Evil Bastard

God - A Biography by Jack Miles cover

I’m reading Jack Miles’s God: A Biography.

His chapter on Job convinces me that:

  1. “The Lord” (Yahweh) of the Jews was a psychopath.
  2. “God” (elohim) referred to benevolent entities.
  3. The “Judeo-Christian” tradition is an amalgam of beliefs that Jesus expressly rejected, glommed together with a perverted version of his views thanks to early power-crazed ecclesiasts in cahoots with secular rulers to create a “scriptural basis” for authoritarianism and their roles as authorities.

I’m leaning towards the idea that if Jesus’ “heavenly father” (whatever that referred to) had in fact been involved with Abraham and his descendants, it would have been because they were the most brutal, psychotic people he could find — the ultimate challenge on which to demonstrate the power of love. If not, the demented God of Abraham chose him and them precisely because they were the most brutal, psychotic people he could find.

Miles writes about a unique, Jewish form of wisdom:

“The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.”; in other words, the righteous are rewarded and the wicked punished except when the Lord, for mysterious reasons of his own, decrees otherwise. At the start of the Book of Job, neither Job nor his friends have learned this corrected or, as we may quite properly call it, this Jewish version of wisdom.
  — [italics his] p. 305

 
So the “Jewish version of wisdom” sees God thinking like a psychopath who behaves reasonably and consistently when he feels like it, but not when he decides otherwise for any reason at all of his own inexplicable choosing. This strengthens my impression that Jewish thinking is at its core a kind of schizoid fusion of contradictories, where love is proved by violent hatred, and violence is a form of love — a faith with insanity at its core. I suppose that this isn’t more self-contradictory or dissociative than the Tao, except that I’ve never gotten from Lao-Tzu the sense of self-justified abuse and I-do-whatever-the-fuck-I-want-because-I-can that I get from reading the Old Testament.

The world as created by God, ‘elohim, was almost wholly positive; nothing in it was forbidden to mankind, whom God commanded only to be fertile, to increase, and to have dominion. By contrast, the world as created by the Lord, yahweh, was shot through with a kind of danger; there was indeed a prohibition in it, and when the prohibition was not observed, massive and largely inexplicable punishment followed swiftly. A similar difference obtained at the second beginning, after the flood. God, ‘elohim, then called on mankind again to be fertile and increase. The Lord, yahweh, merely promised never again to “destroy every living being, as I have done.” The angry, imperious, and literally stormy (speaking from the whirlwind) Lord (yahweh) who confronts Job at the climax of the Book of Job is no stranger to Israel: Since the Exodus and the exultant cry “the Lord is a warrior,” his personality has been by far the dominant one in the fusion character of the Lord God. But Job seems initially baffled by God in this guise, God as the destroyer and creator at once. In the closing theophany of the Book of Job, he meets him for the first time and is struck almost dumb.
  — p. 306

 
Me too. Struck dumb. The mixture is either incoherent or psychotic or both. Unless the two “personalities” are not facets of the same being.

Miles goes so far as to say that the notion of virtue that prevails in Judeo-Christian-sculpted societies was authored by the devil, and I’d love to hear cogent arguments that show it’s not:

Many interpretations of the Book of Job see it as somehow pitting the quid-pro-quo morality of Deuteronomy or the cause-and-effect morality of Proverbs against a higher morality in which virtue is its own reward. So it may be, but it should be noted that it is the devil who introduces this higher morality and that he does so in the course of tempting the Lord into abusing Job. It is the devil who insinuates that unless practiced “for nought,” virtue is not true virtue. This hard standard is definitely Satan’s own coinage. In all the Bible to this point, it has never occurred to God that mankind should serve him “for nought,” that is, for no reward. On the contrary, it seemed at first not to occur to God that mankind should serve him at all. The God of Adam, the God of Noah, the God of Abraham, never sought worship and sought obedience only minimally. The God of Moses did seek both worship and obedience, but even he took it for granted that rewards should be forthcoming for such service and never suggested that he would have the right the service if the rewards were denied, much less if they were replaced by gratuitously inflicted punishment. But the Lord, his thinking now changed on this point by the devil, withdraws reward and inflicts punishment for no reason other than to prove to the devil that Job will indeed “fear God for nought.”
  — pp. 309-10

 
What an evil bastard.

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About Millard J. Melnyk

Motley past, promising future exploring an open, potent understanding of mutuality, individual dignity and personal power through trust. DEAUTHORITARIANIZE EVERYTHING!
This entry was posted in Bible, Bullying, God, Life & Death, Psychology, Relationships, Religion, Violence and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Evil Bastard

  1. Millard.ya hit the nail on the head! The God revealed in the flesh in the In Incarnation of Yeshua ben Joseph is NOT the God of human religions who is evil. Not sure if the Hebrews really understood the plural “ELOHIM” but in general …Yeshua attempted to reveal the “ELOHIM” of Genesis which would have freed man kind from all religious oppression. Instead …the humans seduced by the entities in Ephesians 6:12… created another oppressive religion. Yeshua (Jesus in Greek) reveals that God is NOT external to Creation but dwells and works through Creation and HIS PERFECT Laws. You cannot understand the plural word “ELOHIM” until you understand this truth. The following Scriptures can help us understand this…… Psalm 82:3-6, John 14:8-23, Galatians 3:26-28, Colossians 1:27, 1 Corinthians:3:16-17, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 1 John 4:11-16. If one realizes that the manifestations of God is quite different from the Doctrine of the Trinity used by Christianity to resolve the “plural” problem you would know it does NOT resolve the issue because the plural requires separate parts….The “three persons in one” is NOT plural because they are manifestations of the ONE….NOT separate parts.

    This One true God that dwells within us is NOT a separate “super-being” as most people think because the Bible reveals that God is LOVE, COMPASSION, FORGIVENESS etc.exhibited by His Creation by those who “accept” Him.. A “biological” analogy of the reality of God is like the individual single living cell ……..that exhibits the biochemical processes of “life”……. that is a single individual part of the multicellular organism….. so the individual living organism is a :”cell” of the “collective” God which extends throughout the Cosmos.

    When I began to understand this…..I realized Science and Religion are BOTH wrong about Creation having a “beginning.” I now realize that Creation is an eternal PROCESS not a single event and believe it or not, this is revealed in the Hebrew in the Book of Genesis between verse i and 2. Christianity misinterpreted this and concluded that the planet and the Cosmos is only 6000 years old instead of the obvious 14.5 billion of “our” specific Cosmos. Science has finally caught up with this concept with the “multiverse” hypothesis “Bubble Theory.” ( some Christian clergy claim that God created the Earth and the Cosmos in 6 days but made the Earth appear 4.5 billion and the Cosmos 14.5 billion. I think James Carvell learned how to “spin” reality from these guys!) Creation is eternal because God is eternal and ironically, 142 years ago, French Chemist Louis Pasteur proved this in his simple “S” shaped flask experiment that disproved “spontaneous generation” and revealed God’s PERFECT Law of Biogenesis…”ALL Life MUST come from PRE-EXISTING Life.” (Funny how Science then assumed that the “first” cell was formed by spontaneous generation of biological molecules that coalesced into a cell. Nice try because the Laws of Thermodynamics MUST be violated to pull this off! No wonder religion created the illusion of the “supernatural” God to resolve these paradoxes and SADLY that Science violated their own principles to explain reality..especially in the creation of man……

    Science says man evolved from apes…..they are wrong because the only source of “new” natural genetic information is DNA mutation and 99% of them are “lethal” and therefore can not be passed on for Natural Selection to act on the traits they might exhibit. (of the 1% positive ones, less than 1% occur in germ cells…….the only ones passed on to offspring) Based on this, there simply was not enough time from the appearance of apes and the Creation of Homo sapiens. (Science does some fancy “spin” on this) Religion says that man was Created by God in His Image by Intelligent Design.. Ironically…they are correct but their “Intelligent Design requires a “supernatural mechanism.” (what ever that is!) Sadly…it Science didn’t reject the Bible and they understand the REAL God revealed in it..they would realize who the “ELOHIM” were and KNOW that man was Created by “ELOHIM” via RECOMBINANT DNA.

    BTW..another problem with evolution is Natural Selection between Phylum and Class. DNA is “packaged” into chromosomes for proper distribution in cell division (mitosis, and sex cell formation in meiosis)The actual number of them has nothing to do with how complex the organism is. There is no “mechanism” known that reveals chromosome number adjustment from Phylum to Class because chromosome number mismatch is 99% lethal. The ONLY other possible explanation is Intelligent Design by rDNA. (Book of Genesis supports this where is says “each creature produces it;s own kind.”)

    Now the fact that you imply that the God of Religion is evil oppresses and enslaves mankind ? I couldn’t agree with you more! Thankfully, however, Christianity in general has evolved out of this evil nature…obviously Islam hasn’t.

    Peace..David

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