Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Unintelligent Editing-The best proof that Yahweh didn't write the Torah

Unintelligent Editing- Or “Why Didn’t God Mention Moose or Mexico...?”

Have you ever noticed that Yahweh (or sometimes Elohim, depending on the tribe of the author of a particular posuk) spends loads of precious parchment hammering out the details of mitzvahs that were never performed, or that would hardly ever be performed for the vast majority of Jewish history? Strange.

Stranger yet, he completely neglects to mention somewhat important religious topics such as life after death, “heaven”, the “soul”, and my personal favorite- the Oral Law. I mean, if you were going to be fair and give a little due process to all the Jews out there, wouldn’t you think it fair to explicitly spell out the 39 melachos rather than just leave them carefully hidden, waiting for an astute rabbi to come along and “reveal” that the close proximity of the mishkan (tabernacle) parsha was close to the shabbos one? Especially so if the same god sanctions death penalty for infractions involving these sacrosanct melachos). And for God’s sake, don’t wipe up that spill or water a flower on Shabbos!!

Likewise, if God intended to kill women in childbirth for not tithing from challah, kindling shabbos lights, or keeping all sorts of nitpicky laws about niddah (despite the fact that the torah only exhorts men to stay away from women “in their time” i.e., menstuation.) Why not warn them in advance? See, Mishna, Shabbos, Chapter Two, Mishnah Six. Ever notice how god is supposed to be killing mothers-to-be for violating d’rabbunan’s (rabbinical decrees)? How strange. Then again, not so strange perhaps for a god who would kill just about every living thing in the world in the Flood myth, er... parsha because they were “robbers” and the like.

Also, have you ever wondered (in my best Al Franken imitation) why the torah only mentions animals that were native to Mesopotamia? And ditto for geographical locations? I mean, Yahweh/Elohim surely knew all about moose, caribou, giraffes as well as Australia, Antarctica, and North/South America, no? Since he planned Avroham’s children to become “as numerous as the fish in the sea,” it would follow they’d head to new digs elsewhere in the world and would crave understanding. For that matter, Yaweh could have just saved Columbus the uncertainty and just told people to set sail for this vast continent, one with a LOT more milk and honey than mesopotamia. It’s almost as if God were short-sighted, even provincial when he wrote the torah, eh?

Another take: Isn’t it interesting that whenever god actually spells some politically incorrect mitzva or deed out, the rabbis explain it away as virtually irrelevant!? For example, the ben sorer umoreh (the wicked son who is killed by the beis din for gluttony and alcoholism). The rabbis say it never happened! What a waste of good scroll, when people are clearly thirsting for lots of rules, statutes, ordinances, regulations, dictates, and admonitions about “loshon hora,” the 39 melachos, chometz on pesach [passover], and so on. Same for the woman of beautiful form. We get similar apologetics.

Of course, this entire essay is rhetorical. Of course “god” had nothing to do with writing this collection of inconsistent myths! It was written by ancient folks. Only primitive men could have created a god who, as Richard Dawkins so aptly put it, is “the most vindictive figure in all of fiction.”

Yet, even well-educated folks, far smarter than I, still believe these myths to this very day. Some of them even believe in “Intelligent Design.” Then again, Pythagoras was smarter than them all and believed in dozens of gods...

However, among the many rational bases for disbelieving the divinity of the torah/oral law, I think the Torah’s “Unintelligent Editing” is the greatest proof of the manmade, primitive origins of the bible and this (and subsequent) religions based on this book.

People, it’s time to call a spade a spade, and the torah is a book of myths no different that The Odyssey.