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2012-04-24

In Exodus 31:12-17, God again tells Moses to observe the Sabbath by not working for the day. He goes on to say that if a person works on the Sabbath, banish them, and if they desecrate the Sabbath, execute them (how do you desecrate the Sabbath?). God’s reasoning for this is because the Sabbath is holy. The typical response to why the Sabbath is holy is because God rested on the seventh day back in Genesis 1. This does not make sense. During the first six days, the bible says that God created the planet, the stars, animals, plants, and people, but we aren’t expected to emulate these holy works, so why are we expected to emulate his laziness? And since when was “holy” synonymous with “don’t work”? It seems to me that “holy” is just shorthand for, “shut up and do what you’re told!”

Using suffering as a metric, we can measure how bad a crime is. Murder causes a great deal of suffering to a lot of people, whereas petty theft causes less suffering to fewer people. Therefore, murder is worse than petty theft. Now, many people believe that the Ten Commandments list sins in their order of grievousness, which means that failing to observe the Sabbath is in fact worse than murder. Well, let’s just compare the two, shall we? Murder causes a great deal of suffering to a lot of people and working on the Sabbath doesn’t harm anyone, at all. Therefore, working on the Sabbath is worse than murder. See? What you don’t agree. HOLY!

It seems a bit odd to me that God remains unable to stay on topic and finish a thought. He keeps bringing up the same ideas, over an over again, adding a little bit or rephrasing them each time, even if they don’t fit into the current conversation. This dialogue would have made a lot more sense if it was near the Ten Commandments, but then, to use a popular apologist argument, God doesn’t have to follow your childish notions of linear chronology! Such an argument especially comes in handy when Christians try and weasel their way out of having to observe the Sabbath, even though God commanded his people to “observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.

 

Comments

Baughbe writes:

 

And of course there is that minor matter of the disagreement of when the Sabbath really is, Some say it's Sunday, some say it's Saturday, and lets not forget all the times the calandar's been revised and the actual days of the week jumped IE I recall that one correction caused an 18 day jump, which is not divisable by 7. So as far as we know, the actual Sabbath could be Tuesday, and everybody working today has to be banished.

herbie writes:

 

However, there are some very good physiological reasons for not working 24/7. I haven't time to find a reference just now, but humans do need time to unwind and get creative (most jobs are boring), and a day without work fits the bill. Of course, back then, slaves would not have the liberty of enjoying the Sabbath, so the work would get done anyway.

Sharkie writes:

 

I think on the seventh day, God saw what he had made, went.
"Oh F*** I screwed up again."
And got the hell out of the universe.

Maju writes:

 

@Baughbe: Christians don't say "Sabbath" is on Sunday just that Jesus changed all the rules so the OT doesn't matter anymore... so Sunday-why-not (happy Ress-Day for all MMORPGamers).

Anyone with two fingers of forehead knows that Sunday was adopted because it was already holy day (although maybe not holiday) in the Imperial Cult of Sol Invictus, while Jews use Saturday instead because it was the day of Saturn, which is (some say) the same as Enki and, arguably, Yaveh.

It is not clear at all why Muslims chose Friday: the day of Venus? What a strange choice for a sect that puts women behind de-facto bars just because of their gender.

Well, back to the Christians, that "OT is out" thingy was just until Luther came and decreed that people had to actually read the Bible... then it became very messy because each one read a different passage or had a different passage as favorite (and never mind a different translation) and now it's like the Tower of Babel. Good ol' Inquisition knew better: if a single God has to exist and have a single voice on Earth, a Pope is needed to speak for It.

I think that ancient Jews also had something similar: a High Priest, who dictated who was ok and who was an heretic, interpretating the Bible or the entrails of sheep the only way that was acceptable (else: stoning!)

Even Muslims once had something of the like: a Caliph and one of them ordered to destroy all non-canon Qurans, so now there's only one version which survived.

Baughbe writes:

 

@Maju: "Christians don't say "Sabbath" is on Sunday..." Obviously you do not live anywhere near the southeastern quarter of the United States. There are places where Sabbath is almost every fifth word spoken. And yes, they are definitely talking about Sunday. And how does Greek and Roman God(desse)s figure in the Bible? I do know that the Christians stole heavily from everybody around them. But the point here is that the Bible is supposed to be self supporting of it's claims (even the ones it stole). So how does this book support it's own claim of holiness of a particular day without referring to other religions? And how can we verify what day this is supposed to be considering the changes in calendars in the intervening times? Like I said, it could be Tuesday for all we know. Or Thursdays. I never could get the hang of Thursdays...

Larqua writes:

 

The way I've heard it, christians moved the holy day to sunday because jesus supposedly did so many important things on sunday as opposed to saturday (including the whole, rising from the dead, thing)

Still kinda odd that they decided to abandon their roots and change that though, considering that no matter what way you cut it, one of them is/was wrong...

Maju writes:

 

"Obviously you do not live anywhere near the southeastern quarter"...

Not currently but I lived near Lynchburg VA many years ago. I remember when I said in Sociology class "Jerry Fallwell? That guy is a fascist", what is obvious, and a deadly silence fell on the classroom.

But I never heard the word Sabbath out of Jewish cultural context in any case, not even in Virginia!

"And how does Greek and Roman God(desse)s figure in the Bible?"

Sun-Day, Saturn-Day. Not in the Bible, I'm just explaining things, for what the Bible is pretty much useless.

"But the point here is that the Bible is supposed to be self supporting of it's claims (even the ones it stole)".

No, there is a Pope for that. You obviously do not live anywhere near... Ireland I guess. Catholics are dying out but that's what they are about: the Bible is just a vague reference, what matter is the Pope and, secondarily, the bishops. They could have the Kama Sutra as holy book for all I know, not really important, what matters is what the Pope says ex-cathedra: perpetual prophecy adapted to the needs of the religious oligarchy.

Old prophets are old: new prophets replace them all the time.

And nope: God is not consistent, that would require he existed to begin with.

Belg writes:

 

@TAG

I can't belive im actually noticed a typo but i thing there should be an "S" in phrase "This doe not make sense" in your thesis.

@Herbie

I think it was mentioned that you shouldn't force your slaves to work on Sabbath...

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

Thanks for pointing out the typo. Fixed!

 

Oh the irony!