“Apocalypse”: A “Biblical,” or a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Posted by msrb on April 30, 2008
Should we surrender our fate to a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (War, Famine, Pestilence and Death), by Viktor Vasnetsov (1887).
The Old Testament: Fiction, Farce, Fallacy or Forgery?
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel [note that there was no such entity as Israel at the time when this is supposed to have happened,] how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” (I Samuel 15:2-3)
Ox and sheep, camel and ass? What have they done, Lord? Can we shoot their moose, polar bear, and poison their water supply, too?
[FYI, the LORD of hosts has since denied any connection with I Samuel 15:2-3. He said in a concerned voice: "I have nothing to do with the Book of Exodus and all other fiction in that series, and have never advocated the slaying of anything, especially not "man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass." ]
The Hebrews moved from Canaan into Egypt when Joseph was vizier of Egypt. …] Hebrews spent another four hundred years growing and multiplying. At the end of these 400 years, a new king rose in Egypt who didn’t know of Joseph. He enslaved the Hebrews and compelled them to perform much manual labor intensive work [Note: Historically, there absolutely no evidence of this claim.] … Moses, in exile from Egypt for murdering an Egyptian while defending a Hebrew slave [note that Moses was merely exiled, even though he, a "Hebrew slave," had murdered an Egyptian "master"] received a call from God [last week a friend of the author also received a call from God, who said that HE never contacted Moses, and had no idea who he was] to free the Hebrew people … Moses attempted to negotiate with Pharaoh, who was not receptive… Moses, under God’s instruction, called forth a series of ten plagues [God categorically denied any knowledge of this claim, too, and said HE was a committed pacifist and hated biological warfare.] The Pharaoh, enduring most of the plagues, would not let the Hebrews go, however the final plague, in which the firstborn sons of the Egyptians were taken, made the Pharaoh agree to free the Hebrews …
“And it came to pass at the end of four hundred and thirty years, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the Land of Egypt.”
However, the Pharaoh changed his mind soon after they undertook their journey and sent soldiers after the Hebrews. They escaped however, after Moses’ famed miraculous parting of the Red Sea [God said: "If you believe the total nonsense... you deserve Hollywood!"] Once they had crossed the sea, the water returned and caught the following Egyptians as they tried to turn back. … Significant events occurred at these early locations or ‘stations’, including the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai, along with the remainder of Mosaic law. [Psychoactive hallucinogenic stuff brewed from Acacia tree and the bush Peganum harmala ?]
Exodus 12:37 refers to 600,000 adult Hebrew men leaving Egypt with Moses, plus an unspecified but apparently large number of non-Hebrews (“A mixed multitude also went up with them” – Exodus 12:38); allowing for women and children, the total number involved may have been two million or more. Egypt at the time might have supported a total population of around 3-4 million, maybe even up to 6 million; in any event, the numbers given in Exodus 12:37 seem to represent something between half and almost the entire probable population of Egypt.
[Why is] Moses smashing the Tables of the Law? A painting by Rembrandt van Rijn
The logistics of the Exodus also present problems. Recent archaeological research has found no evidence that the Sinai desert ever hosted millions of people, nor of a massive population increase in Canaan, estimated to have had a population of between 50,000 and 100,000, at the end of the march.
Many archaeologists, including Israel Finkelstein and William G. Dever, regard the Exodus as non-historical. … In his book, The Bible Unearthed, Finkelstein points to the appearance of settlements in the central hill country around 1200 BCE, recognized by most archaeologists as the earliest settlements of the Israelites.
Biblical minimalists, such as Philip Davies, Niels Peter Lemche and Thomas L. Thompson, regard the Exodus as ahistorical.
The findings of modern archaeologists may present a challenge for Orthodox Jews and fundamentalist Christians. The Exodus and the subsequent Conquest of Canaan that the chronologies of the archaeologists seem to plainly diverge from those that may be derived from known versions of the Bible …
The strong negative reaction to leading Conservative Rabbi David Wolpe’s 2001 Passover speech, where he plainly stated that the Exodus did not happen … (Source)
But when you capture cities in the land that the Lord your God is giving you, kill everyone. Completely destroy all the people: the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, as the Lord ordered you to do. (Today’s English Version: Deuteronomy 20:16-17)
A Letter From A. Einstein to Eric Gutkind
An abridgment of the letter from Albert Einstein to Eric Gutkind from Princeton in January 1954, translated from German by Joan Stambaugh.
… I read a great deal in the last days of your book, and thank you very much for sending it to me. What especially struck me about it was this. With regard to the factual attitude to life and to the human community we have a great deal in common.
… The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything ‘chosen’ about them.
In general I find it painful that you claim a privileged position and try to defend it by two walls of pride, an external one as a man and an internal one as a Jew. As a man you claim, so to speak, a dispensation from causality otherwise accepted, as a Jew the priviliege of monotheism. But a limited causality is no longer a causality at all, as our wonderful Spinoza recognized with all incision, probably as the first one. And the animistic interpretations of the religions of nature are in principle not annulled by monopolisation. With such walls we can only attain a certain self-deception, but our moral efforts are not furthered by them. On the contrary.
Now that I have quite openly stated our differences in intellectual convictions it is still clear to me that we are quite close to each other in essential things, ie in our evalutations of human behaviour. What separates us are only intellectual ‘props’ and ‘rationalisation’ in Freud’s language. Therefore I think that we would understand each other quite well if we talked about concrete things. With friendly thanks and best wishes
Yours, A. Einstein (Source)
Why Must Otherwise Intelligent Humans Surrender their Fate to a Farcical, Fallacious, Forged, Fictitious and Violent Storybook?
Moses high on Mt Sinai: Israeli study
Did the Red Sea Part? No Evidence, Archaeologists Say! http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/03/world/africa/03exodus.html
Who Built the Pyramids? Not slaves.
Strictly speaking, there has never been any clear evidence discovered in Egypt, or elsewhere, to support the Israelite Exodus from Egypt!
Those Amazing Biblical Numbers: Taking Stock of the Armies of Ancient Israel by William Sierichs, Jr.
[T]here is clear and definitive evidence that a group of Semitic foreigners lived in Egypt for a considerable period – however, they were there not as slaves, but as rulers. http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/otarch2.html
More About the Bible
- The Bible vs. Modern Science
- One hundred contradictions in the bible
- Explaining The Bible
- Merry Bloody Christmas
- The Bible A Dangerous Moral Guide
- A Supernatural War Criminal
- Self-fulfilling prophecy
- ‘Clever Hans’ effect
- Observer-expectancy effect
- Hawthorne effect
- Placebo effect
- Pygmalion effect