God's Wife Asherah

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searchengineguy
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Re: God's Wife Asherah

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For those who like visual evidence:
taanach-cult-stand-223x300.jpg
taanach-cult-stand-223x300.jpg (19.31 KiB) Viewed 404 times
https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/dai ... lt-symbol/
This four-tiered cult stand found at Tanaach is thought to represent Yahweh and Asherah, with each deity being depicted on alternating tiers. Note that on tier two, which is dedicated to Asherah, is the image of a living tree, often thought to be how the asherim as a cult symbol was expressed. Photo: © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem/Israel Antiquities Authority (photograph by Avraham Hay).
“One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad.”
Aleister Crowley

searchengineguy
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Re: God's Wife Asherah

Post by searchengineguy »

From the New World Encyclopaedia:
https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/asherah

Phoenician mother goddess, probably Astarte, seventh century B.C.E., holding a "sea" on her lap. The more ancient goddess Asherah was likewise pictured.
Asherah (Hebrew אשרה), also spelled Ashera, was a major northwest Semitic mother goddess, appearing also in Akkadian sources as Ashratu, in Hittite as Asherdu and in Ugaritic as Athirat. She was the consort of the chief deity El and the mother of 70 other gods.

In the Judeo-Christian tradition Asherah is considered a false Canaanite deity and a major source of temptation to the Israelites. In the Book of Kings, the prophet Elijah challenged 400 prophets of Asherah at the same time that he battled 450 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. Other biblical references to "Asherah" refer to a type of sacred pillar or tree that was erected next to Canaanite or Israelite altars in many places. These trees or groves were associated with sacred prostitution of the Canaanite fertility cult.

Contents
1 Early History
2 In Israel and Judah
2.1 Asherah as sacred pillar
2.2 Israelite goddess worship
3 Asherah and the Divine Feminine
4 References
5 External links
6 Credits
On the other hand, there is suggestive archaeological evidence that Asherah may also have been regarded as the female consort to the Hebrew God Yahweh and was widely worshiped by Israelites within the context of Yahwism. Thus, she may have functioned as representing the divine feminine. As the Israelite prophets and religious leaders rightly struggled to purge Israel of the licentious rites of Canaanite paganism—in which Asherah played a central role—her healthier function as a carrier of the divine feminine became a casualty.

Early History
In the Ugaritic texts (before 1200 B.C.E.) Asherah is sometimes called Athirat yammi, 'Athirat of the Sea'. The sacred sea (or lake) upon which the Ugaritic Asherah stood was known as Yam Kinneret and is now called Lake Galilee. In these texts, Asherah is the consort of the god El. One source refers to the "70 sons of Athirat," presumably the same as the "70 sons of El." She is not clearly distinguished from Ashtart (better known in English as Astarte). Ashtart, however, is clearly linked to the Mesopotamian Goddess Ishtar. Astarte/Ishtar differs from the Ugaritic Asherah, in that Ishtar shares none of Asherah's primary roles as consort of the chief god, mother of the major lesser deities, and goddess of the sea. Asherah is also called Elat (the feminine form of El) and Qodesh or 'Holiness'.

The Hittite version of Asherah is named Asherdu(s) or Asertu(s). She is the consort of Elkunirsa and mother of either 77 or 88 divine sons. In Egypt, beginning in the eighteenth dynasty, a Semitic goddess named Qudshu ('Holiness') begins to appear prominently, equated with the native Egyptian goddess Hathor. A number of scholars believe Qudshu is an Egyptian version of the Ugaritic Asherah-Qodesh. She is pictured standing on a lion and holding two serpents, and one of her names gives her a special quality of mercy. An additional epitaph calls her "The Compassionate One" (Cross, 1973).

In Israel and Judah
Did you know?
Together, El (sometimes Yahweh) and Ashera were viewed as the father and mother of the gods
Asherah is particularly important in the Judeo-Christian tradition, where she is portrayed as a pagan deity whose images and sacred pillars must be rejected and destroyed. However, there is evidence that in the early history of Israel, she may have been seen not only as the consort of El but also as the wife of the Israelite God Yahweh. El was recognized by the Canaanites as the supreme deity and by the Israelites as synonymous with Yahweh (Dever 2005).

In a 1975 excavation at Kuntillet 'Ajrud (Horvat Teman) in the Sinai Desert, a pottery ostracon was inscribed "Berakhti et’khem l’YHVH Shomron ul’Asherato" ("I have blessed you by Yahweh of Samaria and [his] Asherah"). Beneath the words are drawings of a tree and of a cow with a calf. Nearby is a drawing of a "tree of life" flanked by two ibexes. A second reference to "YHVH and [his] Asherah" was identified in an inscription on a building wall. An similar reference has been found at Khirbet el-Qom, near Hebron, where an inscription reads "Blessed be Uriyahu by Yahweh and by his Asherah; from his enemies he saved him!"
However, scholars are divided over how significant Asherah was in Canaanite and Israelite culture. Although she clearly had her own ancient identity, just as did El, she seems to have been gradually eclipsed, just as El merged with Yahweh in Israelite culture and was replaced in importance by Baal in Canaanite culture. Goddesses such as Astarte and Anat eventually overshadowed Asherah, as time went on.

Asherah as sacred pillar

The issue is complicated by the fact that in Hebrew, the word Asherah is masculine, and biblical passages normally use Asherah to refer to the sacred pillar or tree that was often erected next to altars belonging to El, Baal, or even Yahweh. An asherah of this type stood for many years in the Temple of Jerusalem itself, and sacred pillars were also erected in earlier times by the greatest Hebrew patriarchs and prophets, including Jacob at Bethel (Genesis 28:18), and Moses at the foot of Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:4), and Joshua at Shechem (Josh. 24:26). While this seems to have been common practice at one time, it was denounced by later prophets and historians. Thus we find references such as:

"Do not set up any wooden Asherah beside the altar you build to the Lord your God, and do not erect a sacred stone, for these the Lord your God hates."—Deuteronomy 16:21-22

"Take your father's bull and a second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal which belongs to your father, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it."—Judges 6:25
"For they also built for themselves high places and sacred pillars and Asherim on every high hill and beneath every luxuriant tree."—1 Kings 14:23
He broke in pieces the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherim and filled their places with human bones."—2 Kings 23:14
On the other hand, the prophet Elijah fought not only against prophets of Baal, but also against "prophets of Asherah," indicating that the term could also be applied to an actual goddess as well as to a generic object of worship:

Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table."—1 Kings 18:19
Israelite goddess worship
The veneration of Asherah or asherah poles seems to have been fairly widespread in ancient Israel and Judah, and sometimes it was officially sanctioned. The Bible reports that during the days of King Josiah (sixth century B.C.E.), the king "tore down the quarters of the male shrine prostitutes, which were in the temple of the Lord and where women did weaving for Asherah." (2 Kings 23:7)


The Bible is also ripe with references to the Israelites committing sexual immorality with Canaanite deities at high places and sacred groves. Often this is a metaphor for Israel's faithlessness to Yahweh as her spouse, but in some cases the references are quite direct, such as:

"They sacrifice on the mountaintops and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar and terebinth, where the shade is pleasant. Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution and your daughters-in-law to adultery."—Hosea 4:13
This has led many to conclude that the worship of Asherah involved licentious rites. While this may result in part from the polemics of Israelite priests and prophets against rival religious sects, it is also true that sacred prostitution was a well established tradition in ancient Mesopotamia. The goddess Ishtar was particularly well known for this practice. The story of the tribal patriarch Judah, who engaged in sex with his daughter-in-law Tamar while she was disguised as a sacred prostitute, indicates that such practices were known in Canaan as well. These priestesses were believed to bring blessing and fertility to the land as they reenacted the hieros gamos—the sacred marriage of heaven and earth. The function of sacred male prostitutes is less certain. They may have played the role of the male deity in a similar drama.

Whether or not Israelite Asherah worship involved sacred prostitution, it is clear that one or more female goddesses was widely worshiped in both Israel and Judah. Archaeological digs commonly uncover statuettes of a goddess, not only in temples and public buildings, but in many private homes. In most cases, her exact identity is difficult to determine (Dever 2005).

The prophet Jeremiah vehemently opposed the worship of the goddess he called the "Queen of Heaven":

The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes of bread for the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to provoke me to anger. But am I the one they are provoking? declares the Lord. Are they not rather harming themselves, to their own shame?—Jeremiah 7:18-19
A possible echo of earlier worship of an Israelite version of Asherah as the goddess of the deep may be preserved in Jacob's blessing to his sons in Genesis 49:25, which speaks of:

Blessings of the deep that lies below,
Blessings of the breast and womb.
Asherah and the Divine Feminine
Feminist theologians and some archaeologists hold that the denigration of Asherah in the Judeo-Christian tradition resulted from the male-dominated religious establishment's repression of feminine depictions of the Divine. Whether as Asherah, Astarte, or any other name, feminine manifestations of the godhead were systematically and sometimes violently opposed by the religious authorities of the Kingdom of Judah and its Temple. The northern Kingdom of Israel was more tolerant of religious pluralism, for which it was strongly condemned by the biblical writers. Later prophets allowed that God had a compassionate, motherly quality, as well as a stern fatherly character, but any question of God's basic gender had already been resolved: God was male, priests were men, and the women were not sources of fertility, but passive vessels for the seed of men.

This thesis, however, may presume a modern sensibility of the unity of the Godhead that did not exist in an ancient world, where polytheism was the norm. Israelites who worshiped Asherah alongside Yahweh would have had a polytheistic concept of both, and it was polytheism that the priests of Israel steadfastly opposed. Furthermore, the notion that Yahweh has a masculine gender contradicts the high biblical doctrine that God is ultimately beyond any depiction in human terms. If one takes the Bible at face value, Yahwistic opposition to Asherah was of a piece with its opposition to Baal (a male deity) and all gods other than Yahweh. The prohibition of images in the Ten Commandments applied equally to masculine representations of God as it does to feminine.

Nevertheless, the representations of the divine feminine that continue to surface in the archaeology of ancient Israel give weight to the assertion that the popular religion of that period, if not the official creed of Jerusalem, viewed God as containing both masculine and feminine aspects. Anthropologist Raphael Patai in his book The Hebrew Goddess (1967, 1990) identified as goddesses: Asherah, Anat, Astarte, the cherubim in Solomon's Temple, and in later talmudic and kabbalistic Judaism, the Sabbath personified as Bride, and the Shekhina as the indwelling feminine presence of God. In Christianity, some believe that Mary, the "Mother of God," likewise takes on the role of a mother goddess, as does the Holy Spirit in its role as "comforter."


References
Binger, Tilde. Asherah: Goddesses in Ugarit, Israel and the Old Testament. Sheffield Academic Press, 1997. ISBN 1850756376
Cross, Frank Moore. Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973. ISBN 0674091760
Dever, William G. Did God Have A Wife? Archeology And Folk Religion In Ancient Israel. Grand Rapids, MI: William. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2005. ISBN 0802828523
Finkelstein, Israel. The Bible Unearthed: Archeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts. New York: Free Press, 2002. ISBN 0684869128
Hadley, Judith M. The Cult of Asherah in Ancient Israel and Judaism. University of Cambridge 2000. ISBN 0521662354
Kien, Jenny. Reinstating the Divine Woman in Judaism. Universal Publishers, 2000. ISBN 978-1581127638
Patai, Raphael. The Hebrew Goddess, 3rd ed. Wayne State University Press, [1967] 1990. ISBN 978-0814322710
Smith, Mark S. The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israel's Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts. Oxford University Press, 2003. ISBN 0195167686
Wiggins, Steve A. A Reassessment of "Asherah": A Study According to the Textual Sources of the First Two Millennia B.C.E. Neukirchener Verlag, 1993. ISBN 978-3766698704
External links
All links retrieved January 16, 2019.

Long, Asphodel P. "The Goddess in Judaism - An Historical Perspective". www.asphodel-long.com.
Credits
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Asherah history
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History of "Asherah"
“One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad.”
Aleister Crowley

searchengineguy
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Re: God's Wife Asherah

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Aka "Elat" (the feminine form of El) or Al-Lat. It was used as a title for the goddess Asherah or Athirat.[6] The word is akin to Elat, which was the name of the wife of the Semitic deity El.
“One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad.”
Aleister Crowley

JTH
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Re: God's Wife Asherah

Post by JTH »

searchengineguy
@searchengineguy,
Do you agree that Religion is man-made and so it changes?
Absolutely!
Do you agree that just coz someone believes something to be true doesn’t make it the truth?
Yes, including your gods and God-like entities like demons, saints and angels. Now, could you answer my question?
As you agree with this, why does it bother you that people have a belief not as same as you? Why would very eagerly attack it?

Hence, what do you expect to get out of my answer to this question?
If I gave you just one instance of God changing, would your opinion change?
But, You’re welcome to change my mind!

God of Israel is I AM #changemymind

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: God's Wife Asherah

Post by Moonwood the Hare »

Hey SEG, would you agree that science is man made and so it changes?

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: God's Wife Asherah

Post by Moonwood the Hare »

searchengineguy wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:40 am
searchengineguy wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:06 am
I don't know how the first chapter in the book of Genesis is connected to the last chapter in the book of Revelation. You could say that ANY verses in the Bible, it's all interpretation and subjective. Sorry for the butchering, but you'll get over it!
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:10 pm
It is not subjective in any meaningful sense of that much abused word. It is collective as judgements about canon and interpretation always have been.
C'mon Moon, of course it is subjective, that's why there are over 45,000 versions of Christianity! They all have there own opinions and interpretations.
Your argument seems to be that if there are a lot of different opinions about something this implies that the thing is subjective. This argument is clearly invalid since one can think of all kinds of counter examples. Take mathematics for example that is not universaly regarded as subjective and yet there are thousands of philosophies of number. Or take money; there are many theories about what money is and how it is created. Now in both these two examples there are some theories that emphasise the subjective nature of the phenomena involved more than others but it is simply not the case that the diversity of opinion itself prooves that the phenomena the opinions are about must be subjective in nature.
You seem to be conflating the ontological and the conceptual. Ideas about God have changed over time as have ideas about everything. Ideas about say gravity have changed; that does not mean gravity has kept changing. I am not sure what you mean by evolved, but if that is just a fancy word for changed then of course.
More like developed according to cultural change.
Well that it is true of just about any idea, so while it may be true it is hardly significant, unless you want to develop that a bit more.
I don't make decisions about anything using faith alone (like you do), it's an incredibly poor tool to work out what is the truth.
We have been over this in great detail. When we had the thread on this everyone involved explained to you that they did not take the approach you were attacking, none the less you continue to criticise this position that no one holds. If you were producing some kind of argument that although people were claiming not to hold this position they did hold it really then you might have a case but you are not; you are simply stating that people hold this position, that faith in isolation is a route to truth, in spite of their clear rejection of that. So let me be clear once again: I have absolutely no idea what it would be like to make a decision by faith alone; I don't do it and I don't know of anyone who does do it.
Some scholars regard Moses as legendary. I don't know of any serious scholar who thinks he is mythical, though there may be some who think there are mythical elements in the story.
Serious Scottish scholars? May be some? How many do you think there are, less than 5 or 6? Really Moonward, have you got your head buried in the sand on this?
I think this is a problem about language: to you terms like fictional, legendary and mythical are simply identical in meaning. As a student of literature I would find it hard to be that imprecise.
That would only make sense if you could present evidence that Moses only believed in one god. It gets thrown out the window with the verses depicting him believing in other gods.
Suppose a Christian were to say the Christian God is better than the Muslim God. You might take that to imply that both God's exist but more likely he would be comparing two concepts. The distinction between conceptualisation and instantiation is a very sophisticated one. People struggle to make it but itwas not until the early twentieth century with the development of logical languages that this could be made clear. But if the distinction itself is very hard to make clear in ordinary language then reading that distinction, which may not have existed in people's minds because they had no lnguage to express it, back into statements made in earlier eras is very precarious.
There is realy no need for this kind of textual nihilism. Of course scribes will try to interpret a disputed text in line with what they think it is likely to have said but that is true in the present as well as the past. Textual studies are an attempt to get past that. If you were to say on the basis of our limited number of texts and the variations no one knows what, say, Plato thought people would laugh at you, same applies here.
Except that generations of evangelical scribes didn't fiddle with what Plato wrote to suit their agendas.
I do not know where you are getting these generations of evangelical scribes from. The evangelical movement began in the nineteenth century and most evangelicals would accept the masoretic text for the Hebrew which they would have no opportunity to tinker with (it's a Jewish work). For the Greek, the textus receptus was produced by Erasmus of Rotterdam who was not an evangelical (read his debates with Luther if you think so) and the revised text was the Work of Westcott and Hort who were liberal Catholics. None of those responsible for the transmission of the texts prior to these editions could fairly be described as evangelicals.
You're not saying that animists didn't believe in lots of gods are you?
I am saying animism is distinct from polytheism which was the term you used. Go back and take another look at Tyler.
You didn't answer my question.
It was not addressed to me and I made it clear I did not agree with the person it was adressed to. He had suggested that the name Yahweh implies God is unchanging; I disagreed because that is reading a meaning into the Hebrew word that is not there since the Hebrew word implies both being and becoming.

searchengineguy
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Re: God's Wife Asherah

Post by searchengineguy »

JTH wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:50 am
As you agree with this, why does it bother you that people have a belief not as same as you? Why would very eagerly attack it?
It doesn't bother me at all if you have a different belief if it is sound and backed up by convincing evidence. It does bother me if you believe in fairy tales based on nothing but faith and try to push it on me.
Hence, what do you expect to get out of my answer to this question?
If I gave you just one instance of God changing, would your opinion change?
A truthful answer, which you haven't supplied yet.
But, You’re welcome to change my mind!

God of Israel is I AM #changemymind
Cool. Let's see what your answer is -
If I gave you just one instance of God changing, would your opinion change? Yes or no?
“One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad.”
Aleister Crowley

searchengineguy
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Re: God's Wife Asherah

Post by searchengineguy »

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:24 pm
Hey SEG, would you agree that science is man made and so it changes?
Yep. Just like your gods.
“One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad.”
Aleister Crowley

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: God's Wife Asherah

Post by Moonwood the Hare »

searchengineguy wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:30 pm
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:24 pm
Hey SEG, would you agree that science is man made and so it changes?
Yep. Just like your gods.
So, would you therefore conclude that scienceis entirely subjective with no external referent?

searchengineguy
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Re: God's Wife Asherah

Post by searchengineguy »

searchengineguy wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:06 am
I don't know how the first chapter in the book of Genesis is connected to the last chapter in the book of Revelation. You could say that ANY verses in the Bible, it's all interpretation and subjective. Sorry for the butchering, but you'll get over it!
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:10 pm
It is not subjective in any meaningful sense of that much abused word. It is collective as judgements about canon and interpretation always have been.
searchengineguy wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:40 am
Moon, of course it is subjective, that's why there are over 45,000 versions of Christianity! They all have there own opinions and interpretations.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:54 pm
Your argument seems to be that if there are a lot of different opinions about something this implies that the thing is subjective. This argument is clearly invalid since one can think of all kinds of counter examples. Take mathematics for example that is not universaly regarded as subjective and yet there are thousands of philosophies of number. Or take money; there are many theories about what money is and how it is created. Now in both these two examples there are some theories that emphasise the subjective nature of the phenomena involved more than others but it is simply not the case that the diversity of opinion itself prooves that the phenomena the opinions are about must be subjective in nature.
See:
Religion Is Super Subjectivism

Craig Biddle April 20, 2017
Many people regard religion as the opposite of, and the antidote to, subjectivism. In fact, however, religion is a form of subjectivism. Indeed, it is the most extreme form of all.

To see why, consider the nature of secular subjectivism, both personal and social, and compare them to religion.

Personal subjectivism is the notion that truth and morality are creations of the mind of the individual, or matters of personal feelings or opinion. Social subjectivism is the notion that truth and morality are creations of the mind of a collective (a group of people), or matters of social convention.

The personal subjectivist says, “If I say something is true, then it is”—or “It’s right because I say so”—or “It’s good because I feel that it is”—or the like. The social subjectivist says, “If my group says something is true, then it is”—or “It’s right because my tribe says so”—or “It’s good because that’s the consensus”—or the like.

In short, subjectivism is the notion that an idea is true or an action is moral because someone or some group says so.

With that in mind, what does religion say about the source of truth and morality?

Religion is the idea that a God exists and demands our faith and obedience. He is alleged to be an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good being who is the creator of the universe, the source of all truth, and the maker of moral law. According to religion, if God says something is true or right or good, then it is—by virtue of the fact that he said so.

Well, we can see one level of subjectivity right there. Truth and morality are whatever God says they are. But the subjectivity involved in religion goes further.

In order to accept that God’s say-so is the standard of truth and morality, you have to accept the say-so of religionists who say that it is. “God exists and His word is the truth.” How does the religionist know this? He “knows” it because he said so—or, as he will put it, “because I have faith,” which means: “because I accept ideas in support of which there is no evidence.” And he expects you to accept it because he said so. (Otherwise he would present evidence.)

Seen in this light, religion—or “supernatural” subjectivism—is significantly more subjective than secular subjectivism. It is super subjectivism.

None of this is to say that people don’t have a right to be religious. They do. People are (or should be) free to believe in God and to practice their religion—as long as they do not enact any religious laws or commandments that call for murder, rape, or other rights violations.

But people are not free to be religious without being subjectivists. Religion is not only a form of subjectivism. It is the most subjective form of all.
This paragraph reflects my main point Moon -
In order to accept that God’s say-so is the standard of truth and morality, you have to accept the say-so of religionists who say that it is. “God exists and His word is the truth.” How does the religionist know this? He “knows” it because he said so—or, as he will put it, “because I have faith,” which means: “because I accept ideas in support of which there is no evidence.” And he expects you to accept it because he said so. (Otherwise he would present evidence.)
Where is your proof that God exists? You and other Christians here DO believe on faith alone, even despite evidence to the contrary. You believe that a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago got re-animated from a god's magic and he is still alive today. You believe that he actually walked on water. You believe on faith alone that a huge number of slaves got emancipated from a cruel unnamed Egyptian pharaoh, wandered in the Sinai desert for 40 years and got fed by your god from food falling from the sky. Need I go on?
You seem to be conflating the ontological and the conceptual. Ideas about God have changed over time as have ideas about everything. Ideas about say gravity have changed; that does not mean gravity has kept changing. I am not sure what you mean by evolved, but if that is just a fancy word for changed then of course.
More like developed according to cultural change.
Well that it is true of just about any idea, so while it may be true it is hardly significant, unless you want to develop that a bit more.
It depends whether you think that your religion was subject to religious syncretism or not. I think that there is clear evidence that it was, what do you say?
I don't make decisions about anything using faith alone (like you do), it's an incredibly poor tool to work out what is the truth.
We have been over this in great detail. When we had the thread on this everyone involved explained to you that they did not take the approach you were attacking, none the less you continue to criticise this position that no one holds. If you were producing some kind of argument that although people were claiming not to hold this position they did hold it really then you might have a case but you are not; you are simply stating that people hold this position, that faith in isolation is a route to truth, in spite of their clear rejection of that. So let me be clear once again: I have absolutely no idea what it would be like to make a decision by faith alone; I don't do it and I don't know of anyone who does do it.
How about anyone that believes in the Apostles' Creed without any supporting evidence?
Some scholars regard Moses as legendary. I don't know of any serious scholar who thinks he is mythical, though there may be some who think there are mythical elements in the story.
Serious Scottish scholars? May be some? How many do you think there are, less than 5 or 6? Really Moonward, have you got your head buried in the sand on this?
I think this is a problem about language: to you terms like fictional, legendary and mythical are simply identical in meaning. As a student of literature I would find it hard to be that imprecise.
You were invoking the "No True Scotsman" fallacy and the Argument from Ignorance when you said, "I don't know of any serious scholar who thinks he is mythical". There could be lots of "serious" scholars that you aren't aware of! How about if I say that the existence of Moses was lacking in historical evidence, so I don't believe it was the truth?
That would only make sense if you could present evidence that Moses only believed in one god. It gets thrown out the window with the verses depicting him believing in other gods.
Suppose a Christian were to say the Christian God is better than the Muslim God. You might take that to imply that both God's exist but more likely he would be comparing two concepts. The distinction between conceptualisation and instantiation is a very sophisticated one. People struggle to make it but itwas not until the early twentieth century with the development of logical languages that this could be made clear. But if the distinction itself is very hard to make clear in ordinary language then reading that distinction, which may not have existed in people's minds because they had no lnguage to express it, back into statements made in earlier eras is very precarious.
He still could have made the distinction of expressing them as "false" gods. But he didn't. He supposedly said, "Now I know that the LORD is greater than all other gods,..." not Now I know that the LORD is greater than all other FALSE gods, which means he thought other gods existed, but they weren't as great. Why would he say that God is greater than something that doesn't exist? What would be the point of that?
There is realy no need for this kind of textual nihilism. Of course scribes will try to interpret a disputed text in line with what they think it is likely to have said but that is true in the present as well as the past. Textual studies are an attempt to get past that. If you were to say on the basis of our limited number of texts and the variations no one knows what, say, Plato thought people would laugh at you, same applies here.
Except that generations of evangelical scribes didn't fiddle with what Plato wrote to suit their agendas.
I do not know where you are getting these generations of evangelical scribes from. The evangelical movement began in the nineteenth century and most evangelicals would accept the masoretic text for the Hebrew which they would have no opportunity to tinker with (it's a Jewish work). For the Greek, the textus receptus was produced by Erasmus of Rotterdam who was not an evangelical (read his debates with Luther if you think so) and the revised text was the Work of Westcott and Hort who were liberal Catholics. None of those responsible for the transmission of the texts prior to these editions could fairly be described as evangelicals.
I was using it in the sense of having an agenda of promoting Christianity. From Wiki:
The term may also be used outside any religious context to characterize a generic missionary, reforming, or redeeming impulse or purpose.
You're not saying that animists didn't believe in lots of gods are you?
I am saying animism is distinct from polytheism which was the term you used. Go back and take another look at Tyler.
I know it is distinct from polytheism, but both include belief in many gods.
You didn't answer my question.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:10 pm
It was not addressed to me and I made it clear I did not agree with the person it was adressed to. He had suggested that the name Yahweh implies God is unchanging; I disagreed because that is reading a meaning into the Hebrew word that is not there since the Hebrew word implies both being and becoming.
Fair enough
“One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad.”
Aleister Crowley

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