Religions

 

 

 

I’m reading a book by Steven Pinker called The Better Angels of our Nature, where he presents evidence for his claim that violence has declined over the course of history. In one section he quoted an excerpt from Homers Illiad and Odyssey where Agamemnon is explaining to King Menelaus his plans for war:

 

Menelaus, my soft-hearted brother, why are you so concerned for these men? Did the Trojans treat you as handsomely when they stayed in your palace? No we are not going to leave a single one of them alive, down to the babies in their mother wombs – not even they must live. The whole people must be wiped out of existence, and none be left to think of them and shed a tear.

 

Do these words set in the time period of 1200 BCE and written around 800 BCE not sound familiar? Let me share a passage from the Bible written in the same ancient time period.

 

Deut 7:2-3 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:

 

Here is another quote that comes from a book called The Rape of Troy written by literary scholar Jonathan Gottschall, where he discusses how archaic Greek wars were carried out.

 

Fast ships with shallow drafts are rowed onto beaches and seaside communities are sacked before neighbors can lend defensive support. The men are usually killed, livestock and other portable wealth are plundered, and women are carried off to live among the victors and perform sexual and menial labors.

 

 Again, do not these words bring to mind passages in the Bible? For example:

 

Num.31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves….30-35) And of the children of Israel’s half, thou shalt take one portion of fifty, of the persons, of the beeves, of the asses, and of the flocks, of all manner of beasts, and give them unto the Levites, which keep the charge of the tabernacle of the LORD.

 

Deut. 20:13-14 And when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.

 

My desire is that people will open their eyes and see the similarities between biblical history and that of other cultures of the same time period, showing that the contents of the Bible are much more of a reflection of primitive human thinking than of divine inspiration. Tremendous harm has come from religious books like the Bible that trap people in a primitive mindset that was inspired by superstitious thought about things they didn’t understand. Men who adhere to biblical doctrines still believe that societies should be patriarchally structured to have men in positions of ruler-ship over women, giving them no say over their own bodies and denying them equal human rights. This is the type of mentality that leads to the human rights violations that are so abundant in the Bible.

 

Most religions tend to judge people by their beliefs instead of their actions and justify the mindset that it’s okay to treat people unequally if the religious doctrines teach that. The Bible teaches inequality as the norm, but intelligent people understand that we are all entitled to equal human rights. Intelligent people know that the solution to gaining equal human rights for everyone, lies in the education of ignorant men whose mental growth has been stagnated by primitive ideas like those found in the Bible. Yes, women do need to be protected from violent, abusive men, but that doesn’t mean they should be denied equal human rights and ruled over by them. It’s the ignorant, abusive men who need to be taught that it is not their place to rule over and control women. Punish the perpetrators not the victims.

Quote from: Greta Christina

 

“Religion is ultimately dependent on belief in invisible beings, inaudible voices, intangible entities, undetectable forces, and events and judgments that happen after we die. The thing that uniquely defines religion is belief in supernatural entities. Without that belief, it’s not religion. Every single claim made by religion comes from people: not from sources out in the world that other people can verify, but from the insides of people’s heads.”

 

Contrary to religious belief morality does not need god for a foundation; the only standard needed to know if something is moral, is to measure it against the standard of human rights. If something violates a person’s human rights, it is by its nature immoral, nothing more is required to make that evaluation. It really shouldn’t be that difficult to see people first and foremost as human beings entitled to equal rights. We live in modern times where science is discovering on a daily basis how the world works around us, this progress should leave the superstitious mindset by the way side.

 

Religions do give purpose and meaning to people’s lives, but ultimately purpose and meaning are all about relationships. The way humans create meaning in their lives is through the relationships they have with other people, or by helping to make this planet a better place to live in. The reason religions play such a big role in many peoples lives is because is connects people to others who believe as they do, and it connects them to a deity who gives their life purpose. The downside is when that deity imposes rules and laws that are imported from primitive cultures of the past, which many times are very biased and discriminatory in nature. Yes, people should have the right to freely practice the religion of their choice, but not the freedom to impose their beliefs on others, or deny other equal human rights.

7 Responses to “The Biblical Mindset and its Reflection in other Cultures”

  • Greetings Rose and all keen explorers for truth!

    The LORD’S voice isn’t inaudible.

    The author of the Holy Bible teaches man to be loving and nothing brings more dignity to life than being the recipient of genuine love.

    When He shows us grace that is something tangible.
    When He cleanses man of selfishness His power is evidenced.

    Truly the teachings of Jesus are the teachings of the LORD God and in this sense God is very “visible” not only as teacher but also as judge!

    The entire Bible is divinely inspired. If it wasn’t it wouldn’t be the infallible Word of God.

    Rose, neither Jesus nor Paul had primitive thinking.

    God’s word today is not for Christians to smite every neighbor with the edge of the sword but to love them as we love ourselves!

    Be encouraged for tremendous good can result from studying the Holy Bible. The LORD doesn’t desire to trap people in a primitive mindset but to free them from unmerciful, unforgiving, revengeful thinking and behavior!

    Explorers for truth, the belief in the Author of Life isn’t based on superstitution, but on the reality that He exists and reveals Himself to those who wholeheartedly seek Him!

    • Rose:

      Josef said: “The entire Bible is divinely inspired. If it wasn’t it wouldn’t be the infallible Word of God. ”

      Again, merely asserting something in no way makes it true. Without evidence, the claims that people make regarding the Bible being divinely inspired and infallible are meaningless. People from all religions make the same claims regarding the deities they believe in.

      For something to be infallible it must be without fault, and everyone knows the Bible is full of errors, falsehoods, and contradictions. So much for being infallible. 🙂

      Rose

      • Rose, it is God Himself who states that His Word is inspired.
        Your understanding about the Bible is incomplete, His understanding is perfect.
        He is the authority not you!

        Let Him teach you!

  • Rose, our fallen nature is at peace with no one least of all with our Maker, ourselves and our fellowman.

    Violence hasn’t declined over the course of history but it has esculated!

    Hatreds worldwide are seething and in my opinion soon World War 3 has the potential to break out.

    Man’s capacity and willingness to behave revengefully is evident to all who study history, follow current events and have relationships with their fellowman! What a joy it is that the good shepherd tells the truth.

    Enjoy your day Rose and enjoy discovering the true Jesus!

    Josef Sefton

    • Rose:

      Hello Josef,

      You said: “Violence hasn’t declined over the course of history but it has esculated!”

      Making an assertion like that only shows your ignorance in the area of historical data. Steven Pinker has spent a number of years extensively researching the data he has presented in his book, and he has documented proof to back up his claims. I would suggest you read his book before you make any more foolish statements like the one I quoted above.

      As the intelligence of humankind grows, the understanding that all people are entitled to equal human rights also grows. It’s time to leave behind the superstitious, primitive mentality of ancient man and step into the 21st century.

      Kind regards,
      Rose

  • Rose, my comment is correct. Why did Cain kill Abel? The answer is the condition of his heart was unclean. The condition of man’s heart hasn’t improved
    but become worse. Man is more hate-filled than ever before!

  • Rose, look at the armies of the world. Has the size of them declined or increased?

    Man is rearming like a madman.
    Hatred for each other in the heart of man is seething, so much so that World War 3 could break out at any moment!

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