simplistic to argue that belief in God alone makes people evil —
obviously it’s more than that and we all know people who will say
they’re better human beings because of their faith — but it’s willfully
ignorant to avoid any discussion of how religion might contribute to
violence." – Hemant Mehta
Imagine that you were the perfect, omnipotent, all-knowing Lord and Creator of the universe. You decided that you were going to give one -- just one -- book to humanity. It would be their moral compass, an insight into their nature and into yours, and act as a guide for how they could live rightly and walk a path that would lead their souls into an eternity with you.
Obviously, the first thing you'd want to put in there are some totally unscientific, archaic behavioral codes for menstruating women, and for pregnant women after they give birth. You'd want to be sure to help them regulate slavery, and specify how badly they were allowed to beat their slaves. And of course you'd want the book to be chock full of mythology -- a creation myth, a flood myth, a fictional exodus, and hagiographical stories about how your loyal armies killed the shit out of everyone who dared to worship the wrong gods.
There's a point here about the Bible that, in my estimation, really cannot b…
The story of the Jewish exodus out of Egypt is of pretty pivotal importance in the Bible. It's what established Moses as God's chosen leader of his chosen people, and that leadership became integral to the establishment of Old Testament law. Indeed the covenant of the Jews before Christ came was called the Mosaic Covenant.
One problem though: there's not actually any evidence that it ever happened. There's zero evidence that the people of Israel were ever enslaved by the Egyptians at all, much less that they escaped in a brave insurrection. Some modern-day Christians are fond of incorporating a healthy dose of retroactive rationalization to explain the total lack of contemporaneous or extra-Biblical evidence. But it's a myth, a fable – and most historical scholars know this.
This raises some interesting questions. The creation story of Genesis, Adam and Eve, the Flood, Jonah and the Whale, the story of Job – all myths, proved completely implausible by modern scienc…
A lot of men my age (I'm 40) get on some kind of sex-boosting pill. Snake oil supplements promising to improve your manliness quotient by 4000% are a dime a dozen. Testosterone replacement clinics are popping up all over the place (which I actually think is a good thing, but not necessarily for sex). At my work, there are basically two types of commercials on the radio: car dealerships promising easy credit approval, and male-enhancing clinics or supplements.
Here's the thing about "erectile dysfunction": it's a made-up syndrome used to sell pills. There's no medical criteria for ED; essentially, a man just goes to his doctor and says he's not getting hard when he wants or expects to, or he's not staying hard as long as he wants or expects to, or he's not ejaculating as soon as he wants or too soon or not as often or not at all. Essentially, ED means "I'm not performing the way I expect to be." But where are those expectations coming…