One particular subject one comes across when discussing religions and the horrible evil stuff written in all religious handbooks is the ”religious metaphor”.
I was used to this from European christians, who excuse the truly totally evil bits in the bible with the excuses of: ”It has to be seen in the context of the time” and ”It’s a metaphor”.
And I hear the same from Muslims, especially Western Muslims and nice Muslims, as the quran is actually very clear about that it is to be taken literal as the last word of god, and most people in the Middle East are holding on to the view that the quran has to be followed by the letter. They also spend a lot of money enforcing this idea in other parts of the world.
So, context of the time. Doesn’t fly, if a handbook is to remain valid, and has divine inspiration in it’s inception then there can be no historical context.
Metaphor, isn’t realistic either because that would make every part of the handbook to be interpreted as you like so why have a handbook in the first place?
So what happens?
Mental and moral evolution.
The current Abrahamic religions are based on the acts desires and morals of what we would now consider very primitive barbaric people with apparently very primitive understandings of what is good and bad.
If you take the handbooks they wrote as an indication of their moral standing.
On the other hand, one can clearly discern a lot of very human desires for power and wealth, as well as a deep disdain towards women in these handbooks. This power and wealth is for the advantage of the leading faction of the religion and the religion is used besides to giving them power, also to stabilize that status quo, and to make the ”flock” submissive. These religions are very strong on submission and making it a desirable trait.
So why do modern believers need the religious metaphor?
Contrary to what we are being told all the time, the Abrahamic religions are not really that moral from our point of view. Actually there are precious few morals in the religious handbooks of our time, and none of the basic morals they do propound is not also indigenous to the most primitive stone age culture.
In reality the Abrahamic religious handbooks have not added anything enlightened to the moral values of humanity.
Actually I am of the opinion that religions actually twist and corrupt our innate morality by inciting violence, hatred, discrimination, bad treatment of children, and suppression of women.
and allowing and supporting rape.
Rape as an example.
Rape is something we condemn nowadays as we know it is a very bad crime towards women, it hurts them, it causes great suffering and psychological damage and we modern humans think that every human being (women are human too) has a right over their own body.
We now think it is a bad crime to badly hurt a woman by raping her.
Probably all women have always thought so, but clearly not all men!
Rape was clearly not a concern for the men who compiled the handbooks of the Abrahamic religions. While they are all obsessed with sex, and who has sex with whom and in which manner etc. None of the handbooks considers rape a crime. The Quran doesn’t even mention it. What they do do is allowing men to rape women. (read it up, I am not going to give examples)
Do you really think there is an all powerful invisible sky daddy who cares for you, loves you, and then allows men to rape you?
I can imagine men liking this sky daddy, but I am amazed women think this invisible enabler has any caring, loving, protective feeling towards them.
In comes the ”metaphor”. The metaphor is the believers escape route. Without the metaphor a believer whose moral awareness has evolved far beyond that of the men who composed the religion cannot believe anymore. But most people are to scared of a universe without some invisible force ”guiding” them that they cannot face the stark light their own moral awareness lights up for them.
They hide in the metaphor. Not realizing that by using the metaphor to make their religious handbook compatible to their advanced moral awareness they have already left the restrictions and guidance of that very same handbook. By using the religious metaphor they in effect already stand on their own feet. They don’t need guidance. They have defined for themselves what they know is right and wrong, despite the contrary instructions of their religious guidebook.
If you can only deal with your chosen religion by using metaphors then you don’t need religion anymore because you have already evolved beyond it. You are already thinking for yourself despite religious indoctrination and that is a great achievement!