Mission Debriefing: Prelude

Posted: December 25, 2014 in atheism, religion

I have been horribly slacking in my blogging activities of late. There’s work and getting sick and krav and all so many things to take up my time. Plus a lot of my at-home writing time has been taken up with writing about Wookiees. Because… well, Wookiees are awesome. But, if nothing else, the Christmas season—along with the almost obligatory hordes of internet whiners complaining about the “War on Christmas”—has reminded me that I’ve been shirking my “religious” mission.

As mentioned in my first “mission” post, I am slowly working on re-reading the bible. I am not simply reading it, however. I am taking many notes as I go. Mostly I’m focusing on what god does, and if it is good or bad. Also the devil, but hasn’t shown up yet. I’m keeping a running score.

I’ve been reading very slowly since anything that isn’t an article these days has a hard time keeping my attention. That said, I’m somewhere in Leviticus and have been reading a book of apocrypha in tandem. While I admit the apocryphal books are far more interesting and far less full of genocide than the books of the bible, they are not my focus. Gotta get back to that good old “good book.”

My Process

I bought a pack of tri-colored sticky notes before I set out on this endeavor. The red sticky notes are for evil, the blue for good, and orange is general notes. Top of the book is for god, bottom of the book is for the devil, and the side is for general notes. As you might guess, there’s already a decided trend to where things are going.

I am specifically looking at things god DOES, including what commands he gives to his followers. This does not include things his followers do (either with or without his command) since they do a lot of evil shit, but are human and not the supposed all-powerful creator of the universe. While the argument could easily be made that the evil shit god’s followers do that goes unpunished reflects poorly on god’s character, and god’s lack of condemnation or punishment suggests endorsement, I want to be as narrow as possible despite the casual nature of this undertaking.

When it comes to what is good and what is evil, I generally classify as evil anything that does or could lead to suffering or death, or god being an epic dick with his powers. This generally includes lying, rigging the game, or choosing to do something with his powers that is petty or the lesser of potential choices for the given situation. For example, god knocking Adam out to steal a rib to make Eve—rather than creating her out of dirt as he did with Adam—falls into this latter category of god being a dick with his powers. God is supposedly the highest power in all Being and is supposedly all-good; he should fucking behave like it and be held to a higher standard.

Good is generally anything that would be praiseworthy or beneficial to the overall happiness of life. Notes cover anything that strikes my fancy that doesn’t fall into either of these categories.

Future Debriefing posts, technicals

As I read through the bible and write up these debriefing posts, I will try to follow a general pattern: give the current “score,” highlight the good and the bad, discuss some of the major things that stood out to me, and likely some honorable mentions. If anyone has any recommendations on better structures for addressing the books, let me know.

Relevant detail to note: I am reading a New International Version. I received this one in second grade (age 7-8ish) as far as I can remember. In second and third grade I attended a private christian (Lutheran, Missouri Synod) school where students were given a bible when they were able to read, and we were required to memorize passages from it weekly and say them out loud in front of the class. I can only remember Micah 6:8 word-for-word at this point.

This is the same bible I read through my confirmation classes in ages 10-12ish and the one with which I was convinced that christianity and the god of the bible made no sense whatsoever. The copious highlighting that still peppers the Old Testament of this bible—mostly connecting passages on the same page that contradict each other and of horrifying commands or actions by god—gives some indications of my thought process even at that young age.

As I’ve mentioned before; Read bibble –> become atheist.

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  1. […] Background: My Mission and Explanation of process […]

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