Since I’ve been out of the loop for a few days, I thought I’d do a whole post on the comments that have been offered in defense of theism, religion and Christianity that I haven’t addressed yet.
Right now, I’m no longer among the ranks of the working for a while (had an interview for another position yesterday). A month ago I gave my resignation from the small nonprofit where I worked because I simply couldn’t stand dealing with my boss anymore. I gave them a full month to ask me all the questions they would need to know the answers to so they could continue to function and so they could hire someone to replace me. Well, my former boss waited until the last three days to try to ask questions and no one was hired. It should be rather sadly hilarious to watch him try to run an event on his own and do everything else I’ve done when he doesn’t even know how to make name badges in Word. My remaining coworker has all of my sympathies.
Now, onto the real meat. Ben, our current Christian has been doing a yeoman’s job at trying to rebut my points. He’s not succeeding but not for want of trying and I appreciate his efforts very much. It takes some cojones to try to bell the leopard in her den.
In a response to the comments on the Part 1 of his postings, he claims that Moser is not a big fan of the ontological argument. I pointed out that Moser’s argument, ““Setting the bar high, indeed as high as possible, we will approach the term ‘God’ as a supreme title of personal perfection rather than a proper name”, is nothing more than onotological argument. This argument is nothing more than the claim that a god exists because humans can imagine perfection and god has to be perfection. I ask Ben to show how that Moser’s argument that he posted isn’t the ontological argument. Moser, like many Christians, doesn’t like the picture of his god that the bible gives and that does cause him to try to seek out a god that humans would consider worthy of worship. He therefore creates a new definition of god, one of human imagined perfection. Moser may claim he isn’t a big fan of the OA but he uses it.
This argument also requires that humans agree on what “perfection” is if this god is to be the ultimate god of the universe, the monotheist’s wet dream. We know that humans have some similar ideals of morality, personal property, personal ownership of the body, etc, but those that we consider “good” are fairly recent. Slavery has been considered good and indeed, Christian God approved, for thousands of years. It is only from willful ignorance and arrogance that modern Christian apologists think that they can revamp their god to be their ideal of “moral perfection”.
Ben also claims that this god “must do what is best for everyone even his enemies”. Really? Again, the holy books of most, if not all, religions do not say this at all. We have the bible saying that those who do not accept this god are worthy of nothing better than genocide. The OT and NT make this clear with the death of non-believers demanded and hell required for their supposedly immortal souls. This is not a god doing what is “best” for everyone. Ben tries to claim that “harsh treatment” for those who spurn his god maybe “best”. That is in the opinion of Christians who think that they are the only ones who are right. It’s the claim of a sycophant who nods in approval when his king tortures someone that he doesn’t like too. And a god like the one Ben and Moser has proposed is certainly a reflection of humanity, our worst parts.
Ben says he won’t “quibble” I say that the bible does not describe the kind of god he proposes. He does disagree with me though. Now, I find that not “quibbling” is just an excuse for Ben not to actually support his claims. Ben, if you disagree, then show why you disagree or all I see is a Christian who wants to pretend that there is nothing behind the curtain. I can show the verses to support my position. Can you do the same? If you believe that your god created a “savior” that is necessary for your salvation and not to be tortured in the afterlife, and you have said you believe “something like that”, we can see this god in the bible. We cannot see a god that is morally perfect, not as you would define your god in the morals we have now. You consider the god you’ve invented worthy of worship, this does not mean that this god is worthy of worship or that it exists at all. And I certainly don’t find it worthy at all.
You have defined your god by your version of Christianity. It is only your opinion that a god worthy of worship (GodWOW) would send JC, it is not a fact or the magical truth. Your holy book shows that this GodWOW didn’t care at all about coercing humans or not. If that were the truth, this god of yours, you know the same one in the OT?, would have sent JC long before he supposedly did. But he didn’t, he, per the stories in the bible, personally interfered with humanity, he gave laws that he should have known would fail, etc.
And this Jesus. Well, there is no evidence that JC existed at all. He is not evidence (personified or not) at all of any god’s existence much less “perfect moral character and love”. It’s also amusing when Ben claims that humans are his god’s enemies. It’s rather amazing that this god couldn’t do better. And as for the claim that this god needed to allow humans the choice to disbelieve him, that’s just more apologetics by Christians who forget about what they claim heaven is. Ben, just think about heaven, and tell me again why humans had to have a choice?
I see many many MANY Christians who do not love their enemies. And again, I have no way to distinguish them from other Christians. They all make the exact same claim “I have the only right way to worship Jesus.” And all of them can cite chapter and verse on why they are “right”. We have Ben who is sure that his god allows humans to love their enemies but we have other Christians who are sure that they are supposed to hate their enemies. Love doesn’t hold up signs that says God deserves to kill people,, love does not say that people deserve a eternity of torture. The Christian god is not about love, it is about control and obedience. The Christian god can’t even fulfill its own holy book’s definition of love. Christians do try to co-opt the idea of love for their god and their god alone but they must destroy the meaning of love to do it.
And Ben, it’s not unusual at all to love one’s enemies. Abused spouses and children do it all of the time. It’s not magical at all.
Next post will be a reply to another of Ben’s comments. Please comment on the new posts. It’ll make things clearer and get us out of the thickets on the other posts.