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The Belief

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The Belief

History 101- Western Civilization to 1689

Religion has been the epitome of war, discrimination and coercive policies that has facilitated how we live in the eyes of public opinion but the freedom obtained from individual personal beliefs has reinvented how we worship, where we worship, who we worship and if we should worship. Ruled by the idea to live by site ignited a weakness in faith that many claim to hold so dear as they looked for strength in anything but God while easily ruled over by others in a god like manner. The issues to be considered are how the film depicted religion during the times of Ancient Egypt, the religious beliefs and the role of the Pharaoh in the religion, and the use of slaves in the Ancient Egyptian society. Our argument of this film is that monotheism is good, and one should follow one god. I have been taught that we should only know “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.”
The Ten Commandments was an epic film that dramatized the Biblical story in 1956 by Cecil B. Demille. This story relates to the life of Moses, from the time he was discovered. This film was one of the most closely depiction of the actual story of the Israelite’s exodus from Egypt escaping the cruel enslavement by the Egyptians. This film embodies the power and belief in the people of Israel faith in one God (monotheism). The Israelites one God displayed the power and victories over the Egyptians many idol gods (polytheism). Both polytheistic and monotheistic religions have existed for thousands of years. This film was chosen to prove that the belief in monotheism is better than the belief of polytheism. In today’s society many would say that this movie is too long and drawn out but never understand the purpose of this film. This film was not created to make a story but it was a Godly inspired story that should draw the attention of the people. The unwillingness of the people to accept God’s presence is never more apparent than when the Israelites worship a golden calf in the shadow of the thunderous Mount Sinai. The word Monotheism derives from the Greek words theos – which means god and monos which means one. Polytheism is the belief in many gods. Polytheistic religions include all religions except Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism, the only monotheistic religions. A character trait of all monotheistic religions that has shown up all through history is that they believe that God created all reality and is totally self-sufficient. Also monotheistic religions are exclusive. They deny existence of gods of all other religions, unlike polytheists who believe that there can be more gods than what they themselves worship, The only time that Monotheists have been seen as tolerant of other religions is when they are beginning to move from monotheism to polytheisms and see other gods as reincarnations of their god to help explain away their ultimate God. Monotheism was the first religion. Belief in God began with Adam and Eve though some say that the true monotheistic religions began with either Abraham or Moses when he received the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai. As religions de-evolved many became polytheists. They became polytheists because they wanted gods that they could control themselves to explain away, or give licenses to their lifestyles that God would not tolerate. Many secular philosophers and even some theologians argue that monotheism evolved from polytheism saying that “Polytheistic faiths were more primitive and monotheistic faiths more advanced – culturally, ethically, and philosophically.” According to those who have no belief in God whatsoever, if polytheism came from monotheism, it must have de-evolved. It could not have evolved.
The people of Israel had a relationship with God from the beginning of their existence through Abraham the Patriarch, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was the father of twelve sons called the twelve tribes of Israel. Families in these days were very fruitful. Joseph was one of the sons of Jacob who was the first Israelite to be sold as a slave in Egypt. He had a powerful relationship with his God and through miracles he became second in command to Pharaoh. Joseph brought his father, brothers, and their whole family into the blessings and favor of Pharaoh. Joseph had many experiences that he faced but never lost faith in God. Joseph never created problems in his family. He was a very humble person to everyone. They lived peaceful and prosperous in Egypt for many years until the ruler ship of an evil pharaoh called Raamses who enslaved the Israelites. The Ten Commandments was compiled from many sources and contains many materials from three different novels and was written in accordance with the ancient texts of Philo, Josephus, Eusebius, The Midrash and The Holy Scriptures.
The Israelites had strong faith in God and prayed for deliverance from the bondage of slavery. God heard their prayers, saw their pain, and gave them a deliverer called Moses. Pharaoh heard they were praying for a deliverer and decided to destroy any babies born to be killed hoping to kill their deliverer at birth. Moses mother was an Israelite woman and hid her baby boy in a reed basket. His sister took the basket and put him in the river and stayed with him until he got to safety. The one and true living God of the Israelites made a miraculous rescue for Moses by Pharaoh’s own daughter. She always longed for a baby and raised Moses in Pharaoh’s home. She realized he was an Israelite and asked his sister to get the mother so that she could breastfeed and take care of her own baby boy without anyone knowing. This was one of the many examples of how powerful the one God (monotheism) of Israel was over the many idol gods (polytheism) of Egypt. Moses led the slaves from the tyranny of the Egyptian pharaoh and into the desert where he is later given the law of God. Moses grew up with an Egyptian lifestyle and known as the son of Pharaoh but he later found out that he was an Israelite and so did Pharaoh. Moses was enslaved as an Israelite and later banished from Egypt into the wilderness. This is where he met the one God and was told of his role of deliverer of the Israelites from the bondage of slavery. He felt he was not powerful enough for this great task, but God told him he was only the vessel he would work through he would give the power to Moses to deliver his people from slavery. God said to Moses by saying “You shall speak all that I command you and tell Pharaoh to send the children of Israel out of his land of Egypt. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out my hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them.” (Exodus 7:2) In this scripture God spoke to Moses specifically and Moses was to listen and do as the Lord has commanded. Moses never wanted to disobey his word, because he did not want to be punished for wrongful actions.
Moses went unto to Pharaoh and spoke what God commanded him to say and if he refuses to heed unto the word of God he will bring many plagues unto his people. Punishment would take place whenever someone was told to speak the Lords word and do not speak. There were different things that happened to prove how much greater the one God was over the Egyptians many idol gods (polytheism). Pharaoh told Moses to prove the power of his God and Moses threw down his rod before Pharaoh. It turned into a serpent and Pharaoh called his wise men and sorcerers and they threw down rocks and it became serpents also, but Moses serpent swallowed up their serpents. Pharaoh heart was still hardened. The only way confirmation would have been shown in the Old Testament was by proving what was spoken in word. When his Hebrew culture is revealed, Moses is cast out of Egypt, and makes his way across the desert where he marries, has a son and is commanded by God to return to Egypt to free the Hebrews from slavery. In Egypt Moses's fiercest enemy proves to be not Rameses, but someone near to him who can 'harden his heart'.
Moses was commanded by God to go to Pharaoh by the banks of the river and told him to let his people of Israel go or he will make the waters of Egypt turn to blood. Pharaoh refused to heed to God’s command and all the waters turned to blood causing the fish to die and stink. Do to this problem the Egyptians were unable to drink the water. The magician of Egypt with all their prayer and enchantment could not change the water from blood back to water. This was another example of one God (monotheism) being greater than many idol gods (polytheism). Moses had to follow Gods commands no matter what he was told and that was because he was committed to doing what the Lord spoke to him. Pharaoh was very disobedient and never listens to the word that was directed to him. Pharaoh always reap the consequences for not listening to what was expected of him. It is amazing how the Lord turned water into blood. No matter what tricks you could perform there was no changing blood back into water.
God told Moses “to go back to Pharaoh and say to him, thus says the Lord: Let my people go that they may serve me. But if you refuse to let them go, behold I will smite all your territory with frogs.” Exodus 8: 1-2 Frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. The magicians did their prayers of enchantment to their idol gods and more frogs came up upon the land. Pharaoh called Moses and told him if he would pray to his God and stop the frogs, he will let the Israelites go. This is another example that the one God (monotheism) is more powerful and greater than Egypt’s idol gods (polytheism). Moses prayed to God to make the frogs leave Egypt and he did as Moses asked. Pharaoh saw the frogs die out and he did not keep his word to let the Israelites go. God told Moses to strike the dust of the land with his rod so that lice will come to Egypt and cover the land and animals. The Egyptians’ magicians and sorcerers did their enchantment to their idol gods and the lice remained in the land of Egypt.
Flies covered the land next as a command from God through Moses but he did not allow flies in the city of Goshen where the Israelites lived. God said “I will make a difference between my people and your people.” Exodus 8: 25. Moses prayed to God by the request of Moses for this to stop swarming the land of Egypt because Pharaoh’s sorcerers and magicians prayed to their idol gods and could not stop the swarm of flies throughout Egypt. This is yet another example of God (monotheism) which is powerful than all idol gods (polytheism). The flies stopped due to Moses prayer to God.
All of the livestock of Egypt died due to Pharaoh’s hard heart and not letting God’s people go. The Israelites did not lose any of their livestock’s. Boils and sores on men and beasts of Egypt followed due to Pharaoh’s disobedience to God’s commandment to let his people go. The boils even covered the magicians and sorcerers of Egypt again proving the power of one God (monotheism) over many idol gods (polytheism). In the Old Testament they were still living under the law of no grace and mercy. If you obeyed the commandments of the Lord then your life would be spared, but if you did not listen to his direct order then sickness would fall upon your life. Pharaoh had many issues respecting authorities. Moses was raised up as a believer of higher authority. Moses believed in being punished when something was not done, but his reward was when he listened to the commands of God. Moses was always protected by the Lord because he did was commanded of him.
God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and say “Thus says the Lord God of the Hebrews: Let my people go, that they may serve me, for all this time I will send all my plague to your very heart, and on your servants and on your people, that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth. Exodus 9: 14 The Lord caused hail and fire to rain down throughout Egypt but not in the land of Goshen where the children of Israel lived. Pharaoh sent and called for Moses and said to them, “I have sinned this time the Lord is righteous and my people and I are wicked.” This is a surrender of Pharaoh to the one God knowing that his idol gods are not more powerful than him. Moses again prayed to God and the hail and fire stopped. Locust came and swarmed the land, and darkness fell down upon the land except for the children of Israel. The Lord said to Moses, I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. Afterwards he will let you go from here when he lets you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out of here altogether. (Exodus 11:1)
The entire first born of the land of Egypt shall die from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne. Even to the firstborn of the female servants who is behind the hand mill. The Old Testament of living was considered the rough way of living. Even all of the first born of the animals will die. Pharaoh’s first born son died and he sent for Moses and said “Rise go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go serve the Lord as you have said. Also take your flocks and your herds as you have said and be gone and bless me also” (Exodus 12: 31-32). The Israelites left Egypt after four hundred thirty two years of bondage as a free people. This amount of time was a long time to be kept in bondage. Most of this was self-created because of what they created on themselves. This was all done by the power and glory of their one God (monotheism) defeating the power of the Egyptians idol gods (polytheism). This proved the point that monotheism is greater than polytheism. There are many examples of monotheism in our daily ways of living life. We have found out through this research that monotheism is greater than polytheism. Idol gods could not have done what the one God could have done. Although Israel experienced what they had to experience they knew who to trust in. It has been proven through Israel that monotheism is good, and that all people should follow one God.

Work Cited Page

Zondervan NIV Study Bible. Full ref. ed. Kenneth L. Barker, gen. ed. Grand Rapids,
MI: Zondervan, 2002. Print.
New International Version. [Colorado Springs]: Biblical, 2011.
Heinrich Wilhelm (R.B. Paul trans.) (1852). Handbook of the religion and mythology of the Greeks. Francis and John Rivington. p. 8. teway.com. Web. Mar. 2011.
Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, page 87
Assmann, Jan, 'Monotheism and Polytheism' in: Sarah Iles Johnston (ed.), Religions of the Ancient World: A Guide, Harvard University Press pages 17-31.
http://judaism.about.com/od/judaismbasics/a/whatdojewsbelieve.htm

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...Megan Morrone Sigmund Freud and William James on Religion Intro to Philosophy Final May 3, 2013 The Will to Believe, an essay by William James, is a defense of religious faith in the absence of convincing logical facts or scientific evidence. James focuses on reasoning and choice in reference to the basis of belief. To James, when reasoning it is a necessity to recognize other considerations apart from those in which the evidence points to. If truth is the primary focus of our beliefs, sometimes it may necessary to take the risk of believing without solid evidence. Moreover, he clarifies that, although we sometimes have a choice in what we believe, there are many beliefs that we cannot will. James views faith in God as falling short of knowledge because we, as humans do not naturally experience the supernatural. However, he also explains that, such faith is sensibly meaningful to many people, and it is reasonable to wonder how, and to what extent it can be justified. James believes that both logic and science have limits beyond which we can legitimately seek rationality. James discusses genuine choice and stresses the three criteria for genuine choice; the choice must be live, forced, and momentous. In other words, personally meaningful, mutually exclusive and presented with an option and/or answer, and must involve potentially important consequences. James defines religion broadly, as having simply two elements, the first being that the best things are eternal, and second...

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