Questions For Atheists

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Empedocles's picture
Questions For Atheists

Since I haven't posted recently due to illness and for the life of me I can't find anything on this weird ass forum, I would like to discuss some points I recall being made that I haven't been able to address.

Two questions, really, and similar to one another, I think.

1. What significance is there that there is no record of Hebrew prior to around 900 B.C.E.

2. What significance is it that there are myths similar to the Bible stories that predate those Bible stories?

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arakish's picture
@ Empedocles

@ Empedocles

Sorry about the illness. Know how that can be. I just had surgery this past Thursday. Don't even remember most of that day. I do know I went to the surgery. I do know me mom brought me back home. Otherwise, nothing. Friday was beter since I did not take all four of the pain killers. Now I am doing better. Feel better also. Hope your recovery has gone well.

1. What significance is there that there is no record of Hebrew prior to around 900 B.C.E.

Actually the first mention of "Hebrews" was not until about 800 BCE. The significance is that the story of the Exodus did not happen. According to most biblical scholars, the Exodus occurred in 1450 to 1400 BCE. The best pieces of evidence is that there is not one word of Hebrew in the Egyptian language AND there is not one word of Egyptian in the Hebrew language. Yet, the Exodus story states the Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt for 430 years. Is it even possible to conceive that after that much time that the two languages would have hybridized? No. Just look at American English. America has existed, including the colonial days, for about 410 years. And look at how much hybridization of American English has occurred. I am even still working on a book about the Exodus That Went Nowhere. All the evidence I have gather points to the word "Hebrew" as originating in the Assyrian language at about 850 to 800 BCE. Thus, my working hypothesis is that there was a religious schism between the Hebrews and the Assyrians. This schism is what lead to the Hebrews invading the Land of Canaan and committing wholesale ethnic genocidal cleansing and claiming their "god" commanded it.

2. What significance is it that there are myths similar to the Bible stories that predate those Bible stories?

The significance here is that the entire Bible is plagiarized from those far older myths and legends. Virtually every story in the entire Bible can be traced to far older myths and lagends. Thus, the Hebrews rewrote those myths and legends. The best record I have found is the Noahacian Flood Myth which was plagiarized from the Epic of Gilgamesh, which was plagiarized from the Epic of Atra-Hasis, which was plagiarized from the Epic of Ziusudra, which was plagiarized from the Genesis of Eridu. And there is evidence in the sediment layers that there was catastrophic flood in the floodplain of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that occurred circa 2900 BCE. This flood was so catastrophic that the sediment layer it left was about 3.3 meters thick. Basically, this true life flood that happened got told and re-told like a game of Chinese Whispers until it was so exaggerated that it became "global" in scale.

As for flood stories occurring all over the world, just look at where those flood stories originated: along rivers. And what do rivers do from time to time? They have catastrophic floods. True flood stories that got exaggerated.

Well, that is enough to get you started into your own research...

rmfr

Empedocles's picture
@arakish

[user removed (sockpuppet), plagiarized post removed - Nyarlathotep]

Sheldon's picture
[user removed (sockpuppet),

[user removed (sockpuppet), plagiarized post removed - Nyarlathotep]

Well well, I had a feeling. Do you think he really had serious heart surgery recently? He seemed a very angry individual to me. Call me an old cynic, you'd be right of course, but I found his persona highly dubious from the start.

HumbleThinker's picture
@ arkarish

@ arkarish

I know I'm a little behind on this one, but I wanted to say something random. I've seen you call the Bible a plagiarism of older myths before, and thought I'd look into it.

"The best record I have found is the Noahacian Flood Myth which was plagiarized from the Epic of Gilgamesh"

This, aside from being pure speculation, doesn't even seem to hold water in my eyes. I read the Epic of Gilgamesh and literally the only similarity is that it mentions a flood. I think it is too much of a stretch to make the claim, then, that the Bible directly plagiarizes this epic. And EVEN if they do both involve floods, it in no way suggests that the two stories couldn't have developed independently and coincidentally. What led you to believe that it is a plagiarism?

watchman's picture
@Humble Thinker …..

@Humble Thinker …..

" I've seen you call the Bible a plagiarism of older myths before, and thought I'd look into it."
" I read the Epic of Gilgamesh …."

So ...you looked into the Epic of Gilgamesh ….. interesting.... and yet you claim . "the only similarity is that it mentions a flood."

Odd that... IF you truly have read "Gilgamesh"..... What about the releasing of various birds...culminating with the release of the raven ,which of course did not come back.

Surely another similarity.

But you claim to see no other links.....

despite Utnapishtim (the protagonist in the Gilgamesh flood myth) being tasked by Enki (Ea) to abandon his worldly possessions and create a giant ship to be called Preserver of Life. He was also tasked with bringing his wife, family, and relatives along with the craftsmen of his village, baby animals, and grains...…

and so ,seeing no link you looked no further.... thus completely overlooking the even earlier version of the flood fable contained in the Atra-Hasis tablets …..

….so ...at least three flood myths coming out of the same geographic area..... and you still think it "too much of a stretch" that these tales are copied .

I would suggest you get hold of a copy of "The Ark Before Noah" by Irving Finkel …. if you do I'll guarantee it will change your mind ….if your mind is open to real research.

and if you doubt the plagiarism of Babylonian myths by the authors of the Bible , try the story of the Courting of Inanna.....Inanna is courted by a farmer named Enkimdu and a shepherd named Dumuzid.

Samuel Noah Kramer compares the myth to the later Biblical story of Cain and Abel because both myths center around a farmer and a shepherd competing for divine favor and, in both stories, the deity in question ultimately chooses the shepherd.

or perhaps you'd prefer the tale of forbidden fruit...

Inanna knows nothing of sex, so she begs her brother Utu to take her to Kur (the Sumerian Underworld), so that she may taste the fruit of a tree that grows there, which will reveal to her all the secrets of sex. Utu complies and, in Kur, Inanna tastes the fruit and becomes knowledgeable. The hymn employs the same motif found in the myth of Enki and Ninhursag and in the later Biblical story of Adam and Eve.

or even baby Moses , adrift in a basket on a river...…. a simple reworking of the birth legend of Sargon of Akad.

My city is Azupiranu, which is situated on the banks of the Euphrates. My high priestess mother conceived me, in secret she bore me. She set me in a basket of rushes, with bitumen she sealed my lid. She cast me into the river which rose over me.

You want more...….?

are you seeing the similarities yet.?

HumbleThinker's picture
@watchmen.

@watchmen.

Touche, my friend. Touche.

I will look into these more closely.

Algebe's picture
@Humble ThinkerL I will look

@Humble ThinkerL I will look into these more closely.

Also look into when Genesis was written, particularly in relation to the captivity in Babylon.

arakish's picture
@ HumbleThinker

@ HumbleThinker

Then you did not truly read the Epic of Gilgamesh, nor the Epic of Atra-Hasis, nor the Epic of Ziusudra, nor the Genesis of Eridu, nor have you even read the Bible.

"the only similarity is that it mentions a flood" Only? What about the boat? What about the Noah figure named Utnapishtum, which is the Akkadian translation of Ziusudra? What about the boat coming to rest on a mountain? What about Utnapishtum gathering animals into the boat?

Dude, you are truly making a neutron star look as fluffy as a marshmellow. That is how dense you are saying you are. Unbelievable.

The Story of Jesus is plagiarized from about 50 different other myths. Many hundreds of years older, many thousands of years older. Samson and Heracles. The Genesis story in the Bible ( written circa 450 BCE) is plagiarized from part of the Genesis of Eridu (written circa 2100 BCE). Every story in the Bible can be traced back to far older stories and myths from all over the Middle-East, from India, from Egypt, from the Httites (southeastern Turkey), even from China, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. Remember, much of the Old Testament was written during the reign and conquering of Alexander the Great. Many Greek myths were stolen and plagiarized by those illiterate goat-herders. Since they were so illiterate as to not be able to create their own myths they stole them from others, plagiarizing and translating them into their own stories.

Yungun, you just need to some heavy research. Do like I did. Spend 30 years over a 40 year period traveling to and around the Levant and Middle East researching for yourself. Volunteer to participate and help in some archaeological digs like me wife and I did. In other words, get off your lazy ass and visit university libraries all over this country, all over the Levant, all over the Middle East, and do some fucking research instead googling. You do realize google will rot your brain?

And here is a good question for you. Why is there no archaeological evidence of any Hebrews (Jews) existing until around 850 BCE, over 3000 years after the supposed beginning of the Hebrews according to the Bible?

rmfr

HumbleThinker's picture
@akarish

@akarish

I already addressed my mistake you insufferable meatball. There are very few people on this forum that I genuinely dislike. You are one of them. And no, not because "you make me question my religion," but because you have the attitude of a self-aggrandizing, disrespectful troll. One in which I would not associate with in real life, because it is clear you do nothing but put other people down.

Let me ask you this (on the idea presented in another thread).

Do you think religion is causing harm to humanity? Do you think the world would be a better place without theists in it?

I'm sure you do. Well I believe it is your attitude that is direct evidence to my point to the contrary. As long as there are people that talk like you do, theist or atheist, the world will never improve.

arakish's picture
@ HumbleThinker

@ HumbleThinker

That is fine with me. I do not care what you think of me. However, I feel we could still be friends. I have nothing against you. Just against your Religious Absolutist Beliefs. Again nothing against you, just your beliefs. Remember my Fourth Commandment of Humanity: "You shall respect every person's right to belief in whatsoever they wish to believe, even if contrary to your beliefs. You may discuss beliefs. However, you shall never force your beliefs onto others for that is condemnable." Notice it says NOTHING about respecting those beliefs. ONLY the person's right to have them. Although it may I am attacking you, I am attacking your ignorant ideas.

And you are actually the one self-aggrandizing and being a flippant and discourteous Religious Absolutist. And all Religious Absolutists are persons I have no respect for due to the fact that their religiosity is so damned absolute that they cannot understand the facts that back up the true truth and instead believe in a human-created delusional fantasy.

As for religion and theists, I have already stated many, many, many times, "I firmly know, and shall take this knowledge to my grave, that the human species would have been much better off had there NEVER been ANY form of religion."

I have also stated:

Not only am I an Atheist. I am also an Anti-Theist. And an Anti-Religionist. And I am a Soul Haunter.

I publicly argue passionately against any religion. I publicly question any religion. I publicly laugh at any religion. I publicly shame any religion. I publicly resist any religion. I publicly defile any religion.

Why? Because I believe in something too.

There is no philosophical ideology more divisive than religion. Religion does nothing but pervert, demoralize, subvert, and bribe all persons with the belief that it possesses the one and only truth. And, the worst part of ANY religion is that it is an ideology that is “implicitly and explicitly” protected from “any and all” criticism from both “within and without.” Why should any ideology, especially religion, be so privileged? Can you not see how disastrous this way of thinking can be, and is?

I know religion is, and has always been, tremendously harmful to Humanity. I believe that religions, and their way of thinking, and their theological disagreements, have created the greatest violence, destruction, injury, death, bigotry, harm, immorality, intolerance, wickedness, and abuse to the human species than any other cause. The main problem is not religious fundamentalism, but the fundamentals of religion. Religion has NO place in a civilized society.

Sure. You can argue that it is the extremists, not the doctrine. All this says to me is that you have never truly read the various doctrines. It is both. Extremists might be using it as an excuse, but it is an excuse that the religious texts readily provide. I firmly know, and shall take this knowledge to my grave, that the human species would have been much better off had there NEVER been ANY form of religion.

I see NO evidence of ANY gods, but plenty of evidence of religion’s harm.

And I am a lot more concerned with the welfare of my fellow human beings than I am about “offending” or “hurting the feelings” of people who choose to believe in the faerie tales of an obsolete, irrelevant, barbaric, savage, and unsubstantiated, immoral Bronze and Iron Age religious texts about an imaginative Sky Faerie and Magic Lich Virgin and Rather Comical Spook.

Offended? So the fuck what!

Ultimately, it is Religion that is Humankind’s worst enemy.

And, YES!, I understand that horrible, obsolete, irrelevant, repulsive, ancient, obnoxious, barbaric, execrable, inappropriate, offensive, savage, horrendous, abominable, loathsome, repugnant, disgusting, inapplicable, and unsubstantiated pile of lies and bullshit plagiarized from myths and legend FAR! older than the Bible and the Qu'ran. Some THOUSANDS of years older.

And I have already told you this personally once before. I am like Christopher Hitchens. I do not give a shit if anything I say about your repugnant ideas and ideals. If you find anything I write and/or say about your beliefs to be offensive, then the problem is with you. Not me. And…

Arakish – "Only YOU have the power to give a word, phrase, sentence, number the power to offend YOU!"

Go listen to Christopher Hitchens speak. Then compare some of it to mine. Even the other four persons of the five-person debate team I am on even call me their "Christopher Hitchens." And guess what? We are 3-0 so far in our debates. Sorry, but religion, is nothing more than a bunch of lies and delusions. And this description given of Christopher Hitchens by Richard Dawkins also fits me to a "T."

Don't like what I have to say about your repulsive, ignorant, disgusting, irrational, contradictive, abhorrent, intolerable, and barbaric and savage and UNSUBSTANTIATED bullshit lies you throw all over these boards? I could care less. I dislike your beliefs with the same fervor you dislike me.

The most major religions of this world, Christianity and Islam can be summed up with two sentences:

You are to live in peace, love, and brotherhood, but only with those of like minds (beliefs system). All others are to be put to the sword (killed).

And one thing more. There is only one despicable statement for your religion: “You are condemned to burn in Hell forever unless you believe as WE tell you to believe and do what WE tell you to do and think only what WE tell you to think.

And if you say differently, then you are delusional and have lost all touch with reality.

"As long as there are people that talk like you do, theist or atheist, the world will never improve."

The same is definitively true of any and all persons who believe any delusion.

rmfr

EDIT: fixed blockquote tag

arakish's picture
HumbleThinker: "I already

HumbleThinker: "I already addressed my mistake you insufferable meatball."

No you have not. Your mistake is still plain as day. I have looked and see NO "addressed my mistake."

And such harsh ad hominems…

rmfr

Sheldon's picture
The idea of the virgin birth

The idea of the virgin birth is plagiarised, many such claims predate the creation of Christianity and the bible. There are a few 1) Horus 2) Huitzilopochtli 3) Erechtheus 4) Mars 5) Qi 6), there are other examples of the myth that have been claimed even as late as the american civil war, but it was by no means a new or unique concept when early christians plagiarised the idea.

The Noah flood myth is almost certainly plagiarised from an earlier flood myth, acquired during the Hebrew's time as captives in Babylonia, that is supposed to have ended around 538 bce, when the Persian conqueror of Babylonia, Cyrus the Great, gave the Jews permission to return to Palestine. That aside it is demonstrably untrue, you'd have to be beyond delusional to believe the Noah global flood myth was true.

Talyyn's picture
Question 1:

Question 1:

I have not researched enough to anwser you.

Question 2:

Do not forget that even back in this time, the world was connected and so ideas,religious or not were circulating very easily.

Diotrephes's picture
It seems that Empedocles has

It seems that Empedocles has been banned.

But first let's define some terms, starting with the word "Hebrew". https://www.etymonline.com/word/hebrew

In Genesis 10:21(ERV) = Shem was Japheth’s older brother. One of Shem’s descendants was Eber, the father of all the Hebrew people.

Then in Genesis 14:13(CEB) = When a survivor arrived, he told Abram the Hebrew, who lived near the oaks of the Amorite Mamre, who was the brother of Eshcol and Aner, Abram’s treaty partners.

Abram later changes his name to Abraham. He was a disgusting person.

Jesus never referred to anyone as a Hebrew. He was described as a Jew and not as a Hebrew.

Jews didn't appear until 2 Kings 18:26 (KJV) = Then said Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna, and Joah, unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and talk not with us in the Jews' language in the ears of the people that are on the wall.

Israelites first appear in Genesis 32:32(CEB) = Therefore, Israelites don’t eat the tendon attached to the thigh muscle to this day, because he grabbed Jacob’s thigh muscle at the tendon.

Jesus described Nathanael as an Israelite instead of a Hebrew or Jew. In Luke 1:47(CEB) = Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said about him, “Here is a genuine Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”

It seems that in the Bible the Hebrews get credit for the written language but the writers use Israelites/Hebrews/Jews interchangeably throughout the biblical fairy tale even though the terms seem to mean different things.

Bob L.'s picture
@Empedocles

@Empedocles

You pose two fascinating questions neither of which I feel qualified to answer. You might check out William Dever, a biblical archeologist with an interest in early Israel. He postulates the Israelites originally spoke Canaanite and were part of that culture. Gradually those in the highlands developed their own culture and separated themselves from the religious life of the valley Canaanites, but the evidence does seem to point to them originally sharing the same gods. There are some really interesting parallels between some of the Genesis myths and the Canaanite's.

Also, Richard Elliott Friedman, in Who Wrote the Bible? asserts that the names of all the Levite priests, including the name Moses, are Egyptian. Quite possibly monotheistic priests fleeing Egypt somehow linked up with the Israelite in Canaan and birthed a new religion. I don't recall if Friedman makes that latter case or not. Anyway, Who Wrote the Bible? is one of the best books I've read on the subject of early Israel. You might want to pick-up a copy.

SecularSonOfABiscuitEater's picture
These stories are just copied

These stories are just copied and pasted from one another.

Cognostic's picture
empedocles: Not sure what

empedocles: Not sure what you are talking about. Jewish history, the invention of Moses and the transition from polytheism to henotheism and on to monotheism is pretty well documented well before 900 BCE.

The ancient Kingdom of Judah were captives in Babylonia. After the Battle of Carchemish in 605 BCE, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon besieged Jerusalem, resulting in tribute being paid by King Jehoiakim.[1] Jehoiakim refused to pay tribute in Nebuchadnezzar's fourth year, which led to another siege in Nebuchadnezzar's seventh year, culminating with the death of Jehoiakim and the exile of King Jeconiah, his court and many others; Jeconiah's successor Zedekiah and others were exiled in Nebuchadnezzar's eighteenth year; a later deportation occurred in Nebuchadnezzar's twenty-third year. The dates, numbers of deportations, and numbers of deportees given in the biblical accounts vary.[2] These deportations are dated to 597 BCE for the first, with others dated at 587/586 BCE, and 582/581 BCE respectively.[3]"

It was during the exodus from Babalyonia that the Jewish faith began going through changes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylonian_captivity

Sapporo's picture
Ancient myths are of general

Ancient myths are of general interest. With regards the bible, your questions are significant in the sense that the so-called "Abrahamic religions" have an undue influence on the world.

DancingFool's picture
I once read that hebrew was

I once read that hebrew was derived from apiru, a Canaanite word that means "lurker" or "hanger about" because they were nomadic hill people whom sometimes raided the towns.

Diotrephes's picture
DancingFool,

DancingFool,

"I once read that hebrew was derived from apiru, a Canaanite word that means "lurker" or "hanger about" because they were nomadic hill people whom sometimes raided the towns."

Maybe so.

https://www.etymonline.com/word/hebrew

mosser's picture
In response to the original

In response to the original questions (in the OP):

I think the two statements also point to the politics of historiography, which is not entirely removed from disciplines such as the philosophy or history of religion. Note that neither discipline presupposes the existence or absence of God. The disciplines only aim to assess the epistemic and political stances couched in atheistic and theistic arguments.

Secondly, there must certainly be several myths, parables, or stories (similar or otherwise) that predate the Bible. As far as conjunctures go, this is quite a safe one. Not all societies recorded history as we know it today. In fact, the modern positivistic strain of historiography only began in earnest in the late 18th century. (Source: https://www.bartleby.com/textbooks/the-anthropology-of-religion-magic-an...)

Pre-modern cultures relied on oral historiography also. Not to mention the different ways in which cultures understood and represented time.

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