And God is Not Good, Either

And God is Not Good, Either August 29, 2015

It’s the fourth anniversary of the Cross Examined blog! There have been over 1.5 million page views on the blog and 18,000 comments. I’ve written two books about the Christianity/atheism debate, Cross Examined: An Unconventional Spiritual Journey and A Modern Christmas Carol. Please spread the word, and tell your friends about the blog and books. I couldn’t do this without you.

In celebration, I’d like to repeat a post I wrote as an homage to the powerful speaker and eloquent author of God is not Great and much more, Christopher Hitchens (1949–2011). Hitchens fought nonsense till the end, and he has been an inspiration to me and countless other atheists. In my own small way, I hope I’m continuing the fight against nonsense.

Thanks, Christopher.

The child’s blessing goes, “God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food.” Hitchens’ God is not Great is an eloquent rebuttal to the first claim of this prayer. Let’s consider here the second claim: God is good. Indeed, the Bible makes this clear: “Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good” (Psalm 135:3).

But does the dictionary agree? We must use words according to their meaning.

God’s barbarity

Here is what God commands about cities that refuse to submit to the Israelites: “Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you” (Deuteronomy 20:17).

You and I know what “good” means. If you were a king or general and you ordered the genocide of those tribes—over ten million people, according to the Bible*—would you be considered good?

But you might say that this was wartime, and the rules were different. Yes it was wartime, but the Israelites were the invaders, displacing Canaanites from land they had occupied for centuries. God tells the Israelites to destroy the Amalekites: “Attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants” (1 Samuel 15:3).

What could the infants have possibly done to deserve death?

Moses tells the Israelites that they must kill all of the Midianites, with one exception: “Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man” (Numbers 31:17–18).

Who’s ever heard any of these verses made the subject of a sermon?

The immoral commands don’t stop with genocide. Slavery wasn’t prohibited in the Bible; in fact, it was so much a part of everyday life that it was regulated. In the same way that God told the merchants to sell using fair weights and measures (Deuteronomy 25:15), he told the Israelites how to handle slaves—how to treat a fellow Israelite as a slave (Exodus 21:4–6 and Leviticus 25:39), how to sell your daughter into slavery (Exod. 21:7), how to decide when a beating was too harsh (Exod. 21:20–21), and so on.

Don’t pretend that biblical slavery was like indentured servitude. That was true for fellow Jews, but for non-Jews, it was good, old-fashioned slavery for life. “You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves” (Lev. 25:44–46).

And this doesn’t even consider the Flood. Why drown his creation instead of poofing them out of existence? God may exist and he may be powerful, but can the word “good” be applied to a being who does this?

Let’s turn from God’s unsavory side to his attempts at encouraging good behavior. It’s odd that the Ten Commandments has room for “don’t covet” but no prohibitions against slavery, rape, genocide, or infanticide. Christopher Hitchens cuts through the problem:

It’s interesting to note that the tenth Commandment, do not covet, is given at a time when the Israelites wandering in the desert are kept alive with covetous dreams—of taking the land, livestock, and women from the people living in Palestine. In fact, the reason why injunctions against rape, genocide, and slavery aren’t in the Ten Commandments is because they’ll be mandatory pretty soon when the conquest of Palestine takes place. (Videos here and here.)

So in the Bible, they’re not crimes—they’re tools!

Christian defense

Christians respond in several ways.

1. But things were different back then. We can’t judge Jews in Palestine 2500 years ago with today’s standards.

Can we assent to these crimes at any time in history? I agree that standards of morality have changed, but Christians are supposed to reject moral relativism. They’re the ones who imagine an unchanging, objective morality. If slavery is wrong now, they must insist that it was wrong then.

2. But God’s actions are good—they just are. His actions are the very definition of good. That’s as fundamental a truth as we have.

Shouldn’t God follow his own rules? If God is the standard for goodness (Matthew 5:48), what else can this mean but that we should look to God’s actions as examples for us to follow?

Abraham made clear that God was held to the same moral standards as Man. He said, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” as he argued against God’s plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. And God agreed (Genesis 18:20–33).

If Christians modify the dictionary so that no action of God’s could ever be bad, assigning the word “good” to God’s actions says nothing. They hope to make an important statement with “God is good,” but debasing the dictionary makes the word meaningless.

Playing games with the dictionary causes other problems. If there are two supernatural agents, God and Satan, how do you tell which is which? If the one that controls our realm is “good” by definition, maybe we’re stuck with Satan and have simply convinced ourselves to call him good. That’s not a crazy idea, given the world’s natural disasters, disease, war, and other horrors. Imagine Satan ruling this world and convincing us that the death of an innocent child is part of a greater plan, if you can believe such a thing. And yet that’s the world we live in! People look at all the bad in the world and dismiss it, giving Satan a pass. (… Or are we giving God a pass? I can’t tell which.)

If this thinking is getting a bit bizarre, that’s the point. That’s what happens if you declare God’s actions good by definition.

3. But the Canaanites were terrible, immoral people! They sacrificed babies!

How reliable are the Bible’s analysis of the Canaanites’ morals? If these tales come from the Canaanites’ enemies, how objective are they? And even if the Canaanites did sacrifice babies, isn’t solving this with genocide like using a sledgehammer to swat a fly? Couldn’t an omniscient guy like God figure out a better way than genocide to encourage a tribe to improve their behavior?

4. C’mon—can’t you recognize exaggeration when you see it? This is just soldiers bragging around the campfire that grew until it was incorporated into Israelite lore. You don’t really believe the genocide stories, do you? Indeed, archeologists show no evidence of this mass slaughter.

Take your pick—is the Bible reliable history or not? I disagree with the Bible literalists, but at least they wouldn’t be so hypocritical as to abandon the Bible when it embarrasses them.

Christians who label some Bible passages exaggerations and others as history are using their own judgment to figure this out. I’m not complaining—that’s what I do myself—but they can’t then turn around and say that they get their guidance from the Bible. No, my friend—the interpretation comes from you, not the Bible!

5. A bad thing today sets us up for a greater good in the future.

This is no more plausible than the reverse: “a good thing today sets us up for a greater bad in the future.” Why imagine one over the other? Only because we presuppose God’s existence, the thing we’re trying to prove. And it’s ridiculous to imagine an omniscient God deliberately causing the Haiti earthquake and killing 300,000 because he can act no more precisely than this.

6. But God is unjudgeable. God said, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). It’s presumptuous of us to judge God. If God says that the Amalekites deserved to die, that’s good enough for me.

Okay, let’s not judge God then. Let’s avoid labeling him. But then not only can we not label his shocking actions “bad,” we can’t label his pleasing actions “good.” The good God is no more.

And there’s more fallout from the “we imperfect humans can’t judge God” argument. Consider this from Bob Price:

[The ultimate certainty in your mind, the believer’s mind, is] the guarantee that [God] will honor that ticket to heaven he supposedly issued you. Here’s a troublesome thought. Suppose you get to the Day of Judgment and God cancels the ticket. No explanation. No appeal. You’re just screwed. Won’t you have to allow that God must have reasons for it that you, a mere mortal, are not privy to? Who are you, like Job, to call God to account?

Of course many Christians want it both ways. They want to judge God’s noble actions as “good” but withhold judgment for actions that any thoughtful person would find abominable. But if you can’t understand God’s actions when they look bad, why flatter yourself that you understand them when they look good?

Think of this as the Word Hygiene argument. You can either call a spade a spade and acknowledge God’s cruelty or say that he’s unjudgeable. Take your pick—either way, you can’t call him “good.”

Gullibility and credulity are considered undesirable qualities
in every department of human life—
except religion.
— Christopher Hitchens

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 12/15/12.)

Image credit: Gerry Dincher, flickr, CC

* Here’s the math behind that figure: Israel had 600,000 men before entering Canaan (Ex. 12:37), or about two million people total. These six tribes are all larger than Israel (Deut. 7:1). That makes well over ten million people in the tribes God orders exterminated.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Rob

    Sam Harris said of Hitchens, “He taught me that it’s alright to be outraged,” or words to that effect. Sam Harris doesn’t learn from chumps!

    Never forget: Johnny Walker Black label, Perrier water, no ice, in moderation.

    • “In moderation”? Did Hitchens really say that? I’d heard that his drinking wasn’t all that moderate.

  • MNb

    “We can’t judge Jews in Palestine 2500 years ago with today’s standards.”
    Agreed. That’s exactly why we shouldn’t rely on the Bible for our ethical standards today.

    • Greg G.

      That makes me wonder if God would judge everybody by the same standard and, if so, would it be by 500 BC standards, 21st century standards, or 101st century standards? I hope I remember that question when the opportunity to ask it arises.

      • I’m hedging my bets. If I ever meet an Amalekite, I’m going to kill him, then forgive him. That should satisfy whatever version of morality God is going with this week.

        • Greg G.

          By the 101st century, they will probably be able to resurrect him, so don’t kill him too bad.

        • TheNuszAbides

          as determined via forensic theology?

    • wtfwjtd

      This can’t be stressed enough. Why are so many Christians obsessed with applying their cherry-picked rules from ancient Jewish society on today’s cultures? If they’d just let their religion evolve, like some others have, we’d have a lot fewer problems to deal with.

  • sheridan

    My take of the Flood: The whole purpose of the flood was to get rid of all the evil doers in the world so god killed everyone except Noah and his family. However, evil-doers still exist in the world.

    The only conclusion I can come up with is that god failed in his task. So who in their right mind would ever want to worship a failure?

    • Unbeknownst to God, Noah was actually the evil one all along. The rest of the world’s population were unwitting stooges in Noah’s plans. When he flooded the world, God inadvertently killed millions of naive but good people, leaving a Machiavellian genius to determine the ultimate fate of God’s creation.

      It’s as good as any theory the creationists have.

      • cmbennett01

        Noah wasn’t evil, it’s just that the only people on the ark were all Noah’s family. So there was a little in-breeding going on when they got around to re-populating the world.

        • Kodie

          A lot of them are half-donkey too.

        • That explains their half-assed reasoning.

      • Lurker111

        I like this thought: The flood would kill the just and the unjust. God said, “I’ll just kill them all and let God sort it out.” 😛

        • TheNuszAbides

          so meta it hurts.

    • MNb

      God is a triple failure or he wouldn’t have had to kick Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. And Jesus crucifion didn’t remedy anything either.

      • sheridan

        On the cruxification of Jesus, I see that as god’s finally giving up on ridding the world of evil-doers. He uses Jesus as a sacrificial lamb to heap all the “sins” of the evil-doers on him. That way the evil-doers can use Jesus as the “get out of hell” card. So, evil-doers will still sin, but Jesus forgives. Nice racket!

    • If God thought that by killing the scum, that would purge evil from Mankind, he’s a doofus, not a deity.

      Is this the “evil as a disease” model? Just remove the bad apples, and life will return to a virtual Eden?

  • D Sims

    There is much in this article that would take another article to address. There is a difference that a person must apply to slavery, bond-servant and what other label that you might want to name it that gives it the applied meaning you believe it is. Throughout history there are various forms of slavery, servant-hood, bond-slave in cultures that have nothing to do with religion. The history of slavery spans nearly every culture, nationality and religion, and from ancient times to the present day.
    There are also a wide range of variances to how these functioned and how they are defined. From the very degrading to the mighty Lords that own land and allow settlers to live on their land in return for labor and other payment.

    I understand how a person can simply read the texts of scriptures at face value and form an opinion based on many disturbing activities. We have to understand that the Bible reveals in every possible way the futility of mankind. If I was going to write a holy book I would not write one like the bible. It would have perfect stories, perfect actions, perfect rules all representing the perfect God I was propagating. Instead what we have is a Creator of Life that must use a people whose mouth speaks good but whose hearts are far away.

    How do we determine what is cruel? This article calls God cruel but so it seems Mr Hitchens should be given the same respect as he has stated, “Cluster bombs are perhaps not good in themselves, but when they are dropped on identifiable concentrations of Taliban troops, they do have a heartening effect.”
    “I don’t think the war in Afghanistan was ruthlessly enough waged.” Should we now assume Mr. Hitchens is a cruel and inhuman man who’s thinking is birthed in the bronze age?

    So it seems that if we follow the train of thought in this article, if God was a good and perfect god then he should rather take rebellious man and grant him all the best and good ( in our definition of good) this world has to offer. Defer all consequences for our actions, and fulfill all our desires in our pursuit of happiness. Now I can believe in that god.

    If we are honest, it is a well known fact that we humans learn the most valuable lessons of this earthly life not through the great times of pleasure and peace, but rather in the darkest times. It is when a person is taken to the end of themselves is where they find what really is in their heart and what is of value. I think of Robert Ingersoll who spent his life degrading all things spiritual and yet in his last hours when his life was fading he said, “I do not know if there is immortality of the soul. I hope there is.” What a sad and wasted life to come to the end and confess that deep inside him there is this small window of hope after all.

    God will not honor a ticket as quoted by Mr. Price, but rather a humble heart, a broken and contrite heart he will never despise.

    • Sheila C.

      But what about the children?

      This isn’t just a question of adults brought to conversion as they were drowning in the Flood or getting slaughtered by the Israelites. (Though I’m not sure I buy that they would be very motivated to convert to a God who is in the process of killing them.) There are children being killed too; infants. They are not going to “convert.” They are going to undergo inhuman levels of suffering as they die, and they won’t know the reason.

      It is also a fact that natural disasters don’t strike only sinners; think of the famous Lisbon earthquake that struck on Easter Sunday and killed mainly churchgoers. So it’s not about punishing evildoers– in fact it looks pretty random.

      • D Sims

        Shelia,
        I will just give you my personal belief based on comparing scripture with scripture. First off, God was not just killing. These adults at that time were what we call today truly evil men. Grace was provided to them in spite of that for almost a century. They were asked to turn from their own practices and evil. It seems that they would have none of it and rejected any offer from Noah to enter into the safe haven. I believe that those adults honestly did not believe Noah and so they continued living as they so chose.

        As far as children, as with many things in life the innocent suffer. Divorce is a huge opportunity for children to suffer needlessly. Children to this day are suffering in one way or another based on the adult parents decisions and choices. Of course this works to the good as well.
        In my view Shelia, it it written that Jesus said, the little children’s angels always beholds the face of the Father. We all will be judged on what we know and understand not on what we do not know. Without going in too deep I believe that children are given a special grace due to their innocence and have the Fathers favor.
        Yes, we all, including our children may pay for what the adults choose but they are not forgotten by God.

        As far as disasters, I never implied anything about the state of the person who is going through suffering. So yes, I agree with you that sinner or not, we all suffer the same fate. Jesus made this perfectly clear as there were those that thought in His day that just because they suffered in a disaster they must have been worst people. Jesus corrected that line of thinking fast and to the point. The only point I was trying to bring out is we as humans do tend to learn to value life in deeper ways as we go through trying times.

        • Greg G.

          As far as children, as with many things in life the innocent suffer.

          That is perfectly understandable in an indifferent universe with no omnipotent benevolent beings.

          Some children happen to survive divorce, it is not 100% fatal. They don’t suffer to death. You are trivializing suffering. “Some children suffer due to divorce therefore it is perfectly OK if God makes children suffer to death” is horrible apologetics.

          An omnipotent being could do a billion miracles per nanosecond for every sentient being to prevent any kind of suffering as easily as not doing them. Many people would prevent all suffering if they were able to do it. If an omnipotent being who was as benevolent as the most benevolent humans existed, there would be no suffering.

          But there is suffering so either there is no omnipotent being (even one powerful enough to prevent suffering). or there is at least one powerful enough to prevent suffering but chooses to not do it. To make such a choice is somewhat sadistic, not benevolent.

          But the existence of pleasure rules out an omnipotent sadist being.

          Therefore, if there is an omnipotence, it is indifferent to suffering and pleasure. But that makes it indistinguishable from an indifferent universe with no omnipotence.

        • Ron

          Grace was provided to them in spite of that for almost a century. They were asked to turn from their own practices and evil. It seems that they would have none of it and rejected any offer from Noah to enter into the safe haven.~D Sims

          Where does it state any of these things in Genesis 6?

        • MNb

          “These adults at that time were what we call today truly evil men.”
          Then what do you mean with a “non truly evil” person? What’s the difference? And how do you know that they were “truly evil men”? Because the Bible says so? That’s the same as accepting from this guy

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Rasch

          that he only killed truly evil jews. After all jews had been “asked to turn from their own practices and evil” for many centuries. They had been “rejecting any offer to into the safe haven” of a christian church.

          “As far as children, as with many things in life the innocent suffer.”
          So never mind that some innocent suffered as well when Central Europe was cleansed from jews. Such a comfort that those innocent won’t be forgotten by your immaterial Führer.
          And the reward you promise me is worshipping that immaterial mass murderer eternally after I die, in company of religious folks like you? That’s exactly why I maintain that I don’t see any difference with what you call Hell.
          Understanding this literally or metaphorically, as long as this is part of christianity it remains morally bankrupt.

        • Sheila C.

          You did imply that part of the reason for all this punishment was the sin of those who were punished — when you said this: “If God was a good and perfect god then he should rather take rebellious man and grant him all the best and good ( in our definition of good) this world has to offer. Defer all consequences for our actions, and fulfill all our desires in our pursuit of happiness.” It seems you don’t think that would be a good thing, because the people are guilty of something. But it *would* be a good thing for those who aren’t guilty of anything, like the children.

          I mean, how easy would it have been for God to have said, “Kill the adults, because they are evil, but not the kids, because they haven’t done anything”? Instead he specifically orders them to kill the infants and to have no mercy. Why is that?

          And just think how morally deforming it would have been for the Israelites to murder those children. The trauma, the guilt, going home to hold their own children knowing they murdered some other child no different from their own.

          I ask you this: if God commanded YOU to go to, say, a shopping mall, and shoot everyone there, children included, because God revealed to you that the adults were sinners …. would you do it? If not, why not?

        • Greg G.

          It is interesting to ask a Christian if they would kill their own child if God commanded them to do it. They will say of course not, besides God would never do that. When they are reminded of Abraham and Isaac, they decide the right religious answer is “Yes.”

        • TheNuszAbides

          the widespread inability to identify or refusal to engage in thought experiments are what particularly get my goat lately.

        • D Sims

          Sheila, in reality the scripture speaks of “man” being rebellious and wicked on the earth. “Man” represents all human flesh, any age. A child’s innocence does not mean they do not have the sin nature. It simply means they have yet to gain the knowledge to fully act out and put into practice like their adult counterparts.
          Under the old covenant it is based entirely on law. It is merciless. Just like if I went before a judge today if I was guilty or guilty by association it does not matter how nice I am to the judge, or how polite or innocent I am, the Judge has to go strictly by the law and sentence me accordingly.

          Most of us approve when our earthly justice system functions right and sentences all those that are involved or associated with a crime the right judgment but when it comes to God, it seems to be a different story.

          So since the old covenant justice systems was based on law then the penalty of those associated with/in the wrong will be brought to justice in spite of their age. As I stated, I personally believe that God grants a grace to the young children.
          Sheila, honestly you or I cannot grasp or possibly know how bad it was at that time by just reading a text. It states in Genesis that every intention of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually. The way the bible continues to describe the culture at that time It was incredibly evil and everyone was doing their part.

          As far as if God would command me today to go to a shopping mall and kill people, this is not apart of the new covenant. Judgment is not mine or yours under the new covenant. We are under the law of liberty, and not the civil law of God as the people of God were under the old covenant.

          Christ now took the judgment of man upon Himself and all that we are required to do is walk in mercy and offer grace, in love to the world around us. Christ will be the judge of all the nations at the last Day. Under the provisions of the new covenant all nations are now offered mercy and grace, not just one people group.

          There is so much more that would really need explained but it is really impossible to do on this type of forum.
          Thank you Sheila for your respectful conversation and have a great day!

        • Sheila C.

          An earthly judge who handed down sentences without regard to the convict’s age, motivations, or circumstances would be a bad judge. We don’t sentence child offenders like adults. They don’t have the intelligence necessary to know right from wrong, the experience to have learned and understood the difference, or the self-control to avoid bad behavior. It would be ridiculous to treat them like an adult offender if they managed to somehow commit a crime.

          I confess to not being schooled in your own tradition (mine is Catholic) and so I don’t understand how a person can be punished for a “sin nature.” Doesn’t God make our nature? A child is not responsible for having a “sin nature,” if he just inherited that from his parents. It isn’t fair to punish anyone for sins he didn’t commit.

          As far as your statement that people were just more evil then, are you claiming that children in Old Testament times had preternatural intelligence and ability so that, straight from birth, they could commit horrible crimes and understand what they were doing? If so, that strains credibility, but so does Jonah and the whale, so….

          Anyway, based on the way you describe the Old and New Covenants, God as legalistic judge and Jesus saving us from the law ….. are you one of those who sees God the Father as a horrible tyrant whom Jesus placates with his sacrifice? Because that seems to be what’s implied by your description. God does not *have* to be a legalist. He is all-powerful. He can make the rules be what he wants and he can forgive anyone he wants. And for him to hold responsible ignorant children who can’t understand or help what they do, would be an evil thing for him to do, given that he has a choice in the matter. I would despise an earthly judge who sent a five-year-old to prison or the electric chair for being an unwitting accomplice to a murder carried out by his parents. I don’t see why God would be held to a lesser standard.

          If there’s more that I’m missing here, please do explain. I’m willing to stick with this discussion as long as it takes to understand your argument, if you can spare the time to explain it to me.

        • D Sims

          Sheila, I will try to quickly answer some of your thoughts from my perspective but in respect to Bob’s blog I will not use this forum to go into great detail.

          ” We don’t sentence child offenders like adults.” ~ I may not have expressed this as I should have but I agree with you and that is my belief as well. This is why I said, “As I stated, I personally believe that God grants a grace to the young children.”

          “so I don’t understand how a person can be punished for a “sin nature.”
          Doesn’t God make our nature? A child is not responsible for having a
          “sin nature,” if he just inherited that from his parents. It isn’t fair
          to punish anyone for sins he didn’t commit.” ~
          First, we have to stop looking at this as punishment. Punishment belongs to those that chose the action that caused the problem. Unfortunately in the scheme of this life those that are associated with the problem also reap the consequences. There are so many examples of life that we can pull from to see that we reap what we sow. There are people who refused to leave their homes when warned of the upcoming storm and they ended up suffering the punishment for their choice. Those that live with them suffer the consequences.
          In relation to our nature, it is in all of us. Tell me not to do something and my first reaction is to do it. This is what the Law does, it reveals to those that will see it, this imperfect nature within each of us. If there were no speed limit there would never be any guilty drivers. This is why the bible says all have come short. There is not one that is completely right.

          “Anyway, based on the way you describe the Old and New Covenants, God as
          legalistic judge and Jesus saving us from the law ….. are you one of
          those who sees God the Father as a horrible tyrant whom Jesus placates
          with his sacrifice? ” ~
          No, I see the Creator as a just judge who cannot deviate from what is true. What we have to balance this with is God had to use imperfect people that got it wrong way more than they got it right, to carry out His purposes. Jesus simply fulfilled all the Law of God. He did what none could ever do or can still do today. This is why in this age God speaks to man in Jesus. The message is turn and follow Jesus and enter the rest of God.

          ” I would despise an earthly judge who sent a five-year-old to prison or
          the electric chair for being an unwitting accomplice to a murder carried
          out by his parents. I don’t see why God would be held to a lesser
          standard” ~
          I agree with you on this Sheila, but as I said before each man will be judged on what he knew and understood. What he did with what he truly knew. The scriptures clearly teach differing degrees of rewards and consequences. Even Jesus railed against the religious who claimed to know the truth but did not live it verses the prostitutes, beggars and the disenfranchised who realized they knew nothing. Concerning the little children Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”
          Everyone one of us is still learning. Thank you again for the conversation.

        • Sheila C.

          Okay, then, it seems like then God should not have ordered the infants to be killed! Killing the children was not a natural consequence, it was a divinely-mandated action, which you say was a punishment for evil. If God loves the little children enough not to send them to hell, why didn’t he love them enough not to order them massacred? It would not be in any way impossible for him to do that.

          Is there any reason to assume the Israelite children didn’t have just as much of a “sin nature” as the Amalekite and Canaanite children? So why didn’t God command the Israelites to kill their own children too? And themselves, of course, because they were not capable of keeping the Law.

          If each person is judged on what they knew and understood, why is the Bible full of people being punished for sins that they clearly did not know and understand — particularly children being put to the sword? Is God powerless to prevent this, like he appears to be powerless to prevent bad things from happening to good people? Surely not — this time, he *commanded* it!

        • D Sims

          Sheila, In reading through some of your posts I understand you are coming from a position of disillusionment or even more out of the Catholic religion I understand your frustrations. In light of this I hope you and I can agree that the research and discussion that is involved in walking through all the scriptural texts, covenants, cultural backgrounds and historical relationships from the beginning cannot be undertaken on this forum. I hope you will continue to pursue the answers and not become too frustrated as to make a rash judgment on these issues. Of course the final choice to believe something or not is our privilege and I would not make light of whatever decision you come to. Here is one article that might help in your research.

          http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/201004/201004_138_Canannites.cfm

        • adam

          Here is one article that might help in your research.
          “http://enrichmentjournal.ag.or…”

          This article just seems to be apologetics for cruelty.

          http://www.nonstampcollector.com/christian-apologetics-hitler-cant-help-you.html

        • Sheila C.

          As I expected, no one wants to continue the conversation after this point. It’s not your fault — Christianity does not possess a better answer. (Well, Catholicism does better than most, because it doesn’t require anyone to believe the Bible is literally accurate throughout. But it has other problems….) So you really have no choice but to withdraw from the conversation with an excuse and a link.

          Thanks for trying. I don’t mind if you come back later if you think of an answer to my questions — I’ll get an email.

          However, please don’t put down my agnosticism to not having considered other traditions besides Catholicism. I didn’t want to leave Christianity, so I did look into others, but none of them seems to have even the rational basis that Catholicism has. They all assume that God, despite wanting people to believe a certain set of things, would leave them without any knowledge of those things for 1500 years until the Protestant Reformation. I don’t see why he would leave people without the guidance they need to attain salvation.

          Anyway, it’s a bit rude to assume, based on a few internet comments, that you know why I’m no longer religious. If you’re curious, you could ask. 😀

        • D Sims

          Sheila to be honest I was thinking about giving you an email address and we could continue the discussion away from this forum but I thought as soon as I do that someone else would get it and use it for some other purpose. Sorry you feel I was rude, that was not my intention.

        • Sheila C.

          I didn’t think you meant to be rude — it just can be taken that way so I thought I’d let you know.

          The lack of a private message is the real problem with Disqus. This isn’t the first time I’ve really wished for one.

        • Kodie

          Wanting to take discussions offline and separate someone from the group so we all can’t see what kind of horseshit you’re shoveling seems to be the coward’s way out. We have time and space to listen to every excuse you want to make for slavery and anything else.

        • Kodie

          What you’re offering seems to be some way to arrange the language so god doesn’t seem like such an asshole, so you can continue your delusions, and encourage other people to do so as well.

        • MNb

          ““This was a unique, unrepeatable historical situation, and we could not justify Israel’s attacking the Canaanites unless God had commanded this by special revelation.” Even so, God had patiently waited over 400 years until the Canaanites would be ripe for judgment.”

          The Holocaust was a unique, unrepeatable historical situation, and we could not justify nazis murdering the jews unless Hitler had commanded this. Even so, the Germans had patiently waited over 2000 years until the jews would be ripe for judgment.

          Thanks for confirming that you guys worship an immaterial Hitler.

        • 90Lew90

          Since a few others have taken the time to address some of your points, I’m just going to dismiss the lot as appallingly stupid. I’ll just add two points: I’d prefer my parents got divorced than to be massacred with my entire family.

          And isn’t it interesting that in these godless times we’re more concerned with the reform and treatment of “truly evil men” than retribution (well, in the rest of the civilised world we are anyway)? Particularly when it’s retribution for such wickedness as having been in the wrong place at the wrong time — which is the basis for the massacres your godly forebears subjected these people to — according to the word of your god.

        • Greg G.

          Are “truly evil men” those who actually murder and commit adultery while those who just get angry and merely lust for women are not “truly evil”?

        • RichardSRussell

          Dude, face reality. A bunch of self-centered, misogynistic, corrupt, privileged old men wanted the land, property, livestock, and especially virgin dotters of the people who already lived on the “Promised Land”, and they made up a bunch of horseshit stories about how it all “really” belonged to them and they were “cleansing” it of its evil inhabitants. It was the same story that Hitler sold the German people about the Jews or the Ottoman emperors sold the Turks about the Armenians or the Crusaders sold their subjects about the infidel Saracens or the cowboys sold themselves about the Indians in the American West.

          Anyone engaging in genocide will always find a justification for their actions by demonizing their victims and claiming that “they had it coming”. And the murderers are the ones who get to write the history of the events, so what do you expect they’re going to say? “Oops, sorry, my bad”?

      • TheNuszAbides

        (Though I’m not sure I buy that they would be very motivated to convert to a God who is in the process of killing them.)

        on the contrary, those who ‘saw the light’ in a moment of pure adrenaline might be the easiest converts ever–but reasonably speaking, entirely unreliable as such (unless of course it turns out that adrenaline is Pure Soul Juice(TM)).

    • 90Lew90

      Seems like a prescription for wretchedness to me. I can’t help but point out the apparent dearth of “humble, broken and contrite” Christian hearts. Rather, there seems a lot of lip service paid to that “ideal” — if it can be called that — by people who are anything but humble, broken or contrite. Quite the opposite.

      • MNb

        That very well describes many of my internet experiences with christians.

      • TheNuszAbides

        and the only direction D Sims has to go from there is “well, you think that’s bad, imagine how they’d behave without God & the ‘people he must use’!” [*gag*]

    • Greg G.

      There is much in this article that would take another article to address. There is a difference that a person must apply to slavery, bond-servant and what other label that you might want to name it that gives it the applied meaning you believe it is. Throughout history there are various forms of slavery, servant-hood, bond-slave in cultures that have nothing to do with religion. The history of slavery spans nearly every culture, nationality and religion, and from ancient times to the present day.
      There are also a wide range of variances to how these functioned and how they are defined. From the very degrading to the mighty Lords that own land and allow settlers to live on their land in return for labor and other payment.

      So what? There has always been murder, theft, deceit, and worshiping various gods yet the Ten Commandments don’t condemn slavery. Instead, while the Hebrews who had escaped 400 years of slavery were still wandering in the desert, God was giving Moses and Aaron instructions on slaves, indentured servants and hired hands, if you believe the Bible.

      Christians like to tell themselves that the slavery the Hebrews had was nothing more than indentured servitude. That is a big, fat lie.

      This is the passage I mentioned above. It shows the distinction between three types of workers:

      Exodus 12:43-45 (NRSV)43 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: This is the ordinance for the passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, 44 but any slave who has been purchased may eat of it after he has been circumcised; 45 no bound or hired servant may eat of it.

      Indentured (bound) servants were freed after 6 years. In the US, they were freed after 6 years. Here are two passages that describe this:

      Deuteronomy 15:12-17 (NRSV)12 If a member of your community, whether a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and works for you six years, in the seventh year you shall set that person free. 13 And when you send a male slave out from you a free person, you shall not send him out empty-handed. 14 Provide liberally out of your flock, your threshing floor, and your wine press, thus giving to him some of the bounty with which the Lord your God has blessed you. 15 Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; for this reason I lay this command upon you today. 16 But if he says to you, “I will not go out from you,” because he loves you and your household, since he is well off with you, 17 then you shall take an awl and thrust it through his earlobe into the door, and he shall be your slave forever.You shall do the same with regard to your female slave.

      Exodus 21:2-6 (NRSV)2 When you buy a male Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, but in the seventh he shall go out a free person, without debt. 3 If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s and he shall go out alone. 5 But if the slave declares, “I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out a free person,” 6 then his master shall bring him before God. He shall be brought to the door or the doorpost; and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him for life.

      Notice how a Hebrew could be tricked into becoming a permanent slave using family values? The Bible spells it out clearly for the slave owner exactly how to do it.

      Women did not get the indentured servant option.

      Colonial slavery laws did not allow indentured servants to become permanent slaves.

      Exodus 21:7-11 (NRSV)7 When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. 8 If she does not please her master, who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed; he shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt unfairly with her. 9 If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter. 10 If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish the food, clothing, or marital rights of the first wife. 11 And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out without debt, without payment of money.

      Here is a passage on buying permanent slaves who could be passed on in a will:

      Leviticus 25:44-46 (NRSV)44 As for the male and female slaves whom you may have, it is from the nations around you that you may acquire male and female slaves. 45 You may also acquire them from among the aliens residing with you, and from their families that are with you, who have been born in your land; and they may be your property. 46 You may keep them as a possession for your children after you, for them to inherit as property. These you may treat as slaves, but as for your fellow Israelites, no one shall rule over the other with harshness.

      Notice that fellow Israelites were not to be treated with harshness, which implicitly allows non-Israelites to be treated harshly. How harshly?

      Exodus 21:20-21 (NRSV)20 When a slaveowner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished. 21 But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner’s property.

      A foreign slave could be beaten to death without penalty if they suffered at least a day before expiring.

      If we are honest, it is a well known fact that we humans learn the most valuable lessons of this earthly life not through the great times of pleasure and peace, but rather in the darkest times. It is when a person is taken to the end of themselves is where they find what really is in their heart and what is of value. I think of Robert Ingersoll who spent his life degrading all things spiritual and yet in his last hours when his life was fading he said, “I do not know if there is immortality of the soul. I hope there is.” What a sad and wasted life to come to the end and confess that deep inside him there is this small window of hope after all.

      Bullshit.

      As to a future conscious existence of the individual ego after death he [Ingersoll] said: “I do not know.” “I never have denied the immortality of the soul. I have simply been honest. I have said: ‘I do not know.'”

    • MNb

      “Throughout history there are various forms of slavery, servant-hood, bond-slave in cultures that have nothing to do with religion.”
      Yes. Jesus’ big failure is simply not unambiguously condemning it. He had come to fullfil the law, he said. How easy and revolutionary would it have been if he had said “thou shalt not own slaves”! That he didn’t is good evidence that he was a product of his time – ie human.
      Practical problems you say? Easy as well. Amendment: “Every slave who expresses the wish to be free shall be set free immediately by those who believe in Me.”

      “We have to understand that the Bible reveals in every possible way the futility of mankind.”
      No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t tell us how short our lives are compared to the 13,7 billion of years that our Universe is old. It doesn’t tell us how incredibly tiny our planet is compared to the size of that Universe. It would have been so easy for Jesus to tell us. That he didn’t, despite these facts confirming his message, is more strong evidence that he was a product of his time – ie human.
      These two simple facts make more problingly clear how futile mankind is than anything in the Bible.

      “it seems Mr Hitchens should be given the same respect”
      Indeed I’m far from a fan of Hitchens (and neither of Harris and Dawkins). So this does nothing to set your god free from blame.

      “it is a well known fact that we humans learn the most valuable lessons of this earthly life not through the great times of pleasure and peace, but rather in the darkest times.”
      Perhaps you, not me. I don’t need to survive Auschwitz or a Vietnamese prison cell to learn the most valuable lessons. If you do it not only confirms how pathetic your belief system is, it also would rob you from any right to talk about values.

      “What a sad and wasted life to come to the end and confess that deep inside him there is this small window of hope after all.”
      Don’t worry – the vast majority of unbelievers don’t.

      “rather a humble heart, a broken and contrite heart he will never despise.”
      Given the arrogance with which you spout your certainties on this site your ticket is in grave danger.

      • 90Lew90

        Tu quoque. And I don’t believe Hitchens ever claimed to be God Almighty.

        • busterggi

          God couldn’t drink as much or handle it as well.

        • TheNuszAbides

          “ain’t no devil, it’s just god when he’s drunk.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ya wanna be in here looking out ffs….03.28 a.m., I need to be stepping away from the keyboard, sharpish,

    • adam

    • Kodie

      The slavery issue in the bible is one that bothers religious people so much, they have to lie to themselves to make it ok. It’s that simple. Your god encouraged it, or the people at the time wrote a book codifying their local laws and used their impression of a god in their time and place encouraging them how to acquire and then how to treat slaves. We have to understand that slavery is a part of history, and was an acceptable form of labor to the humans, but what’s really fascinating is how you give god a pass for not outlawing it if it was wrong. You simply lie to yourself and spread those lies, it was ok, it was not really slavery. They just owned people and treated them like labor animals and machines, the same way a manual might teach you how to care for your car or your television – don’t drop the damn thing or it won’t work, and you’ll have to buy a new one. Rules for caring for your slaves was how much to beat them so they would work harder, but not so hard they would be incapacitated, like any machine you would own today.

    • The history of slavery spans nearly every culture, nationality and religion, and from ancient times to the present day.

      But only the Jews and Christians had the actual creator of the universe to whisper moral truth into their ears. And they still got it wrong. Oops—that initial assumption looks suspect now.

      Biblical slavery is pretty much identical to American slavery. Look up posts on “slavery” here for more.

      I understand how a person can simply read the texts of scriptures at face value and form an opinion based on many disturbing activities.

      You saying that I misunderstood? Read my posts on slavery and then point out the errors.

      This article calls God cruel but so it seems Mr Hitchens should be given the same respect as he has stated, “Cluster bombs are perhaps not good in themselves, but when they are dropped on identifiable concentrations of Taliban troops, they do have a heartening effect.”

      You say Hitchens was a dick? Whatever. I say that God is a dick. Since only one of these beings is supposed to be perfect, only one of these charges challenges that being’s very existence.

      So it seems that if we follow the train of thought in this article, if God was a good and perfect god then he should rather take rebellious man and grant him all the best and good ( in our definition of good) this world has to offer.

      Or, you could read the article and characterize it correctly.

      If we are honest, it is a well known fact that we humans learn the most valuable lessons of this earthly life not through the great times of pleasure and peace, but rather in the darkest times.

      And how is this relevant to the fact that God does terrible things in the Bible?

      It is when a person is taken to the end of themselves is where they find what really is in their heart and what is of value.

      Yeah, I realize that we learn through experience. But God has better ways. He can just zap wisdom into our heads.

      It’s weird how he never does that.

      What a sad and wasted life to come to the end and confess that deep inside him there is this small window of hope after all.

      If I follow the evidence to the best of my ability, I will be able to look back on my life with some pleasure.

      You?

      God will not honor a ticket as quoted by Mr. Price, but rather a humble heart, a broken and contrite heart he will never despise.

      Huh?? That’s the ticket, knucklehead! Can we not judge God’s actions? Then God can do whatever he wants, even rejecting those who appear at the pearly gates with a humble heart.

      • D Sims

        Usually when a poster much less a moderator resorts to name calling then that is a good sign that their back is against the wall and it’s time to kick the dust off my feet.

        • Dys

          Or you’re looking for an excuse to run away.

          And really, if you don’t see the insult in declaring that people who don’t believe in God/an afterlife/souls have sad and wasted lives, then you obviously aren’t trying hard enough.

          In other words, thou doth protest too much. Go fly a kite.

        • Kodie

          Consider you have very probably deserved to be called a name which you are, which is evident in the invention of a god you can believe in to us, in total willful ignorance of what the bible says, and Jesus says. You want to follow yourself, not Jesus.

        • It’s your call. If God exists, he’s tough enough to defend himself.

        • TheNuszAbides

          damn, you’re not even good at tone-trolling.

  • Sheila C.

    ” If there are two supernatural agents, God and Satan, how do you tell which is which?”

    This is a thought that occurred to me recently, reading Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. The Dark One regularly appears to our characters, saying that they can have anything they want if they only worship him. They will live forever! Sure, there might be some bumps and bruises along the way, some regrettable things will have to be done to those who won’t serve, but that’s only to serve some higher end.

    It just seemed obvious to me — this character is quite a bit like God. The only way they know they’re supposed to reject him instead of worshiping him is ….. I guess that his face is kind of screwed up?

    I *have* to be able to use my conscience to judge God, or I’ll never know if it is right to worship him.

    • Greg G.

      Matt Dillahunty has made that point on The Atheist Experience many times over the past year or two.

      • TheNuszAbides

        mafia boss!

    • Ron

      The scriptures identify God and Satan as being the same entity.

      Again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.” 2 Samuel 24:1

      Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. 1 Chronicles 21:1

      • Sheila C.

        I thought that it must have been a correction. In Samuel, it says God told David to make a census and then punished him for it. That seems unfair, so when the Chronicles guy wrote his version, he switched out God for Satan so that it’s not such a set-up.

        (Of course that would bother some people as well because it implies scripture isn’t inerrant, but we could find LOTS of passages to prove that, anyway.)

      • Krystal

        Woooo….incited David to take a census. (Insert Vincent Price voice here…) How Eeevilll, mwahahahah.

    • I *have* to be able to use my conscience to judge God, or I’ll never know if it is right to worship him.

      I would say “mind” rather than “conscience,” but yeah. You can turn off your brain and use the “God’s ways are higher than mine, so how can I judge?” argument only after you’ve used your intellect to figure out that this “God” character really is the real deal.

  • 90Lew90

    Congratulations Bob.

    • hopefully, you’re not looking at the JWB label this early on Sunday morning – if you are, being an atheist may not be your biggest problem right now.

      • 90Lew90

        I don’t know what the JWB label is.

      • Greg G.

        I doubt that it is early Sunday morning where he is. The world does not revolve around you.

        • It’s 11:08 somewhere.

        • 90Lew90

          It’s 16:11 here. You twat.

        • 16:11? what, is that military time? Oh, and just so we stay on topic, God is Good, and we should feel very lucky that God has blessed all that inhabit the earth – including this blog – you shouldn’t thank us, BobS, you should thank God. .

        • 90Lew90

          Thanks for that bit of mawkishness.

        • MNb

          God as described by you is Evil so I’m better off without his blessings.

        • Dys

          Stop judging God Greg.

        • How am I judging God?

        • Greg G.

          When you say “God is Good”, you are making a judgement call.

        • Pofarmer

          He’s just regurgitating canned theology. If God isn’t all good, it basically falls into a pile. They are simply define things into existence and doing apologetics from there.

        • but isn’t the adjective “good” a subjective label in that we form our definition by our own personal experiences – the movie theatre shooter might have a different definition than you – my point is how can we be sure that we even know what true “goodness” is without having one true example of it – and this is God.

        • Pofarmer

          You are begging the question while making a circular argument. That takes skill.

        • Kodie

          It doesn’t take any skill.

        • Pofarmer

          Given that he’s constantly been advised of his fallacious arguments, surely it’s intentional.

        • Kodie

          I thought begging the question and circular arguments go hand in hand. He knows why he believes, and believes those are sound reasons we should appreciate. Given that he’s a fake lawyer, I don’t expect him to learn enough about fallacies in all the months we’ve had him here to avoid making them. He is the pigeon on the chess board, there’s no educating this mess.

        • Kodie

          By a normal person’s judgment, god would be bad. Unless what I’m hearing from you is, maybe the shooter had a very good reason we don’t know, we can’t see the other side of his quilt.

        • MNb

          You’re contradicting yourself once again.

          “isn’t the adjective “good” a subjective label”
          If this is the case this “having one true example” doesn’t make sense.

          Tip – you will neglect it of course: don’t use philosophical terms like true when you don’t understand what they mean. It makes you look like a fool.
          Oh wait – almost forgotten. You are a fool.

        • Dys

          But you have to cast a moral judgement in order to arrive at that example in the first place. You wind up stuck in a loop, where God is good merely because you’ve judged him to be so. It’s no different than assuming the bible is true because it says it is.

          In a word, it’s just presuppositionalism, and not worth taking seriously.

        • Greg G.

          How would you know what a “true” example was? If you don’t know, you can’t tell whether Satan or God is the good one. The bad one would tell he was the good so you can’t go by that.

          From the Bible:

          The War Against the MidianitesNumbers 31:17-18 (NRSV)17 Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known a man by sleeping with him.  18 But all the young girls who have not known a man by sleeping with him, keep alive for yourselves.

          The War Against the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the JebusitesDeuteronomy 20:17 (NRSV)You shall annihilate them—the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites—just as the Lord your God has commanded, 

          The War Against the Amalekites1 Samuel 15:3 (NRSV)Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”

          It looks like you are picking the same “true goodness” as a theater shooter.

        • Greg G., Yes – you have indeed accurately quoted from the Old Testament, but they are indeed three instances of God’s love for the Israelites – knowing that the Israelites were his “chosen people” how is it that these passages you quote are confusing to you? God was clear from the time he made the promise with Abraham that Abraham represented the covenant and that the Jewish race would be the conduit to deliver the Messiah. No wonder God helped preserve them, and at times, actively fought for them. It’s also called loyalty.

        • Kodie

          Or the book written by the people about their god portrays them as “chosen” because they’re them, they choose them, and therefore any god they invent backs them. They are Nazis justifying their holocausts by the imaginary friend they think condones them, just like Hitler was a Christian and believed god condoned him killing the Jews.

        • Greg G.

          God couldn’t have just let all of them die in their sleep? Maybe stopped them from reproducing when the Israelites left Egypt?

          The archaeology shows that none of it happened. There were never a large number of Hebrews as slaves in Egypt, they didn’t leave enough masse, they didn’t live in the desert for 40 years, and they didn’t invade the Promised Land. They lived the whole time with the same culture as their neighbors except some ate pork and some didn’t.

          Why would you believe in a god like that from a book full of lies?

        • “The archaeology shows that none of it happened”
          Wars between primitive rivalling land-owning tribes in the Middle East? Yeah, how unlikely.

        • Greg G.

          The only distinction that can be made to separate them into different groups is the presence of pig bones in some sites but none in others. Otherwise, they had the same culture. Do you have any evidence of inter-tribal war for that time period?

          Archaeologists have done a lot of digging in that area for more than a century trying to confirm the Bible accounts. The term “Bible Archaeology” has gone out of favor as the archaeology has disconfirmed more than it has confirmed.

          Maybe God set up a war between them because he didn’t like them eating pigs. The crucifixion cancelled the need for animal sacrifices. Jesus didn’t die for sins, he died for livestock.

        • I thought you were trying to polish the image of lawyers? You’re just doing your best to change the subject or misdirect or pretend you didn’t understand.

          Despite your protestations, we do understand what lawyers sometimes do in the courtroom–that.

        • good point, it’s almost like I’m promoting myself for lawyering services, unfortunately, I’m limited to Connecticut Law, and I have yet to encounter anyone from CT here. (may also explain why I enjoy arguing with you guys)

        • MR

          Promoting yourself isn’t exactly what you’re doing.

        • a fool of myself, in your opinion?

        • MR

          Thou sayest.

        • then love hast madest me a fool.

        • “The archaeology shows that none of it happened.”

          So now you’re saying the Wars didn’t happen because of the lack of evidence found by the archeologists.

          “they didn’t leave enough masse,…”

          My friend, I’ve been lucky enough to have participated in some archaeology digs in my younger days, and one thing we were taught was that the conclusions drawn from actual findings are much stronger than the conclusions drawn from actually finding nothing.

          Ever hear of the scorched earth technique of warfare. No masse, Greg G., no masse.

        • Greg G.

          So now you’re saying the Wars didn’t happen because of the lack of evidence found by the archeologists.

          No, I am saying the wars never happened because the evidence shows that 2 million people never left Egypt when they were at the height of their power.

          The evidence shows that the bacon eaters and the porkless ones were of the same culture. It would be hard to raise an army to do a scorched earth war on your own territory.

          “they didn’t leave enough masse,…”

          My friend, I’ve been lucky enough to have participated in some archaeology digs in my younger days, and one thing we were taught was that the conclusions drawn from actual findings are much stronger than the conclusions drawn from actually finding nothing.

          Egypt was a world power at the time with a population of around 6 million. If 2 million slaves left, it would have been the heart of their workforce. Egypt’s power and influence in the area would have suffered but that never happened.

          If you want to say that it was an insignificant number that left Egypt, then the insignificant number would not have been able to conquer all those other civilizations.

          If a culture that had been separated for 400 years conquered other cultures in the land of milk and honey, there would be evidence of an abrupt change in culture. There is evidence of nothing more than gradual changes in culture during that time.

        • Greg G. – stop it – I understand your point and the exodus would have planted a huge blow to Egyptian society – but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen – further, the Egyptian scholars don’t argue about whether it happened but when. And the scholars of today are renewing efforts to recover archaeological evidence to incorporate different time lines for when the exodus occurred –

        • Greg G.

          You still haven’t grasped the absurdity of the story. If there was a huge migration through the desert, there would be evidence of it no matter when it happened.

          Even if they marched densely packed, the front should have reached Jerusalem before the back end left Egypt. That’s without considering the livestock which would spread them out even more.

        • Sorry, Greg G. evidently you haven’t viewed google earth, lately, for that area of the world from Egypt to the plains of Moab near Jericho, because it is quite extensive.

        • Greg G.

          It’s a bit more than 300 miles from Egypt to Jerusalem.

          Now consider how much space is required for 2 million people plus their livestock. Move them around. It would take several days for the whole bunch to even get off a camp site. Large cities had about 50,000 people. The Exodus was supposed to have 40 times that many. Cities wouldn’t have much livestock.

          Do the math. It is an absurd story.

        • That’s it, I’m giving you a failing grade in archeology, and ancient Egyptian history.

        • Kodie

          You haven’t shown us anything more than your absurd beliefs. If you want to grade people according to you, you have to admit you’re the failure, and everyone else passes with flying colors. You have to show your sources, not just ramble like the idiot you are.

        • Greg G.

          A failing grade in what you believe should qualify me for graduate school at Yale.

        • they don’t deserve you.

        • Pofarmer

          “the Egyptian scholars don’t argue about whether it happened but when”

          Like who? Jewish Scholars like Israel Finklestein argue that it clearly Did. Not. Happen. The complete archaelogical record argues it Did. Not. Happen.

        • Did. Happen. – you’re right, I made a statement that Egyptian scholars are arguing about when not if- here’s my proof.
          Respected Archeologist and Journalist David Anderson published an article on January 23, 2007 the following:

          “An emerging pool of scholars, representing diverse
          backgrounds, has been openly calling for a drastic reduction in Egyptian chronology. Such a reduction would serve to line up the historical and archaeological records of Egypt and the Old Testament. Surprisingly, there is a substantial amount of evidence to warrant a significant reduction of Egyptian history. And by doing so, the reliability of Genesis, Exodus, and the entire
          Old Testament will have to be reconsidered as a viable source of historical truth.”

          He was referring to the following highly esteemed scholars in the area of Biblical and Egyptian History research:

          1. ” David Rohl, author of Test of Time, suggests ‘Ramses II should be dated to the tenth century BC—some three hundred and fifty years later than the date which had been assigned him in the orthodox chronology.”

          2. “Peter James and four other scholars published the book Centuries of Darkness.2 they claim that the dates of Egyptian dynasties need to be reduced by hundreds
          of years, specifically Dynasties 21–24. ”

          3. ” Dr Colin Renfrew, professor of archaeology at Cambridge University, wrote a foreword to this book:
          This disquieting book draws attention … to a crucial period in world history, and to the very shaky nature of the dating, the whole chronological framework, upon which our current interpretations rest…the existing
          chronologies for that crucial phase in human history are in error by several centuries, and that, in consequence, history will have to be rewritten.”

          4. “Sir Alan Gardiner, an authority on Egyptian history also wrote “Our materials for the reconstruction of a coherent picture are hopelessly inadequate.’ As a result, we must cross reference the Egyptian accounts with other accurate historical sources. Biblical and Assyrian
          chronology offer highly consistent dates that can be utilized to rectify many of the ambiguities of Egyptian history. In other words, if Old Testament and
          Assyrian historical records significantly overlap, then a revision of Egyptian chronology would be perfectly logical in order to harmonize with two independent reliable sources.;”

          You asked for the proof – I gave it you -You need to really get down off that high horse of yours, Po.

        • Pofarmer

          You didn’t write all that. Where did you plagiarize it from.

        • Po, your exact question was “Like who?” I gave you 4.
          You ask whether I wrote the above,- observe my quotation marks, and also the reference at the top of my comment to my reference to the article in which I obtain the information.
          Po, here’s my recommendation to you – stop reading and thinking so much. Just follow what you know is right in your heart.

        • Greg G.

          Greg, here’s my recommendation to you – start reading and thinking more. Just follow the evidence for factual information. Follow your heart for other things.

        • MR

          start reading and thinking more.

          BWAH-HA-HA-HA!

        • Pofarmer

          Did you ever consider someone might want to go and look more in depth? If you want to get some point across, stop being a jackass. Oh, and none of those quotes even hint at rehabilitating the Exodus account.

        • MR

          stop being a jackass.

          Come on, do you seriously believe he would?

        • 90Lew90

          You got that from a creationist site. You utter nincompoop. Not even your church endorses that stuff. You really are tragic Greg.

        • adam

          “You utter nincompoop. ”

          No, his acts are purposely deceptive, it is the ONLY way he can defend the MONSTER he calls ‘god’.

        • Greg G.

          The exodus is supposed to have happened in the 15th century BC. These scholars are disputing what happened over 500 years later. They are not talking about the exodus story. The Assyrian records are more in line with the time of Jerusalem.

          How is this supposed to help you?

        • Greg G. the Israelites were nomadic – it means they were not rooting themselves down in any one place for any long period of time. Of course, you wouldn’t find anything along the paths they traveled – this is just common sense.

        • Greg G.

          The archaeology shows abrupt changes in culture but not at the time the Israelites are supposed to have invaded. That shoots down the biblical account.

          You should use Google to confirm what you think is common sense before you display your lack of it. This is one of many contradictions to your insight:

          Finding Evidence of Ancient Nomads

        • Don’t be naïve. Noone is questioning that it is happening (‘cept you), the question is when it happened. So there is no “supposed to have invaded”. Greg G., they’re working with very old Egyptian historical documents and eyewitness accounts written narratives – hmm. And, yes, the Bible is one of them. You see in the world outside this blog, there are people who regard the Bible as an authentic historical document.

        • Greg G.

          Present day Israelis have a big stake for showing the OT to be true to establish their position in the area. They have put a great deal of resources into archaeology to establish the historicity of the OT. It is they who are coming up empty and saying that the OT account isn’t true. If you can’t believe Israel Finklestein, who can you trust?

        • you’re the one reaching for straws and coming up empty.

        • Greg G.

          I don’t care whether the Exodus happened or not. If it did, then it did but there should be evidence that it did. Archaeologists have diligently and thoroughly searched the Sinai and the whole area where the action in the Bible was supposed to have happened. They have sites going back tens of thousands of years into prehistory.

          I am going on what the evidence shows.

        • MR

          In my Egyptian research, I came across a reference of a legend about the waters parting to allow a pharaoh to cross. I should have bookmarked mark it since I can’t find it now. But, it just speaks to how these are stories that are passed around from culture to culture and change and evolve. Like how Gilgamesh is the basis for the story of Noah which lends its plot line to the Sodom and Gomorrah story which then is echoed in the story of the Levite and his concubine…. Legends and myths borrowed and rehashed.

        • I just got off the phone with Israel Finkelstein – he agrees with me – and he agrees with the grade I’m giving you.

        • Kodie

          Being such a shitty lawyer as you are, please allow me to teach you about defamation.

          http://injury.findlaw.com/torts-and-personal-injuries/elements-of-libel-and-slander.html

        • Kodie, absurdity must be fought with absurdity. And you ask for my source, it is the Bible.

        • Kodie

          You admit what a shitty source it is. You have been claiming archaeological digs, and brought no evidence you found there. You also made up a story to get someone real to agree with you without their permission, in order to support your position. Where are the actual sources to support your position, you filthy lying asshole?

        • MR

          absurdity must be fought with absurdity.

          You have to admit, he does do a good job of battling himself.

        • that would imply, Greg G. and I are one in the same person. let me help you distinguish us from one another – one is a nerd.

        • links and cut and paste from the internet sourcing is not my thing, Kodie – I have noticed you are all very adroit at googling a topic and this time should be no different – that being said – the internet is full of well-respected scholars who are currently in the Middle East performing archeologist digs on the Exodus.

        • Kodie

          Yeah, doing research and compiling evidence is not how you practice law, right? I’m not here to support your claims, douche. You also don’t seem overly bothered by misrepresenting someone else to support your claim, you lazy, incompetent fake lawyer.

        • adam

          “links and cut and paste from the internet sourcing is not my thing”

          No LYING and making stuff up is YOUR thing.

        • Kodie

          And you, fake lawyer, your rebuttal to sources is no sources?

        • Ron

          Millions of peopled traipsed an arid desert for four decades without leaving a trace of their presence? Not even a few shards of pottery or the skeletal remains of those forbidden from entering the promised land?

        • Ron – part of the problem is that they aren’t sure when it happened – archeological digs are painstakingly slow as they work through the dirt – if you do not know the exact time of the exodus, the job becomes that more difficult, if not impossible.

        • Dys

          Saying “God is good” is a judgement, no matter how a believer tries to get around it.

        • wait a minute, doesn’t Poe’s law dictate that you place a funny squiggly face next to your comment when you are being sarcastic?

        • MNb

          No.
          Plus Dys isn’t sarcastic.

        • Dys

          I’m not being sarcastic in the slightest. If you proclaim that God is good, you’re passing a moral judgement upon him. I know the usual excuses given to try and squirrel away from that fact, but at the end of the day, however you try to get around it, you’ve judged God.

        • adam

          ..

        • 90Lew90

          What time is it where you are now Greg?

        • 16:11? what, is that military time?

          Just because it’s not the way you do things doesn’t mean that it’s wrong.

          Can you stop embarrassing America in front of our international guests, please? Dial back the attempts at wit. They’re going to think we’re stupider than we actually are (which, on average, is rather stupid, I’ll admit).

        • Kodie

          It’s really embarrassing that Greg thinks his best chance to make an argument is to make fun of the customs or spelling or what time it is in other countries. He really excels at being inappropriate.

        • MNb

          Fortunately your reply is a pretty good remedy for Greg confirming our prejudices.

        • Greg is letting the air out of the tires faster than I can pump them up …

        • Greg G.

          If it’s Sunday morning where you are, why aren’t you in church? If you are in church, why are you not paying attention to the service and worshiping?

        • Ron

          He’s worshiping the “spirit” of JWB.

        • wrong John.

        • 90Lew90

          His name’s Ron, Greg. (D’OH!)

        • Greg G.

          I thought he was worshiping John the Baptist like a Mandaean. Maybe he meant the Apostle John. Those Catholics will worship anybody. Monotheism is monotony.

        • 90Lew90

          Nah it’s more banal than that. It’s just Greg the “lawyer” getting names wrong again. Imagine the contracts this guy writes up…

          “I, Mrs Molly O’Shea, do hereby bequeath all my worldly belongings and estate to my three children, to be valued and divided equally between them should they not reach agreement on their respective shares.”

          Greg: Just sign here Mrs O’Dea. What’s that? No, you can’t use ‘Dolly’. You must use Dolores as this will be legally binding and we wouldn’t want any unnecessary trouble for the ones you’ve left behind.

        • John, the beloved apostle. And, worshiping the “spirit” he represents is worshiping the spirit of Jesus. And, the spirit of Jesus represents love, compassion, goodness, purity, loyalty, humility, and honesty. This is the spirit we are infused with in the mass celebrated in Church and ultimately represents the spirit of God in heaven.

          “That’s what heaven would be like only it would literally go on and on and never end.”

          -Greg G. I am really worried about you – it almost sounds as if you don’t want to be immersed in the Goodness of God and Heaven.

        • 90Lew90

          A weird digression since you were talking to Ron…

        • MNb

          If “the Goodness of God and Heaven” means what you claim it means no sane person wants to be immersed.

        • You’ve convinced me! Your nog is waterlogged from all the rain in Suriname.

        • MNb

          It’s the dry season, ignorant.

        • adam

          “it almost sounds as if you don’t want to be immersed in the Goodness of God and Heaven.”

        • Mom?

        • Greg G.

          When you are in church, does it ever seem like the service is going on and on and will never end? That’s what heaven would be like only it would literally go on and on and never end.

        • TheNuszAbides

          that so many congregations buy into the template of heaven, The Ultimate Reward, as Non-Stop Hymns of Praise, says more about what wretched lives they [force themselves to] lead than it says about the paltry imagination of heaven’s Austerity Sector designers. (i’m assuming the Catholics & Orthodox pushed the ostentatious Golden Display quality along with the ur-Revival Atmos, then all the greed-mongering got filtered out by those puckered puritans.)

      • RichardSRussell

        I’m not sure why anyone’s bringing John Wilkes Booth into this.

        • I hope not, unless someone is ready to say it wasn’t Pontius Pilate who sentenced Jesus to death but the roman standing up on the grassy knoll.

        • Greg G.

          The Golgotha Theory is a conspiracy theory that the crucifixion was carried out by Romans on a grassy knoll.

        • Krystal

          Well, the thing is, is that it’s ALL conjecture b/c there’s plenty of reason to feel that none of it really happened, since none of these events are in the actual historical records. So in the long run, whomever passed the sentence of death, really doesn’t matter.

        • Krystal – you sent me your comment – – you seem to make three points – not sure I disagree with any of them – let me go through them:

          “ALL conjecture” – Conjecture – an opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information – Ok, yeah, as a Christian, there is still a lot I look forward to that would complete my knowledge of God and heaven – I have faith – you call it conjecture.

          “b/c there’s plenty of reason to feel that none of it really happened…” Ok, yeah, as a Christian, there is quite a lot of mystery to absorb: ie: the virgin birth – plenty of reason to feel that it really didn’t happen – but I believe anyway, it is called faith. Blessed are those who believe and yet did not see.

          “So in the long run, whomever passed the sentence of death, really doesn’t matter.” As a Christian, I am fine with this statement – in the long run, it matters in the least who passed the sentence because the prophecy was not that Pontius Pilate did it – but that it happened.
          So my only question is to you about your comment is – What?!

        • Greg G.

          I have faith – you call it conjecture.

          Faith is belief in conjecture. If it was anything else you wouldn’t need to use the word “faith”.

      • Kodie

        What a crappy thing to say, you asshole.

      • Krystal

        What?!

        • MNb

          Meet Greg the catholic fake lawyer. He knows no bottom.

    • Thanks! I haven’t heard from you for a bit. I hope things are doing well.

      • 90Lew90

        Things are ok. Pretty quiet although I’ve been bouncing around Northern Ireland a bit so not on the net as much. When the weather improves here I spend as much time as possible out with the dog, which means I catch up on reading books. No bad thing. Anyway, keep up the good work. Best, L.

  • Greg G.

    I had a discussion a while back with somebody who was quesstioning whether Paul was actually a Pharisee. I don’t know where but I thought I would post it here.

    Josephus provides some evidence that Paul believed what the Pharisees believed.

    1 Corinthians 15:52-53
    52b the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

    Jewish War 2.8.14
    They [Pharisees] say that all souls are incorruptible, but that the souls of good men only are removed into other bodies, – but that the souls of bad men are subject to eternal punishment.

    Daniel 12:2
    Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

    It looks like the Pharisees got that belief from Daniel.

  • busterggi

    “Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you”

    Considering that the Hittite empire was falling apart before even the mythical Israel existed and that it was in Turkey it seems to me that the author was pulling out names of peoples he had heard of but knew nothing about.

  • busterggi

    “3. But the Canaanites were terrible, immoral people! They sacrificed babies!”

    So did the ancient Hebrews despite their best to pretend not to have – remember that the first born all belonged to Yahweh and that included the firstborn children originally.

    • wtfwjtd

      To be fair, though, I don’t think God demanded human sacrifice of the ancient Hebrews. It was Christians who later tried to conflate human sacrifice with ancient Judaism.

      • busterggi

        Genesis 22:2,10And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and … offer him there for a burnt offering…. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

        Yahweh may have changed his mind but he still initially ordered it and Abraham wasn’t surprised. so he must have expected such things.
        Judges 11:29-39Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah … And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering. … And the LORD delivered them into his hands. And he smote them … with a very great slaughter. … And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances. … I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back. … And … her father … did with her according to his vow which he had vowed.

        • wtfwjtd

          Well, yeah, I get that, but…from a Jewish perspective, Abraham actually failed the test the he was put to by God:

          http://whatjewsbelieve.org/explanation4.html

          As for Jephthah, that seems more of a dumb “vow” on his part rather than a systemic practice or demand by God. The fact that he carried through with it, is not necessarily commendable; he was a man of his time.

        • Greg G.

          The ram being found at the last instant in the story seems to be redacted into the story. The name of God is different for that action. Abraham comes down the mountain alone and Isaac is never mentioned again in that part of the story. So what Jews believe about the redacted story is a different matter. The more ancient Hebrews apparently had Abraham do the sacrifice.

        • wtfwjtd

          So, even then, one would have to go back to before the story was redacted to come up with the idea that human sacrifice was God-commanded. Later Judaism obviously wasn’t comfortable with this, and so the story gets redacted.
          I guess my point in this is that the idea of human sacrifice being pleasing to God is a real stretch, even as bad as some other things were in that ancient culture. This would make Christianity’s claim that a ritual of human sacrifice as simply an extension of later Judaism seem all the more ridiculous to me.

        • Krystal

          Hey, hey now, let’s not forget JC. He’d be a God-approved human sacrifice, so the “real stretch” comment isn’t correct, which had nothing to do with ancient Judaic law. Speaking as a once devout Jew and done WAY too much study of such things. The Jews were more concerned with making sure they had the correct sacrifices for the altar for something “normal” for them like the fat of an animal, that is supposed to be “G-d’s only and not for man’s consumption.”

        • wtfwjtd

          I think we’re trying to make essentially the same point, but sometimes what I say doesn’t quite translate in a clear fashion, if you know what I mean. I have no quibble with your statement.

        • TheNuszAbides

          I think we’re trying to make essentially the same point, but sometimes what I say doesn’t quite translate in a clear fashion, if you know what I meanWHAAARGARBL. I have no quibble with your statement.

          fixed!

        • wtfwjtd

          Thanks!

        • Greg G.

          The story about the war with the Midianites (my brain isn’t 100% I have the right group), the Israelites are kicking but all over the place until the Midianite king sacrifices his son. So at one point in their history, human sacrifice was believed to have some influence. God seems to have been impressed.

          But that was ancient scripture by the time of the first century. I’ve been thinking lately that the crucifixion idea was invented by Paul. Paul’s formula in Galatians 3:6-14 requires the curse be killed so Jesus had to be killed by hanging on wood which is becoming cursed in Deuteronomy 21:23 (the word in the Septuagint can mean tree, wood, or cross but the Hebrew word was tree).

          Compare Paul and James:

          Galatians 3:23-25
          23 Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.

          James 1:22-25
          22 But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. 23 For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; 24 for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. 25 But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.

          James doesn’t speak of the crucifixion at all. Paul wants to be free of the law but James says it is “the law of liberty”.

          The idea that the crucifixion was so shocking to the followers of Jesus that they had to make sense of it doesn’t make much sense if James never mentions it and argues against Paul’s insistence on it when Paul was definitely not a follower of a live Jesus.

        • wtfwjtd

          I remember that story, and yes, I think when the the (Moabite king?) sacrifices his son to Baal the tide of battle turns. So it was a familiar motif to the ancients.

          In my comment above, I said: “one would have to go back to before the story was redacted to come up with the idea that human sacrifice was God-commanded…”

          In her comment below, Krystal said:” let’s not forget JC. He’d be a God-approved human sacrifice , so the “real stretch” comment isn’t correct, which had nothing to do with ancient Judaic law.”

          It appears to me that our comments here are largely in sync, Krystal please correct me if I’m wrong.

          But then, I said:”I guess my point in this is that the idea of human sacrifice being pleasing to God is a real stretch,…”

          And then Krystal said:” The Jews were more concerned with making sure they had the correct sacrifices for the altar for something “normal” for them like the fat of an animal,…”

          I interpret what she is trying to say as, ultimately, “if an animal sacrifice is good, then a human sacrifice has to be fantastic” (Again, Krystal, if I’ve got this wrong please say so.)
          That seems to be what you are saying here, correct? Paul wants to have something momentous and out-of-the ordinary to have a justification for doing away with the law.

          Upon reflection, I’d be willing to redact my comment above to be more in line with that. And I guess what I should find ridiculous is why my fellow Christians of today think that a human sacrifice is or was ever a good idea.

        • Greg G.

          See the Bridge of Arta:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridge_of_Arta

          More on sacrificing humans to architecture:

          http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2357&context=ocj

          1 Kings 16:33-34
          33 Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him.

          34 In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken by Joshua son of Nun.

          PS: This is part of the poem about the Bridge about what a little bird said:

          “Unless you sacrifice a human, the bridge will never stand.
          And don’t you sacrifice an orphan, or a stranger, or a passer-by,
          But only the chief mason’s beautiful wife,
          Who comes late in the afternoon and brings his supper.”

        • wtfwjtd

          Wasn’t Yahweh and Asherah married at one time? I wonder why those Asherah poles pissed him off so bad? Unless, maybe…she was his ex, or something. Hmm.

        • Greg G.

          Asherah may have been optimistic that she could change him into a good husband.

          PS: Is there some evidence of transliteration in “AsHERAh”?

        • wtfwjtd

          If only she would have succeeded.

        • MR

          For the Canaanites and the ancient Levantine region as a whole, Ēl or Il was the supreme god, the father of mankind and all creatures. He also fathered many gods, most importantly Hadad, Yam, and Mot, each sharing similar attributes to the Greco-Roman Gods: Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades respectively. As recorded on the clay tablets of Ugarit, El is the husband of the goddess Asherah.—Wikipedia

          That was his son, Hadad, who married that bitch Hera.

          I’ve been reading up on Egyptian gods and goddesses lately, and I’ve seen a connection made between Hathor and Asherah.

        • Greg G.

          It seems like no matter where you go, the gods are related to the lights in the sky so it seems that there should be a natural connection between the various culture’s gods.

        • MR

          And they’re all next door neighbors. Greece, Anatolia, Levant, Egypt. Land or sea, it’s share and share alike.

        • MNb

          “So it was a familiar motif to the ancients.”
          Of course it was. Homerus already used it – in a superior way. Agamemnon only could sail to Troje after he had sacrificed his kid, pissed off his wife and ruined his marriage. It lead to a whole string of atrocities. Heck, even the metaphorical meaning is a better one! “Think twice before you give up something, because the consequences might be terrible!”

        • wtfwjtd

          Appease the gods or destroy your marriage? Some choice. I guess I’d make a lousy ancient king, I probably wouldn’t last 10 minutes in that role.
          “Look before you leap” is some of the simplest, best advice ever.

          I remember when my wife and I traveled to the Yucatan Peninsula in the 90’s, back then you could climb to the top of the large pyramid at Chichen Itza. Once you reached the top, there was some ceremonial stuff up there, including a reclining statue with his hands forming a cup. We were told this is where the still-beating heart of a sacrificial victim was placed as an offering to appease the angry god(s). We talked about how horrible and primitive this was, and wondered how anyone could believe any of it. But then, my brain began to make connections…I started wondering,how was this any different than the human sacrifice of Jesus that I believed in? My mind made some disturbing parallel connections, and I didn’t have any good answers…to this day, I still don’t, really. It was just one more path that lead my mind farther and farther away from my religion.

        • Krystal

          Yeah, and he also failed the “I’m sane” test by hearing a voice in his head that he called “god” telling him to kill his offspring. We hear things like this on the news every so often, usually some mother who heard god tell her to drown her kids in a bathtub. We ridicule that kind of “voice” but other convince themselves every day, including the pope, that deities “talk” to them as clearly as the person next to them, which is absurd!

        • wtfwjtd

          When I was a Christian, I discarded the “tough” Jesus version, that is stated in Matt 5:18–“”For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

          I realized that I much preferred the Apostle Paul’s “easy” version, as stated in I Cor 7:19–“Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts.”

          Problem is, how do you know what God’s commands are? Voices in your head? Tea leaves? Writing on the Wall?
          How about just doing what you feel to be right and ethical, based on personal experience? Then I got around to asking, “Why do I need organized religion for this?” And much later in my life, when religion started doing things to people via politics that I considered harmful, I asked, “Why do I need a god for this?”
          It was then my mind finally caught up with the way I really felt, and I realized I no longer believed any of it.

        • That’s an easy progression. I wish more people could take the same route.

        • MNb

          If you have a nasty character like me you’ll enjoy holding this against them, if you get the chance.

    • “So I gave them other statutes that were not good and laws through which they could not live; I defiled them through their gifts—the sacrifice of every firstborn—that I might fill them with horror so they would know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 20:25–6).

      • TheNuszAbides

        feel the pro-Free-Will love!

  • Brent

    Bob: Thanks so much for your articles on Cross Examined. You are one of a few people whose writing was really key as I wrestled with my beliefs and ultimately deconverted from Christianity… your writing is definitely an antidote to much nonsense. Congratulations on the 4-year anniversary.

    • Terrific! The journey to a new worldview is a long one, and I’m delighted to have played a part. Thanks for the feedback.

      How’s life on the outside?

      • Brent

        Hopefully, I’ll be able to tell you in a few weeks. 🙂 I’m still in the closet, and I haven’t told anyone I know yet; I am waiting to get past a few upcoming family events (so I don’t cause a distraction). Then if all goes to plan, I will start by coming out to my (still-Christian) wife, and we’ll take it from there. I’ve done as much preparation as I think I can, and sought counsel from people I’ve met on the Internet, and I’m ready to take the plunge. I know things will be hard for a while, but I’m way past ready to breathe the free air.

        • MNb

          I wish you strength and consider myself fortunate that I’ve never been in such a situation. I’ve never even been baptized.

        • Brent

          Thank you!

        • It took me a while. That’s a tough spot to be in. Perhaps it’ll be helpful if things get uncomfortable to remember that you’re the one being imposed upon. And keep in mind that you don’t have to come out to everyone.

          Good luck!

        • wtfwjtd

          There’s a lot of good info on Patheos about managing a mix-faith marriage, and how to make it work. There are a few regular posters here in the comments that have went through this same experience, I’m sure they can give some great advice on this situation. Best wishes to you and yours, be patient, and remember…no question is a ever a dumb question when you are trying to learn.

        • Greg G.

          I hope things go well with that.

          Pofarmer discusses his issues with a still-Christian wife and her crazy-Catholic family. Matt Dillahunty has discussed his issues with his very religious family many times over the years on The Atheist Experience. (Pofarmer posts here, Matt Dillahunty is on YouTube and other places.)

  • Krystal

    Congratulations! Thank you for this article. It’s very succinct and incontrovertible; and it was wonderful to see a tribute to Mr. Hitchens. I truly miss his contribution to this world and his brand of wit.

  • SteveK

    Of course, the fatal assumption for any of this to go through is that God is like us in the sense that God can sin and that God is subject to a moral law that is external to himself. None of those assumptions are true. Bob likes to refer to the Bible to argue against God but he won’t use it when it undermines his argument. This is called cherry picking.

    • adam

      But certainly according to the bible, it’s ‘god’ is a sinner…

      If YOU could only demonstrate that YOUR ‘god’ is not IMAGINARY, here is your opportunity.

      • SteveK

        According to the bible — where?

        And your verse starts out referencing the sins associated with mankind, i.e. the acts of the flesh.

        • adam
        • SteveK

          Interesting pictures you have there. Let me know if you find anything.

        • adam

          No, YOU let me know if YOU find anything.

          There is the reference from Exodus.
          You have the one from Galatians
          If you are having trouble connecting the dots, I gave you the first image.

        • SteveK

          God is jealous, okay. Show me where God being jealous is a sin. That’s the part you’re missing. All you’ve shown me is that it’s a sin for mankind. I’m sure you’ll find it though.

        • adam

          You have the one from Galatians

          but, first, before we go any farther, demonstrate to me that YOUR ‘god’ is anything but IMAGINARY.

        • SteveK

          See my comment above. The Galatians text is referring to the sins of mankind.

        • Greg G.

          If sins are objectively wrong, then God is subject to them. If you go with Divine Command Theory, then sin is subject to God and he can change the rules whenever he wants. He might decide that fervently praying day and night is a waste of time and a sin.

        • SteveK

          Your first sentence isn’t supported by the bible per my opening comment.

        • adam

          Then they arent objective are they….

        • SteveK

          I don’t follow you. I’d say the morality we are discussing is objective in the sense that it is a fact of reality that is applicable to mankind.

        • adam

          Then it is subjective.

        • SteveK

          I still don’t follow you. Probably best to just move on.

        • adam

          If is was OBJECTIVE then it is above all.
          Otherwise it is subjective.

          But coming from imaginary gods, what is the point?

        • MR

          I’d say the morality we are discussing is objective in the sense that it is a fact of reality that is applicable subjective to mankind.

          FTFY.

          Hence, no objective morality.

        • SteveK

          It applies to mankind, yes, but why does that make it subjective?

        • MR

          Without mankind, morality is meaningless. Hence, subjective.

        • SteveK

          Without mankind lots of things associated with mankind wouldn’t have meaning – like the space shuttle for example. I don’t see how that fact makes it subjective.

        • MR

          Removing man from the equation, how is morality objective?

        • SteveK

          It’s a factual feature of created reality. By that I mean God created everything with certain obligations built into the fabric of that created reality. Those obligations are no less objective than the laws of physics.

        • adam

          “It’s a factual feature of created reality.”

          Yes, MAN’s CREATED reality

        • Greg G.

          Those certain obligations that are built in are just due to arbitrary decisions God made.

        • SteveK

          I still don’t know how it’s arbitrary or how that changes anything. But let’s say that you’re right. That would also apply to the laws of physics since God created them too. The laws of physics are arbitrary, so what?

        • Greg G.

          The laws of physics would be irrelevant if there was a God. God could make us out of plasma and move by sheer will instead of chemical reactions that obey the laws of physics.

        • MR

          That would also apply to the laws of physics since God created them too.

          Too bad you haven’t established that God exists.

        • MNb

          God didn’t create the laws of physics. Mankind did. They are nothing but descriptions of what happens in our natural reality.

        • SteveK

          This is an interesting comment. If there were no physical laws then we would expect there to be no physical order. But there is order, lots of it.

        • MR

          In other words, subjective.

          We don’t need to imagine a god in order to understand morals. Morals are simply an evolved trait by humans (and, arguably, to some degree other animals). Rid the universe of such beings, and morality is null and void. Subjective.

        • Greg G.

          A universe full of stars and stones would have no morals. There would be no killing, lying or stealing. Add beings that had no needs and couldn’t kill one another and you still have no killing, lying or stealing. Add some beings that are susceptible to being killed, who don’t know everything and rely on the collective knowledge of the group, and need to collect needed objects for the time of need and you introduce those possibilities. They could agree on a moral code that would make life simpler for themselves but there is no way to impose it on those other types of beings. The morals would be subjective to their vulnerabilities.

        • Kodie

          So you keep saying, but I haven’t seen your best argument, just going in circles trying to keep up.

        • MNb

          False analogy. The laws of physics are not an obligation. Obligations are subjective, especially when they don’t apply to the one who issues them.

        • adam

          “I don’t see how that fact makes it subjective.”

          That is because you dont even have a basic understanding of what the word ‘subjective’ means…

          But who is surprised?

        • Kodie

          Let’s just stop there and call you willfully ignorant. It’s so much easier than going another few rounds of you playing this game.

        • Kodie

          Because first of all, how was your dinner. We’re allowed to murder as much as we like, as long as the subject isn’t human and especially if humans deem the subject a pest or food. It’s not called “murder,” because that would be changing the guidelines to exclude other living organisms, making it subjective. The action is required in order to live, so we make exceptions that suit ourselves. It’s also a tragedy to me that we see fit to murder animals that act naturally, when they are acting against a human or a human’s pet. We see this as self-defense and not the natural order of things – if you upset the tiger at the zoo, and hang over the fence to taunt it, and you get maimed or killed, the zoo will destroy that tiger for no good reason. You’re already injured or dead, what point is there punishing a predator for treating a human like prey when we don’t punish it for treating anything else like prey when opportunity is present. Here is a perfect example of a force greater than humans threatening our being with a ferocious nature, and we call it good admiring it from afar, but when it kills someone, we are mad at that one specific tiger for doing something bad, knowing at the same time, we never hold tigers responsible for having morality that humans have, or for knowing what will happen to them if they kill a human while behaving naturally.

          I don’t think you make any case for objective morality at all. It’s all subjective, it’s all for ourselves, and we’re a species of selfish morons. If it doesn’t apply to your god, how can you apply the judgment “good” to your god?

        • Greg G.

          If the law is objective, God is subject to it. If the law is subject to God, then it is not objective. You may like the sound of the word “objective” because it has gravitas, but your sentence is incoherent if you don’t use it according to its meaning.

        • SteveK

          I replied to your other comment about the same thing. Would rather not duplicate.

        • Greg G.

          Why would it be supported by the Bible? It is from the meaning of the word. “Objective” would be external to any mind or opinion. If a sin is objective, it doesn’t matter what we think or God thinks about it, it is still a sin. If God can define an action or thought as a sin, it is from his mind and is subjective. As such, he could change his mind.

        • SteveK

          You have a different concept of subjective than I do. I consider a subjective fact to be a fact that is true about the subject. Moral laws can apply to only certain things and still be objective.

          By analogy, gravity only applies to objects with mass and you wouldn’t say gravity is subjective because it doesn’t apply to everything. I wouldn’t say that.

        • Greg G.

          No, gravity is objective because it applies to things independent of what anybody believes or thinks. For morals to be objective, they would have to be the same no matter what someone believed.

        • SteveK

          This is what we have with morality. God created things such that the fact “murder is immoral” is true no matter what anything thinks or believes.

        • Greg G.

          Unless God thinks you should do it, right?

          The War Against the MidianitesNumbers 31:17-18 (NRSV)17 Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known a man by sleeping with him.  18 But all the young girls who have not known a man by sleeping with him, keep alive for yourselves.

          The War Against the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the JebusitesDeuteronomy 20:17 (NRSV)You shall annihilate them—the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites—just as the Lord your God has commanded,

          The War Against the Amalekites1 Samuel 15:3 (NRSV)Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”

        • SteveK

          It seems your entire argument is that morality is subjective. Well, granting that for the sake of argument, God’s morality is equally as “good” as Bob’s and yours – subjectively good. You complain about God and God complains about you, and because there is no objective morality the strongest survive.

        • adam

          ” God’s morality is equally as “good” as Bob’s and yours – subjectively good. ”

          No actually Bob’s and Greg’s morality is BETTER than that of the bible ‘god’.

          I suspect YOURS is as well….

          Or do YOU condone SLAVERY as well?

        • Greg G.

          There is no objective morality. If the strongest is strong enough, he wouldn’t have a need for morality. If groups of people can be stronger than the strong, the strong must obey the agreed upon morality, which is subjective.

          We are social creature who thrive in social situations. Murder degrades the social fabric so we forbid it. Stealing makes working for things meaningless, so we forbid it. If we cannot trust communication to be reliably true, it is useless, so we frown on lying.

          If we were not social creatures, we would live independently and take advantage whenever we could. There would be little worry of non-social people ganging up.

        • MNb

          “God’s morality is equally as “good” as Bob’s and yours – subjectively good.”
          Finally you’ve got it.

          “because there is no objective morality the strongest survive.”
          1. Rejecting this because you don’t like it is the fallacy from consequences.
          2. Plus it’s a non-sequitur. There are many subjective moralities that explicitely say that the weak should be protected. You can find it even in the Bible.

        • SteveK

          If it’s true then I don’t reject your (1), I accept it. If true, I accept that nobody is obligated to treat you or me fairly. If true, I might just do that. Let me think about it.

          As for your (2), yes there are many subjective moralities. That was my point too. My point about the strongest surviving was to say that power is the only objective thing that decides who survives since everything else is subjective.

        • MR

          My point about the strongest surviving was to say that power is the only objective thing that decides who survives since everything else is subjective.

          Then you ignore the innate social drive we have. We have instincts that compel us to love and be fair, especially to family, friends and others we consider part of our group. Not all of our morals are conscious decisions. Plus, on the conscious decision side, if you abuse your power, you risk breaking the social contract and losing the benefits of community.

          Social evolution. No God required.

        • SteveK

          It’s kind of obvious that God isn’t required for a world without God. If God exists as Bob presupposes and this social evolution situation is reality, then Bob’s post is all about his socially evolved opinion of God. Shrug.

        • MR

          The point of Bob’s post is to point out the inconsistencies of such thinking. Inconsistencies which you continue to illustrate, thank you, by the way.

        • SteveK

          You’re charge is that a fictional being is inconsistent? Well that goes without saying. Bob would do well to blog about all the inconsistencies he finds in cartoons.

        • Kodie

          God is a cartoon so popular that people arrange their lives and attempt to arrange everyone’s lives in accordance to what your favorite cartoon is said to prefer. You believe he’s real, then we are dealing with that. You’re not imaginary, right? You don’t seem to get it.

        • MR

          Resorting to a strawman. Typical.

          I suppose if cartoonists were propagating a belief system that negatively affected society in the way that Christianity does, he might start blogging about them. If Christian influence remained in things like helping the poor and doing good deeds, then he might stop blogging about Christians.

        • SteveK

          This blog post is about how a fictional character is not good according to a fictional story so I don’t see the strawman.

        • Kodie

          Your reading comprehension really does suck. It’s about the terrible arguments promoted by Christians like yourself about the fictional character you think is real, and you are real and live among us and apply your superstitions to everyone. Do you really think it’s about god’s behavior? You must be dumber than you look.

        • SteveK

          There are terrible arguments out there. Bob’s is one of them. I suspect it’s that reading comprehension thing.

        • MR

          You changed my “inconsistencies of such thinking” to a “fictional character.” You’re as dishonest as the rest of them.

        • SteveK

          Then we should be able to spot the inconsistencies of the thinking that God is good. Where does it say in the story that God failed to live up to his moral obligations, and as such is “not good”. Bob seems to be dragging external (non-story) principles into the story.

        • Kodie

          First, you have to explain and demonstrate that there are different standards for god and what those are. If god can be an asshole and you still think he’s good because “different standards,” then your own morals might need an examination. Your standards of debate are certainly lacking, you stupid fucking idiot.

        • MR

          So you find Bob’s post so inconvenient that you have to define how to interpret it in order to protect your belief. I see.

          We have two paths: The Bible is non-fiction. The Bible is fiction. Bob starts down the path that the Bible is non-fiction which leads to a moral conundrum. The path of non-fiction resolves the conundrum.

          Bob asked you to explore that conundrum and to offer your own resolution under the non-fiction option. You punted. Now you’re dissimulating. Good show. Bravo!

          Bottom line: Bob’s points stand.

        • SteveK

          >> Bob starts down the path that the Bible is non-fiction which leads to a moral conundrum.

          I don’t get this. The only way you can know about God is via the story. Where in the story is the moral conundrum? Nowhere. It only arises when you bring in “knowledge” about God from other sources. Knowledge that says God is the kind of being that is subject to some moral law. What is your source?

        • Kodie

          Your position is that god is the source of morality, and that good is grounded in god. That’s contradictory to him defying those morals. You still have to prove god exists, and you still have to prove objective morality exists, and you still have to give us a list of moral standards god is held to instead. Without that, you’re just babbling about your superstition and the feverish pretzel-twisted excuses you have to invent to keep your beliefs intact rather than recognize they don’t make a fucking bit of sense. Where are you on this project, dummy?

        • MR

          No, it arises when you bring in knowledge about “morality” to your understanding of the story. All I have to do is to ask myself, “Is God moral?” then search the story for clues. God loves, protects, etc., Those things are moral. Check. God condones slavery and genocide. Are those things moral?

          If yes, “morality” for God is not the same thing as “morality” for humans, hence, no objective morality. If God can do the opposite of morality and call it moral, then we have a paradox.

          If no, then God is immoral. Presumably by your definition impossible. We have a paradox.

          So you tell me:

          How do you resolve the paradoxes?

        • SteveK

          Is God moral? To answer that you have to know what kind of being God is (he’s a divine and immutable being), and also if that kind of being is obligated to do anything. If you’ve found a reference for what God is obligated to do then please provide it.

        • Kodie

          How in your assessment is god “good”? I agree, a bully who makes the rules and can’t be punished is under no obligation to adhere to those rules. That’s what you’ve been accusing atheists of – if there isn’t objective morality, we can just kill kill kill at whim, and that’s bad because god can punish us, but god can’t punish god, so he’s ok to kill kill kill. You’re ok with that. You have to be ok with that, you have no choice! So your fairy story tells us that you’re in an abusive relationship and you would like us all to join you, because you use your god to threaten us to join you because you can level his threats for him without any proof whatsoever that he exists. That’s how you’re so “loving”, and “moral.” You can lie and threaten and pretend you’re moral because you are seeking protection from your mafioso god.

        • SteveK

          Moral relativism is a bitch isn’t it?

        • Kodie

          You fall on your knees and praise Adam Lanza. Praise Hitler, etc. I’m sick to death of hearing people judge mass murderers negatively and ignore shit like gun laws and mental health screenings that could have prevented catastrophic events. I’m sick to death every time something terrible happens that all you can do is judge human beings to be a monster and god agrees with you, and fuck anyone who isn’t having the proper canned “moral” response to judge people and tell us they went to hell. When you defend your god, you are saying that school shootings and holocausts and genocides are good things. You are a horrible person. You think you can win an argument by shrugging, and then blah blah objectivity? You are a scary person. Christians are cold-blooded, or are you just a desensitized sociopathic abuse victim? If Hitler would throw you in a gas chamber himself if you don’t sign up, you’re just glad you have the choice to wear that swastika and go full-on Nazi. That’s what Christians sound like. If you call that moral, if you call that objective morality, you’re fucking screwed up in the head, and that’s what all Christians sound like to me.

        • SteveK

          Project much??

          And here you are doing what you hate: judging a fellow human being to be a monster because of the terrible things they do

        • Kodie

          It’s actually just your hypocrisy. Christians love to give someone a good ignorant slamming if they happen to give a response that is not their socially accepted response of weeping like they give a shit. Then it’s your “god” doing the same thing and it’s a list of excuses that make you sound like absolute cold-blooded psychopaths. We’re not believers in god, we aren’t complaining about an actual thing god actually did. It’s just that we think your psychopathic attitude is detrimental to society, for as little as you actually care about other people and only care what your imaginary friend thinks of you. We have to live with you amongst us, and it’s your rationale that’s most disturbing.

        • SteveK

          Think what you want and I will think what I want. You think fewer people like me would benefit society and I think the opposite. “Benefit” depends on the goal and I find your goal to be most disturbing.

        • Kodie

          What do you think my goal is?

        • MR

          He imagines morality is strictly conscious choice. It’s not enough for him that society can bubble with similar but slightly different individual goals that evolve and change over time with no objective goal in mind. Yesterday morality included ankle-length dresses, today it includes saving whales, tomorrow immorality may include smoking cigarettes. Did society plan these things? Was there some grand conspiracy to bring these things about? Is there some god directing these things?

          No.

        • SteveK

          Fewer people like me. I got that from this statement.

          >> It’s just that we think your psychopathic attitude is detrimental to society

        • adam

          “You can lie and threaten and pretend you’re moral because you are seeking protection from your mafioso god.”

          Let me guess……….the ‘God’ Father…

        • adam

          Is God moral?

          No

        • MR

          Do you believe God is moral?

        • SteveK

          I only know God on the basis of what scripture says and I think it says that, so yes.

        • MR

          Do you believe condoning slavery and genocide is moral?

        • SteveK

          Are you asking if it’s moral for animals or humans to do these things or some other living being? My answer will vary depending on who you are referencing. If you’re asking about God, I need to know what obligations God has and if God can fail to fulfill them. Where do we get this information?

        • MR

          I’m asking if you believe condoning slavery and genocide is moral.

        • SteveK

          For humans, yes. For animals, no. For insects, no. For plants, no. For fish, no.

        • MR

          [double take] You believe condoning slavery and genocide is moral?

        • SteveK

          Oops. You knew that though.

        • MR

          Well, I can’t be sure. Just wanted to clarify.

          Do you believe it is moral for God to condone slavery and genocide? Yes or no. Why?

        • Kodie

          Do you know what “condoning” means?

        • MR

          To be fair, he corrected himself.

        • MR

          Although, he appears to have weaseled his way out of my follow up.

        • Greg G.

          Great! I claim you as my slave. Send me all your money and I will return a stipend. Thanks in advance.

        • Kodie

          I propose we call him SlaveK.

        • adam

          I am thinking he HAS to, to support his ‘god’s’ ‘morality’….

          Otherwise, from what I am reading from he wouldnt be moral in the eyes of his ‘god’

        • adam

          ..

        • Kodie

          You don’t know anything about god from scripture. You feel like you know god, and that comes from your and your group’s interpretation of scripture. Other Christians come away with a different description of god and also feel as though they know god as well as you do. Most Christians ascribe their own morality which doesn’t come from the bible into their interpretations. For example, scripture says slavery is great, own some slaves. Your own morals tell you to interpret that a different way so god doesn’t sound like an asshole. You’re not willing to believe god has shitty morals, and excuse him when they are written in scripture. You even go so far and say he’s allowed to be cruel to humans, he’s allowed to order people murdered. What you’re not getting is those people also interpreted “god” according to their morality, which doesn’t match your morality. So nobody knows god, they only know themselves and put themselves into a god they can believe in and not feel dirty about it.

          And to be honest, from over here, you have no shame when you should. Anyone who defends god is like someone who defends Hitler, honestly. Hitler didn’t have the right to kill, but god does. When they do the same thing, you should be ashamed to defend that god. It only tells me your morality is subjective to your self-preservation within the delusion that god can do something to you if you don’t agree no matter what he does.

        • adam

          “Where in the story is the moral conundrum? Nowhere.”

          Bob has pointed this out numerous times now, you just keep LYING about it.

          “Knowledge that says God is the kind of being that is subject to some moral law. ”

          No KNOWLEDGE say your ‘god’ is IMAGINARY.

        • adam

          “Then we should be able to spot the inconsistencies of the thinking that God is good.”

          And these have been pointed out to you already.

        • adam

          ” You’re as dishonest as the rest of them.”

          They HAVE to be to defend the MONSTER ‘god’ of the bible.

        • adam

          NO,

          No, here AGAIN is what MR posted:
          The point of Bob’s post is to point out the inconsistencies of such thinking. Inconsistencies which you continue to illustrate, thank you, by the way.

          The IMAGINARY god is of no concern, as it is IMAGINARY.

          The concern is inconsistencies of “BELIEVERS” of this imaginary ‘god’.

        • adam

          “You’re charge is that a fictional being is inconsistent?”

          No, here AGAIN is what MR posted:
          The point of Bob’s post is to point out the inconsistencies of such thinking. Inconsistencies which you continue to illustrate, thank you, by the way.

          I think we are assuming that YOU are a real person, as as MR points out YOU continue to demonstrate ‘such thinking’

        • Kodie

          Your reading comprehension needs work.

        • Kodie

          The thing is, you label something you don’t know and can’t see as “the strongest,” god, and whatever he wants to do and wants you to do is what you call “objective morality,” even when it changes according to god’s whim or whether he’s the one doing it. You have a bully behind you telling you what to do and when to do it because he says so, not as he does, but as he says. And when he says “kill,” it’s ok at those times. That’s the political power of religion, forming whole societies to be obedient to this master, and no matter what he does, you call it “good”, and no matter what you do, you have to do what the group, using god as a whip, says is “moral,” but it’s not objective. It’s still not objective.

        • Morality comes from people. You think that it’s objective and comes from God? Show us.

        • adam

          “God created things such that the fact “murder is immoral” is true no matter what anything thinks or believes.”

          Even when said ‘God’ says so?

        • MR

          What “things” did God create such that you consider murder to be immoral? By “things” do you mean “humans.” Because without humans, murder is meaningless. The term “murder” is subjective. Animals don’t murder each other. They may kill each other. Do you consider that immoral?

          You want to apply your own empathy for mankind in an objective sense, but it is simply your subjective view as a homo sapiens.

          Is slavery always (objectively) immoral??

          Is it always (objectively) immoral to murder your mate during sex?

          Or only under certain conditions?

        • Greg G.

          Those ants just adopt ants from other colonies. The adopted ants live basically the same lives they otherwise would have but for a colony of biologically distant relatives instead of being a slave for their mother.

        • Kodie

          And yet it’s humans who decide when murder is ok and rationalize how it’s not really murder.

        • MNb

          Nope. God is supposed to have created things such that the fact “murder is immoral” is true unless he himself decides otherwise. That’s the very definition of subjective.

        • “Murder is immoral” always applies? But you said that it doesn’t apply to God, didn’t you?

        • Greg G.

          God premeditated the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

        • I assume there’s an “except of God does it” in Steve’s moral calculus somewhere.

        • SteveK

          God cannot murder because he is not like us, so how are you going to apply it to God even if you hypothetically could? It would be like trying to apply this to your cat.

        • So our moral laws don’t apply to God. What are the moral rules that God follows, then?

        • SteveK

          This is what I asked you to find.

        • Huh?? I told you: God ought to bind himself by the same moral rules that he binds us with. If killing for no easily understood reason is bad for humans, it’s bad for God.

          You apparently don’t like that. My explanation of that is that you’re trying to find a loophole so that your God can still exist rather than being laughed out of existence for being obviously made up. But maybe you have an answer that I’ve simply missed. That’s why I asked you: if God has his own separate set of moral rules, what are they?

        • SteveK

          I’m saying he doesn’t have his own separate rules.

        • adam

          “I’m saying he doesn’t have his own separate rules.”

          Well hey it is YOUR imaginary ‘god’, I guess since YOU are the CREATOR of your IMAGINARY ‘god’ it has whatever properties you want.

        • Nope. You want it both ways. When confronted by God’s crazy tirades in the OT, you say that God marches to his own tune. And now you say that God and Man have the same moral rules.

          Your hypocrisy is showing.

        • adam

          What morals could an IMAGINARY ‘god’ have?

          I mean besides IMAGINARY morals

        • Kodie

          Animals that do kill humans (your narrow definition of murder) are subject to punishment by destruction. So it does apply to cats.

        • SteveK

          We need more jails and courts for all the animals. Seems like unequal protection without it.

        • Kodie

          What about for people who murder animals?

        • MR

          God cannot murder because he is not like us….

          Precisely. Imaginary beings cannot murder.

        • SteveK

          Bob thinks they can be “not good” so now I’m not sure what to think.

        • MR

          Bob thinks imaginary beings can be “not good”? Eh?

        • adam

          “Bob thinks they can be “not good” so now I’m not sure what to think.”

          Bob is talking about a STORY, the ‘god’ of the book you call the bible.

          Bob is doing a character analysis on what YOU are claiming your imaginary ‘god’ is.

        • SteveK

          I accept that. Where does the story say God is obligated to some moral law. That was my opening critique.

        • adam

          “Where does the story say God is obligated to some moral law. That was my opening critique.”

          Bob has already covered this a couple of times.
          So you’ve been answered already.

        • adam

          “God cannot murder because he is not like us,”

          And yet the bible says he does.

        • MNb

          Gravity applies to objects without mass as well, as Relativity has shown almost 100 years ago. Your analogy doesn’t make any sense.

        • Kodie

          Even if all humans were subject to the same moral law, wherever it came from, we’re the only living creature that would be, so it’s still subjective. If we can say murder is wrong, that applies only to people, not to cows or termites. Animals can murder whoever they want, eat their live young, etc., and we don’t hold them to our subjective morals. So let’s figure out how morals that apply only to humans are universal to humans from somewhere out in the universe and not decided by ourselves based on our empathy, wants, needs, common values, etc., but don’t specifically apply to that entity called “good” and not “neutral” or “evil.”

        • adam

          “Your first sentence isn’t supported by the bible per my opening comment.”

          The bible?

        • MNb

          Then the Bible gets it wrong. It’s simple logic, based on the meaning of the words objective and subjective.

        • adam

          Nope, just sin

        • MNb

          Ie formulate subjective morals.

        • How many moralities are there? I thought only one. If you say that God obeys some other morality, (1) why can’t he be bound by the one that binds us? and (2) what are the rules in God’s morality?

        • SteveK

          There is one for mankind, yes. I don’t know of any moral law that applies to God.

        • adam

          YOU DONT KNOW?
          YOU are the ONLY one who CAN know the moral laws of YOUR ‘god’.

        • SteveK

          I mean scripture doesn’t say anything about a moral law that applies to God. Did you find it yet?

        • adam

          No, I find YOUR ‘god’ to be IMAGINARY.

          I cant find it anywhere except in FICTION..

          “I mean scripture doesn’t say anything about a moral law that applies to God.”

          So you just make up that it doesnt?

        • SteveK

          Haha! I see what you did there.

        • adam

          And I see what you are doing with an imaginary ‘god’….

        • Greg G.

          If moral law doesn’t apply to God, then it is not moral law. If moral law comes from God, then it is arbitrary. Is murder, stealing, and lying wrong only because God said so? Could murder, stealing, and lying be required if God said so?

        • adam

          “Could murder, stealing, and lying be required if God said so?”

          It IS required by the bible ‘god’

        • SteveK

          Your first sentence is a non-sequitur and the second, well, who told you it’s arbitrary? Where did you get this knowledge?

          Getting back to my original comment, where in the bible does it say that the moral law applies to God? That’s all you need to reference to correct my thinking on this subject.

        • Greg G.

          Is murder, stealing, and lying wrong only because God said it was wrong, or did God say it was wrong only because it is wrong?

        • SteveK

          It’s wrong because God purposed mankind to be loving. If you purpose an object to be a chair it’s factually, objectively a chair is it not?

        • adam

          “It’s wrong because God purposed mankind to be loving.”

          Wrong again.

        • SteveK

          Nice graphic you have there.

        • adam

          HORRIBLE imaginary ‘god’ you have there.

        • MR

          The moment you “purpose” something, you’ve introduced subjectivity. A lump of matter with no being to sit on it is just a lump of matter.

        • SteveK

          I see a problem here. Your words on the page have a purpose. Does that mean the meaning of your words are subjective or objective?

        • Greg G.

          Words and language are arbitrary ways to convey meaning. If a person doesn’t understand the language, the sounds or writings are useless. The best you could do is gesture and grunt for emphasis.

        • MR

          They are subjective to a human being writing them and reading them. Otherwise they are meaningless like the chair. Without human beings, morals are also meaningless.

        • Kodie

          They’re still subjective. Obviously, you don’t understand the language, and think there’s a problem, therefore, there is, but you haven’t put your finger on it yet.

        • Greg G.

          Could God purpose man to not be loving? Would then murder not be necessary? There are tribes in the mountains of New Guinea who live where there is little protein available. They eat pretty much any insect they can get. To them, a stranger near their home is a threat as they are either taking food or planning to attack the family. Not killing the stranger is considered immoral.

          A chair could be something you sit on. Something designed to be a chair could be stood upon to change a light bulb. To a termite, it could be lunch. The object objectively exists but its purpose is subjective to how it is utilized.

        • Kodie

          I think because you say so, it sounds like you don’t live in the real world. You’re not particularly loving.

        • Kodie

          If you sit on an overturned laundry basket because you don’t have a chair, is that factually, objectively a chair? If you invite a guest and tell them to sit anywhere, and they sit on the floor because there’s laundry in the basket (nor do they recognize that that is your only seat), is the floor a chair? You think you make a good argument, but you don’t.

        • Very succinctly stated; thanks.

        • MNb

          Yes, you suggested one above: your god being jealous is not a sin. That’s a moral law.
          But even saying “no moral law applies to God” is a moral law – one that turns your god into an immaterial Führer.

        • God, the author of Man’s moral law, just does whatever? He can kill or murder or torture and he’s not breaking any law? Whatever he does is good by definition?

          That kinda plays havoc with the definition of “good.”

        • Ron

          “When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.”~Richard Nixon

        • Great comparison. The thing is, it is plausible (not in the U.S. case, but in general) for laws to actually say that. Laws are just invented by people with the goal of having a working society. But why should God need an out?

        • Kodie

          For the same reason you can’t punish natural disasters – they don’t have a consciousness.

        • SteveK

          For some reason you can’t seem to understand that God is not like us and that word you keep tossing around “good” is grounded in God himself.

        • adam

          “For some reason you can’t seem to understand that God is not like us and that word you keep tossing around “good” is grounded in God himself.”

          Of COURSE, ‘god’ is not like us, we are REAL and ‘god’ is IMAGINARY.

          Belief in a CRUEL ‘god’ makes a cruel man

        • SteveK

          In arguing his point Bob didn’t say anything either way about God being real or imaginary. Tell you what… I’ll accept Bob’s assumption and continue to argue my point that Bob’s argument fails.

        • adam

          Bob’s arguments are from the viewpoint that ‘God’ is IMAGINARY already.

          There can be no failure for Bob, when YOU are the one with the IMAGINARY ‘god’ that you cant demonstrate as real.

          While YOU failed from the start. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b0c2c1e95fc1bab3708e4186c73da091c1c1716c1e0caa6b76bf6fc5334c1536.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b0c2c1e95fc1bab3708e4186c73da091c1c1716c1e0caa6b76bf6fc5334c1536.jpg

        • “Good” is grounded in God … and yet God isn’t bound by it?

          You do see the world you’re inventing, right? We’re obliged to follow the definition of “good” and “bad” that God creates … but you don’t want God constrained by those definitions. You want God to have a perpetual “Get out of jail free” card.

          What kind of God is this for whom conventional definitions of good and bad won’t apply? What have you created here?

        • SteveK

          I’m following your lead of using scripture to inform us about God and morality. If you aren’t doing that then I’m left to wonder where you are getting your information about God. If you’re creating your own morality and then applying it to God then your blog post is personal opinion.

        • adam

          ” If you aren’t doing that then I’m left to wonder where you are getting your information about God”

          The SAME place YOU are, human IMAGINATION.

        • And once again you run away from the issue. Don’t like the consequences of this God that you’ve created?

          I’m asking about the God that you have created, the one who has a separate set of moral principles. What are God’s morals, if he’s not bound by ours?

        • SteveK

          If you don’t know the answer then it seems your blog post is premature.

        • adam

          “If you don’t know the answer then it seems your blog post is premature.”

          It’s YOUR ‘god’ and even YOU dont know, sounds like YOUR imaginary ‘god’ is premature.

        • MR

          It sounds to me like you don’t know the answer!

        • SteveK

          I might not know, true, but I sure hope Bob knows since he wrote a blog post. He hasn’t shown us yet the biblical references or how he got this knowledge about God.

        • Kodie

          It’s what Christians believe. If you can’t judge god to be bad, then you might be abused by his threats and in business to make excuses for his behavior; you can’t judge god to be good if he’s beyond your own sense of morality; or he doesn’t exist.

        • MR

          Eh? I see plenty of biblical references in his post. Both you and Bob have illustrated the paradox of such thinking.

        • SteveK

          What you don’t see is Bob establishing via the bible that God is obligated to some moral law. That is necessary if you want to demonstrate that God fell short of his obligation.

        • Kodie

          What you don’t see is how ridiculous you sound believing that there is a god and making excuses for him that don’t make any fucking sense, and the billions of believers in this world who live their lives as though this fiction is real. If you believe god is not obligated to some moral law, you have yet to provided evidence that your god is not imaginary and that there is some objective moral law that we all have to follow, under threat of hell, by the way, a human kind of deal. It’s so obviously invented by humans, that is something you can’t seem to recognize, and why believers need to invent excuses. It used to be the threat of your bully god was enough, now you think he is good but not good, moral but not held to any standards of morality. The source, but whatever he wants is whatever you have to do. Why don’t you explain how all this works instead of slithering around like a snake?

        • MR

          And you don’t see that the point is the paradox that God does not live up to his own moral law. The author failed to notice the paradox he set up in his work of fiction, and the editors failed to catch it.

        • SteveK

          You’ve restated the problem. You said God does not live up to his own moral law. Per the story, that moral law doesn’t apply to every living thing. Where does the story say that it applies to God? It’s a simple request.

        • MR

          Then answer the question you evaded:

          What are God’s morals, if he’s not bound by ours?

        • SteveK

          His divine nature.

        • MR

          His divine nature which condones genocide, slavery and all the rest.

        • Kodie

          More bullshit. Make the case or shut the fuck up.

        • Kodie

          SteveK, from here on out, if you don’t mind, I’m going to treat you like you must be goddamned fucking stupid. Per the claims made by Christians such as yourself, god is “good,” and god is also not held to our moral standard. First, prove god exists, then prove there’s an objective moral standard, and third, that god is the source of it but is not held to it. If you can’t do that, then Bob has already won the argument by comparing what we say “good” is with what believers say god does. You’re all basically talking with a mouth full of shit.

        • Kodie

          All I see you do is ramble on a variety of definitions as they suit your story. God is good, but not moral. God is moral but not the same moral standard as humans. Morality is objective – you keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means. You won’t settle in and help us figure this out, you’re more like some idiot like colloseum is full, chattering away at nonsense and expecting us to take you seriously. Please grow up and participate like a grown-up here instead of like a juvenile Christian.

        • I can’t read the nonsense in your head, and that’s a prerequisite for writing about God and morality? Guess again.

          That you’re running away from this question shows that you have no answer. You’ll lie to me to save face, I’m sure. But do yourself a favor and admit your lack of an answer to yourself.

        • TheNuszAbides

          what if all “information about God” is personal opinion?

        • MR

          Ooh-Ooh! I know, I know! Upside Down Christian World: Where nothing makes sense when you look too closely.

        • Kodie

          Nothing makes sense, period.

        • And Steve lives in that world. I wonder if he knows he’s tap dancing or if he really thinks that he’s got a coherent moral model.

        • MR

          Oh, I think he knows he’s tap dancing, but he’s hoping that God has a coherent moral model. He just can’t allow himself to think it through lest he find out he’s wrong.

        • adam

          Yes, god is good

        • MR

          …”good” is grounded in God himself.

          You haven’t shown that. You haven’t shown God even exists.

          Good is simply a relative term to describe things that are desirable or advantageous in some way. Again, human based. Without humans, meaningless.

        • SteveK

          I only intend on showing that Bob is cherry picking.

        • adam

          “I only intend on showing that Bob is cherry picking.”

          What does it matter with an IMAGINARY ‘god’?

        • SteveK

          Apparently it matters enough to Bob to spend hours and hours blogging.

        • adam

          “Apparently it matters enough to Bob to spend hours and hours blogging.”

          Of course to demonstrate how delusional ‘believers’ really are.

        • SteveK

          If the being is imaginary there’s no need to cherry pick, yet that’s what Bob does.

        • adam

          “If the being is imaginary there’s no need to cherry pick, yet that’s what Bob does.”

          Of course there is.

          There are still BILLIONS of people like you creating ‘gods’ in their IMAGINATIONS out of what they WANT to be true in the bible and other books.

        • Kodie

          Wow, you seem to assume we “really do” believe there’s a god and what his actual problems are. The problem is believers and the stupid things they believe. You included, you especially because you are here to defend your shitty lord to us with riddles that make believers sound disturbingly incoherent. We do have to live in this world with believers, but there’s still no god. That’s your burden to prove.

        • MR

          Wow, you seem to assume we “really do” believe there’s a god and what his actual problems are.

          This really is a problem with believers. They take you literally when you’re trying to demonstrate the absurdity. “If this were true, god would be immoral….” And all they hear is “God is immoral…,” and think, “but that can’t be true!” It’s like they’re brain dead to the conditional part of the sentence which is the whole point! The obvious conclusion is that the premise is not true, i.e., God does not exist. But their little brain goes…. “Bbzzzzt. Must drink from the cup of cognitive dissonance….”

        • Kodie

          They file it under we’re all just mad at god and don’t like the way he does things, along with the believers don’t understand they do exist and affect us – in fact, they admit god has no effect whenever they do things and vote and behave according to whatever they think their god wishes. They just like to exempt themselves from criticism of any kind, and I get how confusing it is to be so ignorant. All believers simultaneously burden us with their gripes about stuff and laws of this world and how we are monsters and satanists and how they have to work to change us, if not for our own salvation, then for their comfort, while on the other hand, pretend they are innocent of all and not interfering with anyone’s lives. They want respect for their beliefs, and then they imagine they’re not hurting anyone, while all they want to do is upset every way of life that other people enjoy, according to the “moral law” they think they are held to. By the goddamned fictional character who does nothing, the one they use to support their human rights to interfere in everyone’s lives.

          Fucking hypocrites, ignorant of themselves, illiterate.

        • MR

          Bob is teasing out the fallacies in your thinking.

        • Kodie

          Cherry-picking what? You have only shown that you’re an evasive jerkwad.

        • adam

          Why not just ASK Bob if he is cherry picking then?

          It seems OBVIOUS that YOU are.

        • Kodie

          For some reason, you haven’t explained how that works, you just insist this is how it is.

        • adam

          Jealousy is a sin.
          God is Jealous

        • SteveK

          We’ve been over this. Let me know when you have something new to say.

        • adam

          Let me know when you have something other than an IMAGINARY ‘god’

        • MNb

          Your god is jealous – it’s not a sin.
          Homo Sapiens is jealous – it’s a sin (Galatians 5:19-20).
          Conclusion: moral law is subjective.

        • SteveK

          God is not like homo sapiens. What you seem to be saying is that morality applies equally to unequal things – but you wouldn’t apply it to a primate that gets jealous would you? Do primates sin?

        • MR

          Homo sapiens are primates.

          Do primates sin?

          No. Sin is a religious concept.

        • SteveK

          Apes are primates too. Do apes murder?

        • MR

          Which goes back to my point that morality is subjective. Subjective to humans. If an ape kills another ape, we don’t call it murder. (Perhaps they, in their shared morality, might consider it so. Dunno, you’ll have to ask them.) It’s all simply social evolution. Instincts. Shared morality. No God required.

        • SteveK

          When we don’t call it murder that’s okay, but when God doesn’t call it murder that’s a problem. You’ve made your point I guess. It’s a subjective issue.

        • adam

          //

        • MR

          My point is that God is not involved in morality.

        • Kodie

          We have our own shared morals as any species do.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZcTvFqzxA0

        • SteveK

          Except you and I don’t share morals. Isn’t that the point of Bob’s blog post?

        • adam

          “Except you and I don’t share morals. Isn’t that the point of Bob’s blog post?”

          No, that is not the point of Bob’s post.

          We do share morals, but most of us have morals that are MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better than those of the bible ‘god’

        • SteveK

          I’m proof that we don’t share the same morals so you’re wrong.

        • adam

          So you think incest is moral?
          So you think genocide is moral?
          So you think killing homosexuals is moral?

          I dont.

        • adam

          So EXACTLY which morals do we not share.

        • SteveK

          It’s immoral to not love the biblical God. Whether he’s real or not doesn’t change the fact that this is one of my morals that you don’t share.

        • Kodie

          It’s immoral to not love the biblical God.

          Because he’s insecure and abusive?

          Whether he’s real or not
          doesn’t change the fact that this is one of my morals delusions that you don’t
          share.

          FTFY.

        • SteveK

          Morals are subjective remember? These are mine, and they are different. QED.

        • adam

          Well at least you have come this far…

        • adam

          So you think incest is moral?
          So you think genocide is moral?
          So you think killing homosexuality is moral?

          Do we share these morals, or are you with your ‘god’ on these.

        • Kodie

          You get your morals from a list you think was sent from heaven, and I use a human quality called empathy. It doesn’t mean we don’t have some morals in common.

        • SteveK

          Our lists of moral obligations are different so I disagree. We share some, but not all.

        • adam

          But I am still guessing your morals are MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better than that of the ‘god’ you worship.

        • Kodie

          You seem to derive your list from superstitions about your beliefs in a fictional character, and I get mine from reality.

        • SteveK

          You’ve made my point. Thanks.

        • Kodie

          If you made a point, you’re going to have to dig it out from underneath the pile of bullshit you heaped on top of it.

        • adam

          “Sin is a religious marketing concept.”

        • adam

          “God is not like homo sapiens.”

          Of course not, ‘God’ is the PRODUCT of homo sapien’s IMAGINATION.

        • MNb

          Of course primates, including human beings, do not sin. That question of yours demonstrates there is quite some stuff you don’t understand.
          The fact that I don’t apply it to other species only confirms that ethics are subjective. It’s basic logic. Sentient subject A, belonging to Homo Sapiens has one ethical system. Sentient subject B, belonging to another species (if there were such one) has another ethical system. Hence ethical systems depend on the subject – are subjective.

          “What you seem to be saying is that morality applies equally to unequal things.”
          No. What you should say – if you cared about consistency, which you don’t – is that morality is True no matter which things we talk about. Subjective ethics recognizes that ethics differ exactly because subjects are different. You are unequal to me, hence different ethics.
          Again – basic logic.

        • SteveK

          If I’m understanding you correctly, you would say God’s ethics differ from the ethics of you and I – because ethics are subjective. It all seems to boil down to God has his preferred way of doing things. I can’t seem to fault God for his preferred way of doing things any more than I can fault you for yours.

        • adam

          ” I can’t seem to fault God for his preferred way of doing things any more than I can fault you for yours.”

          That would actually make sense IF MNb was a jealous, murderous, MONSTER like the bible ‘god’.

          But IF you WANT to call that MONSTER ‘good’, then as MNb points out,you have no consistency.

          But since YOU actually WORSHIP this monster…. we are not surprised that you cant separate out a monster from an internet poster.

        • SteveK

          If you’ve been following along, morals are subjective. Good and bad are subjective terms. Monster is a subjective term. I wouldn’t call God a monster, but that’s me. If you’d remember that you wouldn’t be so emotional and offended. Do you get offended when someone prefers a food that you don’t like?

        • adam

          Yes, I understand that not everyone see genocidal eternal torturers as MONSTERS.

          Or those who promise to literal kill most of the people and the planet itself.

          I understand that there are probably a lot of people like you, who DONT think this type of behavior is MONSTEROUS.
          http://www.nonstampcollector.com/christian-apologetics-hitler-cant-help-you.html

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e4c2828bcb6df3b3ab11d51424e3b8076d6e3e243159b55e2c61bbb19a105800.jpg

          “Do you get offended when someone prefers a food that you don’t like?”
          No, but I would get offended if someone tried to serve me poison and describe it as candy.

        • SteveK

          Rhetoric is effective but not effective enough to get me to abandon the fact that your moral terms “monster”, “good”, “bad” are all subjective.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WE6jemqjyfw

        • adam

          Of course psychopaths dont think murder,genocide and eternal torture is ‘monsterous’ behavior.

          And neither do delusional people. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ddd9e7d08ddf2e17cc5aff64a9d738353f644e4c2d8ae03b0f78b4d9ffc2f468.jpg

        • SteveK

          Emotionally laden terms don’t change the fact that morality is subjective. The logic is subjectively cruel, but true.

        • adam

          “Emotionally laden terms don’t change the fact that morality is subjective. ”

          Nor does it change the ‘god’ of the bible who commits and commands genocide, murder and of course promises eternal torture and people like YOU support such actions as moral suitable for a society https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7a541266e3e4c1006a8158c37b5a493b61d9c5d9e463c3b844dedcc77b870258.jpg

        • I wouldn’t call God a monster

          He orders genocide. He supports slavery. He drowned everyone.

          What more does this guy have to do before you’ll call him a monster?

        • MR

          I particularly like the part where he creates billions of people—against their will—knowing he’s bringing them into an existence of eternal torment. That was one of the moments that broke the cognizant dissonance for me.

          It’s one thing if God is saving people from something else, but he’s in complete control of the situation from the beginning.

          “Hmm…, I’m bored. I think I’ll create people and some of them I will let worship me forever, but most of them I’ll let suffer forEVAH. Yeah! That sounds like fun!”

          No, the whole concept of a loving God bringing people into existence with full knowledge he is bringing them into eternal suffering is enough for me to say: This makes no sense. This is just a myth, like all other myths.

        • People scratch their heads wondering why the god of the OT is so savage but that of the NT is more loving, but they forget that hell is a NT invention.

        • MR

          Right!? Millenia of believing one thing and then, “Oh, yeah, we forgot to tell you about this part!”

        • adam

          You mean THIS:

        • SteveK

          Genocide has a connotation that doesn’t fit the situation. You say “monster” because you say the act is unjustified – but unjustified on the basis of what – your morals or God’s?

          If you want to live by the sword of moral relativism then be prepared when it cuts you.

        • Genocide has a connotation that doesn’t fit the situation.

          God demanded the deaths of men and women, children and babies. That’s genocide.

          You say “monster” because you say the act is unjustified – but unjustified on the basis of what – your morals or God’s?

          Mine. And you told me that God doesn’t have a separate set of morals.

          If you want to live by the sword of moral relativism then be prepared when it cuts you.

          I’m waiting.

        • SteveK

          I said God doesn’t have a separate set of morals that obligates him. God does have morals though and he acts on them.

        • Then (for the 20th time) summarize the morals God acts on.

        • SteveK

          I thought I covered that elsewhere. His morals are grounded in his divine, immutable nature and he acts on that. We do the same but since we have a different nature our morals are different.

        • Is this really that confusing? I want a list of the do’s and don’t’s. You know, like the Ten Commandments, but for God.

          Rules that God follows come to mind for me, but that’s not what we’re talking about. I want your list.

        • SteveK

          1) Thou shalt do what God’s divine, immutable nature permit God to do.

        • You have great powers of obfuscation, my son. The bullshit is strong in you.

          Now go, and do the Lord’s work.

        • MR

          All the questions he can’t and won’t answer, the sidestepping, strawmanning, twisting, turning, squirming. Ain’t cognitive dissonance wonderful?!

        • Kodie

          Whatever is attributed to god is added to the list.

        • MNb

          And according to your favourite Holy Book that divine, immutable nature is genocidal. Plus according to that same favourite Holy Book he has the right to order humans to put that genocide in practice. A murderer just should claim that god’s voice whispered the order into his ears and you will pat him approvingly on his shoulder.

        • MNb

          A god with morals that say that genocide is OK. Yeah, I can’t contradict you when you say “When my god commits genocide I think it’s a good thing.” There is another nagging little problem though. As soon as a murderer claims that his god ordered him to kill your loved ones you can’t call that act as an undesirable thing either. And people do hear voices.

          http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/mental-health-a-z/h/hearing-voices/

          Those voices might come from the god your worship. And gods ways are incomprehensible – who are you to judge?
          Still I bet that you suddenly will appeal to flawed, human based subjective morals that are poorly reflected in law to get that murderer locked up. Then you won’t buy “God does have morals and acts on them by ordering my loved ones to get killed.”

        • SteveK

          There’s only a subjective problem. I’m buying whatever God is selling because I subjectively see it as beneficial.

          You subjectively see a problem, but there is no objective problem

        • MNb

          I don’t claim an objective problem.
          I just doubt if you are willing to accept the consequences of what you subjectively see as beneficial. You don’t address that doubt; thank you.

        • SteveK

          I accept the consequences because I see the benefit. If I didn’t I would change my views.

        • MNb

          OK. So here comes this murderer with the voices in his head, claiming that god has ordered him to kill off your loved ones. You’re OK with it, because it’s just like the Good Old Testament and your god has his own morality anyway. Where’s the benefit?

        • Kodie

          I can only think he’s prayed to god for that to happen.

        • SteveK

          Assuming it’s actually God doing the instructing….

          Do you mean an objective benefit, or a subjective benefit? If the former, define it objectively for us in terms we can all understand. If it’s subjective it’s something I perceive to be a benefit and that’s all I can say.

        • adam

          “Assuming it’s actually God doing the instructing….”

          Yes, they ASSUME that it IS actually ‘God’ doing the instructing…

          That is THE problem with DELUSIONS such as yours….

          “Rico told police he choked his son before leaving him. He described it as a religious experience, Kelly said. Rico said God told him to kill his son. ”

          http://www.9news.com/news/article/205850/188/Dad-God-told-me-to-kill-my-son

          Jennifer told investigators a “spirit” voice told her to harm the baby as a test of faith, according to court documents. “She said she knew that it was wrong to harm the baby, but that the `spirit’ voice assured her that the baby would be returned from the dead,” the
          documents state. “Just like Jesus raised Lazarus, I threw the baby on the stones by the pool,” she told investigators.

          “She is told allegedly by these voices to throw her baby down on the ground and he will be healed,” Bakkedahl said. “She was of the opinion it was God speaking to her.”

          “At first the child cried, but then became silent,” Jennifer told detectives.”

          http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2001-08-17/news/0108170166_1_baby-s-death-baby-s-father-documents

        • Susan

          I’m buying whatever God is selling because I subjectively see it as beneficial.

          In what sense?

        • SteveK

          Beneficial in the subjective sense.

        • Susan

          Beneficial in the subjective sense.

          What do you mean?

        • SteveK

          It means “I like that”. I don’t know how else to say it.

        • Susan

          It means “I like that”.

          What do you like about it?

        • SteveK

          It seems good.

        • Susan

          It seems good.

          What seems good about it?

        • SteveK

          It seems to be beneficial. See, we’re going in circles. We are struggling to cash out what it means to be good. Love and beauty have the same problem.

        • Susan

          See, we’re going in circles.

          No. You are going in circles. I’m doing my level best to get you to stop doing that.

          I know you think that you are making a clever point that unless morality is ‘objective’, then all statements about it are meaningless and all of our thoughts about it are willy-nilly and no different than choosing an ice cream flavour, but it’s not clever.

          We are struggling to cash out what it means to be good.

          I don’t see you struggling to do that at all. I see you evading it completely and immersing yourself in smug and pointless tautologies.

          Please answer the question honestly.

          What seems good about it?

        • SteveK

          I did answer. Have a nice day.

        • Susan

          I did answer.

          No. You didn’t. You repeated yourself but used a synonym. That doesn’t count as an answer.

          What seems good/beneficial about it?

        • SteveK

          You’re like the annoying kid that is always asking “but why?”. I answered a few times before circling back. If you didn’t get what you wanted from the first few answers then go find someone else.

        • MR

          Don’t blame her because you can’t answer.

        • SteveK

          I don’t.

          I do blame her for being that annoying kid. What she is doing is faulting me for not knowing everything about the subject.

        • MR

          Oh? I just see her highlighting your cognitive dissonance.

        • Susan

          I do blame her for being that annoying kid.

          You haven’t answered a single question..

          You’ve skipped over the entire field of moral philosophy and played weaselly games, thinking that you would teach us that the implications of the position that morality is not ‘objective’ is that anything goes.

          At the same time, you’ve claimed that your agent grounds morality but is not bound by it. Not only is that incoherent, it is the ugliest form of double-standard and special pleading I can think of.

          The cold-bloodedness and irrationality of christian theodocies never fail to sicken me. I always have to dig deep to respond to the argument, rather than cuss.

          Morality (like it or not) is linked short-term or long-term to the consequences of our choices to beings that can suffer and/or thrive. I’m happy to consider any example you’d like to provide that doesn’t somehow link to that.

          You’d like to piggyback past that. ‘Genocide? No problem if my agent does it. My agent grounds morality but, you people think anything goes.’

          I have made efforts to get you to honestly examine and support what seems to me to be an irrational and immoral (by the guidelines I provided above) position.

          When I respectfully asked you to articulate your position, you played weaselly games.

          What she is doing is faulting me for not knowing everything about the subject.

          See above. Of course I didn’t do that.

        • MNb

          “never fail to sicken me”
          Beware – you might become as nasty as me.
          So let’s look at it from the bright side. SteveK provides another fine example of what sticking to a badly outdated book can do to smart people and hence also a reason not to accept its authority.

        • MR

          That’s what turned me off about SK. When you’re using your smarts to come up with strawman arguments, you’re undermining your own integrity and the integrity of what you profess. Convince me if I’m wrong, but when you play games and weasel, what am I to take from that?

        • Susan

          Convince me if I’m wrong, but when you play games and weasel, what am I to take from that?

          That you don’t have an argument for your position.

          This does not mean that your argument position is necessarily wrong any more than my argument claim for Immaterial Snowflake Fairies and my claim that they ground anything I’d like them to ground is necessarily wrong.

          It just means that there’s no reason to take your argument seriously in the least.

          (Edits to strike ‘argument’ and replace it with appropriate terms)

          Note that Steve K can’t answer the simplest question about his position and then accuses me of insisting that he know everything when I ask him a simple question.

        • MR

          The beauty of these simple questions is that there are simple answers your average person would quite readily supply. It’s only because we’ve foreshadowed the dilemma that he won’t answer and feels the need to weasel. I have simple answers to your questions, but for him it suddenly becomes a mystery we cannot fathom. God is certainly mysterious like that…. Damn, now he’s going to think I literally believe that!

        • Kodie

          The thing is, Christians ought to be troubled that they haven’t thought it through, and that we have, or at least as far as you have articulated the issue. I think a lot of us say a little at a time, maybe the first thing that comes to mind when we’re being bullshitted, and the Christian is trained to recognize certain things as weaknesses in our arguments. SteveK tries to think we’re all pretty stupid and that he has us wrapped up in his games, as if that is how to win, and maybe it would be if we were in fact arguing about flavors of ice cream.

          With a god, he hides behind a shield of big concepts about morality. God is like the “my dad can beat up your dad” or “god is the ultimate authority who can damn you to hell if you don’t listen to what he says,” basically political arrogance. I didn’t say what you have to do, don’t listen to me, but you better listen to god, who tells me what to tell you to do, and all you have is “look around and think about other people and realistic consequences???”. It’s lazy. To think of god as if he’s a conscious entity who can act upon us, yet outside of human moral standards, and not be able to think about it objectively, to say genocide is okey-dokey if god commands it, for example, but Hitler was not commanded by god, even though Hitler claimed so, so we have to judge Hitler by human standards. Every genocide described in the bible has some guy like Hitler justifying a mass murder because in the literature, he got the command by god – really just voices in his head, really just using god as a political motivator to slaughter thousands (millions?) of people without the nagging respect for life and commandment against murdering them. No, god himself does not condone genocide because he’s not real. The people who wrote the bible paint that picture and SteveK agrees with it.

          When you put the screws to someone like that, they ought to find it troubling, and instead, he lashed out. When you said you were a grown-up, he also claimed to be a grown-up, but that’s a lie. It’s your fault he doesn’t know everything he believes and can’t articulate any reasons for it, right? He’s still playing games. He tells you to ask someone else, because, well, there are theological scholars that he believes can keep up intellectually. What he’s imagining is that none of us have thought it through either, and he is on a level he can compete with, with his shitty games.

        • MNb

          “The people who wrote the bible paint that picture and SteveK agrees with it.”
          What I find especially baffling is that he recognizes the Bible is written by humans, that the morality it reflects is subjective, that he admits he and his group questions it but still claims that it’s valid for our time, despite the completely different social circumstances.
          Combined with the stupid circularity he pulled off when Susan asked to clarify his position I suspect he’s a troll.

        • MR

          I think that has become quite clear.

        • Susan

          Beware- you might become as nasty as me.

          I have read enough of your comments to know that you don’t mind being nasty occasionally, but I’ve never seen you come close to being as nasty as christian apologetics gets on the subject of morality.

          let’s look at it from the bright side. SteveK provides another fine example of what sticking to a badly outdated book can do to smart people.

          Agreed.

          Like you, I am an unwavering optimist. 😉

        • Kodie

          The things you don’t know are the important parts. It’s a really shitty thing to call someone annoying and not nice for asking you serious questions, when the mature thing would be to admit you have no idea. The answers you gave us – do they really satisfy you? Is that the beginning and end of all the answers to that question that satisfy you? Or was your attempt to fool people into leaving you alone? Evasive Christians are nothing new, you really got to the end of your answer, tried repeating it another few times as if that might not seem redundant, and then turned on the other person though.

        • Susan

          You’re like the annoying kid that is always asking “but why?”

          As far as I can tell, I’m a grownup asking another grownup to clarify their terms rather than replace them with synonyms.

          I answered a few times before circling back.

          Every step in your sequence has circled back.

        • SteveK

          I’m the grown up that doesn’t know everything and can only explain things to a point before I cannot go any further.

        • MR

          You’re the child clinging to his fabricated story even when it’s pointed out that his story can’t be true.

        • Kodie

          You thought you could and did explain it further, and you thought we would buy that.

        • Kodie

          Look, you’re the one making claims and think you had to say something. If you can’t explain it, just admit that you follow a bankrupt religious belief because others do and you don’t know how to think for yourself. Easy enough to do.

        • adam

          “Please answer the question honestly.”

          Sometimes you are just SO funny…….lol

        • MR

          SK dropped honest discourse quite awhile ago.

        • adam

          Yes, he seemed to get real pissy after it was demonstrated that he didnt even understand objective vs subjective..

        • Susan

          SK dropped honest discourse quite awhile ago.

          My last (and first) interaction with SK was in the C.S. Lewis Liar, Lunatic, or Lord thread.

          I don’t remember him being honest in any of his exchanges here.

          He seems mostly interested in schooling Bob S. on some pedantic point that doesn’t pan out.

          I have no problem with criticisms. I welcome them. I don’t like echo chambers.

          I’m interested in useful discussion. but (as it seems to be with apologetics in general), pedantic points don’t work out in SK’s favour.

          All that’s left for him is evasion.

          It doesn’t seem to bother him in the least.

          Then again, I’m not nice.

        • MR

          I beg to differ. I’d say you’re the nicest person I’ve seen ’round these here parts. And the patience of a saint to boot. Which says something about SK that he can trip your trigger.

          I must say, Susan, I have immense respect for you and your style. I would so like to see your comments more frequently. I almost wish I had been catholic so I could follow the intricacies of EN, but then I’d have to be more attentive to Greg Fake Lawyer, so fuck that.

          Thank you for your contributions! I really appreciate your thoughts and insight.

        • Susan

          I’d say you’re the nicest person I’ve seen ’round these here parts.

          Of course, that’s subjective. 😉

          I prefer to deal with arguments ( in my very limited way) because I want to learn something and I don’t feel like wading through the same old bullshit a thousand times to glean a single point..

          Which says something about SK that he can trip your trigger

          He didn’t trip my trigger. I hope I calmly maintained my focus on the argument despite the immediate, visceral (and justified by any moral standard christian apologetics attempts to prey upon when it brings up ‘morality’) response I had and if I violated that standard, that you’ll point it out to me.

          I really appreciate your thoughts and insight.

          Thanks. It’s been a frustrating day. That means a ton coming from you.

        • MR

          You pointed out his weaselly games twice, for you, that’s a sign of a tripped trigger. 😉

        • Susan

          You pointed out his weaselly games twice

          After he demonstrated that any interaction with him necessarily meant being met with weaselly games.

          I’ll leave it to him or you to give me an example to the contrary.

          Anyway, I didn’t cuss. 🙂

        • MR

          Well, he certainly doesn’t seem to have a moral issue with being a weasel.

        • Susan

          he certainly doesn’t seem to have a moral issue with being a weasel.

          Not at all; not so far.

          LIfe is short and I am justified in ignoring him for that reason.

        • TheNuszAbides

          in a way, i hope i see you ‘splode one day, but that’s probably just the part of me which envies your calm and methodical approach. enough of us wear our annoyance on our e-sleeve that you stand out. the patience sets a sterling example and reminds me to lean Socratic as much as possible, something i hope to be far better at by the time i have kid(s).

        • MNb

          Yeah, SteveK declaring that you are not nice is possibly the best joke on this entire page. However that’s only because he is at the receiving end.

        • Kodie

          You have a very deliberate, specific way of honing into a subject and swiftly drive in for the kill, so I would agree you’re not “nice.” I like the way you do what you do.

        • Susan

          You have a very deliberate, specific way of honing into a subject and swiftly drive in for the kill

          Aw shucks, Kodie. Now, you’re making me blush.

        • MNb

          That’s only cute.
          Kodie’s analysis is correct. I just wouldn’t call it “not nice”.

        • TheNuszAbides

          agreed. perhaps Susan’s thoughts are sinfully vindictive and bitter, but she expertly masks those features in translation to text?

        • adam

          “It means “I like that”. I don’t know how else to say it.”

          Here let me translate

        • MNb

          Are you saying that you like worshipping a god with morals that say it’s OK to commit genocide?

        • SteveK

          Is it always morally wrong, in every situation, to kill large groups of people?

          Is it objectively morally wrong?

        • adam

          “Are you saying that you like worshipping a god with morals that say it’s OK to commit genocide?”

        • MNb

          Thanks for not answering my question. It makes you look bad.

          So I will answer yours. Unambiguously.

          Yes, if “morally wrong” means “evil”. Jean Paul Sartre has shown in his play Les Mains Sales (Dirty Hands) that in several situations it’s impossible to do the good thing – we may have to chose between two evils.
          Realizing this is very important to address the Canaanite Genocide – we atheists maintain that your god did not chose the lesser evil in the story. Given his omnipotence he could have made the Canaanites die in their sleep.

          No.

          Now I’m all for second chances.

          Are you saying that you like worshipping a god with morals that say it’s OK to commit genocide?

          Will you iso or besides criticizing my answer (ie shifting the goalposts, which is except quitting this site your only way to evade my question) indeed provide an answer to my question yourself?
          Nobody’s holding his/her breath.

        • SteveK

          You are defining the moral terms according to your worldview and then asking me if God makes sense under your worldview. It doesn’t makes sense. So here’s your answer. I don’t like worshiping *that* God. I don’t worship *that* God.

          ——-
          Do you like wearing a dress?
          It’s not a dress, it’s a kilt.
          Answer the question, do you like wearing a dress?
          It’s a kilt.

        • MNb

          Thanks. So I could have hold my breath.
          So the parts in the Bible, notably the OT, that describe how the character called God and/or YHWH orders the Israelites to commit genocide are according to you not reflecting the subjective morals of the god you worship? Does that mean those passages are not divinely inspired?
          Then how do you decide which parts are divinely inspired and which ones not? Just “I like that”?
          Mind you, if that were the case I would not blame you, on the contrary. It’s just that you would have lost all credibility, which I as an atheist totally welcome. My female counterpart, a muslima, has such an attitude and hence never tries to convert me. Imo (a subjective one) the world would become a better place if more believers adopted that attitude.

        • SteveK

          He orders them to be destroyed. There is no mention of genocide. Kilt. Dress.

          If God cannot order a guilty person to be destroyed, who can?

        • MNb

          Ah, you’re getting silly. Thanks for comforting me.
          Genocide pretty much means “destroy all members of a group” – in this case the Canaanites.
          Plus of course – you almost always do – you miss my point. For the sake of argument I’m willing to accept that all Canaanites were guilty (it’s highly disputable and that you accept this tells us that you, exactly like the nazis, are willing to accept guilt, responsibility and destruction of a group for what a member of that group has done). My point – and of many atheists – is that to destroy all Canaanites the god you worship did not chose the lesser evil – let them die in their sleep. You are OK with your god having them suffered needlessly (getting slain by swords iso letting them die in their sleep) and thus again reflecting nazi morals.
          Of course I can’t dispute “nazi morality is subjectively good” – but if you were honest you’d declare publicly “I worship an immaterial and supernatural version of Hitler”. I’d like to sit on the fence to observe the reactions, especially those of other christians.
          Plus I still doubt you would adopt this line of thinking if your loved ones were the victims.

        • SteveK

          >> You are OK with your god having them suffered needlessly

          “Needlessly” is something you and I cannot know. I’m okay with God playing the role of God. Avoiding suffering is not the highest good.

          Question:
          You are suffering “needlessly” in your daily life right now, albeit to a lesser amount, and you make others suffer “needlessly” when you interact with them. Why to you choose this life? It’s obvious you have other choices.

          >> Plus I still doubt you would adopt this line of thinking if your loved ones were the victims.

          I would have emotional problems with it, like you are doing now, but I would understand the *thinking* of it.

        • I’m okay with God playing the role of God. Avoiding suffering is not the highest good.

          Why is this hard to see? The point of our reminding you of God’s barbarity is to make you question whether the all-good God idea fits with what’s said about him. You say, “Maybe he had his reasons.” Common sense says, “Maybe he doesn’t actually exist, since the natural explanation—he’s just the musings of a Bronze Age tribe—is so obvious.”

        • Kodie

          God is anyone’s imaginary justification for barbarity. Is morality the avoidance of suffering? Well, let’s see, you want to take over some land, you tell your soldiers that god told you those people are wicked and need to be destroyed, just like Hitler did with his Nazis. We’re not concerned if those people suffer, we want that land. We don’t want to be slaves, doesn’t mean we care about other people we can enslave. So morality isn’t about thinking about other people, it’s about tribes and tribal conquest. Those are the people “god” is looking after and to whom he “gives” permission to do what they like for their own purpose. As long as they can claim and believe that whatever they do needs to be done because it’s grounded in god, people like SteveK don’t give a fuck about other people. It’s about obedience to god, or god’s representatives claims that god backs this barbaric order, then that’s how we must behave.

          He doesn’t think, hey, this is how IS operates. How do they motivate their men to behead people. Where do they think these orders are coming from and why is it so easy for them to do. He doesn’t think, hey this is how Al-Qaeda deliberately boarded planes with the intent on using them as weapons and killing thousands of Americans (and themselves). Their morality is about achieving results for themselves, even sacrificing their lives toward that end, but we can see they are only humans making their own rules, using a god so they don’t feel bad about doing that. Causing suffering for others who aren’t in their tribe, and whose morality they oppose, doesn’t faze them in the least. SteveK stands with the Taliban. His morality is equivalent to it.

        • One of the first things the Israelites did when entering the Promised Land (y’know, after being slaves in Egypt) was to enslave the Gibeonites.

          SteveK stands with the Taliban. His morality is equivalent to it.

          It’s beautiful when Christians and Muslims can come together on today’s important issues.

        • Greg G.

          Avoiding suffering is not the highest good.

          You seem to trivialize suffering. You equate it with running. Come to grips with starving to death or dying of cancer.

          A benevolent omnipotent being could and would prevent that sort of suffering as easily as not doing it. The omnimax could prevent suffering from shin splints and papercuts, too.

        • SteveK

          He could prevent it. Maybe he did. Why do you assume that these people suffered when dying? It seems your entire argument is based on speculation after speculation.

        • adam

          ??

        • SteveK

          God is allowing you to live even though you willfully ignore the starving children around you. When will you do something like sell your computer and feed a child?

        • adam

          “God is allowing you to live even though you willfully ignore the starving children around you”

          I am not the ‘creator’ of this evil.

          I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

          – King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Cambridge Edition

          So YOUR ‘god’ is both, worthless and useless.

          “When will you do something like sell your computer and feed a child?”

        • SteveK

          I know enough about you to know that you’re on the computer rather than saving children.

        • adam

          But OBVIOUSLY not enough to know how I use my computer to help save children.

        • SteveK

          >> I am not the ‘creator’ of this evil.

          I agree. You’re allowing it to continue when you have the power to end what your limited power can end. Isn’t that your complaint – that available power isn’t being used to end it?

          So the moral problem exists, and because God doesn’t exist according to you, the conclusion of your argument get’s attached to you. You are that person allowing suffering to go on. Where’s your moral outrage?

        • adam

          No, I am not the ‘creator’ of this evil.

          YOUR ‘god’ makes that claim.

          You on the other hand display the same psychopathic qualities of the character ‘god’, in the book, https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d48179fd0cc76770fa1109b862af48ae99763e76799302b58360788e070149dd.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5dfb8ac3d3162acccc41a7bbfd8a94033b5ab2b41d0f832648e1da43fd39a039.jpg but who is surprised.

        • SteveK

          God doesn’t exist remember? You’re the guilty party now.

        • Kodie

          You have to admit your god doesn’t seem to exist, or you assume he exists and has a good reason those children are to starve. Is his very good reason he has insane college debt? A family of his own to feed? More pressing concerns in his local area? He doesn’t actually give a fuck?

        • MR

          His arguments seem to have degenerated into “I’m rubber, you’re glue.”

        • Kodie

          I would hazard to suggest we’re all doing whatever we can. That might not sound right, because I’m sure we could do more, but we’re also just animals. What Christians claim god could do in an instant (well this is the first problem – too many people are Christians or another kind of theist), but must have a mysterious good reason for not doing so, takes a lot of organized effort o the part of humans. Some of the effort, we’ll give to Christians who feel god has “purposed” them to do charitable deeds across the world (not because he can’t, but because that’s why he made people, or some bullshit). So they sacrifice their good life to go live somewhere shitty for a while, and maybe they deliver medicine, clean water facilities, and food, but their focus is on missionary work. It’s very important to them to teach these hungry people, and perhaps some admission that their charity won’t help a whole lot even if it was 100% stuff people actually need, that there’s a whole imaginary world waiting for them when they die if they just turn their lives over to Christ. This world will pass, you will die of hunger or some treatable disease… basically they treat the hungry like they are walking dead and the urgency is for them to get saved and go to heaven when they inevitably die. How nice of them to give up their western comforts.

          Anyway, in order to solve the world’s big problems, we have another huge problem to solve – people who don’t think that’s their problem. We have a lot of people, some even very wealthy people, giving to charities that help these situations as best they can. We’re also monkeys who want to watch tv most of the time, and in our one and only life, eat some fine steaks and wash that down with some obscure beer label they’ve been meaning to try. Buy some fashion, and I don’t think this is unimportant, but whatever people with kids have to do extra to make sure their kids (don’t) grow up to be assholes like them, watch some more tv, and for fuck’s sake, most of it is unwatchable garbage. Life’s rough, we do have our own local crises, most of which seems to be “what if Donald Trump were president?” There aren’t just hungry people in African nations to deal with – we got people who don’t vaccinate, and people who are fucking paranoid about GMO, and trying to correct all these people takes a while too. We, I contend, are doing whatever we can.

          It would take a monumental effort in organizing our national and cultural priorities to charity, but we all can’t afford that much. Notably, let’s say Oprah, should she give until she’s impoverished herself to save all those people herself? Should Bill Gates? People who give a lot still keep a lot so they can grow their funds and give some more. Us little people give a nickel here or there because we’re struggling to keep our standard of living at a level where our homes aren’t in jeopardy. It would take a monumental effort of organizing our priorities so we would all realize we are together rich enough to wipe out a big problem as long as we’re promised that we won’t go hungry. People who talk about the government putting a gun to their head and robbing them, including churches and those under their influence, how much money do they give and where is it all spent? They assume their tithes go to charitable organizations. Jesus Christ, but that’s a lot of money. Each. It may be possible to wipe out hunger on just tithes, I have no idea. With the sheer percentage of Christians, none of whom have answered me how much money they give to their church. But they spend instead on administrative costs and overhead and where their preacher lives and his grocery bill, etc. His personal jet. A new church building. Etc. A little Christmas dinner package for local poor people every year. Christmas feast is bullshit when you’re starving. It’s obscene to a hungry person how much food they’re supposed to eat at one sitting. It makes them feel like they’re making a contribution though. Just the one more thought – one of the things I dislike about Christmas is that. For Jesus’ birthday, it’s mandatory or something, for everyone to feel like they are part of the holiday and given a feast. Charities find it hard to raise funds and collect donations throughout the year, but people are touched by the idea that poor people don’t have a proper Christmas dinner one day of the year. That’s what I mean about an enormous organizational effort. Our cultural priorities are skewed, so we all are actually doing what we can. If there’s a god, and I guess we might as well wish there were, he could do something else. He wouldn’t leave it up to us, or he must not actually care.

        • MR

          I would hazard to suggest we’re all doing whatever we can.

          Right. He has no idea what any of us do for charity. But his argument does underscore just how incapable the church and church-goers are at tackling the problem—and they’re the ones that have been given the mandate to help the poor by Jesus!

          I’d be happy to champion churches even though God doesn’t exist if they made a truly concerted effort to helping the poor instead of whining about gay marriage and faux persecution and tying up our political systems in inanity.

          I guess he’s realized he has no decent argument for God and thinks by derailing the conversation away from his lack of evidence no one will notice that he’s got nothin’.

        • adam

          When you worship the Creator of Evil, sometimes that is the VERY BEST argument you can have.

        • SteveK

          And since he doesn’t exist, you are that person that doesn’t give a fuck since you could be doing more – but you’re not.

        • adam

          So then that IMAGINARY ‘god’ of yours OBVIOUSLY doesnt give a fuck since he could cure the problem at the source if it really were a ‘god’

          What a worthless fuck-wad YOUR ‘god’ has turned out to be…

        • SteveK

          God doesn’t exist and you’re angry at him for not doing something.

          You exist and can do something – but you don’t – and you’re comfortable with that.

          Got it !!

        • Kodie

          NO, SteveK, you don’t “got it.” You’re comfortable with a god with omnipotent powers, whom you describe as moral and the source of all morality, you’re comfortable with him not doing a fucking thing about it. Keep trying to compare humans with god, your own argument is god is “good” by his nature, but being some other creature than man has a different moral standard. This is how you sleep at night, as a man secure in his own salvation fuck anyone else. I noticed you never went back to Susan’s line of questions after you, in your personal weak judgment, called her “not a nice person”. It’s obvious you’re not interested in honesty but in trolling for Jesus.

        • SteveK

          Is this doing everything you can, or were you lying when you said you are?

        • Kodie

          You’re doing terrible for god.

        • adam

          “God doesn’t exist and you’re angry at him for not doing something.”

          No, I am not angry at an imaginary character in a book.
          That would be as bat-shit crazy as worshiping the same character in the book.

          “You exist and can do something – but you don’t – and you’re comfortable with that.”

          But you’ve already ASSUMED that I do something.

          Can’t seem to make up your own mind…..

          Dishonesty for a dishonest ‘god’, but how could you do anything but…. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3e3f9693ce2510c1f2037cdf458c483fed59e0e0d865b56de46c5496818b52c8.jpg

        • SteveK

          Something more.

        • adam

          Just something more dishonest.

        • Kodie

          I am doing everything I can. Are you?

        • SteveK

          Everything I can = surfing the internet

          Got it !!

        • Kodie

          Is every moment of my life supposed to be exerting my god-like powers to obliterate hunger and disease throughout the planet? Oh that’s god, not me.

          What are you doing, you are on the internet too. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/40/c2/85/40c285f5688b6cbdaedc93fbc9153119.jpg

        • SteveK

          Not every moment of your life. You can do more though, and you’re not.

        • Kodie

          You know this because Jesus whispered it in your ear to help you sleep off your own selfish rationalizations? Why do you persist in comparing one human’s effort to god’s limitless abilities and moral high-standing that you claim? Please stop trying to avoid the subject.

        • SteveK

          I’m not avoiding the subject of your moral responsibility to starving children, are you?

        • Kodie

          It was your supposition that god would take care of things if he thought they were important, so you must look at those pictures and think, fuck ’em!

        • SteveK

          So you can read minds now? Just think of all the money you’ll make.

        • Kodie

          Your agenda is more transparent than you think.

        • MR

          Please stop trying to avoid the subject.

          Why stop something he’s so good at?

          I find the whole objective moral thing so interesting. Anyone who can manage to slog through the bible can see that morals changed radically through the book. I think back on my early church days and how we fretted over whether it was cool to put up a picture of Jesus or not (was that considered an idol?), and how women were expected to cover their heads, and divorce was absolute taboo and abortion was tacitly accepted because it wasn’t mentioned in the bible and, hey, the Catholics were for it so we can’t ally ourselves with them, and so many things that were unaccepted or accepted or forbidden or mandated, and now they no longer are and some things are perfectly fine, and others conditionally accepted. There’s no objectivity there. And then you look at society and all the moral changes that have happened with smoking bans and ecological awareness and global warming.

          I mean it’s so fricking obvious that morals change, but they want to put up this facade of objective morality from God, and expect us to buy in to that he is good and right and just, but he can’t seem to follow his own damn rules!

          I mean, I’m all for believing in a good and right and just God, and that’s precisely why I think the Bible’s bullshit because that’s so obviously not what a good and right and just Being would do. I mean, it’s even offensive to me to twist the concept of God into such a dark parody.

        • Kodie

          SteveK doesn’t think suffering is inherently unjust. We’re all the same species living on a planet together, and find reasons to hate each other and dehumanize one another. He’s all for that. God has “chosen people” and other people are interfering and must be, righteously destroyed. His morality isn’t about good behavior or how another person feels, but whatever pleases god. It’s relatively the same morality we use when dealing with household pests. They interfere with our preferential lifestyle, so we rid ourselves of them with traps and poison gases without a thought. And that is good. I mean, do you think that is bad? SteveK’s morality thus extends to people. It’s fine, especially in the bible, if a group of people interferes with the preferential lifestyle, god permits to exterminate them as if they are insects and not humans. Steve’s wondering what’s so inherently valuable about humans anyway? I kind of agree, insofar as we treat insects or other pests with no regard for our anthropocentric idea of “goodness.”

          But anyway, his morality is about whatever god wants or permits. If these people are inconveniencing your way of life, Steve permits you to feel nothing for them and send them away or even let them die off eventually, say, Syrians. I saw a compelling infographic regarding this current crisis due to climate change brought about by human industry. To someone like Steve, those people brought this on themselves and should have stayed put. I wonder where SteveK’s ancestors are from. I seem to remember another wave of immigration to the US by people fleeing tight situations with regard to hunger. There’s a good chance those would be Steve’s people. In another earlier episode, America was colonized by people feeling desperate situations all over Europe too. According to him, his morality really stops at what he wants, the stories he believes, the sides he and his ancestors have been on. There’s no “right” on the other side or we wouldn’t have gotten here. Say that to the next Mexican illegal you meet. Steve only sees Steve’s side, and that’s what god wants and that only affects Steve’s comfort and doesn’t matter about any other people negatively affecting Steve’s comfort. His morality isn’t about caring or empathy or helping. It’s about SteveK. We really are talking past one another because a rational person cannot relate to this.

        • adam

          “God doesn’t exist remember?”

          Then dont call it good or the bible it’s ‘word’

          And of course that makes YOUR ‘god’ useless and worthless.

          And I do prevent some of it, so you BEAR FALSE WITNESS against as well.

          Just another LIAR…..AGAIN…

          Not surprising seeing the ‘god’ your worship.

        • SteveK

          >> And I do prevent some of it

          I assumed you do. You could do more but you don’t. Isn’t that the complaint?

        • Kodie

          Does god do anything? The complaint was that you claim god could do everything, but you can’t claim that god does anything. You want everyone to give until they’re homeless and still not solve any world issues? Is that the complaint? Does god do anything, or does he just not give a shit, or what are his good reasons? If god doesn’t fit our moral standards, he either doesn’t give a shit, or he doesn’t have his shit together even as good as Adam does.

        • SteveK

          My claim hasn’t been shown to be true so we fall back to what has been shown to be true – that you are responsible for not doing more than you are doing now. You could do more if you cared.

        • Kodie

          Your claim is that god has very good moral goodness in his nature not to do anything about those problems. Some Christians believe he relies on people, which is bullshit. Some Christians believe he has a very good reason and as long as he does nothing, they don’t need to do anything either. Stop trying to make this about how much I die to try to feed one fucking person if I could. Your god doesn’t have the moral equivalent standard as you say humans do, so don’t try to say Kodie isn’t doing god-like maneuvers to rescue starving people with the powers that SteveK imagines “god” has.

        • SteveK

          Is this doing everything you can, or were you lying?

        • Kodie

          How much do you think I can do and for how long?

        • SteveK

          All I know is you can do more, for as long as you can do it.

        • Kodie

          All you know is chronic diarrhea.

        • SteveK

          Wow. Hard to top that one.

        • Kodie

          You never answered Susan, and I can only guess you don’t have the answers, you only like to troll people you think you can win with your religious diarrhea. I don’t think you can, but you have avoided facing the consequences of your assertions thus far, and only offer chronic diarrhea. What are you supposed to do. I guess, keep trolling us to accomplish god-like deeds, because we recognize you don’t make any good points to defend your assertions.

          YOU ARE ON THE INTERNET. KEEP THAT IN MIND. If your accusations we’re not doing shit because we’re on the internet right now means you are not doing shit, but why? Because you are on the internet too? Or because something god requires you to do, be on the internet trolling atheists about your claim of objective morality, or troll atheists because god has freed you up from concern about other people entirely? Which is it?

        • SteveK

          I’m not arguing religion here. I’m arguing that you are responsible for allowing some children to starve because you had other priorities.

        • Kodie

          Do you think it’s important for me to starve to death to save someone starving to death in the next few weeks, but be unable to do anything for them after that? Your claim is a god with morals who does nothing, which you label “good.” That’s your whole argument. And until you address Susan’s questions, the rest of whatever you have to say is shit. If you’re too afraid your answer to Susan won’t “fit in a combox” or you decide with your own subjective judgment, she’s not a “good person” by you, well fuck you. You’re a terrible person. You would rather spend your time trolling for Jesus than hold your beliefs up to rational scrutiny. Liar, you lie. You are arguing religion here, you are arguing that people should have the abilities your god has while he doesn’t have the morals people have.

        • MR

          you are arguing that people should have the abilities your god has while he doesn’t have the morals people have.

          Excellent point. Steve’s version of God doesn’t even have the decency to have basic human morals.

        • Kodie

          SteveK looks at the world we’re given and decides to trust in a god that his own judgment is worthless where god’s deeds are concerned. Only god’s judgments of SteveK’s deeds are worth something to him, not mine, not yours, not anyone’s, except the people he surrounds himself with and acts according to their in-group culture and priorities. If his church sent him to Africa to pray with starving children, that’s what he would think is good because god wants him to because other people in this group think it’s good. If they said it was all their own fault for being born in such a poor country and none of those people can afford to become parents and should stop having sex, he would think that was good. His morals are no more objective than anyone’s, they are all built into him by other people and whatever they think is god’s plan. That’s why he can’t write what he thinks in this little ol’ combox. These aren’t even his own thoughts.

        • Logorrhea?

        • Kodie

          Logorrhea –
          noun
          a tendency to extreme loquacity.

          Loquacity –
          noun
          the quality of talking a great deal; talkativeness.

          No, Bob. I mean diarrhea. Liquid shit.

        • adam

          ” Your god doesn’t have the moral equivalent standard as you say humans do, so don’t try to say Kodie isn’t doing god-like maneuvers to rescue starving people with the powers that SteveK imagines “god” has.”

          Moot point.

          SteveK has admitted that his CLAIM about HIS ‘god’ hasnt been show to be true, and that ours that HIS ‘god’ is IMAGINARY has been shown to be true.

          SteveK’s ‘god’ is DEAD.

          He will have to live on in his psychopathy alone without the monster of the OT.

        • Kodie

          He’s trying to draw a diagram, a very shitty one. SteveK’s god doesn’t care about starving people and has a very good but mysterious reason. Your reason is you’re on the internet right now so couldn’t possibly be doing anything all the rest of the day or with your salary to help a fucking little, save one little guy for another week, for example, supposing there are others helping as well, maybe that guy will survive his 5th birthday and make it, but how well. We’re only people. He is claiming to know of a god with unlimited powers and morals but excuses god because god’s morals excuse him. He has “very good but mysterious reasons” for allowing mass starvation and disease. SteveK’s morality isn’t about empathy for the struggles of other people at all, but about “evidence” of god’s concerns and his rules he has for humans. That could mean god wants us to care about those starving Africans or that could mean that god doesn’t care about those starving Africans so we shouldn’t either. Using that image to instigate SteveK’s sense of morality, when he has none, wouldn’t work. He knows from his interpretation of the bible if he’s supposed to focus his income on himself, his family, his community, or sense that he has enough to spare for some remote community without even as many resources as we have in the western world.

          SteveK doesn’t think for himself. He goes along with his group’s interpretation of how that image should affect his emotions, and he is clearly uncaring about those people, as god is. He hasn’t admitted god is dead, he has attempted to turn the tables on us to do more than god – which is, even if you do $1 to some charity is more than god, he is expecting us to go to extreme sacrifice and get the fuck of his internet, to save these people. That’s not even logical. If I sold everything I have and then killed myself because I could not recuperate without taking from charity that might better go to starving Africans, that might save a few people for a couple weeks. And then they’d be in danger of starving again, and there’s nothing I could do to help them. He doesn’t really understand how this works. If we all gave an amount we could afford, and stay in work, so we could earn some more and give some more, we still don’t solve the problems his god could solve but chooses not to. We can’t afford to give so much we go broke or that would be the end of our charitable contributions. He’s expecting that we would or we wouldn’t be on the internet, which is his excuse for following a god who does nothing. SteveK’s morality as a list from his god doesn’t mean that he has to care about anyone. He has to do whatever god wants, including hassling people, and including withholding charity from needy people. Morality to him is not about empathy towards others, but whatever god wants. If god wants those people to starve, to SteveK, that’s the definition of “good”. Attempting to reach him emotionally with images doesn’t touch him one bit. He is 100% adherent to his interpretation of how to please god and nothing else. If it would please god to kill millions of people, SteveK would be happy to join that effort. Morality to him is behavior pleasing to god, and that is “good”. Pleasing other people by keeping them alive for a couple weeks as he could afford to do but not more is “not good” or god would wipe that famine out himself.

          But! If that shit happened to his family, well he claims that god’s will would determine what he should consider “good” – should his family find it hard to stay in work and lose their homes, then he thinks that is also good. God has his special mysterious good reasons for every outcome, and we seek god’s comfort and the one-day promise that in heaven we’ll be ok. That’s SteveK’s burden to prove, and he rather avoid it, and try to “gotcha” games, everyone has to have god-like powers and solve global crises “instead of” be on the internet.

        • adam

          “If god wants those people to starve, to SteveK, that’s the definition of “good”.

          If psychopaths and sociopaths had a religion, what would it look like.

          Yes, I understand SteveK’s DECEPTION, when one represents a dishonest ‘god’, one HAS to be dishonest,

        • adam

          ” You could do more if you cared.”

          Another baseless claim

          “My claim hasn’t been shown to be true so we fall back to what has been shown to be true – that you are responsible for not doing more than you are doing now”

          So now that ‘God’ is DEAD, YOU are responsible for not doing more that you are doing now.

        • SteveK

          I am responsible for not doing more. Are you?

        • adam

          Of course.

        • SteveK

          But you’re not as angry at yourself as you are with this imaginary being?

        • adam

          “But you’re not as angry at yourself as you are with this imaginary being?”

          AGAIN, the deception, the LIES

          I am not angry at a character in a book
          That would be as bat-shit crazy as worshiping as worshiping a character in a book as a ‘god’.

        • SteveK

          You’re not angry. Okay. Whatever message you intended to convey with that graphic of starving children, are you applying it to yourself?

        • adam

          The message is that YOUR ‘god’ character in your book claims to have a plan for everyone.

        • Susan

          Whatever message you intended to convey with that graphic of starving children, are you applying it to yourself?

          I don’t know Adam in his personal life, though I enjoy many of his contributions here so I’m not qualified to make very many statements about him, though he seems like a nice guy.

          I think I can make a few claims about him with some confidence, though.

          1) He doesn’t, nor does anyone else claim that he grounds all morality.

          2) He didn’t pull reality from between his metaphysical buttocks, a reality that contains at least one planet where beings with nervous systems have suffered immeasurably for hundreds of millions of years.

          3) If he ordered genocide, no one here would be saying “It’s for a greater good.”

          Your tu quoque is absurd.

        • MR

          He’s projecting the objective morality he imagines in God onto a single human being. If objective morality were so all important as he claims, he’d take his own advice and sell all he has and give it to the poor.

        • Kodie

          None of us are angry at god. You’re trolling as hard as you can, but still easily spotted. We don’t believe in god, you believe in god, and you excuse god as being good and moral. What do you think god’s plan is for that. You don’t know, you’ll ask him when you get to heaven. The rest of us don’t have the powers you claim god has but does nothing.

        • Kodie

          His morality is still attached to god so that whatever god doesn’t do, SteveK thinks is ok to not do, on the premise that whatever god does is by his nature, good, and whatever he doesn’t do that he could, is also good. It’s good to SteveK that millions of people are starving and will die. It’s not good, probably, to SteveK, that these people will die before they have been offered the choice to go to hell if they want. That’s the only reason I can see that Christians ever put their “god” where their mouth is and even go to these places to help “as much as they can.” They’re fucking warped and it’s a waste of time – that’s all good to SteveK.

        • adam

          Well OF COURSE, he is still a psychopath.

        • Kodie

          That was quick response, SteveK.

        • adam

          “You are that person allowing suffering to go on. ”

          No, I am not omnipotent.

        • Greg G.

          It is a reasonable position that a starving person suffers, that a parent watching a child starve suffers and a child watching a parent starve to death suffers. It is disingenuous to argue that God might have prevented suffering.

          You don’t understand suffering. Are you a sociopath? Are you even human?

          My argument is not based on speculation. Suffering exists. If it didn’t, we probably wouldn’t have a word for it. I have first hand experience.

          If a being lacks either the power or the will to prevent suffering, why call it God? Such a magical being is nothing more than a genie.

        • SteveK

          My comment was referring to the Canaanite situation. Yes suffering exists. Avoiding suffering is not the highest good. Your list of Godly attributes failed to include the ability to know what the higher good is.

        • Greg G.

          How would they kill the Canaanites with primitive weapons without causing suffering? Have you actually thought that through?

          An omnipotent being could achieve the “higher good” with or without suffering. If not, it is not omnipotent. That makes the suffering part unnecessary. Choosing to include unnecessary suffering is sadistic.

          Why call a being that is incapable of preventing suffering “God”? Why call a sadistic being “God”?

        • Kodie

          I get that SteveK thinks his people are chosen to glorify god through obedience, and that means “everything goes” as far as one can justify it as obedience to this god. That includes, if god doesn’t like these people, he’s chosen SteveK and his people to be instruments of torture and barbarity. It’s sort of like, if you want to clear a lot, you might need shovels, mowers, machetes, chainsaws, backhoes, frontloaders, chemical herbicides, or goats. That plant shit, the ecosystem of whatever else lives on that patch of land, is getting the fuck out so we can make a parking lot. God gives permission to the Jews to clear this lot to make use of it for themselves by getting rid of anything that’s there. In this case, it means people. SteveK doesn’t think humans have any priority of value just being a human species instead of a raccoon or a rat or a patch of crabgrass and pricker bushes. It’s unsightly, it’s unclean, and has no value to god or his chosen people.

          This isn’t hard to get. Feelings, including suffering, are not even part of the consideration. God only cares about a small group of people and they do what he wants, i.e. justify what they want by backing themselves under “god’s orders”. Think of it this way – god is the boss of a company. The employees don’t do anything without orders and they have no idea what the overall project is, where they are headed on each step. They just finished up a project and then the foremen return to the boss, what next, boss? So god refers to the blueprints tells them next part of the plan is to go over to Canaan, wipe it clean, and settle there. This is the part where some apologist (WLC?) feels sorry for the Jews having to “suffer” killing everyone including babies. God has ordered them to be barbaric, after all, they have no choice but to obey these orders or get punted out of the chosen group. SteveK thinks nothing of people, he thinks only what god orders and doing that. He doesn’t question the overall project, he only follows orders and feels that it must be good or god wouldn’t plan for it or put his chosen through some awful massacre like that.

          This is the same morality, by the way, we use in war today. Many sign up for the chance to kill as many Muslims as they can, and consider it a holy war, as they have attacked us, our job as “chosen Christian nation,” America, ‘murrica!, what have you, blot them the fuck out and repopulate and repoliticize the land with our brand of theocracy, the “right” kind. Accordingly, the religious answer to theological disagreement is that god doesn’t choose them – they can’t be “reasoned” with proselytization, the only other option is to stamp them out like you would any household pest, with extreme prejudice. Morality for SteveK has nothing to do with human empathy or kindness or fairness or equality or humaneness, nothing to do with consideration, acceptance, tolerance, compromise, or peace. Just as you don’t find peace co-existing in a house infested with termites, you go to war against them without any consideration that many are babies, they have families, they’re just trying to eat dinner like you are, etc. You don’t look for commonalities with termites, so neither do god’s chosen look for commonalities with people who aren’t them that should trigger any compassion, just because they’re humans and not insects. Infestation is infestation, morality means getting control over that shit for your own peace.

        • SteveK

          I can imagine how but it’s speculation. It’s possible though. Look at modern medicine. An omniscient being would know if suffering is justified or not. I think omniscience is the key here.

        • Kodie

          Maybe he anesthetized the Canaanites first.

        • adam

          Kodie,

          Suffering is god…………therefore good.

          Release your inner sadistic/masochistic child and come to Jesus….

        • Kodie

          And they’re all, like, so and so IS a monster, “god would never” instruct someone to kill their babies, or kill a bunch of other people, or promote IS or Hitler. Those people I know are not true Christians. But then SteveK falls back on biblical massacres as god would and god had a good reason, he’s the one with omnipotence, not us. Nope, it doesn’t work that way!

        • adam

          Problem with SteveK is his dishonesty, just like every other christian.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b0759af224a8fd2df8c1ac9ef85ffce360700036675112b5380254e5a6d0eac3.jpg

        • adam

          “An omniscient being would know if suffering is justified or not. I think omniscience is the key here.”

          Maybe if such a thing were anything but IMAGINARY.

        • No, what’s key is comparing the attributes of God admitted to in the Bible with any reasonable definition of a “good” person. He ain’t. Then act accordingly.

        • SteveK

          The God admitted to in the Bible would know if he’s good. You’re pretending to know.

        • The bastard discussed in the Old Testament would say he’s good. Doesn’t mean that he actually is.

          And that’s where you come in–you weigh the evidence and decide if this guy looks like he’s anything more real than the musings of a Bronze Age desert tribe.

        • SteveK

          Evidence for ‘the good’ would be objective and I’m told it doesn’t exist so I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

        • Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had a reliable goodness sensor? Unfortunately, we don’t. So we must judge good and bad with our imperfect senses.

          And when those Christians claim that God is good but your reading of him shows the opposite, you know what to do.

        • SteveK

          I know to treat you as a person who uses his imperfect senses to judge differently than I do without any senses to tell us who is correct.

        • And yet more deflection. Or do you really not understand what we’re talking about here?

          We’re talking about how you evaluate the evidence that the God of the Old Testament is a shithead. You could apologize for him, or you could use your (God-given, according to you) intellect to evaluate. And you could use your (God-given, according to you) courage to decide accordingly.

        • adam

          “And yet more deflection.”

          That and DECEPTION appears to be the VERY BEST that his ‘faith’ provides for him.

        • adam

          “You could apologize for him, or you could use your (God-given, according to you) intellect to evaluate. And you could use your (God-given, according to you) courage to decide accordingly.”

          But he CAN’T use any of that god-given intellect or courage because the 1st rule is worship this ‘god’ no matter what kind of bastard it is.

        • Curses! Hoist by my own petard, again!

        • adam

          Well better than hoisted by your own leotard….

        • Ho ho ho!

        • SteveK

          I’m am evaluating the evidence. The evidence is God is not a human being and as such human morality doesn’t apply to God anymore than it applies to animals or some species of aliens from planet Vortron

        • adam

          “The evidence is God is not a human being and as such human morality
          doesn’t apply to God anymore than it applies to animals or some species
          of aliens from planet Vortron”

          Or any other IMAGINARY character for that matter.

        • … and we come full circle. Didn’t we discuss this question of God’s morality before?

          What moral rules is God bound by? if none, then how can you say that he’s moral?

          I assume, though, that we agree that if God isn’t bound by human morality, he’s not judgeable at all–you can say that he’s neither good nor bad.

        • SteveK

          I’m not judging on human terms, you are. I’m looking to what scripture says and it says God is good. Not the same way humans are good but in an analogous sense God is good. It’s an analogy with a positive connotation, unlike your biased portrayal.

        • adam

          ” I’m looking to what scripture says and it says God is good.”

          Only good to psychopaths and sociopaths…

        • I’m not judging on human terms, you are.

          Yes, I am. And you must be, too.

          Wow–this really isn’t hard. You first must establish that this God exists as described. You look at the claims of goodness (despite your saying that God doesn’t answer to any moral laws or judgments that we might have) and compare them against the shit he does in the OT. Then you evaluate.

          Only after you’ve evaluated the claims yourself could you decide that God exists.

        • Kodie

          No, everyone knows god is terrible. They are frightened of him and what he’ll do to them if they don’t keep stroking his ego. If god were good, what he’d threaten to do to them wouldn’t incite fear, i.e. “what would happen to me will be bad.” You come from a situation of abuse. Nobody wants to get on god’s bad side, i.e, he has a bad side. His “morality” wouldn’t come across as an insecure, violent megalomaniac if he were not made up – if people can do better than that, and if Christianity is supposed to teach them to be better than that, for fuck’s sake, god isn’t moral in any sense of the word. He’s not another creature, he’s got wild swinging human emotions.

        • Susan

          It’s an analogy with a positive connotation,

          What do you mean?

        • SteveK

          The below text should help explain and is quoted from
          http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/09/classical-theism.html

          —————————————
          Words can be used univocally, in exactly the same sense, as when we say that Fido’s bark is loud and that Rover’s bark is loud. They can be used equivocally, or in completely unrelated senses, as when we say that Fido’s bark is loud and that the tree’s bark is rough. Or they can be used analogously, as when we say that a certain meal was good, that a certain book is good, and that a certain man is good. “Good” is not being used in exactly the same sense in each case, but neither are the senses unrelated, as they are in the equivocal use of “bark.” Rather, there is in the goodness of a meal something analogous to the goodness of a book, and analogous to the goodness of a man, even if it is not exactly the same sort of thing that constitutes the goodness in each case.

          For the Thomist, this is the key to understanding how it can be the case that God’s goodness is His power, which is His knowledge, which is His essence, which is His existence. Such a claim would be nonsensical if the terms in question were being used univocally, in exactly the same sense in which we use them when we attribute goodness, power, knowledge, etc. to ourselves (and as they are used in Paleyan “arguments from analogy”). But neither are the senses utterly equivocal. Rather, what we mean is that there is in God something analogous to what we call goodness in us, something analogous to what we call knowledge in us, and so forth; and in God, it is one and the same thing that is analogous to what are in us distinct attributes.

        • adam

          “His knowledge, which is His essence,”

          And just where does this character ‘god’ in the book aquire such ‘knowledge’

          “Rather, what we mean is that there is in God something analogous to what we call goodness in us,”

          And something analogous to what we call evilness in us as well.

          And why wouldnt it, being the creation of man?

        • SteveK

          If scripture used the word ‘evil’ to describe God then I would agree with you.

        • Susan

          If scripture used the word ‘evil’ to describe God then I would agree with you.

          So, your whole argument is that Yahwehjesus is ‘good’ because the bible tells you so?

        • SteveK

          OMG yes, that’s the WHOLE argument.
          [insert huge eyeroll here].

          And, no, I’m not going to “explain”.

        • Susan

          OMG, yes, that’s the WHOLE argument..

          Well boy, do I feel stupid for interpreting “If scripture used the word ‘evil’ to describe God then I would agree with you.” that way.

          What is the matter with my brain?

          And, no, I’m not going to “explain”.

          That comes as no surprise.

        • Expecting Steve to explain his position is such a burden. I think you owe him an apology, even if your request was only inferred.

        • Susan

          I think you owe him an apology

          Steve has identified that I have a problem. He hasn’t explained what that problem is but I’m sure he must be right because Steve says so.

          The message to be taken away is Steve is right because he’s right because he’s right because he’s right.

          If you don’t understand that, it’s because you think in human terms.

        • adam

          Here let me explain for you:

        • adam

          “So, your whole argument is that Yahwehjesus is ‘good’ because the bible tells you so?”

          Well OF COURSE, if a character in a book says it is good, then it matters not what that character ACTUALLY does.

          And if you have the ‘right’ book, you can literally ‘believe’ in anything you want.

        • Greg G.

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

          To do evil is to be evil. Some translations use a different word instead of “evil” but the substitutions are still evil things to do.

        • SteveK

          That is a reasonable question/issue that has been discussed at length. Look up evil as a privation and AT metaphysics for the way I’d explain it.

        • Susan

          Look up evil as a privation and AT metaphysics for the way I’d explain it.

          Ah, you’re RCC. The standard response is to eventually punt people off to Aquinas and Feser rather than provide an argument.

          I’ve read enough of both of them to say that they don’t explain it either.

          Pick one of them. On this subject, in your own words, how would you explain their argument?

        • SteveK

          You say they’ve not explained it either and you want me to repeat it in my own words?

          No thanks, I’ll pass.

        • Susan

          You say they’ve not explained it either

          I do.

          and you want me to repeat it in my own words?

          I do.

          No thanks, I’ll pass.

          I would never have seen that coming.

        • adam

          But then again, maybe that is what SteveK just LOVES about the ‘god’ character in his bible.

        • adam

          The ‘god’ character in the book appears to be gloating about it being the creator of EVIL…

          But apparently creating EVIL is good in your book.

        • adam

          Here you go:

        • SteveK

          All created things come from God so in a trivial sense this is true. Look up evil as a privation and AT metaphysics for an explanation.

        • adam

          Not trivial to those in the book who suffered at the hands of this MONSTER.

          I already understand evil.

        • SteveK

          Yes you do understand it. It’s real. It’s not just in your head. The issue we are discussing is the ontology of evil. It’s been discussed for centuries and won’t likely stop being discussed for many more. The sun creates shadows that exist and are real, but itself isn’t a shadow from an ontological point of view.

        • adam

          Yes, I understand why people DENY and IGNORE the parts of the bible that dont fit in with the idolatry they create in their own minds.

          It is just like people denying what their own religion does, not only to others but to themselves. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a0cabe18e716568093e34067fc4622f2301f46ddc57716159ddc6af264d40863.jpg

        • Yeah, but cool hats!

        • adam
        • Susan

          It doesn’t explain. I read the whole text but it doesn’t make any point that answers my question, just repeats the claim you made but in more words.

          what we mean is that there is in God something analogous to what we call goodness in us, something analogous to what we call knowledge in us, and so forth; and in God, it is one and the same thing that is analogous to what are in us distinct attributes.

          Analogous: Logic. a form of reasoning in which one thing is inferred to be similar to another thing in a certain respect, on the basis of the known similarity between the things in other respects.

          You haven’t answered my question.

        • SteveK

          “What do you mean?” isn’t specific. You got an answer that explains what I mean.

          Repeating the same thing using different/more words is an explanation.

        • Susan

          Repeating the same thing using different/more words is an explanation.

          Only if the words illuminate the point.

          The text you linked to simply repeated your point.

          What do you mean by ‘positive’?

        • SteveK

          good, beneficial, supurb, excellent, great, valuable, superior, admirable

        • Susan

          good, beneficial, supurb, excellent, great, valuable, superior, admirable

          I own a thesaurus, so that wasn’t necessary, nor did it help.

          When you claim a positive connotation, I asked what you meant.

          I want to know what is positive about it. I don’t want a long stream of synonyms.

        • SteveK

          You’re asking me what’s positive about the term “good”? I shouldn’t have to explain that to a normal human being.

        • Susan

          You’re asking me what’s positive about the term “good”? I shouldn’t have to explain that to a normal human being.

          I don’t know how you don’t get dizzy standing in one spot like that and spinning in circles. I get dizzy just watching you.

          Your original comment was:

          I’m not judging on human terms, you are. I’m looking to what scripture says and it says God is good. Not the same way humans are good but in an analogous sense God is good. It’s an analogy with a positive connotation, unlike your biased portrayal.

          So, not the SAME good that normal human beings mean by good. Yet, it’s positive. I ask you what you mean when you say it’s positive and you link me to Feser who just repeats in more words that it is good but not good the way we usually mean good.

          I explain that and ask you AGAIN what you mean by positive and you give me a list of synonyms, none of which do a thing to clarify the sort of “good” (not normal human being “good”) that you are talking about.

          Then, you default back to normal human being “good” and act like I have some sort of reading comprehension problem.

          Do you see why I might be having a problem here?

        • SteveK

          Oh yes I can see it.

        • Susan

          Oh I can see it.

          Excellent. Then, you’ll stop your equivocating and make an effort to make sense out of what you’re saying.

        • SteveK

          I can’t fix your problem. You’ll have to find someone else.

        • Susan

          I can’t fix your problem.

          If you claim I’m the one who has the problem, could you at least explain what the problem is?

          I don’t see asking reasonable questions, asking for clarification, refusing to accept equivocation and refusing to accept special pleading as a problem. This is pretty basic stuff.

          Is that what you mean by my problem?

        • SteveK

          Making sense out of the word “good” is a very long and nuanced subject that I can only explain to my level of understanding. You want more. I can’t help you. Feser explains. You want more. He can’t help you.

          Your problem appears to be that nobody can help you.

        • Susan

          Making sense out of the word “good” is a very long and nuanced subject that I can only explain to my level of understanding.

          You’ve demonstrated no understanding of it, no matter how many opportunities you’ve been given. You’ve spun in circles.

          I can’t help you.

          Not without providing an explanation.

          He can’t help you.

          I asked you to describe in your own words an argument where he makes sense of it and you can’t seem to do it.

          Your problem

          Yet it’s my problem.

          appears to be that nobody can help you.

          It appears that you are saying that there is a very clever answer but you are unable to provide it.

          Get back to us when you have something.

        • adam

          “Get back to us when you have something. ”

          He can’t
          He is only a follower of morality, and someone elses morality:

        • Susan

          He can’t. He is only a follower of morality, and someone else’s morality.

          (sigh) So far, that seems to be the case.

          ________

          Edit: To replace an accidental pasting of Steve K’s comment with a pasting of adam’s comment, which was my original intention.

        • adam

          And based on his attempts here, he has blindly accepted this other morality as his own without even thinking it through.

          I.e. He obviously didnt know the meaning of absolute, when he started arguing morality. And attempted to TRY and demonstrate how biblical morality would be better than subjective morality, until I demonstrated how ‘christian’ morality is really the ONLY place where ANYTHING goes (except for blasphemy of the holey ghost).

          Probably the reason he WONT answer your questions is that he has not thought enough about what his answers SHOULD BE to avoid him looking FOOLISH yet again.

          Indoctrination is a powerful force, THAT is why politics use it. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9748276438b41eea703b10317ab780aa0d548ccac89ff687794a4a662e79a17f.jpg

        • SteveK

          Nobody can help you. Nobody will be getting back to you.

        • Susan thoughtfully engages in the issue. You run away from uncomfortable issues, squealing like a child.

          When you offer something thoughtful to the conversation, maybe you can have a good reputation, too.

        • SteveK

          Susan asks questions that, so far, nobody in the history of answers has been able to answer. Yes, I’m running away.

        • MR

          Oh, there are answers. You just want to ignore them.

        • SteveK

          There you go projecting.

        • MR

          Ok: There are answers. You just ignore them.

        • SteveK

          Still projecting.

        • MR

          That’s my observation. All I see is sullen pouting at this point.

        • adam

          Know what I see?

          It’s only a flesh wound!

        • adam

          “You just ignore them.”

          Oh, you are just harshing his buzz….

        • adam

          “Susan asks questions that, so far, nobody in the history of answers has been able to answer. Yes, I’m running away.”

          Of course you are, like MR says, you KNOW the answers, and you KNOW how they portray you and your ‘faith’

        • SteveK

          You’re an idiot. That I do know.

        • adam

          Then you know NOTHING…..
          It seems that they have much of the same warped moral code as you.

        • SteveK

          “Explain why” is a legitimate attempt to thoughtfully engage an issue. Everything she’s asked for has been discussed and answered throughout history. There comes a point when your “explain why” reply hits a brick wall because there’s nothing more that can be said. I don’t view that as running away from an uncomfortable issue. There are answers and there are answers that satisfy. I cannot control the latter.

        • adam

          Everything she’s asked for has been discussed and answered throughout history. ”

          REALLY?

          ” I ask you what you mean when you say it’s positive ” Susan

          “I explain that and ask you AGAIN what you mean by positive and you give me a list of synonyms, none of which do a thing to clarify the sort of “good” (not normal human being “good”) that you are talking about.” Susan

          emphesis all mine…

          I guess nobody here sees you as that famous to have answered these questions about what YOU mean, throughout history.

          But I am guessing nobody here has any problems seeing what a dirty little liar you are.

          Where would you have learned to LIE so much,
          So well,
          And so cocksure….

        • Kodie

          What you’ve explained so far is that you’re in an abusive relationship with an imaginary entity.

        • Kodie

          Maybe you don’t know.

        • Your problem appears to be that nobody can help you.

          I’m seeing a lot of that lately.

        • adam

          “Making sense out of the word “good” is a very long and nuanced subject that I can only explain to my level of understanding.”

          Stick with the psychopathic or sociopathic angle.
          GOOD people have difficulty understanding that angle, but just use your ‘faith’ of what is ‘good’ as a demonstration:

        • Kodie

          The problem seems to be nobody can explain this crock of shit and why it’s your belief.

        • Kodie

          What you mean is you can’t follow through.

        • Kodie

          Labeling something “good” doesn’t make it good, it’s marketing. Marketing something by telling people that it’s “good”. That you believe it without using your senses, that’s because you’re a fool, hah, telling people they’re not normal, because it’s so normal to admire a genociding violent asshole.

        • Ignorant Amos

          But it isn’t normal human being good you are being asked to define…which would be in line with the list of synonyms you presented, it is some special god type good which is an analogy, and also has a positive connotation.

          Now, I think you just said something that is meaningless shite, but you have been called out on it and are scurrying about like a headless chicken trying to weasel your way out of explaining yourself without losing face. Something we see a lot of here btw. Have you met our fake lawyer Greg the Catholic?

          Of course you could have bailed to Croydon by now.

        • Susan

          Of course you could have bailed to Croydon by now.

          Before heading to Croydon, his final comments (skipping the two where he accused MR of projecting and the one where he calls adam an idiot) were these:

          The first:

          Susan asks questions that, so far, nobody in the history of answers has been able to answer

          The second:

          Everything she’s asked for has been discussed and answered throughout history

          He wonders why I’m confused.

        • Ignorant Amos

          All over the place apologetics, as usual.

        • Ron

          “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” ~F. Scott Fitzgerald 🙂

        • adam

          “admirable”

          To psychopaths and sociopaths

        • adam

          “I’m not judging on human terms, you are. I’m looking to what scripture says and it says God is good.”

          ONLY if you believe that EVIL is good.

        • MR

          God’s morals and human morals appear to be two completely different things and therefore shouldn’t even share the same name. If his morals are not our morals, then that would also mean that morality is not objective, otherwise they would be the same. I think Greg G. brought up that Steve seems to be describing an amoral god.

        • Steve wants it both ways. He wants the amoral God when it comes to the insane OT rampages, but he wants the option to use conventional standards of good/bad when the outcome is happier.

        • MR

          He’s a “do as I say, not as I do” kind of God. He doesn’t make a good role model, more of a tyrant, really. That’s just not the image of God I was brought up with.

          It’s a broken model, and Steve can’t seem to fix it. So far, it seems to me the best way to make any sense of it all is to recognize it’s just not true. All the dilemmas vanish.

        • Kodie

          The evidence points to people making up what they want to do, justifying that it is “good”, and backing themselves with the god they invented for just such an occasion.

        • Kodie

          He has no courage, he has deference to an imaginary being.

        • Kodie

          Your imperfect senses depend on an imaginary friend having “good” reasons.

        • adam

          “Evidence for ‘the good’ would be objective and I’m told it doesn’t exist so I’m not sure what you’re talking about.”

          Of course you do, you are being deceptive.

          He is talking about the character ‘God’ in your book the Bible.

          The IMAGINARY one YOU worship.

        • adam

          “The “God” character admitted to in the Bible would know if he’s good.”

          So YOU are pretending to know now….

        • “The “God” character admitted to in the Bible would know if he’s good.”

          I think you just got pwned! You can’t argue with that logic.

        • Kodie

          Didn’t Bob also say you’re not entitled to pretend to know god is “good”.

        • SteveK

          I’m not pretending to know. My comment relies on the same book Bob is using.

        • MNb

          If you’re not pretending to know, do you claim to know anything about your god? If no, why believe? If yes, how?

        • adam

          “If you’re not pretending to know, do you claim to know anything about your god? If no, why believe?”

          He knows that HIS ‘god’ is a genocidal, murdering, eternal torturer………….and THIS makes him feel good.

        • Your book claims that God is good. Your book also describes in loving detail the crazy homicidal shit that your God does.

          Your book refutes itself.

        • SteveK

          That MIT degree isn’t getting much use.

        • Nice zinger!

          Now, back to the issue. Or do you not have anything besides insults to add to the conversation?

        • adam

          “The God admitted to in the Bible would know if he’s good. ”

          How would a character in a book know anything?

        • Greg G.

          Modern medicine is not omnipotent. Some suffering is necessary. They give pain killers when they can. I had a doctor once who used to say a little pain never hurt anybody. If that doctor was omnipotent, he could heal patients instantly.

          Humans have all but eliminated polio from this planet. Is that a good thing? The great omniscience apparently didn’t think so. God inflicted it on children and you imagine there was a way to justify it.

          A wolf pack sometimes kills it prey by ripping off flesh and eating it. How does your god justify that suffering in a baby moose?

          What things can an omniscient being do that could not be done without suffering?

          Even Jesus disagrees with you about “justified suffering”:

          Luke 13:1-51 Now there were some present at the same time who told him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way. 4 Or those eighteen, on whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them; do you think that they were worse offenders than all the men who dwell in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no, but, unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way.”

          What Jesus fails to mention is that you will perish the same way even if you repent.

          BTW, that passage in Luke is another case of Luke using Josephus, this time it is Antiquities of the Jews 18.4.1.

        • God’s plan is a world with polio. And smallpox and the plague and famine. We’ve turned from God’s perfect plan by curing those things.

          I hang my head in shame.

        • Greg G.

          We are populating faster than God can genocide.

        • Susan

          Look at modern medicine.

          Modern medicine is restricted to getting the best possible, though imperfect outcomes it can based on the challenges of material reality.

          You’re saying that an omniscient being that created all conditions is bound by conditions.

          An omniscient being would know if suffering is justified or not.

          It would be fully justified if it was utterly amoral or if it was a sadistic bastard.

          Of course, by no stretch of even the most demented imagination could we apply the term “good” to it.

          I think omniscience is the key here.

          I think you’re wrong.

        • adam

          “Why call a sadistic being “God”?”

          Because you like sadism.

        • MR

          Think of all the animals that suffer horrific deaths every day, torn apart, eaten alive. It’s not pretty out there. Why was this necessary? What original sin did they commit?

        • adam

          ” What original sin did they commit?”

          NONE.

          According to the story.
          They get punished because the ‘god’ character in the story placed a loaded gun in the form of MAGIC FRUIT in front of two ignorant and innocent people without knowledge of good and evil and they innocently took the ‘bait’

          This gives the monster ‘god’ character free reign to impose death on all life on earth.

          And when that doesnt work like like the omnipotent being wants it too, he commits mass murder on all animals and people except a drunkard Noah, his ‘close’ family and whatever animals that were withing walking distance of their ‘boat.

          Since incest didnt work out well with its first go around, the ‘god’ character tries again with Noah and his daughters, Character ‘god’ still not happy

          Decides to impregnate someone elses woman, so that it could be born as a human and die to remove the curse of the magic fruit.

          But AGAIN nothing changes and the character ‘god’ promises to mass murder virtually everyone and everything AGAIN in the future, because it cant seem to get this human being thing worked out.

        • MNb

          It’s not about suffering – it’s about needless suffering. God perfectly could have avoided the involved needless suffering without giving up even the smallest slice of any higher good. By giving them a collective heart attack while they were asleep, for instance.

        • SteveK

          Knowledge dictates what is needed or allowed and I don’t possess that knowledge. Neither do you.

        • Kodie

          That’s how you slip out the back door. You don’t want to know. You’re afraid of the real answer. This is how you cope with horror. This is how religions build people to worship and give money to belong to a group that glorifies horror.

        • SteveK

          You’re projecting again. You do that a lot.

        • Kodie

          Steve, maybe you just don’t know what you’re saying and what you sound like. You just don’t know god’s ways, or god’s reasons, so everything is just fine. You don’t need this shit, you are waiting to die and go to heaven where it will all be cleared up. What are you arguing for? Just to hear the sound of your fucked up voice?

        • SteveK

          Now you’re ranting.

        • Kodie

          What message have you brought us, other than that Christians are not just delusional, they are cold-blooded killers.

        • SteveK

          We are sinners. This isn’t news to me.

        • Kodie

          I don’t think you heard me.

        • adam

          “We are sinners. This isn’t news to me.”

          Yep, sinners.

          It is really under biblical ‘sin’ ANYTHING goes except for blasphemy of the holy ghost.

          Yes, you can genocide and be forgiven.
          Yes, you can murder, rape and be forgiven.

          You can genocide every single individual in any group except lets say a baby and its mother, you can beat that baby to death, rape its lifeless body, then carve that baby up and eat it, cut off that mothers head and shit that baby down her throat…..

          And STILL be forgiven.

          So the biblical sin is the REAL case where anything goes…
          .
          .
          .
          Again except for blasphemy of the holey ghost,

          THAT is so horrible, that it is UNFORGIVABLE.

        • SteveK

          Sounds like you object to having your debts forgiven. I rather like it. In the end, we get what we want. Ironic, huh?

        • adam

          “Sounds like you object to having your debts forgiven.”

          No, just a place for people like you and the baby rapers to avoid taking responsibility for YOUR OWN actions.

          ” I rather like it. In the end, we get what we want. Ironic, huh?”

          In the end we are all dead, if that is what you want, great.

          But according to the characters in your book, you get what this genocidal monster WANTS you to have. And it is demonstrated in the stories that he gets angry when things dont turn out how IT wants.

          According to the story, what YOU want doesnt matter.
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a4a7cea604da8c104218db2f1d928105aee5663fe1c54c95bc584b1482cd1594.jpg

        • SteveK

          You don’t object to being forgiven, but you object to the place for those who are forgiven. Why? It’s available to you as well. If you don’t want it, fine. If you do then take action.

        • adam

          “You don’t object to being forgiven, but you object to the place for those who are forgiven ”

          The ‘place’ is YOUR book, where as I described atrocities can be forgiven. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a3fbefbccb69a14a13db66e06ac33fa0de2bd487cd3f99b8dbc044b9b8852b8b.jpg

          ” It’s available to you as well. If you don’t want it, fine. If you do then take action.”

          I have taken action to find out if this is IMAGINARY or not, and YOU have FAILED to demonstrate that it is anything BUT an imaginary story in a book.

        • MNb

          Yup. Have fun with

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Hoss

          after you arrive in Heaven. Enjoy singing “praise the Lord!” eternally. Don’t think of his 1,5 million victims though, who were not forgiven and “get what you don’t want”.
          Or if you get bored of singing that phrase, start singing “screw the jews.”

        • SteveK

          You’re projecting. Not good.

        • adam

          Rudolph is one of YOURS…

          Psychopaths and Sociopaths for ‘God’

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zt5gLf455Q8&feature=youtu.be

        • MNb

          It’s not exactly new to me either – but it’s still incorrect. Sin is a meaningless concept. Because there is no god.

        • adam

          “What message have you brought us, other than that Christians are not just delusional, they are cold-blooded killers.”

          Hey when your Lord loves the smell of burning flesh, it just naturally creates killers to please that Lord.

        • adam

          Morality?

          It is really under biblical ‘morality’ ANYTHING goes except for blasphemy of the holy ghost.

          Yes, you can genocide and be forgiven.
          Yes, you can murder, rape and be forgiven.

          You can genocide every single individual in any group except lets say a baby and its mother, you can beat that baby to death, rape its lifeless body, then carve that baby up and eat it, cut off that mothers head and shit that baby down her throat…..

          And STILL be forgiven.

          So the biblical morality is the REAL case where anything goes…
          .
          .
          .
          Again except for blasphemy of the holey ghost,

          THAT is so horrible, that it is UNFORGIVABLE.

        • adam

          “Knowledge dictates what is needed or allowed and I don’t possess that knowledge. Neither do you.”

          So does KNOWLEDGE that a character called ‘god’ in a book is not actually a sadistic monster, but you claim to ‘know’ that.

        • MNb

          Oh, I know pretty well that dying under a sword is worse suffering than dying from a heart attack while I sleep. Are you saying you don’t?

        • SteveK

          And tolerating others is worse suffering than doing what I want. It’s needless suffering.

        • adam

          ” It’s needless suffering.”

        • SteveK

          You need not suffer.

        • adam

          How so?

          You are still suffering.

        • adam

          How so.

          You are still suffering.

        • A Canaanite woman gets run through with a sword and takes half a day to die? Yes, that’s suffering. You might want to update God.

        • You may know, but Steve and God apparently don’t.

        • adam

          Maybe it is like the smell of burning flesh and they both just LOVE it.

        • adam

          “Knowledge dictates what is needed or allowed and I don’t possess that knowledge.”

          And still you Worship the Creator of Evil…

          Willingly……….

        • TheNuszAbides

          Avoiding suffering is not the highest good.

          i zeroed in on this as well, though i have no expectation that he’d give me even a half-assed response even if he checks in or is notified and wants to return to the thread weeks later.
          the obvious volley to me is “how far below ‘the highest good’ is avoiding suffering ranked?” strongly suspecting that ‘the highest good’ is simply “anything/everything God does.” and we’re basically back to him begging our question (is that even a thing?) and pretending we expect too much.

        • Greg G.

          I think he got the ban hammer.

        • TheNuszAbides

          oh good. two reprimands from Kodie for goon-necro was enough anyway. 🙂

        • MNb

          Sometimes I’m so slow ….

          “you and I cannot know”
          “I would understand the *thinking* of it.”

          Right.

        • Susan

          I would understand the *thinking* of it.

          Good. Then, you won’t have any trouble explaining it to us.

        • SteveK

          You clearly have an appetite for more than what I’ve said. I don’t have any desire to dive deeper here. You’ll no doubt see this as evading the issue – and I am, *here*.

          There are library shelves dedicated to explaining it in as much detail as you’d like. If you’re *really* interested go find a resource that tickles your fancy.

        • Susan

          You clearly have an appetite for more than what I’ve said.

          I clearly hold you accountable for the claim that yahwehjesus grounds morality. That was the pedantic point you thought nobody here had ever heard of.

          You came here to aim your peashooter at strawmen and you have evaded every single effort to get you to address the subject of ‘morality’. You’re not interested in morality. You’re interested in strawmen (and making unsupported and incoherent claims about your pet deity).

          You’ll no doubt see this as evading the issue.

          It should be obvious to anyone viewing your exchanges here.

          There are library shelves dedicated to explaining it in as much detail as you like.

          There are library shelves dedicated to explaining astrology.

          If you’re *really* interested go find a resource that tickles your fancy.

          You’re in no position to be snarky. You came here to school Bob and the rest of us and you’ve produced nothing.

          When MNb commented “I still doubt that you would adopt this line of thinking if your loved ones were the victims”, you said:

          “I would have emotional problems with it… but I would understand the *thinking* of it”.

          I asked you to explain this understanding and you suggested I go to the library.

          So, you don’t understand the thinking.

          Once again, you’ve got nothing.

          ________

          Edit: Removed a redundant point.

        • SteveK

          I’ve got nothing for you. Yep.

        • MNb

          Ah, the good old “read tons of book before assuming that your objection is valid” – the funny thing is that apologists never apply that principle to themselves, like when they say something like “subjective morals means everything goes”.

        • adam

          Here Thomas Paine explains it well.

        • adam

          ” Avoiding suffering is not the highest good.”

          So why the promise of this in heaven?

        • adam

          “Plus I still doubt you would adopt this line of thinking if your loved ones were the victims.”

          Psychopaths would have no trouble with this line of thinking.

        • adam

          Kilt. Skirt.

          kilt
          : a type of skirt traditionally worn by men in Scotland

          : a woman’s skirt that resembles a Scottish kilt

          skirt
          : a piece of clothing worn by women and girls that hangs from the waist down

          : the part of a dress, coat, etc., that hangs from the waist down

          : an outer covering that hangs down to protect something

          So according to Merriam Webster a kilt IS a SKIRT.

        • Ah–helpful clarification. God ordered them all to be destroyed, down to every last baby. He didn’t order “genocide,” cuz that’s totally not genocide.

          Thanks for that.

        • MR

          He’s not the sharpest cheddar on the cracker.

        • Greg G.

          Cue Inigo Montoya.

        • Kodie

          He’s also been saying that human life is not equal either, as in, do we just value human life regardless of who or what that human is or does? He agrees at least in the biblical sense (not the sexual one), if not Nazism and ISIS, that within human morality, it is possible and possibly advantageous to consider how we genocide, say, fire ants or termites or fleas or any kind of pest that you’d easily call an exterminator for without thinking twice. Your quality of life is important to you, and he’s saying Christians’ quality of life is important to them. Toward that end, anything goes. If it means calling for the extermination of a culture whose morality (behavior) encroaches on your quality of life, then those humans deserve it. Especially if it says so in the bible, those aren’t just men fighting other men down here on earth, that’s people claiming god chose them, and those other people are dragging down the average and need to be expunged.

          That’s what he means “grounded in god himself” and also what he means by “if god wants to do it, that’s what makes it good by his nature.” He wants these people to succeed, and in order to do that, those other people need to be dead. He’s ignorant of morality totally. He can’t listen to another person justify why their way of life isn’t hurting anyone. He can’t listen to another person make the case for getting along socially. Their morals are not on the list of righteousness that he sticks to, and you’ve heard him, he can’t reason his way out of a paper bag. Let’s also suggest trying to spread Christianity (and call themselves soldiers while doing so) is the more life-preserving option. If you had to convince people that Christianity is true, especially if they already believe some other superstition, you know that killing them is the only way. Convincing them to change their ways will not work out too good, and for them, it’s one way or the other. They can’t live on this planet with other people! They think it’s all theirs and “god’s morality” gives them permission to treat others as either needing to be changed (by any means, even threats of death, to be thrown out of the house, to be beaten and bullied and treated like scum) or killed. These are the only two options when you’re religious like SteveK.

        • adam

          ” I don’t worship *that* God. ”

          Nobody does, THAT’S the point
          YOU worship THIS god:

        • God is selling genocide and slavery. You ignore that because you muzzle God so that your sock puppet version just says reasonable things–be a bit more generous, help people more, tough love things like that.

        • SteveK

          He’s selling a better way and some people refuse to buy.

        • Slavery is God’s word, and our depraved society just can’t accept it.

          Now, go forth and preach!

        • SteveK

          What the…??

        • That’s what your god is selling. Are you refusing to buy?

        • SteveK

          You are mistaking means and ends. He’s selling the end, which is a relationship with him.

        • And I’m very clear about the crazy shit that comes along for the ride with God belief. I’m simply rubbing your nose in it.

        • SteveK

          It’s all pretty logical until you bring in something from the outside like you are doing. You’re rubbing my nose in the shit you brought in. Wipe your feet next time.

        • If you want to call it “logical,” OK. Your god supports slavery and genocide. If slavery and genocide couldn’t be supported by a loving god, maybe your “loving god Yahweh” doesn’t exist.

        • adam

          ” He’s selling the end, which is a relationship with him.”

          Psychopaths and Sociopaths unite!

        • Kodie

          Why would you want a relationship with him?

        • adam

          Even psychopaths and sociopaths want ACCEPTANCE for who they are.

        • adam

        • adam

          “He’s selling a better way and some people refuse to buy.”

          Yes, because not every body enjoys genocide, slavery and eternal torture.

        • Susan

          I said God doesn’t have a separate set of morals that obligates him.

          What do you mean?

          God does have morals though and he acts on them.

          Please describe them and give us some examples.

        • SteveK

          It means what it says. God has no obligations.

          >> Please describe them and give us some examples.

          I did that for Bob in the comments when he asked for a list of God’s moral rules, his Do’s and Don’ts so-to-speak. Bob ran off in a huff, but my comment was serious. I guess Bob forgot that Christian’s say morality is grounded in the divine nature of God, as if he’s never heard that before.

        • Susan

          I did that for Bob in the comments when asked for a list of God’s moral rules

          I’ve tried to find it in your comment history but can’t.

          Could you link it or restate it, please?

        • SteveK

          1) Thou shalt do what God’s divine, immutable nature permit God to do.

        • Susan

          1) Thou shalt do what God’s divine, immutable nature permit God to do.

          That couldn’t be more vague and is not a response to my (I think reasonable) request.

          You stated:

          God does have morals though and acts on them.

          My request:

          Please describe them and give us some examples.

          Try again.

        • SteveK

          Not sure what you’re looking for – an example of God’s expressed morals? If so, Obey God is one of those expressed morals.

        • Susan

          Not sure what you’re looking for-

          What morals does ‘God’ have and in what way does it act on them?

        • adam

          “Obey God is one of those expressed morals.”

        • Kodie

          As if there’s a god. This is a political power tactic. You don’t want a rebellion, just say “god said” and everyone has to follow orders “or else.” That’s not morality, that’s obedience.

        • adam

          “1) Thou shalt do what God’s divine, immutable nature permit God to do.”

        • Susan

          It means what it says. God has no obligations.

          Your habit of repeating statements when asked for clarification is not very helpful.

          A rock has no obligations. When you say “God has no obligations”, it seems to imply that it has no moral obligations, meaning no obligations arising out of considerations of right and wrong.

          How can one be a moral agent and have no moral obligations?

        • SteveK

          When one grounds morality and when one is under no external moral obligation.

        • Susan

          When one grounds morality and when one is under no external moral obligation

          How can an agent ground morality if it has no obligations arising out of considerations of right and wrong?

          What do you mean by morality?

        • SteveK

          You’re asking how a grounding can be, in its essence, the grounding. I can’t explain any further because I don’t know how to say it more plainly. Yes, I admit it’s *very* complicated and yes you’ll get a variety of explanations from different people, but that is because we’re not given all the information.

          Don’t reply like the other idiots here (*cough* Adam) and tell me God is imaginary blah,blah,blah because I’m answering according to my understanding of what Christianity teaches.

          With the above in mind, morality is the essence of what we commonly refer to as the good and the true. What is moral is the good and what is good means it is true to the essence that grounds it – God

        • Susan

          Yes, I admit it’s *very* complicated and yes you’ll get a variety of explanations from different people, but that is because we’re not given all the information.

          You’ve got nothing, then?

          Don’t reply like the other idiots here

          Dunning-Kruger strikes again.

          Why tell me not to do something I haven’t done?

          morality is the essence of what we commonly refer to as the good and the true. What is moral is the good

          All you have are tautologies.

          and what is good means it is true to the essence that grounds it- God

          And a non-sequitir.

        • SteveK

          You really aren’t nice.

        • Susan

          You really aren’t nice.

          Where did I go wrong?

        • MNb

          You showed where SteveK went wrong. I’ve yet to meet the first apologist who can forgive that.

        • Susan

          You showed where SteveK went wrong.

          Maybe. More importantly, I asked question after question to give him the opportunity to show where he went right.

          Morality is an important subject to me.

          I’ve yet to meet the first apologist who can forgive that.

          They get annoyed when you replace their strawmen with reasonable questions asked by reasonable (if fallible) humans.

        • Kodie

          What?

        • MR

          With the above in mind, morality is the essence of what we commonly refer to as the good and the true. What is moral is the good and what is good means it is true to the essence that grounds it – God

          But you’re talking about our morality (where you say “what we commonly refer to”) that is good and true. But you’ve stated that our morality is not God’s morality. So, if God’s morality is not our morality then his morality is not good and true. But then you turn around and say that “What is moral is the good and what is good means it is true to the essence that grounds it – God.”

          You can’t have it both ways.

        • 90Lew90

          All that is good comes from [your] God?

        • Kodie

          What do you mean by morality?

          He means obedience.

        • Susan

          He means obedience.

          So far, that seems to be exactly what he means.

          And he accuses us of moral relativism.

        • Kodie

          I don’t understand “grounding” of morality. It sounds really official and shit, but the more I think about it, it just means god can reward or punish you if you do or don’t do what he wants. He can’t punish himself, so he can do whatever he wants, and you believe he is justified in doing anything he wants because his morality is not grounded in anything. He doesn’t even have to follow his own preferences for us.

        • Greg G.

          Grounding is like Dinsdale Pirahna how ran the Other Other Operation.

          https://youtu.be/Ygg2KlicnOQ?t=300

          .

        • Kodie

          That doesn’t mean anything.

        • MR

          You haven’t shown that God exists, let alone that he has morals.

        • MR

          SteveK chooses the morality of genocide and slavery along with his god. That’s what religion does to a man.

        • Kodie

          You rationalize that it is justified because god the monster can do whatever he pleases. It pleases you whatever pleases whatever sick justification god can have that you label “good”. That’s what makes Christians like you psychopaths.

        • Dez

          So you have no problem with my ancestors being tortured, raped, and sold because of the Christian bible and it’s instructions about slavery because morals are subjective? That is sick.

        • SteveK

          More subjective moral terms. You perceive certain things as good, whereas someone else perceives them as bad – and there’s no objective contradiction.

          If ‘good’ is describing the actual activity according to an objective definition of “the good” then it would be objective, but everyone here says that is nonsense.

          I’m playing along with that.

        • Dez

          Slavery is not subjective. There is a clear harm to one party. Are you seriously saying slavery is acceptable if you want it to be?

        • SteveK

          Harm is not the issue, morality is the issue. Going into surgery causes harm but it’s not immoral. Harm can be done and it can still be moral to do that. Why? Because the end game is kept in mind in order to justify the temporary harm being done.

          What is the end game for humans? Health, existence, more children, kindness, low blood pressure, fitness, strength, comfort, wealth, peace ….

        • Dez

          So the harm done to blacks in slavery can be morally justified to you? The end game for humans depends on the humans.

        • adam

          “So the harm done to blacks in slavery can be morally justified to you?”

          Well duh….

          Psychopaths have a different morality than you and I.

          You are just disrespecting SteveK’s morality and his ‘god’ at the same time.

          Blasphemer!

        • adam

          “What is the end game for humans? Health, existence, more children, kindness, low blood pressure, fitness, strength, comfort, wealth, peace
          ….”

          Depends, for some it IS genocide, murder, slavery, rape, torture and destroying civilization.

          You pick your morality based on which one makes you ‘feel good’ as you stated.

          You’ve stated your support for the latter…

          I dont.

        • SteveK

          Morality depends on feelings, eh? If it feels good it is good, right? So there’s no problem here.

        • adam

          No problem here, as long as everybody understands what YOUR morality consists of and where it comes from.
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2d88ca54294329e4ea824f4245847c05b1e76e1e4556c76ece476782c2ed0640.jpg

        • 90Lew90

          I don’t think anyone was suggesting that for a minute. Except maybe you.

        • SteveK

          Don’t look now but adam agreed with my comment.

        • adam

          “Don’t look now but adam agreed with my comment.”

          Of course YOUR personal morality is based on if it feels good to YOU….

          Didnt you admit that that was why you accept the morality of the god character in the book ‘The Bible’?

        • SteveK

          Everyone is telling me that morality is subjective. Are you saying it’s not? Explain.

        • MR

          So you can troll some more? It’s been explained to you over and over, but you insist on dishonestly twisting it into a strawman. See if you can take a stab at (honestly for once) stating the subjective view. Include the evolution argument and the social argument. Let’s see if you’ve learned anything.

        • SteveK

          Subjective: relating to the way a person experiences things in his or her own mind: based on feelings or opinions rather than facts

          So, the fact that there is bodily damage being done is not the *basis* for subjective morality. The *basis* is the person. Their personal experiences and feelings that those facts produce in the mind of an individual determine the morality.

          Am I wrong?

        • adam

          Morality?

          It is really under biblical ‘morality’ ANYTHING goes except for blasphemy of the holy ghost.

          Yes, you can genocide and be forgiven.
          Yes, you can murder, rape and be forgiven.

          You can genocide every single individual in any group except lets say a baby and its mother, you can beat that baby to death, rape its lifeless body, then carve that baby up and eat it, cut off that mothers head and shit that baby down her throat…..

          And STILL be forgiven.

          So the biblical morality is the REAL case where anything goes…
          .
          .
          .
          Again except for blasphemy of the holey ghost,

          THAT is so horrible, that it is UNFORGIVABLE.

        • MR

          Weaselly Steve strawmans again. Go back and reread.

        • SteveK

          Or you could tell me the answer.

        • MR

          I have. I’m trying to get you to give an honest assessment of what you’ve been told, but all you can seem to do is evade and misrepresent. Is that what Christianity promises me? How to be disingenuous and a weasel?

        • SteveK

          Link to comments that will help me and I’ll read them. The comment system here is difficult to navigate to say the least.

        • MR

          See if you can take a stab at (honestly for once) stating the subjective view. Include the evolution argument and the social argument. Let’s see if you’ve learned anything.

        • SteveK

          I did honestly state the subjective view. I used a dictionary definition. The example I gave was my own.

          Here’s my attempt at the others:
          Moral instincts are those which favor our human-centric view within human society. Those instincts evolved over time through biological evolution.

        • MR

          And the social aspect?

        • SteveK

          I thought the first sentence covered that. Morals adapt within society to favor our human-centric view.

          If that’s not right then just tell me.

        • MR

          So are moral instincts based solely on the individual or does it also incorporate how that individual interacts with society?

        • SteveK

          Both.

        • MR

          Are morals solely instincts?

        • SteveK

          At bottom, I’d say yes. The social interaction serves to shape and refine them one individual at at time but it is the individual that houses morals. Social morals are a tallying of all the individual morals.

        • MR

          Is that your belief, or is that what you believe our side is saying? I’m interested in knowing what you think our side says. Or at least as you understand what I’ve been saying, since it wouldn’t be fair for me to speak for everyone.

          I’m asking because it sounds like that’s coming from you.

        • SteveK

          I believe that is what your side is saying. Correct me if I’m wrong.

        • MR

          You appear to be wrong, but no need to correct yet.

          Do individuals have social morals?

        • SteveK

          Not exactly sure what that means but I’ll give it a try anyway.

          Society helps to influence and shape the morals of an individual so they tend to *reflect* social morals – but I wouldn’t say they *are* social morals. The level of influence and shaping depends on their current biology via evolution.

        • MR

          Are morals conscious choices?

        • adam

          ” Is that what Christianity promises me? How to be disingenuous and a weasel?”

          At its VERY BEST…

        • adam

          “I’m trying to get you to give an honest ”

          You owe me a new keyboard…

        • Kodie

          The basis is social awareness, you tool. It’s called the ability to empathize, something I think Christianity takes away from people.

        • Susan

          Subjective: relating to the way a person experiences things in his or her own mind: based on feelings or opinions rather than facts

          The dictionary isn’t a good place to unpack moral philosophy.

          I have feelings and opinions based on the facts. For instance, I have the opinion that factory farming is a travesty.

          In an appropriate discussion, I would have to do the hard work of supporting that opinion and hope I could do it effectively enough to change some minds and hope that those minds change minds.

          I have moral judgements about the subject based on the facts. I can’t claim it as a moral ‘fact’, though.

          You make a strawman of ‘subjective’ rather than support your erroneous claim that morality is ‘objective’. That’s your comfort zone and it’s dishonest.

          The strawman is that if morality is subjective, then anything goes, which is pretending that the subject of ethics doesn’t exist.

          Show me an objective moral and you won’t have to do the hard work of moral philosophy.

          Hint: Morality has almost nothing to do with which flavour of ice cream you prefer.

        • MR

          Your factory farming caught my eye. Steven Pinker has a lot to say about morals. In The Blank Slate, he says,

          Another strange feature of the moral emotions is that they can be turned on and off like a switch…. They consist in flipping between a mindset that judges behavior in terms of preference with a mindset that judges behavior in terms of value.

          He then gives examples of things that have acquired moral coloring only recently:

          advertising to children, automobile safety, Barbie dolls…, corporate owned farms….

          Another example, when I was younger, abortion wasn’t the bug-a-boo for my protestant congregation that it is now. That was a Catholic thing, and, hey, if the Catholics were against something, they certainly weren’t going to jump on that bandwagon. Especially since the Pope was basically the Antichrist.

          That all changed later when abortion became a political football. The fanaticism with which they now view abortion blows my mind when I think back on their wariness of the subject back then. Try telling them they changed their position, though!

        • SteveK

          http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/beauty/#ObjSub

          subjective – located “in the eye of the beholder”

          You seem to be arguing that the extra-mental world has something to do with morality. You need to study that world and make a rational judgement. That extra-mental world is the objective world. Are you saying that world has objective moral information (facts) that helps you with your studies and rational judgements?

        • Susan

          subjective- located “in the eye of the beholder”

          I know what subjective means. Linking me to a philosophy article about our notions of beauty is a strange move.

          I’ve directly asked you questions about what morality is, what you mean by ‘good’, how an agent that is not obligated to considerations of right and wrong can ground morality in any sense.

          Crickets.

          You’ve claimed christian morals. I asked you what those were.

          Crickets.

          You claimed your deity of choice has morals and acts on them. I asked you what those morals were and for examples where it acted on them.

          Crickets.

          You’ve ignored all the interactions here and have chosen instead, to snuggle up with your strawman because it soothes you to hold it closely so you can beat it to death.

          I linked you to ‘ethics’ and you respond with ‘beauty’, I guess because it’s a philosophy page and it uses the word “subjective”, you think that’s a legitimate move.

          You really, really, desperately need to keep the burden on people who don’t accept ‘objective morality’ claims because you can’t defend those claims in any way.

          I asked you many specific questions and you blatantly weaseled out of answering any of them on the subject of morality.

          Trying to justify your strawmanning of ‘subjective’ on the subject of morality by linking to a discussion of artistic relativism is just too much. There are threads for those discussions and this isn’t one of them.

          Please get back on topic and respond to my questions.

        • Kodie

          I just wrote another long post about this, but it has occurred to me that SteveK has no idea what we’re even talking about. Could he honestly be groping at concepts that are so foreign to him? I have never seen anyone argue for objective morality the way he has. The idea that morality is, to us, how we get along, and to him, is how to please god. He has no thoughts of getting along with other people and not doing things because he cares how that other person may be victimized by his behavior. Obviously, internet trolling isn’t in the bible, so he does seem to understand if god didn’t say anything, he can make up his own mind according to ? I don’t know how he decides what to do or not do if it’s not on the list. According to him, if there’s no god, then anything goes. A subset of that would be, for the Christian, if god didn’t say anything about it, do whatever the fuck you like then as well.

        • MR

          It really is kind of bizarre. It makes me wonder what his interactions with people must be like on a daily basis.

          And I’ve often wondered how trolls reconcile that behavior with their moral conscience. How could God possibly approve of such behavior? But, I think you might be on to something. They don’t really care about empathy and trying to understand the other side. This is how regular people can end up doing horrible things like slavery and genocide. “They don’t share my beliefs, therefore they don’t deserve my empathy. Let me fuck with them and maybe I can win points with my God.”

        • Kodie

          It’s hard to know if they’re fucking with you or not. Obviously, they think their shitty arguments are amazing. Then there is SteveK, who isn’t going to the effort, and seems to think lame “gotcha” type games are how to win. I mean, is there a god or isn’t there? Do you think it could be decided by tricking or trapping an atheist into a bad answer or one you could distort? Distorting is lying, doesn’t matter if it’s over the internet or not. But where I had prior accused Christians of using deceit, I start to think holy shit, maybe they don’t even know any better. Their reading comprehension is worse than I thought, and they’re not even getting this. They’re working from a script to stay safe, not reading, not comprehending. Enter keyword [swear words], respond “fussy and no longer willing to engage.” Look, they’re not looking for a conversation. I really wonder if they know how to think.

        • MR

          And this is the direction I’m beginning to head, too, based on this little question and answer period. Here I’m thinking he simply disagrees with the position, but now it seems he doesn’t even understand the position. Wha’? After all that’s been said? It also goes back to my schizophrenia post about not being signed on to the same reality, like those little jolts of cognitive dissonance cauterize the brain, preventing them from understanding, from even participating in that shared human connection: “Must. not. fully. engage. Must. resist. understanding. Must. resist. thinking.” And that’s another thing. I get so frustrated when they stubbornly refuse to think, to even make an attempt to connect the dots. I think they’re being deliberately obtuse. Why do we have to play these games where I have to hold their hand and walk them through the argument? But, now I’m thinking they really can’t connect the dots! They just don’t make the connections.

        • MR
        • adam

          Of course YOUR personal morality is based on if it feels good to YOU….

          Didnt you admit that that was why you accept the morality of the god character in the book ‘The Bible’?

        • MR

          He’s building a strawman that if morals are subjective then anything goes. The individual can do whatever he wants. He purposefully ignores our moral social instincts honed from evolution that conflict with his strawman, as well as the moral obligations of living within society.

        • adam

          “He’s building a strawman that if morals are subjective then anything goes. ”

          But apparently he is not bright enough to have thought this out.

          Because it is really under biblical ‘forgiveness’ ANYTHING goes except for blasphemy of the holy ghost.

          Yes, you can genocide and be forgiven.
          Yes, you can murder, rape and be forgiven.

          You can genocide every single individual in any group except lets say a baby and its mother, you can beat that baby to death, rape its lifeless body, then carve that baby up and eat it, cut off that mothers head and shit that baby down her throat…..

          And STILL be forgiven.

          So the biblical morality is the REAL case where anything goes…
          .
          .
          .
          Again except for blasphemy of the holey ghost,

          THAT is so horrible, that it is UNFORGIVABLE.

        • MNb

          Plus he ignores a simple fact: people consciously adopt an (subjective) ethical system to avoid “anything goes” – to provide themselves with a standard to decide for themselves what to do and what not.
          Imo the big problem with “(objective) moral law” is that fans want it to be similar to “scientific law”.

        • MR

          Right. Thank you for pointing out ethical systems, that’s something I haven’t mentioned. Morality involves our moral instincts at the individual level and societal level, it incorporates ethical systems, conscious choice and subconscious choice which are also engaged at the individual and social levels. I may consciously or subconsciously make moral choices based on how they benefit me, those around me or the society or world at large. Sometimes those morals conflict.

          Steve wants to strawman the argument into an individual’s choice and selfish motivations as the only factor. He wants to ignore the rest to taint the theory, all the while ignoring the problems of his objective morality theory that allows for slavery, genocide, etc.

        • Kodie

          I think SteveK even understands ethical systems. I don’t understand ethical systems but I guess they exist. Maybe I’ll add more about that at the end. Anyway, I think his idea is that god made us and can do whatever he wants and wants what he wants from us and our only sense of morality is to please him – if that means being nice to other people, that’s because god wants, not because it’s nice to be nice to the nice. To follow any other system of morality, to him, is to be wrong, is to guess, is to follow your own feelings or someone else’s system who isn’t god, and you’re going to find trouble there. And I would also say, if there were a god, he would be correct, and god is still an abusive fucking asshole, by the way. If you’re under rule, you don’t question the ruler, and you do whatever he likes or else be punished. And can you plead your case and be forgiven? No, never. You can be forgiven by begging if it pleases the lord, but not by rationale. It’s funny how god is portrayed as a parent while believers are children. “But mom, he hit me first!” is not going to get you anywhere. You have to apologize sincerely to your brother, and just tell your mom you won’t do it again and you know it was wrong.

          I now get stunning realization. When you are older and maybe have children of your own, but I don’t, so maybe that’s different… I mean, there’s a point in time when you realize your parents are just people trying to civilize you, and that effort can range from amazing to totally shitty, even in the same parent. Adults who become parents probably revert to some patterns of their own parents, not necessarily, but likely, I think they get a different understanding how parenting “makes sense” when you do these things like your own parents did, that didn’t make sense when you were a kid. Anyway – when you cast god as the ultimate parent who can do whatever he wants and you still have to obey, god sounds awfully like a person, and not one living in the present. But you live under his roof with no chance of escape, so you don’t have any choices. Maybe the realization wasn’t so stunning. There are people like SteveK who think other people don’t have the wisdom, you have to listen to god, forgetting that whichever of the 10s of thousands of variations of Christianity he adheres to, he’s still adhering to an ethical system made by people. Maybe thousands of years ago, maybe within the last hundred years. His “objective” morality is still his preferred interpretation of what he imagines is the dictation by his ultimate parent, but is in actuality, other people. Not objective, actually subjective to his own interpretation of what god is and wants.

        • Kodie

          Hasn’t he compared it to laws of physics that “just are.” You’re right and he thinks that code comes from the bible, while people who interpret the bible in various ways think they are getting their morals from it, while they are putting their own morals into it. It’s funny how they all do that and all still carry on about objective morality. Christianity can be done thousands of ways, morality therein, and they’re all still saying it’s objective.

        • Kodie

          I was thinking about this and wonder if that is really why they use that straw man argument. Based on what they believe, and how screwed up it sounds already, they really don’t have any basis for understanding morality. Slavery or genocide, for example, if commanded by god must be good. God is not just the ruler, creator, etc., he is the parent figure who knows more than we do. God’s justifications please him, and if we worship him, we implicitly agree to his unknown reasons, even if we heard these reasons and they still sounded shitty. So god says kill those people, why. They are wicked, ok. All of them? Yes, they bear the national DNA of wickedness, satan came one night and infected them, so even all the babies have it. They must be destroyed. Ok. Then we find out god’s opinion of things that are wicked is stuff like eating cold pizza in the morning, and picking up sticks on the wrong day of the week.

          To SteveK, that’s a good enough reason. Other Christians assume it’s a much better reason, like they were really zombies or vampires or a human-sized breed of fruit fly. I think that would qualify as a pretty good reason to kill babies and children, stop the breeding cycle and all that. Hitler and anyone that recent in history was evidently not following god or Christ, because we know Jews aren’t wicked (I would argue that at the time the US was gathering Japanese-Americans in a similar fashion, most people didn’t like Jews all that much either, and probably didn’t think it was a big deal, like any genocide we’ve heard about since). The point is, when you hear a survivor’s story, and these people live among you, you disagree with that genocide because it couldn’t have been instructed by god because not a really good reason. Similar ideas have been tossed around about rounding up homosexuals without any irony. Hitler still bad, let’s do the same thing to gays.

          Anyway, morality is not apparently about being good to other people, or feeling good. When people like SteveK talk about objective morality “grounded” in god, versus subjective morality where we treat others how we would like to be treated or something like that, he’s saying morality isn’t at all about treating others well for their sake and of getting along and anything like that. Morality for him is doing whatever god wants, including being an asshole on purpose. He doesn’t know why he doesn’t murder, he knows god doesn’t want him to, so that’s why he thinks murder is “bad”, not because it would take someone’s life and hurt them and their family. He doesn’t think like that at all. He is ultimately desensitized. I mean, I’m sure if he’s watching the news and some little boy who’d gone missing turned up in dismembered parts, he’d feel something, but he wouldn’t then turn on his morality toward such a tragic thing – god will punish the murderer, oh those poor parents, what kind of sick world do we live in, but none of that would trigger an association of why it’s wrong to murder. God doesn’t like us to do that, that’s why. Not because of the victims, not because it’s sick to watch something like that on the news and realize there are people who do such a thing, but because god doesn’t like us to murder other people. He has his reasons and it has nothing at all to do with the victims.

          So when SteveK turns on this “subjective morality”, that we do whatever feels good, he really has no fucking idea. He thinks the alternative to doing whatever god wants us to do or not doing what he doesn’t want us to do is doing whatever we feel like to anyone for any reason we can justify. It’s not about thinking about that other person and how they might feel, morality isn’t about being generous, thoughtful, charitable, caring, or anything like that. Morality in his world is stone-cold doing what you’re supposed to do, and not doing what you’re not supposed to do. Whatever god does is “good” because he’s god, and whatever we do, we should try to obey god’s rules for us. They don’t apply to him, he has reasons and your reasons aren’t good enough (except when you rationalize murder or slavery because god said to, because you have that imaginary bullshit on your side to command you to (justify) overpower others, and the other side doesn’t (they often have their own). That’s all there is to that. He actually doesn’t seem to comprehend social interactions and empathy, which is scary how religion takes that away from you as it replaces it with church group-think.

          I’m going to put this article here again:
          http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/body/hatred/

        • MR

          I have to admit, I’m rather surprised at some of his responses to my questions. You’re right, I think he doesn’t comprehend those social interactions and empathy and that we all have them ingrained in us. I mean, this is the 21st century. People aren’t isolated anymore. How do you not understand this? Or does that church mentality cripple your ability to see outsiders like yourself. We see that in politics, too, I guess.

        • MR

          I think this post over at Progressive Secular Humanist touches on what you’re saying, too.

        • MR

          This is the problem with the Christian view. Our moralities lie in the fact that we are all human and have empathy for one another. Once you remove morality and put it in the hands of something outside of humanity, it leaves you open to imagine that things like genocide and slavery can be justified. You lose the empathy factor. Our human empathy circles have been growing larger and larger as we’ve moved from tribes to more modern society. Christian morality brings those tribal divisions back. Christian vs. Non-Christian instead of shared moralities as the human race.

        • adam

          “You lose the empathy factor.”

          This is THE key.

          Once you lose the empathy factor you are MORE LIKE GOD.

          So genocide, murder, slavery and torture becomes DIVINE…..

        • MR

          Empathy and the social contract. I may be willing to overlook things about you that I don’t like, as long as you are following some basic rules that allow us to get along. If you break the rules, then you risk being ostracized, jailed or killed. The morality of the individual intersects with the morality of the group.

        • adam

          “The morality of the individual intersects with the morality of the group.”

          Apparently not in SteveK’s world.
          Morality comes from the writings of a primitive TRIBAL people thousands of years ago who didnt know where the sun went at night and who didnt understand germ theory preferring to blame evil spirits and demons for disease.

        • MR

          Which has led him to do some serious tail-chasing!

        • adam

          Of course, but you know his PRIDE wont let him see that.
          Seems as if THAT is why he has resorted to trolling.

        • adam

          “Are you seriously saying slavery is acceptable if you want it to be?”

          No, wants have nothing to do with it, if a god does it and commands it IT IS GOOD to believers like SteveK.

          Psychopaths have different MORALS than you and I.

        • Susan

          I’m playing along with that.

          You tried this yesterday and were unable to grasp a single point, even one of your own.

          Now, you’re hitting the reset button as though it never happened.

          It’s fundamentally dishonest.

        • MR

          At this point he’s just trolling. Probably always was. His arguments have resorted to strawmen while he ignores the larger picture. He thinks he’s being clever by focusing on the subjective argument from an individual perspective while completely ignoring the evolutionary and societal impacts. He has studiously avoided even addressing those aspects. And then he wants to be taken seriously with his strawman? How many Christians have we seen devolve into such dishonest discourse? Does he imagine that God would approve in his game playing? Is this what religion does to a person? Oh, gee, sign me up for that!

        • adam

          “It’s fundamentally dishonest.”

          Yes, but it is the VERY BEST that ‘faith’ provides for him.

        • 90Lew90

          Are you attempting to say that the morality of slavery is just a matter of perspective?

        • SteveK

          Everyone else is saying morality is subjective and I’m accepting that in these discussions.

        • 90Lew90

          So am I to take it that you are saying that the morality of slavery is just a matter of perspective? Or am I to take it that’s not what you’re saying? Are you arguing from a position you don’t really hold? What’s the point of that? And you are aware that we don’t need to adopt moral absolutism in order to give objective answers to some moral questions, aren’t you. If we take human individuals as ends in themselves possessing intrinsic worth, we can not justify one individual “owning” another.

        • SteveK

          I’m getting pushback from others about the term ‘subjectivity’ so now I don’t know how to answer your questions. I’m adopting the popular position in these discussions. Of course it is not the Christian position.

          Where do humans get this intrinsic worth you mentioned? Is human worth purely ‘in the eye of the human beholder’.

        • adam

          ” Of course it is not the Christian position.”

          It was certainly the position of the Jesus character in the book.

        • 90Lew90

          Forget about “others” and take my questions at face value. A thing which is living can be said to have intrinsic moral value in itself. Such moral value doesn’t need to “come from” anywhere or any other thing, because it’s intrinsic.

          The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has it thus: “Intrinsic value has traditionally been thought to lie at the heart of ethics. Philosophers use a number of terms to refer to such value. The intrinsic value of something is said to be the value that that thing has “in itself,” or “for its own sake,” or “as such,” or “in its own right.” Read more here: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/value-intrinsic-extrinsic/

          Why, as a Christian, are you adopting a position which is not the Christian position? That’s dishonest unless you’re being rhetorical and playing devil’s advocate, and I’ve just called you on your rhetoric and you’ve still shrunk from giving me an answer. I’m not sure there is a “popular position” on these discussions. The questions are very much open. Would you care to make explicit your own position and defend it? Because the “Christian position” isn’t even decided on this, given as there are so many kinds of Christianity. It seems you’re trying to hide in the woods.

        • SteveK

          Accepting intrinsic value as you have stated it doesn’t help me much. It doesn’t tell us what the value actually is. For some things maybe it’s near zero value. Maybe it’s a very high value. Maybe everything has equal intrinsic value. How would you know?

          I realize that some things are more valuable *to you*, but this subjective value is in addition to the intrinsic value.

        • adam

          “Are you attempting to say that the morality of slavery is just a matter of perspective?”

          Of course he is, from the perspective of the character ‘God’ in the book ‘The Bible’ slavery is good because that character approves of it, and probably enjoys it like it does the smell of burning flesh.

          Rape, murder, mass destruction, eternal torture

          All perfect acceptable from the perspective of this character in that book.

          Perhaps the question is

          Why would you take this perspective from a character in a book as your own unless you were just as psychopathic as the character?

        • MNb

          “you would say God’s ethics differ from the ethics of you and I”
          I would never say anything like that because I’m an atheist. There is no god.
          What I’m saying is that you can’t maintain that ethics are objective. Nothing more, nothing less. If you’re fine with it we’re done. You have addressed Adam’s point and annoyed quite a few professional apologists, above all William Laine Craig.

        • SteveK

          >> What I’m saying is that you can’t maintain that ethics are objective. Nothing more, nothing less.

          I’m working with that theory in mind.

          >> You have addressed Adam’s point and annoyed quite a few professional apologists, above all William Laine Craig.

          Well, the truth is the truth.

    • Tell me (clearly) where my argument is undermined.

      Abraham uses the same moral law on God, and God is OK with it. If you imagine otherwise, how do you justify the fact that God can’t stick with his own moral law?

      • SteveK

        Where does Abraham do that and where is God OK with it?

        • Gen. 18:22-33. You really ought to understand what your religion is built on.

        • Greg G.

          That was my guess for what you meant and I didn’t have a Holy Ghost to guide me.

        • It’s a miracle! Praise Jeebus.

        • Greg G.

          It looks like Yahweh abruptly ended the negotiations when Abraham got him down to 10, as if he knew there were 9 righteous men there but really wanted to blow up the cities anyway.

        • SteveK

          I fail to see how this shows that God is obligated to some moral law external to himself.

        • adam

          “I fail to see how this shows that God is obligated to some moral law external to himself.”

          Not surprising

        • Huh? I said that Abraham declared that he and God were bound by the same moral law, then backed it up with scripture. Don’t change the subject.

        • SteveK

          Bound by the same moral law, where? External to himself, where?

        • I didn’t say external/internal; you did. If you think God’s morals are one or the other, say so and defend that position.

          Abraham says that he and God share the same moral law.

        • SteveK

          If morals coincide with God then how is it possible that God can be immoral? That would require God to be not-God.

        • adam

          “That would require God to be not-God.”

          Or just IMAGINARY..

        • Kodie

          You’re just speaking in riddles. How do you keep up with yourself, you make no sense.

        • MR

          Congratulations! You just defined your God out of existence!

        • SteveK

          I did? I thought I just established that something was wrong with an argument that results in a contradiction.

        • MR

          The paradox is resolved when you realize that God doesn’t exist.

        • SteveK

          That would do it but like I said before I can accept Bob’s premises for God’s existence and still critique his argument. There’s something wrong with his argument.

        • adam

          “That would do it but like I said before I can accept Bob’s premises for God’s existence and still critique his argument. ”

          Sure JUST like we could for Spiderman

        • MR

          The premise that God actually exists. That’s the point.

        • Kodie

          You define god as “good” in human terms, even if god is not held to the moral standards of humans and can act in terrifying, destructive ways towards humans. As I’ve said, any animal that we would not normally hold to human standards of morality is definitely held accountable (even if they lack the ability to understand) if they should attack a human while behaving according to their own nature. You make no fucking sense, Steve. You want to make up a god like a child who is “good” only, but doesn’t have to act good according to ourselves, that makes no fucking sense. If you say good is grounded in god, and he does not act good but all the same is good, he can behave atrociously toward humans and we can’t call him bad according to our standards. Doesn’t thinking all this shit make you dizzy? It is warped and you haven’t explained it. You just keep throwing out words with no explanations. How can something be good and moral but simultaneously lack goodness and morality? You’re saying contradictory things with no effort to bridge that gap. It’s not like we don’t notice you shoveling away at this bullshit, thinking you are on top of the argument.

        • adam

          “If morals coincide with God then how is it possible that God can be immoral? “

        • If morals coincide with God then how is it possible that God can be immoral?

          By not following his rules, obviously. And when you look through the OT, you find lots of crazy shit that would be immoral if you did them. If there’s just one set of moral rules, then the same applies to God.

        • SteveK

          His moral rules come from God, who he is, his nature. The only way his rules can morally obligate his nature is if that was one of the rules to begin with. Do you find this in scripture anywhere?

        • So there is just one set of moral rules (don’t murder, don’t lie, and so on), and God and Man are bound by it. Is that right?

        • SteveK

          I would not say that God is bound by it *because* I don’t find that anywhere in scripture. If you would find that reference we can stop debating this point.

          Furthermore, I would say scripture teaches that God cannot sin. If you can find a reference that says differently then please do.

        • So then there are at least two sets of moral rules–what applies to Man and what applies to God.

          But now, of course, you’ll just deny that. God doesn’t follow moral rules. He’s not bound by anything (because nothing can bind God, one assumes?). But then what are we to do with all the stuff in the OT that, if you did it, would be immoral?

        • SteveK

          Huh? I said nothing about another set of rules – for or against. I only said that the rules you referenced don’t obligate God. Try reading. It works.

        • adam

          ” I only said that the rules you referenced don’t obligate God.”

          Where does your scripture claim this?

        • Kodie

          The part where god can send you to hell because he wants to. God can’t send himself to hell, and you can’t send him to hell, therefore, why should he bother obligating himself to whatever we think.

        • Try making sense. It works.

          I keep trying to summarize your moral stance. I think I’m meeting you more than halfway, but if I’m not doing a good job (not surprising, since this is all in your head), then you do it. You tell me what the relationship between Man, God, and morality is. We’ve been round and round on this for you to know what confuses me.

        • SteveK

          Here’s a summary:

          1) We know about the moral law and mankind’s obligation to it. Source: bible
          2) We know the moral law doesn’t apply to all living things, animals for example. Source: bible
          3) We know God is unlike other living things in that he has a divine, immutable nature: Source: bible
          4) We know God is obligated to the same moral law as humans or some other moral law. Source: Bob’s imagination.

          It’s (4) that I have an issue with.

        • The ideas of “good” and “bad” come from our moral code. If God isn’t to be judged by it, then God can’t be judged good or bad.

          That’s the point of this post. I assume you’re agreeing with me?

        • SteveK

          You’re using scripture to judge that God can’t be judged good or bad – forming this long argument – when the only thing you really needed to say was that you disagreed with scripture. You don’t need to set up an argument prior to giving your opinion. Just say it.

        • adam

          ” I only said that the rules you referenced don’t obligate God.”

          Where does your scripture claim this?

        • You’re using scripture to judge that God can’t be judged good or bad

          Nope. I’m trying to figure out what you say.

        • adam

          Then you need to first demonstrate that the bible is a reliable source about morals.

          And it contradicts itself so that it cant be.

          So your SOURCE is VOID.

        • Greg G.

          You are arguing that God is amoral.

        • MR

          1) We know about the moral law and mankind’s obligation to it. Source: bible

          No, we don’t know that. You believe that. Social evolution explains morality much better. No “law,” no “obligation,” rather moral instincts.

          2) We know the moral law doesn’t apply to all living things, animals for example. Source: bible

          No law. Moral instincts which favor our human-centric view. People don’t take those kinds of cues from the bible.

          3) We know God is unlike other living things in that he has a divine, immutable nature: Source: bible

          The Bible says those things. We do not know that, and you have not demonstrated that God even exists. You have a baseless assertion.

          4) We know God is obligated to the same moral law as humans or some other moral law. Source: Bob’s imagination.

          God in the bible encourages, condones, and commits immoral actions and can therefore not be called moral.

          Because this contradicts the portrayal of God in the Bible, we question the Bible. Question the entire concept of God.

        • SteveK

          >> People don’t take those kinds of cues from the bible.

          I do and millions of others do. Yet another moral issue that all humans don’t share. So much for the fiction that humans have a shared morality.

        • MR

          Oh? So when a lion kills another lion you automatically think, “Oh, that’s not a moral wrong because: the Bible.” Ri-i-i-ght.

          Well, at least we got you off the objective morality kick. So now humans don’t have a shared morality, eh? A new strawman. Oh. What. Fun. I suppose non-Christians and people who have never even heard of the Bible don’t also find murder, lying and stealing abhorrent? I can’t wait to see you tap dancing this one.

          Shared morality doesn’t mean perfect morality. Morality is innate, but doesn’t necessarily translate perfectly from individual to individual. Morality can even be impaired or damaged (e.g., drugs, brain damage, psychopathy). Morality can also be overridden to some degree by cognitive effort, just like I can choose not to eat that piece of cake even though I’m hungry. But, we still share a common, basic morality. And might even share some of them with those primate cousins of ours. I suspect you even share some moral commonalities with your dog.

        • SteveK

          >> So now humans don’t have a shared morality, eh? A new strawman. Oh. What. Fun.
          Kodie brought it up. Blame her.

          Which shared, common morality are we talking about? There are 1000’s of shared, common moralities. How do you know about the perfect morality if nobody communicated this to you and you’ve never seen it lived out? Is this a gut feeling?

        • adam

          ” How do you know about the perfect morality if nobody communicated this to you and you’ve never seen it lived out?”

          So you can demonstrate ‘perfect morality’?

          What the hell are you waiting for?

        • SteveK

          I’m talking about knowledge.

        • adam

          So you can demonstrate ‘perfect morality’?

          What the hell are you waiting for?

        • adam

          No you are not…..you may BELIEVE that you are, but you are being DECEPTIVE again. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/76482c0f63b2b02638ecbae952deaa718c6a587978d4414d00b308b3abd4cfeb.jpg

          If it were KNOWLEDGE, then you would be able to demonstrate it.

        • MR

          Wha’? I didn’t say there was a perfect morality. Shared and common with some things (murder, cheating, etc.) more or less overlapping with the majority of humans, but, no, not perfect, not exact, frayed at the edges, subjective…. Like one would expect with an evolved morality.

        • SteveK

          >> Morality can even be impaired or damaged …

          This implies that you know about a better morality that cannot be improved upon. How else can you judge that it’s damaged and less than the best?

          If this all boils down to one man’s opinion then I can work on that level too but you seem to be saying some opinions are wrong – hence damaged.

        • MR

          This implies that you know about a better morality that cannot be improved upon.

          No, it only implies that I understand better or worse from my current condition. This moral feature benefits me; that person’s moral feature is damaged and he is in a worse state.

          If this all boils down to one man’s opinion

          Who said it boils down to one man’s opinion? You do understand the term social that has been thrown about here, don’t you? You can lord it up all you want and throw your power around and steal and take and rape all you want, but how far will that get you in a social environment? You’re likely to get either banished, jailed or executed. If you don’t care to benefit from the social aspects of society, fine, go live on an island somewhere, but if you do want those benefits, you’re likely to incorporate other people’s opinions in with your own.

          [Edit:] As far as the damaged aspect, I’m referring to people who are physically damaged or impaired. Some people with tumors, for example, can have impaired morals. Some drugs will impair a person’s morals. This points to a biological source of morals.

        • SteveK

          >> Some people with tumors, for example, can have impaired morals.

          Again, you must know the moral goal if you are to know that someone isn’t moving closer to it. If this goal only applies to you, then why do you complain about others when their moral goal is different?

        • MR

          I thought you were brighter than that. You mean you can’t put the social implications together with that point to come up with an answer? It really is trying having to hold your hand every step of the way.

          If a person with a tumor starts killing people, that is less beneficial for society. You don’t need some objective moral goal to see that.

        • SteveK

          If the goal is more resources or less people to deal with, then the killing is beneficial to society so “beneficial” depends on the goal of the group or individual.

          I thought you were brighter than that.

        • MR

          Still having comprehension problems I see, or more likely deliberate torpidity. Typical. How long would society last if everyone constantly went about killing each other. Clearly you’ve gone over to just playing the idiot for the fun of it. I have less patience for disingenuousness than the others. I’m out unless you get over your cephacolonitis.

        • SteveK

          Constantly? Who said constantly to the point that society wouldn’t last? I’m talking about just enough to produce a benefit.

        • MR

          Then you’re right, but your point is moot in regards to the general discussion. If you’re just trying to be a tedious prick, bravo it worked.

        • SteveK

          I can be a prick at times, yes, but I try not to. Your point about a person with a tumor killing people was relevant just a few comments ago so I don’t know what you mean by moot.

          I’ve shown that their moral faculties are not impaired because a social benefit has been produced. You agreed. The killing is beneficial.

        • MR

          No, no you haven’t shown that and I haven’t agreed with you. You’re strawmanning. Get back to me when you can state my position clearly.

        • SteveK

          “Then you’re right” means I am right about what?

        • MR

          About the narrow strawman you presented.

        • Kodie

          We can talk about reasons why this would be better than that. We use our faculty of communication to advocate for treating people as well as we can afford to. Religious people rely on the superstitions of their group and often feel it is their role on earth to judge people and do whatever they can to make lives miserable. That’s using the term morality wrong. You have rules, you have obedience, and you think you have a god at the root of it all giving you permission, but what you don’t do is think and talk it out and change your behavior according to new information. And then we have some progressive Christians who think they are doing a great job at not being judgmental bigots at everyone else, and they still are bitter at atheists’ propensity for calling them on their fantastical bullshit and dehumanize us. If your moral goal is to use a fantasy to support your wish to dehumanize segments of society and treat them like garbage, we have to talk about that. The rest of us do not want you to fulfill your “moral” goals to supposedly serve god on an errand he’s too lazy to do himself if it’s that important. Some of us are grieved that people like you are slaves to the commands of the interpretations of god by the group you follow orders from. That’s fucking bullshit, Steve.

        • SteveK

          You have your desires and goals, I have mine. Morality is subjective, remember? You call yours good, I call mine good. That’s how subjectivity works.

        • Kodie

          We have to live together and get along, I don’t think you are better for society with your superstitions. How do I have to explain subjectivity back to you, since you don’t get it?

        • SteveK

          There’s nothing obligating us to get along. There’s nothing obligating us to do anything.

        • Kodie

          YOU BELIEVE there is an obligation to your imaginary friend who sent you to repair the world by modifying your fellow citizens according to your force. I’m obligated to defend myself against such hollow fictional bullshit.

        • MR

          And this is the dilemma for the SteveK’s of the world. His subjective morality is losing ground. Religion was once a benefit to society. The tide is turning. Religious morality is shrinking fast leaving the believers to either double down on the crazy and be marginalized like the Phelps, or water down their religion like the Curtises and Fabios so they can remain a part of society.

          SteveK thinks he’s being clever by throwing the “subjective morality” card back in the atheist’s face, but he’s disingenuously using it from an individual’s standpoint.

          There’s nothing obligating us to get along. There’s nothing obligating us to do anything.

          He imagines it’s all in individual choice. Individual choice is only one aspect of morality, and arguably a very small aspect of morality. But, men are social creatures. We have evolved social needs. Those drives are within us. He wants to ignore that in his argument.

          In fact, morality is a combination of innate drive, subconscious choice, conscious choice and societal pressures. And probably some other influences that I haven’t thought of. “My morals are just as valid as yours.” In an objective sense, yes. But, he’s wrong from a societal viewpoint, because if you don’t conform, you don’t get to play with the rest of society. He studiously ignores those parts. He ignores his own innate moral drives, mistaking them for precepts handed down by God in the Bible, ignoring all the people who have never read the Bible or know of God, yet somehow have similar morals. All neatly explained by evolution.

          The danger SlaveK is facing is that society’s subjective morality is changing and the SlaveK’s of the world are facing growing marginalization. The face of belief has changed greatly in my lifetime alone, and today there are those of us willing to challenge those beliefs in the open forum. Thank you, Bob, for providing one of those forums!

        • adam

          ” Religion was once a benefit to society. ”

          Yes when society depended on being tribalistic.

          Now…..

        • SteveK

          So you believe you have an obligation when you actually have none? Sounds like the very problem you are faulting me for having.

        • adam

          “I do and millions of others do.”

          really?

        • Kodie

          Nobody takes their cues from the bible – you have either listened to someone tell you the “correct” interpretation, or you have worked out your own interpretation that fits morals you already had, or in extreme cases, you got your morality from people who already fixed on the most extreme interpretation of the bible and scared you to death if you break their superstition.

          People use the bible to speak for them after they have already decided what it says according to them. Don’t pretend people who read the bible learn anything new from it. Those people believe that an actual god speaks to them through the bible, but if you don’t believe god would actually do something, rather than throw your bible out because it’s obviously false, you interpret it some more palatable way.

        • Greg G.

          People think killing friends, family, and members of the tribe is wrong and did so before the Bible was written. Modern morality expands the tribe to include strangers. Social interaction is easier when the threat of being killed is reduced and long term trade benefits all involved.

          Stealing is considered wrong, too. Even birds have been known to recognized those who have stolen in the past and will remove and hide cached food elsewhere if they realized a thief saw where they his it.

          Communication is very important in social creatures. Lying makes it worthless. That is why people consider it wrong.

          People might go so far as to attribute prohibitions against such acts to God.

          Apes and monkeys have been shown to have a sense of fairness. Dogs do, too, though it is not as developed as monkeys.

          Many mammals have been observed caring for other creatures even if they aren’t the same species and in the wild, too.

          You don’t need God to explain morals.

        • SteveK

          >> You don’t need God to explain morals.

          Correct. There are millions, perhaps billions, of moral codes depending on how you slice the world up into groups. However, you do need God to explain Christian morals. Because all the other morals are not the same, the world will look different with them being lived out.

        • adam

          “However, you do need God to explain Christian morals. ”

          You need a LOT more than that…

        • adam

          “However, you do need God to explain Christian morals. ”

          You need a LOT more than that….

          http://www.nonstampcollector.com/christian-apologetics-hitler-cant-help-you.html

        • adam

          “However, you do need God to explain Christian morals. ”

          You need a LOT more than that…..

        • SteveK

          Actually you don’t but why be bothered with facts.

        • adam

          What facts?

          All of your bluster doenst count as ‘facts’

          Of course you could EASILY clear this up and end atheism all together by JUST DEMONSTRATED that YOUR god is not IMAGINARY like all the tens of thousands of other ‘gods’ https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3855b0d7db0a018a1160362f708ea1dac7b727c090dffb444cdfdcb51f24d841.jpg

        • SteveK

          I’m referring to the fact that God is the source of morality under Christianity. Maybe you were referring to something else.

        • adam

          No,

          YOUR statement: “However, you do need God to explain Christian morals. ”

          MY statement: You need a LOT more than that…..

          You need a lot more than the WORD ‘god’ to explain ‘Christian morals’.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8c6298c6c354c989d761beedf9d96b512c23ac8c1020ec38c4013f5441d091df.jpg

        • MNb

          No, that’s not the fact. The fact is that an outdated book written by humans 2000+ years ago is the source of morality under christianity.

        • Greg G.

          Humans have very similar moralities wherever you go. Some have different rules for strangers vs acquaintances but those who interact with strangers frequently tend to apply the “acquaintance rules” more liberally.

          Jesus and God are OK with slavery. They are OK with beating slaves severely if you have a good reason but you shouldn’t beat them as much if you don’t have a good reason. You can even beat them to death as long as they suffer at least a day before dying.

          The Bible allows murder, rape, and theft if you can justify it with Divine Command Theory.

          If one doesn’t have an understanding of morality, the Bible is a horrible place to look for instructions. If one does have an understanding of morality, one doesn’t need the Bible for instructions.

        • SteveK

          I disagree with you assessment of God given that the ongoing premise is morality is individualistic, social and subjective. It only seems bad because your human subjectivity interprets it that way. Clearly we are different in that regard.

          What’s to understand about morality other than it’s determined subjectively? Do I need to study the finer points of food in order to know that I prefer some foods over others, while you don’t? Not at all. Some foods give you indigestion and so you rid your cupboard of that food. Some people give God a heartache so he rids the planet of them. It’s all very simple.

          You seem to be arguing that God has the wrong morals, but that would be contrary to it being determined by the subject.

        • adam

          ” It only seems bad because your human subjectivity interprets it that way.”

          “The Bible allows murder, rape, and theft ” GregG

          It only seems good if you are psychopathic.

        • SteveK

          Another subjective term that express your preference. So what?

        • adam

          No it is defined

          Definition of PSYCHOPATHIC
          : of, relating to, or characterized by psychopathy or antisocial personality disorder

          murder, and theft are antisocial

        • SteveK

          So what? Some people prefer to be anti social, some don’t. It’s just a word label. Stop judging.

        • Greg G.

          Your problem is that you started reading the Bible for its morality when you didn’t understand morality. The morality of the God of 2500 year-old slave holders is the morality of 2500 year-old slave holders. You should adopt the summation of the Torah of Rabbi Hillel, a first century BC Pharisee, who said, “Don’t do what your neighbor hates. All the rest is commentary. Now go and study.”

        • SteveK

          I’m updating to today’s morality where I determine what is good. Object all you want but emotions don’t trump facts.

        • Who but you would decide what’s moral for you?

        • SteveK

          I would decide that. I decided on God’s morals.

        • adam

          “I would decide that. I decided on God’s morals.”

          No surprise, you seemed OK with genocide, murder and torture from the get go.

        • And you have yet to show that “God” is anything but manmade. You get “God’s morals” from a book … written by ordinary men.

        • SteveK

          You get yours from culture and group-think. Looks no different to me.

        • Greg G.

          Yours justifies beating slaves. You can screw over other people and get away with it by asking God to forgive you by pretending he did.

        • SteveK

          Justification is part of the subjective morality. It’s no surprise that your version of morality has a different definition of justification.

        • Greg G.

          My moral justifications are not based on imaginary beings.

        • SteveK

          Men wrote the bible, remember? It’s based on humans and culture just like you.

        • Greg G.

          It was based on a long gone culture and was written by the most educated people of that time and place who were using their skills to con hard working farmers and shepherds into giving them their crops and stock.

        • MNb

          Christians claim that the Bible is divinely inspired, remember? I may assume that the term “God’s Word”, don’t I?
          As soon as you contradict this claim we’re on board and the question becomes why ever we should rely on a book written 2000+ years ago – in a culture that is totally different from ours. Those humans in that culture totally would not have understood what the Nürnberg Trials were about. They might have understood the nazi’s though – winner takes it all.

        • SteveK

          I’m working on the basis that you are correct. But if we assume that God does exist and the bible is divinely inspired nothing much changes. God’s morality is different. Morality is subjective.

        • MNb

          Denying that there is no nagging problem doesn’t poof it away. You wrote “men wrote the Bible.” I agree. Then what does it mean that the Bible is divinely inspired? How do you know that the Bible reflects “God’s morals” accurately? Oh – and if morality is subjective, why should I resign myself to God’s morality? Why should I worship him if I think that his morality sucks?

        • adam

          ” But if we assume that God”

          Why would we make such an assumption?

        • adam

          “Justification is part of the subjective morality. It’s no surprise that your version of morality has a different definition of justification.”

        • My point is that we both get our morals from the same place–our own conscience plus society. You imagine that, instead, yours comes from God. Since you’ve never bothered to show that God is different from “the stuff inside my head,” looks like we’re doing things the same way.

        • SteveK

          Well, there you go. We’re doing things the same way and you criticize me for doing it that way. Hypocritical.

        • MNb

          That’s a strawman. And as you’re smart enough to understand at beforehand it’s a strawman you’re a liar.
          BobS doesn’t criticize you for doing it the same way as he does. He criticizes you for claiming it’s “God’s morals”. And you understand that very well.
          Liar.

        • MR

          This is what it inevitable turns to, strawmen and lying. God, if he existed, would be proud.

        • adam

          “You get yours from culture and group-think. Looks no different to me.”

          Says as much about you and it does for the source you use.

        • MNb

          There are two significant differences though.
          Exactly because we got our ethics from culture and group-think we feel free to question them.
          Yours at the other hand can’t – exactly because they are “God’s morals”. And he next step may be to enforce them on other people exactly because they come from god.
          The second difference is that my culture and group-think aren’t 2000+ years old and hence don’t come from an entirely different time and place. I’m not saying they are objectively better – though I run considerably less risk to get enslaved or killed by a hostile army, which I rather like – but I do say that those “God’s morals” you learned from the Bible might not be suitable to our 21st Century societies.

        • SteveK

          My culture and group-think question them all the time but in the end we decided it’s valuable to keep things the same for the benefit of society. It’s suitable to a segment of our 21st century societies because it gets the job done.

        • MNb

          OK.
          Could you give me an example where you question “God’s morals”, with an explicit referation to the Gospels?
          Also – if you always decide in the end it’s valuable to keep them the same for benefit of society, what meaning does “questioning” still have?

          To give a simple example from my own life: 30 years ago I backed Zwarte Piet – Black Pete.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zwarte_Piet

          Dutch society has changed though; so have my ethics. I can’t support this tradition anymore.
          You at the other hand say “it’s valuable to keep things the same for the benefit of society” – essentially “nothing ever should change compared to 2000+ years ago”. Either I got something wrong or you don’t question “God’s morals”.

        • SteveK

          I question the idea of ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ all the time. Is it really for my benefit and the benefit of society for everyone to suffer daily? Suffering produces a benefit?

          Hmm..that means avoiding human suffering isn’t the highest good.

        • Greg G.

          Suffering generally does not produce benefits. If there was an omnipotent being, any benefits that come from suffering could be decoupled. An omnimax being could do a billion miracles per nanosecond for every being to prevent suffering while conferring any benefits that would result just as easily as not doing them.

        • MNb

          And has your questioning ever resulted in a conclusion that deviates from what you get from “I decided on God’s morals”?
          If no that questioning has been meaningless. I already showed how and why moral decisions have changed.

        • adam

          “I would decide that. I decided on God’s morals.”

        • Greg G.

          It is easier to go with the flow of society when it is directed toward human thriving than to buck the flow. You allow others to seek happiness and they won’t mess with so much. You still have to watch out for assholes and sociopaths sometimes.

        • SteveK

          I don’t prefer to live an easy life. That’s why I run marathons. Comfort is overrated.

        • Greg G.

          That’s a good thing but do you run the same route as all the other runners or the reverse route?

        • SteveK

          What do you think?

        • Greg G.

          You are presenting yourself as a contrarian who doesn’t understand the basics of moral theory. You are in favor of a morality that permits slavery and the beating of slaves. I have seen Christians who beat a big bass drum they call morality but don’t live up to it. I mentioned going with the flow and you took a contrarian stance against it by saying you run marathons. I asked a rhetorical question about whether you go with the flow when you run a marathon and you tried to answer it with a question. Now I think that my rhetorical question is something that you need to answer.

        • SteveK

          I shouldn’t have to answer, obviously.

        • MNb

          No, you don’t have to. Unfortunately for you not answering in this case is also an answer.

        • adam

          “Object all you want but emotions don’t trump facts.”

          What ‘facts’ about an IMAGINARY ‘god’ have your presented?

        • SteveK

          I’m talking about the fact that you don’t determine my morality.

        • adam

          Yes, I realize you have nothing on your imaginary god except your imagination.

          No I dont determine your morality.

          I already realize that some people ENJOY genocides, murder and torture.

        • SteveK

          Again with the subjective language. Murder/torture/genocide are synonymous with “Adam doesn’t like this”.

        • adam

          No, they are BY DEFINITION evil.

          Main Entry: 1evil
          Function: adjective

          1 : morally bad
          2 a : causing harm : tending to injure b : marked by misfortune

          but of course since your WORSHIP the character in the book that actually CLAIMS to CREATE EVIL, it is no surprise you duck and run.

          But let’s get to whatever point you are TRYING to make by doing all this dancing around.

          BTW, WHAT is that point?

        • SteveK

          Morally bad = subjectively not to a person’s liking

          The point is God’s morality is different than yours.

        • adam

          “The point is God’s morality is different than yours.”

          Absolutely, the god character in your book is a genocidal murderer who tortures for eternity.

          Why would I want (or need) that kind of morality, that is for primitive tribalists and wannabe kings and tyrants.

          Yes, I have better morals than that.

          And am glad for it.

        • And you do things a different way? Show us.

          You’ll say that you get your morality from God or the Bible, but you need to show us that “God” is anything more than the voices inside your head and the Bible is anything more than the ramblings of a desert tribe from thousands of years ago.

        • adam

          *** crickets chirping ***

        • You hear crickets … and I hear baby Jesus crying.

        • adam

          Poor little 8 lb 6 oz new born baby Jesus…

        • Kodie

          I don’t think those terms are subjective. You would recognize them when a human does them, and abhor that human. I don’t see god justifiably stopping them from mass murders. But you are unhappy and judgmental. You know what sick fuckery looks like but when it’s god, you subjectively change the definitions of those words to make them “good” because god can only be good. That’s ridiculous and sick.

        • Kodie

          It’s just really fucked up that Christians like you can threaten us with hell and think we’re bad people and sinners because we don’t believe there’s a god. And we’re totally justified in that position, as if justification means something to you. On the other hand, people call themselves “good” Christians because they love an imaginary psychopath and call everything he does “good” – you don’t seem to know what good and bad means. Your morality isn’t mine because you’re a sick fuck.

        • MR

          He’s not making an assessment about God because God doesn’t exist. He’s making an assessment about what men say about God in the Bible. You need to understand that distinction. When atheists are talking “about God,” they’re talking in the conditional tense. “If God were so, this makes no sense.” God didn’t write those morals. People did. And they put them in a fictional God’s mouth, a sock puppet, to say what they believed.

        • Susan

          . However, you do need God to explain Christian morals.

          What are christian morals?

        • adam

          “What are christian morals?”

          Whatever the person doing the interpretation of christianity WISH them to be.

          After all ‘faith’ is described in the bible as wishful thinking.

          So if you like genocide, murder, slavery and torture then those are your morals. If you dont like those you can simply ignore them and claim ‘love’ as your morals.

        • MNb

          “Whatever the person doing the interpretation of christianity WISH them to be.”
          Like this.

          http://www.nobeliefs.com/hitlerchristian.htm

        • adam

          And yet jealousy is a sin
          And your bible god is a JEALOUS character.

        • adam

          “His moral rules come from God, who he is, his nature.”

          Yes, we KNOW of ‘gods’ nature from the bible.

        • Greg G.

          If God is limited, even by his own nature, then he is not omnipotent.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nothing like shooting yourself in the foot, is there?

          NIR.

        • Greg G.

          1. Ready
          2. Fire
          3. Aim!

        • MNb

          So you and the two goofs that upvoted you don’t understand the difference between amoral and immoral either.
          Of course your god can be immoral, just like for instance the Greek gods.

        • MR

          Abraham: Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

        • Yes, that nicely responds to Steve’s concern. Doesn’t mean that he’s going to accept it, though.

        • adam

          ” Doesn’t mean that he’s going to accept it, though.”

          His ‘god’ sure is a slippery fellow.

      • adam

        You mean there is NO objective morality with this ‘God’?

    • MNb

      I’m willing to grant you your point. There is a consequence though. Morals depend on the subject then. One moral law for your god, another for Homo Sapiens. Moral law ceases to be objective.

    • Ron

      As Bob clearly demonstrated, the scriptures are self-refuting. No assumptions required.

      • SteveK

        I missed where Bob showed that (a) God is like us and (b) the moral law is external to God and applies to God because (a) is true.

        • adam

          “I missed where Bob showed that (a) God is like us and (b) the moral law is external to God and applies to God because (a) is true.”

          And OF COURSE, we all missed where you demonstrated that YOUR ‘god’ is anything but IMAGINARY..

        • Ron

          The reason being that those points are irrelevant to the topic (And God is Not Good, Either).

          Passages claiming that God is good, and loving, and just, and righteous are contradicted by passages depicting God as evil, and malevolent, and unjust, and unrighteous.

          IOW, it’s an observation that God’s actions contravene God’s assigned attributes.

    • adam

      “the fatal assumption for any of this to go through is that God is like us”

      Why shouldnt it be, it was created by men.

    • Rudy R

      I agree with you that the Christian god can’t sin, because he invented sin for humans who break his moral laws. He can murder, rape, and pillage to his heart’s content, because, hey, he created humans and he can do whatever he likes, just as an infant who creates an animal out of clay and then smashes it.

  • MNb
  • X32WaysToDie

    I realize I’m late to the party lol..

    “3. But the Canaanites were terrible, immoral people! They sacrificed babies!”

    To which I would reply “and killing infants because your god told you to separates you how, exactly?”

    • Questioning54

      Yes. It is absurd that God told them to kill the babies because the Canaanites were killing babies! Like he said “you want to kill babies so I will show you that I can kill more babies than you. I will just have them all killed.”