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…
Recently I've been bemoaning the fact that sci-fi horror is one of the most woefully underexploited genres in Hollywood. We can easily count the classics in the genre on one hand — Alien/s, The Thing, The Fly, maybe even 2001 if you think HAL9000 is a scary sonofabitch. There are lots of mediocre to good-but-not-great sci-fi horror flicks — Pitch Black, Pandorum, Mimic, Event Horizon...
The only big-budget film in the genre I can think of is the highly divisive Prometheus (personally, I concur with Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper). I suppose Gravity, which was obviously amazing, could fit in there too — although it seems to fall more under pure 'suspense' than horror. There have been some lower budget sci-fi horror flicks, like the pretty-decent Europa Report and the rather middling Last Days on Mars, but really I have a hard time thinking of outstanding, classic entries in the genre.
In any case, I decided to add Sunshine, directed by Danny Boyl, to the list. I'd hear…
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…