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

God Needs a 12-Step Program to Obey His 10 Commandments April 25, 2018

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

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

Commandment #6: no murder

In addition to the human sacrifice,

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

Maybe God doesn’t have to follow his rules

Here’s how world-famous apologist William Lane Craig tap dances around this issue:

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

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

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

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

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

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

A few other commandments

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

— paraphrase of William Lane Craig
(Reasonable Faith, 8/6/07)

.

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 8/18/14.)

Photo credit: Bob Seidensticker

 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Doubting Thomas

    God doesn’t personally commit adultery…..

    He did impregnate another man’s fiancee. It might not technically be adultery, but it’s still an ass of a thing to do.

    • Kevin K

      That’s close enough for jazz, as they say.

    • Lark62

      And he f’d his own mother while he was at it. That’s as low as one can get.

    • sandy

      Technically it was rape, against her permission, and only to be told later by Angels. Can’t believe this is seriously thought of as real.

  • RichardSRussell

    And then there’s the whole Flood thing where presumably millions were drowned.

    Now there’s a masterpiece of understatement. Way, way, way, WAY, WAY beyond mere genocide, this was omnicide.

  • MystiqueLady

    So basically God operates on a Do as I say, not as I do model.

  • Michael Neville

    William Lane Craig is arguing that might makes right. Since his god has no mommy to spank his bottom when he’s a bad boy, his god can do anything he wants without repercussions. WLC worships a sadistic bully.

  • Anthrotheist

    It takes a special kind of magical thinking to insist that a system that is so monstrous and inexplicable that it is totally incomprehensible surely must be the hallmark of perfect benevolence and justice.

    Also hilarious that God expects people to treat each other better than he treats them; then again, he is a jealous god, maybe he just hates to see anyone else get to be a total dick. Double standards apparently are the true christian path to perfect love.

  • Greg G.

    The parallel often given is that of a sand sculpture. If I built it, I can squash it. Perhaps I’m splitting hairs here, but I think things are different when the thing being squashed is living.

    If an artist creates a sculpture, the artist can destroy it. If the artist gives the sculpture to someone, the artist has given away the right to destroy it. If a god gives a person life, it is not the god’s life to take away.

    • Kevin K

      Yeah, people aren’t sand.

    • I like that interpretation.

    • sandy

      God supposedly gave the gift of life but it’s not a gift you get to take it back.

    • Joe

      If a god gives a person life, it is not the god’s life to take away.

      Not without violating free will, at the very least.

  • Kevin K

    I pretty much keep all 10 Cs (depending on one or two variables).

    No other god before Yahweh? OK. I promise to not worship any other god before I sacrifice a pigeon to Yahweh.
    Remember the Sabbath? I have never been drunk enough to forget what day of the week it is, so yeah.
    Make no graven images? Again, fine with me. Seems kinda stupid, but whatever.
    Don’t take the Lord’s name “in vain”? Well, this depends on what “in vain” means. But I’m pretty sure I’ve never-ever done that.
    Honor your ma and pa? This is probably a humblebrag, but I like my parents. I’ve got a little bit of Dad on my mantle right now. Place of honor, as it were.
    Don’t kill? Never have.
    Don’t steal? Not since I was 6, so I think I’m OK.
    Don’t perjure yourself? Never, not once. Not in a court of law, in any event.
    Adultery? Nope.
    Covet my neighbor’s wife or his ass? Well…I admit that my former neighbor’s wife had a very nice ass, so maybe this one is “iffy”.

    • Not to brag, but I have zero Asherah poles.

      • Greg G.

        Not to brag, but I achieved a new high score on the bathroom scale.

        • Fair enough, but that was only a personal best.

        • Stormi

          Well done!
          Similarly, in college I was a 36 C, but now I’m a a 40 Long.

        • sandy

          What a great first comment Miss Stormi with an i!

        • sandy

          Not to brag, but I achieved a new high on my basement couch…a sativa called…”sweet jesus” seriously

        • sandy

          Sweet Jesus Marijuana (Sativa)
          This strain will have you shaking your heading and saying “Sweet Jesus”, we’re pretty sure that’s how this strain got it’s name. A cerebrally-focused sativa that is not for the faint of heart. Once smoked, the user experiences a burst of creativity, energy and intense euphoria. An amazing Sativa strain.

        • Michael Neville

          What kind of munchies do you get with Sweet Jesus? Would unleavened wafers be appropriate to satisfy those munchies?

        • sandy

          Fuck no, a decent red and good food, usually, but a nice spiced up popcorn is always lurking

      • Kevin K

        I do have a cowbell sculpture…I hope Yahweh doesn’t mistake that for Ba’al. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cd127722e764afc155085822ae7380d6a0f28c6a4114a64f8d184577f811ffed.jpg

    • JustAnotherAtheist2

      Any thoughts on his ass?

      • al kimeea

        A neighbour has three nice asses. I don’t covet them. Wouldn’t want to clean up their poop.

      • Kevin K

        Actually, his ass was very nice, if you’re into that sort of thing. I called them “Ken and Barbie” cuz they were both freaking gorgeous. Sadly, they were also “quiverful” people; kept inviting me to their church. No thanks.

        They moved when she got preggers with number 5.

    • Phil

      It is still ok to be a pedophile, rapist, racist and keeper of slaves… phew!

      • Kevin K

        Well, yes, thank goodness for all that!

    • Dyslexic, agnostic insomniac

      Yes, but that one about not seething a kid in his mother’s milk is the hard one to get around.

      • Greg G.

        Which means there will be no cheeseburgers in paradise.

        • Dyslexic, agnostic insomniac

          Although, according to the sermon on the mount, there should be cheese – “blessed are the cheese makers”, and also, “blessed are the greek”.

        • Michael Neville

          I thought that was “blessed are the geeks”.

        • Dyslexic, agnostic insomniac

          Well yes, that probably was the original intended meaning, but the scribes doing the translation from Aramaic to Greek obviously showed translation bias.

        • Greg G.

          Well, obviously, this is not meant to be taken literally. It refers to any manufacturers of dairy products.

          And not just the Greek, but all Mediterranean food.

  • Pascal

    A rather sophomoric article.

    Which may explain why you don’t believe in a Creator you have so misconceptualised.

    • Otto

      Wanna bet…?

    • Pascal:

      I’m afraid someone has hacked your Disqus account and used your good name to post content-free gibberish! I recommend a new password.

      But hey, while we’re chatting, perhaps you have something to offer. Would you like to make a comment that actually points out errors or introduces new information rather than just farting on the conversation?

    • Joe

      But you alone have the correct concept of a “creator”? And you didn’t think to share it with us?

      • al kimeea

        More likely him and the pro he listens to with a group. All wearing the proper tartan, of course.

    • Jack Baynes, Sandwichmaker

      The same reason you don’t believe in Amaterasu?

    • Pofarmer

      I believe in invisible pink Unicorns. I know they are invisible because I’ve never seen one. I know they are pink because of faith. Would you like to discuss their properties?

      • Greg G.

        We know they have one horn because they wouldn’t be unicorns with any other number of horns.

        • TheNuszAbides

          my selectively-invisible tricorn is the exception that proves the rule.

    • Gary Whittenberger

      The article is excellent!

      Please present your conceptualization of “God” in a hundred words or less.

  • skl

    These observations could have been made, and probably were
    made, thousands of years ago, and every year since.

    And here we go again.

    • Tell me about it! A new generation of Christians has been shielded from the truth and told lies. Someone’s gotta hint at the truth.

    • Joe

      Only, over time, more and more people have taken heed of these observations.

      • skl

        But over time the bible believers have grown to about 2 billion.

        • Otto

          They just can’t quite get together about what they believe about it.

        • Joe

          Now, over time, the percentage of “Bible believers”, whatever that means, is less.

        • Pofarmer

          Uhm, so what? It’s not unexpected for a cult that prides itself on childhood indoctrination.

        • skl

          Think of all the cults, religions, value systems, worldviews
          that don’t pride themselves on childhood indoctrination.

        • Pofarmer

          And?

    • Otto

      You should be happy Bob is addressing your foundation of right and wrong…this is squarely in your wheelhouse!

    • Zeta

      Have you or your ilk successfully rebutted these points? They have to be raised again and again for people who have been misled by delusional apologists and as long as your religion continues to poison the minds of people, especially the young. Just in case you have somehow forgotten, there are always new readers who are not aware of the nonsense and immorality in your ancient book.

      • Pofarmer

        And always new marks to be exploited.

    • Kit Hadley-Day

      and yet there us still no answer to these questions, religion has had millennia to come up with something and are still being stumped.

      They have to be asked again and again so every generation can be made to see the emptiness of the religious claims that cause the questions in the first place.

      • skl

        Maybe over time, the couple billion christians will shrink
        back to the couple dozen it started with.

        • Pofarmer

          Over time it will more than likely go the way of most other religions before it. There have already been religions that are dead now that lasted longer.

    • Jack Baynes, Sandwichmaker

      Everybody say how much they love the biggest bully, or he might turn on you!

    • RichardSRussell

      The observation that the Earth was probably round was also made thousands of years ago, but it sure took a lot of pointing out of the supporting evidence to the religious TBs before they finally grudgingly gave in and admitted it. In the meantime, they barbecued a fair number of the scientists who dared to question their ancient “wisdom”.

      And here we go again.

  • Joe

    God is under no obligation whatsoever to extend my life for another second. If He wanted to strike me dead right now, that’s His prerogative.

    Wow, that’s won me over, where can I sign up to worship a being such as that?

    Craig’s argument does not work because it was never true to begin with. The person in China that made my phone can’t destroy it on a whim. The company that own the concept can’t destroy my phone without good reason now that I am the owner.

    Is Craig saying we are not the “owners” of our own minds, our own destinies? Of course he isn’t, he’s saying the opposite in other apologetics he writes.

    • Pofarmer

      Is Craig saying we are not the “owners” of our own minds, our own destinies? Of course he isn’t,

      I would kinda disagree here, I think that’s pretty much his position. It’s certainly the Calvinist position.

      • Joe

        I didn’t think he was a calivinist? Even so, don’t they believe in libertarian free will while they’re alive?

        • Pofarmer

          No, I don’t think Craig is a Calvinist. My understanding of Calvinism is that everything you will do is already determined. You’re a puppet with no master essentially. I think Craig’s theology gets very close to that.

  • Norman Parron

    Gawd DID do adultery! According to the OT and jewish religious writing gawd YeowWay had a wife….Ya I know the xtians hate this so deny it.
    But gawd then knocked up mary a 14yr old with out her permission, so adultery is being kind about gawd’s actions.

  • Brian Curtis

    It’s a good article, but it won’t give devout Christians the slightest pause. To them, God is above the rules of decency and morality, even the ones he created. “Those rules are just for mankind,” they’ll smugly inform you. “God doesn’t need them.”

    • It’s weird that they think that God can’t be bound by the laws he proposes to bind humans by, with humans created in his own image, but you’re right, of course. My question: how many sets of rules are there? And what set does God follow? I’d like to see the rules he follows so we can hold him accountable.

      Of course, he doesn’t follow any rules, and he has a license to kill (and lie and cheat and steal).

      • C_Alan_Nault

        “It’s weird that they think that God can’t be bound by the laws he proposes to bind humans by”

        It makes perfect sense if the bottom line is “might makes right”.

      • Gary Whittenberger

        Then he cannot be perfectly good, moral, or loving.

        I guess an all-knowing, all-powerful, and perfectly moral being does not exist. We’ve known that for a couple hundred years, but some people still don’t realize it.

    • Greg G.

      If humans only are subject to God’s morality, it undermines their objective morality arguments.

      • Gary Whittenberger

        Good point, Greg. But some religious people think that not only are God and Jesus above morality, but the pope, bishops, and priests are too.

    • Gary Whittenberger

      Divine Exceptionalism is the belief that some particular god would be exempt from moral evaluation by human beings or from culpability under a rational, objective, and universal morality. This belief is usually rationalized by saying that the god is exempt because he is sovereign, the creator of everything, the supreme authority, the highest intelligence, or just all-powerful or very powerful. The belief implies that the god could do anything at all, e.g. torture a child, rape a woman, enslave a man, or create natural disasters, ALS, or men who rape women and such actions would be good, neutral, or above reproach.

    • RichardSRussell

      Further evidence in support of your thesis: The most dedicated Christians, the evilgelicals, are perfectly willing to continue their fervent support for the current occupant of the White House.

  • Jack Baynes, Sandwichmaker

    We don’t have much respect for the kid who breaks his own toys just because he can.

    • Ficino

      No, and “it’s a sad sad world, when a girl will break a boy just because she can…”

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

      • TheNuszAbides

        she’s come out with more than a few great hooks, but i think the last one i’d ever get over is “A Mistake”.

  • I have been assured that, like a medieval king, God is not bound by his own laws. Others even tell me God isn’t a moral agent. I don’t even know what “God is all good” means then. Regarding adultery, cuckolding Joseph seems to come close.

    • Ficino

      Much as they try to deny this, Thomists’ insistence that properties are not predicated univocally of God and creatures pretty much cashes the result out as agnosticism for us. They say that “good” doesn’t have the same signification in “this man is good” and “God is good.” So then, how are their arguments demonstrative of anything? There will be a missing middle term if there is equivocation.

      They try to deny that Thomist-style “analogical predication” is equivocation, but in Aristotle, whose logic they pretty much follow, this sort of analogical predication is equivocation. And Ari insists that terms must be predicated univocally throughout a deductive system for the conclusion to be demonstrative.

      • Pofarmer

        It seems like this approach runs headlong into the Problem of Evil.

      • I’ve spoken to Thomists elsewhere, and this is definitely the case. “God is good” means nothing like what you’d think, it’s more “he’s the absolute being”. Yes, well, great. How is it “good”?

        Equivocation appears to be their SOT. I have often wondered how their view differs from Aristotle too. This concept of God seems very difficult to reconcile with the one in the Bible.

  • Greg G.

    Below are three verses in Mark that I thought of while reading Jewish Wars because of the similarity of the information and/or how it is presented. It seems to me that Mark was getting ideas from Jewish Wars. I included Jewish Wars 1.18.5 because it mentioned Tyre and Sidon together plus it also mentioned Jericho, which was not mentioned in Mark 3:7-8.

    I wish I could show the similarities with color but that is not an option with Disqus. So I am using combinations of bold, italics, underline, and UPPER CASE to highlight them.
    ___________________________________

    Mark 3:7-8 (NRSV)
    7 Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; 8 hearing all that he was doing, they came to him IN GREAT NUMBERS FROM JUDEA, Jerusalem, IDUMEA, BEYOND THE JORDAN, and the region around TYRE AND SIDON.

    Jewish Wars 2.2.1 §14
    ARCHELAUS went down now to the sea-side, with his mother and his friends, Poplas, and Ptolemy, and Nicolaus…

    The Greek word for “sea” in Mark and “sea-side” in Jewish Wars is “θάλασσαν”.

    Jewish Wars 2.3.1 §43
    Wherefore an immense multitude ran together, out of Galilee, and IDUMEA, and JERICHO, and Perea, that was BEYOND JORDAN; but the people that naturally belonged to JUDEA itself were ABOVE THE REST, both IN NUMBER, and in the alacrity of the men.

    Mark 10:46 (NRSV)
    46 They came to JERICHO. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving JERICHO, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside.

    Jewish Wars 1.18.5 §361
    Now is to these her injunctions to Antony, he complied in part; for though he esteemed it too abominable a thing to kill such good and great kings, yet was he thereby alienated from the friendship he had for them. He also took away a great deal of their country; nay, even the plantation of palm trees at JERICHO, where also grows the balsam tree, and bestowed them upon her; as also all the cities on this side the river Eleutherus, TYRE AND SIDON excepted.

    ___________________________________

    Mark 6:3 (NRSV)
    3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of JAMES and JOSES and JUDAS and SIMON, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

    Jewish Wars 6.2.6 §148
    … but on the Jewish side, and of those that were with SIMON, JUDAS the son of Merto, and SIMON the son of JOSAS; of the Idumeans, JAMES and SIMON, the latter of whom was the son of Cathlas, and JAMES was the son of Sosas;

    In the Greek, all four names of Jesus’ brothers’ are within a thirteen word span in Jewish Wars.
    _____________________________________________________

    Mark 6:8-10 (NRSV)
    8 He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9 but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. 10 He said to them, “WHEREVER YOU ENTER A HOUSE, STAY THERE UNTIL YOU LEAVE THE PLACE.

    Jewish Wars 2.8.4 §124-127 [Josephus is describing the Essenes.]
    4. They have no one certain city, but many of them dwell in every city; and if any of their sect come from other places, what they have lies open for them, just as if it were their own; and they go in to such as they never knew before, as if they had been ever so long acquainted with them. For which reason they carry nothing at all with them when they travel into remote parts, though still they take their weapons with them, for fear of thieves. Accordingly, THERE IS, IN EVERY CITY WHERE THEY LIVE, ONE APPOINTED PARTICULARLY TO TAKE CARE OF STRANGERS, and to provide garments and other necessaries for them. But the habit and management of their bodies is such as children use who are in fear of their masters. Nor do they allow of the change of or of shoes till be first torn to pieces, or worn out by time. Nor do they either buy or sell any thing to one another; but every one of them gives what he hath to him that wanteth it, and receives from him again in lieu of it what may be convenient for himself; and although there be no requital made, they are fully allowed to take what they want of whomsoever they please.

    • JustAnotherAtheist2

      Fascinating.

    • ildi

      Worst. guests.ever.

  • frishy

    1st commandment, god acknowledges he’s not the only god, since we aren’t to have any gods “before him”.
    I take that LITERALLY, and continue to have no god’s, before I’ll have him.

    Not many of the commandments are capital offenses these days…and, with over 30,000 Christian Sects, it’s hard to know what truth is!

  • C_Alan_Nault

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

    What about his other ( according to the Bible) 603 commandments? The old testament has 613 commandments, not just 10.

    And according to the bible ( Exodus 34:14-28) THESE are the ones that the Bible calls the ten commandments:

    1 Thou shalt worship no other god.
    2 Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
    3 The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep.
    4 Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day rest.
    5 Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks.
    6 Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord God.
    7 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven.
    8 Neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left until the morning.
    9 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the Lord thy God.
    10 Thou shalt not seeth a kid in his mother’s milk.

    Exodus 34:28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

    • Charles Edwin Langford Jr.

      You know the 10 commandments came from the 42 negative confessions of the mystery system of Egypt(Ta Merry)

    • eric

      4 Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day rest.

      See now, if He’d reversed that, he would’ve gotten my vote for ‘uber merciful’

      • C_Alan_Nault

        Yeah, but at least the commandments that the Bible calls the ten commandments are mostly concerned with feasts and cuisine rather than all those preachy buzz kill commandments that are incorrectly called the ten commandments.

    • Kevin K

      I can never remember what Amalek did…

      • Something bad, I’ll bet.

        • Kodie

          You have to be careful what you name your kids.

        • Michael Neville

          Sword of the Lord and of Gideon has never forgiven her parents for naming her that.

      • He was Esau’s grandkid, so that’s enough of a reason, I suppose (despite Esau not being that bad of a guy). And supposedly the Amalekites attacked the Israelites when they were coming back with Moses from Egypt, leading to centuries of war between the two people. Granted, they’d been living there for a long time, and likely didn’t take to kindly to being invaded … but the God of the Bible was never concerned with fairness or kindness, and definitely played favorites.

        Of course, since it’s all an ahistorical myth, who gives a crap?

    • RichardSRussell

      God may have gotten us Sundays off, but unions got us Saturday to go with it.

      • epicurus

        God gave Saturday off, Later Christians shifted it to Sunday, so I guess unions were just getting back to God’s will!

        • Michael Neville

          During the French Revolution there was a concerted effort to get as much as possible based on ten. Some of those innovations worked, like the metric system. But the calendar reform, particularly the metric week, was a failure. Under the old system, workers got one day in seven off. Under the new calendar they got off one day in ten. That did not go over well with the general population. When Napoleon became Maximum Leader he had France go back to the old calendar.

        • epicurus

          Many years ago our local public library had a Sunday afternoon lecture by a Phd candidate who talked about the calendar and other changes and innovations attempted in France at that time. It was very interesting, but as you mentioned the changes didn’t last.

        • Kodie

          3 day weekends are so great, I don’t know why we work 5 days instead of 4. People are too connected now, and certain services are necessary on the weekends when everyone else has the weekend off, like medical or retail, etc. It would be hard to be in the midst of some kinds of business and then have to pause because those people are unavailable for days on end, but I thought maybe 5 days on and 5 days off would work, and some businesses could have a second set of workers who work during the other people’s weekend, but certain things need a particular person, and 5 days is way too long to wait for them to come back because the world is moving that fast now. If we could work out a ten-day week with more days off.. something like we did in high school where the days were numbered to, I think, 6, so if Friday was 3, Monday would be 4, and if Monday was a snow day closure, then Tuesday would be 4, and all the students would go to their schedule for day 4. If you had PE on Mondays and Thursdays in the old days, and science lab on Wednesdays and Fridays, the numbered schedule alleviated snow days and holidays making your education unevenly distributed.

          Ideas for reforming the week that I’m against – making every month the same, so the same number of the month is always on the same day of the week. Is it that hard to do it the way we have now? Can’t deal with my birthday ending up always being on a Monday, for example, while someone else lucks out and scores Saturday.

        • Greg G.

          3 day weekends are so great

          I would like two 3 day weekends per week.

        • Susan

          I would like two 3 day weekends per week.

          One on each end.

        • Kodie

          That would make 10 days if we worked 4.

        • Greg G.

          That is a great idea! Then we could have three three day weekends per week.

      • C_Alan_Nault

        I wonder if people who leave church Sunday and go for lunch at a restaurant or diner realize they are forcing the employees there to break a commandment that requires they be stoned to death.

        • Michael Neville

          But if the restaurant staff are all Jews or Seventh Day Adventists, there would be no violation of the commandment, as long as the staff working Saturdays were not Jews or SDAs. Plus the Muslim “sabbath” is Friday while Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains don’t have a specific “sabbath”. So when dining, be sure to ask the wait staff as to their religious preference and keep a pile of rocks handy if the answer calls for stoning.

    • 5 Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks.

      Do not get me started on the bastards who violate this one.

  • Dyslexic, agnostic insomniac

    Surely an imagined god should have no flaws at all and be perfect in all things good – the best of the best. I really can’t think of any people I know that are less ethical, less compassionate, or show less ethics than the monster god of the OT. If I was to imagine up a god, I would do a good job of it. This Christian one is way too small.

    • Kevin K

      Of course, this is why Anselm’s argument doesn’t fly. Because you can always think of a better god than the best of the best.

      What’s better than god? God with a pizza.
      What’s better than god with a pizza? God with a pizza and a 6-pack of beer.
      What’s better than god with a pizza and a 6-pack of beer? God with a pizza and a 6-pack of beer that doesn’t make you fat.

      And on and on.

      • epicurus

        And then you have to get into what makes a maximally perfect pizza, and maximally perfect beer

        • Kevin K

          Exactly. A maximally perfect pizza could never-ever-ever have pineapple on it.

        • Michael Neville

          Or anchovies.

        • Kevin K

          I’m actually shocked no one has accused me of heresy, yet.

        • Greg G.

          I hereby accuse you of the heresy of detesting pineapple on pizza without ever eating a pizza with chipotle peppers and pineapple with a heavy layer of grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on before cooking.

        • Michael Neville

          a pizza with chipotle peppers

          That sounds like a maximally horrible pizza. I don’t like chipotle peppers on anything.

        • Greg G.

          I like real chipotle peppers but I think they are over-doing it by mixing the flavor artificially.

        • Susan

          A maximally perfect pizza could never-ever-ever have pineapple on it.

          What if it’s maximally perfect pineapple?

          Can a pizza be maximally perfect if a maximally perfect ingredient exists that it doesn’t have on it?

        • Otto

          It is like matter/anti-matter…they just don’t mix

        • Susan

          It is like matter/anti-matter… they just don’t mix.

          But you’re talking about reality, now.

          Not imaginary things.

          That’s not fair. 😛

        • Otto

          By definition, pizza cannot have pineapple on it and be maximally perfect.

        • Susan

          By definition, pizza cannot have pineapple on it and be maximally perfect.

          I agree.

          But neither one of us have ever tasted maximally perfect pineapple so how could we know?

          Can a maximally perfect pizza be maximally perfect if it doesn’t contain all logically possible perfect ingredients?

          One could say that by definition, a maximally perfect pizza cannot have maggots on it.

          But what if they are maximally perfect maggots? Then a maximally perfect pizza would require them.

          Who are we to say?

          Who are we to judge?

          It is not logically impossible that pineapple and maggots (the maximally perfect kind) might by definition, be required on a maximally perfect pizza.

          Only a maximally perfect being who provided the pizza would know.

          The Ontological Argument.

          Bleck.

        • Greg G.

          But neither one of us have ever tasted maximally perfect pineapple so how could we know?

          A maximally great pineapple tastes like bacon. A maximally great anything tastes like bacon.

        • Otto

          That is just crazy talk and sounds like relativistic pizza ethics,
          there could be maximally great dog poop, doesn’t mean it belongs on pizza.

        • Susan

          there could be maximally great dog poop

          It is not logicallly impossible.

          doesn’t mean it belongs on pizza.

          Doesn’t mean it belongs on anything less than the maximally great pizza that a truly maximally great being would bring.

          Unless you can prove it does.

        • Otto

          OK…here goes
          Poop tastes like shit
          Maximally great poop tastes like maximally great shit
          Ergo maximally great poop on any pizza tastes like shit.

          (now just insert pineapple for poop)

          Edit: That is probably not fair, I like pineapple, just not on pizza

        • Kodie

          Why does pineapple make everything taste better except for pizza? For what it’s worth, I don’t normally order pineapple on pizza, but I don’t find it disgusting if someone else does, or if I happen to eat it, and it needs to be paired with ham, but I wouldn’t order ham on a pizza instead of sausage. WTF??? It’s like carrot cake – I like carrot cake a lot, but not if there’s also chocolate cake. So it’s not maximally perfect pizza even if it’s good enough and not half bad (to me). It’s like… I love breakfast foods and I love burritos, but give me a fucking break about breakfast burrito and why the hell isn’t it wrapped in a fucking pancake? An english muffin will do, but it’s not maximally perfect, as I prefer a croissant or biscuit vehicle, but go to hell with your tortilla and scrambled eggs. I’d rather eat that shit on a hot dog bun, where are my breakfast dogs?

        • Otto

          I don’t think pineapple does make everything taste better except pizza, there are many thing I would not want pineapple on.
          LOL…good points though!

        • Susan

          there could be maximally great dog poop.

          Logically, yes… there could. Unless you can prove that there logically couldn’t.

          doesn’t mean it belongs on pizza.

          You have to prove it doesn’t.

          You have to prove that a maximally great pizza does not necessariiy include maximally great maggots and maximally great pineapple.

          It’s that silly an argument.

        • ildi

          You may want to have a discussion with my dog…

        • Otto

          I have seen my dog eat its own poop…and I am fairly certain it was not maximally great poop

        • Kodie

          It would go down like this:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GogjFO8GNEo

        • ildi

          I think humor is the most difficult concept to cross cultural lines.

          Also was somebody hating on anchovies on pizza?

        • MR

          You’ve been repeatedly shown that pizza cannot have pineapple. But rather than admit you are wrong, you simply ignore all the arguments and continue to hit the reset button. We’re tired of your trolling, Susan. No one is buying your maximally perfect pineapple argument.

        • ildi

          But you have to state your presuppositions first to continue this conversation…(channeling he who shall remain nameless)

        • ildi

          I must be Satan. Pineapple, ham, onions, cinnamon, mozzarella, thin crust.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i have never managed to open my heart to [cinnamon + meat].

        • TheNuszAbides

          the maximally perfect crust can support exactly all maximally perfect ingredients.

        • Phil

          Such intolerance! I like pineapple and ham pizza. How dare you persecute me!

        • Greg G.

          Perhaps these apineappleists have never had a pizza with crushed pineapple. Chunks or rings look fancy on a pizza but it doesn’t allow the flavors to mingle. Those who choose artsy fartsy pizza over flavor deserve their fates.

        • Greg G.

          The easy part is the infinite diameter and the infinite number of slices. The hard part is making it simultaneously a New York style and a Chicago style.

        • epicurus

          It could be both New York and Chicago Style at the same time without contradiction – begotten not made, of one substance, Fully Chicago and Fully New York.

        • ildi

          HERETIC!!!! We believe that the one pizza eternally exists in three styles: the New York, the Chicago and the St. Louis; and that these three are one pizza, co-equal and co-eternal, having precisely the same nature and attributes, and worthy of precisely the same worship, confidence, and devourance

        • epicurus

          No Way! St.Louis proceeds from the New York and Chicago styles! There was a time it didn’t exist and our political leader who knows nothing about this will back me for the sake of unity.

        • TheNuszAbides

          +1 for ‘devourance’ alone.

        • Len

          “…hard part…” – he’s god; he can do anything.

      • My God only serves beer on tap.
        😉

        • ildi

          I just finished an Even More Jesus stout by Evil Twin Brewing (12% alcohol by volume) which is perfect for a Sunday and also has more of a kick than I expected.

        • Very nice! Those high-octane beers can be a lot of fun, or a bit dangerous, or both. I tend to drink stuff that’s on the higher side, but more like 7 or 8% on average.

          I’m fortunate enough to live in Sonoma County, California—most folks call this the wine country, but all the breweries out here make it beer country to me. My favorite place in the county (Santa Rosa’s 3rd Street Aleworks) puts out a very hearty stout from time to time, but it’s only 10.5%. A few months ago they did a cask version of it that was aged in whiskey barrels for over a year; holy cow that was delicious.

        • ildi

          Guinness is normally my go-to (or PBR-I’m really more of a vodka drinker for the buzz), but now that a growler and fancy beer store has opened down the corner I’ve let the hipster dudes make recommendations. He also recommended a KBS Bourbon barrel-aged chocolate coffee stout (12.3%!) He said I should I put it away for a year before drinking-unusual for a beer, no? I’ll put it in my calendar – a nice surprise for next year.

        • Fascinating! I’ll have to ask my brewer friends about that. It sounds like it’ll be one damn good present to yourself!

          And always listen to the hipster guys; they know their stuff. 😉

        • ildi
        • TheNuszAbides

          unusual for a beer, no?

          so is 12.3% strength. possibly there’s a connection 😉

        • Joe

          You didn’t expect much of a kick from a 12% ABV beer?

        • ildi

          (Ok, I didn’t check the content until after the first sip and then that’s all she wrote…)

        • Phil

          I am getting a bit fed up with all the spaghetti from my god.

        • Greg G.

          If you are tired of the spaghetti marinara, try the linguini marinara.

        • Phil

          Although the FSM doesn’t expressly forbid anything, I would feel I would be dishonouring him. Maybe it is a test.

  • Gary Whittenberger

    Another excellent essay, Bob!

    “God doesn’t personally commit adultery (Commandment #7), though the Bible’s concerns about adultery are often not reciprocal but just about the man’s rights.”
    I’m not convinced of that one, Bob. I think God committed adultery when he impregnated Mary.

    William Lane Craig advocates the doctrine of Divine Exceptionalism.
    Divine Exceptionalism is the belief that some particular god would be exempt from moral evaluation by human beings or from culpability under a rational, objective, and universal morality. This belief is usually rationalized by saying that the god is exempt because he is sovereign, the creator of everything, the supreme authority, the highest intelligence, or just all-powerful or very powerful. The belief implies that the god could do anything at all, e.g. torture a child, rape a woman, enslave a man, or create natural disasters, ALS, or men who rape women and such actions would be good, neutral, or above reproach.

    • Pofarmer

      Which is, in a word, horrific.

      • Kevin K

        Indeed.

      • Susan

        in a word, horrific

        It’s completely indistinguishable from all forms of propaganda across history when it comes to justifying, oppression, slavery, genocide etc.

        If they weren’t trying to prop up an imaginary being, I think that would be as obvious to them as it is to a non-believer.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Indeed.

          When King David gets Uriah’s missus, Bathsheba up the duff in an act of adultery, then orchestrates his death aka murdered him, Gods punishment is to kill of the innocent new born resulting from the pile of shite.

          Perfect YahwehJesus, my arse.

        • Greg G.

          David tried to convince Uriah to sleep with Bathsheba so he wouldn’t know he had been cuckolded. If only Uriah had listened to David and gone to “wash his feet”, David wouldn’t have arranged his death.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Uriah decided to stay celibate in unison with his poor troops still at the frontline…dopey cunt shoulda followed the righteous David’s orders to go “wash his feet” is right. But then what of the story?

        • Greg G.

          Then Solomon’s mother would have to be a less interesting character and God’s punishment of thousands of deaths by plague would have to be for something more trivial.

    • Otto

      Yes the same guy who empathizes with the Hebrew soldiers who killed women and children is also willing to relinquish his moral agency as it pertains to a being he worships so he doesn’t have to wrestle with the obvious moral and Christian ‘values’ inconsistencies.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Yep…the Hebrew soldiers are the victims in the story…having had to follow Gods orders to go against what would be perceived as what was morally right, killing women and children.

        There’s the first example of the Nuremberg Defence. “We were only following orders, and you don’t get more supreme orders than those”…or is it likely they were just excusing blood thirsty genocide as would be something not unusual at the time…or maybe it is a made up yarn for full effect?

    • I think God committed adultery when he impregnated Mary.

      Indeed. She was betrothed to Joseph; he owned her already. Under Jewish law, God and Mary were both guilty of adultry and deserving of death.