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Author Topic:   The God of the Bible is Evil
berberry
Inactive Member


Message 121 of 190 (402876)
05-30-2007 1:57 PM


Taz
In response to a comment from me that probably should have been posted here, Tazmanian Devil wrote to me in the moderation issues thread:
quote:

berberry writes:

Sometimes ignorance can be a mitigating circumstance, but no circumstance can ever remove the immorality of, for instance, killing an innocent child.


I suggest you just give up on this one. Obviously, some people don't see anything wrong with killing innocent people in certain contexts. And also obviously, we can't really say anything more than "why is it a bad thing? Because it's obviously a bad thing..."

Just do what I do and sit tight waiting for them to die of old age ;)


Hehe, yeah I probably should. But these are the mostly right-thinking folks that you and I are arguing with this time round. It's kinda nice to have a more or less friendly disagreement now and then.


W.W.E.D.?
Replies to this message:
 Message 122 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-30-2007 2:34 PM berberry has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 122 of 190 (402879)
05-30-2007 2:34 PM
Reply to: Message 121 by berberry
05-30-2007 1:57 PM


Re: Taz
but no circumstance can ever remove the immorality of, for instance, killing an innocent child.

What about mercy killing?

Or abortion?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 121 by berberry, posted 05-30-2007 1:57 PM berberry has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 130 by berberry, posted 05-30-2007 10:56 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
Jon Paine
Member (Idle past 4247 days)
Posts: 65
From: Los Angeles, California
Joined: 05-24-2007


Message 123 of 190 (402883)
05-30-2007 2:38 PM
Reply to: Message 116 by jar
05-30-2007 10:50 AM


Let's Stay the Course for this Thread Please:
Let us stay with the issue for this thread as I have recommended please.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

The reason that there is a need to continue with my suggested methodology is that, unlike your view on this (which I respect) you are the minority when we consider the population of the United States. According to the reference that follows, one of three Americans believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible.

27615_Poll:_1_of_3_Americans_Say_Bible_Should_be_Taken_Literally

The implications of this is seen in decisions within American politics over the last decade, with Evangelicals putting the one party in office based on religious grounds, the President electing to go to war in Iraq because "God told him to", and frightfully we were witness to a show of hands at the recent Republican debate in May, where an amazing four of the nine contenders for the White House believe the literal Creation story of Genesis. I believe it needs to be pointed out to reasonable people that your viewpoint for instance (and dare I say even mine) is more reasonable than the the hardcore literal view that gets our leaders and the general population in so much trouble when we make moral judgements. I believe therefore that there are many here who find this kind of discussion refreshing, particularly since it is so very rarely done.

Edited by Jon Paine, : change phrase

Edited by Admin, : Shorten link.


For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
-Carl Sagan
This message is a reply to:
 Message 116 by jar, posted 05-30-2007 10:50 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 124 by jar, posted 05-30-2007 2:49 PM Jon Paine has responded
 Message 127 by anastasia, posted 05-30-2007 5:44 PM Jon Paine has responded

    
jar
Member
Posts: 30996
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 124 of 190 (402886)
05-30-2007 2:49 PM
Reply to: Message 123 by Jon Paine
05-30-2007 2:38 PM


Re: Let's Stay the Course for this Thread Please:
How is your approach any different than the usual fundy rant?

How are you any different than the usual fundy?

If I stand up and point out where they are wrong, should I refrain from pointing out when you do exactly the same thing?


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 123 by Jon Paine, posted 05-30-2007 2:38 PM Jon Paine has responded

Replies to this message:
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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1630 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 125 of 190 (402887)
05-30-2007 3:09 PM
Reply to: Message 112 by berberry
05-30-2007 2:50 AM


Who to Blame
quote:
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.
You can blame God all you want. Hey, it was a theocracy and the head of the theocracy takes the blame. That doesn't make God evil. God does good and bad things just like people.

One job of a ruler is to protect his people/kingdom. They did what they felt they needed to do to survive, and they attribute their decisions to God.

The Amalekites attacked the Israelites without apparent provocation as they were travelling during the Exodus (Ex 17:8). "When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and cut off all who were lagging behind" (Dt 25:17-18). They later attacked Israel during the time of the Judges (Jdg 3:13) and often raided the Israelites' land after they had planted crops, leaving them with nothing (Jdg 6:2-5). God punished the Amalekites by ordering Saul to destroy them (1 Sam 15:2-3) - over 300 years after they had first attacked Israel. During that time, the Amalekites had contact with the Israelites and would have heard about God. They could have repented and changed their ways, but they continued to raid and plunder other cities up to the time of Saul and David (1 Sam 30:1-3). The Amalekites that Saul and David warred against were clearly no better than their ancestors who had first waylaid Israel.

So what does a leader do when the innocents of his kingdom are in danger?

But if we are to lay blame, shouldn't it be on the actual actions and not what was supposedly said.

1 Samuel 15:24
Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned. I violated the Lord's command and your instructions. I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them.

Did Saul really kill anyone, or just took the animals and the King?

Later we find the Amalekites still kicking.

1 Samuel 27
8 Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites. 9 Whenever David attacked an area, he did not leave a man or woman alive, but took sheep and cattle, donkeys and camels, and clothes....

Even David who supposedly doesn't leave a man or woman alive doesn't get the job done.

1 Samuel 30
1 ...David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag.... 16 He led David down, and there they were, scattered over the countryside, eating, drinking and reveling because of the great amount of plunder they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from Judah. 17 David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled....

Accuracy apparently not their strong suit.

According to a Bible Chronology
Saul 1050-1010 bce
David 1010-970 bce
Hezekiah 715-686 bce (King of Judah)

1 Chronicles 4
41 The men whose names were listed came in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. ... 43 They killed the remaining Amalekites who had escaped, and they have lived there to this day.

Understanding that their form of battle is par for the course for their time doesn't mean I support killing children or innocents. It means I understand what used to be.

Mankind is good and evil.

So while we can show God giving commands that we would consider evil today, there are also examples of God giving commands that we would consider good today. So it is erroneous to say that the God depicted in the Bible is evil without adding that he is also good.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by berberry, posted 05-30-2007 2:50 AM berberry has not yet responded

  
Jon Paine
Member (Idle past 4247 days)
Posts: 65
From: Los Angeles, California
Joined: 05-24-2007


Message 126 of 190 (402888)
05-30-2007 3:12 PM
Reply to: Message 124 by jar
05-30-2007 2:49 PM


Re: Let's Stay the Course for this Thread Please:
I rarely rant. I would, however, like to participate in an exercise in alternative thought. My insights may represent a minority view, but I am willing to listen to yours if you will listen to mine. Can't we look from time to time at the Bible from a vantage point that is infrequently addressed. Many of these stories are troublesome even as fictional tribal tales, and more so when accepted as God's literal truth. I don't want my children to live in a culture that mimics the prophets of old, rejects science and is disdainful of alternative ethics by well meaning, thoughtful, morally responsible people.


For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
-Carl Sagan
This message is a reply to:
 Message 124 by jar, posted 05-30-2007 2:49 PM jar has not yet responded

    
anastasia
Member (Idle past 4125 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 127 of 190 (402915)
05-30-2007 5:44 PM
Reply to: Message 123 by Jon Paine
05-30-2007 2:38 PM


Re: Let's Stay the Course for this Thread Please:
Jon Paine writes:

The reason that there is a need to continue with my suggested methodology is that, unlike your view on this (which I respect) you are the minority when we consider the population of the United States. According to the reference that follows, one of three Americans believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible.

Jon, I don't think jar needs defending, but I think you and possibly your reference, are overlooking something.

A literal interpretation of the Bible is not 'literally' what most Americans or most Christians do.

Many people believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God. Very few sects read the Bible without certain factors of interpretation such as allegory or parable or poetry considered. A much larger number take the Bible entirely out of context to further a view. For example, the folks on TV who constantly proclaim that God wants us to be rich and successful.

Some people like PurpleDawn may go further than the average interpretation and weigh in such things as authorship, time period, local customs.

The only thing that jar is doing is making a responsible interpretation based on what the Bible actually says. Reading the whole story and then making a judgement is not in any way incompatible with belief in the Word of God.

It is every person's duty as a Christian to think about what the 'Word of God' means. What was God trying to say, and who was He saying it to? You can also consider how the Jewish people traditionally viewed the passage, and what significance it has for modern Christianity. The Word of God is a recorded history of God's dealings with mankind, and also of our perceptions of God's dealings. It is worth while to remember things like: there is no one Bible, Christianity flourished for 400 years without a Bible, and the OT was not even going to be included to begin with.

Taking things out of context is not a literal reading and is not useful for either believers or non-believers.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 123 by Jon Paine, posted 05-30-2007 2:38 PM Jon Paine has responded

Replies to this message:
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Neutralmind
Member (Idle past 4296 days)
Posts: 183
From: Finland
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 128 of 190 (402924)
05-30-2007 6:43 PM
Reply to: Message 90 by Taz
05-29-2007 5:30 PM


For the record, this atheist believes in absolute morality. Long story. Was mostly influenced by my Ethics professor, which was an Atheist Hebrew Scholar.

Hmm, I've never seen any atheist (except me) hold this view on this forum. And even I was reasoned out of it. I'd like to hear your take on it. Would you be interested in making a new thread?

Sorry for the offtopic but this forum holds no private messaging function so this was the only way.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by Taz, posted 05-29-2007 5:30 PM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
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Jon Paine
Member (Idle past 4247 days)
Posts: 65
From: Los Angeles, California
Joined: 05-24-2007


Message 129 of 190 (402936)
05-30-2007 7:38 PM
Reply to: Message 127 by anastasia
05-30-2007 5:44 PM


Re: Let's Stay the Course for this Thread Please:
... Some people like PurpleDawn may go further than the average interpretation and weigh in such things as authorship, time period, local customs.

The only thing that jar is doing is making a responsible interpretation based on what the Bible actually says. Reading the whole story and then making a judgement is not in any way incompatible with belief in the Word of God ....

Actually, I would like to continue to talk about all of the above. I am not disagreeing with those that say the literal interpretation of the Bible is mistaken. And from what I have seen already on this thread, there are many including jar and PurpleDawn who can better explain why the literal interpretation is faulty. I would value that discussion.

On a personal note, although I am an atheist, I am not asserting that the God that you hold dear is Evil. I am not an absolute atheist, not a militant atheist. My parents and siblings are all fundamentalist Christians. I love Christians. I still think there could be a Creator, may even be a theistic personal God. I don't hold these views at present. What I am asserting is that the God as depicted cannot be a realistic model by modern standards. Why not help me to make that case, won't you. I think that many will benefit.

Edited by Jon Paine, : I messed up


This message is a reply to:
 Message 127 by anastasia, posted 05-30-2007 5:44 PM anastasia has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 132 by purpledawn, posted 05-31-2007 7:23 AM Jon Paine has not yet responded
 Message 139 by ICANT, posted 06-01-2007 12:14 AM Jon Paine has responded

    
berberry
Inactive Member


Message 130 of 190 (402963)
05-30-2007 10:56 PM
Reply to: Message 122 by New Cat's Eye
05-30-2007 2:34 PM


Re: Taz
Catholic Scientist writes me:

quote:
What about mercy killing?

Or abortion?


Well, I'm not part of the "every sperm is sacred" crowd, so I don't see abortion as murder. I wouldn't necessarily have a problem with mercy killing, either. Both of those situations are far removed from killing of firstborns as recorded in the bible.


W.W.E.D.?
This message is a reply to:
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Taz
Member (Idle past 1464 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 131 of 190 (402968)
05-31-2007 12:06 AM
Reply to: Message 128 by Neutralmind
05-30-2007 6:43 PM


Neutralmind writes:

Hmm, I've never seen any atheist (except me) hold this view on this forum. And even I was reasoned out of it.


My Ethics professor did hold an unusual view for an atheist. To him, it's the religionists (christians, buddhists, muslims, etc.) that are relativists as well as most atheists and the people in between.

I'd like to hear your take on it. Would you be interested in making a new thread?

Um, no. If you must know, I am still relatively young. In fact, I haven't even reached the big THIRTY yet, although it's just right around the corner. Much of my moral stance and such I am still searching for.

But anyway, to make this quick, the professor I told you about I consider him to be the best mentor I ever had. The transition between fundamentalism to a more liberal stance and finally to atheism left me in a pit of moral confusion. Beside class time, I spent many hours outside of class discussing morality and ethics with the professor, and you could say he literally pulled me out of the pit, which is the main reason why I believe in a non-deity based absolute moral standard.



We are BOG. Resistance is voltage over current.

Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 128 by Neutralmind, posted 05-30-2007 6:43 PM Neutralmind has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1630 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 132 of 190 (402979)
05-31-2007 7:23 AM
Reply to: Message 129 by Jon Paine
05-30-2007 7:38 PM


Horse of a Different Color
quote:
What I am asserting is that the God as depicted cannot be a realistic model by modern standards. Why not help me to make that case, won't you. I think that many will benefit.
Realistic model of what?

In the OP you stated: There is a closely held belief by all Christians that the God of the Bible is Good.

What several have shown so far is that God is good and bad like humans. The Bible writings reflect the culture. Religious writings today would reflect our culture.

Again, you seem to have a problem with Christian teachings. For this thread to move forward you need to make a case.

Pick a specific teaching that presents God as a realistic model of ... and make your case for why the teaching or scripture used is erroneous.

You're not giving us anything to debate.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 129 by Jon Paine, posted 05-30-2007 7:38 PM Jon Paine has not yet responded

  
Jon Paine
Member (Idle past 4247 days)
Posts: 65
From: Los Angeles, California
Joined: 05-24-2007


Message 133 of 190 (403024)
05-31-2007 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 131 by Taz
05-31-2007 12:06 AM


The Bible's God is not Good at Passover
(This is in response to Post 132 by Purpledawn)

The Bible's God is not good at Passover; yet it is celebrated by the Jewish people, and Christians turn a blind eye:

12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. "I will ... smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast."
12:13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
12:14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

The Passover is an horrific act; it is an act of "evil" by today's standard to kill all the "firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast." And what is with killing the beasts?

Edited by Jon Paine, : add phrase

Edited by Jon Paine, : to advise that his is in response to Post 132 by Purpledawn


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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 Message 135 by purpledawn, posted 05-31-2007 2:14 PM Jon Paine has responded

    
jar
Member
Posts: 30996
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 134 of 190 (403025)
05-31-2007 1:35 PM
Reply to: Message 133 by Jon Paine
05-31-2007 1:22 PM


Re: The Bible's God is not Good at Passover
The Bible's God is not good at Passover; yet it is celebrated by the Jewish people, and Christians turn a blind eye:

Sorry but Christians also celebrate Passover.

This issue was also covered way back in Message 15.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 133 by Jon Paine, posted 05-31-2007 1:22 PM Jon Paine has not yet responded

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1630 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 135 of 190 (403028)
05-31-2007 2:14 PM
Reply to: Message 133 by Jon Paine
05-31-2007 1:22 PM


Re: The Bible's God is not Good at Passover
We covered all that at the beginning of this thread, but you didn't provide anymore info to on.

In Message 23, I explained that in the context of the whole story God was repaying in like kind for what Egypt did to the Hebrews.

In Message 33 using the Documentary Hypothesis, I showed that the J author implies wonders and not disasters.

You stated in Message 129 that: What I am asserting is that the God as depicted cannot be a realistic model by modern standards.

I still need to know realistic model of what?


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 133 by Jon Paine, posted 05-31-2007 1:22 PM Jon Paine has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 136 by Jon Paine, posted 05-31-2007 2:31 PM purpledawn has responded

  
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