Why I Can’t Agree With the Bible: Numbers: Part 2


I have managed to finish Numbers. Here is what I have determined. The Israelites followed a cloud. Why would God want the Israelites want to stay in one place for a year? Why did God suddenly decide that trumpets would be a good idea halfway through the journey? That sounds more like humans trying to better organize themselves. Why does it matter who was in charge of each group? None of those people seem to matter. God gets angry very easily. Why does he get so angry with people who have every reason to complain? They have been chased from their homes and have spent 40 years travelling through a desert with little food. “Now the lord has given you meat to eat, and you will eat it. Not just today, but tomorrow and every day for a month. You will eat it until it comes out of your nostrils.” Well that’s a bit of an overreaction. “I’ve eaten nothing but bread for 40 years. I’d really like something else to eat for a change.” “You want something else? Fine! I’ll shove something else down your throat until it makes you sick! Ungrateful bastards! I feed you! You should be happy I do so much for you!” There’s no way this father wouldn’t lose his children in today’s society. Moses comes across as more whinny than all the other Israelites combined. God claims that his arms aren’t too short to feed the Israelites nothing but meat for a month. God sends a plague because the people wanted meat. Why does Miriam get a skin condition for sinning, but Aaron doesn’t? They both sinned equally. And why would a father spitting on a daughter lead to the daughter being viewed as unclean? How can anybody be the son of no one? Why not just identify them by their mother if their father is unknown? The nephilim live in the Canaanite land. The people are so big that the Israelites looked like grasshoppers to them. God threatens to kill the Israelites and promises to give Moses’ descendants a land of their own. Apparently other nations had seen and heard about God’s travelling with the Israelites and them seeing him face to face and his following them as a cloud of fire, but none chose to write these events down. Moses has to remind God that he’s supposed to be slow to anger. God tells the Israelites that they will stay in the desert for 40 years, and everyone over 20 will die, because the people were afraid. The Israelites and the foreigners will be seen as the same to God. The Israelites stoned some random guy to death for collecting wood on the Sabbath. “Anybody who touches the water of cleansing will be unclean until evening.” In that case, I think it’s time to find new water to clean with. The cleansing water sucks. Moses and Aaron are told that they won’t enter the promised land because the Israelites complained…again. They did what they were supposed to, yet somehow they didn’t. If God is so angry at the Israelites, why does he keep helping them defeat their enemies? I can’t say I blame the people who refused to let the Israelites into their territory: they keep capturing territory. Why is it okay for Balaam to do divination? Why is God angry that Balaam went with Balak’s men when God told him to go with them? Balaam repeats Gods message with one line stating “Do I promise and then not fulfill?” I dunno. Do Abraham’s descendants have their own country yet? Phineas killed a man and woman with a spear and is considered righteous. Moses: “now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man. Keep all the women who have never slept with a man for yourselves.” This guy is supposed to be moral? What did the women and boys do? They weren’t in the army. And even if the women did entice the men, this is a time when women had few legal rights. How can they be punished for their actions when a woman can’t even make a vow without male approval? And why is having sex with them fine now that they’re slaves? Based on the number of women “given to the lord” we can assume that Eleazar raped 32 women at least. Why are the Egyptians still burying their firstborn after 40 years? God again threatens the Israelites. “6 of the towns you have given the Levites will be refuges in which a person who has killed someone can flee.” But killing is a sin. Accidentally? Why are you adding that now, God? Why not add it initially? First it was killing that was a sin, now it’s murder. Why the change? So revenge killing is okay? What’s moral about that? A person can only be killed as a murderer if they have more than one witness, but someone who kills accidentally can be revenge killed with no trial. How moral. Overall, it’s really hard to believe something that gives such unbelievable numbers. First we’re supposed to believe that people lived for a ridiculous amount of time. then we’re supposed to believe that a city’s worth of people left Egypt together, then we’re supposed to believe that those people traveled for a ridiculous amount of time, then we’re supposed to believe that they won battles while ridiculously out numbered, and the we’re supposed to believe that they captured ridiculous amounts of booty. Where’s the evidence? Why should I believe such extraordinary claims?

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28 responses to “Why I Can’t Agree With the Bible: Numbers: Part 2

  • hessianwithteeth

    Tyler Here, so I’m not the historian, but the link you posted does not indicate much other then. “Hey look! Rock formations that could fit the descriptions in the bible!” The problem with this is that the evidence isn’t nearly strong enough to convince me, there is no peer review on that article, so I can not assume that it is very accurate at all. And given that I can think of numerous geological reasons for some of these rock formations (also not a geologist) Then I suspect if you put this in front of real experts they’d pull it apart and maybe find one or two thing of interest before dismissing the claim as baseless.

    As to the idea that 600,000 (They really claim that?!?) One there is 0 evidence that Egyptians have ever kept slaves to any were near that scale, and further there is evidence that the massive monuments of the Egyptians were constructed by highly skilled and well paid laborers, not slaves. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg (Evid3nc3 give excellent references in the info bar)

    Further if there was a massive exodus of that scale, God would need to intervene. Otherwise they would all have died. There would have been many indications of this exodus. 600,000 feet leave quite a mark, and hundreds of thousands of objects would have been left behind along the way of this so called 40 year trip. The trail would be pretty damn obvious to archeologists of today, but we don’t see and indications of any massive exodus.

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    • ubi dubium

      And that 600,000 figure is just adult men, so it doesn’t include any women or children, So add at least another 600,000 for the women, and with no birth control we would expect a lot of children as well. So we are looking at more like 1.5-2 million people, plus all their livestock, according to their book. That should be even more damn obvious.

      For comparison, my town was the site of a winter encampment in the American Civil war. Something like 25,000 men spent a few winters here. And even with all of our rain and weathering (which would not happen in the Sinai) we have TONS of evidence left behind. We have visible earthworks still. We have no trees older than that date because they were all cut down for firewood and to build barracks. Recently, before a school was built in the area, some kids got permission to take a metal detector to the building site and turned up a ton of artifacts. A dig at a randomly selected single square foot in the historic area turned up a civil war coat button. That’s much fewer people for a much shorter time, and the evidence is overwhelming that they were here.

      1.5 million people in a desert for 40 years should have left a HUGE amount of evidence – charcoal and cooking debris, broken pottery, and especially privies. A million people make a lot of poo over 40 years, and with no rain in the desert, where would it all go? But instead of that we are presented with the “evidence” of a split rock, and some undated wheels on an ocean floor? The biblical literalists will have to come up with something better than confirmation bias and wishful thinking to convince me.

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  • silenceofmind

    Leviticus outlines the greatest set of ethics ever given to mankind.

    Since science proves that God exists, atheists are simply people who are lost in time and space.

    Nevertheless, even an atheist can benefit from the marvel of Leviticus simply by ignoring the reverences to God.

    What is left is natural law which is a normative, objective standard of morals and ethics.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      Science doesn’t prove god. Science can’t say anything about the supernatural because it is the study of natural events, or nature. You’re just throwing words together and hoping they make sense.

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      • silenceofmind

        hessian,

        We know from cellular and molecular biology that life requires infinite order to exist. Infinite order is God.

        Therefore, science has proven the existence of God, finally!

        Atheism is dead.

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      • franklecter

        Silenceofmind,

        Order occurs when entropy (disorder) is lowered. If there is order in a particular place or in a particular system it’s because the entropy at that place, or in that system, has been lowered.

        However, entropy (disorder) of the universe is headed toward maximal entropy (disorder).

        So, If God is absolute order, then God occupies just a very small ratio of the universe; and furthermore, God is diminishing and will disappear one day.

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        • silenceofmind

          Frank,

          God is the First Cause. He is no more a part of the universe than an artist his painting.

          In the painting we see the heart, soul and mind of the artist but the artist is not his painting.

          Neither is God what he creates.

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      • franklecter

        Silenceofmind,

        ———
        I replied to your comment below, but I do not wish to overcrowd this post’s comment thread with our side discussion since it is not related to the original topic.
        ———-

        I will not disagree with your painting analogy.

        So, God is not the painting, God is not the universe (according to your analogy).

        Therefore, the fact that there is disorder in the universe does not prove anything about God. (Because God is not the painting).

        Therefore the fact that there is order at some biological levels does not prove that God does exist, or anything else about God. (Because God is not the painting).

        I’m afraid you’ve just invalidated your initial argument.

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        • silenceofmind

          Frank,

          Your last comment was you arguing with yourself. And you assigned the loser you, to me.

          The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics isn’t meant to prove the existence God.

          It is used to disprove, scientifically, the atheist claim that the universe is eternal.

          Atheism becomes nonsense if the universe had a beginning.

          That is because anything that had a beginning, had a cause.

          By definition, the First Cause of all things is God, who himself, is uncaused because unlike the universe, God is eternal.

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          • hessianwithteeth

            Hello again silenceofmind,

            So I have a several issues with what your saying here. I’m not a physicist, but neither are you, I’m not 100% clear on the facts but I will go into the competing scientific theories I’m aware enough of to speak about, and those hypotheses which are compelling. I will draw distinctions about which I’m talking about.

            First claim you making has nothing to do with science.

            The claim that we exist in an eternal universe is not a claim of atheists.

            Most importantly atheism in and of itself is a single claim, that you do not believe in gods. You can be gnostic or agnostic about it, just as you can be a gnostic or agnostic theist. Most atheists are agnostic atheists. but being an Atheist or a theist is definitional exclusively a statement of disbelief or belief in gods/God respectively.

            Atheist are not homogenous. If fact right now with North American internet atheist community there is a major divide growing between those who would talk about women’s issues (I take side with those part) and those who would either reject women’s issue out right or simply will have not discussions about them.

            I’d go so far to say that the only reason atheist be to be vocal at all is because religious groups use us as scape goats and persecute us because of that. Other wise most of us wouldn’t care, about religion except when it attacks our rights, like you know the expression of religion or the lack there of.

            On to the physics,

            The second law does not disprove the universe is eternal, The second law would work just fine under a “big crush” hypotheses, and that sort of flat universe would be eternal. We probably don’t live is such a universe, but some physicist hypothesize that big bangs could simply happen some times, in if that where the case the universe could be eternal. and so long as that big bang was like the one that started our universe it could have a net energy of 0 as well (again we don’t know any of this 100% though the net energy of the universe being 0 seems to be popular among physicists). meaning no energy was actually created, but then again Hawking’s radiation exists and as far as physicists can tell that comes out of no where. (I could be wrong on that one).

            Everything in the universe had a cause but when the universe came into existence, time and space started with it. before that time did not exist, and with out time how can you claim causality? Such a claim is meaningless, unless you claim there was some other force the allows for causality with out time, but you could be privy to such knowledge.

            As well the many Abrahamic formulations Kalam argument assume God has to be the first cause, but that is simply not necessary or justifiable. All the Kalam can say is that the universe has a cause. Even William Lane Craig arguments are forced to assume God right into the basic assumptions if he wants to link the argument to God as the initial causation.

            But even if you could justify a powerful being cause the universe you could not then justify that it’s the Christan god or any other for that matter.

            Just because some one defines something doesn’t make it fact.

            Silence of mind you ought to watch some video’s on counter apologetics you’d probably learn lot of the weaknesses of some of the arguments you are using.

            Withteeth

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          • silenceofmind

            Hessian,

            I have a college degree in electrical engineering so I am well versed in not only physics, but also mathematics and science in general.

            But one need only have a basic understanding of common sense and abasic knowledge of physics and science to understand the grand concepts that we are discussing.

            For example, if God existed before creation than he is the cause of the universe.

            That is why God is called Creator.

            So there is no problem with causality. In fact, there are no weaknesses at all in my arguments since they are all thousands of years old and come from the likes of Aristotle.

            All the atheist has is his own personal opinion. And that in itself is a logical fallacy because the atheist establishes themselves as the authority for their own arguments.

            In the realm of reason that is a Bozo No-No.

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          • hessianwithteeth

            You keep assuming my lack of understanding of science which is very rude given my science background, and since you keep making assertions on assertions. A creator deity called the creator does not mean it actually created all things, for example. It doesn’t even have to mean it definitionally as well. It can but you haven’t defined which god your talking about.

            But I will waste no more explanations on you since you won’t defend your ideas, and instead all you seem to do, other then make assertions is to try to belittle or insult me and other to silence.

            Your name is perfect given how little seem to be actively going on in there.

            Please take your insults else where.

            Like

          • silenceofmind

            Hessian,

            Your understanding of my comment is exactly opposite to its real meaning.

            I said that anyone with common sense and a basic education can understand the subject at hand.

            The only way you could interpret that as an insult is if you are admitting that you don’t have common sense or a basic education.

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      • frank

        Hessianwithteeth,

        I don’t think you need to defend your standards either as it relates to science or to philosophy. From what I see you do your best to base your arguments on solid evidence and logical constructs, and you are open to changing your mind if someone can provide better evidence or pinpoint how your logical reasoning could be improved.

        In your article you provided clear examples of passages that don’t make logical sense to you, that seem to contradict each other, and that even seem to contradict archeological findings. Yet no one in the comments tried to provide you with an added perspective, or insight, or knowledge that would help make more sense of it.

        But it’s important to keep in mind that if religions could be explained rationally, there wouldn’t be so much confusion even between “believers.” There would simply be one religion.

        If Jews, Muslims, and Christians who are all believers in the same “god” can’t agree among themselves as to the right teachings, nor as to who is or isn’t the “right” prophet,…

        … they are a very long way from being able to provide indisputable arguments that would also convince non-believers.

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        • hessianwithteeth

          Thank you for your comment. We agree whole heartedly. And it’s not even the Jews, Christians, and Muslims that can’t agree with each other. All three are broken up into smaller groups that fight each other over much of their own doctrines. If they can’t agree with each other, how can they expect to convince non-believers of the assumed validity of their arguments?

          Like

    • carmelitaspats666

      Science proves a Trinitarian-incarnational-atoning-resurrecting-ascending-soon-to-be-returning-God who sacrificed Himself to Himself through a grotesque process that involved the weird and wacky livestock insemination of a “virgin” with Himself? We’re not discussing the Deist god, are we? It’s the three-in-one Yahwehjesuspigeon with all the descriptors in tow. Please be VERY specific when you use the term “god” because even if you capitalize it, you are very fuzzy when defining this. Also, be careful when you slam atheists with “all-they-have-is-their-personal-opinion”. I realize that extraordinary claims don’t require extraordinary evidence…just “faith”, but to many of us, “faith” is failed epistemology, it is a four-letter word. We still want the extraordinary evidence. Also, Biblical hermeneutics is PERSONAL opinion which is why we have Christianities and NOT Christianity and it’s the reason why you don’t open wide on Sundays to swallow a mouthful of transubstantiated Christ-flesh, like your Catholic neighbor. Think about it. How the hell do you distinguish the supernatural from the imaginary?

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      • silenceofmind

        Carmel,

        In your previous comment I noted your use of the logical fallacy, comparing apples and oranges.

        In your present comment you use exactly the same logical fallacy.

        Your comment refers to a basic doctrine of faith of Christianity, namely that God is a Trinity.

        The concept of God that I am using is secular and comes from ancient Greeks who lived over 400 years before Jesus was born.

        You are comparing a doctrine of faith with a self-evident truth derived through reason.

        Like

  • daywag

    All of this stuff sounds unbelievable to most people in today’s society. It makes sense as to why it is unbelievable. The biggest reason why these claims are like this is due to large time and cultural gap between societies. For instance, if we were to tell people from the early 1800 s that we could fly, they would not believe these claims because of the time gap. In today’s modern society, culture is nothing like it was back in the Israelite’s time. For instance it was unbelievable for settlers to find tribes who sacrificed their children for their religion. The settlers could not believe it, but it happened. Overall, things sound unbelievable, but are really true. It all depends upon your perspective. On top of this (If you have faith in God) you know that God is God and he can do whatever he thinks is right. I hope you will realize what truth is. I can go through a list of things to help you explain all of these things if you would like, its up to you.

    Sincerely,
    Danny

    Like

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