Springingtiger's Blog


More Lies and Adultery

I really shouldn’t read Genesis it is a template for bad behaviour what with God telling lies and Cain murdering his brother. Today’s reading began with God being petty and  ̶ instead of acknowledging mankind’s enterprise ̶ separating them into tribes and mixing up their languages so they could not cooperate with each other. If that wasn’t enough it went on into the story of Abraham (at this point still Abram) the Father of Israel. God promised Abram the land of Canaan, so far so good, but then Abram and Sarai go to Egypt. In Egypt Abram the Father of Israel propagates the second recorded lie when he tells his wife, Sarai, to pretend to be his sister and allows her to enter an adulterous relationship with the Pharaoh. I am glad I treat the Bible as a collection of myths and not as a history, I would find it disturbing that God would choose as his people a race born from the union of a liar and an adulteress.

It is fashionable in the West to attack the behaviour of the prophet Mohammed. People should look at the founders of their own religions before condemning others. Abraham’s only virtue was obedience to God otherwise he was morally suspect, but he is not alone in a lack of morality. If we look at the god Krishna we find him encouraging Yudasthira to lie, Bheema to cheat, and Arjuna to disregard the rules of honourable combat and effectively murder Karna. If the founders of religions are such poor examples of ethical behaviour I don’t suppose we can expect much of their followers, indeed a look at most religions reveals their adherents living down to our expectations. It is no surprise then to see the Sunni regimes of Saudi Arabia and Daesh murdering their Shia opponents; White Christians in the USA routinely shooting black people; Indian Hindus slaughtering Muslims and Pakistani Muslims driving the Pandits from Kashmir; sad it is to see the Buddhists of Sri Lanka persecuting the Hindu Tamils, particularly as Buddha appears to be one of very few ethically congruent religious founders; and Israelis treating Palestinians as sub humans fit only for exploitation and slaughter.

Our atheists are no better than our religious. Having raised rejection of religion to a faith in itself, the Soviet Union and China indulged in the wholesale oppression of believers of all faiths. Blind adherence to any creed appears to breed intolerance, injustice and a disregard for any meaningful standard of decency. I cannot but think that people should look at the teachings of their religions rather than the stories that surround them. I think religious people may do a lot worse that follow the injunction of the prophet Micah “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” I don’t care to which religion you belong, you alone are responsible for your own behaviour, a little humanity would not go amiss!

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