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Author Topic:   The God of the Bible is Evil
jar
Member
Posts: 33343
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 106 of 190 (402782)
05-29-2007 11:27 PM
Reply to: Message 105 by iceage
05-29-2007 11:16 PM


Re: reciprocity?
Yes those passages certainly do not include any shred of the notion of reciprocity and that is my point!

And as I pointed out in Message 99 I do see reciprocity.

10When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it.

11And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee.

The issue is that at the time the passages were written, those outside the Hebrew tribes were simply not considered equals. This is an important point and must be stressed.

It is also one of the key points that arises later when Jesus on many occasions points out to the people that GOD sees all people, not just the Hebrews.

The point is they are in conflict with, not just the mores of today, but the moral standards as taught elsewhere in the Bible.

Granted. The Bible is not one story as I have been pointing out since Message 5. It is not consistent. It is a collection of stories of a variety of peoples and the laws and lessons and even the characterization of God varies through the book.

You are the one making the assertions, albeit unsupported. Keeping the scope to Deuteronomy 20 what social norms or morals are being taught?

That you do not make war on those who make peace.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by iceage, posted 05-29-2007 11:16 PM iceage has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 108 by iceage, posted 05-29-2007 11:51 PM jar has responded

  
iceage 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4814 days)
Posts: 1024
From: Pacific Northwest
Joined: 09-08-2003


Message 107 of 190 (402783)
05-29-2007 11:34 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by ringo
05-29-2007 10:41 PM


Re: reciprocity?
Ringo writes:

If that's true, why did Jesus have to underline/redefine the meaning of "neighbour" in the Good Samaritan parable?

Maybe because they were raised and indoctrinated on the OT stories.

Ringo writes:

Clearly the average Jew (Old Testament believer) had a different view of who was worthy of "reciprocity" than you do.

Yes, certainly true. Neighbor in OT context was implied as a fellow Hebrew Male. This merely confirms that the OT was race and gender centric in its depiction of God and creation. Any spiritual outlook that is based, however loosely, on this source is poisoned.

That is why people like Jon come to the realization that the "God of the Bible is evil".

The point is that the Bible promotes this ethical principle but also violates this principle: so there is contradiction. The folks that come from a Christian perspective and make statements that God is Good and God is Love are just ignorant of the book that forms the foundation of their religion.


This message is a reply to:
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iceage 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4814 days)
Posts: 1024
From: Pacific Northwest
Joined: 09-08-2003


Message 108 of 190 (402786)
05-29-2007 11:51 PM
Reply to: Message 106 by jar
05-29-2007 11:27 PM


Pirate Morals
Jar writes:

It is not consistent

Yes, that really is Jon's original point. "Goodness" as taught and implied in the NT is in direct conflict with the messages and stories in the OT.

Jar writes:

That you do not make war on those who make peace

Instead you enslave them! Sounds like pirate logic Arrrr matey!

I would say the message is more along the lines that God has given manifest destiny and anyone who stands in the way can be killed or enslaved all with godly justification. That message is evil.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by jar, posted 05-29-2007 11:27 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 109 by jar, posted 05-30-2007 12:03 AM iceage has not yet responded
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jar
Member
Posts: 33343
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 109 of 190 (402790)
05-30-2007 12:03 AM
Reply to: Message 108 by iceage
05-29-2007 11:51 PM


Re: Pirate Morals
Yes, that really is Jon's original point. "Goodness" as taught and implied in the NT is in direct conflict with the messages and stories in the OT.

But that is true from the very beginning of the Bible and it is a significant point. The God depicted in Genesis 1 is entirely different than the God depicted in Genesis 2.

The concepts of God change as we move through the Bible. There is no one God of the Bible but rather an evolving view of God, of Man, of neighbor, of nation, of the religion and of morality.

I would say the message is more along the lines that God has given manifest destiny and anyone who stands in the way can be killed or enslaved all with godly justification. That message is evil.

If you actually read all of that chapter, it goes even beyond that. There are certain peoples who are designated specifically as the enemy and they are to be wiped out.

It is also though a very practical manual on how one should behave at that time and within that milieu, extending even to which trees should be cut down

I am not, nor have I , tried to pretend either that GOD is all good, or that there are not conflicts and discrepancies throughout the Bible. There are. It is not one book. The vision and description of God evolves throughout the stories, as do the morals and messages.

The key point though is that it makes more sense to teach the whole body of stories and to teach them in context.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by iceage, posted 05-29-2007 11:51 PM iceage has not yet responded

  
Jon Paine
Member (Idle past 4974 days)
Posts: 65
From: Los Angeles, California
Joined: 05-24-2007


Message 110 of 190 (402812)
05-30-2007 2:30 AM
Reply to: Message 108 by iceage
05-29-2007 11:51 PM


Suggestion for keeping this thread on track:
Suggestion by OP originator for keeping this thread on track:

Extract from OP:

Our discussion should... allow for expression of opinion as to whether the actions or commands of the Lord in scripture are suitable to a Deity.
... again, the issue is, are the actions and commands of God as given in the scriptures acts of Goodness, or as I contend, Evil?

What I had in mind in making the OP proposal was consideration of God's acts within the context of present day mores. Conflict has arisen that is concisely expressed by by iceage as follows:

... "Goodness" as taught and implied in the NT is in direct conflict with the messages and stories in the OT.

The issue seems to be of defining evil then and now. My proposal is this:
When a scripture and verse is given as a would be example of the deity's unfairness (evil), let us all consider the malifaction in the context of modern day accepted mores, civil laws, NT ethics and/or the Golden Rule. Only then, let the morality of the issue be considered in light of the "ancient" mores, traditions, and customs.

In so doing, we will stay on track while insuring that all points of view can be heard in their turn.

Edited by Jon Paine, : add quotes

Edited by Jon Paine, : typo


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Replies to this message:
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berberry
Inactive Member


Message 111 of 190 (402813)
05-30-2007 2:33 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by ringo
05-29-2007 4:50 PM


Ringo writes me:

quote:
What strikes me as silly about this thread is that we see atheists arguing for an absolute morality.

What strikes me as silly are christians.

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Add the stop sign.


W.W.E.D.?

This message is a reply to:
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berberry
Inactive Member


Message 112 of 190 (402814)
05-30-2007 2:50 AM
Reply to: Message 89 by jar
05-29-2007 5:11 PM


Re: depictions
jar writes me:

quote:
Well, since you have not specified what it is you are referring to, I assume that it is Samuel 15.

Is there another place where god ordered the Amalekites slaughtered mercilessly?

quote:
Like the tale of the Pied Piper, the point is different than the images used to push the thought home. In this case the point of the story was that simple ceremony or profession is not what counts, it is actually listening and doing what God wants you to do and that neither ceremony or position will count.

Yes, yes, I know. All about context. I guess I'm just a dumb old atheist who doesn't get the exalted christian ideals of goodness and morality. To me, genocide is evil. Without exceptions and regardless of context.

You've painted a picture of a god who is perhaps ignorant, who perhaps doesn't have any supernatural powers and who is perhaps not good at all. You may be right, God might be nothing more than an immortal man.

Still, it seems curious that god can be shaped and molded into whatever form is necessary to avoid having him blamed for any of his unjust, unrightous and evil actions.

If I were still a christian, I think this thread might well be enough to drive me to atheism.

If you wish to carry this further, I'd like you to answer one question: is god all-knowing or is he ignorant? You're trying to have it both ways, suggesting on the one hand that he isn't all-knowing then backing away from your suggestion when I take it at face value. So please tell me where you stand and quit trying to go back and forth.


W.W.E.D.?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by jar, posted 05-29-2007 5:11 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 115 by jar, posted 05-30-2007 9:41 AM berberry has responded
 Message 125 by purpledawn, posted 05-30-2007 3:09 PM berberry has not yet responded

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 2356 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 113 of 190 (402825)
05-30-2007 7:41 AM
Reply to: Message 110 by Jon Paine
05-30-2007 2:30 AM


National vs Individual
quote:
When a scripture and verse is given as a would be example of the deity's unfairness (evil), let us all consider the malifaction in the context of modern day accepted mores, civil laws, NT ethics and/or the Golden Rule. Only then, let the morality of the issue be considered in light of the "ancient" mores, traditions, and customs.
Now I see the conflict. The verses you shared in the OP are on a national level. Your criteria for judgment is on the individual level.

The NT doesn't deal with warring nations. Jesus was teaching the individual. I don't recall Jesus implying that soldiers should stop being soldiers.

If your beef is with Christian teachings of today and you feel they are using the wrong verses to teach of God's supposed goodness and glossing over the harshness of the past, then address the error of those teachings.

IMO, when it comes to war, everyone would qualify as evil.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz

This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by Jon Paine, posted 05-30-2007 2:30 AM Jon Paine has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 114 by Jon Paine, posted 05-30-2007 8:39 AM purpledawn has not yet responded

  
Jon Paine
Member (Idle past 4974 days)
Posts: 65
From: Los Angeles, California
Joined: 05-24-2007


Message 114 of 190 (402829)
05-30-2007 8:39 AM
Reply to: Message 113 by purpledawn
05-30-2007 7:41 AM


Can we do this in future?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Can we do this in future?
(I think Admin will bless.}

When a scripture and verse is given as a would be example of the deity's unfairness (Evil?}, let us all consider the malifaction in the context of modern day accepted mores, civil laws, NT ethics and/or the Golden Rule. Only then, let the morality of the issue be considered in light of the "ancient" mores, traditions, and customs.
............................................

Quote purpledawn:


Now I see the conflict. The verses you shared in the OP are on a national level. Your criteria for judgment is on the individual level...

Not a problem; modern western culture's civil law, NT ethics and/or the Golden Rule. Then, let the morality of the issue be considered in light of the "ancient" mores, traditions, and customs.


... The NT doesn't deal with warring nations. Jesus was teaching the individual. I don't recall Jesus implying that soldiers should stop being soldiers...
Well, purpledawn, in such a case we can still discuss it in light of modern western culture's civil law, NT ethics and/or the Golden Rule. Then, let the morality of the issue be considered in light of the "ancient" mores, traditions, and customs. The discussion would be benefitial in any case. I happen to think that a Prophet of God leading a Nation to war upon innocents even when the land is "promised" is wrong anyway, but we can debate that.

...
If your beef is with Christian teachings of today and you feel they are using the wrong verses to teach of God's supposed goodness and glossing over the harshness of the past, then address the error of those teachings.

Not necessary. Discussion of modern western culture's civil law on the issue, as well as NT ethics and the Golden Rule will cover that.


IMO, when it comes to war, everyone would qualify as evil.

I agree, but there are some who undoubtedly wish to justify it, and it is worth the discussion within the above parameters.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edited by Jon Paine, : quote

Edited by Jon Paine, : No reason given.

Edited by Jon Paine, : No reason given.

Edited by Jon Paine, : quotes again

Edited by Jon Paine, : Message Subtitle

Edited by Jon Paine, : Ah, perfection!


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 33343
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 115 of 190 (402836)
05-30-2007 9:41 AM
Reply to: Message 112 by berberry
05-30-2007 2:50 AM


Re: depictions
If you wish to carry this further, I'd like you to answer one question: is god all-knowing or is he ignorant?

You seem to be proposing several false issues. First is the false dichotomy seen above. There are other possibilities such as full knowledgeable of what has and is happening but without foreknowledge.

Second, you are once again conflating GOD and the God of the Bible.

If you are speaking of the God of the Bible, then the answer is that different stories give different answers. As I have been saying since Message 5, there is no one God of the Bible, rather the depictions of God evolve gradually over time and they are often mutually exclusive.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by berberry, posted 05-30-2007 2:50 AM berberry has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 117 by berberry, posted 05-30-2007 11:01 AM jar has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33343
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 116 of 190 (402850)
05-30-2007 10:50 AM
Reply to: Message 114 by Jon Paine
05-30-2007 8:39 AM


Re: Can we do this in future?
When a scripture and verse is given as a would be example of the deity's unfairness (Evil?}, let us all consider the malifaction in the context of modern day accepted mores, civil laws, NT ethics and/or the Golden Rule. Only then, let the morality of the issue be considered in light of the "ancient" mores, traditions, and customs.

You can certainly do that but it seems a pretty pointless exercise. As I have pointed out numerous times in this thread, the Bible is not one story but a collection of stories, stories written by different people, different cultures with different purposes.

It might well be productive if you change the focus of the thread as reflected in the topic title, to reflect question of whether or not there is ONE consistent God of the Bible or whether the Bible should be considered, as shown in the Code of Westminster Seminary (a Presbyterian reformed seminary) and some other Christian Sects as

Scripture, as the "very Word of God written," is absolutely authoritative and without error.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 114 by Jon Paine, posted 05-30-2007 8:39 AM Jon Paine has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 123 by Jon Paine, posted 05-30-2007 2:38 PM jar has responded

  
berberry
Inactive Member


Message 117 of 190 (402854)
05-30-2007 11:01 AM
Reply to: Message 115 by jar
05-30-2007 9:41 AM


Re: depictions
jar writes me:

quote:
...you are once again conflating GOD and the God of the Bible.

No, I'm talking about the god of the bible. Just like I said about Richard III - we can judge the Richard that Shakespeare created or we can judge the historical Richard. We can't judge both at the same time.

Besides, how can I conflate the "real" God with the God of the bible if there is no God of the bible?

I'm not giving any consideration at all to what god might be like outside of the bible; I'm considering only what the bible has to say. At best, it's a mixed picture. God might be good, but I still maintain that, as he is presented to us in the bible, he is guilty of doing many evil things.

I have allowed that, if God is ignorant, he might have done those actions without any evil intent. But like I just said to Ringo in the moderation issues thread, good people can do evil things. So maybe I haven't established that the god of the bible is evil, but to my mind there can be no question that he is at least capable of evil.


W.W.E.D.?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 115 by jar, posted 05-30-2007 9:41 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 118 by jar, posted 05-30-2007 11:13 AM berberry has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33343
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 118 of 190 (402855)
05-30-2007 11:13 AM
Reply to: Message 117 by berberry
05-30-2007 11:01 AM


Re: depictions
So maybe I haven't established that the god of the bible is evil, but to my mind there can be no question that he is at least capable of evil.

But that has never been in question. There is also no one God of the Bible, but rather a series of attempts over time to describe a peoples views of God and Gods. The "God of the Bible" changes and evolves over the course of the stories because what is being shown in the Bible stories in not GOD, but rather glimpses of how particular people saw the concept of God.

The Bible itself says that God creates good and evil. I have acknowledged that. GOD is complete. I have said that.

But Evil is a human construct as well, and as such, questions such as "innocent" need to be considered within the context of the particular tale.

If all you are saying is that using YOUR moral standards you find the actuality of killing the first born of the Egyptians evil, I would not argue. I think it was pretty horrific and I have said so.

I also think that disappearing all the children of Hamelin was pretty horrific.

But the Exodus story is an Epic Tale written from the perspective of a particular milieu. It should be read and taught with that understanding.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 117 by berberry, posted 05-30-2007 11:01 AM berberry has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 119 by berberry, posted 05-30-2007 12:43 PM jar has responded

  
berberry
Inactive Member


Message 119 of 190 (402868)
05-30-2007 12:43 PM
Reply to: Message 118 by jar
05-30-2007 11:13 AM


Re: depictions
quote:
The Bible itself says that God creates good and evil.

That's another way of looking at it. If God created both good and evil, then it would stand to reason that he is not only capable of good and evil but also that he IS both good and evil, thus affirming the title of this thread. That title may only tell half the story, but if we can at least agree that killing an innocent child is always evil - even in spite of the fact that such evil might be done by a good person(s) or a good god or a good society with the purest of motives - we should be able to agree that the god of the bible is, at least in part, evil. We must, of course, suspend disbelief and assume that the biblical stories about this god are correct, which in reality I think we agree they're not. But in making that temporary assumption, once again, we're only judging a fictional character.


W.W.E.D.?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 118 by jar, posted 05-30-2007 11:13 AM jar has responded

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jar
Member
Posts: 33343
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 120 of 190 (402870)
05-30-2007 12:50 PM
Reply to: Message 119 by berberry
05-30-2007 12:43 PM


Re: depictions
That title may only tell half the story, but if we can at least agree that killing an innocent child is always evil - even in spite of the fact that such evil might be done by a good person(s) or a good god or a good society with the purest of motives - we should be able to agree that the god of the bible is, at least in part, evil.

Again, innocent is relative.

And once again, in the Bible we are dealing with descriptions by people of a particular era showing how THEY viewed God and morality at that time.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 119 by berberry, posted 05-30-2007 12:43 PM berberry has not yet responded

  
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