Monday, December 28, 2009

A Wolf in Sheeps Clothing

Are there certain phrases Atheists stay away from? I'm not talking about stuff like Oh my God or I can see the writing on the wall or that's like the blind leading the blind etc. Christians don't care who says that stuff, I'd say most Christians don't even know many of the phrases we use in every day vocabulary come straight out of the Bible. Even the snake on the pole that Moses held up in the desert is still being used today by the medical field. I'm the apple of my mama's eye by the way. And when someone sneezes and an Atheist says God bless you, I know your just being polite.

But what I'm talking about is these people who profess there is no God and yet say things like "Everything happens for a reason". Or "I wouldn't do that, it's bad karma". And of course "it's destiny".

In a world with out God, nothing happens for a reason. And karma and destiny is nothing but coincidence and luck, or good names for strippers?

Are there phrases you try to avoid?

Thanks, feeno


  1. *sigh*

    The "snake on a pole" is the rod of Asclepius, a symbol for an ancient doctor who was later worshipped as a god. It is often mistaken for the Caduceus, which has two snakes and wings (and sometimes ignorantly used by some to represent medicine), which is a symbol of Hermes. The rod of Asclepius is likely a literal representation of the treatment for the Guinea Worm, a parasite that must be removed by slowly pulling a little of it out of the patient's skin every day by wrapping it around a stick, a treatment known since ancient times.

    Do Christians avoid saying "holy cow," for fear they will be mistaken as Hindus? I doubt it. Nor do they avoid several other phrases with polytheistic origins or connotations. Language is full of religious significance because religion is such a pervasive part of culture. Even "Christian" terms like Hell are derived from pagan ideas (specifically the Norse "Hel" for the word itself, and the Greek "Tartarus" in the original Biblical greek).

    From my experience, most atheists still shout "Oh God" during sex. I myself am not very careful about the words I use, perhaps because I don't view atheism as a religion. Perhaps if I did view atheism as a religion, I might think, "I can't say something about God or that originates from the Bible, that would be against my faith!"

    I don't have any idea whether there is such a thing as destiny or fate, though I'm pretty confident karma is bunk (and is completely misunderstood by most Westerners, who do not realize its implications with reincarnation). There is a concept in philosophy called "Determinism," which is the belief that all things are essentially predetermined. The most sophisticated scientific view of this originates in the idea that the universe is one large chemical reaction, and because chemical reactions are repeatable and have standardized results, all events which proceed from the Big Bang are the result of nothing more than the physical laws of the universe being played out between atoms, leaving no room for any variation in the outcome. I think it's kind of interesting, but not necessarily likely.

  2. Yes, Ginx- so right.

    Many Christians believe that language was developed in reference to the bible. However, (le sigh) the canonization of the Bible appropriated from a combination of Greek, Pagan and Egyptian mythology and references. In fact, and I could look up more details, but I believe that the staff with the snake can also be traced back to some Egyptian paintings too- I believe that the sun god Ra also had one.

    Karma, Fatalism, etc these are all nice ideas and such. But, I lump them all into the same category as Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, God, etc. Nice ideas.

  3. Why do atheists seem to know so much more about religion than believers?

    Rhetorical question, but just something for the religious to ponder...

  4. Because your more religious? And besides are you saying Moses didn't hold up a stick in the desert?

    Btw Geenks I commented on something over at DC just like you did. Something about John's sister-n-law?

    TB 13,

    Heres a small list, tell me just one of these that came from somewhere else than the Bible, You can help her Geenks.

    Not to sound to corny but I lo... really like you guys a lot and you make my life better or at least funner, thanks oh and here nis your list.

    #1. Am I my brothers keeper
    #2. An eye for an Eye
    #3. my cup runneth over
    #4. the salt of the earth
    #5. eat, drink and be merry
    #6. the truth shall set you free
    #7. money being the root of evil

    later, feeno

  5. Feeno- okay. I will attack your list, and I will pull each one apart and give you an earlier origin for each. I do not have the time for all of them today, so I will give you them one by one. Work calls.

    1. Brother's Keeper- forgive me. I do not know which biblical story is attached to this. If you could clarify. I am thinking that it is Cain and Abel, which is Fraticide. Brother killing brother. Nevertheless, I have this link for you. The loose reference to this was with Osiris, one of the principal deities of Egyptian mythology, was murdered by his evil brother Set. His wife and sister Isis resurrected him and he became the god of the dead and the underworld.

    Here is a link so that you can see the full myth for yourself;

  6. 2. An eye for an eye

    This is more of an appropriation, again straight from one of the most predominant symbols used in Egyptian myth.

    The Eye

    The Wadjet (or Ujat, meaning "Whole One") is a powerful symbol of protection also known as the "Eye of Horus" and the "all seeing eye". The symbol was frequently used in jewellery made of gold, silver, lapis, wood, porcelain, and carnelian, to ensure the safety and health of the bearer and provide wisdom and prosperity. However, it was also known as the "Eye of Ra", a powerful destructive force linked with the fierce heat of the sun which was described as the "Daughter of Ra". The "eye" was personified as the goddess Wadjet and associated with a number of other gods and goddesses (notably Hathor, Bast, Sekhmet, Tefnut, Nekhbet and Mut).

    Again, the eye was more of a heavy metaphor used to signify authority, destruction and the all seeing notion of justice.

  7. The loose reference to this was with Osiris, one of the principal deities of Egyptian mythology, was murdered by his evil brother Set. His wife and sister Isis resurrected him and he became the god of the dead and the underworld.

    In this myth, who asked who "am I my brother's keeper?"

    In your "eye" references, it's "an eye for an eye". Where did this originate and what was the significance?

  8. It's not "Money is the root of all evil," it's "The love of money is the root of all evil." It's a fine difference between being against the use of currency and being against greed. I always thought Marx was more Christian than even he wanted to believe (though he was raised Jewish).

    It's really pointless to discuss "who thought of it first," because all cultures repeat and ignore the good advice (regardless of source) and justify what they do in some elaborate way. Then someone comes around and repeats the good advice again, and if they're lucky that person is ignored. If they're unlucky, we kill them.

  9. My main point wasn't so much who thought of what first, or even the fact that much of what we say actually comes straight out of the Bible with out even realizing it.

    yes Geenks, I know the scripture well, but it aint like we use these cliches in proper context anyway?

    Tink hit on my main point when she touched on the whole "karma" thing.

    But this is still all very interesting.

    Late, feeno

  10. Silly me for thinking religious people would be sticklers for detail... boy am I reading the Bible wrong.

  11. You know what I just realized? The military are sheep in wolves' clothing.

  12. 3. My Cup Runneth Over

    The Anointed - The Lord and his anointed as father and son had been already represented at Memphis by Ptah and Iu-em-hetep, at On by Atum and Nefer-Atum, at Abydos by Osiris and Horus of the resurrection. The lord's anointed was the second Horus, Horus the adult, Horus who rose again in spirit after death to manifest the glory of the father with the holy oil upon his shining face which made him the anointed. The Lord's anointed, called the Messiah in Hebrew, the Kristos in Greek ,and Chrestus in Latin, is the Messu in Egyptian.

  13. 4. The Salt of The Earth

    The use of this description again is more of an appropriation and a metaphor used to conceptualize the idea. Pagan mythology- Many Pagan Ritual begin by honoring the Earth and the 4 directions, as well as the elements the directions represent, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. A circle is cast and blessed with water, smoke, salt and light in honor of these elements.

    Pagan ritual directly used salt as a symbol as a means of worshipping the earth.

  14. Again, and I have said this before, it has been well documented that the Bible was a collection of Pagan, Greek, Babylonian, and Egyptian myths and archetypes that were given literal characteristics to keep the population of the Roman Empire complacent. Simply, it was dumbed down mythology.

  15. Money is the Root of all Evil

    This expression stems from the biblical phrase that says, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils" (1 Timothy 6:10). There is a big difference between the two statements. Money is neutral and can be used either for the good or for the bad. Money of itself is not evil, yet the love of it is the root of all kinds evil.

    Nevertheless, this is not the first time that this idea had been discussed. There were examples cast throughout Greek mythology that talked about greed- Prometheus, Medusa, Cyclops, Poseiden, etc.

  16. As a person of the humanities I think language is organic enough to encompass a myriad of cultures and influences. I don't make a habit to purposefully avoid using "spiritual" terminology, since the luminous, mysterious, even transcendent are still withing the compass of atheistic experience, but what I do try and avoid is using such terminology in open debates with believers. I always want to push another, different, perspective as an alternative, so I try and open up the vocabulary a bit.

  17. Ginx; symbols can change meaning over time. Yes, historically, the caduceus was not the symbol of medicine but by regulation, it has since 1902 been the insignia of the medical branch of the U.S. Army... so now there is a new meaning to the symbol.

  18. JD, I think you're missing the point (or maybe I am, I don't know). I don't think Tink is trying to say that these expressions like "an eye for an eye" didn't in fact come from the Bible, but rather that the ideas in the Bible came from earlier sources and were not unique to the Bible alone. Certainly when people today say "an eye for an eye", it's obvious that it comes from scripture. Our culture has been steeped in Christianity for hundreds of years. But that doesn't mean that the significance of eyes, or the motif of fratricide, is unique to the Bible. Many of these stories, especially in the Old Testament, are just older stories given new names and placed within a (more) Hebrew context. If you have the time, look up the similarities between the story of Noah and the Flood and the Epic of Gilgamesh (and specifically Utnapishtim).

    "And besides are you saying Moses didn't hold up a stick in the desert?"

    Lol, feeno, there's significant debate over whether Moses even existed...

  19. Jeff- Thank you. That is exactly what I am saying. I no longer bother arguing with him because he has been overly rude and argumentative with me. It is not up to me to teach him how to critically read information. It is not my problem that he cannot understand anything that is not concrete or simplistic.

  20. 5. Eat, Drink and be Merry.

    Sorry, Feeno, this is the easiest one of the bunch. This is a direct quote.

    Imhotep: First Architect and Physician
    Imhotep is the first architect and physician known by name to written history. He is also considered to be the world's first known genius. As the Pharaoh Djosèr's Vizier, he designed the Pyramid of Djzosèr at Saqqara in Egypt around 2630-2611 BC, during the 3rd Dynasty. Two thousand years after his death, he became known by the Egyptians as the god of healing.

    Imhotep Quote
    Imhotep's most quoted saying is "Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we shall die."

    Purely plagarized.

  21. Good stuff Tink,

    I guess it's just how we choose to look at things. The Bible may not have used this saying first but I would think that if anything it just shows how accurate the Bible is. First the writers new this, (Isaiah)he wasn't plagiarizing, he's warning people of their habits and is trying to tell them there is more
    to life than just living it up because tomorrow you might die.

    This is repeated in the New Testament as Jesus is telling a parable, A rich guy thinks it's all good and he can kick back and enjoy the fruits of his labor, (by eat, drink and merry) but God says "fool, what if tonight your soul is
    required of you"?

    It's a warning saying there is more to life than simple pleasures of this world. "What profit it a man if he gains the whole world, yet loses his soul.

    Hey Tink, you just made me think of my next post, I must make it quick, have lots to do this week. Thank you for your good and honest review of my Bible quotes.

    Late, feeno

    Although customs change and technology helps us make advancements, the meaning of this passage is still relevant to us and our society today.

  22. Thank you

    However, I find it interesting that you feel that this lends to the accuracy of the Bible, rather than lending to the inaccuracy of it. The Bible, literally is, a bunched of "dumbed down" mythology for the masses. Here are two quotes from Alvin Body Kuhn who studied canonization of the Bible extensively. He said:

    "Christianity evolved and took historical form as the result of a corruption of high wisdom already extant, and not as the promulgation of new light and wisdom previously unknown."

    "Christianity only gained favour and allegiance of the masses of the population of the West for centuries because it succeeded in accommodating its message to the prevalent levels of general unintelligence. In doing so, it inevitably distorted its truths into ludicrous caricature and baneful forms of error and falsehood"

    If you are interested in understanding how mythology got translated, plus the political and historical context that the Bible was written in- two good writers- Alvin Boyd Kuhn, and Tom Harpur.

  23. The Caduceus is a symbol of Hermes, the god of merchants and thieves. In this respect, it aptly respresents American medical professionals.

  24. One should look at the Bible in its two parts. The books Christians call the Old Testament are a collection of commonly recognized Jewish texts prior to Jesus. These should be viewed quite seperately from the New Testament. The apocrypha is a variable, as well, though it is neglibible.

    The New Testament is quite controversial. I would need to look through some research again before I could comment on many specifics (the gnostic gospels come to mind), but I remember clearly my impressions. The books chosen were merely a small part of a collection of accounts regarding Jesus and those who worked with him. Many were destroyed, or exist only in fragments. It seems extra-biblical accounts were stifled, which is very disconcerting. What's more disheartening is the editorial power of those who compiled the Bible.

  25. Feeno -->""What profit it a man if he gains the whole world, yet loses his soul."

    What profit it a man if he be fooled into thinking he could gain his soul,yet his whole worldly life be wasted because of such utter faithful foolishness.

  26. Ola big G

    Worldly life? Not interested. Whats wrong with pursuing Christ likeness. Putting other peoples needs in front of yours, if someone asks for a shirt give him your shirt and your coat. If someone wants you to go with them a mile, go two miles with them. Don't just forgive them 1,2,3 or 7 times but always. I want to be kind, compassionate and caring like Jesus. If I die and then wakeup and find out I was fooled, I won't mind, I like this Jesus. And I want to be like him.

    We are just pilgrims passing through this world, here for just a minute, then poof, we vanish and are gone.

    And for the record you can and should enjoy all this world has to offer. Jesus says " seek ye first the kingdom of God, then enjoy all the other stuff.

    Dueces, feeno

  27. "And for the record you can and should enjoy all this world has to offer"

    Why yes thats so True Feeno.So do you think its so possible for African kids hunted as witches by mad family with faith.Maybe i didnt quite put things in a way so blissful faithful folk could wake up and understand.

    Here it is put another way.

    "What profit it a man if fools think they could gain their soul,yet his whole worldly life be wasted because of such utter faithful fools.

    "Putting other peoples needs in front of yours"

    What rubbish.Faithful folk are some of the most selfish thoughtless people on this earth,they gamble with peoples lives thinking only of themselves and their worthless dreams of salvation.They dont mind if they promote rubbish ,that happens to cause death to kids.Like faithful parents who have faith and pray instead of seaking medication etc.

    And everyone worldwide on this earth who promotes faith is partly responsible for the death of these kids, for being involved in their part of promoting such faithful rubbish on our planet.

    Putting others needs first..Pfffftttt.

    Sounds great Feeno ...But its utter bullshit.