The Arc of the Covenant

Ark-of-the-Covenant

The Hebrew term for “ark” translates to “closet” or “cupboard” when taken literally. It’s estimated that it took 60 kilograms of gold to build the Ark of the Covenant, a feat which would require nearly 20,000 wedding rings to provide a modern perspective. The ark was measured in cubits which was a biblical measurement approximately the length of an adult male forearm, with the ark itself being 4 cubits in length by 1.5 cubits height and 1.5 cubits wide. The ark is described within the Bible as the “throne of God”. This symbolism was most likely borrowed from the Egyptians as a similar shrine was found within the tomb of Tutankhamun, guarded by the Egyptian god Anubis, remarkably similar to the way in which it is described to be guarded by God in the Bible. Portable shrines were incredibly common in ancient Egypt and although the Bible states that the Ark of the Covenant was instructed by God, it clearly was manufactured using borrowed ideas, religious motifs, and building techniques. Although Ethiopia vehemently protests that the Ark of the Covenant resides within a single temple in Ethiopia, most experts believe that it was destroyed by the Babylonians during the destroying of the temple in which the Ark of the Covenant was held, in 586 A.D.. The alternate theory is that the Ark of the Covenant has simply fallen apart due to the ravages of time and therefore no longer exists anywhere in the world

William Ockham’s Philosophical Thought Experiment

William of Ockham was an English Franciscan friar, scholastic philosopher, and theologian who posited the question, “is something good because God wills it or does God will something because it is good?”. This essentially translates to “if God is infinite and always good, there cannot be evil in the world, but evil clearly exists, therefore God cannot be infinite and always good, ipso facto, is there really a God?”. William of Ockham is the person behind the theory of simplicity referred to as “Ockham’s razor” most often spelled as “Occam‘s razor”

Reincarnation In Western Religion

reincarnation

Reincarnation does not only show up in eastern religions like Buddhism and Hinduism, it also is apparent in ancient religion. The ancient Greeks believed in a process like this with Plato writing of the soul entering a new body after the body it was previously in had perished. In the Bible, Jesus Christ asks a person who they think he is and the person responds “some say you’re John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and some say you’re Jeremiah” which is a subtle and indirect nod towards reincarnation. This statement hints at the fact that Christ came back as one of those people which is why he acted the way he did. Furthering this theory, Christ has stated “when two or more are gathered in my name, I am there”

Indonesian Islam

Indonesian-Islam

In Indonesia, during the 16th century (although various sources of contrasting Islamic documentation state Islamic traders brought Islam to Indonesia in the 8th century), Islam had mass appeal to the general population. Islam strictly forbade discrimination and idolation of any monarchy or royal bloodline, and gave the common people the same opportunity to ascend to paradise as their rulers did. Islam does not have an intermediary when dealing with divine power which further made the religion attractive to the native islanders. These values made Islam more liberating in comparison to Hinduism and Buddhism which were the dominant religions at the time. The most recent mass conversion to Islam was during the fall of communism in Indonesia in 1965. Massive and brutal murders of communist party members occurred in the late 1960s as the accepted convention at the time was that communists were atheists and atheists were therefore communists. The safest method to ensure survival during this turbulent time, especially for the indigenous Javanese who adhered to local indigenous religions, was to declare themselves Muslim so they would not be mistaken for communists and by default, atheists

Modernity in Turkey

Turkey

Turkey was set up and designed to be a liberal state, a moderate force within the Islamic world, and because of this, traditional Turkish values were kept out of politics for centuries. Turkey is a nation caught between the secular west and Islamic east and because of this, it has changed considerably over the past few decades with its once fairly liberal government now discouraging alcohol and other various western ideals, driving the industries which once existed in Turkey like vineyards and breweries, to dwindle into obscurity because of the cultural shift. Turkey’s once secular government has now become largely ruled by a religious Islamic majority causing Turks to worry that they will soon join the ranks of other Islamic countries which are ruled by fear and religious ideology

The Contradiction of Radical Islamic Terrorism

radical-Islamic-terrorism

Radicalized Islamic terrorists and their supporters say that Jihad states in the Quran to “kill the un-believers, wherever you find them” which they use to justify terrorism and murder. In reality, they are twisting the actual words and context of the Quran. If read from front to back, reading Verse 1, and then after Verse 5, instead of only Verse 5, of Surah at-Tawbah, the Quran states [This is a declaration of disassociation, from Allah and his Messenger] “to those with whom you had made a treaty among the polytheists”, meaning “to the pagans you have drafted a treaty with”, “expected are those with whom you made a treaty among the polytheists” meaning that “the statement only applies to the pagans, not the polytheists who did not break the treaty and fight against Muslims, simply because they followed Islam”. The context is incredibly specific and only applies to a small group of individuals, but radicalized Islamic terrorists and their sympathizers, either purposefully or unknowingly (it doesn’t matter, as they are both incorrect) are going against the word of the Quran

Ancient Egyptian Scarab Beetles

Egyptian-scarab-beetle

The scarab beetle was among the most popular of all ancient Egyptian jewelry pieces as the beetle represented the God “Khepri”. Khepri was the God of creation and rebirth and controlled the movement of the Sun. There are 30,000 different depictions of scarab which account for approximately 10% of all known beetle species. Beetles feed upon the undigested nutrients left behind within the excrement of larger animals, almost always mammals. Beetles then lay their eggs within the ball of dung and soon after die. The eggs hatch from within the inner dung, set foot into the world, and end up pushing the very ball of dung which they were born in. Ancient Egyptians viewed this as the beetle having eternal life and therefore placed incredible importance upon it