All the Greatest Stories were Told in the Bible: King David vs. Leonardo di Caprio

King David (who first defeated Goliath, stole his sword, then become a violent kingly soldier) soaked in the blood of battle, one day happened to see his fellow warrior and friend Uriah's wife Bathsheba bathe in her courtyard from the roof of his palace. He had her brought to his chambers and had sex with her, resulting in a pregnancy. Informed that her husband was Uriah, David summoned Uriah from battle to meet him, suggesting that ...

Was David and Goliath plagiarized from Homer’s Iliad?

Something interesting I discovered today was the link between the David and Goliath story and Homer's Iliad. I've already come to understand how much of the Old Testament (especially the flood story, but there are others) were lifted from Sumerian stories (Abraham was raised in, and left behind, a highly developed Sumerian culture before founding his new religious movement). But I hadn't considered the extent to which Old Testament scribes borrowed from successful Greek Literature such ...

Branding and marketing in religious illustration

Branding and marketing has become hugely important in today's and competitive business environment. Companies have to find a way to stick in people's minds, to generate an emotional response, to build trust and rapport. A name and a slogan just isn't enough. Take a look at the following: just a simple image that is internationally recognized anywhere. They have fans and supporters, aka customers.   A mascot or image can be boiled down even further, into a very ...

Which came first, Satan, Michael or Garuda? Christian and Hindu Religious Art

Prepare to be amazed. Today I've been looking for pictures of Satan, and pictures of Garuda, for two separate art projects. What I'd never before realized, however, is that medieval depictions of The Devil are basically direct copies of much earlier (I presume) pictures of Garuda - the hindu flying Deity (half man, half eagle) that the God Vishnu flies around on. I'm guessing Garuda is first because A) Hinduism is older and B) they ...

David Fitzgerald Debunks Historical Jesus at Skepticon 3

I love this very convincing, clear and structured argument against the historical Jesus given by David Fitzgerald at Skepticon 3. David presents evidence and history that, while basic and easy to confirm, is widely unknown and goes against the common conception that most people have of Jesus Christ. Plus, David's delivery throws in gems of wit and humor, such as (commenting on unlikely it would have been for Jesus to throw out the moneychangers) "now either ...

Bill Maher on Gadhafi: Does Islam have homosexuality issues?

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Take the two most sensitive conversational topics in the world - religion and sexuality - and throw them together. Not an easy topic to discuss, but as Bill Maher pointed out in a recent interview, doesn't the fact that as soon as they caught Libyan dictator Gadhafi, they stuck something up his ass, say something about sexuality in that culture? The other panelists say "Well, they do really violent things to all tyrants" (Mussolini got hung ...

The Truth about Global Warming, and why it doesn’t matter.

This week a study of the world's surface temperatures led Richard Muller - a long time, conservative skeptic scientists partially bankrolled by a foundation connected to global warming deniers - finally got him to change his mind. It's big news because he was a champion of those who say "There is no such thing as global warming" and "the earth naturally gets hotter and colder, human beings don't have any impact on the environment." For decades, ...

What really happened between Cain and Abel? A surprising discovery from the book of Enoch

You probably know Cain as the bad guy who (for no good reason) killed his nice and kind brother Abel in Genesis, in the world's first murder. Some of the unexplained problems of this account (such as why God accepted Abel's sacrifice but not Cain's, which is what pissed Cain off in the first place) are answered in the apocryphal book of Enoch. Interestingly, the Book of Enoch also suggest another motive as well: Adam was planning ...

King Solomon’s Temple was Built by Satan! (Who built the other megaliths?)

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I learned a bunch of incredible things today that I bet you didn't know: one bit of trivia is that King Solomon's favorite temple was built by special demon technology, which Solomon controlled with a magic ring. The story starts with a spirit or Jinni (where we get the word "Genie"). In one version, he was stealing gemstones because they allowed him to suck out a little bit of the sun's energy; in another version, he ...

KWATEE: Is the Indian Trickster Satan or God?

I've been reading some fascinating material to research my upcoming novel. I was already aware of the similarities between the Native American "trickster" god (sometimes called Coyote or Raven). But I was unaware that he also has some incredible similarities to Yahweh of the Old Testament. Basically, Kwatee seems to be a pre-Christian protecting deity, helping humanity deal with the harsh, angry gods of the skies (weather, etc.) He's a bringer of technology, of fire, ...

A simple test of your courage, freedom and humanity

Scenario ONE: A technologically advanced alien race attacks the earth. It wants to brand and kidnap humans to be used as slaves on their home planet. Anyone who refuses is destroyed. The aliens are very powerful and ruthless. Rather than simply kill those who rebel, they punish them by inflicting torturous pain, loss and suffering. However for those that agree to become slaves, the aliens' technology can extend your life for a very long time. Your ...

Preparing for my first Ayahuasca experience: Moses, Parmenides and Aliens

Ayahuasca is a Peruvian vine that has traditionally been used to send visionaries into "the world beyond" for shamanic and spiritual rituals. Although I was in Peru this summer, I didn't have the opportunity to join a ceremony. Imagine my surprise when I returned to my semi-permanent home in Taiwan and found a couple of different organizations that practice Ayahuasca use. First off, let me be clear that Ayahuasca is not a "recreational drug." The purely ...