Abridged content of the Bible in ethological interpretation.
The Bible was written thousands of years ago. It was written to convince the ignorant people of the time not to make the mistakes Romans have made. It was not meant to be read by modern nuclear physicist and factually checked in the context of relativity theory. Its function is completely different — to give people an algorithm of behavior that minimizes the harmful influence of their animalistic instincts both on lives of individuals and society as a whole. The Bible consists of stories that were understandable and carried a specific message along with useful information to the contemporaries.
The Old Testament.
The creation of the world. When God created man, he already had experience in animal creation. The man, however, was created in God’s image. I.e., unlike animals, the human has, besides animalistic instinctive motivation, a rational one. That rational motivation is strong enough to compete with instinctive one. In other words, a human has freedom of choice. And, a man is closer to god, i.e. his degree of rationality of behavior is higher, than that of a more emotional, high-instinct-drive, woman.
The original sin. The man Adam did not think and made a decision imposed onto him. Imposed by the woman that was driven by the devil (instincts). As the results, very bad things happened with him and his descendants.
Sodom and Gomorrah. There were two cities, in which the people lived according to their animalistic instincts, rather than rational cultural and religious rules. As the result, the cities perished. Similar story with the flood, and many other episodes.
Tower of Babel. Shows the inability of people, that were torn by various instincts and were incompatible with each other to cooperate and organize for complicated endeavors.
Devil (the beast). It has some power over people, and it has animal features. Intuitively, the authors understood the connection between the devil and the animal world, and the animalistic nature of instincts is reflected in the Devil’s image — horns, tail, hoofs. Devil tempts people to follow animalistic instincts. If the temptation is succumbed to, at first, the person will feel pleasure, but then, he or she will get in a lot of trouble, so it is better not to listen to him. Devil (instinctive motivation) is the opposite of God (rational motivation).
The New Testament.
To help the people resist the animalistic instincts, God sends special people (prophets, messiahs) to teach the people how exactly it is done. Jesus is a messiah and son of God. He said that one should not indulge in animalistic instincts, but to suppress them and to take care of other people. He preached to put the love toward neighbor, the altruistic human instinct, in opposition to selfish animalistic instincts. Once this is achieved, the Kingdom of God will be instated in the world — the society so rational and mindful the animalistic instincts will no longer go against the interests of that society. And since he is son of God, he should be obeyed, or else bad things will come. The meaning of the Jesus’s sacrifice is setting of a precedent, demonstration of the ultimate altruism of the leader. In the animal world, altruism is the feature of the low rank individuals, demonstration of altruism was demonstration of weakness. To show altruism in pre-Christian world was to show weakness. Jesus’s sacrifice is positioning of altruism as behavior inherent to high rank individuals. Son of God is the highest position in the hierarchy. And if the leader of the highest rank shows altruism, that means any members of the society can show it — he will not be considered a low-rank. Altruism is not something to be ashamed of, on the contrary, altruism is very cool. Jesus showed altruism, and was taken to Heaven for that, became equal to God, increased his position in the hierarchy. Now everyone who exhibits altruism will make it into heaven. That destroyed the psychological barrier, which prevented people from behaving altruistically.
A very important episode of the New Testament is “Cleansing of the Temple”. Excessive focus on commercial activity inflames the animalistic instincts of the priests themselves and lowers the church’s authority. As the result, its effectiveness as a champion that struggles with the people’s animalistic instincts drops. Church degrades into a cumbersome expensive structure that performs meaningless rituals and a fraudulent commercial system. This disease destroyed majority of the ancient religions and societies that they supported. Same disease plagues many modern religions. Sure, the clergy needs something to live on, and building temples costs money, but one should follow the principle of reasonable sufficiency.
We have already covered the anti-matriarchal message of the Bible, lets not repeat outselves.
The “don’t steal” and “don’t covet” commandments have a huge importance. In a societal hierarchy, one can advance in two ways. First is to lower the status of another, second is to raise his or her own status through personal accomplishment. The commandments put a psychological barrier on the former, they ban killing another, envying, stealing, condemning — every and any way to lower the status of another. One can only raise his or her status via personal, real, accomplishments. This is what raised the effectiveness of every person that follows the commandments, and, consequentially, the christian-based societies above that of others. This is why christian-based based societies conquered the world. Being christian is simply advantageous.
Religion could logically explain why promiscuity or gluttony is bad, despite it being so pleasurable. Or why it is bad to put a woman above a man. The early christian priests did not have the theoretical knowledge, what they did have is the experience of generations, and the fresh memory of Rome. Everyone knew Rome’s power, and Romans’ debauchery, gluttony, entertainment killings, etc. And everyone knew of Rome’s fall, and that nothing could save it. The experience was transferred as a set of obvious at the time rules and bans, supported by God’s authority. That was enough for the time being. But a thousand years later, Rome’s fate faded from memory. Biblical stories were no longer convincing. Many stopped believing in God, and started to see religion as a set of of meaningless rules, bans and rituals. On the other hand, we got a little bit smarter, scientists — ethologists — explained us what instincts are and how they work, and we have an opportunity to base the rules on a rational explanation. If only we had the time…
Does God exist? That question is asked by many, my answer is to let everyone decide for oneself. For practical purpose, it does not really matter — if God exists, we follow the commandments, if God does not exist, we adopt the scientific approach, study the instincts and understand from rational viewpoint how foolish it is to follow the instincts, and start acting as if we follow the commandments. We do not kill, do not steal, do not gorge, do not trade in the sexual marketplace. Both paths lead to the same end. This is logical, for religion, having accumulated the experience of generations, created rules that follow directly from human biological structure. If God is a higher being and created us in his image, he followed the same reason and sense we do. The difference between scientific and theological approaches is mostly in terminology — “animalistic instincts” is “sin” in religion, for example. Likewise, it does not matter who Jesus is, and how many messiahs and prophets were there. Someone invented a new way to counter the instincts, and that way works, as proven by the history of christian civilization. What is important is which path will the civilization take next, whether it will progress further or degrade in a matriarchy.