Why I am an atheist

I'm sorry, BigDumbChimp, but you've been beaten to this discovery: God Hates Shrimp. It's old news. It's also wrong in its emphasis. I read Leviticus…

Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

…and what I see is that God hates cephalopods, the bastard.

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Perhaps he really likes them, and so wants to dissuade hungry savages from slaughtering and eating them. After all he did go to the trouble of creating them.

God hates manatees? Polar bears? Sea otters? Penguins?

Sounds like a trip to Sea World is blasphemous.

Perhaps he really likes them, and so wants to dissuade hungry savages from slaughtering and eating them. After all he did go to the trouble of creating them.

That would explain why he went to the extra trouble of getting their eyes right. Hmmm... I wonder what god said about us in his revelation to the cephalopods?

Take it easy on God, PZ. Since we're made in his image he's probably feeling a little testy about his fallen arches, rotting teeth, and the stupid, stupid, stupid way his airway crosses his food tube.

I can understand why some people believe in God. I just don't understand why they aren't trying to track him down and kill him.

By CaptainMike (not verified) on 16 Jun 2006 #permalink

Oh, the fun of religious dietary rules... Did you know that the Catholic Church ruled that the beaver is a fish (well, it lives in water) so that they were allowed to eat its meat on Fridays during Lent? Despite it's having neither fins nor scales...

CaptainMike: have you ever encountered "Preacher" by Garth Ennis? It's a set of graphic novels about that exact scenario. :)

By gregorach (not verified) on 16 Jun 2006 #permalink

Did you know that the Catholic Church ruled that the beaver is a fish (well, it lives in water) so that they were allowed to eat its meat on Fridays during Lent?

*as bigdumbchimp tries to pry mind out of the gutter and resist making blue comment

I hate to be pedantic, but the Torah was written in Hebrew, not English. The homosexual act is described by the Hebrew word Toevah. The things that live in the water but which have neither fins nor scales are described as 'shekets' - verminous, loathsome. I'm not going to go into what the differing implications of the two words are, but to translate them both as 'abomination' is incorrect.

That said, I fully agree that the selective enforcement of Biblical commandments whose reason for existing is simply that they are in the Bible makes no sense. There are good extraBiblical reasons to prohibit murder. There aren't such for either opposing homosexuality or refraining from eating non-kosher animals.

By Larry Lennhoff (not verified) on 16 Jun 2006 #permalink

Did you know that the Catholic Church ruled that the beaver is a fish (well, it lives in water) so that they were allowed to eat its meat on Fridays during Lent?

One of the first things I learned in my zoology course is that the beaver IS a fish. So are we, by the way.

Larry seems to point out that while God may not hate homosexuals, he still isn't big on cephalopods.

Now would that make PZ's dislike of the Hebrew god go up or down? :)

"Mmmm, calamari"

OK, I've been waiting for a chance to ask all you cephalopodophiles, and this seems as good a time as ever: What are the odds of finding a sustainable, fishable population of giant squid? I've been having recurring dreams about fried calamari rings the size of hula-hoops, along with 5-gallon buckets of marinara sauce....

If God doesn't like it, he can lump it!

Sorry for the double-post, but I just noticed this:

"Did you know that the Catholic Church ruled that the beaver is a fish (well, it lives in water) so that they were allowed to eat its meat on Fridays during Lent?"

Let me get this straight: Eating beaver during Lent is an officially Church-sanctioned activity? Who knew? ;^)

Good news, squids have fins. :)

p.s.

What's that skull you have pictured in your banner? It doesn't look like Homo sapiens at first glance. For instance, mandible is kinda big and has a missing double chin. Teeth are huge, the neurocranium isn't inflated enough for a H. sapiens and torus subraorbitalis is quite prominent. Os occipitalis is not as round as in us, either. I will venture a guess that you have a H. neanderthalensis? :>

Okay, well, dumb question, but don't shrimp in fact have (tail) fins?

What is scaring me is that God hates plankton. What will happen to us if God takes it into his head to exterminate all of the plankton?

Bill Dauphin - Giant squid are inedible due to the ammonia content of their flesh. I learned this from "The Search for the Giant Squid : The Biology and Mythology of the World's Most Elusive Sea Creature" by Richard Ellis. Excellent book, especially for a dumb-ass history major such as myself.

By Whiteriot (not verified) on 16 Jun 2006 #permalink

According to Python, "Victor, in his anguish, cried out that the Lord was a rotten bastard. And the Lord sent an angel to comfort Victor for the weekend." Have fun, PZ.

I've long entertained the possibility that God is a cephalopod, and He's consumed with self-loathing.

God also says that insects with wings are unclean. He is SUCH a bastard, hating on my elaterids. Although, I have to wonder if insects that lost their wings secondarily are now clean? Or are insects with only one pair of wings cleaner? Are larvae/nymphs that grow up to have wings also unclean?

I don't think shrimp have fins (in the sense that fish do) since they are arthropods. I just wish that terrestrial arthropods got as big as marine arthropods...sigh.

By Nymphalidae (not verified) on 16 Jun 2006 #permalink

There are no biblical restrictions against eating honey, are there? If a bee is an abomination, then you'd think anything oozing out of them would be as well.

Actually, if I recall right, John the Baptist was supposed to have subsisted on locusts and wild honey. That's the New Testament, but he still should have kept kosher.

Oh, wait, a quick google reveals that some locusts are kosher. At least according to this page: http://ohr.edu/ask_db/ask_main.php/19/Q1/

I think most people would have a lower yuck factor over shrimp than locusts, though I believe locusts are still popular in parts of the world.

BTW, the description of which locusts are kosher has the same tone as the kind of job advertisement you write for a person awaiting a greencard.

I've had locusts! The ones fried in garlic and butter were OK, but you mainly taste the garlic and butter; I've also had some that were salted and dried, and they had a pleasantly nutty flavor, even if they were a bit chewy. The only drawback was getting the legs caught between your teeth.

According to the version of Bible I was issued with in school, you're not supposed to eat ossifrages either [Deut 14.12]. Helpfully, there was a picture by the text of an ossifrage, in case you might eat one by mistake.

Another strange thing. In the Bible, it seems that insects go about "on all fours." This strikes me as a more gaping discrepancy than the interpretation that pi=3. How you could get close enough to a locust to eat one without noticing it has six legs?

Dang, Whiteriot, you've skewered my fondest culinary fantasy!

Thanks for the book reference, though. I'll check it out; if it's good enough for a self-described dumb-ass history major, it's probably perfect for this dumb-ass English major!

8^)

There is some confusion in the Bible as to whether it was a giant fish or a whale that swallowed Jonah. I did a goole search on this term, "bible whales fish jonah matthew", and found this link:

http://www.angelfire.com/mi/dinosaurs/jonah.html

Warning: Take aspirin first.

As always, you're welcome.

If the whale's belly was big enough to hold Gepetto and Pinocchio at the same time, then why not Jonah? I admit it could get quite painful for the whale if Pinocchio started quoting his favorite passages from Dembski's work.

Come to think of it, isn't "manna from heaven" just insect poop? It might be like honeydew, which is simply aphids excreting the excess water they get from sucking plant juices. Anyway, I forget what it is exactly. But that means God is specifically providing his people with the poop from abominations for them to eat.

By Nymphalidae (not verified) on 16 Jun 2006 #permalink

Obviously, anything touched by God is O.K. But also, to Jews, it is a greater sin to starve because of your dietary laws than to eat something unclean. Pride, perhaps. Not eating what's set before one. Or something.

P.S. I haven't talked to a lot of Jews about it, but the sample I've taken suggests that they don't think "Judeo-Christian" goes together any more than "Creation-Scientific".

Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

Doesn't this just mean that everthing that's in the water without having fins or scales is an abomination?

So surfers, bathingand swimming are definite no-no's.

Real bummer about baptism isn't it?

By Science_Vixen (not verified) on 16 Jun 2006 #permalink

Judeo-Christian" goes together any more than "Creation-Scientific

Very good point. I think most just use it to refer to the fact that Christianity sprung from Judaism. But they are definetly different now.

Chance: As far as I can tell, the only reason for the term is to be able to insist that the US is a Christian nation without being accused of antisemitism.

>> I'm sorry, BigDumbChimp, but you've been beaten to this discovery: God Hates Shrimp. It's old news. It's also wrong in its emphasis. I read Leviticus...

Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

...and what I see is that God hates cephalopods, the bastard.<<

The way I see it is that God LOVES shrimp, and is saving them all for Himself by telling us how abominable they are.

Steve

By Brontodon (not verified) on 16 Jun 2006 #permalink

"Ossifrage" in the Septuagint is "gryps" which literally means griffin but was probably an old world vulture (lammergeier?). And who would want to eat that?

Dendroica - griffin (Gyps fulvus) would make sense, so would lammergeier. The picture, as I recall it, was a kind of generic vulture thingy but resembled the Egyptian vulture (Neophron) more than anything. Also known as sh*te-hawks. Well, somebody must be eating them otherwise we'd be overrun.

some locusts are kosher
I think the reason behind law that is that if you have locusts around, you may not have many other foodstuffs left...

P.S. I haven't talked to a lot of Jews about it, but the sample I've taken suggests that they don't think "Judeo-Christian" goes together any more than "Creation-Scientific".
I've written a bit of a history of the term if anyone's interested. While it may have its uses, it's more often misused. I once read a letter to the editor that praised the Christian Coalition for its Judeo-Christian values, along with multiple other organizations -- all exclusively Christian, none remotely Jewish. That would be Christian values, then, wouldn't it?

I think god just didn't want us to eat dolphins. Because they're smart.

He probably told the dolphins not to eat humans, too. That's why they are so nice. They listened.

They probably are deeply religious and hang on his every word. That would explain their plastered-on phoney-baloney smile that never goes away - they've been saved. Kinda like Jehovah's Witnesses who come to your door.

Other creatures in the sea probably groan when they see two dolphins coming their way.

And once again the Jews get screwed. Linked to Old Testament prohibitions they don't get either shrimp scampi or fried squid (not to mention an oyster po'boy). But, when the christians came along they made sure that it was not a problem for them. In Mark 7 and Acts 10 and 11 forbidden food is cleansed for the followers (how convenient). Acts also seems to say that you can avoid that whole circumcision thing (can I get an amen?). But in Leviticus tattoos are forbidden and while Jesus cleaned the food he left the tats as forbidden. So, Jesus likes pork but hates Harley riders. What up wid dat?

Bill Dauphin: Something tells me that giant squid would be very tough ... though if it still managed to taste like calamari you'd be on to something ...

shyster: Of course, the Jesus character earlier on says that none of the law shall pass away, so that's YABI.

I just wish that terrestrial arthropods got as big as marine arthropods...sigh.

No.

I think I could handle large spiders and such, but house centipedes (Scutigera coleoptrata)are already too large and active for my taste.

For those of you with children (or those of us who watch Disney cartoons) perhaps you recall the forgettable Disney movie, "The Emporer's New Groove"?

There was a scene in a sort of diner where the main characters eat something that looks suspiciously like a 5 pound member of of the suborder Oniscidea. A huge Pillbug that is presumably steamed, then eaten with a straw.

Centapedes give me the willies too. But perhaps I could handle giant pillbugs. "They taste like Crawdad!"

I'm writing to tell you that you should mention The Brilliant Richard Dawkins, one of the smartest and most eloquent minds in this debate, and an author who has written a very smart answer to all the mindless theists in this world. And who, in his book: The 'God' Delusion, mentions you as a highly qualified source. I have been reading the book, with high-lighter in hand, and as Mr Dawkins says.......He has the proof that there absolutely is no damn "DOG", which I have been forwarding ever since I turned 16. I am now 62. Bless you, but remember we (Atheists) have a long road to travel. It's very hard to even break through to the mindless throngs who have been indoctrinated with the Bullshit "DOG" ever since they were old enough to wipe their own asses. Keep up the struggle. Nietzsche

By Michael Nietzsche (not verified) on 26 Oct 2006 #permalink