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 ...

Ethics of the Old Testament: Lies, Cheats and Dirty Tricks in Genesis

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Isaac and Jacob are a real couple of bungling wanderers. They lie, cheat, steal and seem completely without moral character. Isaac is the son of Abraham that was offered up to God in sacrifice - an episode that likely freaked him out and led to perpetual trust issues. He married Rebekah and settled in Gerar, telling everyone that Rebekah was his sister because he was afraid that the other men might get jealous of her ...

Abraham the Pimp Sells Wife for Cattle and Sacrifices Son: Stories from Genesis

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Abraham is recognized as the father of three of the world's largest religions. He is also a contemptible ass-kisser and a loathsome coward. He is a terrible husband and a horrible father. But - like Noah, he did whatever God commanded of him, no questions asked. In my view, following God's commands does not make you a good person. Those in the Bible who were eager to follow every command without thinking about the consequences, are ...

Noah the Drunk Bastard Saves Humanity with Ark

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After his failed experiment in the garden of Eden, God removed himself from the world for a while. Like a spurned lover, He waited - hopeful that humans would find their way back to him. He had seen the results of his displays of power and was trying the other extreme - patience and distance. This technique served no better. Since there were no obvious benefits from believing in God, the world turned away from Him. ...

God’s a bad parent: Cain, Abel and the First Murder

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Although Adam and Eve - and through them the entire human project - has not gone as planned, God continues to observe and interact with humans, hoping to establish a relationship with them. Adam and Eve have two sons, Cain and Abel. Abel was a shepherd and kept flocks, while Cain tilled the soil. When Cain and Abel brought offerings to God, Abel's was "looked on with favor". Cain's was not. Why? Nobody knows. Maybe God ...

God corrupts Adam and Eve: The Creation of Guilt

After the fiasco with Satan, God became more cautious. He knew he'd found something incredible - a created being with the ability to think for itself. But how much intelligence does it take to make free will? And how much freedom could he give before his creatures turned against him? Satan's rebellion had swept like a virus through heaven, igniting the desire for freedom in many other angels. To contain the epidemic, God put them all ...