God Needs a 12-Step Program to Obey His 10 Commandments

God Needs a 12-Step Program to Obey His 10 Commandments August 18, 2014

God has no problem breaking the Commandment #9 against lying (discussed here). He also likes the occasional human sacrifice, which puts him in conflict with Commandment #6 prohibiting murder. Can’t this guy follow his own rules?

God presumably isn’t obliged to follow the first four—no other gods, no graven images, no blasphemy, keep the Sabbath—but can’t he be expected to understand basic morality?

Commandment #6: no murder

In addition to the human sacrifice,

  • God orders the death of the tribe of the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:2–3).
  • Ditto the guy who picked up sticks on the Sabbath (Numbers 15:35).
  • He kills the guy who touched the Ark of the Covenant so it wouldn’t fall (1 Chronicles 13:10).
  • Ditto the guy who refused to impregnate his sister-in-law (Genesis 38:8)
  • and the men, women, and children in Sodom and Gomorrah.
  • And then there’s the whole Flood thing where presumably millions were drowned.

Maybe God doesn’t have to follow his rules

Consider how world-famous apologist William Lane Craig tap dances around this issue:

I have no right to take an innocent life. For me to do so would be murder. But God has no such prohibition. He can give and take life as He chooses. … God is under no obligation whatsoever to extend my life for another second. If He wanted to strike me dead right now, that’s His prerogative.

The parallel often given is that of a sand sculpture. If I built it, I can squash it. Perhaps I’m splitting hairs here, but I think things are different when the thing being squashed is living. We have no respect for the sadist who pulls the wings off a fly, and we have laws against animal cruelty. But Craig thinks that God’s rules don’t apply to God? How many moralities are there?

Craig’s own holy book disagrees with him. What does Man made “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27) mean if morality applies to Man but not God? Matthew also makes clear that the standards are the same: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48).

We see the same single standard of morality when Abraham challenges God about his plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.

Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right? (Genesis 18:25)

(I’ve written more about God and morality here and here)

A few other commandments

God doesn’t personally commit adultery (Commandment #7), though the Bible’s concerns about adultery are often not reciprocal but just about the man’s rights. In many cases, if a man’s rights aren’t violated, it’s not adultery. Adultery can be wrong in our own day, but we define it differently.

Commandment #8 prohibits stealing, but God helped the Israelites take Canaan from the tribes that were already there (Deuteronomy 7:1–2).

Commandment #10 prohibits coveting, but God comes pretty close: “I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, responding to the transgression of fathers by dealing with children to the third and fourth generations of those who reject me” (Exodus 20:5).

Let’s apply the Ray Comfort test (Comfort is a street evangelist who likes to ask people if they’ve ever broken a commandment, even once). Okay, God, by the admission in your own holy book, you’re a lying, stealing, covetous murderer. What sort of punishment do you think you deserve? Keep in mind that most of the penalties for breaking any of the Ten Commandments are death.

See also: God Creates Evil

When the President does it,
that means that it is not illegal.
— Richard Nixon (David Frost interview, 5/19/77)

When God does it,
that means that it is not immoral.
— paraphrase of William Lane Craig
(Reasonable Faith website, 8/6/07)

Photo credit: Bob Seidensticker


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  • SuperMark

    Why can’t I up-vote a post? +1

    • You’re talking about comments? I just upvoted yours.

      • MNb

        No, he is talking about your article.

        • Patheos doesn’t offer that feature, I’m afraid. (I remember that as an option when the blog was solo, hosted by WordPress.)

  • Greg G.

    Don’t 12 step programs depend on belief in a higher power? Would Yahweh rely on Amun-Ra?

  • KarlUdy

    When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.
    — Richard Nixon (David Frost interview, 5/19/77)

    When God does it, that means that it is not immoral.
    — paraphrase of William Lane Craig
    (Reasonable Faith website, 8/6/07)

    The funny thing is that if Nixon was the Premier of China, and not the President of the USA, he may have been right. In the USA, because it derives its laws from the British system, no one is above the law. In China, the law is simply a tool of government, that is malleable to suit the purposes of government.

    However, God is not American, he is not a democratically elected leader or ruler, so to criticize him because he does not conform to our expectations of how such positions work is not valid.

    • SuperMark

      Is it not the Christian position that all morality is derived from God? If this is the case how would it not be immoral for God not to follow his own system of morality?

      • KarlUdy

        Is the referee allowed to be offside?

        • SuperMark

          So you don’t think morality applies to god?

        • KarlUdy

          My point is that for God to act morally, does not necessarily mean that he should act in the same way as a mere mortal would if they were acting morally.

        • MNb

          Exactly which is paraphrazed by BobS:

          “When God does it, that means that it is not immoral.”

        • SuperMark

          Well that’s where Christians and I fundamentally disagree. I think that if an action causes harm to someone then it is wrong. If God does something that causes harm to someone then it is also wrong.

        • TheNuszAbides

          which is sort of why ‘discipline & punish’ is the only work of foucault’s that everybody should read.

        • adam

          1evil adjective ˈē-vəl,

          : morally bad

          : causing harm or injury to someone
          Merriam Webster

          By definition….

        • RowanVT

          So you are saying that God providing directions for how to sell your daughter as a sex slave, is a-okay because he’s not a mortal?

        • smrnda

          Just wondering, let’s say your god or a god communicates clearly to you, and asks you to do something which you feel is wrong. Do you just assume that the god knows better?

        • adam

          OBVIOUSLY….

        • MNb

          Except that you don’t explain what “god acts morally” means for you. Which morals? How are they different from human morals? How can you maintain that morals are still absolute and objective? Your very point is the definition of subjective morals. You write here that morals depend on the subject: on the question whether the subject is human or divine.

        • primenumbers

          Indeed, but in the morality game, with power comes responsibility. We are often limited when we make moral decisions, not being able to save both streetcars and having to decide which to save. But God is not limited in that way, by the physical realities of the universe. Similarly, we cannot know how any particular act we perform will turn out. We may think we’re doing good, yet produce long-term evil and suffering from our acts. Again, God doesn’t have this issue. We will have collateral damage as we take out an evil oppressor, but God can act with the precision of the best surgeon and never have to accept collateral damage because of impression in our abilities or tools used to perform what otherwise would be a moral act.

        • Kodie

          You know what’s funny is how sometimes it is difficult to make the right choice, unless you are judging someone else’s choice with limited information. Unless that person is god, and then we can’t judge his behavior with such limited information, and it ultimately boils down to “because he can.”

        • adam

          So morals are NOT absolute with your IMAGINARY god?

        • smrnda

          Is the referee allowed to interfere in a game? Can a ref punch a player? Would a referee who makes totally arbitrary calls be permitted to stay in the game? Even refs are bound by many rules.

        • KarlUdy

          But they are not bound by the same rules as the players

        • RowanVT

          Splitting hairs again. They must know the rules of the fame. They are there to passively observe the game and make sure the rules are followed. They did not make the rules. Those who played the game, oh so long ago, are the ones who made the rules and therefore abided by them.

        • KarlUdy

          Ever heard of William Webb Ellis? Famous for not abiding by the rules, and considered the father of a sport

        • RowanVT

          The very likely mythical origin story is interesting. That he disobeyed the rules, and maybe started a new sport is also interesting… especially as applied to us.

          If we disobey God’s rules, do we get to create the rules that even he would need to follow?

        • KarlUdy

          Yes, likely mythical. Although several sports have had more formal breaks from parent sports over disagreements of rules that are not mythical, eg rugby league, American football, baseball, etc

          Soccer players don’t need to follow rugby rules.

          God does not need to follow sharia law.

          You could argue that both are instances of a set of rules devised by those who broke earlier rules

        • Kodie

          We can’t argue with a dead guy over the rules, but even a referee can get a black card.

        • So God does have a separate morality? What is this morality and how do you know you’re not just making this up ad hoc? How many separate moralities are there–just 2?

        • KarlUdy

          Referees have a separate set of rules to operate by than players. I was simply pointing out an example to illustrate that God does not necessarily come under the moral code for humans.

        • SuperMark

          But Karl, that was the whole point of Bob’s post…

        • I understand the ref/player distinction. What I don’t understand is why that applies to morality for God vs. humans.

          To use your president example, we used to have different moralities–one for the peasantry and a more lenient one for the nobility. If a noble drives over a peasant, well, we can cut him some slack. If a peasant damages the noble’s corn crop, that could be a capital offense.

          But not anymore. No one should be above the law.

          But apparently God is. You must give us more than just your empty claim. How do you know this? Summarize how God’s rules and our rules differ. Can God kill anything he wants on a whim as WLC suggests, when that would be immoral for us to do? How many sets of morality are there? I would’ve thought just one. And what happens to objective moral truth when there’s more than one? Apparently “murder is wrong” doesn’t quite apply the same for us and for God.

        • SuperMark

          Exactly! Thanks Bob, that was the point it was missing. It’s Christians who say that morals are absolute, but how can that be if they do not apply to God?

          Same as the statement: “everything that exists has a beginning, except of course by definition God”.

        • MNb

          Spot on. The very statement that human morals do not apply to god means that morality is subjective. Btw this is the Eutyphro dilemma.

        • KarlUdy

          But not anymore. No one should be above the law.

          This is an assumption that “rule of law” is the way things should be. I happen to agree that it is a good way to run countries. However God is not a citizen of any country.

          Can God kill anything he wants on a whim as WLC suggests, when that would be immoral for us to do?

          You can attribute every death to God, as he is in control of the circumstances that bring about every death. Of the infant as of the centenarian. But to say he does so on a whim is a mischaracterization.

          Apparently “murder is wrong” doesn’t quite apply the same for us and for God.

          Murder is wrongful killing. Executions are state-sanctioned killings and are not murder by the laws of the state (although they may be called so under a higher law). For your charge of murder to stick, you must demonstrate that it was wrong for a being perfect in wisdom and goodness to allow the killing. And given that we have neither perfect wisodom nor perfect goodness, we are at a distinct disadvantage in making such a claim.

        • You’re simply explaining your theology. None of this is convincing.

          For your charge of murder to stick, you must demonstrate that it was wrong for a being perfect in wisdom and goodness to allow the killing. And given that we have neither perfect wisodom nor perfect goodness, we are at a distinct disadvantage in making such a claim.

          So we (1) assume a perfect God, then (2) observe that I have no grounds by which to criticize God, then (3) conclude that God wins, which means (4) that Karl wins. Yay!

          What are the rules of morality that God follows? This is the third time I’ve asked.

        • KarlUdy

          What are the rules of morality that God follows? This is the third time I’ve asked.

          What are the rules of Monopoly that the creator of Monopoly follows? In creating the game of Monopoly, the creator is subject to none of the rules of the game. If he plays a game, then he is subject to all of them. IN the same way, in the incarnation as Jesus Christ, God was subject to all the rules of morality that other humans are (and fulfilled them perfectly), but outside of the incarnation, God is not subject to the rules of morality for human behaviour.

        • So what rules of morality does God follow? All you’re giving me is: none of the ones that humans must follow.

          Is there a list? Or does God just do whatever the hell he feels like?

          This sounds just like you’re pulling it out of your ass because you want to give God an out so that he’s not judgeable by conventional standards.

          But I assume you’ll agree with me that if God is unjudgeable, we’re wrong to label God anything. He’s not good, bad, just, or whatever since he doesn’t conform to conventional human standards. Am I right?

        • TheNuszAbides

          i’m still gobsmacked that you have the fortitude to seriously ask [of someone with whose lines of argumentation you must be fairly familiar by now] a question any non-derailing answer to which would require the utterly unthinkable questioning of Teh Almighty!
          but i think i get that the point is that you are a) prepared to be convinced if presented with a coherent and non-derailing answer; b) hope against hope for that any given believer may actually dare to think for themselves or otherwise outside the Bog.
          anyway, cheers again.

        • Hope springs eternal. I’d like to see what Karl says when confronted with the consequences of his claims. Two moralities, one for us and one for God? How can something be immoral for us to do but OK for God?

          If we drown someone to achieve a noble purpose and ignored a not-drowning route to the same purpose, we’d be considered a monster, but it’s OK for God to drown the whole world in the Flood?

        • TheNuszAbides

          even my anomie-addled, hand-dipped imagination cannot conceive of how ‘we’ (or They, or anyone) can formulate a challenge to The Thing For Which There Is No Known Maker, Who has A Plan for Eternity and Moves in Mysterious (don’t ask!) Ways…

          (of course it’s infinitely “less okay” for the admittedly-psychologically-flawed (at least before splitting off the ‘son’) yet terrifyingly superpowerful version to do what He did/does… but who wants to argue with a mysterious AND jealous superthing if you can’t defend yourself from consciously-directed earthquakes, lightning, etc.?

          that reminds me… what are the purposes of an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful entity who predetermined All That Is And Will Ever Be… having emotions? being ‘angry’ about things it always knew were going to happen? oh no, wait, it gave us free will (yawn). so it knows what we’re going to ‘choose’, but we don’t, so technically it didn’t plan our future choices? is the anger because it can’t alter destiny? there, that might be the only rule it’s ‘supposed’ to follow…

        • All-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful? Maybe like this … ?

          http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c0/Eyeofsauron.jpg

        • MNb

          Your god plays the game he has created. The OT is full of examples that show it.

        • primenumbers

          Monopoly is a game we can choose to play or not. We have no choice in playing the morality game. Every act we make is subject to the morality game rules. If God acts, he’s subject to the rules. The only way not to play is not to act.

        • TheNuszAbides

          look out lao tzu!

        • Kodie

          Then it is not objective. Don’t ever claim human morality is objective. That you Christians can rationalize “what is” as “god’s will” and because it doesn’t adhere to morals humans have agreed upon, then conclude that god doesn’t have to follow them but it is because of god that you have to follow human morals, is an unreasonable position to argue. We’re animals, and not in control of everything that happens, but nobody is doing this to us. That you place a character who is doing everything to us gives you a moral character that we do not have. You are his subjects, and superstitiously worship him because of what you see he could do to you but doesn’t, or might do but hope not, OF COURSE, you can’t tell him what to do, because you live in the same world we do, where we cannot control everything that happens to us. WE CAN’T dictate to chance but we don’t give chance personal characteristics that make it a moral character and also a monster. A hurricane is not a monster choosing where to land and who to punish with its wrath.

          That’s why I think Christians are so ridiculously disturbed in their evaluation of the character of god.

        • TheNuszAbides

          and their often perverse conceptions of punishment and/or its inevitability/necessity. (not that this is the sole province of religiosity, but obviously those adherents play those cards most pervasively & prominently)

        • Kodie

          I like to watch a soap opera and go to a message board about it, and it comes up often – a character currently wants to punish someone to teach a lesson in how schemes blow up by blowing up her scheme to punish her. To demonstrate how karma always gets you, I will be the agent to make sure it gets you, for your own good. Viewers just love to make morality judgments taking sides and say it’s not his place, or she deserves even worse, or whatever. It’s not the first time this character has taken it upon himself to make sure the outcome he fears his mother has wrought actually happens.

          I’m not sure if religion informs people’s morals or people’s concept of morality is how religions are built.

        • TheNuszAbides

          yes, another question that’s now more chicken-and-egg-y than the chicken-and-egg one!

        • adam

          Religions are based on superstition and built off of political propaganda/

        • Kodie

          Right. I get a little annoyed about certain attitudes toward religion, specifically morality and judgment, like they don’t exist in society as a whole outside of or alongside religion, as if the source of these value judgments is the religious rules themselves. Lots of people are quick to say someone deserved something or should receive consequences no matter what than express that as a solution that would please god. A sense of justice seems to be a fairly normal ideal, except we cannot agree. For example, rape victims who want justice are blamed for what they wear, or for ruining young men’s futures, and harassed and maligned to discourage the effort. Is this derived from a religion or a societal attitude formalized by religion? A lot of conversations occur on these blogs and forums that assume the religion is the poison, and without religion, we’d all be free of these attitudes. (Some) atheists are not free from the same attitudes, and call it evo-psych. Is it custom or biological, and if we can recognize it as biological, why can’t we use our intellect to recognize the imbalance and engineer our attitudes to be more fair? If it is not biological, then it is just a lot simpler.

          It is the same excuse used by religions, that man can’t help but sin, and to use our piety or something to overcome nature, but calling certain things bad that are more of a value judgment and superstitious aversion. I can understand a lot of attitudes but I don’t know why it’s reasonable to keep them if you can be educated out of them. If you look at other cultures, many things are similar and many things are not. For example, in-culture and out-culture. It’s not a matter of nature but custom who belongs in and who is left out, but the more we learn, the more we can be less afraid and accusatory and more accepting.

          I am going on a long time about this, but that was the point was, all people seem to have a sense of justice, and a lot of it is just cultural, taught, indoctrinated, but does religion inform custom or the other way around? People want their god to punish this or that, and if he takes too long, they go ahead and teach people a lesson, often through violence and intimidation. The consequences we have to fear are the judgments and stigmas of other people. When someone has a gay child, they worry about how they will be accepted so try to punish the gay out of them by not accepting them as they are.

        • Dys

          So there’s no basis for stating that God is a moral being, or even good.

          I run into this type of thinking all the time when discussing morality and religion. I’m constantly criticized for pointing out the moral deficiencies of God, and the believer quickly resorts to “who are you to judge God?”. But it’s a double-edged sword – if I can’t judge God’s actions or statements as evil, then the believer likewise cannot judge them as good. By their own admission, they don’t have the right. But without that right, they have no method of determining whether God is good or evil at all – they’re just taking the supreme dictator’s word for it that he’s the good guy on the “might makes right” bent.

        • Tsunamis? Cancer? Plagues? Sounds like the Man in Charge isn’t so good.

        • Dys

          I agree – by any reasonable standard, the character of God portrayed in the Bible isn’t good at all. The point I was making with my comment was that the game KarlUdy is attempting to play is ultimately self-defeating, because if followed to its logical conclusion, he has no basis for stating that god is good. He’ll be stuck with the Ken Ham defense of “there’s this book”.

          He’s just exploiting one of the foundational flaws of theology – when something doesn’t quite work out with the established dogma, just make up more BS to get around the problem. It’s not like any of it can actually be verified.

        • wtfwjtd

          “But it’s a double-edged sword – if I can’t judge God’s actions or statements as evil, then the believer likewise cannot judge them as good. By their own admission, they don’t have the right. ”

          That’s a great observation! By their own admission, the theist’s construct of their “good”god meme is falsified. And since God himself is portrayed as a liar and creator of evil in the bible, nothing he says can be taken at face value anyway.

        • Greg G.

          How can you trust someone who has an omnipotent ability to trick you?

        • JohnH2

          You become a Marcion or other form of Gnostic, and either seek to overthrow God, believe that Jesus overthrew God, or Satan overthrew God, or should over throw God, or Adam did, or that ones purpose in life is to find the escape exit from a sadistic triple max torture chamber.

        • Pofarmer

          Wouldn’t it just be easier to realise it’s all the same stupid story?

        • Greg G.

          But if another being was able to overthrow a being with an infinite ability to deceive, you couldn’t trust the replacement either. Why wouldn’t you make your purpose in life to enjoy what you have and to maintain it while you can instead of preparing for an afterlife you can only imagine without knowing the requirements? You could unknowingly be doing exactly what puts you in the sadistic triple max torture chamber.

        • JohnH2

          That would be the logical thing to do under uncertainty over the existence and trustworthiness of God; and not nearly a fun, especially when arguing against Calvinists/

        • wtfwjtd

          Even worse, The Bible says that he enjoys tricking people, both those who claim to follow him and those who don’t. So you can’t trust anything that he supposedly has said.

        • Kodie

          It’s like watching a psychological thriller or something. If you have someone with that much power over you, it’s seems safest to obey and glorify the being, no matter what happens. No wonder everyone is so tense.

        • wtfwjtd

          “If you have someone with that much power over you, it’s seems safest to obey and glorify the being, no matter what happens. No wonder everyone is so tense.”

          Now you’re getting into Pascal’s Wager territory, which of course Christians (and others) embrace fully. Problem is, as we silly atheists have pointed out on many occasions, how do you know which being is the proper one to obey and glorify? The choices are practically endless….yeah, you’re right, no wonder their knickers are always in a twist about it.

        • Kodie

          No but there can be only one god or committee of gods. How to please this being or beings and what it or they will do to you if you don’t is a matter of the variety of superstitions.

          He is watching all, so they are most afraid of talking shit about him or associating with those who have the gall to criticize him or his methods. He is love, he is warmth, he is the light, he is merciful, those people must have deserved it, thank god those people got it and not me. Worship him for what he can do to you if you don’t.

        • MNb

          Not only do you only provide theology, you’re evading the core problem. WLC developed his God Command Theory specifically to address the Canaanite Genocide. The core problem is not that “every death can be attributed to god hence god can do whatever he likes with humans” (though that shows a subjective morality and not an objective one), the core problem is that he ordered specifically the Hebrew soldiers to rape and kill.
          Your god is like a referee who orders one side to violate the rules he/she is supposed to maintain. Hence atheists are like the board of atheists has decided to fire him.

        • smrnda

          Not all players are bound by the same rules either in every game. And the refs are still bound by rules.

        • Kodie

          Your analogy is so flawed I can’t even begin.

        • I would think that some rules apply to both ref and player. Neither can shoot anyone, for example.

        • Ron

          The rules are set by the league. The referee only enforces them. And association with the league is entirely voluntary. Those who don’t like the rules can always break off and create their own league.

        • adam

          And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know
          good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the
          tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

          Obviously there is a ‘god league’ and a method to limit membership.

          Must explain why Islam is growing faster than the Western Conference God League of Christ….

        • Ron

          There are certainly a large number of leagues to choose from: the Muslim league has a rewards program, the Christian league has more divisions, the Hindu league offers unlimited make-up games, and the Buddhist league promises enlightenment. But only the Pastafarian league promises to make life more palatable for everyone.

        • Kodie

          Is the referee allowed to take the ball and run it to the end he likes and call that a touchdown?

    • smrnda

      In that case, how do we criticize the Premier of China? Just another system under which despotism and blatant corruption are okay since laws are defined differently?

      I mean, yeah, *legally* we’re just stating the obvious, but we do criticize other nations and their leaders morally for doing things that we feel are wrong, even when their laws allow it. IT is the law in some nations that a person will be executed for apostasy from Islam, and I don’t go ‘o well, their laws, different system.’

      • KarlUdy

        I mean, yeah, *legally* we’re just stating the obvious, but we do criticize other nations and their leaders morally for doing things that we feel are wrong, even when their laws allow it. IT is the law in some nations that a person will be executed for apostasy from Islam, and I don’t go ‘o well, their laws, different system.’

        I actually agree with you, but that does mean that you agree that because the President is not the source and origin of US laws, there is no real analogy between Nixon’s and Craig’s statements, right?

        • SuperMark

          I think you’re missing the point. Nixon was clearly wrong in his statement, the idea that if God does something, anything, then it is okay is also clearly wrong.

        • KarlUdy

          the idea that if God does something, anything, then it is okay is also clearly wrong.

          Craig’s statement was about the taking of life, not about *anything*

        • SuperMark

          You’re splitting hairs…

        • KarlUdy

          I don’t think so. Most people consider that God is not the only one who has the right to take life.

        • SuperMark

          I just was referring to the quote, the comparison is clear to me. As for taking life: I agree when no other options are available, but that should not be the case for your God.

        • KarlUdy

          In the end, God takes all of our lives anyway. On what basis can we object to his timing?

        • SuperMark

          I see your point, but I think it just comes down to different world views. To me death is chaos not choice. When someone chooses to take a life be it me or a god then they are intervening and should be held responsible.

        • KarlUdy

          Yes, different worldviews. But if you are criticizing God’s actions, then to do so from a worldview that denies aspects of God that are implicit in the criticism is not valid.

        • SuperMark

          I know you’re right on that, one of the things I learned from the move Collision (you should watch it). You can’t correctly criticize something and step outside of what it is actually saying.

          But either way I’m trying. I just don’t like the idea that morality exists outside of humanity, comes from some higher being and that higher being isn’t subject to the same system of morality. I don’t buy it.

        • KarlUdy

          That’s honest, and I appreciate it. But I disagree with your views on morality, as you can tell 😉

        • Ron

          The question isn’t about God’s timing, but whether or not God’s actions can be morally justified.

          Let me ask you this:

          What act, if any, would God have to perform for you to consider it immoral?

        • hector_jones

          Funny thing that. Why does your god take all our lives anyway? And how is that moral for him to do so, yet if you were to attempt the same thing you would be labelled evil, delusional, a monster, etc.

        • TheNuszAbides

          (except, of course, if god told him to do it and WLC chose to ‘confirm’ that god told him to – strangely tricky after centuries of scriptural doubling-down and no new scripture except from them pesky mormons, scientologists, et al. – it’d be totally above-board!)

        • adam

          Because the bible god IS an EVIL, delusional monster with the emotional make up of a spoiled 5 year old.

        • Kodie

          You make it sound like god is a bug-crusher. If I see a bug and I step on it, it’s because I don’t want a bug in the house. If I eat a chicken from the store, its life was taken by a farmer or slaughterhouse or whatever, for food. So does god hate us or does god want to eat us?

        • TheNuszAbides

          oh, surely His Divine Plan can’t be boiled down to such simple motives!

        • adam

          WELL…………

          If you could just DEMONSTRATE this god of yours, you might have a point.

          Otherwise god is IMAGINARY..

        • TheNuszAbides

          he’s probably just fine with that in his closed feel-good spiritual loop, but of course he’ll rationalize it whenever deigning to address it, and never admit such in so many words.

        • smrnda

          Well, we all die anyway, does this make it okay for me to kill people? They might have died in a car crash.

        • RowanVT

          There is humane euthanasia, and then there is killing people by drowning them. God could have simply wiped the slate clean, but he chose a horrific method.

        • smrnda

          We tend to accept the taking of life owing to limited circumstances or danger. If a god is all powerful, then the god can always find a non-violent solution. An all powerful god could do this even without having to alter people’s minds.

          I mean, if I’m confronted by a violent attacker, I might have no choice but to use violence. But if I had superpowers, I could, and if I chose to use violence then, I’d be viewed as in the wrong.

        • KarlUdy

          smrdna, I would disagree with your assumptions about violence. Violence is not to be equated with force. Violence implies the violation of something or someone. In such terms, it is also a relational concept, such that actions by one person to another may be considered violence, but the same actions by or to another may not.

        • hector_jones

          This isn’t how “most people” define violence.

        • adam

          vi·o·lence noun ˈvī-lən(t)s, ˈvī-ə-

          : the use of physical FORCE to harm someone, to damage property, etc.

          : great destructive FORCE or energy

          It most certainly equated with FORCE….

        • smrnda

          I will admit that consent is relevant. Force is part of it, but not totally equivalent.

          Example – a case I bring up is James Butler. James Butler lost a boxing match, and afterwards, went up (supposedly) to shake the hand of the winner, but punched the gun in the face. He was charged with assault for that 1 punch because, outside of a fighting competition, consent to be hit has been withdrawn.

          But in a situation involving a real life threat, we tend to find fault with the use of violence when it was not necessary.

        • In the same way that if you had a gun and used it but you avoided an opportunity to just walk away, you’d be in the wrong.

        • MNb

          Since when is what “most people consider” relevant for your interpretation of the Ten Commandments? You’re arguing way below your normal level, Karl.

        • TheNuszAbides

          most people (or more particularly their minds) are benighted, corrupted, misguided, and/or un[der]informed. your point?

        • MNb

          You should reread Craig’s writing on the Divine Command Theory. The name says it all. It’s not only about the taking of life. It didn’t take you too long to get dishonest this time. That’s disappointing; because it’s not your style.

        • Divine Command Theory? It sounds so official–must be right.

        • smrnda

          I don’t think the relevance of the Nixon quote is so much that he’s false by the law, but that the idea that ‘it’s legal if the president does it’ is a bad way to run a nation. The idea that Nixon could entertain that idea is a terrible thing, not because he’s expressing ignorance about the law, but because he’s supporting the idea of a leader above the law, and above accountability to those below.

          That’s why I can’t buy the idea of a god and morality being together, since I regard unaccountable authority as inherently wrong.

        • KarlUdy

          If Nixon was right but just not being a good leader, he would not have been impeached and forced to resign.

          The simple fact is that in US law, as in all law derived from the British system, no one (not even the leader) is above the law.

          Unaccountable authority without perfect wisdom and goodness will necessarily have bad consequences. The normal definition of God includes perfect wisdom and goodness, which removes the need for the checks and balances that placing everyone, even our leaders, under the law provides.

        • smrnda

          I think I am less concerned about the legality of what Nixon did with the actual ethics of it. I mean, I could give a fuck what any nation’s laws say, I will oppose unaccountable authority anywhere.

          The problem is I don’t think ‘perfect wisdom and goodness’ ever really exist, nor are they even meaningful or logically possible to me. Morality consists (at least to me) largely in policing interactions between people who have different desires, goals, and a level of power. A despot simply says “X is right in this situation” and everyone is supposed to shut up and admire the despot’s greater wisdom. The Leader has opinions which may not be objectively any better, just they are different.

          I don’t see how goodness can ever be compatible with being a dictator, since in the end, what is good for any person is kind of subjective.

          The Christian god (a god many people believe in) clearly doesn’t like many of my choices. The Christian god wants me to be miserable. The Christian god, to me, is no different than Chairman Mao during the Cultural Revolution.

          I guess, to me, authority is just, by itself, bad, at best a necessary evil.

        • KarlUdy

          The problem is I don’t think ‘perfect wisdom and goodness’ ever really exist, nor are they even meaningful or logically possible to me.

          OK. So you don’t believe it is possible for the Christian God to exist. Which means that your criticisms on the morality of God are on the level of a super-powerful but flawed deity of some kind. Which is not Christianity.

        • smrnda

          I believe that a perfect god cannot exist, because in many cases where a moral call needs to be made, there is no right answer, just different ones. I could just say that I think perfection is impossible regarding morality.

        • TheNuszAbides

          conveniently for Karl, no mere mortal can fully grasp the omni-transcendent-whenever-it-suits-Him-or-rather-His-worshipers nature of any aspect of the infinite and timeless megabeing. so i can’t imagine that shakes him in the slightest.

        • hector_jones

          All of this is a red herring. Do you believe that God is above God’s law or bound by God’s law? ‘Tis the question.

        • adam

          Then YOU can demonstrate this ‘Christian God’ you are CLAIMING?

        • TheNuszAbides

          “If Nixon was right but just not being a good leader, he would not have been impeached and forced to resign.”

          did you think putting a ‘probably’ in there was unnecessary or weakening? please try harder with your counterfactuals.

        • adam

          Nixon can’t help you, neither can Hitler…

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zt5gLf455Q8

    • Blizzard

      However, God is not American,

      Yes god is an American.

      he is not a democratically elected leader or ruler,

      Yes god is a democratically elected leader. And god is a “she” not a “he”.

      so to criticize him because he does not conform to our expectations of how such positions work is not valid.

      Yes it is valid because I say so. And god is a “her” not a “him”. There. Any idiot can make stuff up and say whatever they want and pretend like they “gotcha” everyone all the time.. Easy as pie and I even don’t have to back any of it up. Life is so simple since I started doing that!

      • Kodie

        +1

    • TheNuszAbides

      it’s perfectly valid for those of us who perceive all-but-one-plus-one mythologies as constructs of Mere Mortal Minds.

  • MNb

    I’m very fond of the WLC paraphrase.

  • Pofarmer

    So, would God impregnating a virgin be adultery?

    • busterggi

      No, that would be rape & pedophilia.

      • Pofarmer

        Well, what woman wouldn’t want to be with God? Man, it’s been a while on my Greek mythology, but isn’t it interesting that none of these demigod stories talk about the wants of the woman? Obviously, she wanted it, the dude was a God!

        • Ron
        • Men–they’re all pigs.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i need to check my Graves, but what i recall in general is that several if not all of the women impregnated by immortal horndogs (who typically had to DISGUISE themselves? that could be telling…) pined or otherwise suffered afterwards, but the interpretation of why/how they suffered varies wildly (presumably in accordance with the interpreter’s savvy with regard to rape, women’s rights, divinely-inspired awe/fear and so on).

        • If Zeus wants to get it on, why disguise himself as a swan? Wouldn’t the lady be more willing if he were to take the beefcake route?

      • Ron

        “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” ~Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri

      • JohnH2

        This suggests that it was consensual, though admittedly by todays standards Mary was too young:
        “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”

        • busterggi

          So if a six-year old girl argrees to sex with an adult because the adult gave her a candy bar its okay?

        • adam

          I think the bible says she needs to be twelve…

        • busterggi

          You may think it does but it doesn’t.

      • Greg G.

        God fooling around with a girl 4,000 years younger than he is unseemly.

        • adam

          And really not at all impressive.

        • busterggi

          Ah but you forget – god is supposed to be eternal and existed before the universe so its actually half of eternity + 4000 years older.
          Though he probably didn’t look more than half of eternity.

        • Greg G.

          The theists have been arguing that God is timeless and that he created time along with the universe. Many don’t insist on the YEC age of the universe but i was magnanimously bending over backwards to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  • Robster

    Bill Craig seems very cosy with his god. His imagination must be running wild. Probably best that he be kept busy.

  • Well, God’s hypothetical double moral standards are quite disappointing to me: as the Bible and its apologists enjoy saying, we are supposed to be a bunch of rotten sinners, right?
    If that’s true, how can God expect us to follow rules so demanding than He Himself doesn’t bother to observe?
    Waiting for Mr. Craig’s haphazardous answer…

    • TheNuszAbides

      anyone who runs with that simply isn’t paying attention; perfection is not ‘expected’ but merely to be strived for, and the all-powerful perfect punisher isn’t a role model.

  • If William Lane Craig didn’t exist, we would have had to invent him.

    • busterggi

      Elmer Gantry?

    • Pofarmer

      Eh, not really. I could do just, as well without, kinda, like, Ebola.

  • It’s not lying that’s prohibited, but bearing false witness-i.e. saying someone did something which they didn’t, a form of perjury. I don’t know whether God ever did this in the Bible. On the killing part, as many people will point out, it originally didn’t say “kill” but “murder” which is very different. Obviously they had no problem with capital punishment, or killing other people in war. These were not considered murder (and that’s been true for most societies over the ages).
    I always interpreted “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” as an impossible demand that may have been presented to show the folly of achieving virtue by following the Jewish Law.
    Don’t get me wrong, though-I agree with you that God as presented in the Bible is a hypocrite by any standard. The standard apologetics (like Craig) says that God is the source of morality and thus moral commands don’t apply to him, though as you point out the Bible sometimes doesn’t seem to take this line (surprisingly!).

    • The standard apologetics (like Craig) says that God is the source of morality and thus moral commands don’t apply to him, though as you point out the Bible sometimes doesn’t seem to take this line

      And the very notion that modern believers apply their own judgment to decide which moral commands are God-given and which aren’t makes it clear that The Big G has nothing to do with morality in the first place.

      • Even when they claimed the moral standards were God-given, they always seemed to (purely coincidentally, I’m sure) match the view of the speaker.

    • Ron

      One small correction: lying is definitely prohibited—at least at an intra-tribal level.

      “You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another.” Leviticus 19:11

      “Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.” Proverbs 12:22

      “A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will not go free.” Proverbs 19:5

      Of course the bible contains many stories where God rewards or turns a blind eye towards lying, theft, murder and treachery. Even Jesus instructs his disciples to commit theft.

      • Mike Securo

        Really, Jesus “instructs his disciples to commit theft????” Where did you read this? Please tell me that you’re not referring about the donkey in Matthew 21?!

        Here’s a similar, everyday story.
        Jesus to Mike: “Mike, do me a favor. Go see Joe and grab his spare truck. I’ve already arranged it with him.”
        Mike goes to Joe’s and hops in the truck.
        Joe: “Hey, are you trying to steal my truck?!”
        Disciple: “No, sorry, Mike told me to come get it.”
        Joe: “Oh, OK.”

        Stealing????? Really???

        • Ron

          “Stealing????? Really???”

          What do you call it when someone takes something without asking? (Hint)

          Nor is your scenario played out in any of the gospels. Jesus tells his disciples to go to the next village and untie the first colt they see upon entering. Oh, and if anyone asks, tell them “the Lord has need of it” (Mark 11:3, NASB) and will send it right back. This doesn’t sound like borrowing a truck from a friend. It sounds more like going to the next village, driving off with the first car you see and telling anyone who yells, “Hey! WTF are you doing?” that your boss needs it, but you’ll bring it back later.

      • You’re right. As usual, though, it only applies to “your own people” (along with the six-year-only slavery rule), and of course not God.

    • TheUnknownPundit

      It’s not lying that’s prohibited, but bearing false witness-i.e. saying someone did something which they didn’t, a form of perjury.
      Well said. Lying about others will quite naturally foster mistrust and turmoil. The ancient Hebrews understood that much at least. As I understand it, Jews interpret that commandment to mean that when the stakes are high with regard to any particular matter at hand, it becomes a moral imperative to tell the truth so that a morally justifiable conclusion is reached. And one must be truthful even if it will lead to a result you won’t like. I’m probably not saying this in quite the same way he would, but I think I’m pretty close to expressing correctly what a Jew I know said about lying.

      • So what’s your conclusion? That God never broke the 9th commandment (see post on that here)?

        • TheUnknownPundit

          Not at all. It’s hard for a non-existent deity to break any rule anytime, anywhere as far as I can tell. 😉
          I was merely expanding on Michael’s comment. The Jews I’ve read or listened to over the years tend to be deeper moral thinkers as compared to most Christians IMO.

  • JohnH2

    Regarding murder, any being worth being called God is in some sense responsible for every single death that happens; with the Garden of Eden story points out. Further the promise of a resurrection as found in Ezekiel, Job, Isaiah, etc. (and obviously the New Testament) suggests further that death is not to God what it is to us.

    Regarding stealing, the Bible lays the whole earth as being God’s property so rearranging ones own property can’t be stealing.

    Regarding God deserving the punishment of Death, for the Christians that has already happened.

    • Kodie

      It makes up a fiction of death that is “better” than the one we really have, and to be fair, isn’t always quick and pleasant, and almost always leaves grieving survivors, but still a story.

      Anyway, rationalizing an anthropomorphic being’s “reasons” for the world being like it is, is severely convoluted, and brings in distorted sense of “justice” that bad things happen to bad people or should happen to people we judge as bad. I’ve been told that it’s “normal” for a person to want a dead criminal who’s violated me or my family to suffer indefinitely than to be just dead and “got away with it.” “God” character can do whatever he wants to his “property” and we have to kneel and pray for mercy because we think it’s intentional and all about me.

      • JohnH2

        The Book of Job explicitly deals with the Deuteronomic thesis that doing good will cause one to be blessed and doing bad will cause one to be cursed. That framing of the thesis is a wrong understanding of what God promises, as Job forcefully points out, and the demand for justice is not something that we should desire either for ourselves or for anyone else; it is human to wish ill on those that have harmed oneself or ones family, but that is not a desirable end state.

        Admittedly Job and Ecclesiastes do have the idea that God can do whatever he wants to his property and we are to kneel and pray for mercy, but have that when it has absolutely nothing to do with us. They also have significantly more than that but you likely don’t want to hear it and I am not comfortable explaining all of it.

        • Kodie

          Those again, are stories. Some people are superstitious about cause and effect and bad luck being deserved, and some people at least can see it doesn’t work out that way. Doesn’t make god a person. I mean, don’t you think it’s weird to think your existence or anyone, everyone’s existence begins and ends out of some necessity to serve a god, that he begins you and he ends you when you’re done doing whatever it is he needed you for. Yes, I get it that individuals feel special, but if god had some jobs for people to do or purposes for them to fill, why such a high turnover rate? Why can’t the same person stay on and serve that purpose? We’re biological organisms created from fornication and ended when something gets us, and our lifespan is over. As humans we do everything we can technologically do to postpone death.

        • JohnH2

          “As humans we do everything we can technologically do to postpone death.”

          Which is why there is a push for physician assisted suicide.

          “why such a high turnover rate?”

          Why can’t it be a high promotion rate?

          As those books both point out, I can do nothing to add to or subtract from God and God’s purposes. I can affect only myself and those around me and God is fully capable of using my service or rebellion to fulfill His own ends; and this is true regardless of what kind of, or if, God exists. There is nothing better than to take pleasure in what we have when we have it and to do good with what we have.

          Whether both books are just stories or whether either relates actual occurrences really doesn’t change the ideas that each is trying to communicate. With Ecclesiastes the ideas are generally valid without any real specific God; with Job much of it is still valid regardless, though not believing in God does remove the final answer from having any meaning other than learning from our experiences whatever they are and accepting them as they are.

        • Kodie

          Which is why there is a push for physician assisted suicide.

          And what kinds of groups are more intent about using any means humanly necessary to obstruct “god’s will”? Like say, a brain-dead being kept “alive” on machines?

          “why such a high turnover rate?”

          Why can’t it be a high promotion rate?

          Our “purpose” on earth seems to be to nothing. An individual can have a meaning to someone or to a great number of people and we’d still get along without that person, as we do without many possible humans who don’t exist. Why is my doctor important to me, or my mother? Because they’re mine. If I didn’t have my mother, I’d have a different mother. If my doctor didn’t exist, I’d go to a different doctor. There is really nothing special about humanity that any person serves a unique and necessary purpose to the earth. If Paul McCartney never existed, someone else would have been in the Beatles. As much as I like them, if they weren’t the same, if they weren’t a fixture in Rock-and-Roll history, we’d still be fine. If it were necessary for Paul McCartney to be born for there to be a Beatles, and as many humans are fans and get through many moods with the Beatles music, without it would be fine, different, not necessarily worse or emptier. It’s a cult-like attitude that without which we’d all be less. What if Paul McCartney would rather have been a doctor, and he cured cancer? He didn’t, he makes music. I’m not saying that medicine is inherently a more noble profession than music, but we don’t need everyone to be a doctor and we don’t need everyone to be a musician. If anything changed, you wouldn’t notice any difference.

          Yours is a story, that’s a perception, a cult around the specialized individual sent to earth for a purpose for a limited time, most people are ordinary folks serving no worthwhile purpose that would be missed if they weren’t there. But we only miss people after they exist, and when they’re dead. So the fantasy fulfills a social desire to be with our loved ones again. God does not need any of us, down here or up there.

        • JohnH2

          “vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” If you haven’t read Ecclesiastes, I strongly suggest it, I think that you would probably like it.

        • Greg G.

          I agree. Ecclesiastes is my favorite book of the Bible. If you allow for a couple of interpolations, it could be written by an atheist.

        • Greg G.

          Which is why there is a push for physician assisted suicide.

          People seldom wish to die but when existence becomes torture with no hope of improvement, death is a release.

        • 90Lew90

          If you’re arguing that Job demonstrates your god’s ultimate goodness, I’m afraid you’ve chosen an extremely bad example. Satan is joshing with God that Job will not be nearly as pious if God deprives him of his health, wealth and happiness. So this loving god of yours accepts a wager with Satan that recalls children, insects and magnifying glasses and tortures Job. It’s worth remembering that it is your god doing the very inventive and unmentionably cruel torturing here, not Satan. When Job indeed does begin to question God, God appears out of the whirlwind and basically has a hissy fit with Job, in the manner of a spoilt tyrant. The moral of the story…? Beats me!

        • JohnH2

          Aesop’s Fables must be very frustrating to you.

        • 90Lew90

          We’re not talking about Aesop’s Fables.

        • JohnH2

          I know, you are missing the point, both of my comment and of Job.

        • 90Lew90

          And you implied specifically that there’s a great moral message in Job. For the life of me, I can’t figure it out.

        • JohnH2

          The framing of the story is that God is trying Job, because Job is good, and not because Job choosing good is what causes the bad thing to happen. Forest Gump can be used to summarize that framing in two words. The rest of the story is dealing with why such things happen and how we should react and deal with it, and how we should treat others to whom bad things have happened.

          It is a common idea, regardless of religion, that if one is good and does the correct things then they will be prosperous and successful and also that if one is bad and does the wrong things they will be miserable and fail. This is not the case, one can make all the right choices and still fail, and one can make terrible choices and be a horrible person and be very successful. However, one should still chose what one knows to be right even when it is painful because it is the right thing to do, and one should not attribute good or evil to someone because of how successful they are.

          In dealing with pain and loss anger doesn’t really help, it is okay to grieve for a time, but eventually we must accept what has happened, learn what we can from it, and move on. Pain that is not related to any decisions on our part can still lead us to bitterness, or it can help us to understand others better and lead us to wisdom.

          As for God answering Job out of the whirlwind, that is a deeper subject than what I really want to discuss right here in detail. God though is teaching Job wisdom, the book really could/should end with Job 42:6 after Job declares:

          “Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you declare to me.”
          5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
          but now my eye sees you;
          6 therefore I despise myself,
          and repent in dust and ashes.’

          To be less than fully accurate, Job experiences transcendence and comes to understand everything, including his loss.

        • God sets Job a test that (given that he’s omniscient) he knows Job will pass. Apparently, he just needs to prove that to his handyman, Satan. (Or is it that the idea of God has evolved over time and he wasn’t omniscient?)

          That test includes murdering people. Not cool.

          Job asks why God did this, and God answers: “Because I can, bitch. Deal with it.” Also not cool.

        • smrnda

          To me, god’s statements in Job are just a mess of pointless deepities meant to cover for the fact that the god in Job doesn’t have any answers.

        • JohnH2

          Various Jewish scholars, Masons, and (some) Mormons strongly disagree; Which hopefully might give you some idea as to why I am not comfortable explaining what is being said and happening there in detail.

        • Kodie

          Because it’s a secret message? Why’d you bring it up then?

        • JohnH2

          Because I don’t care if you figure it out by yourself, there are publicly available if esoteric texts covering the topic, but I don’t want to talk about it in detail both in general and especially here.

        • Kodie

          “I’m not comfortable explaining what is being said and happening there in detail,” is an interesting way to say you don’t care.

        • adam

          Or that it is super duper top secret and if people just knew they truth……

        • JohnH2

          I hold that it is sacred rather than secret, and it gets into topics which are related to topics which I have made promises not to disclose; which is why I am not comfortable with explaining it; but the ideas exist in more than just that setting and are explained in, as I said, publicly available if esoteric books so if you really want to know you can figure it out.

        • Kodie

          “promises not to disclose” – oh baloney. I don’t disbelieve that you made such a promise, I just don’t believe religion. I don’t believe the horseshit secret/”sacred” bullcrap, you’re in a secret society. You have “secret” knowledge, you’re sworn not to share to the curious who want to know why you brought up JOB if you are not willing to discuss it.

        • JohnH2

          I did discuss it, just not in anything like complete detail:

          As for God answering Job out of the whirlwind, that is a deeper subject than what I really want to discuss right here in detail. God though is teaching Job wisdom … To be less than fully accurate, Job experiences transcendence and comes to understand everything, including his loss.

        • Kodie

          Are you afraid of being disemboweled and having your throat slashed?

        • JohnH2

          I am too young for that.

        • hector_jones

          wtf?

        • JohnH2

          The Mormon temple ritual has some connections with Masonry (and some important differences); one of the previous connections were penalties for disclosing specific parts of the ceremony. They were removed in 1990, which is prior to me having gone through the temple.

        • 90Lew90

          Esoteric indeed. But you only said Job “gets into topics which are related to topics…”. If they’re only “related”, that leaves you in the clear to explain Job. I don’t care about the “relationship” and I care even less about the “related” topics. Make sense of Job. Don’t be shy.

          …What’s that smell.

        • JohnH2
        • hector_jones

          And were these penalties legal in the state of Utah prior to 1990? The wiki article says they were just symbolic anyway, is that right?

        • JohnH2

          No.

        • Pofarmer

          I just gotta link to some Corn Lund.

          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zd_qC2rmmSU

        • hector_jones

          No to which question?

        • JohnH2

          It being legal; as to being symbolic; they were generally taken as being symbolic by the masons from whom we stole them, though not always. They are actually old in masonry coming from a time when the masonic guilds really would seek to enact the penalties.

        • Kodie

          What a funny little cult.

        • 90Lew90

          “There’s nowt so queer as folk.”

        • 90Lew90

          Interesting John. I’ve just had a little glimpse into the theological difficulties Job poses for Morons. Sorry, Mormons. I can see why you’d prefer to hold your tongue. And I can see too that basically I was right. It makes your god look screwy. That’s probably because your god is screwy.

        • Pofarmer

          I’m sure the theologianz, have, worked it around, so it all seems quite reasonable.

        • 90Lew90

          Hey I just accidentally kicked my Bible. Do you think I should go out and eat dirt while flagellating myself? Maybe it shouldn’t have been on the floor. But then I was on the floor. No disrespect. Maybe I should have sat on a chair with the Bible on the table. But there is no table where I’m sitting. Maybe Satan made me kick it. Or maybe God bet Satan I wouldn’t kick it and then I did. Oh dear. Or maybe Satan bet God I would kick it… And then I did. Shit, thank God it’s dark and raining outside. That’ll make the dirt even less palatable and I might even eat some shit. Now, where’s my cat-o-nine-tails. I better put some razors on the ends pretty damn quick and get down to business. And d’oh! I just said “damn”!!!

        • adam

          Yes, I already figured out that it is all BUNK……….

        • JohnH2

          Thus demonstrating the “especially here” part of what I said above.

        • adam

          Do you think we care if you have a ‘secret handshake’ or a ‘pact with the devil’……

          If you ACTUALLY had something that could benefit mankind but are holding it back because you say it is ‘sacred’, then that comes across as petty for you to even mention it.

          Kinda “I’ve got a secret that explains it all, but alas I can’t tell you”

          Sounds alot like snake oil…

        • JohnH2

          I don’t think you care or consider anything at all to be sacred.

          Work on respecting others, doing good to others, and learning to choose what you know of yourself to be good and perhaps one day you will be able to be benefited by further knowledge in this regards, whereas right now I more than half expect you to post pictures or videos that I would find offensive of you doing so and you not understanding or respecting any of it in the slightest.

        • adam

          If you had respect for others, you would have never brought it up in the first place and then claimed it was a SECRET…

          And how can I know if it is worthy of sacredness IF IT IS SECRET….

          Respect is EARNED.

          So, Snake Oil it is….

          And as such to not disappoint you, here is the picture you were expected….

        • Pofarmer

          Lol.

        • 90Lew90

          Is there not a duty on you to try to convince us? Is the injunction on you to try to convert people not the greater duty and are your “promises not to disclose” not in contravention of that duty? Hmm. Slippery slope John.

        • 90Lew90

          Bullshit John. Bullshit. I’d say the cause of your discomfort is because you know that’s bullshit.

        • JohnH2

          Example two of “especially here.”

        • 90Lew90

          I don’t get you. I reread Job today. God has a hissyfit. I think some Occam’s razor works just fine here, as I posted below. God gets it wrong in Job, not once, but twice. And after getting over his initial huff with Job, after being hoodwinked by Satan, then GOD makes an act of CONTRITION to Job. Interesting. But wriggle on John. Wriggle wriggle.

        • Kodie

          Which means it is such total horseshit that only a Mormon would believe if once they are immersed in belief. You’ve told us before of the “traditional” methods of getting involved in the faith, you can’t start with the impossible to believe stuff, nobody would go fo it. Thank you for demonstrating what a pathetic and transparent marketing scheme the LDS is.

        • 90Lew90

          At least with horseshit you can grow vegetables. I’d say it must be a torrent of untreated city sewage effluent if John blushes to tell us after he’s stated, with a straight face: “God has a cock.”

        • 90Lew90

          Jesus John. I’m going over it again. In 38:4 God actually goes: “Were you THERE?!” Chuckle.

        • JohnH2

          ” all the sons of God shouted for joy” – we are the sons of God, ergo the answer is yes, even if we don’t remember, meaning that that we shouted for joy at the prospect of coming to earth, despite the suffering that it would cause to the point of cursing the very day of our birth because we then knew of the future joy that it would cause.

        • 90Lew90

          We came here on the Sloop John B?

        • 90Lew90

          Thanks for the sermon, but that’s all that was. It’s pure conjecture on your part, except perhaps when you hit on what you call an “idea” at the top of paragraph two, which I would think better termed a perennial human question. It’s not unique to the Bible; the question of the just man oppressed by injustice. That said, your sermon is an exercise in avoiding the meat and bones of the message of Job as far as I’m concerned, which is that we should live in mortal fear of a capricious god and should any misfortune befall us, we should grovel all the more. But no matter how great a cocksucker you may be, God still might decide to mess you up really, really badly, over a little late-night betting game with Satan. This book was for near-imbeciles. Not for the quasi-intellectual contortionism you’re subjecting it to. That’s for people who want square circles. Enter theology.

        • adam

          But god has a ‘plan’

        • 90Lew90

          A part of which must have been to engage in a bit of quite polite chit-chat with Satan, accept a challenge from him, which included beggaring his favourite and most dedicated supplicant in all the world, taking away everything he had — family, livestock and land — then covering him with suppurating boils for a few years, just to prove to Satan that Job’s dedication wouldn’t waver. Then when God turned out to be wrong on that, he launches into a great tirade on poor old Job. So in this “plan”, God must have known that he would be hoodwinked by Satan. But that doesn’t make any sense. And then God makes up for it by giving Job back twice what he had before, including some *very* goodlooking daughters. And lets him hang around until the age of 140. Thereby, one would suspect, God not only includes in his plan getting hoodwinked by Satan, but also an act of contrition on his own part. He certainly does work in mysterious ways, this God chap.

        • adam

          He does sound like that rotten, spoiled 5 year old who demands to be the center of attention and will do anything to get attention, well at least until science showed up, then he just kinda disappears from the scene altogether…

        • 90Lew90

          Well I wouldn’t put it like that. He’s been shown the door and people were inviting him to leave long before “science” but the problem is he just won’t leave. He keeps sneaking up the stairs, stealing new clothes, and coming back as if nobody noticed the smell hadn’t gone. And the people who spoil him keep fawning over him and there’s more of them in the apartment building than the decent people who are thoroughly sick of the nasty little bastard. “Spare not the rod” for this particular child.

        • MNb

          “This is not the case”
          Agreed. Thing is though this makes god totally superfluous.

        • 90Lew90

          You’re on dodgy territory with Job John. You just happened to have hit on perhaps my favourite book of the Bible, which I hit upon via Primo Levi. I’ve read it many times. I’m not surprised the “interpretations” of it are “esoteric” (cough!) and I’m not one bit surprised you’re not comfortable discussing them. I’d say they’re a load of god’s cock.

        • Kodie

          Your example was because bad things happen to good people, full stop. As Lew points out, god is just being petty and picks on Job for his own vanity.

        • adam

          No, nobody is trying to make laws based on Aesop’s Fables, but primarily christian fables.

        • JohnH2

          Given the prosperity gospel and what people like Westboro Baptist put on their signs, I don’t think Christians generally are much paying attention to Job (or Ecclesiastes) at all, let alone making laws off of them.

        • Kodie

          Every Christian is a cherry-picker and selective interpretationist.

        • JohnH2

          To some extent, obviously.

        • Kodie

          No, that’s really all there is to it. Stories and interpretations of them. You’ve already ignored the gist of Job. That ended the way it did because it was about the character of god. Should Job have faith in god or be angry with god, and why wasn’t he angry because he was supposed to have faith, and that’s a story.

        • JohnH2

          “You’ve already ignored the gist of Job.”

          I disagree with your assessment on that, I agree that the character of God is part of what is covered, and that being angry at God is also part of what is covered, but neither is really the gist of Job.

        • Kodie

          If your best friend had been challenged by your worst enemy to test the limits of your friendship by pranking you, embarrassing you, damaging your property and your livelihood and killing your family, would you still consider him your friend?

          Put some other way, if your best friend accidentally caused these events, you might even forgive him for being clumsy and say he didn’t mean it… it would be tough, but you wouldn’t think he was using you to settle a bet.

          Job was your example of bad things happening to good people, so you think everything bad that happens to a good person is supposed to be a test of their faith, and not to punish them, but for god to make sure they still think he’s on their side. That’s the reason, the only reason, that a bad thing could happen to a good person, is because god is insecure? That’s your reasoning. God doesn’t know your mind and can’t improve the relationship any other way than testing you.

          It’s just a story. It ends that way as an example for the church leaders to point to, it’s a pamphlet “why bad things happen to good people”. It’s of no real comfort, it describes a sadistic insecure and childish, not omniscient and with limited powers, and zero communication skills. I don’t imagine it’s much comfort for all, it’s just to say shut up and be more like Job.

        • adam

          They could all use one of these…

        • adam

          But NOBODY fashions laws based on Aesop’s Fables as a moral authority.

        • Everyone understands that fables are made up. Unfortunately, we’re not on that page with the Bible.

          But if you’re saying that we should put the Bible in with other fables, I’m OK with that.

        • JohnH2

          With Job and Ecclesiastes it really doesn’t much matter to us whether they are fables or history.

        • smrnda

          I think, as fables, they kind of fail.

          I can’t relate to the speaker of Ecclesiastes. I ‘ve never found life to be that depressing, or pointless, and I actually do think there are (in some ways) signs of progress at times.

        • MNb

          No. As a fable Job still sucks.

    • adam

      • Mike Securo

        I kinda like that one.

        • adam

          Yes, the basic premise of christianity…………

      • I was a bit depressed before, but I feel better, now. Thanks.

    • I’m familiar with the resurrection of ordinary people from the NT, but not in the old. Can you give me some verses?

      Regarding stealing, as with the sand castle, God’s not simply rearranging his possessions. There are actual humans (Canaanites) there with needs and feelings, and there is a downside to screwing them.

      • JohnH2

        Job 19:25-27, Ezekiel 37, Isaiah 26:19, as non-exhaustive examples.

        • Thanks. I can see how that could be an interpretation, but I could see counterarguments as well. The idea of an afterlife wasn’t in early Hebrew culture.

        • adam

          But, but, but…..

          Without an afterlife you dont NEED Jesus…

        • JohnH2

          The idea of an afterlife wasn’t ever universally in Hebrew culture, at least up until the destruction of the second temple (at which point the detail of my knowledge of Judaism, particularly varieties of Judaism, becomes somewhat more sketchy); but did exist in various forms.

        • Pofarmer
        • That’s a good list, but that’s just dead people returned to life, not the afterlife.

          Elijah and Enoch bodily rose to be with God in heaven, so I’ll admit it can get complicated. But I don’t think the Christian idea of the afterlife was at all what the Hebrews of the early OT thought.

  • Mike Securo

    Hi, first time here. Christian for about 35 years. I love peaceful debates with those who think differently than I about things.

    I would like to point out that “Do not murder” was a command to humans regarding humans. It is morally wrong for a human to murder another human. Killing is a different story and not included in this command…although I am against killing another human, even perhaps in self defense. But that’s another topic.

    Also, human sacrifice was never condoned nor authorized in scripture. In fact it was across the board forbidden. Issac and Abraham were a “type” of what was to come when God the Father sacrificed his own son to save the world. But Abraham complied with God’s order because (according to Hebrews 11:19) “Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.” Was this a test of Abraham’s faith. Indeed it was. But it was also a picture of the future when God would redeem the world through His Son. And is human “sacrifice” not a common occurrence in war or other situations where someone would sacrifice their own life for others? Indeed.

    There is no doubt that God, according to old testament history, eradicated peoples. These peoples were foul, they sacrificed babies to Baal and other demonic “deities” and would have polluted all of human kind if they had gone unchecked. Now, I could say that “God is God and could do what He wants and who are we to judge” (and if he is the All Powerful and everything is his creation, I could argue that he could in fact do whatever he wanted and how we felt about it wouldn’t mean squat). But I’m not.
    My perspective is best shown by this fictional scenario: Say that I have no concept of or familiarity with modern medicine/surgical techniques and have been invited to witness a surgery to remove cancer from a patient. There I witness the doctor taking a scalpel and slicing the patient open and cutting their insides out, I’m repulsed and yell for someone to stop this monster from mutilating this poor person. In my ignorance I do not understand that the doctor is eradicating all of the deadly tissue so that the patient may live. To me, he is an evil, sick monster doing great harm to a human being. But the reality is that the Dr has determined that without the cancer being eradicated, the patient will die a slow, horrible death. So the reality is that the Dr. is acting in a kindly, protective, loving way and that it is my limited perspective that is the real issue.
    So, God does not murder. God and his scripture condemn human sacrifice, and everything that he did, is doing or will do, is done in Love, for God is Love.
    Shalom

    • Pofarmer

      “God and his scripture condemn human sacrifice, and everything that he
      did, is doing or will do, is done in Love, for God is Love.”

      If God was so loving, couldn’t he have just made himself known to the followers of baal and told them to stop sacrificing children(if they did such a thing.)? The best way he could figure out was to have the Israelites kill them all?

      • JohnH2

        “if they did such a thing.)”

        They did:

        “Tophet” is a term derived from the Bible, used to refer to a site near Jerusalem in which Canaanites and Israelites sacrificed children. It is now used as a general term for all such sites with cremated human and animal remains. The Hebrew Bible does not specify that the Israelite victims were buried, only burned, although the “place of burning” was probably adjacent to the place of burial. We have no idea how the Phoenicians themselves referred to the places of burning or burial, or to the practice itself.

        Several apparent “Tophets” have been identified, chiefly a large one in Carthage, dubbed the “Tophet of Salammbó”, after the neighbourhood where it was unearthed in 1921.[14] Soil in the Tophet of Salammbó was found to be full of olive wood charcoal, probably from the sacrificial pyres. It was the location of the temple of the goddess Tanit and the necropolis. Animal remains, mostly sheep and goats, found inside some of the Tophet urns strongly suggest that this was not a burial ground for children who died prematurely. The animals were sacrificed to the gods, presumably in place of children (one surviving inscription refers to the animal as “a substitute”). It is conjectured that the children unlucky enough not to have substitutes were also sacrificed and then buried in the Tophet. The remains include the bodies of both very young children and small animals, and those who argue in favor of child sacrifice have argued that if the animals were sacrificed then so too were the children.[15] The area covered by the Tophet in Carthage was probably over an acre and a half by the fourth century BCE,[16] with nine different levels of burials. About 20,000 urns were deposited between 400 BCE and 200 BCE,[16] with the practice continuing until the early years of the Christian period. The urns contained the charred bones of newborns and in some cases the bones of fetuses and 2-year-olds. These double remains have been interpreted to mean that in the cases of stillborn babies, the parents would sacrifice their youngest child.[17]

        There is a clear correlation between the frequency of deposition of child remains and the well-being of the city. In bad times (war, poor harvests) sacrifices may have become more frequent, indicating an increased assiduousness in seeking divine appeasement, or possibly a population-controlling response to the reduction of available food,[8] or perhaps increased child mortality due to famine or disease.

        A detailed breakdown of the age of the buried children includes pre-natal individuals – that is still births. It is also argued that the age distribution of remains at this site is consistent with the burial of children who died of natural causes, shortly before or after birth.[15][18] Sergio Ribichini has argued that the Tophet was “a child necropolis designed to receive the remains of infants who had died prematurely of sickness or other natural causes, and who for this reason were “offered” to specific deities and buried in a place different from the one reserved for the ordinary dead”. He adds that this was probably part of “an effort to ensure the benevolent protection of the same deities for the survivors.”[19] However, this analysis is disputed; Patricia Smith and colleagues from the Hebrew University and Harvard University show from the teeth and skeletal analysis at the Carthage Tophet that infant ages at death (about two months) do not correlate with the expected ages of natural mortality (perinatal).[20]

        Sites within Carthage and other Phoenician centres such as Mozia near Sicily revealed the remains of male children under the age of five. There was no evidence of disease in the bones that survived cremation. This has been interpreted as evidence for frequent and prominent child sacrifice to the god Ba’al Hammon

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Carthage#Child_sacrifice

        • Mike Securo

          Where in scripture does it read that God commanded human sacrifice?

          Really, Wikipedia….
          “I just read the Daily News and swear by every word…”
          -Steely Dan

        • JohnH2

          ??? – That was answering the question of whether there was human sacrifice to Baal; There was. In the Bible God commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, and there is that place in Judges where one of the Judges swears an oath and ends up sacrificing his daughter.

        • smrnda

          I want to give you credit John for admitting that, and for also not pretending that something else happens in the Judges account.

        • Pofarmer

          I don’t know where it says he did, well, other than Jesus, but, according to Archaelogical records, early jews certainly did.

        • Mike Securo

          I appreciate your candor. If the “Jews” did it was prior to the Law and was unauthorized and condemned even before there was a law to prohibit it.
          But then both know how evil humans are.

        • adam

          Yes, evil enough to create a monsterous god…

        • Mike Securo

          You know nothing of God. If you did, you would know that Jesus is God in the flesh. And all you would see was him loving, healing, comforting, and giving hope to the hopeless.

        • adam

          YOU know nothing of ‘god’.
          Otherwise you would have already DEMONSTRATED your ‘gods’ MAGIC, instead of producing ad hominem..

          LOVE?
          Your god knows NOTHING of LOVE….

        • Kodie

          I thought it was a matter of faith. You believe that because you want to believe that.

        • Pofarmer

          I thought you said you weren’t into religion?

        • adam

          Mike,

          Then DEMONSTRATE this ‘godly flesh’.
          Otherwise we will all think you have no idea about what you are talking about.

        • Dys

          You use the word ‘know’ where ‘believe’ is far more appropriate.

        • Pofarmer

          Humans are social primates. We are no more inherently evil than any other social primate. We are a product of our evolution and our societies.

        • The link is in the post above. For your convenience: click here.

      • Mike Securo

        Scripture tells us that God sent prophets with signs and wonders to warn them not to worship Baal and they didn’t believe. Even the Jews who he rescued from slavery were pissed at God and made a graven image. Even though God “went before them in a cloud during the day and a pillar of smoke at night,” even after witness him parting the red sea, even after providing manna and doves every day for them, they still grumbled and rebelled.
        I don’t know why God does what he does. If I did, he could hardly be considered God if an idiot like me could figure him out!
        I just trust that he is Good and that in doing Good, you sometimes have to cut out some bad. I don’t know how my iphone works, never mind the mind of God! LOL. Like many things….it comes down to faith.

        • Kodie

          I just trust that he is Good and that in doing Good, you sometimes have to cut out some bad.

          If I told you to just have faith in the government, they know more than you do and it’s their job to both govern you and protect your rights, and always do everything in your in your best interest, would you think that was good advice?

        • Mike Securo

          No. Government is comprised of fallen humans who have humanly (money, fame, power) motives. Why would I trust them?

        • Pofarmer

          We are evolved primates, not fallen angels.. You are espousing doctrine with no evidence. At root, a lie.

        • Mike Securo

          I don’t follow? Fallen angels? Who said that. Not me because that’s just silly.
          What doctrine am I espousing?

        • Pofarmer

          The Doctrine of “The Fall” in your statement above.

          “Government is comprised of fallen humans who have humanly (money, fame, power) motives.’

          It’s a fundamental misunderstanding of who and what we are, the idea that we were created perfect and then sinned and found ourselves in whatever “Condition” that we are in. Humans aren’t fallen. We are, in fact, improving with time. It’s old religious ignorance that needs to go.

        • Mike Securo

          Improving? How, technologically?
          Get your head out of the sand. Entropy is inescapable. Plus we are heading for the big crunch.
          BTW, I’m not into religion.

        • Pofarmer

          We are improving morally, socially, technologically. If you’re not into religion, the ndon’t use religious expressions. What exactly are you “into.”

          “Get your head out of the sand. Entropy is inescapable. Plus we are heading for the big crunch.”

          What, exactly, is that supposed to mean?

        • Mike Securo

          We are improving? morally??? Socially? Really. What world are you living in. Sorry, that’s just a false statement. But then “improvement” is relative….

          Jesus said “True religion is taking care of widows and orphans.” That’s what he said. That’s who he was. Love incarnate. Find something bad in that bro.

          What my statement meant is that we are in a DECLINE. Entropy is irresistible and we are headed for the Big Crunch. Come on, you should understand that.

        • Seriously? The Big Crunch a trillion years hence is something relevant to our lives today?

        • Greg G.

          Isn’t ” The Big Crunch” like sooo 20th century?

        • Pofarmer

          Yeah, , I thought we were in the big expansion now.

        • Pofarmer

          Too much Peyote?

        • Pofarmer

          Oh, hell yes. The world is safer now, relatively than it’s ever been. You are less likely to die a violent death at the hand of another human than at any other time in history. We don’t burn people for heresy. We don’t hunt down and kill witches, well, except in Africa again, apparently There are all kinds of areas of improvement. Problem is, you would call some of them declines.

        • Ron

          Jesus said “True religion is taking care of widows and orphans.” That’s what he said. That’s who he was. Love incarnate. Find something bad in that bro.

          Jesus never said that. The author of James (sort of) wrote that.

        • 500 years ago, you could get mutilated or worse for badmouthing the king. Today, in the West, not so much.

          I think there’s room for optimism in the improved state of society.

        • smrnda

          Morally too. Violence is down in the US. When was the last time France and Germany fought a war against each other?

        • MNb

          How nice that you are worrying about something that will happen after 4,5 billion years.

        • Dys

          “BTW, I’m not into religion.”

          Christianity is a religion, no matter how Christians try to play semantics to try and deny it. You can call it a personal relationship with a long-dead apocalyptic Jewish prophet all you like, but it’s a religion as well. Denying it just makes you look silly.

        • Kodie

          So-called “fallen” humans vs. the leaders of your church and other theologians like William Lane Craig? You’ve never heard from god. Why do you trust him any farther than you can throw him?

        • Mike Securo

          Not sure what you mean.

        • Mike Securo

          How can I throw God.

        • Kodie

          Unfamiliar with common expressions?

        • MNb

          I was, but the metaphor is crystal clear. In Dutch we say “I don’t trust him further than the length of my nose”.

        • adam

          Same way way in which you BELIEVE in your god…..with your IMAGINATION….

          Of course, you could settle all this right NOW, if you would just demonstrate the MAGIC power of YOUR god…

        • Kodie

          Do you mean you can’t read?

        • Greg G.

          What doctrine am I espousing?

          Why don’t you tell us what you believe and why you believe it? So many Christians think that all Christians believe pretty much the same thing but the differences are so diverse that either the Holy Ghost is pulling their legs or there is no god and theists are making it up as they go. If someone argues against something you don’t espouse, explain what you believe because that someone may be arguing something that is espoused by most Christians.

          Or are you another Jenna Black sock?

        • Kodie

          “God” gives you a lot more reasons to be distrustful of his motives. Government certainly knows more than you do? That was your premise, that you don’t know and can’t guess what the right answer, a lot of times the issues are complex in government, and you have to be well-read and informed to decide if they are doing the right thing or the wrong thing with their powers – or else hop on the bandwagon of whoever asserts they know more than you do.

          Which is all religion is.

        • Mike Securo

          “God” gives you a lot more reasons to be distrustful of his motives.

          He does? Why do you say that? What makes you think that is true?

        • Kodie

          Above criticism, in total control of your life, says he’s good? Don’t worry, don’t worry, Mike, have faith in that. Have total faith in a “being” that tells you to trust it or else.

        • Pofarmer

          He’ll only send you to hell for eternity if you don’t trust him.

        • adam

          Or love the psychopath back….

        • Mike Securo

          These are your words, Not God. So don’t misrepresent. Unless you have an agenda.

        • adam

          Really not my words, but they do describe the essence of the god of the bible story.

        • adam

          ..

        • Kodie

          We’re not misrepresenting Al.

        • Mike Securo

          now where did you get that idea?

        • MNb

          Because you don’t know why he does what he does.

        • MNb

          Why would you trust god? You don’t even know why he is doing what he is doing.

        • Why trust Yahweh? He looks just like a thousand other manmade gods.

        • Pofarmer

          Do ya think some of that might be uhm, a wee bit of allegory and mythological story telling?

        • Mike Securo

          Sure, it might be.

        • JohnH2

          What? Inconceivable! Next you will be trying to tell me that Merlin wasn’t really a wizard but a mad druid who probably didn’t live at the same time as King Arthur, who may or may not be a real historic figure dealing with the defense of England from the invading Anglos who actually ended up winning, rather than being driven off.

        • Pofarmer

          John, you crack me up.

        • Mike Securo

          I believe in Magic. I’ve been to Disney World.

        • adam

          Miracles ARE MAGIC.

          Do a MIRACLE that we all can observe, RIGHT NOW.

          Demonstrate the MAGIC that you CLAIM your god has.

        • Pofarmer

          Oh, Good Lord.

        • (I think you mean Angles, not Anglos. But good example.)

        • adam

          God?

          Where is this ‘god’ of yours?

          The ONLY thing that gods have that humans dont is MAGIC.

          If you will just Demonstrate this MAGIC of YOUR ‘god’, you can settle this matter in minutes.

        • smrnda

          You should talk to some Jews. Most Jews do not believe the Exodus was historical, because there isn’t evidence for it. Judaism is not evangelical Christianity. The Torah is not read the same way by Jews.

        • MNb

          “I don’t know why God does what he does.”
          Then you don’t either if he is good or evil.

        • adam

          Do the math….

        • Why is it always the atheists who have to educate the Christians about what “omnipotent” means? God could’ve turned the bad people into birds. He could’ve made their women barren 50 years prior so they’d just die out. He could give them their own planet. But instead, he chooses genocide, just like a kind of that time would do.

          Your God looks awfully human.

    • Kodie

      Ok, never want to hear anyone in the midwest complaining about a tornado then.

      • Mike Securo

        Not sure what you mean. Should a tornado be a reason for celebration? Tornadoes are worth “complaining” about…..

        • Kodie

          To me, he is an evil, sick monster doing great harm to a human being.
          But the reality is that the Dr has determined that without the cancer
          being eradicated, the patient will die a slow, horrible death. So the
          reality is that the Dr. is acting in a kindly, protective, loving way
          and that it is my limited perspective that is the real issue.
          So, God does not murder.

          In the past few years (and probably longer than the internet exists, but I’m more aware of the attitude), whenever a disaster strikes somewhere in the world, some people have expressed that it was god’s way of performing surgery, to use your analogy. Except when it happens in the midwest, where all the Christians who do not understand how the earth works and think all forms of catastrophe is god’s judgment but do not accept that analysis when it happens in concentrated areas of Christian faith.

          That’s what happens when you distrust science but trust the guys who say they speak for god, the unknown one.

        • adam

          Like this?

        • Mike Securo

          My comment was meant to clarify my position on the importance of perspective. People say and believe a lot of stupid stuff, including Christians. I trust the Creator of Science. The Almighty.

        • adam

          The Creator of Science?

          I need a quote from your god…

          Maybe this is the one you mean:
          From the Creator of EVIL….

          7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create EVIL: I the Lord do all these things. Isaiah 45:7(KJV)

        • MNb

          Then you don’t need facts and this

          “which side of the facts”
          is meaningless.

        • Kodie

          The perspective you have is that humans are amateurs horrified when god is just surgically excising a harmful element. That’s a warped perspective in denial of reality in favor of superstitious regard for the doer of things you don’t know why but you better keep your head down and your nose clean.

        • adam

          You mean the Creator of EVIL…

          7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create EVIL: I the Lord do all these things.Isaiah 45:7 (KJV)

          You could clear this all up immediately by DEMONSTRATING this ‘god’ of yours.

      • Perhaps antibiotics and vaccines are getting in the way of God’s plan. Perhaps people should just butt out.

    • Hi, Mike. Thanks for sharing your opinion. You’ll get frank feedback here.

      I would like to point out that “Do not murder” was a command to humans regarding humans.

      And what sense does it make for it not to apply to God?

      Also, human sacrifice was never condoned nor authorized in scripture.

      Click on the link to read that post and then tell me this.

      Issac and Abraham were a “type” of what was to come when God the Father sacrificed his own son to save the world. But Abraham complied with God’s order

      (1) God didn’t sacrifice his son. He’s alive now; ergo, no sacrifice.

      (2) When God says, “I want you to sacrifice your son,” it’s not a loyalty test; it’s a morality test. The correct answer is, “No.”

      There is no doubt that God, according to old testament history, eradicated peoples. These peoples were …

      I don’t care what they were. What could they possibly be to deserve genocide, down to the children? It ain’t kosher now, so it wasn’t back then. It’s not kosher when you demand genocide, and it’s not when God does.

      I could say that “God is God and could do what He wants and who are we to judge”

      You could, but if you did, you’d be presupposing your conclusion. Let’s instead simply look at the objective facts and follow them wherever they lead, without presupposition.

      … In my ignorance I do not understand that the doctor is eradicating all of the deadly tissue so that the patient may live. To me, he is an evil, sick monster doing great harm to a human being. But the reality is that the Dr has determined that without the cancer being eradicated, the patient will die a slow, horrible death. So the reality is that the Dr. is acting in a kindly, protective, loving way and that it is my limited perspective that is the real issue.

      We do the best evaluation we can with what we have. If God looks no more powerful than any another Bronze Age deity, if Christianity looks no more true than any of the thousands of other manmade religions, then we follow that evidence where it leads.

    • The Man With The Name Too Long

      “Also, human sacrifice was never condoned nor authorized in scripture. In fact it was across the board forbidden.”

      Next sentence:

      “…God the Father sacrificed his own son to save the world.”

      I’m confused. Wouldn’t it be hypocritical to absolutely condemn something and then do it anyway (assuming God was the one who “forbade it across the board”)? Since God is omnipotent, he did not need to sacrifice anything or anyone. He can “snap his fingers” and achieve whatever he wants, including allowing us to be “saved”. Unless he WANTED to sacrifice a human…

      Most Christians tell me that it is still possible to NOT be saved even though this supposed sacrifice occurred and a subset of those Christians tell me that it’s not even enough to “accept” Jesus as your Lord and Savior to be saved. Have you ever wondered about the fate of all the people who came before Jesus and thus didn’t have access to this “sacrifice”? If people could be saved without the sacrifice back then, then they can be saved today without the sacrifice.

      Also, your analogy of a doctor painfully removing cancerous tissue is not that well-formed, since a doctor is not omnipotent. If he was, then he would be purposely inflicting pain on someone he didn’t need to, causing needless suffering, since he could achieve the same result gently.

      • It is odd that Adam’s sin was not an opt-in kind of thing. We’re all stuck with it. But Jesus’s salvation is an opt-in thing. You must take steps (that are impossible for some of us) to get it.

        • The Man With The Name Too Long

          I do remember a Christian on this blog who mentioned that Jesus’ sacrifice brought about a change in method of salvation rather than allowing salvation in the first place. Perhaps you remember someone who mentioned that people had to sacrifice sheep for a priest in order for their sins to be forgiven but that requirement was no longer necessary after Jesus’ sacrifice. Or something about a direct line to God? I don’t recall what he said exactly.

          But I do believe that one can achieve “salvation”/eternal bliss in the Old Testament. I’m not sure where the point is where someone says, “Ok you know how you had to do [such and such] to be saved? well now you have to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior” or why it was even necessary.

  • Mike Securo

    ON another note, a lot of you guys are really bothered by Craig! I don’t blame you. Intellectually is is a BEAST and tears guys like Larry Krauss’ arguments apart. The thing is he does it with Grace and respect. Krauss on the other hand, doesn’t have much of an offense. He doesn’t seem to be able to posit many, if any valid arguments that support his position. It’s mostly ad hominim, snarky responses. He’s like an atheist stand up comedian spouting bitter retorts. Sorry, but Krauss is an embarrassment to atheists….or should be. At least Bill Nye is a gentleman.

    • JohnH2

      Craig is not an intellectual Beast; Krauss though is often a clown. Since it is common for Krauss to tear his own arguments apart and make a fool out of himself just by having him speak long enough on a subject, Craig successfully debating him (assuming that is what happened) really shouldn’t be at all impressive.

      • Mike Securo

        I guess you will have to see for yourself and draw your own conclusion.

        • JohnH2

          I find watching such debates to be completely frustrating; usually I want to yell at both sides in regards to missing the other sides arguments, and I also know that I would not be comfortable speaking in such a public setting. I much prefer written communication on such topics.

        • MNb

          I agree. To get issues clear I think even commenting on blogs a better method. Though if well prepared I probably would hold my own in a public debate.

    • Kodie

      Typical Christian thinks atheists are angry because Christian arguments are so watertight. Nope, that’s not it.

      • Mike Securo

        Thank God I’m not typical.
        You believe God doesn’t exist = faith
        I believe God does exist = faith.
        It comes down to which side of the facts you choose to land.But it ultimately comes down to faith.

        • Kodie

          I choose to come down on the side of facts.

        • adam

          And reason

        • Mike Securo

          Which set?

        • Kodie

          There’s only one set.

        • Mike Securo

          There are many sets. What do all theoretical physicists agree with each other??? Really Kodie. Be real.

        • Kodie

          So because people can propose different hypotheses, they’re all correct?

        • Pofarmer

          Theoretical physicists propose hypothesis,then subject them to empirical examination. The good ones stay, and the poor ones get winnowed out. As the process goes on and on, the results will come closer and closer together.

        • adam

          Mike,

          The ONLY thing that gods have that humans dont is MAGIC.

          If you will just Demonstrate this MAGIC of YOUR ‘god’, you can settle this matter in minutes.

        • Mike Securo

          So silly, not worth a reply.
          Study a human cell for a few years. You may begin to grasp its complexity and perfection. You may even see evidence of design but it would just be “a coincidence” I’m sure.

        • Kodie

          There is no evidence of design.

        • Mike Securo

          That is your opinion Beloved. Can I call you Beloved?
          Right? your statement was your opinion, correct or is the case closed on design so that we can all go home.

        • Kodie

          Why would you call me that Jenna?

          It was not an opinion. The problem you have with reading comprehension and logic is that I didn’t even state anything to close the case on design.

        • Pofarmer

          That just officially got weird.

        • Kodie

          Well someone made an account just today.

        • Pofarmer

          They just got flagged.

        • Mike Securo

          Three posts up you wrote:”There is no evidence of design.”
          You are either stating a fact or voicing an opinion. Which is it?
          If it is a fact, everyone who is either trying to prove or deny Design could go home because you settled the issue.
          Should I retort with “Talk about a problem with reading comprehension and logic” No, but I will call you Beloved.
          Because you are Beloved. OK….

        • Kodie

          You are the one with a problem with reading comprehension if you infer anything more than what I said: There is no evidence of design.

          That just means

          there is

          no

          evidence.

          Of design.

          Break it down and sound it out.

        • adam

          Well IF you would just DEMONSTRATE some of your god’s MAGIC, all this can be put to rest.

        • adam

          I have studied human cell for years, no MAGIC there.

          Yes, I grasp its complexity, but it is FAR, FAR from perfection.

          Is Ebola perfect?

          What kind of ‘god’ creates Ebola?

          The ONLY thing that gods have that humans dont is MAGIC.

          If you will just Demonstrate this MAGIC of YOUR ‘god’, you can settle this matter in minutes.

        • Mike Securo

          Adam,. Adam…Obviously you haven’t. There is more going on in a single cell that what is going on in NYC. The complexity and variety of simple components that make up not only the DNA but all of the “facilities” functions of the cell…food intake, waste extraction. Oh…and it was all by accident.
          You assume that God made Ebola. Or do you know it as a fact? I thought man made it in a lab to kill poor Africans. Overpopulation. That is the atheist position isn’t it? Survival of the fittest. No moral code? It’s a free for all……

        • adam

          Mike, Mike, I have….

          And not by accident, but by evolution, that demonstrates what I have been saying:

          YOU have no idea what you are talking about.

          Of course we have a moral code….
          MUCH more moral than that of the bible god.

          But back to YOUR god;
          The ONLY things gods have that humans dont is MAGIC.

          When are YOU going to demonstrate how this MAGIC works?

        • MNb

          Designed by means of magic.
          Thanks for confirming Adam.

        • adam

          Now if ‘Mike’ would ONLY demonstrate this magic by materializing a NEW CELL unlike any other, then he could demonstrate MAGIC…

          Instead of using the MAGIC to mean ‘duh, I dunno…god’

        • Mike Securo

          How about the facts that lead Francis Collins who is the head of the National Institute of Health and the program head of the team that decoded the human genome. He is a born again Christian BECAUSE of what he discovered through scientific research. Will those facts do?

        • Kodie
        • Pofarmer

          You got one example. Awesome. Something north of 85% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences are atheists. Depending on how you read the numbers it may be in the mid 90’s. The fact that you have to resort to this, is the exception that proves the rule. My guess is that Collins converted for other emotional reasons.

        • Kodie

          If the scientist found god in a scientific experiment, let’s see the documentation, and repeat it in other experiments. Aside from that, it sounds like a leap of logic. It looks like this, it must have been designed. It fails to be proven.

        • adam

          YES, “Collins converted for other emotional reasons”

          (CS)Lewis was right. I had to make a choice. A full year had passed since I decided to believe in some sort of God, and now I was being called to account. On a beautiful fall day, as I was hiking in the Cascade Mountains during my first trip west of the Mississippi, the majesty and
          beauty of God’s creation overwhelmed my resistance. As I rounded a corner and saw a beautiful and unexpected frozen waterfall, hundreds of feet high, I knew the search was over. The next morning, I knelt in the dewy grass as the sun rose and surrendered to Jesus Christ. (Ibid, p.
          225)

          It is simply astounding that this passage was written by a scientist with the intent of demonstrating the compatibility of faith and reason. While Collins argues for the rational basis of his faith, passages like this make it clear that he “decided” (his word) to believe in God for emotional reasons. And if we thought Collins’ reasoning could grow no more labile, he has since divulged that the waterfall was frozen into three streams, which put him in mind of the Holy Trinity.

          It should be obvious that if a frozen waterfall can confirm the specific tenets of Christianity, anything can confirm anything.

          Sam Harris
          http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/the-strange-case-of-francis-collins

        • Pofarmer

          Damn, I;m Good. All I had to read was “C.S. Lewis,” and I knew I was right. Thanks. Emotion all the way through.

        • adam

          That is because ‘faith’ IS an EMOTION….

        • JohnH2

          “Something north of 85% of the National Academy of Sciences are atheists”

          This figure isn’t entirely accurate, meaning it can be made to appear in a survey but doesn’t show the entire picture. In other surveys 50% of the NAS consider themselves to be religious with an additional 20% describing themselves as spiritual, and of those that are atheists the majority were atheists prior to becoming scientists and only about 14% say that science has anything to do with their lack of belief.

        • Pofarmer

          Lot’s of folks who consider themselves either “spiritual” or “religious” while not adhering to a specific religion. Wanna know a little secret? We all have a spiritual side. I’m trying to explore mine a little bit, it’s just in our nature, but I am sincerely not going back to being religious in any formal sense. Even Sam Harris talks about spirituality and transcendental experiences. The point stands, though, that the members of the NAS tend to be much more atheist and much less religious than the public at large.

        • JohnH2

          “the members of the NAS tend to be much more atheist and much less religious than the public at large.”

          That is a fair point. If I am remembering the statistics correctly there were a fair number that attended church services weekly, but a large percentage of those were more certain of the non-existence of God than a decent portion of those that never attend religious services.

        • adam

          There are common REAL human experiences that explains why humans believe some experiences are ‘transcendental’ or ‘spiritual’

          It is all about the chemistry and state of the human mind.

          http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201105/the-neurology-near-death-experiences

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethyltryptamine

          But OBVIOUSLY this ALL occurs in the human mind and has nothing to due with ‘gods’, although gods often get credited due to the surrounding culture.

        • JohnH2

          There are common REAL human experiences that explains why humans claim to have vision. It is all about the chemistry and state of the human mind, But OBVIOUSLY this ALL occurs in the human mind and has nothing to do with “light” or “sight”, although light often gets credited.

        • Greg G.

          Is that the study that asked if the had been in church in the last year and counted all yes answers as religious without considering if it was a wedding or something like that? Jerry Coyne discussed one like that a couple of years ago.

        • JohnH2

          Not sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some of that going on in the study. The one regarding 85% is the percentage that don’t believe in a personal God, so it is also skewed. Specifically the 85% comes from disbelief in “a God in intellectual and affective communication with humankind”.

          It is fair to say that a much larger portion of scientists than average people don’t believe in any God, that a much larger portion of scientists than average people can be described as various forms of Deist, that portions of both groups attend church services for both weddings, funerals, baby baptisms or blessings, first communion etc, and that portions of both groups also attend church services regularly for social or cultural reasons. It is also fair to say that it appears that those creating surveys of the religious beliefs of scientists are usually biased in one direction or the other.

        • Mike Securo

          Yeah, so they say. because if they ever hinted at being a believer or that they didn’t buy the evolutionary line, they would be banned from any future professional considerations.
          FACT.

        • Pofarmer

          MIke, it was a confidential survey.

        • Kodie

          Love how you believe the fallen humans who say they speak for god.

        • smrnda

          Actually, I have encountered YEC who give academic talks in engineering and the sciences. As long as their findings are valid, they can be in the field and even make presentations and publish.

          The problem is assuming that being a scientist automatically makes your opinions valid in all areas. I am a published scientist. If I say “religion X is correct” the fact that I am a published scientist in no way makes my claim about religion X valid. that claim has to stand or fall on its own merits.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          It didn’t take you long to fall back on a conspiracy theory, doofus.

        • Greg G.

          Francis Collins did not come to religious belief through science. He saw a waterfall frozen into three strands and saw the Trinity. At least that’s what he said in his book.

        • adam

          I dont believe the EVIDENCE supports that gods exists, no faith needed.

          BUT, you could settle all of this RIGHT HERE AND NOW, just by DEMONSTRATING the MAGIC of YOUR god…

        • MNb

          Wrong. I don’t believe there is a god = I don’t have faith.

          “which side of the facts”
          There is no divine side of the facts. Plus you contradict yourself: if you do have facts you don’t need faith.

        • adam

          Let’s be REAL HONEST, if ‘Mike’ had FACTS that HIS god exists, we wouldnt be having a debate and ‘Mike’ would be the most famous person on the planet.

        • Ron

          You believe God doesn’t exist = faith

          My disbelief requires zero faith.

    • Pofarmer

      Krauss is a scientist. Craig is a philosopher and debater. You would expect his arguments to be more polished. You would expect Krauss’ arguments to be grounded in science, which, in fact, they are. That’s why you probably think Krauss is defeated when he says we don’t absolutely know this or that, and Craig says that he does. Only one of them is being honest. Kraus has what I consider a very good presentation and interview on YouTube with a panel of Dutch philosophers and theists. I think the reason why he is snarky with someone like Craig, is because he doesn’t respect his positions.

      • Mike Securo

        Here is a quote from “Scientist” Mr. Krauss.

        Krauss: “The astounding progress of the last forty years has led us to highly developed physical theories. Why, there is M-theory, quantum field and loop theories, even relativistic quantum field theories. We have field theories for everything. Fields are responsible for all that you see: it’s fields all the way down. All these field theories taken together clearly show that stuff can arise from nothing, from natural processes. In fact, nothing can create something all the time due to the laws of quantum mechanics.

        Empty space is a boiling, bubbling brew of virtual particles that pop in and out of existence in a time scale so short that you can’t even measure them. Gravity allows positive energy and negative energy, and out of nothing you can create positive energy particles, and as long as a gravitational attraction produces enough negative energy, the sum of their energy can be zero. God just isn’t necessary.”

        His statement is pure foolishness. He speaks of NOTHING as if it is SOMETHING!!!! Talk about spin. Talk about twisting words and concepts into shapes that they CAN NOT GO just to try to prove a point. It’s shameful.

        “In fact, nothing can create something all the time due to the laws of quantum mechanics.”

        Really? Because he says so it is true? Nothing would include the absence of “the laws of quantum mechanics.” Come on, let’s not get ridiculous.

        Nothing means the absence of ANYTHING. So if you have nothing, you have NO laws of physics. You have NO THING. He also seems to equate empty space with nothingness Even I know that “Space” is bursting with dark matter (which I believe qualifies as SOMETHING). I would trust his character if he said that the universe came from stuff that was always there. But then that would fly in the face of SCIENCE which “proves” that the universe came into existence 14B years ago. Mr. Krauss proves that education and intellect can and do result in really ignorant premises.

        Like Good ole Joe Goebells once said (or often said)

        “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

        • Pofarmer

          O.k. Mike. You are showing yourself to be a doofus. Kraus whole point is that the concept of nothing itself, at least in the physical sense, may be incoherent. Anyplace there is a “nothing” a quantum event tries to fill it, so there can never really be “nothing”. Seems counter intuitive, but it’s true. For example, did you know that as the electron of an atom orbits the nucleus, it pops in and out of existence? You shouldn’t mock what you don’t understand. I would suggest you go to Sean Carrols blog, Preposterous Universe, and do some reading before you reveal any more of your foolishness.

        • Mike Securo

          Doofus? That’s a cool word. Ok, I’m a Doofus.
          Do you FEEL better?

        • Kodie

          No, you’re a doofus because you didn’t even read the whole post. You learn nothing.

        • Mike Securo

          Beloved, I didn’t realize there was more to the post. First day here and the format is a bit new to me. What part of what post didn’t I respond to? I’m involved in like 15 threads right now but I think I will hang with you for awhile. I can feel the love……

          But Good night….for now.

        • Kodie

          After calling you a doofus, Pofarmer also wrote, for your benefit, Jenna:

          Kraus whole point is that the concept of nothing itself, at least in the
          physical sense, may be incoherent. Anyplace there is a “nothing” a
          quantum event tries to fill it, so there can never really be “nothing”.
          Seems counter intuitive, but it’s true. For example, did you know that
          as the electron of an atom orbits the nucleus, it pops in and out of
          existence? You shouldn’t mock what you don’t understand. I would
          suggest you go to Sean Carrols blog, Preposterous Universe, and do some
          reading before you reveal any more of your foolishness.

          But you’re so thin-skinned as we recall.

        • Mike Securo

          I thought I was Doofus!

        • Kodie

          “Doofus” is kind. “Illiterate doofus troll” is a lot more apt.

        • Mike Securo

          I can only imagine the conversation:
          Krauss” It seems the laws of physics allow for the universe to be created from nothing.”
          Doofus: Really? From Nothing!!!!
          Krauss: “Well, not really NOTHING, there was something but just a little bit of it.”
          Doofus:” OK, so for the sake of conversation, when you say “Nothing” you really mean “Something”
          Krauss: “Well there was so little of the something that it I’m going to call it Nothing…even though there was something.”
          Doofus: “For the sake of conversation, and if I may take the same liberty with language that you have, do you mind if I say that you are really “Smart.”
          Krauss: Sure, you can call me Smart.
          Doofus: Ok, but I want you to know that Smart to me means “Dumb.”
          Krauss: “Well for the sake of this conversation, I will allow it.

          I love atheistic reasoning. No boundaries.

        • adam

          BUT, you can put this all to rest RIGHT NOW, by demonstrating the MAGIC of YOUR god….

        • Pofarmer

          It’s really, really painful to watch someone try to mock something that he obviously has no comprehension of.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ly6xDuwjLD8
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PL84Yg2dNsg

        • Al

          Not only is nothing no thing but Kraus is “incoherent”. Don’t let guys in white lab coats fool ya with sophisticated nonsense.

        • MNb

          Guess what? Krauss is highly irrelevant for my thinking. Try Stephen Hawking, Victor Stenger and Sean Carroll instead as far as modern physics is involved and its implications for philosophy.
          I don’t need Strauss to totally debunk Craig’s beloved Cosmological Argument (or any other version).

        • MNb

          “Talk about spin. Talk about twisting words”
          This only shows that you understand zilch of the field concept in physics. Everything Krauss writes about physics in that quote is simply correct.

        • Steve Gray

          OK, Mike, why haven’t you dragged out the usual Christian claim that since the U could not start from nothing, God must have created it? Given that that reply would be beneath stupid, what are you waiting for? My point, hostility aside, is that Christianity has absolutely NOTHING useful or correct to say about any aspect of the U.

      • Mike Securo

        Krauss may be a scientist (cosmologist) but is just so disingenuous. Read this review to his Universe from Nothing.
        It is encouraging to read an intelligent and honest review from someone from the atheist camp.

        David Albert, an atheist philosopher of physics at Columbia University, is devastating in his review of A Universe From Nothing:

        The fundamental laws of nature … have no bearing whatsoever on questions of where the elementary stuff came from, or of why the world should have consisted of the particular elementary stuff it does, as opposed to something else, or to nothing at all. The fundamental physical laws that Krauss is talking about in A Universe From Nothing — the laws of relativistic quantum field theories — are no exception to this. The … elementary physical stuff of the world, according to the standard presentations of relativistic quantum field theories, consists (unsurprisingly) of relativistic quantum fields. And the fundamental laws of this theory … have nothing whatsoever to say on the subject of where those fields came from, or of why the world should have consisted of the particular kinds of fields it does, or of why it should have consisted of fields at all, or of why there should have been a world in the first place. Period. Case closed. End of story… Krauss seems to be thinking that these vacuum states amount to the relativistic-quantum-field-theoretical versionof there not being any physical stuff at all. And he has an argument — or thinks he does — that the laws of relativistic quantum field theories entail that vacuum states are unstable. And that, in a nutshell, is the account he proposes of why there should be something rather than nothing. But that’s just not right. Relativistic-quantum-field-theoretical vacuum states — no less than giraffes or refrigerators or solar systems — are particular arrangements of elementary physical stuff. The true relativistic-quantum-field­-theoretical equivalent to there not being any physical stuff at all isn’t this or that particular arrangement of the fields — what it is (obviously, and ineluctably, and on the contrary) is the simple absence of the fields! The fact that some arrangements of fields happen to correspond to the existence of particles and some don’t is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that some of the possible arrangements of my fingers happen to correspond to the existence of a fist and some don’t. And the fact that particles can pop in and out of existence, over time, as those fields rearrange themselves, is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that fists can pop in and out of existence, over time, as my fingers rearrange themselves. And none of these poppings … amount to anything even remotely in the neighborhood of a creation from nothing.[50]

        In a telling display of intellectual hubris, Krauss publically responded to Albert’s review by saying “he is a philosopher not a physicist, so I discounted it”[51] (in point of fact, while David Albert is the Frederick E. Woodbridge Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, he has a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Rockefeller University).

        • Pofarmer

          If you actually read that review, and read a couple of other articles by Mr. albert, what you will find is that he doesn’t disagree so much with Krauss physics, as he does with Krauss taking on religion the way he does. He thinks the religious implications of it are overblown.

        • Mike Securo

          Dude, the review said what it said, I don’t care about anything else that was said. It’s not germane to the conversation. Read it again. And then read it without your particular bent. And then read it again just to make sure you read what it said. Geeeeez

        • 90Lew90

          So what you did was to quote-mine the review. How surprising. How clever. How new.

        • Pofarmer

          Apologetics at it’s finest.

        • 90Lew90

          I spent 16 years as a copy editor and my instinct when I see this sort of thing is to check, check, check and dig. That took all of twenty minutes, beer and cigarette in hand, to find out that this is a hatchet job, unworthy of publication, and misrepresents the entire story of the encounter between Albert (whose theoretical physics work got him a PhD in 1981 for Chissakes) and Krauss who responded robustly in the Atlantic. And that the physicists he was supposed to be on a panel with after the spat disinvited him: http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/13/worlds-in-collision-after-tangle-over-physicists-book-philosophers-invitation-to-a-debate-is-withdrawn/ Yes, never let the facts get in the way of a clumsy lie. Just hope it slips through the net.

        • MNb

          Good job. I would have bought it, because I’m aware without knowing more than the surface that Krauss’ views on this issue (and others) are controversial among (atheist) physicists as well. What I think funny is this:

          “a lot of you guys are really bothered by Craig”
          Well, it looks like MikeyS is really bothered by Krauss. Somehow I doubt if Krauss plays a major role in the thinking of the regular atheists here. For me he is quite irrelevant. That of course (this is for doofus Mike) does not imply that he writes incorrectly about physics.

        • 90Lew90

          What a hatchet job. The original text of that review has not only been quote-mined but completely re-edited. It’s a complete misrepresentation of the opinion of the reviewer, never mind Krauss. Nil points. That’s a sackable offence. I think you should read the original (assuming fairly assuredly that it wasn’t you who did the editing): http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

        • Mike Securo

          I’m sure Albert wrote more in this review. I just wanted to present the part where he let’s us peak behind the curtain of Krauss’s foolishness.
          Sorry for my curtness. I thought this was a “Friendly” Place but I guess some folks can’t help but attack.

        • Kodie

          For someone who just called me Beloved 3 times for no reason but to bait me, I find you a little disingenuous and typical dishonest, rude, thin-skinned Christian.

        • Pofarmer

          Oh look, that review came from bethinking.org.

          http://www.bethinking.org/is-there-a-creator/a-universe-from-someone-against-lawrence-krauss

          But mike isn’t into religion.

          What disshonest, useless, dimwit.

        • 90Lew90
        • Pofarmer

          What you did was copy something from an apologetics sight.

        • Pofarmer

          O.k. I read it again. David Albert doesn’t understand Krauss point either. He is hung up on the philosophical nothing.

        • You pretty much get what you give around here.

          You came out guns a-blazin’ with your opening comment. Surely you have no problem with a similar response.

        • 90Lew90

          Hang on a minute, not only has he quote-mined the review, but it’s been completely re-edited. What’s posted above amounts to a complete misrepresentation not only of Krauss but also of his reviewer. Compare the original: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

        • Steve Gray

          There is clearly a rule in metaphysics (which I made up but which must be the subject of lots of philosophy papers) that says that at the very bottom there are axioms or assumptions that cannot be proved. That is true in any human endeavor, including physics and even mathematics. The job of the researcher is to make those axioms as basic and simple and intuitively appealing as possible, not to eliminate them or prove them. The puzzle about nothingness and whether it permits the laws of physics and math to exist is probably part of those bottommost assumptions, that is, the bases of thought that cannot be proved. We are simply not allowed to create a closed, finite system of thought that covers everything. Who or what allows that, and whether it’s a good or bad thing, is left for the student to explore. 🙂

      • Doesn’t respect WLC’s position? There’s a lot of that going around.

      • Al

        Larry has to be snarky because he can’t deal with Dr Craig’s arguments and challenges. That’s why he has to do this because he knows Craig is making him look like a fool.

        • Pofarmer

          Yes, I’m sure that’s it. A professional apologist understands theoretical physics better than a professor and researcher in theorotical physics with nearly 200 published papers. Yes, I’m sure that’s it.

        • I didn’t see the Krauss discussion/debate, but I did see the Carroll one. Craig got his ass handed to him.

          And what is the point of public debates anyway? Seems to me that it just gives people (like me here) a chance to crow about how well their guy did. I don’t think it illuminates the issue very much.

          If you think otherwise, present some of the best arguments you’ve learned from WLC.

        • Steve Gray

          Craig is a hyperreligious crackpot who manifests Christian sickness more than any backwoods Bible thumper. He has absolutely no judgment on matters of morality. Excusing the Israelite slaughter of the Canaanite children obviously never happened, but if it did, it was crimes against humanity. Consider also his exceedingly lame defense of God who allows a vast amount of animal suffering, on the grounds that animals feel pain but they’re not aware of feeling pain! As if that matters. I wonder what he’d do if he thought God was telling him to kill his wife. I hope he takes Jesus seriously and handles some cobras or drinks some cyanide. Come on, Bill, have some guts and sincerity!

        • Al

          I didn’t think anyone could hate Dr Craig more than Bob.
          If Dr Craig is so lame then how is it that he defeats every atheist he debates? Why is Dawkins afraid to debate him?

        • Steve Gray

          Craig does win most of his debates but not all. That’s not due to the strength of his material, which is quite weak. He wins by being very experienced and organized at debating and because he controls the format closely. If he had to answer probing questions from an expert, he would look pretty sad. Example: his Kalam argument supposedly explains the origin of the U, but he fails to explain the origin of God (which can inherently never be explained). He also never explains why God would create a U, since God can foresee everything that would happen in any U he created. That is, there is no need for God to actually do anything. If God needs company in Heaven, he is needy, which contradicts perfection. Craig also never addresses why God created THIS U and THIS species. He would have done better by getting a bunch of puppies for company. Craig never explains why the U is trillions of times bigger than humanity could possibly need. Craig does not explain why Jesus showed up in first-century Palestine when humans existed for the previous 200,000 years, presumably sinning the whole time. Craig fails to say why God waited for almost 13 billion years after creating the U to create humanity. My point is that Christianity is incoherent on a much more basic level than Craig ever considers.

        • Al

          God has no origin because He is an eternal being. He has always existed. Revelation does not tell us specifically why God created the universe but that He did.
          The universe may have a purpose that includes more than just man.
          Christ showed up when He did because that is what God decreed in His wisdom. We do know that it was a good time to do so because there was relative;y peace, common language (Greek) and there was a good road system in place which helped the spread of the gospel and helped the church to grow.

        • Steve Gray

          Saying that God is eternal is a clever way of avoiding a reply. Saying that God decided in his wisdom is admitting that you have no idea. Jesus did not speak Greek. God would not need a good road system. Your replies are non-answers.

        • God an eternal being? How do you know?

          You seem very demanding of answers to questions science is wrestling with, but you’re surprisingly easygoing about the Christian questions that Steve G. raises.

          Jesus deliberately showed up during the Roman Empire so the message could be spread? Get serious. As Judas says in Jesus Christ Superstar, “Israel in 4BC had no mass communication.”

          He should’ve come now, or no earlier than, say, 150 years ago. With world communication and modern science to evaluate the claims, he’d be a quicker hit.

        • Pofarmer

          I think you have a chicken or egg problem here.

        • Winning a debate? It’s mental masturbation. Even if WLC did win (he doesn’t), what does that show? That Christianity actually does have something useful to offer to our understanding of nature and reality?

          As for hating WLC, that doesn’t characterize me, but there’s plenty of that out there on the web. Get out of your little community and see others’ critique of WLC.

    • MNb

      Hint: scientific and philosophical topics don’t get settled by means of public debates. So you’re comment is quite irrelevant.
      Having that said: Craig got creamed by Sean Carroll a few months ago.

    • While we’re sharing frank assessments, Craig has very little to offer your side. He’s a polished presenter … but that’s about it. He has no ammunition.

      Since you enjoy watching debates, have you seen the Craig/Carroll debate? This was a debate about cosmology, and Craig stepped into the ring with–if you can believe it–a cosmologist! He got his ass handed to him.

      My evaluation here.

      • Al

        If I didn’t know you better I would think your joking when you wrote about Dr Craig–“has very little to offer your side. He’s a polished presenter … but that’s about it. He has no ammunition.”

        Dr Craig has a PHD and has written dozens of books, teaches philosophy at colleges and debated dozens of atheists who end up embarrassed.

        BTW- it doesn’t take a lot of “ammunition” to defeat atheists arguments.

        • OK, so you haven’t seen the Craig/Carroll debate. Or read my summary. What are we talking about then?

        • Pofarmer

          “At the age of sixteen as a junior in high school, he first heard the
          message of the Christian gospel and yielded his life to Christ. Dr.
          Craig pursued his undergraduate studies at Wheaton College (B.A. 1971)
          and graduate studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.A. 1974;
          M.A. 1975), the University of Birmingham (England) (Ph.D. 1977), and the
          University of Munich (Germany) (D.Theol. 1984). From 1980-86 he taught
          Philosophy of Religion at Trinity, during which time he and Jan started
          their family. In 1987 they moved to Brussels, Belgium, where Dr. Craig
          pursued research at the University of Louvain until assuming his
          position at Talbot in 1994.”

          His relevant degrees are pretty much all in Theology. Whoopdedoo.

        • Craig has one doctorate in theology and one in philosophy.

          I wonder if he every teaches classes where he has to grade papers. I wonder what he would do if he got an argument as vacuous as some of the ones he gives. I imagine he’d grade it according to how much he liked the conclusion, not how well structured the argument was.

          I don’t think it’s supposed to work that way.

        • Asmondius

          yah, a degree in taxonomy is much more suited to questions of a religious nature!

  • Mike Securo

    Later……

  • Asemodeus

    A fun way to tease biblical literalists is to take their position seriously and apply some physics to their mythologies.

    My personal favorite was when Moses parted the red sea. Let’s take that apart, shall we? What does the bible mean when it says that he “parts” the water? Does he part is on a molecular or atomic level?

    If he parts it on a molecular level, then he just released A LOT of Hydrogen and Oxygen gas into the immediate area. Anyone nearby with a torch would have had ignited the gas clouds and incinerated everyone standing there.

    If Moses parted the water atomically, then we know via nuclear fission on what happens when you split several billion billion billion oxygen atoms at the same time. This time the crowd wouldn’t be incinerated, they would be vaporized by the release of energy.

    • 90Lew90

      What a fun guy you are. Snake. [Edit! OOPS. Sorry. I mistook you for Asmondius. It wouldn’t have surprised me at all to see him finding “fun” ways to belittle his fellow Christians.]

    • Asmondius

      When you place your foot in a puddle, are you displacing it on the atomic or molecular level?

      Do children release large quantities of gas molecules or initiate fission when they play in puddles?

      I always think it’s fun to see someone attempt to apply ‘physics’ to the Bible and get them both wrong at once.

      • Greg G.

        I think he was having some fun with word play. It’s fun to have a sense of humor.

        • Asmondius

          As was I. A blade cuts both ways.

      • Asemodeus

        “When you place your foot in a puddle, are you displacing it on the atomic or molecular level?”

        Displacing and parting are two different things. So thanks for not knowing how to read.

        • Asmondius

          When I part my hair it doesn’t explode (hopefully).

  • Plutosdad

    And even with the sculpture, if it is world famous, you lose the right to destroy it. Our own laws provide protection for “historic” buildings, whether you are the original owner, architect, or merely current owner, you have no right to destroy a historic building or even make significant changes. Artwork is not treated the same legally, but certainly our own ethics would prompt most of us to feel outrage if someone bought famous original art then burned it. Art that has become world famous and moved hundreds of millions of people no longer is “owned” by any one person, but by all of us, in a sense.

    How much more so then are animals or humans who were said to be “good” when created.