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… just tell him he doesn’t exist.
Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.
I asked a person exactly that once. The conversation went like this:
Me – “If god commanded you to kill your own child, like he commanded Abraham, would you?”
Him – “He would never do that”
Me – “But what if he did. He did exactly that at least once”
Him -”But he wouldn’t”
Me – “Abraham was willing and almost DID. Would you?”
Him – “I wouldn’t have to, because he wouldn’t tell me to do that”
Me – “That was not the question, the question was, would you be as willing as Abraham was?”
Him – “I wouldn’t have to”
Me – “**sigh**”
This continued ad naseum. If mental gymnastics were an Olympic event, his kind would get a platinum medal.
you must be taking this “out of context”.
It’s all in the interpretation, don’t ya know! When god said “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you”, he was REALLY saying “Tickle the little tyke under the chin and go to Baskin-Robbins, my treat”. It’s all in how you read it.
The ‘context’ argument I’ve heard is that child sacrifice was accepted, and by having God put a stop to it in this case, it was presenting the example that God didn’t necessarily want you to kill your kid.
Which ignores how Abraham was thought to have ‘passed’ by agreeing to kill his kid.
At that point in the discussion it’s always good to bring up Jepthah. Most of the junior apologists I’ve discussed this with have never even heard of Jepthah. (Read your own book, folks.)
Good point. I was just thinking of that the other day.
Apparently, there are Christian “scholars” who think he merely committed her to serving God as a virgin:
Of course. My bad! ; )
there’s no last minute reprieve with a daughter… Judges 11:29-40
If people in the Bible were reasonable:
But grant me this one request,” she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.”And she was never heard from again…
I had almost the exact same conversation with a believer and it was maddening. When I asked him if he would sacrifice his son if God told him to he kept repeating, “God would never ask me to do that” even as I kept asking, ”But what if he DID?” He was like a broken record! Aarrgghh!
I have also heard the excuse, “Well God had an angel stop him! It was just a test! God had no intention of letting Isaac die!” Oh well, that makes it all ok then! It was just a sick, sadistic test! No problem! Idiots.
I am loving those bug angels.
…just tell him he doesn’t exist? Talking to a he that doesn’t exist? Or he actually exist in your mind but you just hate him? In that case you should be called an anti-theist, not atheist.
A theist is a person who believes in a god or gods. Wouldn’t an anti-theist be someone who opposes a theist? You know, as in trying to stop someone who believes they know what god wants them to do, like kill a few infidels?
Hope this works for you. It looked like you needed a little help in thinking clearly.
Just so you know, “God” is typically depicted as a male, so “he” is the correct descriptor.
Also, if you’re going to go down that road, then it’s fine if I say that all Christians don’t *really* believe in God, they just like having the excuse of forgiveness to do whatever they feel like, and they just want to hate atheists.
Reminds me of this Mitchell & Webb bit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDfoJ29CR4E
But it’s not very accurate now, is it? I mean, they have Abraham telling Isaac about the flood, which is with Moses, who is eight(?) generations later.
Which story of Moses and the flood would that be?
I have to assume nobody said anything in the same way people never want to tell the guy dragging a roll of toiler paper leaving the washroom.
I have no idea where that came from, but I’m sure someone will zing me with it someday.
Oh wait, “My account was hacked!” yeah, that’s it.
This particular bible story was pivotal for me when I first heard it.
As a little kid in Sunday school I enjoyed the stories they taught about a warm and fuzzy God. I also liked the fuzzy felt board figures they used to illustrate the stories. After class I would stay and play with them until my parents dragged me off to the car. Mmmm. Fuzzy.
Then one fall in a new class level, they started teaching more serious stories. One of the first was this one about Abraham and Isaac. I was shocked and completely freaked out. What if God decided to test my Dad’s faith and commanded him to kill me?!!! God’s fuzzy, all-loving aura had slipped and He had revealed His true Self to me as a coldblooded psychopathic prankster. The cognitive dissonance blew my mind.
It was on that day, at the age of 8 and a half, that I became an atheist.
My personal fave is when two angels were sent to Lot just before god destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (spelling anyone?). When the men of Sodom found out about the angels, they showed up at Lot’s door demanding to have sex with them. Lot in his wisdom, offered up his two daughters instead… great lesson there…
They forgot the part where Isaac is laying on the alter and the tears of distraught angles land in his eyes, partially blinding him.
Where is that in the Bible? Not in my version.
Non-Stamp Collector is awesome. Check out the one where Noah is trying load the Ark and they’re trying to figure out how many food animals to bring for the predators and which of his sons are going to host viral disease microbes.
Also, there’s another great one where God had a great “intelligent design” for humans and then Satan made him mess it up for losing a card game.
After I stopped laughing at the cartoon, I asked myself why ANYONE would kill their own child or any child because a “GOD” told them to? What’s with the God of love thing? That’s right, that was in the NT, not the OT, I forgot. But then there was a god who had his kid hung from a cross until “dead” so he could save the world? Really?
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