God a figment of primitive imagination?

I’ve been reading with increasing interest, Jason Joseph, your articles in the STAR and marveling at the online reactions (perhaps I can persuade Nicole McDonald to publish them in the paper!), none of which actually challenges your conclusions. And now it’s my turn, albeit in the role of devil’s (what else?) advocate. Why in your acknowledged search for the meaning of life, so to say, did you decide to turn to God? What would you say moved you? What did you expect to uncover?
Oh, I know you’ve already touched on that at the start of your series, but not to the extent that would render my asking redundant. What exactly did your turning to God entail? Living in strict accordance with the Ten Commandments, for instance? How difficult was that? How hard was it always to honor your father and mother? Or was it the Commandment relating to fornication that did you in? Could it have been Commandment seven? What did you have to give up?
What exactly brought about your rebellion? I mean, really!
By all I’ve gathered over the years from teachers of religion, God demands no more of mankind than an unwavering adherence to his Commandments, delivered by the celestial commander-in-chief himself to Moses following a one-of-a-kind one-way conversation with a burning bush.
Speaking of whom, I mean Moses: was there ever a story more fantabulous than the biblical account of his early life, from his secret birth and his solo flight down the Nile in a wicker basket to his rescue by no less a personage than a king’s daughter who thought him the most beautiful child she had ever seen?
What about his take on how the heavens and the earth were created? Where did he pick that up? What made Moses so special, anyway? Was he not responsible, directly or otherwise, for some seriously wicked acts of violence, at any rate, according to the Old Testament? Indisputably, the story of Moses is as silly as it is riveting.
But then, considering all he reportedly accomplished for the Jews in his lifetime is it so surprising that his life story, as recorded by Josephus and others, reads like a Stallone-Schwarzenegger movie script? So what if it takes superhuman faith to swallow that tale about the Red Sea parting to allow Moses and his followers safe passage and then returning to its normal configuration when his pursuing enemies were in no position to save themselves?
What if following one of his epic battles Moses had ordered his soldiers to murder all their male prisoners of war, as well as their female captives who had slept with men? Yes, and what if he had also directed his soldiers not to harm but to keep for themselves all the virgin POWs? What if all of that was inspired by God?
Might everything written about Moses be pulp fiction? I’ve read Genesis more times than the majority of my readers might imagine, given my public image. And not once have I come away unimpressed with the simplicity of Moses’ account of how the heavens and the earth were created in all of six days, following which the creator took his only recorded break, all of 24 hours in duration.
Even our all-knowing modern-day intellectuals are reluctant to dismiss Moses’ account as farcical. Instead, they tend to remind doubters that Moses’ audience comprised especially simple illiterates—pointless talking above their heads. Come to think about it, does Genesis demand any more faith than do the modern-day scientific assumptions about The Higgs boson, also known as the God particle?
I ask you, Jason, do you have even the smallest clue what the geniuses of quantum mechanics are talking about? I certainly don’t. And I’m not alone: a recent US survey established that most of the people questioned on the matter had not the slightest idea, yet the majority took the experts at their arcane word, to the extent of repeating what to them remains mumbo jumbo.
And now a few words about the Son of God, sometimes confusingly referred to as the Son of Man. How much about his story do you accept as truth, Jason? I imagine you don’t deny Jesus once walked the streets of Jerusalem—if not the waters.             Presumably you also acknowledge the one-time existence of the murderous Herod clan, Pilate, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, John the Baptizer, Simon Peter, Judas Iscariot and so on. Reams upon reams of universally accepted ancient writings, to say nothing of hard evidence at various museums, prove the lead figures in the Bible, including Jesus’ blood brothers, were real.
It is also undeniable, wouldn’t you say, Jason, that Jesus was finally crucified after a kangaroo court declared him guilty of seditiously declaring himself King of the Jews, following a commotion he started at the Jerusalem temple. The details are also a matter of record. Alas we are required to forget about verifiable aspects of the life and death of Jesus and instead accept without question that he resurrected himself and others, turned regular water into wine for the purposes of a wedding, and fed starving multitudes on a couple of fish small enough to fit on a regular platter.
We’re also required to believe—as do billions the world over (including worshipped geniuses)—that the fourteen- or fifteen-year-old who was the unmarried mother of Jesus and his siblings (my apologies to fellow Catholics) remained a virgin right up to the moment unseen hands lifted her alive and uncomplaining to the heavens. But even if we dismiss the seemingly outrageous accounts as overzealous exaggerations, Jason, does that mean the Son of God was born in the manipulated minds of primitive peasants?
How interesting that there is nothing on record to suggest Jesus ever committed a single wrong in all his thirty years on this earth. I mean, here was a guy by all accounts capable of extraordinary feats—miracles, if you like!—yet was never tempted, not even once, to abuse his power. Is that not miraculous enough to suggest he was not of this world? Just saying!
I now come to your piece published in last Saturday’s STAR. What are you saying, Jason? That because we know the true causes of earthquakes and hurricanes we should dismiss the notion of God as creator of heaven and earth? Really? Do you truly understand the something-coming-out-of-nothing proposition, Jason, including the birth of earth with everything in place to cause earthquakes, volcanoes, space explosions and other natural havoc?
Is it reasonable to conclude, just because you and I share a common attitude to miracles, that all related claims must be bogus? If it could be proved that Jesus never pulled off a single miracle in his thirty years, would that mean he was not the epitome of everything good and wonderful, therefore undeserving of adulation and emulation? Just asking.
What if there’s a point to the whole God story, Jason? Let’s not forget that long before Mary’s immaculate conception and deliveries, long before Moses, God had existed—if only in various forms. Many of the lines famously attributed to Jesus can be found in writings long before his miraculous birth.
What if it should turn out one of these unimaginable days that some previously unknown genius had authored a fairytale designed to keep mankind on the straight and narrow—and therefore worthy of residence in the Kingdom of God—by which I refer not to a place in the sky but to a world where until they died inhabitants did unto others as they would have others do unto them? Sounds heavenly, doesn’t it?
Let me say, finally, that the preceding is intended as a start—if tongue in cheek—of what I hope will prove a serious exchange down the road.
By the way, Jason, I wonder how many of us (who accept as the whole truth whatever our party leader tells us!) would today believe a report that somebody’s ass, in the presence of witnesses normally considered reliable, delivered at midnight from the steps of the Soufriere church a flawless operetta, at the end of which the animal predicted the coming of the Lord and an end to the current world recession?
How many of us would, like Thomas, refuse to believe the tale unless afforded the opportunity to stroke with our own hands the ass as it sang, say, Ave Maria?

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