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A new definition of God


I’ve been in such a frenzy of atheism lately, probably as a rebellion against all of the Easter stuff going on (I haven’t had so much as one chocolate egg, dammit!) and today I read something that made me guffaw. (For the thing that made me guffaw yesterday, go here.)

In an old article in The Meming of Life, the author, Dale McGowan, refers to the God of the Old Testament thusly:

“…God (a.k.a. ‘male Bronze Age goatherds’)…”

Now, I’m aware as much as any atheist with a Christian background that the authors of the Old Testament were members of one of many nomadic desert tribes in northern Africa. But this was just the simplest and most… I don’t know, it just seemed like an Emporer’s New Clothes kind of moment for me. I mean, it’s like seeing the President in his underwear. You know he wears them, but it’s just a really funny thing to actually see it. Any words or actions attributed to God in the Old Testament were written by Bronze Age goatherds. It just stripped it down to its barest definition.

I don’t know, maybe it’s not that clever, but it made me laugh. New perspectives can do that sometimes.

  1. Lucy Lowe permalink
    22/03/2008 9:56 am

    That made me giggle and kinda slap myself too. And I seem to be waist deep in religious stuff at the moment myself, though I don’t mind Easter too much. I remember seeing a picture when I was a kid of Jesus handing chocolate eggs out to children. More chocolate, less male insecurity would make it a much better religion for me. Lovely blog by the ways 🙂

  2. 23/03/2008 4:42 am

    Don’t forget the whole periods of capitivity aspect too. All that repeated enslavement is certainly going to build up the feelings of entitlement in the authors!

    Have you looked much at the Ugaritic religions? It’s interesting to note that the Hebrew sky-god bears a great deal of resemblance to the Ugaritic sky-god El – except that El is the head of a pantheon and seems to have a wife, Asherah. Understanding the Hebrews as breaking away from an existing religion makes the chunks in the OT about repudiating the priests of Baal and shunning false idols all the more interesting I think… very similar to the “repositioning” done by political parties in a democratic electoral system.

    Apologies if this is all old news; I just thought I’d mention it.

    (Although: “male insecurity”? Were the sisters, wives, and daughters of the Tribe of Israel all paragons of intelligent restraint on matters theological?)

  3. emmajeans permalink
    24/03/2008 9:55 pm

    /(Although: “male insecurity”? Were the sisters, wives, and daughters of the Tribe of Israel all paragons of intelligent restraint on matters theological?)/

    They were whatever their patriarchs told them to be… 😛

    LOVE the guffaw-fodder.

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