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God Commanded Terrible Stuff!

In regard to God defining morality (part of a reply to this post), Alex wrote:

Right, so I guess then that slavery is fine, that homosexuals should be killed, that it’s ok to kill people who pick up sticks on a Saturday or Sunday, that child sacrificing is perfectly fine, that a tooth for a tooth is perfectly fine and on and on?

This has all been answered before, so here’s the round-up of replies:

Amazingly, no mention of God commanding genocide.  That’s the only atheist talking point missing from Alex’s short list.

Hopefully, I won’t have to answer any of these charges again, but I kind of doubt it.  All of these are atheist favorites, despite repeated correction by many, many Christian apologists.  I’m sure we’ll keep seeing these brought up over and over again, until Christ’s triumphant return.

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About Cory Tucholski

I'm a born-again Christian, amateur apologist and philosopher, father of 3. Want to know more? Check the "About" page!

Posted on October 25, 2011, in Apologetics, Religion, Sin and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. “Hopefully, I won’t have to answer any of these charges again”

    Hmm. Of all the things you could have responded to, and you chose this?

    Cory, you seem to be under the impression that people like me who mention these problems again and again somehow have missed the fact that you and your fellow believers have tried to answer them, again and again. No, we haven’t missed it, far from it; we’re raising them again and again because the answers aren’t satisfying, they bring in as much problems as they were trying to solve, mostly because the omnipotence and omniscience gets in the way of clear thinking and theology have a tendency to be circular and non-rational.

    I keep mentioning to you that doing apologetics is not an exercise in pure theology; you must show that your theology has actual relevance to the world we both agree on and live in, this one, the natural one (despite how much you try to distance yourself away from this rather common concept), the secular one, otherwise it’s piffle to anyone but you, and that’s hopefully not your point. So when you say that your god would never command X, and I show that he apparently has, then it’s simply not good enough that you say “oh well, he didn’t really mean it, it was a joke or a lesson, obviously he wouldn’t *really* do it” to which we point to a serial of cases that together as a whole do *not*make*sense* to us.

    Often you claim that we think we’ve got a better moral judgement than your god. Yes, yes, I do, on behalf of evolving ethics everywhere, I can certainly claim to think more ethically about these things (unless you’re going down the path of Divine Command Theory, in which case, you’ve got bigger problems on your hands); it seems that my sensibilities and those of millions around the planet are in agreement that huge swaths of the bible and what it condones are bad, and I claim so *because* I read the bible, not despite of it. Not to make a fine point to it, but a god that doesn’t stop a child sacrifice to himself is a disgusting being and not worthy of anything but despise. Test people’s faith through commanding murder and child sacrifice? Tell lies? Wager with the devil? I’m questioning the morals of your god indeed, because he seems to me like a rather *bad* character. (And, by extension, if your Adam and Eve story is taken to be true, then we can all judge your god as we can tell the difference between good and evil, and I judge him evil.)

    This point is not subtle. This point is not some little detail we can brush aside (just like other stuff in the bible, like those wonderful cries to genocide) with theological flim-flam. Any being that either silently approve of or don’t try to stop such absolute horrors do not get nor deserve my respect or time of day.

    And *that*, it seems, is the main difference between you and I.

  2. Often you claim that we think we’ve got a better moral judgement than your god. Yes, yes, I do, on behalf of evolving ethics everywhere, I can certainly claim to think more ethically about these things (unless you’re going down the path of Divine Command Theory, in which case, you’ve got bigger problems on your hands); it seems that my sensibilities and those of millions around the planet are in agreement that huge swaths of the bible and what it condones are bad, and I claim so *because* I read the bible, not despite of it. Not to make a fine point to it, but a god that doesn’t stop a child sacrifice to himself is a disgusting being and not worthy of anything but despise. Test people’s faith through commanding murder and child sacrifice? Tell lies? Wager with the devil? I’m questioning the morals of your god indeed, because he seems to me like a rather *bad* character. (And, by extension, if your Adam and Eve story is taken to be true, then we can all judge your god as we can tell the difference between good and evil, and I judge him evil.)
    +1

    • So, I say that we have no right to create moral standards (which would be grounded in nothing more than personal preference), then judge God by them. Instead, I insist that we must let God define morality. And, I add that for God to be God, we would expect a vast difference between what we think is moral and what actually is moral.

      If God doesn’t challenge us and change us, then he’s not God.

      And your best reply is to essentially say “Yeah, I judge God and I’m going to continue to because he’s evil!” with glee?

      That’s not a good reply.

  3. Cory Tucholski said: “Instead, I insist that we must let God define morality.”

    I’m happy for Yahweh to do that, but he has never said any words or taken any action.

    It is quite hard to discover the preferences of a paralysed mute!

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