Monday, January 18, 2010

Challenging God

Oh noez- an actual building resembles an artist's rendering of something that never existed- it must be Saytan!
god, yhwh, bible, genesis, babel, tree, christianity

There are two instances in the Bible in which man challenges Yhwh. I'm not surprised at the concept of man challenging god because human history is filled with stories of people fighting against impossible odds, and the odds don't get more impossible than going up against omnipotence. What does surprise me is that in both of these stories it is implied that had Yhwh not taken decisive action against man, man could have won.

The first takes place in the Garden of Eden. Yhwh, for no explained reason, puts two very dangerous trees right in the middle, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. Adam and Eve eat from the Tree of Knowledge and Yhwh freaks out. He says outright that if Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Life as well, they would be as "us", as gods, in other words*.

The second instance of man challenging Yhwh occurs when man builds the Tower of Babel. Yhwh has this to say about it:

5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. 6 The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."

Now that is an impossibly strange thing for an omnipotent being to say. There is "nothing" we humans couldn't do if only we all spoke the same language? That's . . . odd. The only thing holding us back from being a threat to the creator of well, everything, is a lack of a common language? Just how omnipotent is this Yhwh fellow, anyway?

*This isn't in every translation of the Book of Genesis. It is in the one I have at home, which is a Tanakh printed in 1905 by the Rabbinical Council of New York, translated into English for "the new modern Jew who knows only the language of his adopted country and not the language of his ancestors." I'll trust that the Rabbinical Council would know the proper translation of their most important text.


  1. Does god say that in (2:17)? I've got him saying they'll die, and Eve quoting him in (3:3), but the serpent says they'll become like gods(3:5). This has always bothered me:

    Obviously god lied and she didn't die, so the serpent must have been right. That means that after she ate the fruit, she must have become like a god, and would have known good from evil when she gave Adam the fruit. So eating the fruit could not have been evil.

    Yet, she still gets blamed for everything, wtf?

  2. That's always got me, too. The "Ultimate Truth" puts dangerous things in the reach of clueless creatures, allows a dangerous entity access to them, and lies to them.

    The "Father of Lies" tells them the truth.

    I always enjoy listening to the "faithful" trying to explain that. Logic and fact are so horribly tortured that one is tempted to contact Amnesty International.

    Besides being an atheist sinner, I' do speak what's as close to a universal language as we have, Esperanto.

  3. Kissed Eve on the bottom, patted Adam on the back

    I smiled at the serpent and the serpent smiled back

    Took a bite from the apple with two bites gone, and shouted


    ...and about Esperanto: a nice try, but it's not even close to being a universal language- that would be, for better or worse, English.

  4. The craziness of the Garden of Eden story and the Tower of Babel story have fascinated me on varying levels for the last couple years. I wrong this post a long time ago on the very topic. In general the idea that god could possibly be threatened by man throws a whole new meaning in to the book of Genesis.

    Sadly, it's something I had to be on my way out of Christianity to understand the significance of. I'm sure the people I used to go to church with couldn't or wouldn't want to get.

  5. English? Universal? Since when?

    The last time anybody actually did serious testing (due to plans to launch a pan-European, English-language TV network), it turned out that even in Europe only about 6% of the population is actually proficient in English -- ie. proficient enough to target programming, and especially advertising, at them.

    IIRC, Sweden and the Netherlands (or at least in some urban centers) tested out at a stunning 12%, Germany at an average 6%, most other countries closer to 3%.

    This testing was carried out to demonstrate to nervous investors that * the common knowledge about English ubiquity was correct, and that
    * the known surveys provided a sufficiently reliable estimate of linguistic competence (the trouble with surveys is that surveys are generally conducted by just asking "What languages do you know well", rather than actually testing), and that
    * ubiquitous complaints about the (in)effectiveness of English-teaching in European schools was just the usual, perennial griping about educational standards and effectiveness.

    Of course, the plan for a pan-European English-language television network was promptly dropped like a hot potato.

    It's almost enough to make one take a second look at Esperanto, isn't it?

    Personally, I think Esperanto is far too readily dismissed, out of hand, with out actually being properly investigated or genuinely considered.

    But in any case, English is notably failing to do the job of lingua franca half as well as is commonly supposed. Only one in six people on this planet know more than a few words -- and the proportion is declining.

  6. Hello,

    If Christian theology is tested logically, it will all fall apart in matter of seconds.

    Serious church goers do not even want to ask question, they will just believe anything blindly as they are very will programmed not to ask any questions and it all begins with child hood (Sunday school, Adam and eve story etc.).
    Religions are just as another form of opium to keep the masses quiet and occupied for their entire life. They go about living with the fear of some old man in the clouds with long flowing white beard going to judge them after their death.
    How funny is that idea, He creates human beings (according to them), in the likeness of his own image, then allows them to eat the fruit of knowledge and rest is all fairy tale as you all know it. Now if you just want to see how god is his truest and purest form turn on news and you can see it all. The so called believers will blame in on the bad guy (devil). Here's another big joke for you, humans go about their lives and god has some wonderful plans for them, he is testing them and rewards but shouldn't he know everything the need for testing should not even arise in the first place or should it? (He has carved your name on his palm of his hand even before you were born. lol guys) and he want to test you in every dam important part of you life. This is crazy absolutely crazy I mean its cruel. If you guys look at bible there is not even one person yes not even one person who was not hurt/pained by this old man. Just try to count how many times did this old man tried to kill entire village/town right from Sodom and Gomorrah to current day and we have to consider him holy, wise and all that lies.

    I am ready for any discussion email me at



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