Blog 2216 – 11.12.2021
Pardon Me, Myth
Myths are stories invented to explain mysteries. In the first pages of the Bible we find a great story about the beginning. The whole first book is called Genesis which means Beginning. The prophet Moses supposedly wrote the first five books of the Old Testament, but the Creation story he begins with can much of it be found in passed down oral traditions of several cultures that predate the first books of the Bible. Moses had probably heard several versions of this story and simply added his own twist to it.
I grew up in and for many years was a part of a narrow Fundamentalist Christian religious sect that taught that the Bible is literally true in whole and in part. Most of those professing that doctrine I am quite sure have never read all sixty-six books of the Bible through. I have more than ten times and in at least five different translations. I also spent three long years carrying a full load at a Bible college sponsored by that same group of people. I do not consider myself an expert on the Bible, but I do think myself a Bible Scholar of sorts. At one time I had a personal library consisting of over five hundred books, mostly about the Bible, commentaries, dictionaries, interpretations, and many translations, and transliterations. I once believed that I was “called” to preach, teach, and share my knowledge of the Bible. That calling is one of many beliefs that I once held that I have discarded because it ceased to serve me.
The conservative crowd I once ran with taught and still teaches that turning one’s back on beliefs is apostasy, falling away, backsliding. But I call changing one’s mind education, growing, progress.
Here is what we know for sure about the beginning. If there was an eye witness in the beginning, be it Big Bang, seven days of creation, literal or seven epochs, or a host of other creation myths, that person or persons has stayed pretty mum on the subject. That there had to be a beginning is self evident and from all the graveyards and recorded history we know that the days of any particular person’s life are numbered. Scientists have studied the fossil evidence, the stars, human psychology and many other subjects in depth and determined many of the myths are just entertaining stories with few facts or real evidence to support them.
Religion is a minefield and we are taught that we should be tolerant of all sincere religious beliefs. If that means being tolerant of ignorance, I’m sorry, but that is just one bridge too far far me. I just have to say, “Pardon me, Myth” I cannot swallow your unsubstantiated and bogus claims.”
There are some pretty big lies flying about these days and just believing something does not make it true, to anyone else at any rate.
I have almost completed a second watching of the Netflix limited series Midnight Mass. It is an excellent study in the power of self-deception and persuasion. Critical thinking based not just on beliefs, but evidence is always needed along with a sincere commitment, I think, to the greater good, not just, a focus on personal profit. This teaching can also be found in the Bible along with justification for murder, mayhem, and every other atrocity under the sun. “Surely you jest, don’t call me Shirley.”
Your friend and fellow traveler,
No Matter What