This is the fifth part in the series An Evil God?
When you were a kid, and things didn’t go quite like you planned, did you ever throw a temper tantrum? Well then, believe it or not, you’re actually a lot like the God of the Bible.
Early in the book of Genesis, God throws the Tantrum of All Tantrums, and murders everyone on earth except for one small family.
All Evil, All the Time
Pullquote: They must have had some impressive concentration skills to be all evil, all the time.
I’m referring, of course, to the story of Noah’s Ark. God’s earth experiment didn’t turn out like he had hoped; he regretted making humans because they were so evil and violent. No one is sure what they were doing that was so evil — the story does not say — only that “every intention of the thoughts of [humanity’s] heart was only evil continually.”
I don’t know about you, but that sounds a bit exaggerated to me. If everyone’s thoughts were evil at all times, how was anyone still alive? Wouldn’t they have been raping and killing and torturing each other? And didn’t anyone take a break from all their evil intentions long enough to think about what they were going to eat or maybe how to escape from that t-rex terrorizing the village?
They must have had some impressive concentration skills to be all evil, all the time.
The Wisdom of God
So everyone everywhere is evil. What will this regretful, all-powerful, all-knowing, yet loving god do about it? Perhaps teach them morality through a mandatory Sunday School class? Teach them the Golden Rule? Explain to them the concept of rule of law and justice? Give them a holy book with rules he expects them to live by? Turn the other cheek and repay evil with good?
Nah. He’s Yahweh! He’ll just kill everyone and start a clean slate. Or as he says in Bible, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
That’s a poetic way of saying, “Fuck it. I’m gonna drown all these evil bastards… and their children!”
An Old Man and His Boat
Pullquote: Creationists have to make the story make sense to themselves, and the story doesn’t make sense unless you add some more magic to it.
“Everyone” is a slight overstatement. A 600 year old man (uh huh, sure…) found favor with the Heavenly Murderer, who decides to save the old man and his family. God tells Noah to build a boat and put inside two pairs of every animal on the earth (six pairs of “clean” animals), along with enough food for the humans and the animals to live on for a year. How exactly a 600 year old man could build a boat larger than a modern cruise ship is not included in the story.
Yet those are only the animals alive today. Most creationists believe that the species found in the fossil record were alive before the flood — 99.9% of which do not exist today. Let’s be very conservative and say there were 1 billion “pre-flood species.” That means they took 2 billion animals on a boat, along with enough food to feed everything for a year? How can anyone believe such an absurd thing?
It gets even crazier when you start to think about all the various animal needs. How did Noah get polar bears and what did he feed them? What about Dodo birds, or lizards, kangaroos, koalas, rain forest ants, elephants, wasps, roadrunners, and everything else? And of course there are the dinosaurs, which creationists think existed alongside man. All these animals were in different locations and have different needs in diet and climate.
When I’ve mentioned objections like this to creationists, they never say, “Hmm… that’s a good point, I can see why you would be skeptical.” Instead, they usually respond with “God can do anything” and their own harebrained theory — maybe God put everyone to sleep, maybe they just took baby animals, or any number of similar variations. My favorite response was from an acquaintance suggesting that God shrank all the animals and then brought them back to regular size after they got off the boat. At which point I realized there was absolutely no hope for that man.
The problem is they’re just making crap up that isn’t in the story. And if God wanted to do those things, why would he have given them such specific instructions, like to bring food for everything to eat? Why put them on a boat at all — why not just suspend them in the air and feed them manna? Or put magic air bubbles around them for the duration of the flood?
But I suppose creationists have to make the story make sense to themselves, and the story doesn’t make sense unless they add some more magic to it.
Back to the story. When all the animals are loaded up, God closes the door to the ark and sends a flood that kills all humans, animals, birds, and “creepy things” (good riddance!). It rains for 40 days and 40 nights, until even the mountains are covered. It takes a year for the water to disappear (where to is uncertain) and land to reappear.
Pullquote: If this God really exists, and the myth of Noah’s Ark actually happened, we would be in the hands of the most evil being imaginable.
When most rational beings encounter a problem, they do the best they can to fix it with as little collateral damage as possible. Contrast this to an undisciplined child. When a child encounters a problem, she smashes it and starts over.
Does this God sound like the most amazingly intelligent being in the universe, or more like an undisciplined child who smashes her fantasy world and tries again?
I don’t see how this ancient god can be any better than evil men like Hitler or Stalin. We think of them as the worst of the worst, yet the deeds of those men pale in comparison to God’s actions of killing everyone and everything on a planet.
If this God really exists, and the myth of Noah’s Ark actually happened, we would be in the hands of the most evil being imaginable.
Thank goodness we’re not.