Some scholars believe that idols in Bible times, were not really thought to be living gods but representative of the authority of the gods. The idea is that you used the statue to send a message of submission to the god or person or even king that it stood for.  The Bible God is severely anti-idolatry.  So the problem was that they captured and represented respect for divinities that had no right to worship or obedience at all.

Idols were worshipped in Israel even in the time of Jesus and he seems to have done nothing about it.  That is no surprise if the sense that the gospels are trying to appeal to Romans not Jews is correct.

Anyway, the idol was an image or a reflection of an illicit religious authority.  That would include a king who thought he was the vicar or conduit of some deity.

Could it be that the Bible doctrine that Adam and Eve were made in the image and likeness of God is convey that they are idols?  Who says an idol has to be a statue?

The suggestion that the Bible sees Adam and Eve as monarchs, monarchs who decided if creation was going to keep God in or tell him to let it have its own way, alone were the image of God is interesting.  The Bible says Adam's son was in the image of Adam.  If so, they are the image of God and we are only an indirect image. 

Despite that we will use the Christian claim that you and me are made in the divine image for the purpose of argument.

The image of God has to be very close to God and is not a mere reflection. A comparison would be like if the vision you saw in the mirror were truly alive in its own right. The image of God theology says we are innately and inherently directed towards God and if we reject him we will treat something else as God. So we still act as godly but in a distorted and blind way.

This risks bullying people into conforming with theism and/or religion or they end up with a bad reputation and get mistrusted.

But do innate and inherent mean much? We tend to think of something being fixed, part of our nature, from your birth to your death. But it is possible, say, to imagine you being innately a doctor but only for a few years. We want to think of innate humanity and our inherent spiritual needs as in set and fixed and as something that we cannot help but why? One reason is that our morality makes assumptions about us being this and not that.  Innate these days is innate.  Innate right now is innate.  Innate all your life is innate too.  Innate is not another word for lifelong.  We have a word for lifelong.  Lifelong.

One trick for getting others to bend to your will is to claim that your narcissism or faith or divine image or whatever is innate.  People need to refuse to play along for you cannot prove it.  You may be doing it for attention and to get them to indulge your whims.  Slavemasters did think they were inherently better than their slaves and reasoned that they couldn't help it so the misuse of the slave was not their fault.  It was their nature that declares them worthy of being served by slaves.

Religion says that since God is the meaning of our life we need to live up to being his image to be free and moral and to get a chance to be happy.

Albert Einstein famously said that if you want a chance at a happy life then it must be tied to a goal not people and definitely not things. He included God not that he believed in God. It makes no sense to say that you must not depend on a good person for happiness but you can depend on God.

Religion says that God expresses himself through the moral law.  Religion says that true freedom is found in that value system and you throw away freedom if you violate it. You throw away truth and order and thus put yourself in foreseen and more importantly unforeseen danger and that is not freedom. That is what religion says but we all know fine well that even if it had a point, the fact remains that the loss of freedom is not complete.  The evil person may lose some freedom but only some. For that reason their argument is unconvincing and in fact encourages the behaviour it pretends to abhor.  In short it is a lie.

It is not going to help people be good for as long as they feel free when they do evil that is all they care about even if it is not true.  Religion knows this fine well but it does not stop posing as some kind of virtue dispensing force.

Morality is incoherent. There is a lot of pretence in it.  How you can claim to find freedom in something that is at war with itself is a mystery. 

Religion tries to ground justice in God.

Justice implies equal treatment and that can only happen if you are very careful to verify things to show that they are probably true.  Morality and its cronies don't like anybody looking at it too closely.  This has dreadful consequences.

Here is an example.  You see that religion often calls for easy treatment in the name of mercy for criminals.  Mercy hardly ever comes from the person who alone is qualified to request it - the victim.  There is something evil about society wanting John released from jail for murdering Mary when Mary cannot say anything on the matter.  It is smug hypocrisy.  There is something very twisted about religion telling you that your sins are forgiven when the victims are given no say in whether they should be forgiven or not.

Whether you believe in creation in the style of Genesis or in evolution or not, you see that nature is a battleground and the most adaptable, the "fittest", are favoured.  Religion lies that if you reject religion and faith in God you have nothing left but a struggle to win.  But the truth is that they already are in that struggle and they know it and lie about it.

Morality is a mask for good intentions and is not really concerned about love, respect and justice.  These three ingredients are not its ingredients at all.



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