The Fallacy of Biblical Stories, Part 9: Sodom and Gomorrah

  
By:  Gordy327  •  3 weeks ago  •  47 comments


The Fallacy of Biblical Stories, Part 9: Sodom and Gomorrah
“... there is no shame in not knowing. The problem arises when irrational thought and attendant behavior fill the vacuum left by ignorance.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson, The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist

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Hi everyone, it has been a long time since I last posted an article in my fallacy of biblical stories series. So, I thought now might be a good time to do so. If you reviewed the previous articles in the series, you might have noticed the bible often takes a rather dramatic flair with its stories. And there are few biblical stories with more dramatic flair than the biblical story of Sodom & Gomorrah (hereafter referred to as S&G). This story has God being pissed off and blaming his creations (as usual), debauchery, attempted angel rape, death, destruction, and of course, magically turning people into kitchen condiments. This story has it all, playing out like a big budget Hollywood disaster film. Without further delay, I will summarize the story and then dive right into the evidence to see if this story is worth its salt (see what I did there, Lol) in veracity.

According to the bible, S&G were 2 especially sinful cities. Apparently, things there were so bad, God decided they needed to be wiped off the map. Some theists argue that the primary “sin” prevalent in the cities was homosexuality, while some claim it was inhospitality, or other deviant acts. And they didn’t even have internet porn back then. But as we’ve learned by now, God hates it when his humans have a good time and party. But rather than simply snapping his fingers and literally erasing S&G from the map, because God could totally do that with His omnipotent powers, He got all dramatic and rained fire and brimstone down on the cities, destroying them and everyone who lived there. Apparently, this included children and animals, because kids and pets are totally wicked and ripe for divine retribution, right?

Even God’s biggest fan, Abraham, took issue with God’s plan of ancient urban renewal and pleaded with God to spare the inhabitants, including Lot & his family. So God told Abe He would spare the cities if 10 righteous people could be found. Because a supposedly omniscient God does not know if there are 10 decent people living in the cities. Go figure! To this end, God assigned 2 angels to the task. Of course, when the angels arrived, a mob wanted a piece of angel poon, for which they were promptly blinded. So the angels tell Lot & Co. to flee the city while God threw one of His classic temper tantrums and not look back. While fleeing, Lot’s wife looked back on the devastation unfolding and was turned into a pile of salt. Kind of like what happened to the crew of the USS Exeter from the Star Trek: TOS episode, “The Omega Glory.” But I digress. Oh yeah, Lot’s daughters later got Lot drunk and raped him. So I suppose that means rape and incest are not at a city-worthy-of-destruction “sin” level?  Because that doesn’t sound very “righteous” to me. But apparently, God was ok with it.

That is the biblical story of S&G. Now let’s look at any evidence to see if the story occurred as depicted in the bible. Was it God’s doing? Or perhaps some natural phenomenon or other explanation?

1. Location, location, location: Archaeologists from the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project (TeHEP) have discovered ancient ruins that may have been (according to their opinions) the actual cities of S&G in the eastern Jordan River Valley north of the Dead Sea. Their findings coincide somewhat with biblical descriptions of where the cities may have been located. However, there is not definitive proof that the cities discovered were the actual S&G, or that they existed at all. But I am willing to accept the opinions of the research team and accept that S&G existed. In addition, the TeHEP team also discovered other towns or cities in a 500 km area similarly destroyed approximately around the same time as S&G, 1700-1900 years ago, give or take a century. So the archaeological evidence does circumstantially support the biblical mention of S&G. The Industrial site of Sedom, Israel is presumed to be near the site of S&G.

2. Maybe it was an earthquake or a gas leak: An earthquake would explain the level of destruction caused, especially over a wide area as archaeological discoveries have found. Nothing flattens a city better than an earthquake. Except for maybe an asteroid (more on that later). But what about the fire and brimstone aspects of the story? Petroleum and petroleum deposits around the Dead Sea may have ignited due to the earthquake and provided the “fire and brimstone” in the story. Fissures and hot springs in the ground around the region have been known to erupt petroleum gasses. Seismic upheaval could certainly cause a release of said gasses. It fits the story.

3. Maybe God was playing Cosmic Missile Command? Or it was an asteroid: Another explanation as to the actual cause of S&G destruction was an asteroid or meteor explosion over the cities. According to Universe Today , an asteroid entered Earth’s atmosphere and exploded before impact. The resulting blast wave, heat, and pressure would have been enough to level the cities and kill its inhabitants. This is not an unknown occurrence either. One example of such an occurrence is the Tunguska Event of 1908 in which an asteroid exploded over the Podkamennaya River in Russia and flattened 2,150 square kilometers of forest, without leaving an actual impact crater. Imagine if that happened over a city? The zone of destruction would also explain the other towns or cities destroyed in the general region of S&G, as mentioned in point 1. More recently, there was the Chelyabinsk Meteor that exploded over Russia in 2013. The blast was more powerful than a nuclear bomb detonation and brighter than the sun. People reported feeling intense heat too. To ancient people, this might appear like a fireball in the sky raining down divine justice. But it is instead a naturally occurring catastrophe rather than a divine one. which we’ve observed multiple times too. An article in Forbes also details evidence supporting an asteroid impact event.

4. Pass the salt! I mean, my wife: This is probably the most ludicrous part, but also probably the most easily explained part of the story; Lot’s wife being turned into a pillar of salt. Mt. Sodom along the Southwestern part of the Dead Sea in Israel (in the region where S&G supposedly existed) is a hill composed of 80% salt, with actual salt caves. Salt deposits would have been quite common in the area, including those resembling Lot’s wife after her sodium makeover. It is not unsurprising that a superstitious people in a moment of panic would think a person turning to salt is a perfectly acceptable explanation as to why one’s spouse would go missing in the chaos. Therefore, the idea of Lot’s wife literally being turned to salt is probably just biblical exaggeration or storytelling.

So there it is. While S&G could have existed, rather than being destroyed by divine forces, it is more likely and plausible they were destroyed by natural forces. Natural phenomenon explains this story just it does with other biblical stories like the Great Flood , celestial events , or the Plagues of Egypt. What are your thoughts?


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Gordy327
Professor Principal
1  author  Gordy327    3 weeks ago

Another biblical story that is easily explained by natural events and circumstances. No god or divine intervention required or necessary. That seems to be a recurring pattern too. 

But the S&G story is probably a "lesson" to frighten people when they think about disobeying god. Or what some "religious authority" claims about god. Basically a boogeyman story.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Expert
2  Hal A. Lujah    3 weeks ago

Angel poon - don’t knock it till you try it!

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
2.1  Thrawn 31  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @2    3 weeks ago

I hear it’s divine 👍

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
2.2  author  Gordy327  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @2    3 weeks ago

The inhabitants of S&G wanted to try it. But the angels were having none if it.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Expert
2.2.1  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  Gordy327 @2.2    3 weeks ago

According to Kevin Smith’s movie Dogma (one of my favorites) angels have no genitals, so they’d just be bumpin baldies.

320

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
2.2.2  author  Gordy327  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @2.2.1    3 weeks ago
According to Kevin Smith’s movie Dogma (one of my favorites) angels have no genitals,

They must have traded them for wings.  Not necessarily a good trade.

so they’d just be bumpin baldies.

That doesn't sound like Heaven to me. More like Hell!

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.2.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  Gordy327 @2.2.2    2 weeks ago

Angels don't need genitalia. They don't reproduce because God creates angels out of magic dust and thin air

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
2.2.4  author  Gordy327  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.2.3    2 weeks ago
They don't reproduce because God creates angels out of magic dust and thin air

The same way he supposedly created humans. It's amazing that some people actually believe that.

 
 
 
devangelical
PhD Principal
2.2.5  devangelical  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.2.3    2 weeks ago

meh, their fucking wings would get in the way...

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
2.2.6  author  Gordy327  replied to  devangelical @2.2.5    2 weeks ago

Maybe they would like having their wings pulled? jrSmiley_9_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.2.7  Trout Giggles  replied to  Gordy327 @2.2.6    2 weeks ago

Some people like their hair pulled....

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Expert
2.2.8  1stwarrior  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.2.3    2 weeks ago

All the Angels are Tinkerbells?????

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
2.2.9  author  Gordy327  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.2.7    2 weeks ago

To each their own.

 
 
 
MrFrost
PhD Principal
2.2.10  MrFrost  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.2.3    one week ago
God creates angels out of magic dust and thin air

So.........what you are saying is that I was lied to as a child.. I KNEW it wasn't unicorn farts...lying bastards. 

 
 
 
MrFrost
PhD Principal
2.2.11  MrFrost  replied to  1stwarrior @2.2.8    one week ago

All the Angels are Tinkerbells?????

Tinkerbell was hot, I'm good with it. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
2.2.12  author  Gordy327  replied to  MrFrost @2.2.10    one week ago
So.........what you are saying is that I was lied to as a child

Yes. But if the person who told you that really believed it, was it really a lie?

Tinkerbell was hot, I'm good with it.

I think she likes to be called "Tink." jrSmiley_9_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
3  Thrawn 31    3 weeks ago

Just one more example of god putting in a lot of unnecessary effort for absolute minimal payoff. He destroys these supposedly sinful cities and then the ones he allows to survive promptly rape each other. So the lesson learned was....?

For a supposedly omnipotent and omniscient being his plans seem to have a habit of never working out, which by definition is impossible. 

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Expert
3.1  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  Thrawn 31 @3    3 weeks ago

Well, this is the same entity that supposedly drown the entire planet because he was mad at some of the inhabitants in one location.  Fucking psycho.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
3.1.1  author  Gordy327  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @3.1    3 weeks ago
Well, this is the same entity that supposedly drown the entire planet because he was mad at some of the inhabitants in one location.

There are those who actually defend or rationalize such actions from their deity. In effect, they give God a free pass, because, God.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
3.2  sandy-2021492  replied to  Thrawn 31 @3    3 weeks ago

Yup.  He spared Lot and his family (minus the sodium chloride wife) just for his daughters to get him drunk and commit incest with him.

Pinpoint precision on that whole "smiting the sinners" thing jrSmiley_80_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
3.2.1  Thrawn 31  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.2    3 weeks ago

And the thing is, he is supposedly omniscient so he KNEW that was going to happen, which begs the question, what was the point in destroying the cities in the first place if the survivors were gonna do something just as bad immediately? Unless of course the death and destruction was the whole point, in which case he is indeed a malevolent being.

A side note, ever notice how much incest there is in the Bible? It almost seems like that is the biblical God’s preferred method of reproduction.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
3.2.2  author  Gordy327  replied to  Thrawn 31 @3.2.1    3 weeks ago
Unless of course the death and destruction was the whole point, in which case he is indeed a malevolent being.

I think the bible demonstrates that many times over. Just look at all the atrocities God commits, especially in the OT.

he is supposedly omniscient so he KNEW that was going to happen,

But apparently, Abraham was able to convince god to hold off on city destruction for a while. As if God wasn't sure if there were people in the cities worth sparing.

A side note, ever notice how much incest there is in the Bible? It almost seems like that is the biblical God’s preferred method of reproduction.

That's the only way to explain Adam & Eve . Except that it doesn't. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
3.2.3  author  Gordy327  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.2    3 weeks ago
just for his daughters to get him drunk and commit incest with him.

Giggity.

Pinpoint precision on that whole "smiting the sinners" thing

God never seemed to have good aim. Or cared about who got caught in his retributive blast radius.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
3.2.4  sandy-2021492  replied to  Thrawn 31 @3.2.1    3 weeks ago
A side note, ever notice how much incest there is in the Bible? It almost seems like that is the biblical God’s preferred method of reproduction.

I have noticed, and ew.

Adam and Eve's sons must have gotten busy with their mom.

Abraham and Sarah.

Kissing cousins among Noah's family.

Lot and his daughters.

Amnon and Tamar (with their father David, who was supposedly such a great man, despite committing adultery and murder, doing nothing until his other son Absalom killed Amnon).

God really seems to choose his heroes and survivors extraordinarily badly.  He's like a girl with codependency issues - always falling for the bad boy.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
3.2.5  author  Gordy327  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.2.4    3 weeks ago
Adam and Eve's sons must have gotten busy with their mom.

If one believes the Adam & Eve story as literally true (even though it's highly unlikely), that's exactly what must have happened.

 
 
 
charger 383
PhD Quiet
4  charger 383    3 weeks ago

Probably something natural happened and a story was made up and embellished to scare people into following the priests 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.1  author  Gordy327  replied to  charger 383 @4    3 weeks ago

Much like the other bible stories too. 

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
4.2  Thrawn 31  replied to  charger 383 @4    3 weeks ago

More than likely. Or else they were just destroyed by some enemy or another that history has forgotten about. Although given human history I would almost say that is a natural event.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.2.1  author  Gordy327  replied to  Thrawn 31 @4.2    3 weeks ago
Or else they were just destroyed by some enemy or another that history has forgotten about.

That is another possibility.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4.2.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  Thrawn 31 @4.2    2 weeks ago
Or else they were just destroyed by some enemy or another that history has forgotten about.
384

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.2.3  author  Gordy327  replied to  Trout Giggles @4.2.2    2 weeks ago

That is probably as equally plausible as saying "God did it." Perhaps even more so.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
5  TᵢG    3 weeks ago

Just another story from the minds of ancient men with an agenda.

The factor that I find most interesting is the contradiction of God as defined by the Bible.

Yet again we have a situation where an omniscient entity (one who knows the future) somehow discovers something that He did not know.   An omniscient God knew exactly what S&G would turn into.   No need to be angry (a primitive emotion for the supreme being) when what God knew would happen actually happens.    And, of course, if this is not what an omnipotent God wanted, He certainly had the power to prevent S&G from evolving as it did.

The Bible defines a God character that is self-refuting;  God is defined as a contradiction.   Thus God, as defined by the Bible, does not exist.   There might be a supreme sentient entity but it is not the God character as defined by the Bible.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
5.1  author  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @5    3 weeks ago
Yet again we have a situation where an omniscient entity (one who knows the future) somehow discovers something that He did not know.   An omniscient God knew exactly what S&G would turn into.  

He also didn't know if there were righteous people in S&G. So he had to send 2 angel to find out for Him. Then he apparently didn't know that the so-called righteous people living there, namely Lot & his family, were actually not so righteous after all. Lot's wife disobeys God order and his daughters rape him. Somehow, God was oblivious to that.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
5.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @5.1    3 weeks ago

A blatantly obvious contradiction.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
5.1.2  author  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @5.1.1    3 weeks ago
A blatantly obvious contradiction.

Which of course gets completely glossed over or ignored by some. Or at the very least, quite a bit of pretzel logic to explain the contradiction. 

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Expert
5.2  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  TᵢG @5    3 weeks ago

There might be a supreme sentient entity but it is not the God character as defined by the Bible.

For all anyone knows the entity only put humans on earth to as a maintenance crew to take care of the real intended inheritors of the planet: vegetation.  Maybe it just put us here to produce carbon dioxide for the plants that it so loves and communicates with every day.  Maybe it cares as much about our life as we care about that unsightly weed on the edge of the sidewalk.  That would certainly explain a lot.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
5.2.1  author  Gordy327  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @5.2    3 weeks ago
For all anyone knows the entity only put humans on earth to as a maintenance crew to take care of the real intended inheritors of the planet: vegetation.

And a real bang up job we've been doing so far. >sarc<

 Maybe it cares as much about our life as we care about that unsightly weed on the edge of the sidewalk.  That would certainly explain a lot.

We're the weeds.

 
 
 
Veronica
Junior Guide
6  Veronica    one week ago

So I just finished reading this to my family.  They were amused and also agree totally with your points.  You have a flair.  I think I will read one of them to the family every night. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.1  author  Gordy327  replied to  Veronica @6    one week ago
They were amused and also agree totally with your points.  You have a flair. 

Thank you. I'm glad everyone liked it. 

I think I will read one of them to the family every night. 

There are 9 articles so far. Job might possibly be the 10th. Although, I'm always open to suggestions. Personally, I think the first 3 articles in the series: The Great Flood, Adam & Eve, & the Plagues of Egypt, are the best in the series.

 
 
 
Veronica
Junior Guide
6.1.1  Veronica  replied to  Gordy327 @6.1    one week ago

I loved the Plagues article.  It was my favorite.  It will be fun sharing them with my "non-believer" family.  Now my daughter is Catholic (still), but even she doesn't accept the Bible as truth.  She considers it more as a guide book on what NOT to do (you know killing & maiming is bad).  She is more of a new rather than old testament & doesn't like PaulSaul at all.  SHe is very much into logic & knows the Bible doesn't hold up, but I truly think her faith brings her comfort and I will not begrudge her that with her health issues.  She did like your article though. 

I noticed that cornjeffmag hasn't commented on this one - did you finally chase him away with the truth?

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.1.2  author  Gordy327  replied to  Veronica @6.1.1    one week ago

I'm glad you liked them. I try to take a logical approach and examine any evidence. Clearly some are not interested in logic, as they fail to logically refute any of the points made, much less support their own position with anything beyond "God did it." 

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
7  pat wilson    one week ago

Wasn't there a part of the story where Lot offered up (pimped) his daughters to the angels that came to his door ?

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
7.1  author  Gordy327  replied to  pat wilson @7    one week ago
Wasn't there a part of the story where Lot offered up (pimped) his daughters to the angels that came to his door ?

Not quite. Lot offered the angels hospitality. It was the mob of people that wanted some angel action. Lot offered his own daughters to the mob instead of the angels. Lot was basically pimping his daughters to the mob to save the angels. I don't think Lot will be winning any dad of the year awards with that one. 

 
 
 
MrFrost
PhD Principal
7.1.1  MrFrost  replied to  Gordy327 @7.1    one week ago
Lot offered the angels hospitality. It was the mob of people that wanted some angel action.

So they were like........you know...jrSmiley_116_smiley_image.png

512

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
7.1.2  author  Gordy327  replied to  MrFrost @7.1.1    one week ago

That's how I envision how angels look. That's my version of Heaven right there, Lol

 
 
 
charger 383
PhD Quiet
7.1.3  charger 383  replied to  Gordy327 @7.1.2    one week ago

If they had her in church, I might have stayed religious

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
7.1.4  author  Gordy327  replied to  charger 383 @7.1.3    one week ago

I might have found religion 

 
 
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