New on Ebon Musings: Parting the Parthenon

A new essay, “Parting the Parthenon“, has been posted on Ebon Musings. The essay is a semi-serious look at the reasons to disbelieve in the Greek gods, written as a response to Christians who claim atheists focus exclusively on debunking Christianity.

This is an open thread. Comments and feedback are welcome.

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About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, City of Light, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • SpeirM

    One teensy-tiny quibble. You start out saying, “…one of the most prominent faiths in the world today is Hellenism….” Later, you tell us, “However, since humanity has not been worshipping Poseidon or making sacrifices to him for hundreds of years….” Seems contradictory to me.

    But it was a fun read.

  • Interested Atheist

    It was a fun read – and may I say that I’m always especially happy to see new additions to the Ebon Musings website. But I wonder if it might have made a better point to have written an essay justifying belief in the Greek Gods – it might have reminded certain people that when it comes to religion, no matter how well-crafted or skilfully presented your arguments are, they come down to a load of nonsense. Such as:

    (Of course, this means it’s been done already – but I’m sure Adam could have done it even better!)

  • Siamang

    Oh yeah? Well answer me this: If there’s no such thing as Baccus, where does wine come from?

  • SpeirM

    “If there’s no such thing as Baccus, where does wine come from?”

    Quantum fluctuations.

  • lpetrich

    Nice essay, but I don’t think that there is anything in Greek mythology about declaring war on anyone who worships other gods; in fact, I know of nobody in that mythology who doubts or denies the existence of the Olympians — and no references to non-Greek deities either.

    The most that happens is people claiming that they are better than some deity at something like Arachne claiming that she can weave prettier tapestries than Athena. The two hold a competition, Athena out-weaves her, and Athena turns Arachne into a spider (her name is the Greek word for spider).

    But such pettiness and vindictiveness seems all too typical of the Olympians. When the hunter Actaeon gets an eyeful of Artemis bathing, she turns him into a deer and sics his dogs on him.

    And Hera’s response to her husband Zeus’s love affairs was to sometimes attack Zeus’s children, like sending two snakes to kill baby Hercules. However, he foiled her by strangling them. Hera wasn’t finished with him, and later in his life, she made him go nuts and kill his wife and children.

    Zeus did not like Asclepius resurrecting dead people, because he thought that we should not be defying death so easily, so he struck Asclepius with lightning. Zeus also didn’t like Prometheus giving fire to humanity, and he didn’t enjoy getting tricked into accepting the unappetizing parts of sacrificed animals as offerings. So he chained Prometheus to a mountain in the Caucasus, where an eagle would perpetually gnaw on his liver.

    And when Athena invented a flute, she watched a reflection of herself playing it. She noticed that her cheeks got puffed up, and tossed aside that flute. Aside from their magic powers, those Olympians don’t have very fancy technology.

    Turning to the afterlife, most people got one that was neither good nor bad — living a ghostly existence in Hades. Only if you were very good did you get to go to the Islands of the Blessed (Heaven), and only if you were very bad did you get sent to Tartarus (Hell). In fairness, some of this is actually more reasonable than their Xian counterparts. In the Islands of the Blessed, you can do lots of fun things like make music and play sports; you won’t have to be wearing a white robe and singing hymns all day. The punishments in Tartarus are more creative than simply being continually burned alive. And one’s judged by one’s actions, not how much one believes some creed — and there isn’t any hint of predestination.

  • Quath

    Blaphemous unbelievers. It is very clear that Zeus is real. Check out this website where Zeus’s lightning strikes at the heart of the false religion of Christianity: MORE Warnings From Zeus!

  • Mikidu

    As always Adam, a great essay. But it only goes to prove the unassailable truth of the New Testament and Christianity that worships the one true living God. All other gods are either dead or didn’t exist in the first place. Or so they tell us!