God tells Moses how to allow the Israelites to worship. In Exodus 24:1-3, God allows Aaron, his sons, and the seventy other elders to come nearer to him, but still far enough away that they can’t see God or step foot on Mt. Sinai (because that will kill them). The rest of the Israelites must stand off far away and worship from afar since God can’t be bothered with mere commoners. Finally, Moses comes down from the mountain and tells everybody what God said to him, and all of Israel answers in one voice saying they will follow whatever Moses claims God said to him when they weren’t there to bear witness.

This is how Jews, Christians, and Muslims all believe God sent his first laws to his people. And so I ask you, is this really any different than reading magical seer stones out of a hat or calling your science fiction novels a holy book?

Religions, though they don’t deny these origins, don’t exactly advertise them either. I went to church at least once a week for 10 straight years, sometimes even twice or three times a week—I went to bible camp, bible studies, youth group outings—I’ve listened to hundreds of sermons. Want to know how many times I heard a sermon that pointed out how Moses was completely alone when he received God’s law on Mt. Sinai? Zero. Even The Ten Commandments movie ignores all of the laws that God gave Moses on the mountain, and has him walking down with just the more believable Ten Commandments in hand.



Baughbe writes:


And thinking about that point, I don't recall ever hearing in church anything about the laws concerning how you treat your slaves. It is amazing what is not taught out of this 'perfect word'. Anyway I do have to say the 'seer stones' at least show more imagination than the 'mountian only I can walk on'.

Richard writes:


Creationism and its sheepskin 'ID' both take this route as well.

Yeshivakid writes:


I just saw Religulous the other day, and Bill Maher touches on this exact point. You have to really take it for granted and on blind faith that it's just one guy claiming all this crazy stuff each time.

It really seems even more absurd when you consider all of the laws and warnings about false prophets. Those stipulations basically describe exactly what the original "prophets" did, but nobody ever points out the fact that they might have been totally full of crap themselves.

Yeshivakid writes:


It's also interesting how much detail eventually goes into the rules about who can enter the holy temple of god later on. (I think it's outlined in Leviticus, but it's been a while, so I can't be sure.) Basically an "unclean" person who merely steps foot past the curtains of the "Holy of Holies" would supposedly drop dead instantly. I used to wonder if it was ever realistically enforced to teach a lesson, like by a guy hiding inside with a poison blowdart gun or something.

Bayou writes:


@Yeshivakid: ...or easier still, come across someone who dies alone of natural causes and drag him just inside the temple. Alert the people and say, "Too bad for him, looks like he tried to enter the temple."


Oh the irony!