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The God of the Bible
Our task was to analyse a fictional character in literature, and its impact on society. I chose to make an analysis of the God as we know him from the Bible. Del av tentamen.
Karakter: 5 (engelsk, 1. klasse, VGS)
I’m going to talk about the Christian God and try to analyse his influence on society and its children. The God I will talk about is the God we know from the Bible. I’m going to analyse his persona based on the scriptures in the Bible and no other sources. The God referred to as ‘Jahveh’ in the Old Testament.
Over 40% of the American population believes the claim about Earth being 6000 years old (The Root of All Evil – ep. 1). This age is based on the complete genealogy in the Bible, from Adam and Eve to Mary Magdalena (Jesus’s virgin mother) and the average time between each generation at that time. Whereas other information is purposely ignored, such as the many evil deeds God did in the Old Testament (Book of Pentateuch). Many theologians urge that the information we get from the Old Testament is too embarrassing and should only be treated symbolically. – What on earth could the many symbolic, downright malicious deeds encouraged, and sometimes carried out by the omnibenevolent God represent?
In the Old Testament, God (or Jahveh) tells Moses to incinerate his son alive. Moses ties his son to a pole, on top of a pile of firewood. He lights the firewood with his torch with no hesitation, just scary, blind obedience. And just before the fire becomes too big to put out, an angel arrives at the scene and tells him that God was just testing his obedience, and the kid survives. – I don’t know about you, but don’t you think that the child involved in this case would’ve suffered severe traumas, nightmares and complete lose his trust to his father? The only possible symbolic meaning of this story as I can see; is that you should obey God no matter how obscure and heinous his orders are. Is this the morality you want to teach your kids? No, and we don’t see this morality either. Because most people, even the 40% I mentioned in the previous paragraph, ignore most of the symbolic meaning of the scripture. But I cannot help but to suspect that some people would take this as a divine command.
There are numerous of these examples throughout the Old Testament, but what about the New Testament? I’ve read both and I can clearly say that the NT (New Testament) is a huge improvement from the old one, but is it good according to our time’s moral standards, the Norwegian Zeitgeist?
The NT contains a lot more direct commands and guidelines than the OT. This makes it easier to interpret, and many Americans treat it literarily and blindly obey it. At least they claim they do (VenomFangX’s YouTube channel). This is scary. Especially if you do what Luke (Lukas in the Norwegian Bible) tells you to do: “But those mine enemies [God’s speaking], which would not that I should reign over them, bring them hither, and slay them before me.” (Luke, verse 19:27). Yes, this is a quote from the same Bible as the theologians claim to be a good and loving book. Even if this isn’t treated literarily, it still influences a large number of this world’s population in a bad way. Especially when they think that their book is where they get their morals from.
In the New Testament, there are piles of statements that shows how you should hate (and sometimes slay) gays, women, prostitutes, people of other religions, atheists and black-skinned people. I’m going to list a couple of examples of God’s influence on the American society. - Americans lag when it comes to Equal Opportunities (Women oppression). - 6 states in the USA have a law that restricts atheists from becoming the Head of State (info from 2008, Greengirl’s YouTube videos). Many states have a law against gay people marrying... The list goes on and on about how God has influenced the world in a bad way, but is there any influence we receive from God which results in something good? I think there is.
You’ve probably heard of millions upon millions of door-to-door charity organisations organised through Christian communities, and funded through Christian foundations, like the John Templeton Foundation. These good deeds are inspired by the illusion that God is going reward them with a “pie in the sky” after they survive being dead. If all that God did was inspire people to do good deeds like the ones mentioned above, I wouldn’t have any problems with it. People also organise charity through purely secular means, and when God is also an illusion that causes so much evil, it’s much better to be inspired by secular means, which has no correlation to a book that says that bad things are good. Steven Weinberg, the great physicist, once said: “Good people do good things, and bad people do bad things, but for good people to do bad things; one needs religion.” (This is an approximate quote I have from the book, “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins).
So through speculations about the result of God’s influence here on earth, I conclude that God influences both good and bad, but good influences can be reached so much better when not tainted by the stench of bad morals, racism, discrimination and anti-scientific claims.
- “Bibelen” (Norsk Bibeloversettelse - published in 2007)
- “The Root of All Evil?” (Episode 1 and 2) Richard Dawkins documentary.
- “Enemies of Reason” (Episode 1 and 2) Richard Dawkins documentary.
- VenomFangX’s YouTube channel (2009)
- GreenGirl’s YouTube channel (2009)
- “The God Delusion” Book by Richard Dawkins.
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