Mountains, Devils, and Gods

How the men of words used natural phenomena to control entire cultures

Since only about the past 3 centuries have mountains been explored and climbed. Historically, in them dwelt the gods, God, or devils and monsters. Folk lore is rich with misunderstandings of geology and what lay in the high places—including lore of the Bible.

“And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.” Exodus‬ ‭20:18‬ ‭KJV

We can all easily imagine all these descriptions are that of a volcanic process, but what about the trumpet? For thirty days prior to an eruption in Hawaii, these sounds were recorded (there are others as well) that describe the high pressure venting of gasses pressing through fissures. But like any good preacher, the Moses character takes advantage of the crisis.

“And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.” Exodus‬ ‭20:20‬ ‭KJV‬‬

If the people survive this, he has the control over them for a lifetime. If not, meh, the dead never write nor have much to say. That technique has enslaved billions for millennia in multiple civilizations. It was a bold play on primitive ignorance.

Today mountain climbing is merely a hobby and studying them is a profession. We routinely climb the once forbidden domains of god without fear of meeting him face to face, because it is an imagínate being. It always has been a superstitious misunderstanding of the natural world that has empowered the men of words. Thank you geologists!


Author: jimoeba

Alternatives to big box religions and dogmas

28 thoughts on “Mountains, Devils, and Gods”

  1. Love your homilies! I was criticized by a commenter for using the example of a solar eclipse as a religious leader’s lever and here in the Bible we have the example of a seismic or volcanic event being used by con men/leaders to sell their supernatural story. The bullshit has been in plain sight for a very long time, we just were told that it smelled wonderful.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Steve. How obvious does it have to be for one to see the inerrant word of god is a primitive discourse based on archaic superstition? The world is full of real explanations nowadays. Faith kills reason, and the proof is in the blind groping at supernatural explanation to validate scripture through faith.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. And people are willing to believe anything they are told if it pretends to explain what they cannot understand. The wind, the rain, lightning and thunder, all these were scary things to prehistoric humanity, visible in the way some animals still react today. Dogs hide in dark places, cover their eyes with their paws, and moan. So when someone told them the gods were upset, or partying, or whatever, they were willing to believe. We no longer are frightened by the usual things, but to hear the sounds of the gasses venting, not understanding their origin, would weird the hell out of most. There are no volcanoes anywhere near me, so sounds like those would probably scare me until I understood them. Primitive people would have felt totally helpless.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Interestingly very small. What irks me most is probably the fact that a scenario like this is so absolutely false—it was not a god in the mountain, and from my view makes the entire book of exodus suspect.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Very true. Human beings have always have had to push their gods farther and farther into the distance as we learned phenomena we didn’t understand at first had far more mundane causes than the supernatural.

    It’s interesting how the concept of what is a god has evolved since the classical period, where the gods were basically just cranky, short tempered human beings who happened to have super powers. Heck, a lot of them had even been human beings at one time.

    As we pushed gods father into the distance as we learned about the natural world, god didn’t evolve very much though. While the modern physical concept of god is some kind of all pervasive essence, his mental state hasn’t evolved. He’s just as cranky, short tempered, jealous and vindictive as the gods of Rome and Greece.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Many climate deniers claim the global community is using climate to control global behaviour. In the same way as priests and medicine men used weather events and eclipses to control their underlings. Manipulation of behaviour is an art which mankind has been honing for thousands of years. Many still look for signs and warnings in the natural world ; the Christian religion warned its adherents against such practice fearing that new forces would wrest control from their hands.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a good point. I remember when it all started and, that control through global warming was an affront to freedom. The god given right to abuse the planet for free enterprise, then when things get bad enough, the king of kings is going to fix it all. Had science not exposed the fraud of the climate gods, the climate deniers most likely would be our greatest allies as to not offend the gods. You are a smart one Kersten!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting post. The Moses figure is an essential part of the picture; gullible people and scary natural phenomena still don’t quite add up to religion without the religious con man to run the con. The man behind the curtain seizes the opportunity to make Oz the Great and Terrible even more frightening. But as you say, if it works, he’s got unlimited power for the rest of his life.

    People are still doing this, though not with mountains. As hurricanes become worse and more frequent, people like Michele Bachmann claim that it’s God’s punishment for our country’s acceptance of gay marriage. Of course we know why hurricanes are getting worse (global warming), but the target audience has been taught to reject the scientific explanation. A few years ago an Islamist cleric in Iran claimed that earthquakes are caused by God’s wrath at women dressing “immodestly” (in Iran there is a constant conflict between religious police enforcing the Islamic dress code and women testing what they can get away with), although if that were true one would expect eastern Europe to have the most earthquakes and the Middle East the fewest, which does not fit the data. Even man-made disasters can be exploited this way — remember how after the 9/11 attack Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson claimed that God had allowed it to happen because of American gays, paganism, the ACLU, and pretty much everything they happened to dislike.

    The human susceptibility to such scams remains a danger. I fear that if a really major natural disaster were to happen, such as a meteor impact that devastated a large region of the world, the con men would be out in force within hours, proclaiming it to be the wrath of God and whipping up the fear and shock of the survivors, “that his fear may be before your faces,” and that they might establish their petty and meaningless reign of ignorance over the ruins.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You stated — “But like any good preacher, the Moses character takes advantage of the crisis.”

    My response — In this line of thinking why would Moses not be equally scared of the crisis?


    1. First of all, the writers were creating their mythical hero. That’s how. The entirety of the Moses story is fable. Even the Jews are admitting that. A forty year settlement the size of Houston Texas left no trace. Not even a pottery shard. No Egyptian cities built from mud brick, and no exodus. I really like your question and it makes sense if any of it were true.
      On the other hand, the past is full of astronomers and wise men that took advantage of people through their education. That would be my second guess, if it were true that he grew up in the thick of the pharaohs


      1. You stated — “if it were true”

        My response — If you go with this line of thinking then you have a man who is not fearful of literally that which scares every other man in his time period.

        I find this interesting because I hadn’t thought of it until you mentioned it.

        You stated — “First of all, the writers were creating their mythical hero.”

        My response — This is the part I find confusing, you see Moses as a hero. As a Christian I don’t understand why. It seems like he was very different than your description. For example, Exodus 4:10 to 16

        I’m just curious, what makes you think he was a hero?


        1. You may view him a little differently. Even the web is full of Moses as a heroic figure, from freeing the Israelites to sustaining them for 40 years, manna , the Red Sea, etc. Many people select Moses as their favorite bible hero. I’m not reaching.


          1. You stated — “Many people”

            My response — Ahh I understand, this was a consensus from what many people think. Seems fair, thanks.

            Side note — Many people voted for Trump. Many people gave Obama a peace prize.

            Maybe many people are wrong in there observations.

            Just a thought


            1. What type of usual stuff everyday sets Moses apart from regular people? It’s not a consensus thing, but he is indeed a hero of the Bible. It’s a fable none the less, we might as well be discussing Batman. I did a post a while back on NDEs that were faked. Books were written and then the truth came out. The preachers were still debating which fraudulent story had the closest description of Heaven. That’s about what we’re doing now.


            2. You stated — “That’s about what we’re doing now.”

              My response — That seems fair. In the battle of ideas time is wasted on both sides to bring clarity of any detail to the surface.

              In the end whether we agree or not at least it will be for a better defined reason and not one pushed on us from the masses.

              Just a thought

              Liked by 1 person

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