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I've always had a problem with the story of Abraham. Firstly the request to sacrifice Isaac from god is peddled as a test of faith. The problem I had here is that if god knows all that was, all that is and all that will be then to be fair there is no reason at all to conduct a test like this. Then afterwards Abraham clearly lies to his son by saying that god will supply the lamb for sacrifice.

So if the initial test of faith has to include a lie then what ever follows is tainted. All the faiths that depend on biblical testimony are built on lies. The father of faith is a liar and god is a messer. Is my understanding incorrect?

Nardi 7 June 1
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11 comments

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0

This story was the first bible story I heard that truly disturbed me. Of course, it turns out there are many, many more disturbing stories in the bible.

2

I think you absolutely are. I've also noticed one thing the Bible beaters don't want to talk about with this story is the high probability that if this individual really existed, the most logical explanation for his story is that he was schizophrenic. If a modern person wants to mutilate hus own genitals and sacrifice his child to God we put him on an involuntary committal and pump him full of thorazine. But Christians are allergic to recognizing cognitive dissonance, so logic is just Satan trying to lure them away from God.

0

As a published author, I find the bible poorly written at best. That leaves out all the religious text, etc, it's just poorly written. Pacing, consistency, etc.

That isn't to say they're aren't some good bits. Part of Ecclesiastes went on to become a good song by the Byrds, for example. Also not to say that some of the intended lessons (as opposed to what far too many followers actually do) aren't good lessons.

But overall, these things are often poorly presented.

In the case listed above, an interesting argument has been put forward that the test wasn't for Abraham, it was for God. If God was truly a good god, he would have stopped Abraham, and therefore worth following. If not, dot dot dot.

"the test wasn't for Abraham, it was for God. If God was truly a good god, he would have stopped Abraham, and therefore worth following. If not, dot dot dot."

However this argument relies on the idea that murdering Isaac was not God's idea in the first place and it was Isaac, Abraham, Satan, or someone in a bush shouting in to a jar who gave the initial instruction n order to test God.
Even given that this is the case it was a still bloody stupid idea.
Also it is quite clear in the Bible that God did not stop Abraham, it was an angel (some say Michael) who did it, so if this was the case God failed.

I have heard so may apologist try and make sense of this story and laud Abraham for his faith over it.
The Islam version is the worst, because in that version Abrham does it twice, once with Isaac, once with Ishmael, which is doubly insane.

True. Most bible arguments depend on being selective.

0

Abraham is a very spurious character, willing to practice polygamy, willing to abandon his first born child and second wife because of his other wife's jealousy even when his fathering a child by someone else was her idea, willing to kill his son because the voice in his head told him to. Willing lie in the name of god and claim his wife was his sister... twice so if she was raped he would not be killed, he changed his name and hers, he was a megalomaniac with a superiority complex, he is hailed as a patriarch of Judaism but was in fact a Zoroastrian, he claimed to have aged ten years over night when king Nimrod carried out the slaughter of the innocents in order to be saved, but save none of the other thousands of boy children the king slaughtered, and on and on it goes.

2

to get back to the OP

lmao haha

0

This story was meant to be an indication of how different Abraham's 'one true god' was from all the other previous gods. What it was meant to illustrate was that unlike all other gods Abraham's guy didn't need child sacrifice. I can remember even as a small child thinking how incredibly cruel this was. My research suggests that child sacrfice did start to lose favour in the fertile cresent from around 7000 years ago but continued to be an option for other religions even until relatively recently. The writings do have a historical and social interest and cannot be compared to today's standards but the god stuff is clearly bollox

3

No. You're correct. Aside from this story, Christians often claim that for believers, suffering (itself contrary to god's promise to bless the righteous and confound the wicked) is often a "test" -- of faith or loyalty or ability to resist temptation or whatever. But as you point out, god doesn't need to test anything if he already knows "the end from the beginning".

Evangelicals will generally then say that the test isn't for god's benefit, but our own -- to strengthen our resolve / faith, show us things about ourselves, etc. But there are all sorts of ways to mentor someone, if that's what you're actually trying to do. If I were a teacher and started teaching my students by breaking bones or taking things from them to see (or so that they can see) how they react, etc., guess how long I'd last as a teacher.

This is what I was thinking. You said it better than I ever could.

Further to your mentoring point, we all know how undramatic mentoring is in real life. The story is how fiction writers describe mentoring. Even way back then, the essence of fiction writing was conflict.

0

The very first lie?
"On the day you eat of it (the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil) you will die"...but the story has them live on regardless.
There are thousands of problems with the Bible, new & old testaments.

This is not one of them though, so far as any fundamentalist theologian I've ever read. It's read as "you shall surely die spiritually", which DID happen. And this isn't really much of a stretch, in that a person interpreting this as a metaphorical story would see it that way too. The main vulnerability of this teaching is that even literalists will turn to a figurative interpretation when it suits them or when there's a clear problem, like there is here -- (1) god predicted death and (2) it didn't happen.

@mordant

The Hebrew emphatic being employed in Torah is clear enough IMHO.
Making it spiritual, makes this imaginary friend (god) into a liar or a deceiver. Again, IMHO

@Agamic Making it spiritual is an attempt to evade god looking like a liar actually, if you're right about the Hebrew and there's some other word that would have likely been used for spiritual death. I didn't get so far as learning Hebrew in my theological education and it's been so long I no longer recall the scholarly disputes or if my alma mater even exposed us to those (for the most part, probably not). So I have no opinion.

I think the fact remains that the plain meaning of the English translation, supported or not by the Hebrew, makes god appear to be prophesying something that never ended up happening, and literalists turn to a spiritual / metaphorical / figurative translation without appealing to the Hebrew to my recollection, in order to avoid that. Which tends to support your contention as well.

0

Oh my!! You are attempting to apply logical argumentation where that's not really the currency.

From anther perspective, I don't think need this particular we logically proposed and defended argument to justify non-belief.

But your comments got me into some interesting thoughts. Although "scripture" is often taken as a source of morality and a guide/standard for behavior, there is certainly lots in the source that shouldn't really be emulated.

Abraham twice (I think) passes Sarah off as his sister and "gives" her to other men--not what we value from husbands today.

You call out other instances. The idea that someone today would value duty to deity over parental protection of a child doesn't appeal to most of us...and when most of us see someone not prioritizing welfare of their children over just about anything, we are appalled.

So yeah/sure/fine...the Abraham story isn't really a guide for us...Abraham does lots of things that appall us...although the pious somehow reconcile (another conversation). The story was written to justify and promote an agenda in the past; and today's agenda is different at best...even though the story is still granted a putative authority that we really don't accept. The religious/observant/pious reconcile this probably because they don't really worry about it. Those of us with a different perspective will debate and dissect and argue but that's for our own benefit,since we're analyzing something that that believers/acceptors don't much care about.

Entirely different mindsets/approaches.

2

The Bible is a poor copy of the Sumerian texts, carved on the Babylonian walls 2000 years before the Bible was written.
Furthermore, the bloodthirsty, revengeful god of blood sacrifices and fire and brimstone is based on "Anu," the alien Sumerian leader.

Since the Bible isn't true, why even discuss it it?

Link: The origins of human beings according to ancient Sumerian texts [ancient-origins.net]?

Just felt clever to point out something that is glaringly obvious. Thanks for the link will check it out.

@Nardi Sorry!
I do realize that many people come to this website to finally be able to rant about the stupidity of the Bible and religion, but after a while one wants to hear about something else instead of beating a dead horse.

Why bring in other sources which make even less sense than the bible? The links between Sumerian texts and the bible are so thin as to be non-existent from what I can see, it’s conspiracy theorising in a place that should be dedicated to reason.

@Denker ?? It's not about what is true but that the Bible is a poor copy of another text, thus invalid.

If you read the Sumerian texts, the same stories are told as in the Bible, but are far more scientific. For instance, the Sumerians say that Noah was shown how to build a submarine and animal DNA was brought onboard, not the actual animals, which is impossible.

1

Totally off topic I love your avatar pic of Billy Cornelius as Odd Bod Jnr.
Carry on screaming is my favourite carry on movie ever.

lol thanks for getting it right! It's also my favourite carry on too!

@Nardi

@LenHazell53 ahh the memories and she was super hot too ♥

@Nardi Fenella Fielding, right?

@moNOtheist Right 🙂

@LenHazell53 She was sexy - smouldering! And that voice... I was only a kid, but, man!

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