OK, stupid me ended up in a “discussion” with a Jehovas Witness on another forum. The “discussion” from the JW side is basically cut-and-paste from somewhere on jw.org, and it’s frankly quite boring. But I’d like to learn counterarguments against their spam, as an exercise. The “argument” now is the following:
“Yes, starting from the children of Adam and Eve (Cain and futher down the line), they mated with siblings and close relatives, basically having what we today call incestouous relationships. But the chance of serious deformities etc due to inbreeding was practically nonexistant because they were close to the “perfectness” of Adam and Eve, which is confirmed by how old they became. And later sex between close relatives was forbidden to protect the offsprings. And to this date, the servants of Jehovah have a higher sexual morality than the rest, who partook in diverse obscene acts.”
I have also seen this “argument” from other biblical literalists. But the question now is how to attack it. The obvious thing here is that they use the Bible to “prove” the superiority of the teachings and morals of the abrahamic god, i.e. self-reference. But this won’t really work on them. Any ideas on how to attack this better?
As an exJW they have you arguing about fantasy lalala land stuff.
Have they brought up that god wants us to live forever? If they grew old at 900 - that wasn’t due to being close to “perfect” - Jehovah made them with that life span. He stopped them from eating from the tree of life in Genesis, which means he created them to die. Also, if perfect, does that mean we get to fuck our siblings? Like in the new system i can get it on with my dad or brother?
That’s tru-ish, it depends on recessive genes carrying defects. . But eventually incest from first degree blood relatives will produce sickly offspring at least. This principle is well known by animal breeders.
As for Adam and Eve it is only the loopy evangelicals whop insist the bible is literally true ,especially Genesis .
Also a bit horse before the cart: When confronted by such people my response is:
First demonstrate to me that your god exists. That should be the end of that, but probably won’t be.
Perhaps ask; “Which bible?” I don’t mean which translation, I refer to the actual contents. See if you can get hold of “Misquoting Jesus” By Bart Ehrman. He also has some splendid lectures available on YouTube.
It is my opinion that the Torah is the mythology of Judaism.(they made it up)
Scholars agree that it was a product of the Babylonian captivity and was first written down ca 600bce.
Be happy to talk about the origins of YHWH and his wife.
Yes, I am indeed doing well. Mostly working from home, only leaving the house to refill groceries and get some exercise (being an introvert is an advantage in these pandemic social distancing and lockdown times). After a long pause in arguing with lunatics on discussion forums, I finally caved in and started correcting the internet again.
I have read “Jesus, interrupted” and “Forged”. I also intended to read “Misquoting Jesus”, but never got as far, and I have quite the backlog of other books to read first. But I will put it on my list.
Yeah, but it’s more complex than that. “The invention of God” by Thomas Römer goes into quite some detail about the origin of El/YHWH, but there are so many details there that this information is quite hard to use in a fast-paced argument on the internets.
Not yet. On this particular discussion forum, there is a pair of JWs sort of working in tandem, cutting and pasting from jw.org, hardly ever posting their own comments. They’re sort of annoying, so I decided in my infinite lack of wisdom that I was going to annoy them back. Which brings me to the next logical question: what kind of topics and questions do I bring up to annoy them the most?
Haven’t read that. But have read “Did God Have a Wife”. The author claims YHWH began as a petty ancient Israelite war god. He had a wife called ‘Asherath’ who was part of the Canaanite pantheon.
In their book ‘The Bible Unearthed’, archaeologists Finkelstein and Siberman describe how they have found about 300 small statues of a goddess. That they date to ca 300bce. That the official religion of Israel may have been monotheism from some time after the putative exodus, but many of the people remained polytheists for centuries.
“The invention of God” can be quite the heavy read in parts, but Römer arrives at the same conclusion (although I must admit I don’t remember particulars like names of other gods). I also think Römer might have traced YHWH even further back, to a storm god from the Arabian peninsula. And from there, this god went through a series of personality changes, and changes of “areas of responsibility”, as well as several mergers with other gods, until we ended up with YHWH. Römer also writes that a probable pronounciation of YHWH is “Yahoo”, or something like that.
Could be. Vowels are not written in Hebrew, but implied. I was taught Ya- weh. Semantics of minimal interest.
I’ve heard the claim about the storm god. Not a consensus view by any means.
Great care needs to be taken when trying to work out origins of a particular god, whether it’s YHWH,. Jesus, Horus, Krishna or whatever. Even accomplished scholars will sometimes conflate correlation and causation. Richard Carrier seems to do it in his lecture on the Historicity of Jesus. I need more information before deciding if that is indeed the case.
I read both “Proving history” and “On the historicity of Jesus” by Richard Carrier. What he mainly aims at is to provide a method of using Bayesian statistics to judge the truthfulness of claims about historical events, in order to better quantify their probabilities of being true. He then sets up all sorts of prior and posterior probabilities of events and claims related to the subject at hand, and then in the end calculate a probability. Unsurprisingly, he ends up with a very low probability of the historicity of Jesus. It’s more complicated than that, but that’s the essence.
I don’t disagree in principle. After a decade of thinking that at best it may be said that: There may have been a wandering rabbi with something like Yeshua/Yoshua bar Yusuf, in first century Judea. That, he may have founded a small Jewish sect. That he may have upset the wrong people and gotten himself crucified, (a not uncommon fate for a Jew in first century Judea)------
I am beginning to think that Jesus is probably a mythical figure. That the religion we call Christianity may well have begun as a synthesis of Judaism and the Greek mystery religions. I’ve only been looking at Carrier for a few months. Have long way to go yet. Even so, I do not expect to be able to ever make any claims of certitude.
I’m simply questioning Carrier’s claim about a causal relationship between Egyptian and Christian mythologies . I also said I don’t yet have enough information on which to base an opinion.
I have not used statistics in deconstructing mythologies. Nor do I accept the notion that claims about ancient history can ever be claimed to be true. It is my position that ‘it may well be the case’ or 'it seems likely that , X Y or Z ’ is the most which may be claimed in studies of ancient history especially.