Posts Tagged ‘ Ark ’
I’ve been a student of history for the last 20 years. I completely fell in love with the first history book I read: Thomas Costain’s The Conquering Family and close to 200 books or recorded lectures followed that first introduction. From ancient Greece to Jared Diamond’s Collapse, from a study of the Roman Empire to the history of United States, I am hooked. I’m not bragging, nor do I consider myself a scholar, but do I like to think I am, at least, passingly familiar with human history. There are paths which humanity follows, patterns which stand out and lend me a certain viewpoint.
My view of history goes something like this.
Humanity is a shackled mass crawling out of the swamp of our own ignorance. The water swirls about our waist and the mud keeps sucking at our feet. It holds us down, dragging at us like a ball and chain, slowing our march forward. The going has been hard. The steps we have taken were slow and often erratic, but we have progressed. Most of us do little to help that progress. We just live our lives,unable or unwilling to take a larger part. So many of us are unable to even see that a larger part exists. Though, most of us do not aid our advance much, neither do we hinder. We simply allow the mass to drag us where it will.
But there are individuals within our jumble of humankind that strive to drag us out of ignorance. Many of them have made small efforts, some have made large, but some have singlehandedly carried their brothers and sisters vast distances forward. To these people we own a unending debt of gratitude. This cannot be understated. These men and women of science have saved so many us from the lives of brutish squalor that we would surely have had in their absence. Progress occurred because certain people of science strove to cut the webs of superstition and understand the world as it really is, not how we would wish it to be. The very best of these people have entirely redirected our course through history. They have trashed our decaying world-view and presented us with a better, more beautiful one which we have wrapped our future around. They have shown us the elegant complexity that comprises the natural world. They have shown us such wonders, and standing on their shoulders, we see so much. Standing atop the life work of Newton, Darwin and Einstein, our children no longer drop like leaves in the fall. Our elderly live long and productive lives. Education in science and art has lifted us out of the slime and wiped us off and shown us the beauty that surrounds us. The world is now a brighter place. Life is good.
This is a direct result of science, not superstition. This situation has been brought about by humans standing up and using science not kneeling down in worship to a vengeful god. None of this happened because somebody sacrificed a goat, or scared demons away with prayer bells or swung a dead cat over their head. And none of it happened because someone prayed. Ever!
The swamp is getting shallower, the ground firmer. We know so much now, but it is a single bucket of sand on a beach of potential knowledge. There is still so much to learn, so much that is necessary for us even maintain a semblance of our way of life. Especially now as water and energy shortages loom ahead, and climate change and rapid population growth lurk around the corner. The future will be harder and our light may dim. Still, we must go on. We cannot stop, for the danger grows greater if we hold here now. We must continue our advance. We are multitudes, and technology and science is the only thing that keeps this vastness alive. With nearly seven billion people on the planet, we cannot return to the ignorant past. We cannot descend into the murk. It would be the height of folly to turn our backs on the single thing that can save us from the hazards we have created, science.
Yet, there are some among us who would drag the mass of humanity back into the swamp of ignorance, back into the mud from which we have so recently escaped. Change has come too fast for them and change and science bring a complexity, and complexity makes them uneasy. Their primate brains do not understand it and they are afraid. They want to simplify, to discard the knowledge that should be our inheritance and pick up the superstition we had left beside the trail. They want to return to a mythology where God created the earth 6000 years ago and did it all in six days, where there are no plate tectonics and the great flood accounts for all the coal and oil on Earth. They demand a return to their superstition not only for themselves, but for the whole of humanity. They push for a return to a simpler time, forgetting or ignoring the brutishness and squalor that used to be the rule rather than the exception.
They will lead us to our doom.
These young earth creationists are today’s intellectual terrorists, sowing distrust in science and knowledge, replacing it with myth and superstition. Though, wallowing in ignorance, they remain cunning. They have marketed themselves well for the masses. Disguised as reasonable critics, they seldom voice their most extreme beliefs in public. Catch phrases like intelligent design, teach the controversy, and irreducible complexity echo through their arguments. They hide behind the fear and unease they themselves stir up. They play off the fear ever-present in their less fanatic cousins, questioning their faith with lines of thought running something like this. Belief in God means a belief in the Bible. Belief in the Bible means the Bible is a literal truth, not metaphoric truth, that everything within it is absolutely factual. People of true faith must believe that the creation stories in Genesis are true exactly as written. Therefore, any true Christian must believe the world is 6,000 to 12,000 years old.
I’m not making this up. If you have doubts please go to their websites to see for yourself. Try one of the largest and most fanatical, Answers in Genesis. or here. Whatever you do, do not miss the world’s largest black hole of reason and knowledge, The Creation Museum. This is a 27 million dollar, 70,000 square foot facility dedicated to the proposition that Adam and Eve shared the Garden of Eden with dinosaurs. These groups abound in the ignorance so common in the true fanatics. For an excellent review of the museum try A. A. Gill’s witty Vanity Fair piece on his trip to Kentucky’s Museum . And it’s not just Kentucky. A young earth creation museum lies just 200 miles away from here in Glendive, Montana. They are spreading.
In addition to the dinosaurs living in perfect harmony with Adam and Eve, these people believe a range of unscientific nonsense. There are too many examples for a complete list so just a few will have to do.
Dinosaurs were vegetarian before the fall of man. In fact, all carnivores ate plant life because before the fall there was no strife in the garden. Personally, I find it impossible to picture the great T. Rex eating leaves and berries with those six inch jagged teeth.
The majority of the fossils we have found have been from the great flood. You see it’s hard to explain how some of the fossils are often buried under thousands of feet of sediment. The reason that the more primitive fossils are found in the deepest layers is that they weren’t capable of fleeing to the high ground with the more advanced animals. Huh? Not a single dinosaur made it to the tops of the hills, but all the big mammals did???
All the coal and oil deposits on earth today were made in the flood buried under the sediments washed down from the hills.
The Grand Canyon and every large canyon in the world was formed by the runoff from the flood. Running to where you may ask? Apparently there are huge reservoirs under the earth that the water sprang out of and returned to. Understand that these subterranean seas would have to be several times the volume of all the terrestrial oceans combined.
This is a child’s nonsense. It ranks as poorly thought out as modern day geocentrism (The ancient theory of the sun, moon and universe orbiting the Earth). By the way, geocentrism also used to be a promoted plank of biblical literalism but seems to have been somewhat abandoned in the last 30 years or so, just 400 years behind Galileo. Mind you, there are still existing biblical geocentrists in an age where we have sent probes to other planets and to the further reaches of our solar system. This is trailer trash science.
Taken together, the young earth creationist belief system is no truer than astrology or alchemy, just more dangerous. Is there a difference between this and Allah’s promised 72 virgins for any Islamic fanatic strapping a bomb to their chest and killing women and children in a marketplace? Only in the level of violence, but keep in mind, Young Earth Creationists are a group of people who are certain that God is going to severely punish the United Sates for condoning abortion and allowing homosexuality. They are certain that God created AIDS (without evolution, there is no other possibility) to kill Gays. The fact that it also kills the same children they don’t want aborted has yet to be explained satisfactorily. They believe the only reason that our nation is the richest in the world is because God is on our side, and we stand or fall by his will alone. I know this viewpoint. I was raised with this, hearing it constantly. You can be quite certain that when the times turn bad, an increasing number of these people will believe that God is punishing the nation for its sins. Young earth Creationists will believe this because for ages they have been primed not to trust to science or humanity. They have been programmed to trust in a minister’s interpretation of a bronze age myth. They have been long prepared for belief in absurdities, violent absurdities. Their distrust in any scientific truth and worship of a god who murdered, by their own admission, virtually every man, woman and child makes them dangerous. They lack faith in truth and exhibit a willingness to bypass a mountain of evidence looking up the dimmest of clues that may possibly justify their mythology.
When our economy collapses because we continue our fall from scientific preeminence, they will not blame themselves or their war on the one thing that kept us ahead. They will blame the sins and permissiveness of this nation. We can see this by the bombing of abortion clinics and the slaying of family planning doctors while fanatics protest military funerals because our nation doesn’t prosecute gays. As things turn worse, as jobs become scarce when science flees from our shores, as our standard of living falls year by year, the population of fanatics will climb. Increasing numbers of people will believe in anything that will give them hope, give them some illusion of control. They will look for scapegoats and patsies, and they will blame our decline on the things they most hate and fear, and they will take action. This has already happened many times in the past and will happen again. At times, history is depressing reading.
After the homosexuals are dead or hiding, there’s always those eternal victims of persecution, the Jews.
And the flood came. All but eight died so the world was finally cleansed of its evil diversity and free thought, rid of its differences and disagreements. Like some fictional communistic dystopia, dissension was crushed and everyone thought as one. Only eight survived, and these fearfully worshipped their dark God, cravenly offering sacrifices and promising to obey. God looked upon the murder and devastation; he gazed on the lifeless swamp he had wrought and saw that it was good. The Lord Genocide had killed everyone and everything. The world lay in ruin and he was happy to see it so. Mission accomplished. Don’t you love it when a plan finally comes together? Goddamned if I don’t love a happy ending.
I’m not sure what I can say to further shed light on this crime against humankind. I’ve said enough in my previous two posts and the act itself should speak volumes to anyone willing to read it for what it really says. The fact that people still worship the monster they themselves think responsible is a bit beyond me. How has our species made it so far?
Reading the account of the flood isn’t easy, because so much of this entire section is hard to comprehend. There is much repetition, but never exactly copying itself. Differences and contradictions abound, as if two drunk story tellers sat down and argued over whose version was better. Coming to no agreement, they simply included both… And the random mutterings of the schizophrenic homeless bastard on the corner. In fact, it’s more like both drunk story tellers are with you and when one finishes a small part of the tale, the other interrupts and insists on telling his slightly different version. They then proceed to go back and forth arguing over which is truer. Therefore, the events are often out-of-order, out of context and riddled with contradictions.
Noah goes into the ark and the rains start, then he enters the ark. huh?
On the 17th day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on Mount Ararat. But just after this Genesis says that the waters continued to diminish until the first day of the tenth month when the tops of mountains appeared. How does an ark land on the mountains two months before they appear?
Seemingly, only after he lands does Noah send out the birds to look for dry land. It’s like Pulp Fiction when they keep jacking the movie around through time, only this is far more sinister and not nearly so much fun.
How long did the flood last? Damn good question. There are several day counts here but it is unclear which are concurrent and which are consecutive. After reading it five separate times I finally went with the listed dates. The other data contradicts it (Surprise, surprise) but it is the clearest item here. Let’s just say, it was a year and ten days from the beginning of the rain until dry land.
These examples abound, and I’ll not waste anymore time on them. I just urge you to look for yourselves. Try here http://skepticsannotatedbible.com, or http://www.youversion.com/ any other online or print Bible of your choice. It is little wonder that humanity has seldom come to a consensus on the meaning of the Bible. You can alter only the emphasis and the meanings often change dramatically. This book has a near infinity of poorly defined material to fight about. Looks like were in for a long ride.
So Noah and family exit into the wasteland their God has recreated and free the animals that have been packed in the ark for a year. Then Noah, righteous man that he is, drags forth one each of the clean animals and offers it up as a sacrifice to Jehovah. Seems to me Jehovah should have been quite satisfied with the massacre of every other living thing on the planet, but nope. He always wants more. So Noah offers burnt sacrifices of a some of the very few animals left alive on earth using the very same technique the ancient Greeks used for their pantheon. All Gods must just love that burnt animal smell. Can’t you just see Jehovah and Zeus lounging about Olympus getting high on the burning sacrifices. Dude. Now that’s some good shit! So Jehovah smells the sweet savor of Noah’s sacrifice and decides to give a little on the whole Genocide thing.
So God enters into a covenant with Noah promising never to commit complete genocide again. Partial genocides, sure, but never the whole shebang. But then, after realizing he has been rash in his promise, he qualifies the statement and says he will never actually destroy the earth by flood again. This, of course, leaves his options open. Even a merciful and omniscient God can never tell when the urge to destroy every living thing in the universe may come upon him once more, and we wouldn’t want to limit his potential, now would we? As a sign of his good will and sincerity, he gives us the rainbow. Evermore, humankind can look on that beautiful bow (the scientifically verifiable result of light refracting through drops of water) and know that God loves us so much that he will never murder all of us again in a single instance by vast amounts of water. Don’t feel too bad for him,though. Disease, meteors, run away greenhouse effect, alien attack, and about a thousand other options are still available, so he’s not exactly overly constrained. Everyone knows that when the Lord Genocide closes a door, he opens a window… for himself.
I don’t know about you, but I sure trust the Big Guy in the Sky. I’m absolutely positive that once you slaughter an entire planet, you’d never do it again. Just like the old rhyme says: Once you try crack, you never go back.
Wasn’t that it?
God is pissed. I mean, really pissed, murder every bastard on the planet pissed. We’re not sure why, exactly. Oh, he keep mentions lawlessness, corruption and the depravity of mortals, but I think this translates roughly to “No one is doing what I say, Dammit!” And if mythology teaches us anything, it’s that deities get very upset if everyone isn’t doing EXACTLY what they say. Frustrated that no one is paying any attention to the invisible guy in the clouds, God decides to murder them all. Not just the people mind you but every living thing on the planet! Damn cats! Don’t come when you call them, never do what they are told! Pigs, filthy. Chickens, bah! Kill them all. (insert maniacal laugh here) God plots his revenge on all those who have wronged him, which, interestingly, is nearly everyone and everything. His enemies list is packed. Some gods are just a little too touchy,
I’m not sure what he planned to do afterward. Start over? Surf for internet porn? Play Grand Theft Auto on the Xbox? Fortunately, it’s not important, because Noah managed to suck up to the Lord and got himself pardoned. Thank heavens or we’d be back to that “formless void” place. That would be bad. Well, the Bible would only be about ten pages long, which would be an improvement, but overall, things would still be bad.
Now Noah was a good man and, he really listened to God. He and his family were the only good people left on the entire earth. Everyone else was unforgivably evil, Terribly, awfully, horribly evil, you know. Gut wrenchingly malignant. Everyone: fathers, mothers, children, the elderly, down syndrome babies, fetuses, embryos (must have been the largest mass abortion in history), puppies, kitties, absolutely everyone. Three men, their wives and… no one else ranked good enough for the Lord. Look, I don’t mean to criticize, but doesn’t it seem like God has set the bar too damn high. He simply must start grading on a curve! I mean really!
So Noah built himself an ark following God’s plan,and let me tell you that plan was a bit short on detail. Fortunately, Noah was a master improviser. The ark was built to the measurements of 440 feet by 73 feet by 44 ft over three levels. This comes out to be 52,343 cubic yard in volume. The three decks would be 96,360 square feet. I know this sounds like a huge amount of space but that’s the same square footage as the Home Depot building in Bismarck, North Dakota only with much lower ceilings. Now realistically, at least a third of this space had to be taken for structural elements, access ways, food storage, human quarters and like. Even with stacked cages and packed to the gills, that is very little room. There are 5400 different species of just mammals on the planet, many quite large. Add to this over 10,000 bird species and 8300 reptiles. This includes no insects, amphibians or other animal types. Let’s assume they could survive the flood on their own. You know there’s nothing a freshwater frog likes better than floating in the salty brine for 150 days or so. I’m sure they were just fine.
You are aware that the young earth creationists believe that there were even some smallish dinosaurs aboard! Whoo boy! Isn’t this fun? Now squeeze them all into Home Depot along with enough food and water to keep them alive for 150 days. Whew! What a job! Are you aware that’s an average of a just little more than a foot of floor space for each animal. I strongly suspect that it would be difficult to shove that many freeze dried animals into that space.
Whenever I hear someone speculate on where all the Neanderthals went, I strongly suspect they just devolved into young earth creationists. I sincerely apologize for denigrating any offended Neanderthals.
Then God tells Noah how the ark is to be loaded. He tells him twice, in fact. Not the same way, mind you, just in similar but still inconsistent ways. First, it’s two of every animal, then God seems to have changed that to two of every unclean animal and seven pairs of each of the clean animals. I really don’t know why. perhaps, the extras were like emergency rations in case the flood lasted too long. Just pop open an extra cow and make it another week. That’s probably where the unicorns went.
In time, the ark is built. The animals are on board, and the pantries are full. Now they are ready to survive the tsunami of God’s hatred that is about to eradicate every other life form on the planet. They alone have jumped through God’s hoops to a sufficient degree to be spared. The old adage was as true then as it is today: It’s not who you know, it’s who you blow.
Seriously though, I cannot stress too much how repugnant this myth really is. The God of the flood and so many other stories is not acting for our benefit, quite the opposite, in fact. Examples of his evil abound in the biblical myths but always get passed over for some imagined love and kindness. In so many of these Old Testament books, God is a dangerously spoiled child who when he doesn’t get his way he’s going to take his planet and go home. Mercy is only for those who toe the line precisely. For the rest it’s death, destruction and eternal torment. what a sweetheart! This old god is a vile and contemptible monster. Worshiping such a creature is immoral and unthinkable.
Kind and loving, my hairy white ass.
This is KKBundy, The Blessed Atheist from the Blessed Atheist Bible Study, and today we are going to perform a bit of harmless surgery.
This’ll only hurt a bit. Just insert your brain here. Now, you’ll feel a bit of pressure. Stop whining, please! And now one really sharp pain while I slice out a good chunk of your cerebrum, fill this created space with dogshit and, presto, you are now a Young Earth Creationist. See! That wasn’t hard! Oh yeah, the bleeding and pain may eventually stop. Not likely, but it may. I hope not. Stupidity must have a price!
Sigh! How do you squeeze a discussion of The Flood with all it’s young Earth interpretations into a simple blog post. The sheer foolishness of a literal view of these three chapters lends itself to a book length argument rather than a mere essay. So much to say. So little time. Baby steps, Bundy. Baby steps.
My modern moralistic eyes finds this story hatefully appalling. At it’s most basic, the flood is the ultimate crime of genocide, complete and utter, total and without mercy. It’s the purposeful murder of an entire planet. These chapters positively drip with a supernatural evil. Satan has nothing on any jackass who would do this. Here, God is a malignancy dripping with venom, a tumor waiting to kill us, wanting to kill us. He is the boogieman lurking in the dark waiting to kill us all. Sagas like this put monsters like Stalin in a different perspective. Creationists, like my mother, are constantly harping on how bad the world has gotten and how the end times are coming. For proof of her prophecy, she often holds up people like Hitler and Stalin. It’s a “see how bad the world has gotten without God.” kind of statement. Now it’s not that I’m excusing these people’s evil. I’m just saying such evil has been here longer than they will admit. According to the Bible, we were created in God’s image, but one look at this story show’s you a glimpse of the reality is that we created God in ours. Is the story of Stalin in the Purges and Hitler in the Holocaust really worse than the Great Flood. Not even close. Absolute power in anyone’s hands leads to terrible crimes. The biggest differences here is that we worship god for the atrocities we condemn others for. Ain’t that a bitch!
The story of Noah proves to me that, if taken literally, God is certainly not on our side.
Again, let’s plunge in with a literal view and view the flaws both technical and moral. From the very first, we run into inconsistencies with our all-knowing God.
Genesis 6, 5-8
“5 And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented Jehovah that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And Jehovah said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the ground; both man, and beast, and creeping things, and birds of the heavens; for it me that I have made them. 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of Jehovah.”
You see, God was sorry. He was sorry he had ever made mankind, and sorry that his mangled creation was such a screw up. But how can this be? Understand please that this is a point we will be returning to over and over. A perfect being creates shit and then regrets it? How so? There are two related illogical ideas hiding so innocuously here. The first is that of perfect creating flawed. The only way a perfect being can create a flawed construct is to do it on purpose because creating it any other way negates perfection. Perfect beings don’t have accidents. Tremendous implications follow this line of reasoning. Are we not the way our perfect creator made us? Are we perfect with our flaws? If he made us with flaws then obviously these flaws are acceptable, even desirable. For how can any perfect being create a flawed creature and then blame that creature for the flaws? If I build a bookshelf that tilts and falls down every so often, it is hardly logical to blame the shelf. It is the craftsman that is to blame. Either I am a poor craftsman or I wanted it that way. By all the evidence, God likes his bookshelves to fall down a lot.
Or another, more logical assumption is that we truly were made in his image, warts and all. Any reasoned look at the discrepancies here would conclude that God must be as fucked up as his creation? More powerful? Sure, but still mangled. If we were created in him image, then God is one messed up, batshit crazy, dickhead. A warped and broken God creates his moral equals. Why? Because he is lonely? Now that would garner some sympathy from me and be more in line with logic. Perhaps, he just needed someone to pick on.
But all this is not to be. Christians believe that the perfection of their God is his primary attribute. Accepting this forces a unbiased thinker to accept the only logical conclusion, he messed us up intentionally. To what purpose? Because he was bored? Wanted the excitement of humanity falling down continually? There are too many equally poor answers to this question. This could easily be another topic for a book length discussion.
The second of the logical defects in the regret itself in creating man. Regretting something implies a mistake. Perfection, by definition, has no error. This difference is irreconcilable. By this one paragraph, the concept of all-powerful is disproved. Additionally, you may add the all-seeing and all-knowing elements. Omniscient beings have to know the consequences of their actions. It’s in the definition, people. He made something that he absolutely knew was going to be a mistake and that he would later regret? Hello? Why? And why isn’t this a WTF? moment for all those worshippers, I don’t know what could be. How can you be sorry you made something that you knew was going to be the way you made it? And you knew you were going to be sorry for making it. That’s senseless.
The Christians standby line is always “God works in mysterious ways.” or “How can you presume to understand the mind of God?” Personally, I don’t think it’s that hard. The evidence is there and logic shows us the way. The God of the flood is either imperfect and evil or greatly flawed and merely petty. Assuming God is real, reason leads down no other path. God is a butt-plug, the first butt-plug on the planet and the prototype for every hitleresque butt-plug to come. So look out! He’s watching, and he is cruel and jealous… And a dick!
Of course, reason also leads us to the most likely conclusion of all, that the inconsistencies just cancel each other out like variables in algebra. That the tale of the flood is a people’s desperate attempt to understand their chaotic world, an attempt to bring a sense of order to the chaos. Just look at the cruel world they lived in with death disease and pain around every corner. If you lived then wouldn’t it seem like someone was fucking with you too?
But today knowing far more than they did, our reason tells us this story is a myth.
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