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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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]?