A Conversation for The Legend of the First Man - Adam

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Post 21


You appear to be missing the point (or I appear to be missing your point) by saying that there are hundreds of Flood legends before the Jews turned up. The bible starts at nearly 4000 BC (+ 6 "days") and the Jews don't appear on the scene as such until the Torah is given at Mt Sinai (approx 1500 BC). By you telling me that nearly everybody beleives that a huge flood happens simply strengthens the proabability of it being a historical flood.

Are you evaluating the Old Testament worth as a work of original fiction? Presumably not, but I fail to see your point from this.

As several people here (hang on, there are only several people here) don't seem to have worked it out yet, I am in fact an Orthodox Jew. Hence, you will have noticed that I haven't defended the NT at all. This is mostly because it is so palpably man-made and in my opinion it is the Christian religion that has done more for rational atheism than anything else on the planet.

But let's not go there.

smiley - fish

Purely my own opinion

Post 22


1. (a) It's like this. Being religious and stuff doesn't leave you with many fun things to do. Therefore, I derive as much enjoyment as possible by flying off the handle at anyone who disagrees with me. OK, so technically speaking that's not allowed as well, but you've got to have a hobby haven't you

(b) The idea of "being plagued by the devil" is definitely a Christian one and I will not bother answering such a ludicrous idea. See point 4.

2. God existing or not and what He wants from us would certainly be an eternal truth.

3. What would you like to know about? Factual verification or thelogical philosophy?

4. h2g2 is a secular organisation operating in a majority nominally Christian cultural environment. Hence fat winged babies in December and pumpkin smilies in November. All rather childish really but the punters seem to like it.

I would re-read my comments and check for any defence for Christianity. I am actually an orthodox Jew and happen to be of the opinion that Christianity is a load of dingos' kidneys and so I said nothing about it whatsoever.

The Dead Sea Scrolls could only prove that one rather strange fraction may have had a different version of things. However, my understanding was that the DSS did far more to verify the OT than anything else. But I have not studied these things at all so cannot comment meaningfully.

Your old pal,
smiley - fish

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Post 23



Point taken on 'flying off the handle' - I expect I do it too, but I never notice because I'm too busy being in the right. (A purely subjective view I know, and I've been unable to find any documentary evidence to support my claim, but don't expect that to stop me!)

I suppose the God question is akin to Schroedinger's Cat - either it is or it isn't, but you won't know until you open the box - and no-one really understands it anyway so why bother about it?

Please do all keep on arguing as I'm still learning by lurking. It had never occured to me that the "Jews" didn't appear until later, for instance.

Didn't the archaeologists find evidence of something like half a dozen successive floods?

Nearly forgot....

Post 24



Reread your entries, Shim, and saw no defense of Christianity. I take the point about the devil, too. Apologies duly tendered.

The "one rather strange fraction" that produced the Dead Sea Scrolls appeared to have been widely accepted enough to keep a list of the hiding places of all the treasures taken from the Temple at Jerusalem for safe keeping during the war with Rome.

I believe, and I'm sure someone will have a better qualified opinion which I welcome, that their "Old Testament" writings were substantively the same as mainstream Judaism. The difference of opinion came about over the preceeding century or two and was basically a question of their stricter interpretation of the Torah - the captivity in Babylon had ended the lines of hereditary priests and kings who had maintained the old ways, hence the obsession with Jesus being of "the line of David".

ie the authors of the scrolls, and possibly Jesus himself, saw themselves as the only 'true' Jews until they were wiped out by the legions.

Incidentally, Josephus - a principal leader of the Jewish army - described the defences of much of the nation but made no mention of anywhere called Nazareth. This lends credence to the earlier posting about Nazareth being founded long after Jesus' birth.

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Post 25


To pick you up on the most important point...."why bother"?

Um. Because it may well be the reason why you are alive and why the universe exists in the first place. If God does indeed exists, there's every possibility that there is a reason and that you're supposed to be doing something about it rather than just having a good time until you're dead.

To establish you're responsibilities in life is sure the single most important thing a person can do.

And the "God won't mind" argument is completely missing the point. Any infinite being doesn't need us to do anything for him. We are here to do make things better for us.

Or something.

smiley - fish

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Post 26


Or whatever,

I think this particular discussion has cropped up once or twice before and it would probably be best if we agreed to disagree.

For the record though, I don't think that all the religious people out there can be proven to be wrong any more than they can prove they're right. Atheism seems to be as much an act of faith as belief in the existence of God.

I just hope the Great Green Arklesiezure theory doesn't turn out to be the right one.

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Post 27

Doctor Smith

With all of the clubs around here, I'm kind of surprised that a cult of the Great White Handkerchief hasn't popped up somewhere.

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Post 28


The Cult of the Great White Handkerchief is already here, but they're very secretive and not given to proselytising. (Did I spell that right?)

I've been watching for some time, and I think I've spotted one or two guide researchers who are secretly engaged in 'smeg worship', but I have yet to locate their homepage. Be vigilant! These people are a danger to civilized society and right-thinking people everywhere. If they are not stopped soon then they will start to impose their bizarre practises on the rest of us.

If you suspect that someone you know at the guide may be an arkleseizist then contact 'The League of Decency' right away.

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Post 29

Katsy a.k.a. Esti

Right, I'm not exactly on track here so don't have a go at me for being behind but.......

from what I've seen: None of the words of Hebrew have been taken from anyone. Hebrew was the first language on Earth. The only words that have been taken are modern day ones, such as telephone.

Don't kill me Shim. smiley - fish

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Post 30


Then what language did the Sumerians speak?

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Post 31

Katsy a.k.a. Esti

Sumerians, who are they?

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Post 32


Paradoxically, the question "who were they?" is best answered with the statement "we don't know." The Sumerians seem to have appeared from nowhere, but by around 5500BC they were already living in civilised municipal societies and 500 years after that had magnificent city states ruled by great kings. It's clear from their writings - of which thousands of clay tablets have survived - that the land they occupied (the Mesopotamian region) was named Sumer after them. By 3400BC an advanced form of cuneiform writing was in place, which appears to have its roots in an as yet unknown language.

However, I bring up the matter of Sumerians as it has been proposed that their civilisation dates back to around 30000BC. Certainly their own literature tells of matters of royalty and power struggles dating back to that time, resulting in the Nephilim setting up the forerunners of the later city states.

However, if it's verifiable facts that you're after, then Semitic languages do appear to be the trophy winner. Semitic languages in various forms such as akkadian and Phoenician are very ancient, probably dating to somewhere in the 8000BC-6000BC range, but possibly going back to 13000-11000BC.

However, this argument appears to be straying from my original point. Words do not necessarily need to be ancient to be appropriated from one language to another, and indeed surely the older cultures need to be adaptable if they are to survive. My original point was that the word Elohim, a plural term for Gods as stated above, was taken from the Canaanite culture and was used in the Old Testament. It starts being used interchangeably with Jehovah, which was not the original meaning of the word.

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