In all the furor over Bill Maher accurately calling the Biblical God a “psychotic mass murderer,” I’ve finally found someone who actually wants to defend that God rather than just rail at how “hateful” Maher is. Jerry Newcombe gives it a shot, with predictably terrible arguments.
On his HBO program Friday, Maher said about the Noah story, “It’s about a psychotic mass murderer who gets away with it, and his name is God.”
He adds, “What kind of tyrant punishes everyone just to get back at the few he’s mad at?”
The “few”? The few were those who He wasn’t mad at – the ones He saved on the ark.
Maher also said, “Conservatives are always going on about how Americans are losing their values and their morality, well maybe it’s because you worship a guy who drowns babies.”
I was a guest four times on his show when it was on ABC. Bill Maher seems to hold to moral relativism. Therefore, he does not believe there is a real right and wrong. Then who is he to say that God was wrong to judge humankind in the flood?
Actually, no. Maher is not making an argument from moral relativism, he’s making an argument from moral realism. He’s saying that mass genocide is morally wrong. Would anyone really care to dispute that? This is the typical Christian right argument — anything other than “God said so” is “moral relativism,” ignoring lots and lots of forms of moral realism that do not rely on “God said so.” I call it the Simon Says argument.
This is the primary reason I left Christianity. After actually reading the Bible, I concluded that the God portrayed there is barbaric beyond anything any human has ever done. And terrible justifications like this only forced me to conclude that there is no intellectually honest way to believe that the God of the Bible is anything but a genocidal maniac. Even if such a god exists, I will not worship him. Of course, God has a perfect excuse for all of this — he doesn’t actually exist.