Monday, October 3, 2016

Theological Skepticism #5

As the election approaches, I've been listening to political news.  The way I see it, they're all gonna have their own slant.  The key is to find an honest news source with a known slant, and filter accordingly.  As much as it frustrates me to hear conservative hosts over inflate the danger of immigrants and the threat of terror, it drives me bonkers to hear the liberal hosts refer to tax funded services as "free", and taking money as "sharing".  Which is why I end up listening to people like Ben Shapiro, warts and all.  But then we come to religion.

He is Jewish, and actually reads the bible; the whole thing once a year.  The Jewish bible that is, aka the Torah, aka the old testament.  Every show he tries to find some part that isn't awful to share it's wisdom.  It's fine.  I ignore it.  It's kind of a change of pace for me living in a mostly Christian society.  Then he went off the rails.

First he said that although he doesn't agree with the arguments for Atheism, he does understand them, and why other people do agree with them.  I'd stop him right there.  You don't need an argument to not believe in something.  I wouldn't need to convince him that Muhammad didn't fly to heaven on a magic horse.  His belief that I'd need arguments to not believe in his god tells me he doesn't understand.

But then he said something really crazy.  Specifically talking about Exodus, he said that even us Atheists have to admit that the old testament is our current source of morality, passed on to our society through Jewish and Catholic tradition.

You can't see this, but I'm face-palming as hard as I can.

I haven't read the whole bible, but I've read Exodus.  What exactly does he think we got from Exodus?  Does he think it taught us that murder is wrong?  In the storybook, Moses skips town to avoid being punished for killing a guy before Yahweh even starts handing out rules..  Many cultures predating that book had laws against murder, theft, lying, and such.

And did the average person in our society come to the conclusion that slavery is wrong from wisdom passed down by the old testament?  The book of Exodus says the exact opposite.  It says where to get your slaves, and how much you're allowed to beat them.

Our understanding of ethics has gradually increased over time, like our understanding of mathematics and physics.  The greatest force holding us back from this development are these relics of our ancestors that many have convinced themselves, and their very young children, are unquestionable, and beyond approach.

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