Allah, Jesus, and Yahweh: The Gods That Failed by Gordon Harrison

Allah, Jesus, and Yahweh: The Gods That Failed

byGordon Harrison

Kobo ebook | June 6, 2013

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Freedom is the keystone for happiness, democracy, and Western Civilization. Without it, you may as well live in present-day North Korea or Saudi Arabia or medieval Europe. We will explore freedom’s origin in Chapter 1, and although freedom has many tributaries, its Greek source is clear. Major contributors are the Age of the Enlightenment plus the United States Declaration of Independence, with its “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Perhaps you feel that freedom once won will always be with us. If so, then Chapter 2 is for you. Both psychology and history teach us how quickly it can be lost. Freedom is a river, but rivers may be dammed and their turbulent creative waters turned into compliant lakes bent to a single purpose. We will investigate this perilous danger with an eye to avoiding it. Some believe that religion and science can’t be in conflict because their areas of interest and expertise don’t overlap. Chapter 3 exposes this myth by contrasting the research methods of biblical scholars and scientists as they both seek to discover the beginning of time. Their conclusions are astoundingly different. For people everywhere, their results have far-reaching consequences. Whichever path you follow—religious or scientific—will profoundly influence all aspects of your life. For all those who believe the Bible is an unerring source of perfect morality, I suggest they read Chapter 4, “On human Bondage.” This chapter concentrates on one great moral failure in the Bible and the Qur’an: both are pro-slavery from beginning to end. Not a word, not even a murmur against slavery in all their “sacred” books. The final page of this chapter reveals the first person in recorded history to speak out against slavery—he/she was not a member of the Abrahamic religions. Chapter 5 discusses numerous topics found nowhere else in anti-theistic writings. For example, the Roman God Mithras was the model for Jesus and most church ritual! Since both Mithras and Jesus were saviors, celebrated the Eucharist, and had identical birthdays, this parallelism disturbed early Christians. This chapter discloses who Mithras was and why he became the archetype for Jesus. After the triumphant early Catholic Church eradicated Mithraism, it turned its weapons inward to stray Christian sects, like Gnosticism. This group had some intriguing ideas on the origins of the name Jesus and his number, a subject called gematria mentioned nowhere else in today’s literature. The curious relationship between Shakespeare and the 46th Psalm deserves investigating. We end this entertainment with a full course of bubbly, hot, cheesy Pastafarianism with meat balls plus a side order of quotations from their sacred text, The Loose Canon. Chapter 6, “God’s Messengers,” gives the reader a hilarious look at the second, more recent, team of God talkers: Muhammad and Joseph Smith uncovering delusion and fraud respectively. Mark Twain, who owned a copy of The Book of Mormon, wrote, “It is such a pretentious affair and yet so slow, so sleepy, such an insipid mess of inspiration. It is chloroform in print.” But comic relief is close at hand with the magic underpants Mormons wear and their penchant to polygamy. Evidently, with thirty-seven wives, Smith didn’t have his magic undies on most of the time. But the winner in the absurdity sweepstakes is the Mormon belief that when Jesus returns he will keep a summer home in Jackson County, Missouri, the original Garden of Eden don’t you know. For all those who falsely believe we would be running naked through the streets without the God-given morality of holy books, I recommend Chapter 7, “Morals and Man.” We can do better—we have done better—than an Old Testament that descends to the level of stoning women and children to death for a little dalliance or disobedience. A close reading of the New Testament reveals a side of Jesus rarely mentioned. He was not always a paradigm of great moral
Title:Allah, Jesus, and Yahweh: The Gods That FailedFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:June 6, 2013Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1483501450

ISBN - 13:9781483501451

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Masterpiece I really enjoyed reading and thinking about this new book, Allah, Jesus, and Yahweh. As the “Arab Spring” in Egypt is rapidly turning into something more like the “Winter of their Despair” this subject is especially topical. This book adds many significant and thoughtful insights into the religious source for current political and social conflicts around the world. It is thoughtful, well researched and clearly expressed. Harrison would certainly have no problem holding up his end of the conversation in a gathering of the “new atheists.” There are so many things that I admire about this book that I can’t begin to put them all in this review, but here are just a few. I love the way the author used the mythological figures of Epios and Phemos to emphasize the importance of approaching the issue of beliefs from both a scientific and artistic perspective. I couldn’t agree more. The way in which he used the myths about the two of figures as book-ends, creates a very satisfying framework to the book. In between, he presented readers with a wealth of fascinating historical, cultural, scientific, and literary information . I was especially impressed by the way Harrison used the writer’s voice to engage his readers. For most of the book, he used an ironic (often humorous) tone that works very well to keep a potentially heavy subject, light and approachable. I noticed that from time to time there is another, much more angry, voice that comes through in his writing (e.g. p. 243 ff. and p. 294 ff.). His judicious and sparing use of that voice makes it all the more effective. His prose style really takes flight in these passages—great use of rhetorical flourishes! Something else that worked really well for me was the author’s use of personal anecdotes to illustrate some of his arguments (e.g. preface, p. 115. p. 252. p. 288, p. 301). The one that really stood out for me was the story about Mother Courage p. 252 ff. The author re-creates his experience with the bear and her cubs very vividly for the reader. I found it not only very germane to his point about the presence of morality in nature, but also very moving. If religions/mythologies are products of the human imagination and not divine revelation, then it makes sense to me that these stories would reflect the full range of our imaginations. Humans certainly don’t need gods or devils to account for the evil in the world. We are quite capable, as news reports confirm daily, of “all manner of evil.” But, as the author’s story about Mother Courage so aptly illustrates, humans, as well as the rest of the natural world, are also capable of “all manner of good.” It all “goes to hell”, as he argues so effectively, when we mistake a metaphor for a fact and twist those “fictions” into a dogma that one group tries to impose onto another. This book deserves a wide readership.
Date published: 2014-05-13