So, this guy Noah is all perfect, and nobody can compare. You know he got in there with some serious kissing of the most holiest of asses. The rest of the world, as I said earlier, pretty much sucked. Noah had three sons, who had potential: Shem, Ham (should have been named Bacon) and Japheth. Ham? Seriously? He’s a JEW! Jews don’t eat ham, or pork chops or even bacon! Ham? Mixed messages here Moses…
Anyhow, The rest of the earth, pretty much sucked. God had written them out of the family like that second cousin that steals the family’s inheritance and used it for drug and hooker money. If you don’t have one of those in your family, SURPRISE!!! It might be you! God noticed all the suckacity and decided: “Fuck’m.”
But not Noah. Perfect, perfect Noah. No, God thought that Noah should not be punished as others are punished, and swoops down from his clouds and warns him of how much the world sucks. Since Noah lived on earth, I am pretty sure he noticed, and since he is the ultimate sycophant, agrees with God. Keep in mind, his own sisters and brothers are out there. His parents and grandparents, since everyone is hundreds of years old. But then again, maybe they were really awful.
Now I’m not saying that sucking up to God is bad. Quite the contrary. If ever there was an ass to kiss, it is the heiney of the guy who can send a flood to the earth and wipe out everyone on the planet, which is exactly what God tells Noah he is about to do. He tells Noah that he has been a good little worshipper and he has chosen him to continue the line of humans in this world, but Noah has to help himself. This is a really good lesson for mankind, and for sure, my high school students, to learn. I can give them everything they need to be successful, but they have to take everything I give! They have to want to survive in the world and work for it. Sad to say, my kids haven’t quite figured it out yet.
God gives Noah clear and explicit instructions for building a HUGE boat. Ark, as he likes to call it… He recites him plans and tells him where to put doors. He tells him that he is to load up the ark with two of all living creatures, both male and female, and he can take all three of his sons and their wives. Noah also needed to pack food for everyone to eat. Millions of animals, Noah and his family. Whatever a cubit is, I hope its bigger than a breadbox!
All I have to add is that Noah wasn’t perfect. No one was ever perfect except for Jesus. Noah was just the only faithful and righteous man alive that God found worthy. I’m sure you know that though and are just being the sarcastic brat that you are haha. I just don’t want anyone reading that doesn’t know the story to get the wrong idea. Noah wasn’t perfect. Just a faithful and righteous man in God’s eyes.
I am not so with God on all this. We don’t have commandments yet, right? I’d compare the wickedness to people who get accused of “cheating” before the boundaries of a relationship are explicitly laid out. As I said before, it seems kind of reckless when we’re talking about eternal souls.
God still seems kind of insecure after the whole original sin incident, and maybe ready to take his ball and go home. Mass murder, just ’cause of some sodomy and such? Really? This kind of black-and-white thinking isn’t very healthy in a parent.
No commandments written on stone tablets, no. Or maybe yes, we don’t know. It’s not written what God told them, so who knows. One thing we do know is that after they ate the fruit they were given the knowledge of good and evil. So YES! we do know they had general knowledge of what is morally right and wrong just like we do today.
I’m not any sort of Christian, but I pretty much stick by the ten commandments in my daily life. No stealing, no murdering, I try to keep the coveting to a minimum. I just like things to be clear. I’d do this all a little differently, but I’m just one woman. I don’t want to quibble too much (though it seems less like a small issue when the stakes are eternal.) I recently read at Andrew Sullivan that Hell should properly be conceptualized as not being close to God. If I may subquote, as a blogger is wont to do:
[T]he most theologically cogent view of hell found in classical Christianity maintains that it is the state of mind (or soul) of someone who is alienated from God. Living a life that is out of harmony with God is painful, and to die and be confronted so decisively with the error of your ways — to be made to see that you made a wreck of your life by separating yourself from God, and to have to learn to shatter your pride by reforming yourself in his divine presence — is, one imagines, excruciating. But it is intrinsically painful, not externally imposed by torturers in some fire-and-brimstone-filled dungeon.
That doesn’t sound so bad to this atheist, but the twist that you have to be embarrassed about not being the right religion FOREVER isn’t so great. But I’d need to believe in a soul to be very worried. An frankly, I don’t see why it’s so bad not to go along with something as far-fetched as a religion.
Perplexed mentioned that guiding people to understand is a perfectly legitimate way of teaching, but my objection is that the truth of 1 + 1 is actually there and can be deduced. The existence/primacy of God is…not that way. I know that I’m supposed to take a leap of faith, but that seems pretty manipulative to me, when it comes to something I’m supposed to base my entire life around. If I wanted to replicate others’ experiments to ensure what they claim is true, I can do that. I can’t really experiment with eternity.
One thing I’ll give that guy (You’ll see that graph was written by Damon Linker, but pulled by Sullivan, if you follow the convoluted links) is that a good 75% of my motivation for doing anything in life is avoidance of embarrassment.
I feel like I’m getting off-topic here, but the nut of why I’m not religious should probably come out at some point in this discussion.
Holy cow you guys! What a great discussion! One of the notions I struggle with myself is faith. I totally get why Pragmatist doesn’t believe, as it is one of the things I have a hard time with. I, too, live my life according to the 10 commandments, though, perhaps I struggle with that first one. I live my life according to the golden rule: “treat others how you want to be treated,” and strive to leave this world a better place for the sake of being good. The caveat here is the definition of good. Where do I get my definition? Different cultures have different morals. Rape is considered a favor of granting womanhood in some cultures but I feel it is wrong. Where does the distinction lay? I know in my heart what I think is right and wrong, regardless of what anyone tells me. I have that personal line. Religion can be used as a guideline for people without a clear and set line. For some weaker souls, which I do believe in by the way, this religious line keeps them from being truly horrible people. It should be said, however, that these horrible people who need religion to draw their lines for them twist the Bible’s words to mean what they want it to mean. This is how we get people who murder in the name of God, and wage wars. War is a man made notion which directly defies more than one commandment. It is God’s practical test, and many people failed.