Do the Bible and Koran accurately depict THE God of the cosmos?

Take a look at this image – it’s estimated that there are 200-400 billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy alone and that there are billions of other galaxies, at least. Many of these trillions of stars likely possess inhabitable planets.

Does anyone intelligent really believe that a “God of the cosmos” who created such an astounding universe is accurately depicted in the Bible and Koran? In the Old Testament, “the Lord of the universe” is portrayed as holding regular meetings in a tent in the Sinai desert with Moses and his brother. Did the Creator really take time out from these countless galaxies and worlds in order to become a human being and meet repeatedly with the Israelites in their tents of camel hair?

It’s time to end this ludicrous and megalomaniacal perception. I feel like I live on a planet of retardation and hillbillies.

Milky Way center (Image: ScienceBlogs.com/NatGeo)

“A one-planet deity has for me little appeal.”

Harlow Shipley

“The density of matter in the Universe is only 20 drops of water in a billion cubic miles. That’s all the creation the good Lord’s come up with, and it’s no big thing.”

John Dobson, Astronomer

“Recently I heard a religious group discussing this and one of them said if ever space travel became a possibility they would carry the Gospel message to the other planets–some of which may be billions of years in advance of us. What would the beings there think of it? Would they not be surprised to learn that the mother of their Creator was a Jewish girl by the name of Mary, and that their world was created by her Son saying Let it be? No, if ever we go visiting cosmically we had better leave our provincialisms at home.”

Lloyd Graham, Deceptions and Myths of the Bible

“And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space, ‘cuz there’s bugger all down here on earth.”

“Monty Python’s Meaning of Life”

Further Reading

Does the Cosmos Know the Pope Exists?

18 Comments

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  1. Anthropomorphism
    Anthropomorphisation remains a huge problem today and is obviously connected with the (bad) quality of education within religious cultures. If astronomy and certain amount of astrophysics would be part of the educational agenda people would tend less to project a biblical “God images” as depicted in the Koran or the Bible. The hypocrisy of such rather lazy thinking becomes more and more distinct. People seem to be able to use mobile phones and all the advantages of a quantum physical era, while believing in an athropomorphic “God”-entity that would execute a singularity right upon them if “he” just wanted to.

  2. The “R” word
    Allow me st begin by saying, I fully respect your scholarship and courage in approaching the “Unapproachable.” I have read all you have written and passed it along as I am in full agreement with you.
    BUT, above you use the phrase “I feel like I live on a planet of retardation and hillbillies.” Given my son’s condition and the fact I care for him 24/7, I must challenge the implications brought about by the word retardation. To me it’s pejorative. If you want to say you live on a planet rampant with ignorance and stupidity, I’m ok and agree….the “R” word is something we parents f the disabled rail against. Thanks!

    1. Thank you for your kind regards and kudos, Phil. I’m sorry that you took the word “retardation” personally, but I was obviously not talking about you or anyone you know and love.

      I am also fully aware of the fact that, beginning decades ago with political correctness, the term “retard” as a noun became a “dirty word,” with good reason, since intolerant bullies were using it to abuse others. However, it remains a useful [i]verb [/i]that should not be shunned from public life because of PC.

      Back in the ’50s and ’60s, my blessed mother (RIP) was instrumental in the foundation of a couple of organizations for the “Retarded and Handicapped,” a phrase in the very name of one of these organizations, which exists for the very purpose of helping families like yours. I was raised among “retarded and handicapped” people, including my then-best friend’s brother, and neither of those terms was a “dirty word.” Note that I did not say, “I feel like I live among retards and hillbillies” – in school I spent significant time defending the “retarded and handicapped” from bullies, so I understand the issue with the [i]noun[/i] “retard” quite well. However, I wrote “a [b]PLANET [/b]of retardation.” If I had said, “a retrograde planet,” the meaning would not be quite the same.

      Here is the dictionary definition of “retardation,” which comes from the [i]verb [/i] “to retard”:

      [quote]re·tar·da·tion
      1. the act of retarding or state of being retarded.
      2. something that retards; hindrance.
      3. slowness or limitation in intellectual understanding and awareness, emotional development, academic progress, etc.
      4. Music. a form of suspension that is resolved upward. [/quote]
      If I were writing about “musical retardation,” would you be disturbed? But “planetary retardation” bothers you?

      No need to be afraid of this word, and with such a big cosmos, let us not get hung up on such things. The fact remains that Earth [i]is[/i] a planet of retardation when it comes to religion.

  3. Yeah its retardation being raised to believe the God of the universe is a Jew who wants to count foreskins and smear doodoo on peoples faces. And “Salvation is of the Jews.”

    If anything the Bible is a manual of never ending racial warfare of Jews against the Gentile world. Both physically and psychologically.

    http://see_the_truth.webs.com/

  4. Retardation …
    I had a brother who was “mildly” retarded. I worked with retarded children for ten years. I worked on a “profoundly/severely” retarded ward at the state school when I was at UT. I saw things there that normal people only see in horror movies and horror movies don’t really even come close. Even the term “retarded” is not the politically correct term for mentally handicapped children these days. I mean, what is? I don’t know. It changes all the time. The newest, most progressive, most politically correct term will be considered horrid, bigoted and unacceptable in a few years. I had a prof at UT who was just incensed that the term “fit” was still being used regarding people with epilepsy. He said the term “seizure” was more appropriate. Seriously? Epileptics being seized by demon(s) and or devil(s) is somehow more appropriate than having “fits”? And he was a brilliant guy. Don’t take it personally, Phil. I feel for you. I used to be overly sensitive to the word. It’s used so freely on the Internet. But, most people simply don’t, and can’t, understand, so I don’t worry about it any more. I spent the first 37 years of my life trying to figure out how to take care of my brother after my parents were gone. Then he died. It’s all uncertain. An accident, an infection, a chemical imbalance and any of us could join the ranks of the retarded. Completely normal babies are miracles. There are so many thousands of things that can go wrong, it’s utterly astounding that anyone turns out normal and healthy. I just try to be grateful for what I have. I’ve seen the mess first hand that genetics and evolution make of us at times. I think we witness every day the mess that religion makes of us. Religion makes the universe and life small, petty and pedestrian. It makes people intellectually and emotionally retarded. It mashes our minds and hearts into inertness and bitterness. I think that simply looking at the night sky and letting our awe run wild spurred our evolution (just my unsupported opinion). We must realize that we are this universe and, therefore, far beyond religion from the get-go. We don’t need it. It needs us, but it’s time to let it go. We might even develop a different and better perspective on those who were born retarded. And, oh, I almost forgot … Islam is poison.

    1. How about the bullies who pick on the “mentally challenged?” Can we call [i]them [/i]“socially retarded?” I think so! I’ve used that phrase, “socially retarded,” on more than a few occasions – it’s quite useful, and it has nothing to do with disparaging “mentally challenged” individuals. It has to do with people who are negatively affecting the human social structure.

      As always, discernment is the key, not fanaticism.

      1. I completely understand what you mean. The word retardation has and always has had a meaning even aside from mentally handicapped people. The reason these words become unacceptable is because of the “ways” they are used or peoples perception of them. Some now find handicapped offensive as too disabled. You can’t win. Any how the context you used it in was fine and correct! We as a species are in a state of retardation, as in we are slow to learn and adapt and our minds often bare maladaptive understanding. That aside, I feel you have touched well on an outlook I too share and often wondered about. Nice job.

  5. One of the most retarded parts of the Bible is at the beginning, when God takes three whole days to make the Earth and then just one day to make the stars. Considering the fact that there is estimated to be around 50 sextillion stars in the universe, this is clearly a WAY, WAY, WAY more vast task than just making the Earth.
    God then returns to Earth to take a whole day to make millions of species of non-human animal (which should still be extremely easy when compared to making 50 sextillion stars). He then takes another day to make just two human beings whose descendants have lots and lots of incest that produces the rest of the human race.

    I’m less familiar with what the Koran has to say on the matter, but in any case it is a wonder that anyone can manage to somehow continue to believe that the long discredited claims of ancient desert barbarians are more important than any scientific discovery, and how anyone can believe that events in the ancient Middle East could somehow be more important than anything else in all of the incredible vastness of the cosmos.

  6. EDIT: I’ve just looked up the estimated number of stars in the universe, and found that my previous comment was a bit outdated and somewhat too low. Oops.
    Apparently it is now thought there are around 300 sextillion stars in the universe (that’s 6 times as many as my 50 sextillion estimate). Of course even old low estimates of star numbers illustrated the absurdity of the Genesis story and the absurdity of a God who cares especially much about ancient desert dwellers on Earth. These newer estimates merely strengthen the point.

    1. Yet, are we sure that even that figure could possibly be accurate? Do we really know that the “expanding universe” is not infinite, for all intents and purposes?

      And still I’ve got people spewing hate speech at me and pretending that the God of the Bible created all of this splendor. Nice try to foist your culturally bigoted and myopic interpretation of “God” on us once again.

      1. Like I said, its an estimate. There may be far more than that if one assumes there is a lot of the universe that is too far away to be observed. The point is that all estimates of star numbers are extremely big and thus any religious claims of Earth receiving far more focus than the rest of the universe fail.

        Also, what all this about “foisting” any “interpretation of God”? I don’t even believe in any god or gods, and thus have no interpretation of such a thing. Now, while I admittedly did not point out that I had no belief in any god or gods, neither did I give any indication that I did (though my commentary made it clear that I at least do not support literal interpretations of religious texts). How then am I showing any “interpretation of God”?
        Furthermore, seeing as I was criticising culturally bigoted and myopic interpretations of a god, it makes no sense to accuse me of “foisting” such interpretations.

  7. Well,,,
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it here now; How little we know, compared to things we do not, and if it were up to human intelligence , no justice would exist for the feeble minded. Too bad that god only made the universe for us and we act as if we decide how it was made.
    God is not small enough for us to comprehend yet liars and theives do. And he/she does love you because you were made but so have all other things . Learn to love that which you’ve been given(life)unselfishly and the universe comes to life in your eyes! But keep it to yourself, as if it belongs to only you and death soon follows your gaze.The bible does say that god has sons among the stars, perhaps somepeople sometime someplace knew better but the story you got handed was handed too you by theives.- peace

  8. Ahhh yes.. always something inspiring here at FreeThoughtNation.
    Thanx for posting this brilliant Python classic !

    It IS TIME to end this ludicrous & megalomaniacal perception of ye olde style Creator dude as depicted in the ancient books ( which remain as the indisputable calling cards of the authoritarian religions ).

    [i]“Nature displays daily, Living Truth for all to see..
    far more vast & great than any human book could be.”[/i]

    ( PS – I wonder if Carl Sagan knew of this “Galaxy Song” … surely would’ve loved it : )

  9. monotheism
    hello there, i admire your works acharya, its truly enlightening. i have got a question . What is your opinion about monotheism and ethical monotheism.?

  10. Thank you for your kind regards and interest. I don’t think much of intolerant monotheism! Many of the world’s ills can be traced to this fanaticism.

    “Ethical monotheism” is a concept necessary only for people who are devoid of ethics, innate wisdom and common decency. Innately moral individuals have no need for it. It is also a manmade concept, so who is really “guiding” people here? A manmade concept of God. In other words, society. Whatever a particular society’s mores are, those principles are also its “God.” If society thinks its fine to “honor kill” women, then that’s what its “God” will be made to say. And so on, throughout history, with loads of gods and their chosen lawgivers.

    Monotheism is simply false, unless it represents a depiction of the universe as one. However, that concept is more appropriately labeled as “monism ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monism[/url]),” which is not intolerant and does not posit a single, fiery and jealous god to the exclusion of all others. Of course, “dualism” also has merit, and therein lies the paradox.

    I personally prefer pantheism, viewing the entire cosmos as divine. Of course, it’s not really completely divine by our definition of the word, since there is plenty of ungodly evil. However, I like the idea of perceiving the best of creation as sacred, giving it value so we may cherish and not trash it.

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