The Pot Calling
The Kettle 'Pagan'
Intolerance is a major tenet in many versions of christianity. The first commandment states that no other god/s beside Yahweh (or the Volcano god as you so affectionately have dubbed him) are viable. These sects have used this commandment as an excuse to commit vast intolerances, proclaiming anything that does not follow their line to be of the devil and inherently evil. They even go as far as to call sex or music a god to people who are passionate about them. What makes this sad bit of reality ironic is that the Judeo-Christian heritage is founded by many of the exact same "false religions" that these sects of Christianity so vehemently denounce.
For example the concept of Satan, the adversary, which has as Anton LeVay says "kept the church in business all these years",did not originate from the ancient jews. It did not exist to them until they were conquered by the Babylonians. The Babylonians had a serpent named Set or Seth who held many traits that the fallen angel does. Also there is the parallel between Jesus and the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, who dies and descends into the underworld for three days.
It has been a long time since I've studied this stuff though, and I am wondering if you might know of some sources on this topic. It is something I find infinitely fascinating and would love to resume studying it. Thank you for your time.
From: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Ariel Cruz"
Subject: Re: The pot calling the kettle "Pagan"
Date: Saturday, July 29, 2000 6:59 AM
It has been a long time since I've studied this stuff though, and I am wondering if you might know of some sources on this topic. It is something I find infinitely fascinating and would love to resume studying it.
If you can go online to such websites as Advanced Book Exchange or Powell's City of Books or even the very spendy Barnes and Noble used book service, you might find a copy of Man and His Gods by Homer Smith (circa early 1950s, with introduction by Albert Einstein). I'll bet your university library has it. This book is on my to-do list of full-length books to eventually convert to HTML. I have two copies: one for keepers and the other to trash on the scanner. If you know anybody who would be willing to do the scanning and initial OCR -- or even just the scanning (which is tough on me because of scoliosis) -- I'd be glad to do the final copy editing and/or OCR work. Michael Jordan's Encyclopedia of Gods is a real hoot, but lacks anything chronological, being simply a listing of over 2,500 deities and consorts, with descriptions.
A great new book on the origins of Christianity (and note the plural origins), is Deconstructing Jesus by Robert M. Price, which takes on the Historical Jesus movements (note the plural here, too). This brilliant post-Punk work argues that the common notion that there was ever a pure form of Christianity "before heresy set in" is just a myth. Rather, the "heresy" lies in the notion that there ever was a pure form of Christianity before Constantine's and Augustine's initial revision of Christian history. Thus, Price advocates what he calls "Jesus agnosticism" because even if a historical Jesus existed, we cannot know who he was or what he was like. And this book is far from dry: the more familiar you are with the various Jesus hypotheses throughout history, the more you will find yourself rolling onto the floor with laughter over the subtle, humorous jabs Price throws toward these suppositions. Many phrases that would come
off to a regular reader as quirky wording are actually subtle "in" comments to a reader familiar with the issues and literature. I can send you just about anywhere with the Jesus bit, but Price's book has recently usurped them all in our eyes. Almost anything published by Prometheus will be an eye-opener, and the bibliographies in those will lead you to the main historical works.
They even go as far as to call sex or music a god to people who are passionate about them.
While this use of the word god is in the dictionaries, the Christian application of it here is still wrong. When they lay this one on me, telling me that atheism or Darwin is my god (or worse, that I am my own god), I have gone so far as to suggest that the Bible or Fundamentalist Christianity or the Religious Right is their god. In doing this, I show that this use of the word god is inappropriate for such discussions. They are engaging in the fallacy of equivocation, which involves using two different meanings for the same word in the same context. In this case, they apply one definition of god for themselves and another for their opponents.
Yahweh (or the Volcano god as you so affectionately have dubbed him)
Yahweh the Volcano God: I stole that one from philosopher and agnostic occultist Robert Anton Wilson. It's so -- perfect! I also got the "oriental despot, only bigger, and invisible" bit from him (not to mention a good chunk of my personal outlook -- which is basically his stated outlook taken with a grain of salt).
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