Christians (and most theists) do love to make excuses for their god, why we shouldn’t ever dare attempt to judge its actions and excuses on why its so pathetically impotent. Caroline, a Christian who has been a lovely example for this blog, now continues with her attempts, part 1 and part 2. As promised, and as expected, she’s ignoring me and of course unable to provide any actual answers to the questions I’ve already asked. For someone who claims she’s so reasonable and so strong with faith, we see that she is neither. She does do a most excellent job of using all of the flawed “reasoning” that I have seen Christians use in the last 10+ years of rebutting them. This post will likely have some repeats of ther things. That’s the nature of the tedium of rebutting religion and my apologies for the task I’ve set before you.
I debated on splitting this up into two posts because of the length. If leaving it one large post does give anyone hives, let me know.
“Is God a moral monster because he commanded the slaughter of whole groups of people, including children?”
Yes, the Judeo-Christo-Islamic God, supposedly described accurately by the Torah, Bible and Qu’ran, is a moral monster because he commanded genocide including children. I mean, really, that anyone thinks it’s ever acceptable just shows how heinous religion can be when it makes people think such things are *ever* okay.
The bible has yet to be shown as true or that it has any veracity beyond what one might expect from any set of myths. Athens exists, so does that mean Athena and Poseidon do too? That’s what your supposed “reason” is claiming. But let’s assume that all of the events declared true, accurate and verifiable by believers are indeed that. We shall also see just how silly those claims are.
The Old Testament is the supposed national history of a people. It claims a patriarch is descended from the “first” man and makes claims about original sin and how all humans who don’t worship this god are “evil”. It is replete with this god making mistakes left and right; leaving a “snake” in a garden, screwing up with Noah and his “covenant”, lying to Abraham, Abraham lying to lots of people, him raping his maidservant to get a son with his wife’s approval, this god trying yet again to make a set of laws which fail, and then we have this god promising this people the land that is already occupied, saying “hey, kill them all. It’s great! Even take their children for slaves (those that you don’t kill) and force them to marry you!” Of course none of this has any actual evidence to show that it even occurred. It’s about as true as the Hopi myth that there is another world and humans climbed a magical reed to get to this one.
Caroline declared that it must have felt like a curse to be God’s chosen people because of the “odd dietary and wardrobe restrictions.” Yep, those “odd” restrictions that are much this god’s law as those first ten that Christians are always pointing to and ignoring the rest. I see nothing in the bible that says that the Israelites thought it was a curse to have to supposedly render god’s judgment on others. They seemed to rather enjoy it with all of the pillaging and raping. It’s bemusing how suddenly your god is unable to do its own judging e.g. the “flood”, and simply *must* depende on puny humans. Why is that? Maybe because any magical floods are simply laughed at as myth? Or is it that a people have made up a god that agrees with them and gives them “permission” to do horrible things? Yep, people have been doing that probably since there have been people.
The only thing that demands that your god punishes sin is a man-created made up definition that your god is “perfectly holy”. As of yet, no evidence of this at all, no “perfect” and well, “holy”? just a circular definition. No evidence of magical “greater sins” arising either. In fact, the world does seem to be getting better, not worse. And I wonder, in Revelation 20, where your god intentionally works with evil and allows it to roam free again, does this “denigrate” your god’s character? It must, shouldn’t it? There is nothing loving compassionate, merciful or forgiving in the OT god. If so, then where is the command that it’s okay to live with people who don’t worship like you do? Not here. Where is the compassion for the children of those who don’t agree with you and who have no choice who their parents and people are? Not here. Where is the mercy for these children who this god says slaughter their brothers, and mothers and fathers and sisters who are just too old? Not here. How about those first-born in Egypt, why they deserve to die because your god forced its will on pharaoh just to show off (Exodus 4, 7, 14, etc) It’s unfortunate to see a Christian like Caroline insist upon this mercy, etc when at most we have one bit, back when the Israelites, including Aaron who was about as exposed to this god as possible and knew all about it, created that golden calf, where this god of yours was talked down by a human from making yet another mistake. It’s amusing that this god thinks that destroying humanity is all that’s needed repeatedly and it doesn’t remember its failures. So much for your god’s purported omniscience and omnipotence. This god is supposedly these things so whining that it’s not your god’s fault that it kills people is pretty amusing. It has all of the time in the world, so what’s the rush?
Caroline does indeed do a good job showing how random this god is. Yep, it kills people for “unauthorized fire”. Poor little god, can’t stand “unauthorized fire” 🙂 , can’t stand being offered grains and fruit but must have meat and plays favorites to get it. It kills Uzzah for keeping its magic box from tipping over. It allows the human sacrifice of Jephtha’s daughter because hmm, she deserves to be slaughtered for her father’s stupidity?; it kills David’s son for David’s sin. Why, how “fair” and how “just”! You claim that “God took drastic measures because the Jews needed to be shown in no uncertain terms that God means what he says and even if his commands seem unreasonable, we would do well to obey them.” Ah, just like a an abusive parent. “Don’t ask me why I said this, just do it or I’ll belt you one!” “You’re my favorite, now do what I say!” Even if we stop right here, I have no problem at all judging this god.
Caroline then attempts to try to claim that being killed by God isn’t a one way ticket to hell. This is simply more attempts to revise a bible that is pretty distasteful. So, now Caroline has invented a new part to her religion, where God’s wrath, and the death it causes, is just a tap on the nose with a rolled up newspaper. Yep, drowning supposed millions was just to “warn” them, and not until God changes his mind again do we have any chance to be warned at all (an assumption based on claims that the character Jesus went to “hell” and talked to people there, one more piece of this house or cards). In the OT, they were so evil too that they deserved death, and in the NT we also have people that are claimed to deserve death (Romans 1).
One of the more disturbing parts of Caroline’s and other Christians believe is that they are perfectly fine for someone to die horribly as long as *they* get a benefit, that *they* get taught a “lesson”. How pitifully selfish.
There are other faulty claims made, to excuse this god’s bloodthirstiness. There’s nothing in bible that says anyone gets taken directly to heaven except for a very few, Enoch, Elijah. Nothing that says that poor Uzzah was taken directly to heaven because of your god being too ridiculous to not kill him. Job’s first family, nope, just killed by your god’s desire to make a bet with that evil that would “denigrate” him so. Not even in the NT does it say that anyone goes “directly” to heaven. They simply wait in the grave until “judgement day” (Correction: there are two places that might be construed to have people taken: Matthew 24:40-41 and 1 Thessalonians 4:17. But we know how well that’s worked out…). Many Christians make up things wholesale to make themselves feel better about this god, and since they are indeed a better and more comforting story, they get accepted as cannon. This contributes to the continuing problem of how each Christian decides that she and she alone knows what salvation requires and again no more evidence than the next.
Since Christians need to excuse their god, they claim that places that were destroyed by genocide were “sick”. Again, no evidence, just the weak claim that if your god doesn’t like it, it’s “sick”. How convenient! There is no evidence that the Canaanites sacrificed children. These claims of a “sickness” require that the Christian claims that “everyone” was complict. It’s not hard to see the problem with this. Golly, a three year old child is complict! How nice to know.
Perhaps the worst part of Caroline’s, and other Christians’ excuses, is this (the cities are Sodom and Gomorrah. Do you know what their “real” sin was? Here.):
“But what about the little ones? Surely there were innocent infants and babes in those cities who could not be said to have been complicit in the sins of their parents. It is not difficult to imagine and believe that God, in his mercy, wanted to spare them even the opportunity to sin and instead welcome them to his side for eternity. It is also conceivable that in the moment of their death, he divinely protected them from fear and pain.”
Yeeesh. In this, many Christians excuse their god for killing children by making something up to salve their conscience. Unfortunately, this is not at all unusual to hear a Christian say this, but again they have no evidence for this. As Roman Catholics have invented Limbo to assuage their guilt brought on by Augustine’s declaration that children are damned if not baptized correctly; Caroline, and others like her, have made up a god that gives children a pass. What they forget is that this would make abortion a good idea to this god if it keeps children from sinning. Indeed, why allow any to be born if they are only going to sin. Why not route them straight to heaven? People like Andrea Yates who claimed she killed her children because God said should be believed by Caroline because, per her “reason” it’s better to have dead children rather than let them have a chance to sin. It is truly amazing what some Christians will claim when they must excuse a god that they seem to realize is wrong but that they have so much of their self-worth bound up in.
In Caroline’s second part, we see her particular Christian “reason” failing again. Alas, many Christians wish to claim that their and only their way of thinking is right and that “true scientific inquiry” is by what they stamp their feet and demand. Reality is such a problem for the believer.
In this part, Caroline shows just how much she doesn’t understand about basic science or the scientific method. She also shows just how badly she needs strawmen and the attendent lies about them. Of course, she must claim that her and only her god is the creator. I am still waiting for any evidence of that, but she has ended the discussion before she ever provided it. I will have to say that it’s always feels quite good when a self-described Christian has to do such things. No, Caroline, you are not making new friends at all when you have to resort to such nonsense. My friends do not support genocide. It’s rather amazing on just how badly that “do you believe in man” bit fails. She is right though, it surely is silly. I guess she doesn’t realize that computers have input, that fossils do exist and do show intermediate forms e.g. forms that show gradual change over time to accommodate environmental stressors passed along by those individuals that survive and thrive; a complete lie about evolutionary theory, etc. Ah, a belief based on willful ignorance, lies and hypocrisy, how unsuprising. Of course, she can’t show any input at all from her god so her analogy fails, not only slightly but completely.
The basis for the next bit of excuses for God is that we humans simply can’t understand it. However, that does pose a problem for Christians since they claim continually that they do understand this god, so much so that they known how to avoid being damned and that it wants very certain things done: marriage being forbidden to homosexuals, women to not work, children to be punished certain ways, certain foods to be eaten or not, baptizing to be this or that, and on and on. Of course, they can’t agree on this at all and then proceed to create thousands of sects, and additional religions, all certain that they and they alone have this wonderful understanding.
There is nothing rational about having many different humans inventing many different claims about what god wants, especially when these humans cannot provide one jot or tittle of evidence. Caroline takes refuge in using “big words” again when she tries to claim an “obvious reality of the hierarchy according to cognizance and capability” (or “God is real and really is big and smart. I said so. You have to believe me and obey it without question, honest.”). There’s that claim of “obvious” again and no facts and evidence presented, as usual. To have a hierarchy there would need to be evidence of something above humans. There is none. We only have baseless claims of such by theists and those assumptions include very many candidates, most of which Christians claim do not exist. We have no evidence that there is anything that can think better than us or has better morals than us. And we certainly have no evidence that we *must* obey such a thing. All Christians are left with is the usual ontological argument, etc, all which are logical arguments but depend on principles that have yet to be demonstrated as valid. If they are not, then the logic fails since it makes faulty assumptions.
It is claimed that this god does not discourage or frown on honest questions (there’s the weasel word, because the theist thinks that they may determine what “honest” really means). Job and Psalms are cited; and one might wonder about that if one has actually read Job (I encourage you to read it all). I have, and there is nothing in this book that says questions *aren’t* discouraged. It emphatically has that this god does not like questions at all. This god removes his protection from Job, and is complicit in murder of Job’s family and slaves by willing standing by. Job does not “sin” by accusing this god of wrongdoing because Job is very certain that this god gives both good and evil. Job’s friends say it must be Job’s fault that all of this tragedy has happened since this god would never make a mistake. Job then asks that this god explain itself. Oh and this is where the fewmets hits the windmill, in chapter 38. We have nothing but a god that says it can do what it wants because it is powerful aka “might equals right”. This god loves to boast on how great it is, very powerful but very human. There is no compassion here, only “shut up, and take it”. God says ““Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?” Well, justice isn’t allowing an evil being to kill people and what has Job to justify himself for? Asking questions on why this god would allow this to happen when Job, has done nothing wrong, a condition agreed to by this god? This god is not fair, this god is a bully, who, I would postulate, is now embarasssed about what it has done. Job is afraid, and with good reason, if this god is as it acts. He acts like many do when confronted by an abusive spouse or parent, accepting it is his fault when there is nothing that confirms this at all. Finally, this god restores “twice” Job’s fortunes. Sounds rather like an apology doesn’t it, blood money that a mafia don offers. I know I’m more moral than that and again have no problem in judging something that does that.
What many theists, and most Christians, do not understand is that simply repeating that they are using “reason” doesn’t mean they are. I feel like Inigo Montoya: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” It doesn’t mean that this god exists. Yes, it does say “come let us reason together” in Isaiah 1 but other translations say “come let us settle the matter” and the rest of the chapter makes much more sense with that since God is again using threats to get obedience, not a dialogue. Jeremiah 29:13 says well, it doesn’t’ say that there are truths about god that we can ascertain and that this god commends us for looking for them: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” This is similar when a theist says “if you are sincere enough, you’ll find my god” and when the seeker says they’ve tried, well, they didn’t try “enough”.
Caroline makes yet more errors in her claims. She claims that “One of the clearest and simplest truths” is that “since God created all life, he has the right to do with that life as he will”. This is yet one more baseless claim that her god exists and has done anything which is used to again say “might equals right”. By her “reasoning”, a parent has the right to do anything it wishes to its child. The Christian excuse for that is that only god has this right since it “created” the parent it has rights into destroying whatever it pleases but the parent doesn’t. Don’t you just love “do as I say, not as I do”? I can deny that anything has this “right” with no problem. It’s a pathetically primitive stance that declares that only power is important and rights do not matter. It’s the attitude of a sycophant who is so very desperately afraid “sure boss, do what you like boss, don’t hurt me boss”. There is no “truth” that this god is “good” at all, and again the Christian must use circular logic to say that “God is good is god is good, ad infinitum.
We finally get to the excuse that god only “appears” evil and that we can’t know what magical mysterious things that this god really plans on doing. Caroline retreats back into the little lie that people “really don’t want to see”. This all is quite bemusing since this claim that god can use evil events to do good, which destroys the dearly held belief that god is somehow objectively moral. If something is evil, then it should “always” be evil and not some “doing all the wrong things for the right reasons”. I know that I personally don’t want some god to allow a child to be harmed if it would somehow “benefit” me. I have better morals than that. Caroline’s illustration fails miserably too as they always do. She forgets that one can actually find out the rest of the story in the case of the pregnant woman but in her claims about god, we have yet to see her provide any information at all that would show her god to exist and show that its actions are indeed beneficial. We have nothing to show that this god’s allowing millions to starve to death is a humane thing to do. We have nothing to show that committing genocide was just peachy-keen. No, all we have are excuses, a lot of maybe’s and could be’s. One could make the same arguments for Hitler (yes, I know but it makes the point). Hitler could have been doing some great thing, but we just don’t know about it. He “could” have saved the earth from extra-dimensional beings bent on conquest. But did he or is that just a excuse?
We do not have to acknowledge anything theists demand. We do have to require them to support their claims with evidence because often those claims are repugnant. I can arrive at a totally coherent conclusion with no problem, Caroline’s claims to the contrary notwithstanding. The bible presents a being that is violent and a reflection of the humans at the time. Humans who have decided to follow this religion have had to make up excuses repeatedly so they may keep this religion and their own self-worth. They wish to claim that our knowledge is limited so we should accept their excuses without careful consideration and without evidence. They also try to make claims that their god is “clearly revealed” as compassionate and loving, and it is evident that this clear revelation is not clear at all, not when so many disagree. Claiming something is clear doesn’t magically make it so, no matter how many times you repeat it.
I reject this Christian god, and all gods, because there is no evidence for them. None at all, and we’ve gone through that with Caroline being a TrueChristian and ignoring direct questions about this. I find it as a mythical character one of the more violent and ignorant. Again, there is no “clear revelation” of compassion or love. The argument depends on a character that they have created for themselves, picking and choosing and excusing their way through the bible. I know quite a bit about what the Christian god is supposed to be like if the bible is supposed to be accurate. Is it? I should be able to know quite a bit about this god from its believers, but unsuprisingly, Christians can’t agree on that either and we’re back to which of you “true believers” has the right answer?
Unsuprisingly, the last gambit is the usual claims about how believing in Jesus means he existed. Sigh. No, it doesn’t, unless Caroline, you wish to acknowledge that this means that all gods exist since belief in them transformed someone’s life. All hail Osiris! Another version of this is “look how many people died for Christianity, that means its real”. Ah, no, again other believers have done the same, does this mean those gods are real too? Other religions changed history too. Is Allah the real deal? Is Quetzalcoatl? The lack of thought behind these supposed “reasons” is astounding.
I do not “stubbornly refuse to believe”. That’s one more lie that our TrueChristianstm tell about atheists. It’s such a cute strawman! Give me evidence, then I might believe but still may not worship since the being I see represented in the bible is far worse than I am. Give me evidence of a humane god and then I may even worship it. I do like playing clerics in Dungeons and Dragons where gods do help humanity. 🙂
I have no problem in accepting well-supported theories on evolution and cosmology, no magical intelligence needed at all. It is not an incoherent conclusion at all being that it is based on fact and evidence not on the claims that one imaginary friend is better than someone else’s. Caroline uses those theories too, when it makes her all snug and comfy. She just picks and chooses reality like she does her bible. The results are just as silly.
Postscript: To my Christian readers, if you would like to rebut my positions or rebut this type of Christian position and present you own, I would welcome that with open arms, either in comments or as a guest blogger.