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Inferno

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:16 am
by Metalgod
"Isn't it strange that in the very books, the various Gods change their minds every few pages, that their morality is internally inconsistent?
I'll assume that you're a Christian (though you're welcome to correct me on that) and go from there.

Do you accept that slavery is morally wrong? Then why did God advocate it in the Bible? For example, take Genesis 9:26: "And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant." There are about 50-70 passages like that in the Bible, each of which I can cite.
" - Inferno

Sorry, I tried to better introduce myself in my "newbie" thread but I didnt know there was a time limit. I would like to talk about morality and the God of the bible with you.

In the above quote you criticize God for making Canaan the servant of Shem. The God of the Bible also commands certain people to be put death. What are your thoughts on this?

Re: Inferno

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:14 am
by Inferno
How nice, a whole thread about something I said.
Well, my thoughts are fairly clear: I think there is nothing particularly moral about the Bible nor any other "holy" book. Morality comes from us, not from a book. Judged by our modern standards, "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. (pg. 31)" (From The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins)

And that's really all that needs to be said.

Re: Inferno

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:57 am
by Metalgod
Sorry, I dont mean to put you on the spot, if Im making you feel that way.

Instead of addressing every single example you can give of TGotB doing or saying things which you find to be offencive or immoral, like Genesis 9:26, Im trying to jump ahead to the one you find to be the most immoral. I just assumed that would be something having to do with TGotB commanding certain people to be put to death.

There are some important issues that Richard Dawkins speaks out about and I agree with him on these. But I never really thought any of his books were that great. I read "The God Delusion" about 5 years ago and I wasnt really impressed with it. I dont think he really knows much about TGotB.


Many people today do claim that their morality comes books like "Lord of the Rings". How would you explain that?

Re: Inferno

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:08 am
by Aught3
Metalgod wrote:But I never really thought any of his books were that great
:o I love The Selfish Gene, The Ancestor's Tale, and Unweaving the Rainbow. I suppose I have to accept not everybody shares my particular taste in books (grumble, grumble :lol:).

Re: Inferno

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:21 am
by Inferno
Metalgod wrote:Many people today do claim that their morality comes books like "Lord of the Rings". How would you explain that?


I've only heard that said in satire. The comparison I usually hear is "If we get our morality from the Bible, we might as well turn to a book that's both a literary accomplishment, fun to read and arguably has better morals than the Bible: Let's pick the Lord of the Rings. Or Harry Potter, it really makes no difference."
I seriously doubt anyone really claims their morals come from LotR. Heck, that would be as stupid as it coming from the Bible.

Metalgod wrote:Sorry, I dont mean to put you on the spot, if Im making you feel that way.


You're making me feel special, don't stop now!

Metalgod wrote:Im trying to jump ahead to the one you find to be the most immoral.


There are many examples, it's hard to choose. Of all the examples I could choose from, I'd take my top three:
1) God murders all the babies of Egypt. Exodus 12:29-30
2) God sets two she-bears on a bunch of kids because they made fun of the prophet Elisha. 2 Kings 2:23-24
3) God kills everybody (except a few chosen people) in a giant flood. Well, no sauce needed, right?

Re: Inferno

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:09 pm
by Visaki
Inferno wrote:3) God kills everybody (except a few chosen people) in a giant flood. Well, no sauce needed, right?

You mean "God kills everything (except a few chosen things) in a giant flood"? I mean how can you forget all those innocent little puppies, kittens and bunnys [add cute things ad nauseum]?

Re: Inferno

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:45 pm
by Inferno
Visaki wrote:
Inferno wrote:3) God kills everybody (except a few chosen people) in a giant flood. Well, no sauce needed, right?

You mean "God kills everything (except a few chosen things) in a giant flood"? I mean how can you forget all those innocent little puppies, kittens and bunnys [add cute things ad nauseum]?


I hate animals, especially the ones that make me cry when I kill them.

Re: Inferno

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:04 pm
by IBSpify
Inferno wrote:
I hate animals, especially the ones that make me cry when I kill them.



Your a monster, how can you hate animals, they taste so good.

Re: Inferno

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:28 pm
by Inferno
IBSpify wrote:Your a monster, how can you hate animals, they taste so good.


First of all YOU, sir, are the monster, for butchering the English language.
Second, that's exactly the point. I hate them, therefore I eat them. In great quantities, too!

Re: Inferno

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:59 pm
by Darkprophet232
Inferno wrote:I hate them, therefore I eat them. In great quantities, too!


I pity the person who never rage-ate a medium rare or rarer steak before.

Re: Inferno

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:54 am
by Frenger
Darkprophet232 wrote:
I pity the person who never rage-ate a medium rare or rarer steak before.


I once rage ate falafel. Well, I say rage, what's the malnourished, vegetarian equivalent?

Re: Inferno

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:59 pm
by Prolescum
Frenger wrote:
Darkprophet232 wrote:
I pity the person who never rage-ate a medium rare or rarer steak before.


I once rage ate falafel. Well, I say rage, what's the malnourished, vegetarian equivalent?



Ate.

Re: Inferno

PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:22 pm
by Metalgod
Inferno wrote:
Metalgod wrote:Many people today do claim that their morality comes books like "Lord of the Rings". How would you explain that?


I've only heard that said in satire. The comparison I usually hear is "If we get our morality from the Bible, we might as well turn to a book that's both a literary accomplishment, fun to read and arguably has better morals than the Bible: Let's pick the Lord of the Rings. Or Harry Potter, it really makes no difference."
I seriously doubt anyone really claims their morals come from LotR. Heck, that would be as stupid as it coming from the Bible.

Metalgod wrote:Sorry, I dont mean to put you on the spot, if Im making you feel that way.


You're making me feel special, don't stop now!

Metalgod wrote:Im trying to jump ahead to the one you find to be the most immoral.


There are many examples, it's hard to choose. Of all the examples I could choose from, I'd take my top three:
1) God murders all the babies of Egypt. Exodus 12:29-30
2) God sets two she-bears on a bunch of kids because they made fun of the prophet Elisha. 2 Kings 2:23-24
3) God kills everybody (except a few chosen people) in a giant flood. Well, no sauce needed, right?


Thank you Inferno. Sorry it took me so long to reply. I have been having problems connecting to this website.

Earlier you talked about a modern standard of morality. I take it that you see morality as something which evolves over time.

There's not a verse in the bible that Im aware of where the authors or the people in it condemn #1(for example) as an act of immorality. Would you say that is because we have such a higher evolved sense(if thats the right word) of morality today than then we did 100's or 1000's of years ago?

Re: Inferno

PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:19 pm
by Inferno
Metalgod wrote:Thank you Inferno. Sorry it took me so long to reply. I have been having problems connecting to this website.


No worries, take your time, I won't go anywhere.

Metalgod wrote:Earlier you talked about a modern standard of morality. I take it that you see morality as something which evolves over time.


Absolutely. A few hundred years ago, we held slaves and thought it O.K. to treat them badly. A few decades ago, we thought it O.K. to treat people differently based on the colour of their skin, their sex, their ethnicity... We've outgrown a few of those practices, but we have yet to outgrow others. Someday, we might.

Metalgod wrote:There's not a verse in the bible that Im aware of where the authors or the people in it condemn #1(for example) as an act of immorality. Would you say that is because we have such a higher evolved sense(if thats the right word) of morality today than then we did 100's or 1000's of years ago?


Let me clarify: There's not a verse in the Bible where the authors suggest that God killing babies was immoral? Is that what you're saying?

Yes, I think that's a fair assessment, even though it's a bit limiting. At that time, people thought that the atrocities committed weren't atrocities, or at least that they could be justified. Today, we don't.
However, that doesn't mean that our standard today is the best we can achieve. We can always develop and we may find out that things we ban today are quite legal/good tomorrow.
Also, I would argue that we have to view people in the reference of their time. There are always people who are better than the standards of their time and people who are worse than the standards of their time. But in retrospect, we'd have to call almost all of them "evil". Clearly, that would be a very simplistic view.

That being said, a supreme being or a book written or inspired by a deity should be absolutely perfect, with no immorality in it no matter how you look at it. I have yet to see such a work.

Re: Inferno

PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:10 am
by Metalgod
Inferno wrote:
Metalgod wrote:There's not a verse in the bible that Im aware of where the authors or the people in it condemn #1(for example) as an act of immorality. Would you say that is because we have such a higher evolved sense(if thats the right word) of morality today than then we did 100's or 1000's of years ago?



Inferno wrote:Let me clarify: There's not a verse in the Bible where the authors suggest that God killing babies was immoral? Is that what you're saying?

Yes exactly.
Inferno wrote:[Yes, I think that's a fair assessment, even though it's a bit limiting. At that time, people thought that the atrocities committed weren't atrocities, or at least that they could be justified. Today, we don't.
However, that doesn't mean that our standard today is the best we can achieve. We can always develop and we may find out that things we ban today are quite legal/good tomorrow.
Also, I would argue that we have to view people in the reference of their time. There are always people who are better than the standards of their time and people who are worse than the standards of their time. But in retrospect, we'd have to call almost all of them "evil". Clearly, that would be a very simplistic view.


Thank you for taking the time to reply. I appreciate hearing someone elses perspective on these things.

Inferno wrote:That being said, a supreme being or a book written or inspired by a deity should be absolutely perfect, with no immorality in it no matter how you look at it. I have yet to see such a work.


But isnt that because you could always blame any surpreme being for anything bad that has ever happend in the world?

Re: Inferno

PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:46 am
by Inferno
Metalgod wrote:But isnt that because you could always blame any surpreme being for anything bad that has ever happend in the world?


That depends on the definition of "supreme being".
There is absolutely no way I could disprove a Deist God, that is to say a "prime mover". I could show that such a being is not needed, as Laplace reputedly said: Napoleon: "You have written this huge book on the system of the world without once mentioning the author of the universe!" Laplace: "I did not need to make such an assumption."

There is also no way I could disprove a Pantheist God, who lives in the trees and plants.

Nor could I disprove any of the Polytheistic Gods, simply because they're often capricious and evil to start with. In Hindu mythology, various Gods have various powers. Kali is often associated with death and destruction. Shiva also has another name, Shiva the destroyer. So if Hinduism were true, I wouldn't be at all surprised if there were death and destruction in the world.
The same goes for Egyptian polytheism (Seth), Greek polytheism (Hades and the Titans) and Norse polytheism (Loki, the frost Giants, yadda yadda).

However, it is absolutely true that a monotheistic God like El/Allah/Ada/Yahweh will always be blamed for evil and suffering, because its (a monotheistic God must always be gender neutral) definition is one of positive perfection. God is the absence of evil and the absolute presence of love and life. So why is there life? This can be seen in the Epicurean paradox:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?


Even if we assume that Satan exists, that poses a huge number of problems for Christianity. God is supposedly able to foresee things (all-knowing), so surely it must have known that Satan would be evil. Also, God is supposedly omnipotent, so why not destroy Satan?

We also cannot assume that there is some master plan, because we couldn't possibly know that and we should always go with what we can know. As such, we should disbelieve the existence of a God on terms of evil existing, simply because there is no evidence to point to a God.
If a God should exist and if that God is a loving God, then it will know that we followed the evidence and it will hopefully want us to be thinking beings, not mindless drones. After all, our brain was made for thinking. (Though when I see various people, I seriously doubt that...)
And if that God does not do that, then I can but call that God evil.

Re: Inferno

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:02 pm
by Metalgod
Inferno wrote:
Metalgod wrote:But isnt that because you could always blame any surpreme being for anything bad that has ever happend in the world?


That depends on the definition of "supreme being".
There is absolutely no way I could disprove a Deist God, that is to say a "prime mover". I could show that such a being is not needed, as Laplace reputedly said: Napoleon: "You have written this huge book on the system of the world without once mentioning the author of the universe!" Laplace: "I did not need to make such an assumption."

There is also no way I could disprove a Pantheist God, who lives in the trees and plants.

Nor could I disprove any of the Polytheistic Gods, simply because they're often capricious and evil to start with. In Hindu mythology, various Gods have various powers. Kali is often associated with death and destruction. Shiva also has another name, Shiva the destroyer. So if Hinduism were true, I wouldn't be at all surprised if there were death and destruction in the world.
The same goes for Egyptian polytheism (Seth), Greek polytheism (Hades and the Titans) and Norse polytheism (Loki, the frost Giants, yadda yadda).

However, it is absolutely true that a monotheistic God like El/Allah/Ada/Yahweh will always be blamed for evil and suffering, because its (a monotheistic God must always be gender neutral) definition is one of positive perfection. God is the absence of evil and the absolute presence of love and life. So why is there life? This can be seen in the Epicurean paradox:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?


Even if we assume that Satan exists, that poses a huge number of problems for Christianity. God is supposedly able to foresee things (all-knowing), so surely it must have known that Satan would be evil.TGotB is not "all knowing", He did not know that men would do such evil things like sacrificing their own childeren to Molech for example. Im sorry I cant provide a specific verse on this right now.


We also cannot assume that there is some master plan, because we couldn't possibly know that and we should always go with what we can know. As such, we should disbelieve the existence of a God on terms of evil existing, simply because there is no evidence to point to a God.
If a God should exist and if that God is a loving God, then it will know that we followed the evidence and it will hopefully want us to be thinking beings, not mindless drones. After all, our brain was made for thinking. (Though when I see various people, I seriously doubt that...)
And if that God does not do that, then I can but call that God evil.



You dont believe that God exists, so we can both agree that He is not the cause of all evil. I believe that God exists and that evil exists because we choose to do things that are evil.

It might interest you to know that TGotB is not "all knowing" in the sense that many atheists and even many christians believe. In the OT he says that he did know that men would do such evil things like sacrificing their own childeren to Molech, for example. I also dont believe that He knew what names Adam would give to all of the animals. It could be that you will see this as another reason to remain atheist.

Thank you again for your time. You dont have to reply.

Re: Inferno

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:42 pm
by Noth
Metalgod wrote:You dont believe that God exists, so we can both agree that He is not the cause of all evil. I believe that God exists and that evil exists because we choose to do things that are evil.

It might interest you to know that TGotB is not "all knowing" in the sense that many atheists and even many christians believe. In the OT he says that he did know that men would do such evil things like sacrificing their own childeren to Molech, for example. I also dont believe that He knew what names Adam would give to all of the animals. It could be that you will see this as another reason to remain atheist.

Thank you again for your time. You dont have to reply.

Aside from wondering whether you think the biblical account of Genesis is a literal interpretation of the origins of the earth, what makes you certain of your deity's lack of all knowing? I personally do not have any issue with pointing out glaring contradictions in the Bible, but is your standpoint not opposed by verses in texts such as John? :
1 John 3:19-20 wrote:By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.

Now I'm perfectly OK with letting Christians work out their interpretations individually - you'd have to if you want to give every (non-bat-shit-crazy) denomination an equal measure of respect in their own right regarding the matter - but from that premise it follows that non-believers are equally entitled to their interpretation of the Bible, as the book should stand on its own.

I'm not trying to nitpick your words here, but it always makes me wonder when believers make claims (in this case that God is not omniscient) with such certainty when other believers clearly believe it differently.

What are your views on your God's omnipotence and omnibenevolence?

(I'll leave the point about choosing evil to others, btw) :)

Re: Inferno

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:22 pm
by Metalgod
Noth wrote:
Metalgod wrote:You dont believe that God exists, so we can both agree that He is not the cause of all evil. I believe that God exists and that evil exists because we choose to do things that are evil.

It might interest you to know that TGotB is not "all knowing" in the sense that many atheists and even many christians believe. In the OT he says that he did know that men would do such evil things like sacrificing their own childeren to Molech, for example. I also dont believe that He knew what names Adam would give to all of the animals. It could be that you will see this as another reason to remain atheist.

Thank you again for your time. You dont have to reply.

Aside from wondering whether you think the biblical account of Genesis is a literal interpretation of the origins of the earth, what makes you certain of your deity's lack of all knowing? I personally do not have any issue with pointing out glaring contradictions in the Bible, but is your standpoint not opposed by verses in texts such as John? :
1 John 3:19-20 wrote:By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.


Mm. No. You would have to find proof in the bible of TGotB having foreknowledge of single event that will happen in the future.

Noth wrote:What are your views on your God's omnipotence and omnibenevolence?


Im sorry, Noth. Im really not sure. Maybe if you could ask it in a different way..

Re: Inferno

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:52 pm
by Darkprophet232
Metalgod wrote:It might interest you to know that TGotB is not "all knowing" in the sense that many atheists and even many christians believe. In the OT he says that he did know that men would do such evil things like sacrificing their own childeren to Molech, for example.


1 John 3:19-20 wrote:By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.


Metalgod wrote:Mm. No. You would have to find proof in the bible of TGotB having foreknowledge of single event that will happen in the future.



Translation: Only the verses in the Bible I like or support my position at the time I am asked about them are valid.