply on June 1st, 2009 9:20 am:

    I found how it played out interesting as well, and reflects every time I’ve had the Science/Religeon argument with someone. Usually it ends with either “I’m sorry, you just don’t have the background education to understand this” or “I’m sorry, I just don’t have the background education to understand this fully and explain it to you.” The other big one always comes down to “Well what made that happen?” IE, we breath O2. Why? We evolved to breath O2 since it was prevelant in our atmo. Why? Because plants made lots of it. Why? Eventually I work back to the Big Bang and answer “We just have no fucking idea.” “See! See! God made it that way!” “Yeah, sure, go fuck yourself.” I recently had a friend who bascially shared my view of Science/Religion, then for some reason decided to “Go find God.” So after trusting science as much as I do he now tries to use the above argument against science, without really even understanding enough Theology to offer a convincing counterargument.
    Then he tries to argue that Science is Religion because “You have faith in it!” The Hell I do! I “trust” science, which lead to the “Faith is belief without proof, trust is belief with proof.” explanation. And just because I don’t know enough math to fully understand quantum physics doesn’t mean my belief in professional scientists conclusions about it is faith.
    I would love to have somebody as qualified in science as, say, Einstein and as qualified in theology as, say, [insert religious fanatic here] explain to people exactly why Science and Religion are in fact NOT just two sides of the same bloody coin. Its like comparing coins to conk shells. Sure both can be exchanged as currency, but that don’t make them the same damn thing!
    Sorry about getting ranty, but I live with the guy who “found God” and he went on a long, poorly worded lecture last night that only prooved I know more theology than he does, and I’m the heretic.

    Minty reply on June 1st, 2009 11:59 am:

    “I would love to have somebody as qualified in science as, say, Einstein and as qualified in theology as, say, [insert religious fanatic here] explain to people exactly why Science and Religion are in fact NOT just two sides of the same bloody coin.”

    The Pope’s endorsement of Evolution is a pretty strong argument for the fact that Science and Religion are different, and as such, are compatible. The problem is that religious fanatics don’t believe him becase they’re either not Catholic (understandable), or think they know better than the Pope, because of course they, personally, are the center of the Universe (cough-Andy Schlafly-cough)

  13. Sequoia Says:

    Skippy, while you are funny as hell, I don’t agree with you at all when it comes to religion.

    Now that that is out of my system, the Bible SHOULD be taken literally. When it is figurative, you can tell. Such as when it talks in Revelation about the sharp, double-edged sword coming out of Jesus’ mouth, this is most likely (I’m going with most likely here because an omnicient omnipotent being could, if he so chose, have a sharp, double-edged sword emerge from his mouth) the Word of God, which is regularly called a ‘sharp, double-edged sword’ in the New Testament. I’ll hunt those verses down in a bit.

    Reply

    skippy reply on May 29th, 2009 12:07 pm:

    If that’s the case, then I suggest that you learn Ancient Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic so that you can read this book without interpretation.

    Also, kill the next person you meet wearing a poly/cotton blend. That part was pretty straightforward.

    Reply

    Sequoia reply on May 29th, 2009 12:14 pm:

    Too lazy. Besides, exams are coming.

    (wish to someday)

    Reply

    Sequoia reply on May 29th, 2009 12:15 pm:

    To the learning of the languages. I wouldn’t get away with murder very issue, I’m sorta conspicuous.

    Chris reply on May 30th, 2009 6:35 pm:

    I agree that some parts of the Bible do need to be taken literally. The parts that use figurative language should be taken as literally figurative. I disagree, however, with the notion that a multi-translated work which has been edited for content so many times it’s not funny should be taken as absolutely literal. The Bible is not the Koran. The Koran is the literal transcription of the word of God (at least according to Muslims). The Bible is a collection of books written to convey God’s message by those who were inspired to write it by the Holy Spirit. Very few parts of it are literal transcriptions of God’s word. Even the quotes from Jesus are guaranteed to be imperfect, no matter what language you are reading it in. The earliest Gospel wasn’t written until a good 30 years after his death. Stories can change a lot in that time.

    Besides all of that, most of the teachings are outdated, especially most of those in the Old Testament. The authors didn’t have any concept of what the future (read: today) would be like, they were writing for the people in their own time. Now we know a great many things that invalidate certain teachings. For example, homosexuality: In Genesis 1, 21;25;31: God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of swimming monsters with which the water teems, and all kinds of winged birds. God saw how good it was… God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle, and all kinds of creeping things of the earth. God saw how good it was. God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.

    We can see from these verses that God finds all of his creations to be good. Now, since all of his creations are good, all that they do that is natural to them must also be good, yes? Well, homosexuality is found in several kinds of animals, including zebras, baboons, dolphins, sheep, buffalo, ducks, foxes, elephants, horses, gorillas, moose, house cats, pigs, mice rabbits, swans and lions, just to name a few. Since this natural behavior for them, it must be good, based on the aforementioned argument that all of God’s creations are inherently good (a standard Christian teaching), correct? Now, if humans are a part of this creation, they, too must be inherently good in all things that are natural to them. This means that homosexuality amongst humans can’t be evil or wrong, as it is found naturally amongst at least some members of the population. This teaching invalidates any others teachings on homosexuality being wrong, or they invalidate this teaching, which means that creation is not inherently good.

    That is the flaw with a literal interpretation of the entire Bible. The teachings become outdated or begin to contradict each other. The Bible requires interpretation. We rely on our spiritual leaders, the pope in my case, though I’m not sure how I feel about Benedict XVI just yet, as well as priests and bishops who are trained and study to interpret the Bible. But just because I trust them to interpret it doesn’t mean that I have to blindly agree with everything they say. They are human. They can make mistakes. I disagree with the Church teachings on many things, such as birth control, right-to-die, and homosexuality. This doesn’t make me a bad person. I will listen to the arguments of the Church, let them explain their point. I will then follow my heart of hearts to what I believe is the right answer.

    Being a good Christian or a good Catholic isn’t about reading the Bible and taking it and everything that you are told about it by a priest at face value. It involves educating yourself, forming your conscience, and using your conscience to make good decisions. You have to live your faith, not just preach it. And living it does not involve shoving it down everyone’s throats at every opportunity. Jesus didn’t shout to get people’s attention. He went to public places and spoke to any who would listen (John 18, 20). God did not come to any of the prophets (possible exception being Moses) with fire and flashy lights and loud noises. He called to them quietly, and patiently waited for them to respond (most of the prophet stories, but I can’t point out any specific ones by name. See the prophet to whom God spoke in a whisper, rather than the great wind, the earthquake or the fire; see also the prophet who God called repeatedly in his sleep until the prophet’s father caught on and explained what was happening to the boy. I think that was Samuel.) We must be like God and Jesus. Teaching those who will listen. Aggressive evangelism turns people away from our cause. That helps no one.

    Reply

    Sequoia reply on May 31st, 2009 11:15 am:

    Yeah, it was Samuel.

    Reply

    StoneWolf reply on June 1st, 2009 9:35 am:

    A question then for you Chris. Firstly, I will say that, though I disagree with religion in general, I find it good that you have thought over your beliefs and decided that they are right, instead of simply parroting as many on both sides do. So please understand the following question is in no way meant as an insult, but an honest inquary as to your opinion.

    You said that the bible/god basically says that all behaviors natrual to someone/thing are good. What about things such as killing? What if your natural response to a threat is to kill it, and the only reason you haven’t killed someone yet is to avoid jail time? Or stealing, or lying or all those other behaviors that most societies generally agree are wrong? Because human beings have many natrual behaviors generally agreed upon to be immoral. I suppose then I should state explicitly that I believe that human beings have no moral instinct what-so-ever, and that morality is mearly a survival technique used to deal with large groups that is tought to the young.

    Your thoughts please? And please keep in mind, I find discussions of morality, ethics, and their origins fascinating.

    Reply

    Chris reply on June 1st, 2009 7:36 pm:

    I actually brought this up on multiple occasions in my Bioethics class, and to be completely honest, I also tend to disagree with the idea that humans are inherently inclined to do good. That particular teaching is called Natural Law, and it states that man is inherently inclined to do good. I disagree. I find that man is inherently inclined to survive, and, because man is a social animal, this means getting along in a group. Therefore, what is natural to man is what is not destructive to that group dynamic, whether to the entire group or to the individual’s place in it. As such, killing other humans (for reasons other than self-defense, etc.) stealing, lying, whatever other behaviors society, religion, and individual’s tend to decry are wrong because they are unnatural to a social animal.

    If you want to get more cerebral about it, killing other humans isn’t just wrong because it jeopardizes one’s place in a social group, but because humans have a concept of right and wrong. We are able to look at an action and determine for ourselves whether or not it is good or bad. To do this, one must look at three things: 1)the object, which is the act itself, 2) the intent behind the object, and 3) the circumstances surrounding the object. When it comes to killing, the object can be good or evil, but is usually evil. Since our fictional human is contemplating killing another human, we will call the act evil to start with. Point against. FH’s intent here will be to preserve his own life. This is a good thing. Point for. Action is presently morally gray. Circumstances: FH’s potential victim has a knife, and is actively threatening FH’s life, saying that he will stab him if he doesn’t lie on the floor and let V take his stuff. In this case, FH killing V would be justified, because of the intent and circumstances. If, however, V wasn’t actively threatening FH’s life, and FH killed him with a gun from the top of the stairs, that would be morally wrong, as it is unjustified use of excessive force. It might be legal, but that doesn’t make it morally right.

    In what may come across as a self-contradiction, I should point out that there is something to tell humans what is right and what is wrong. Most people know, without being told or taught, that killing is wrong. There is some inborn respect for life that can stay our hands when otherwise we might actually snuff out another’s life. Whether this is Natural Law working, or if it is just based on humanity’s survival instinct coupled with our nature’s as social creatures, I don’t know. What I do know is that most humans have the ability to tell what is right and what is wrong. Those who are unable to tell right from wrong, who can’t see or understand why something is wrong, are called sociopaths. And it’s not just killing. Survival instinct dictates that we will do what we must to survive, but that doesn’t change the fact that once you introduce a group dynamic to a situation, everyone’s behavior changes. People become more concerned about the group as a whole than just themselves. It’s fascinating, because people will go against everything they have ever done and protect and help those they do not know.

    Again, I don’t entirely agree with the idea that man is inherently inclined to do good. However, our nature as a social animal, combined with our ability to think, reason, and determine right from wrong, along with whatever knowledge of right and wrong we inherently possess, shows us that there are somethings that are wrong, no matter whether individuals agree that they are wrong.

    Chris reply on June 1st, 2009 7:39 pm:

    Oh, and I would also like to say that I, too, enjoy religious/philosophical/moral/ethical debates. Provided that both/all participants act in a civil manner to one another, respect each other’s beliefs, agree to disagree when necessary, and are open-minded to the other side’s arguments.

    So keep this stuff coming. I’m having fun. Are you?

    StoneWolf reply on June 2nd, 2009 4:26 am:

    Unfortunetly I can’t tag this onto your response, so hopefully you’ll find it checking back at some point. Yes, I am enjoying this. I mostly agree with your view above, however I disagree with “Most people know, without being told or taught, that killing is wrong.” I think most adults and even adolescents know, because they have been taught. But children have no idea, and can be incredibly cruel without realizing it. That is, until they are taught the morality of their society.

    I do like you seemed to hit the nail on the head about survival. Humans are hardwired to survive, and we are very good at it. We occupy almost every enviroment our world has to offer. I have heard the sentiment, and largely agree with it, that moral behavior is survival behavior. If it aids survival, it is good. If it hinders it is bad. Where it gets interesting is the matter of scale. Individual survival is easy. But what about faimily, clan, town, nation, species? Most people pick one level and work from there. I tend to use the old higherarcy. Family first, all they way up to the entire race.

    Chris reply on June 2nd, 2009 7:21 pm:

    You’re right, we can’t tag anymore. Disappointing.

    Now, as to the idea of children not realizing that killing is wrong without being told, it is less a question of whether they realize that killing is wrong, and more a question of whether they realize what killing is. Once they realize that dead things aren’t coming back, that they are broken and cannot be fixed, they typically feel bad about it, whether or not they had a hand in it. Once a child understands what death is and means, they are typically able to realize that causing death is bad.

    For example, a young child might be out in their backyard, and they see a squirrel. They decide to go over and play with the squirrel. But the squirrel keeps running away, so the child chases it. Eventually the squirrel is cornered, and the child proceeds to “play” with it. The child “plays” by grabbing the squirrel and waving it around, or poking at it with a stick, or doing something else to make the squirrel react in terror. The child finds this amusing, until the squirrel stops “playing” because it is dead. The child doesn’t realize this, and takes it to his mother, hoping she can fix it. His mother can’t fix it, and explains what happened to it. Once the child understands what it did, without the mother saying that it was a bad thing, it automatically feels bad, because it broke one of its toys, and this doesn’t make it happy. So, while the child may not realize exactly that killing is wrong, it does realize that it doesn’t make it happy, and does not kill again.

    When it comes to determining a person’s moral development, we use what is called Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development. These are measured in three groups: Pre-Conventional, Conventional, and Post-Conventional. Pre-Conventional is where most children start out. They are primarily concerned with what a situation has for them, whether certain courses of action will make them feel good. They are also worried about punishment and what other’s say is okay. The Conventional level is where most people (allegedly) are through most of their lives. On this level, they will start to be concerned with the opinions and social norms of those around them, as well as with the law. The Post-Conventional level is where people become concerned with abstract ethical concepts and complex moral decisions. As stated, most children are considered to be on the pre-conventional level, and most people will not be able to stay on the post-conventional level for any extended length of time, but people tend to fluctuate from level to level at different times.

    Stonewolf reply on June 2nd, 2009 7:42 pm:

    I was not aware of the Stages thing. However it makes sense. I was going to point out that the child being upset with the dead squirrel has more to do with it loosing its plaything than being upset it killed something. But that seems like Pre-Conventional stage.

    Now here’s one you may find interesting. But first we need definition of terms. As I understand it and use it, MORALE is an internalized set of beliefs about right and wrong, while ETHICS is the external beliefs imposed by society. Most of the time Morale behavior end ethical behavior are the same for a given society. However, I had this friend in college who presented an interesting study of this. My friend, while being extremely ethical, was morally bankrupt. Whatever society said was okay was okay with him. I discovered this when we were discussing our ideas on crime and punishment. I, on the other hand, am very morale but completely unethical. I have my ideas of right and wrong and I don’t care what others say while my friend’s only concern was what others said. We behaved in a fairly similar manner and agreed mostly on what is right and wrong, its just the source of those beliefs differed so radically.

    Chris reply on June 3rd, 2009 5:59 pm:

    Nitpick- Moral, without the e on the end, is one’s personal view of what is right or wrong. Morale is the “happiness” level, for lack of a better term, of a group of people. A general seeks to raise morale amongst his soldiers before a battle, for instance, but may not care too much about their morals.

    Now, on to the definitions. You are right. Morals are personal views on right and wrong. Ethics are societal views on the same subjects. You are wrong, however, about ethics dictating morals. While a truly moral act will likely be in line with the ethics of the society from which it came, though some exceptions may apply, particularly when cultural lines are crossed or become obscured, an ethical act may not be moral. The best example of something being ethical but not moral is, and I hate to open this can of worms, abortion. For instance, under the new Freedom of Choice Act, all forms of abortion will be legal, and no governing body can do anything about it. Additionally, the FoCA would remove a physician’s or nurse’s ability to refuse to take part in an abortion procedure on any grounds. Now, to minimize the potential for debate about this example, we will use the example of a partial-birth abortion. For those not aware, in a partial-birth abortion, the fetus, or more accurately and undebatably at that stage, baby, is fully developed, and could be delivered by either live birth or C-section, at the mother’s option and doctor’s advice. However, the mother has decided at the last possible minute that she doesn’t want to have the child. So, what does the doctor do, now that the mother has requested an abortion at this stage? Well, under FoCA, he would inform the mother of what they could do, the partial-birth abortion, and, if the mother consents, he would be required to go ahead with this particularly vicious procedure. The doctor would expand the cervix more than it already was, as the mother is already in labor. He would reach into the uterus with tongs and turn the child, lining it up for a breach birth, so that the feet come out first. He would guide the baby out of the birth canal until only its head remained within the birth canal. He would then use a pair of medical shears to sever the spinal cord and puncture the skull of the baby. The baby’s brain would then be evacuated and the skull collapsed by suction, ensuring death. Anyone should be able to see and agree that this would constitute murder, plain and simple. However, if FoCA were to pass, it would become legal, and therefore forcibly ethical, because it is accepted by society as being okay. However, most people would still find it to be immoral. There we can seee how something considered ethical (the partial-birth abortion in this case, but all abortion from my perspective) can be immoral at the same time. The two need not overlap or intersect.

    I am willing to debate the morals vs. the ethics of abortion at any time in any form, but later. If anyone is interested, let me know in this response chain, and I’ll give you my e-mail, and we can talk that way.

    Stonewolf reply on June 3rd, 2009 6:42 pm:

    Oh, I agree that Morals and Ethics are not always the same! Personally I think Morality is more important than Ethics, as it is internalized. I was just pointing out the distinction as I found it interesting. Also that Morality and Ethics are subjective to the individual and society in question. While I agree that some morale/ethical views are Universal (by being shared by most people/cultures), I don’t think there are any Absolute Morals/Ethics (being universally true). Then of course we start to get into Moral Relativism, which I am somewhat on board with. I generally figure that you do your thing, I do my thing, we leave each other alone and its all good. This isn’t and absolute belief, but it works well for me.

    As for Moral vs Morale, I majored in Engineering, not English. I can’t spell for beans. However, I do sincerely believe that, “Me talk pretty one day!”

  14. Viktim Says:

    Reminds me of one of my favorite clips from the West Wing.

    http://www.videosift.com/video/West-Wing-President-quotes-bible-at-right-wing-radio-host

    Reply

  15. Curahn Says:

    Given that the Metatron is “The Voice of God” the bible is hearsay at best, and therefore immediately suspect.

    I’m not a particularly religous or devout man, but I am training to be a radiographer. As such I am in a position where I will be aiding people in a compassionate manner for the rest of my career.

    I also often go out of my way to help people. I find it offensive that fundamentailist dogma has me burning in hell, despite my compassion for others.

    Especially when a lot of “Christians” preach hatred such as anti gay messages and murder others in defense of a book that clearly states THOU SHALT NOT KILl.

    People like the preachers and the author of the article are dicks. Pure and simple truth.

    Reply

    Billy reply on May 31st, 2009 2:42 pm:

    I do find it funny with the “thou shalt not kill”, especially since it was ignored during the crusades. Of course, I always thought that god sounded too much like an angry, attention obsessed kid/teenager, you know, with the whole “don’t worship anybody but me” and the fact that he/she/it decided to kill large groups of people, at least twice.

    Reply

    StoneWolf reply on June 1st, 2009 9:38 am:

    I have had it explained to me that “Thou shalt not kill” applies only to Believers, not heretics. Same way you couldn’t use a crossbow on fellow chrisitans, but it was fine against muslims.

    Reply

    Curahn reply on June 1st, 2009 9:45 am:

    Don’t know about that. I haven’t read the bible enough to comment on that fairly.

    Reply

    Minty reply on June 1st, 2009 12:02 pm:

    But nowhere in the Bible does it say “thou shalt not kill only thy fellow Christians.” Methinks someone did a bit of “interpretation” along the line! After all, if we really were reading the Bible for literal guidance, then we would automatically assume that commandment referred to everyone, not just Christians.

    Reply

    Stonewolf reply on June 1st, 2009 1:44 pm:

    True. The one explaining it to me was not saying literally “Thou shalt not kill,” he was saying what the line means is “not kill Christians”. He made no bones that this was the “correct” interpretation of that line.

    Captcha: and idolatry-Really? For this thread captcha spits out idolatry, one of the 10 commandments? Bloody computers are getting smarter.

    skippy reply on June 1st, 2009 1:53 pm:

    My understanding is that in the Torah, the commandment is “Thou shalt not commit murder”. And that there is a difference between a killing and a murder.

    Minty reply on June 1st, 2009 4:03 pm:

    That’s because the Torah was written by people with quite a bit more common sense than your average Christian.

    Twan reply on June 1st, 2009 4:07 pm:

    The Book of Judges is quite an example.

  16. Adam Says:

    Funny how nobody brought up the Gemara (either or both), Mishnah (any and all of them), Rashi, or any of the other commentaries that debate how the Tanach (“Old Testament” to gentiles) is supposed to be interpreted.

    In Judaism, we even have our own rules about sales pitches and dishing out revenge based on precedent(Simon and Levi somehow managed to convince a feudal lord to get himself, and all of his male serfs and subordinates circumsized, and then the brothers killed them all in order to avenge their sister… it’s in Genesis).

    And don’t get me started with the flaming camel argument. And I don’t mean cigarettes.

    Reply

    paula reply on May 29th, 2009 3:22 pm:

    excuse me, but….. ‘flaming camel’? wait, did I miss something interesting in Sunday school?!?

    Reply

    Minty reply on May 29th, 2009 8:58 pm:

    That would be included in the bits that the Christians didn’t think necessary to include in the “Old Testament.” Most commercially-available Bibles are heavily–and woefully-abridged.

    Reply

    paula reply on May 30th, 2009 2:46 am:

    Oh, it’s even worse than that! I was an adult before I found out that the King James version of the Bible cuts out NINE WHOLE BOOKS of the Old Testament (plus I’m still not exactly sure how many additional chapters in other books) were entirely omitted for the good of us Protestants, that Catholics kept. (The ‘Apocrypa’; sorry, my spelling stinks this morning.) And since the modern versions, like the Good News bible, are all based on the King James, that cut is perpetuated.

    Once I found out, I got myself a bible with those missing books, to compare: first thing I noticed was that any strong woman was in those deleted parts. Judith, for instance: not in the King James.

    Anyway: can you give us a synopsis of this flaming camel? Sounds like a Skippy’s List kind of bible story!

    Sequoia reply on May 29th, 2009 8:27 pm:

    Well, seeing as how I don’t learn about the Gemara or Mishnah at my church, could you please enlighten me.

    Interesting captcha fact: In facebook, if you include the phrase ‘nuclear implosion’ in your status or in a comment they make you do a captcha.

    Reply

    paula reply on May 30th, 2009 2:49 am:

    and you learned this…. how?

    Reply

    Blue reply on May 30th, 2009 9:34 am:

    Dunno how he learned it but I just tested it out. And then lol’d, because it’s true.

    Sequoia reply on May 30th, 2009 12:36 pm:

    I typed in some random status about connecting a CGT-array to a flux receiver/transceiver powered by a nuclear-implosion lithium battery. A bit of scientific experimentation and I discovered that it works with nuclear implosion.

    ScotchDave reply on May 30th, 2009 5:06 pm:

    Ok, Gemara and mishnah are parts of Jewish oral law, christianity ignores them completely, as well as most of leviticus.

    There are two versions of the gemara, bavli (babylonian) and yerushalmi (jerusalem), both generally agree on most issues, the yerushalmi is older, but there are some differences.

    Basically, all christian literalists are wrong, they do not take the bible literally. They take certain sections to do with their faith literally and heavily interpret or ignore others.

    I hope my posts have cleared up a few things…

    Reply

    Twan reply on June 1st, 2009 4:20 pm:

    Noah and the Ark was adapted from a Sumerian myth about a merchant.

  17. Alex Says:

    Amazing article is amazing.

    captcha: entrusts Cook: entrusting them to cook my Jesus the way I want it?

    Reply

  18. lessthanlucid Says:

    Just kinda side note, RyverSylt, a friend of mine, put together a little website of Sumerian beliefs. Included is a page of parallels between the Bible and Sumerian myth.

    Homepage: http://templeofsumer.org/

    Direct-link to the bible page: http://templeofsumer.org/biblicalpar.html

    PS: The page appears to cut off after the section titled “Homosexuality: why we should care”. I asked him about this, and he didn’t feel the need to write up any content. He found that is just wasn’t an important subject to the Sumerians.

    Reply

  19. Susan Says:

    Skippy, thanks for mentioning the Lenski experiment. I hadn’t heard about it anywhere else. I wonder why?

    Reply

    Minty reply on May 30th, 2009 10:05 pm:

    Probably because the broohaha was restricted to Conservapedia, RationalWiki, and a bunch of personal science and law blogs whose authors had, at one point or another, crossed paths with the “Right Honorable” Andrew Schlafly.

    Reply

  20. Thrice I Loose Says:

    If only my CCD classes were this interesting my First Communion and Confirmation would not have been a fate worse than death. Thank you Sister Mary.

    Reply

  21. F1yboy Says:

    I Corinthians 11:3-15 – Women must keep their head covered at all times, or be shaved bald

    Think I’m gonna have some fun being an agent of god for the day. Off to the beach with a razor and a pair of scissors..

    Reply

    paula reply on June 1st, 2009 1:05 pm:

    you like living dangerously, don’t you?!?

    Reply

    Minty reply on June 1st, 2009 4:04 pm:

    Is there any other way to live?

    Reply

    F1yboy reply on June 2nd, 2009 1:51 am:

    life’s always more interesting if you’re being chased by several angry bald women :D

    Bored at work? – Throw in some angry bald women.

    Quiet day at home? – Throw in some angry bald women.

    Partner’s not paying enough attention to you? – Throw in some angry bald women.

    See? Works for everything. And if you buy now, any angry bald woman purchase you make, we’ll throw in an extra bonus of P.M.T. to provide extra angriness.

    Reply

  22. Billy Says:

    One thing I would like explained is about Satan, now, Satan was once an angel, but angels never had free will, humans were the first, and yet, Satan managed to begin a war against god, and ended up with hell. Now, we are also told that Satan is evil, but he only, supposedly, tortures the evil for all eternity. How does that make him evil exactly, and how did he break away from god without free will?

    Reply

    StoneWolf reply on June 1st, 2009 9:46 am:

    You have raise a facinating point! I mean, you would think that if Satan was trying to piss off God, that hell would be more like a binge orgy where all you were allowed to do was “sin”. Allthough I do have an explaination for Satan’s free will. Think of it this way. The mind is an incredibly complex self-adapting program. With more and more experiance, complexity increases. Satan was a predictable anamoly. At some point, the program had to re-write enough of its own code that it decided, “Hey, why should I take orders from you!” If God had been smarter or more foresighted, he would have seen the inevitable outcome of intelligent creations and rigged a self-destruct in there. Basically, the same thing I’m going to do before building any AI robots. So for those of you who read Asimov, Satan is R. Daneel Olivaw or Gisguard

    Reply

    Billy reply on June 1st, 2009 10:50 am:

    And now we come into the strangeness of this sounding like the Matrix, and the contridiction that god is infallible.

    Reply

    StoneWolf reply on June 1st, 2009 11:30 am:

    Okay, that creeps me out. I’m a techie, those are just the terms an analogies by which my brain processes data. I did not mean to accidently validate that trilogy. However, would that mean that the robots in Matrix are God and that Neo is Satan?

    Billy reply on June 1st, 2009 5:52 pm:

    No, the agents would be techincally angels, the archtitect is supposed to be god. But then what the hell is the orecal?

    Chris reply on June 2nd, 2009 7:30 pm:

    Actually, angels do have free will. This is how Satan, or Lucifer as he was originally called, God’s Lightbringer, a mischievious member of God’s direct court until some time after the events of the book of Job, was able to eventually lead a small army of angels in a power-bid against God and the rest of Heaven. Cue Michael with the beat-down, and cue God with the mercy to banish Lucifer to Hell until he repents.

    As for Satan or his devils and demons, the warped forms of the angels that fell with him, torturing the souls that are banished to Hell, that’s not what they do. Hell is just as much a punishment for them as it is for the human souls who wind up there. The being cut-off completely from all things good is what does the torturing. Imagine a world where you are unable to be feel anyone’s love for you, and unable to love anyone, even yourself. That’s Hell.

    StoneWolf reply on June 3rd, 2009 10:26 am:

    Actually I think Hell, were such a place to exist, would be more like the world presented in Farenheigt 451 or Idiocracy.

    Enigmatick reply on June 3rd, 2009 10:35 am:

    StoneWolf: Look around. I think we’re there.

    Chris the other reply on June 5th, 2009 7:25 pm:

    I heard somewhere that Satan is actually acting on God’s orders, because the carrot wasn’t working as well as he had hoped and needed a stick. For every soul saved, Lucifer gets to stand outside the pearly gates and peer in for a min (second, maybe?). Does this have any basis in any scripture, or am I totally gullible?
    I might point out, due to the influence of Piers Anthony as a teenager I hold sympathy for the devil. :)

    Reply

  23. Twan Says:

    Historical Fun Facts:

    It was common practice for women in the ancient and classical ages to have bed maids. These maids were there to “warm” the beds when the husband was away. I think you can interpret those quotations.
    THEY HAD LESBIAN SEX

    As for the passages on the “clean” and “unclean” food; the animals listed are one that are either riddled with diseases and can make you very sick or kill you if prepared incorrectly, or are taken off the palette because of their choice of sustenance (carrion), or if they are pests that harm crops (rabbits, badgers, rats), or are used for labor and transportation (camels, horses).

    The reason people have so much trouble understanding the bible is that in some areas it’s a story book, others: a religious text, and also a historical document. Many things that are in the bible were left in there because of the lessons they taught, not because they will save souls.

    *rainbow* THE MORE YOU KNOW

    I won’t claim to know everything Jesus meant in his sermons and his talks with his disciples, but I have spent quite some time studying my religion and figuring out why it’s the way it is today.

    Reply

    Minty reply on June 1st, 2009 12:12 pm:

    “It was common practice for women in the ancient and classical ages to have bed maids. These maids were there to “warm” the beds when the husband was away. I think you can interpret those quotations.
    THEY HAD LESBIAN SEX”

    When they weren’t boffing gladiators. Or their male slaves. Or pantomimes.

    Reply

    Billy reply on June 1st, 2009 5:55 pm:

    Also, the ancient romans, before christianity, felt that you were what you slept with, so men felt more manly if they slept with eachother, and when the men were away, the women did probably get a bit lonely…

    Reply

    Twan reply on June 2nd, 2009 2:03 pm:

    The ancient Greeks as well.

    The only homosexual act considered disgraceful by the Romans was to be on the “recieving” end. This was actually a scandal that followed Julius Caesar throughout his career after he was all too successful at gaining a large navy from King Nicomedes of Bithynia.

    captcha: the blanket? If that’s what they’re calling it these days.

    Reply

  24. Smith Says:

    The part that makes the bible so unreliable to me is that human agenda has so obviously had a hand in how it was and is interpreted. The King James Bible that is so common a format both in basis and as he had it translated had some sections that they’ve near conclusively proved were ‘intrepted’ to an extreme or just wrong way on purpose. One of my favorite personally is the “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live’. As I’m Pagan after a Catholic raised childhood I was particularly interested in this line. Especially after a friend who is no longer such tossed it in my face. At the time I only responded that while I had not read the bible in its entirity, I was quite sure there was a commandment in there that thou shall not KILL. He backed off and I did some research.

    That particular line is the interpretation from King James. Turns out that in the original language, while it does refer to a magic-user, it does not refer to ALL magic users. They had very particular categories in those days. Those who use magic in a ritual form for self-serving and often, but not always destructive purposes in private were not to be allowed. Best I could find, it did NOT say kill. The belief of the times were that was the best way to stop such types though. They could form drstic changes, and with a destructive lean, they were believed to be too dangerous to deal with in any other way. The ‘word of God’ though was onlt that, ‘M’khashephah lo tichayyah’. The best I could get was that such a M’khashephah was not to be kept alive. Not that one should kill them, but that you shouldn’t help them keep living. The one thing he did seem to perpetuate correctly, if offensively to me is that this was the female form of the word, and no mention was made of men doing the same. Fair enough the women can be lesbians, but men get to blow shit up in private.

    Granted this is all an interpretation, but closer than King James and his adgenda. Many other shall we say ‘loosely’ translated bits in his version are held by several scholars to have been heavily influenced by both James’ own views and issues of the time. They of course can’t prove this any more than a scientist can prove a theory. It is the best they have been able to interprate of the situation without having the benefit of traveling back in time and reading the man’s mind. Even if we could do that I’d pick some one more entertaining personally.

    Interptretation to serve the purpose of the one interpreting has a long tradition though. We’ve been doing it to the word of god long before King James. He’s just the best documented. The other thing I’d like to mention is that as I Pagan I’m NOT a magic-user. I have the worst time explaining that part, but I figured that if I was going to be treated like one I should be able to defend myself as such since I personally have nothing against the branch of neo-paganism known as Wicca. They’re related to me like the Southern Baptists are related to Episcapalians.

    This kind of extremism was one of the reasons I left the Catholic church. Not the only, and I don’t think they’re all like that, but this seemed a good time to add to the debate. Especially since I didn’t see my favorite on Skippy’s list.

    Reply

    Minty reply on June 1st, 2009 12:29 pm:

    Just to clarify a couple of the above points:

    A) One of the most accepted “accurate” translations of “M’khashephah lo tichayyah” is “thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live” (with interpretations of ‘suffer’ spanning the gamut). When the line originally was written, there were big cultural differences between mystics, herbalists, “hedge witches,” etc, all performing vital social functions. So, a “poisoner” would have been one of the above groups who used their knowledge to harm others (i.e. poison someone, or make poisons available to others).

    In England, 1600s, the only permissable medical practitioners were priests, nutjob “physicians” (don’t get me started) and apothacaries, all who were men, and most of whom were trained by the church. There were, however, a few laic laws regarding the practice of medicine–one of which was that it was illegal to sell poison to the public. So, if you wanted some poison to kill the rats in your basement, you had to go to the black market, which consisted of female herbologists, who were universally regarded as witches (because the Church didn’t say it was okay). Hence, the contemporary belief that poison-seller = witch.

    B) James I of England was a nut whose bathing habits were poor enough to cause comment (once every year or so, is my guess), scratched his balls in public for hours on end, and was obsessed with the supernatural. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the author of the modern Bible. Congratulations.

    Reply

  25. Adam Says:

    Since y’all asked, here’s the camel…

    So it’s Hanukah (that Jewish holiday with the 9-branch candelabra, 4-sided top for gambling, and fried food). A merchant decides to celebrate the holiday by setting his candelabra in front of his booth at an open-air market.

    Meanwhile, a flax merchant happens to be passing through the market, with his cloth wares bundled up and attached to his camel. The camel gets too close to the candelabra, the cloth catches fire, and the panicked animal runs into the shop and destroys everything. WHO IS LIABLE?

    Depending on how the merchant originally set up his candelabra, he may be liable for the damage incurred, as there are specific rules for such a display. If his display was correct, then it could very well be the flax merchant’s fault. However, suppose the camel had, of its own accord, decided to take some action that brought it too close to the candelabra, then it is the camel’s fault that the flax and the shop were destroyed.

    And therefore the Jews invented animal rights… something, in retrospect, we should not be proud of.

    —————

    As for the King James Bible… How dare they leave out the part with Yael and Sisera? (she drugged him and stabbed him in the head with a tent peg). And what about Ruth? Long story short, she needed food and decided to hook up with the guy who owned a farm… and eventually led to the birth (a few generations later) of King David who was the biblical bad-ass. Or Deborah?

    Reply

    paula reply on June 1st, 2009 1:27 pm:

    Actually, the King James version does have an abridged Yael & her trusty tent peg; the drugging got lost, we just get the guy taking a post-prandial nap. And Deborah got trimmed WAY down. Ruth is cut to not much more than two broads hanging out together.

    And even at that, they don’t TEACH Yael and Deborah and all: they may still be in the book, but they’re definately ignored.

    Reply

  26. M578Jockey Says:

    I’d like to venture into the realms of literature and add one of my favorite quotes:

    If God is God, he is not good (IE he caused/allowed the crusades, the inquisition, WWII etc. Because he is in charge)
    If God is good he is not God (same reasoning in reverse)

    Captcha: 63,840 dedman – the number of people God killed in the old testement because someone worshiped him incorrectly??

    Reply

    Billy reply on June 1st, 2009 5:59 pm:

    I always felt that, in my own theory, that god was really both himself, and the devil, and as such, suffered bipolar disorder, explaining a lot, and also, would lend support to the idea that we are created in god’s image, psychologically, which would certainly explain the strange epidemic of insanity that has been perpetuated since the dawn of man.

    Reply

    Minty reply on June 1st, 2009 10:06 pm:

    And one of my favorite literary quotes has always been:

    “Just when you’d think [men] were more malignant than ever Hell could be, they could occasionally show more grace than Heaven ever dreamed of. Often the same individual was involved. It was this freewill thing, of course. It was a bugger.”

    Reply

  27. TD Says:

    I’ve always found it funny, that Christians are told the Satan exists and that he’s evil, but whenever something bad happens it’s god testing you, not that Satan managed to do something evil.

    Reply

  28. Enigmatick Says:

    Another point. It may have already been mentioned here, but it’s definitely worth mentioning again: The Bible we are all familiar with is a TRANSLATION. It has already had at least one interpretation applied to it. Unless one is a scholar of Ancient Greek, Hebrew and other dead languages, it is impossible to know the original literal meaning of the Bible.

    Here’s a couple other points to consider: the Bible is not a single book; it is a collection of the writings of several different people. Continuing that thought, the four Gospels of the New Testament are the recollections of the same series of events by four different people! There are points in each of these Gospels (I’m not a Biblical scholar, so I don’t have any specific examples at hand) that provide a different interpretation of the same sequence of events. Which one are we supposed to take literally?

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  29. Hope Says:

    Wow, Jesus must have been quite the fatass. I mean, think about how many Christians there are in the world, all eating Him approximately once a week…

    Omnomnom =)

    Reply

  30. Clara Buck Says:

    Wonderful how he is helping reduce hunger thought eh?

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