The biblical flood story, the "deluge,"
was a late offshoot of a cycle of flood myths known everywhere in
the ancient world. Thousands of years before the Bible was written,
an ark was built by Sumerian Ziusudra. In Akkad, the flood hero's
name was Atrakhasis. In Babylon he was Uta-Napishtim, the only mortal
to become immortal. In Greece he was Deucalion, who repopulated
the earth after the waters subsided, with the help of his wife Pyrrha
and the advice of the Great Goddess of the waters, Themis. In Armenia,
the hero was Xisuthros--a corruption of Sumerian Ziusudra--whose
ark landed on Mount Ararat.
According to the original Chaldean account, the
flood hero was told by his god, "Build a vessel and finish
it. By a deluge I will destroy substance and life. Cause thou to
go up into the vessel the substance of all that has life."
Technical instructions followed: the ark was to be 600 cubits long
by 60 wide, with three times 3600 measures of asphalt on its exterior
and the same amount inside. Three times 3600 porters brought chests
of provisions, of which 3600 chests were for the hero's immediate
family, while "the mariners divided among themselves twice
three thousand six hundred chests." It seems that Noah's ark
was much smaller than earlier heroic proportions.
As long ago as 1872, George Smith translated the
Twelve Tablets of Creation from Ashurbanipal's library, and discovered
the earlier version of the flood myth. Among the details that religious
orthodoxy took care to suppress was the point that the god who caused
the flood was disobedient to the Great Mother, who didn't want her
earthly children drowned. Mother Isthar severely punished the disobedient
god by cursing him with her "great lightnings." She set
her magic rainbow in the heavens to block his access to offerings
on earthly altars, "since rashly he caused the flood-storm,
and handed over my people to destruction."
Old Testament writers copied other details of the
ancient flood myth but could not allow their god to be punished
by the Great Whore of Babylon, as if he were a naughty child sent
to bed without supper by an angry mother. Thus, they transformed
Ishtar's rainbow barrier into a "sign of the covenant"
voluntarily set in the heavens by God himself (Genesis 9:13).
The Tigris-Euphrates valley was subject to disastrous
floods. One especially was long remembered; geologists have linked
it with the volcanic cataclysm that blew apart the island of Thera
(Santorin) and destroyed Cretan civilization. When Sir Leonard Woolley
was excavating the site of Ur, he found the track of a might flood--a
layer of clay without artifacts, eight feet thick. Such a flood
may have been identified with the watery Chaos that all Indo-European
peoples believed would swallow up the world at the end of its cycle,
and out of which a new world would be reborn in the womb of the
Formless Mother. The ark and its freight represented seeds of life
passing through the period of Chaos from the destruction of one
universe to the birth of the next. Even in the Bible, the "birth"
was heralded by the Goddess' yonic dove (Genesis 8:12).
Gnostic literature preserved the older view of the
flood-causing God as an evil destroyer of humanity, and the Goddess
as its preserver. Because people refused to worship him alone, jealous
Jehovah sent the flood to wipe out all life. Fortunately the Goddess
opposed him, "and Noah and his family were saved in the ark
by means of the sprinkling of light that proceeded from her, and
through it the world was again filled with humankind."
This Gnostic interpretation had both Babylonian
and Hellenic roots. Greeks said the primal sea-mother Themis gave
Deucalion and his wife occult knowledge ("light") of how
to create human beings from stones, "the bones of their Mother,"
i.e., of the earth. Raising up living people from stones or bones
was a popular miracle. Jesus
mentioned it, and Ezekiel's God claimed to have done it in the valley
of bones (Ezekiel 37).
Keskustelua vedenpaisumuksesta kahden osanottajan
You make a big pretense of knowing something,
but you really won't say what it is any better than someone who
says he merely believes something.
[snipped my old stuff that stated there is no evidence
of a world wide flood]
I was not the one who started the thread. I merely
mentioned that I believed the Genesis account, and someone from
a designated atheist website decided I was too ripe not to try
to proselytize to his religion. By the way, shouldn't it be anti-theist?
If there is no God, then why tilt at windmills? People who don't
believe in Genesis get on a religion newsgroup and get in a snit
when they hear someone believes in it? Why don't you get on the
"Hardware News Group" or something and complain that
everyone is obsessed with tools? I say to one and all on A.R.M.--if
religious subjects and religious beliefs make you nauseated, then
go somewhere else.
I'll say one thing for Southern Baptists--knowing
them as I do, I can definitely predict that none of them would
hang around a gay bar for two or three months in a row, all the
while protesting that they were actually "straight."
I think you're trying to tell me that I don't belong
here?? And what reasoning would that be? Is it just because I like
to study the physical world around us and put 2 and 2 together???
Not to mention that I personally have wasted time
and resources in the past supporting a "belief system"
that was clearly dominated by man-made doctrines and practices.
And it's human nature to help others avoid our pit falls.
You can't bury you head in the sand and hope the
"facts" of the real world around you will just go away.
Lets analyze shall we:
There is point at which the theories of science
become fact, ie: no longer just a "belief". Although we
do not currently have a precise set of equations that represent
quantum gravity, I still know for a "fact" what will happen
if I jump off a cliff.
You're trying to compare apples and oranges. Science
and religion are fundamentally different. A belief (Noah's flood
story as just part of this case study) that has no evidence, and
that is part of a larger belief "system" can and does
have a significant impact on society. We have reached a point in
our society (and world community) where adherents of fundamentalist
religions feel compelled to teach their children to mistrust science,
because many of the discoveries of science have failed to vindicate
their "belief system", and in many cases disproven them.
The extreme application of this tactic results in isolation and
divisions in society, which widens the gulf between the "haves"
and "have nots" (those who use, understand, and benefit
from technology verse those who distrust it and avoid it), which
in turn can result in civil unrest.
I am not against the humanitarian efforts of fundamentalist
religions, in fact, as time goes on that may be their only redeeming
trait. Its those who isolate themselves from others, and show spiritual
arrogance, and fail to look for other reasons why things happen
other than simple minded attitudes like: "We're caught in this
battle between God and Satan."
I am not ashamed to say that as a child, I was influenced
by the philosophy of Gene Roddenberry, the mind behind Star Trek.
Granted it's only a TV show, but when view philosophically, the
world that Gene Rodenbery created was a world where man has struggled
to overcome, through science and technology, the limitations and
inequalities of traditional human society. Could it be possible
for us to actually solve some of our own inherent problems, ie:
cure diseases, repair genetic flaws, obtain cheap fusion energy,
create better, cheaper food, invent better, cheaper transportation,
computers etc... etc...etc..? Did you know that today there are
genetic studies underway with prison populations to see if there
is a genetic reason for criminality or "evil"?
To me the endeavors of man to theorize, experiment,
analyze, quantify, discover, build, repair, and create a better
world are far more worthy and noble a tasks than to whine and moan
about the alleged writings of a God who's alleged message is that
just because things don't go His way He's going to destroy the earth
and only His "chosen" ones will be rewarded the spoils.
Noble and worthy pursuits on one hand, petty and
simple minded, and even hindering on the other.
Bottom line, it's not just a little bit hypocritical
that you benefit from, in addition to enjoying and using the fruits
of the methods of science, and yet on the other hand reject many
of the other discoveries made by such a methodology.