Good in the Bible

Dear Bible Believer, Let me get back to your original question: if Satan wrote the Bible, why is there so much good in it?

Put yourself in Satan’s shoes—you say out of jealousy he wants to destroy God’s creation. He wants us to destroy the forests and fields, to destroy the Garden of Eden, to kill all other creatures and each other; he wants us to deny the pleasure of our senses. You say he is smart and crafty; would it be smart to preach the destruction of creation? If he said he was God and preached destruction, killing and denial, would you follow that god? Satan is devious, right? So he causes the Bible to be written and in it he puts some good things like “Thou Shalt not kill. [It’s interesting that when asked to name the Ten Commandments, the first most people name is “Thou Shalt not kill”. It is number six in the Bible.]

While Satan would like to see lots of wars and have us kill each other he puts in the Bible “Thou shalt not kill.” That makes sense to us. It is wise advice. Then Satan fills the Bible with killing.

God is a brutal, bloodthirsty son of a bitch. Here’s one example:

And at midnight the LORD killed all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn son of the captive in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed.  Pharaoh and his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died.  (Exodus 12:29-30)

In that one God did the actual killing himself but he also enjoyed ordering murders:

All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. God’s words to Moses in Leviticus 20:9

If you thirst for more of this check out:

http://www.evilbible.com/Murder.htm

Dear Bible Believer, how do you reconcile God’s actions, brutal actions and orders with the Sixth Commandment?

I find the teachings of Jesus to be excellent. He taught love. That was far and away the thing he preached most yet much blood has been shed over belief in him. When he says “I am the way. Only through me can you get to heaven.” Where did that come from? It is not loving. It is excluding. I frankly don’t believe he ever said anything like that. I believe those words were put into his mouth by disciples, preachers traveling around spreading his word and gathering followers. It served their purpose but it did not serve Jesus’s teachings or his legacy well.

Who Wrote the Bible?

Who wrote the Bible? Young men who thought the earth was the center of the universe and that it was flat. I say young because relative to the average life expectance of today they were very young. It was more than 1,500 years after the writing of the Bible that some great thinkers discovered the world was neither flat nor the center of the universe. That knowledge was suppressed by the Catholic Church for another 100 years. If you are looking for answers relevant to modern times, you might find Google a better source than the church.
A believer might say, “Christ knew the earth was round and not the center of the Universe because he was the son of God and he knew everything.” Just because there is no indication that he knew any science is any reason to challenge that statement. Jesus’ focus was on psychology. However, the question was: who wrote the Bible. Jesus didn’t write a single word of the Bible. It was written by itinerant preachers after his death.
If you want a more learned answer, I recommend Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman.
“The New Testament as we actually have it, I knew, was the product of human hands, the hands of the scribes who transmitted it. Then I began to see that not just the scribal text but the original text itself was a very human book. This stood very much at odds with how I had regarded the text in my late teens as a newly minted “born-again” Christian, convinced that the Bible was the inerrant Word of God and that the biblical words themselves had come to us by the inspiration of the Holey Spirit….Given the circumstance that he didn’t preserve the words, the conclusion seemed inescapable to me that he hadn’t gone to the trouble of inspiring them.” (Page 211 HarperSanFrancisco 2005)

Does Satan Exist

Do you think Satan exists? If so, then, yes, Satan exists in your reality. We each live in our own reality and that reality includes our beliefs. If you believe there is a Satan but not a God, then you might want to consider where the notion of Satan came from. The simple answer is that your Satan came from the Bible. Satan is a personification or deification of evil to contrast with the personification or deification of good which, in the Bible, is given the name God. There is really very little information about Satan in the Bible. He has been fleshed out by many authors since which has given the notion of Satan pretty much the image people hold today. The dialogue between Satan and God in the book of Job in the Old Testament is the only place in the Bible where Satan actually appears and is a good place to try to understand the Biblical Satan. The image I suspect you hold of Satan can be found in Paradise Lost by John Milton or in sermons by people who believe they are teaching from the Bible.
I don’t think Satan exists. My thesis that Satan wrote the Bible is for people who believe that God wrote the Bible or caused it to be written, that the Bible is the word of God. If you believe that, you should read what “God” says and does in the Bible. You believe that God gave you your mind; use it. Use it to try to understand the God and the Satan that you believe in. Don’t rely on what others (like preachers, rabbis, popes and the like) tell you about God. Don’t rely on what is said about God in the Bible. Go right to God’s actions and words and I think you will find an image quite different from the one you worship.
Neither Satan nor God wrote the Bible or had influence over the writing of the Bible. The Old Testament was written by men passing on stories that were created in the minds of men (and likely some women) to try to explain creation and the early life of the Jews to explain how they came into being and to lay down some rules of behavior so the species could get along and live good lives. Science has come a long way since then toward explaining creation and how we came into being. That some people reject what we have learned and cling to notions developed over 2,500 years ago is an indication of how powerful teaching beliefs rather than teaching open mindedness and how to think at an early age can be. For those who can use the minds that came with their bodies I suggest looking at the age old questions from a current day perspective.
As for creation scientists have reached back to the big bang which comes from evidence of what the universe is doing today—expanding at in increasingly rapid rate. They don’t know where the material came from that came together and then exploded—still a mystery. If you like the notion that God created the universe, why not have him do it with a clap of his hands, BANG! Or how about the notion that this is a virtual reality much like video games; the creation is this fantastic game that surrounds us wherever we go, whatever we do—it is us. We have been getting ever closer to creating virtual reality; movies, then 3D movies, surround sound, Imax and video games that keep getting closer to reality. Scientists have figured out how to stimulate nerves in amputees to give them feeling in prosthetic limbs. From that it is comprehensible that they will be able to stimulate all our nerves in a virtual experience. For me I’d like that to be a date with Sophia Loren when she was about 22.
Another way to look at this notion is to consider what we know about the makeup of matter. We are made up of atoms that have a nucleus and electrons spinning around them interestingly much like the planets spinning around the sun. These atoms are mostly space. Take out all the space and we would be reduced to a speck of dust. Science has got another thing going on that I don’t understand very well as it is too new for my brain but as I understand it they have now got us or everything reduced to wave lengths. From another reality looking in on us we might be holograms.
Might it not be a good idea to think about how we came into being (actually science has largely answered that one), the purpose (meaning) of life and how best to behave so our species can get along and live good lives with all we know now rather than hanging onto ideas developed before electricity, before computers, before we had any thoughts about a virtual reality?

Does God Exist?

After satisfactorily proving his own existence Descartes went on to try to prove God’s.

I recognize that it would be impossible for me to exist with the kind of nature I have–that is, having within me the idea of God–were it not the case that God really existed. By ‘God’ I mean the very being the idea of whom is within me, that is, the possessor of all the perfections which I cannot grasp, but can somehow reach in my thought, who is subject to no defects whatsoever. [Meditation III, paragraph 38]

Descartes says that his existence includes the perception of a perfect God and that the perception was not learned but came directly from God. When God made Descartes he programmed him with a belief in a perfect being. I accept his perception that his understanding of God was implanted in his existence. How could I possible challenge it? If he were alive, we could discuss the difference in our perceptions. However, it is unlikely that either of us would be changed. Anyway, he’s dead.
I believe that my knowledge and understanding of “God” (the god most religions refer to) comes from things that have shaped me since my birth. I joined a church, went to Sunday school, listened to sermons, read the Bible, read many books that expressed ideas concerning God and have listened to many people express their understanding of God. I classify the experiences in the previous sentence as second-hand or coming from others of my species in this perception that I recognize as my life. I have also experienced blazingly colorful sunsets, towering mountains, the ocean’s roar and power, the tinkling sound of a rill in a brook, a baby’s grip, the smoothness of a thigh, and the explosion of flavor released by a vine-ripened tomato. I classify these experiences as first-hand and not coming from others of my species. They come through the senses that are attached to my body, the vessel that is central to my perceptions. To which should I give more credence in my search for an understanding of a god, that which comes from others of my species or that which comes from I know not where?
If Descartes had been raised by wolves and had no contact with belief passed on through people, his argument would be excellent. As is, it holds no water.
Is there a God and, if so, what is the nature of God? I exist and I perceive this thing that I call my life and everything contained in it. I don’t know anything beyond that. I don’t perceive through first-hand knowledge anything beyond that. The notions of things outside my perception that I call my life come from others–notions of life after death, reincarnation, heaven, hell, a supreme being watching over me.
One of those notions is the big bang theory of how the universe came to be. That is based on scientists’ perception as they study the universe that everything in the universe is moving away from everything else at a rapid speed. They determine this by the color of light they can see and an understanding that the color is a wave and that changing the wave length will change the light. Light moving away from the perceiver will be different from light moving toward the perceiver because the wave lengths are elongated or compressed respectively. I have not directly observed this phenomenon but I am willing to accept it from the things I have read. All the scientists know is what they are observing, the color of the light coming through space. They believe the color indicates that everything in space is moving away from us. From that they have formed the theory that the universe is exploding.
Our sun was a bit in the explosion. It got spinning around and some chunks were thrown off forming our solar system. Our planet cooled down and as it cooled life came into being. Single celled life that evolved into life as we know it on Earth today.
If you buy that, as to how we came to be, and I do, you are still left with how did the material form that was involved in the big bang? I am not aware of any scientific theory answering that question. It is an interesting question to ponder; however, it seems unlikely that I will ever, within this life, come to an assurance of how the universe came into being. Even if science came to a reasonable answer… Well, I can’t imagine such a thing so I can’t finish that sentence. I like the ancient explanation that the world rides on the back of a giant elephant and the elephant stand on the back of a giant turtle. When asked what the turtle stands on the subject was changed.
Rather than search for something for the turtle to stand on or anything in between I am content to credit “God”. What is God? My creator. What am I? A thinking being that perceives what I call my life which includes everything within my perception. Please don’t add any frills or extras to “my creator”. I have no notion what kind of an entity “my creator” might be—if I was created in its image, if it is a committee, a blob, a vapor or something totally inconceivable. My “creator” or “God” is nothing more than a word to use for the dead end that my thoughts and thinking through the ages have come to.
Don’t, for a moment, confuse “my creator” with the God of the Bible. Religion has co-opted “creator” so, perhaps I will have to find another word for the concept. Perhaps “Programmer”. I’ll give that some thought.

Belif is not knowledge

Whether you believe there is one god, no god or many gods, your belief is no better than any of the others. You may believe in a compassionate god while others believe in a vengeful god. You are no closer to the truth than the others. No one knows there is or isn’t a god.
Perhaps the greatest good, certainly a great goal, for the future would be to have all people come to an understanding of the difference between knowledge and belief. Every belief is valid. I can make a case for there being four hermaphrodite Gods with purple hair who created the universe through a monster collision which is how they mate. The collision, of course, was a big bang and you can take it from there. Should I go a little farther? One of the purple haired Gods is my conscience, another plays with my conscience, testing it, another provides the world through which I pass, my perceptions, and the fourth is in charge of my interaction with other people.
Understanding the difference between belief and knowledge doesn’t diminish anyone’s belief. It might actually strengthen it because others would not be putting down your belief as being inferior to theirs. Imagine a world without religious conflict. Wow!
Whether you believe in a single god, several, many or none only makes a difference in how that belief affects the way you live your life. Those who feel others should believe as they do feel that way simply because in their heart of hearts they know they don’t know—if everyone believed as they did, they could feel totally comfortable with their belief. Since that isn’t going to happen, wouldn’t it be better to accept the simple fact that belief is not knowledge.