Monday, September 24, 2012

Fear and Wisdom

According to Psalms 111:10 the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. " The root of wisdom is fear of Yahweh; those who attain it are wise. His praise will continue for ever. But many try to rationalize this text by stating that it does not mean fear as defined by us today, but rather respect. I disagree and feel that nothing could be further from the truth. The biblical deity demands love and fear of his followers. Throughout the scriptures he makes threats to his followers and reminds them often how great and powerful he is. Talk about vanity and someone who is full of himself!

"See now that I, I am he, and beside me there is no other god. It is I who deal death and life; when I have struck, it is I who heal (no one can rescue anyone from me)." Now that clearly sounds like a threat to me. It reminds me of the old saying parents used on their children sometimes that basically stated: " I brought you into this world and I will take you out of it." This is a clear message that fear means fear as in be afraid, love, and respect God (forcefully of course). Unlike us puny humans who believe that love and respect are things that must be earned; God demands it!

Wisdom and fear have nothing to do with one another and in fact when used in this context are actually two contradictory ideas. You can't be wise if you are afraid all the time. You can be prudent for example in knowing not to play with Cobras for instance, and the fear you might demonstrate is respect for what such a dangerous animal can do to you with just one single bite.

The fear of the Lord is not only unwise, it is irrational. Theists fear the unknown as they themselves admit that God is ineffable (indescribable). They know nothing about the god they claim and worship except for what was written by a bunch of anonymous authors around 5,000 years ago! Where is the wisdom in serving something you don't even know to exist? Or in committing your life to a lie and trying to live according to the laws and precepts of this imaginary guy in the sky?

Where is the wisdom of being coerced into subservience? The very language of the bible reminds of the very same terms utilized in the subject of human slavery in America just before the civil war. Christians like to see themselves as children of the Lord pfft! No father demands that his "children" bow down and worship him! Neither does a father love his children conditionally as the biblical demon you call God does. Normal parents love their children unconditionally and although they don't always turn out the way we would like them to, we try our best to give them some guidance and direction in life. But no matter what they do with their lives we still love them. No father threatens to torment his children eternally for not worshiping him and kissing his all powerful ass!

The only thing I see as the suspension of superstitious beliefs and fairy tales as found in most major religions. There is no God, hell, evil personified as demons or fallen angels, etc. All of those things are the products of legend and myth and nothing more. Man invented the gods and although the reasons may not be entirely clear since there are many that I have contemplated, it doesn't change the fact that in the beginning man created the gods and not the other way around. We may not know the why's and the wherefores of our existence, but you can rest assured that it wasn't God or gods that brought us into being. We live in a natural world and I am inclined to believe that we evolved naturally as taught by the theory of evolution.

Note: All biblical citations come from the New Jerusalem Bible 

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