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The creator of moral faculties and disputing his morality on moral grounds.

#1kts123Posted 12/24/2012 4:52:08 PM
There seems to be a growing trend among New Atheists -- which is beginning to appear on this board -- that criticizes the morality of Jesus Christ, Father God, and the Holy Spirit based on the OT.


There are two similar but different claims, I need to clarify which I am addressing. claim A: the OT and NT are inconsistent. There is, however, a second claim that is made, B: God is clearly evil because of what was done in the OT.

Claim A and claim B are very different.

Claim A seeks to say that Scripture has the mark of human authorship, by showing inconsistencies and an apparent attempt to adapt new beliefs (NT) with old beliefs (OT) in light of changing cultures. I am not seeking to address claim A in this topic, which I will say is a perfectly logically objection for someone to raise.

The second claim, however, strikes me as a failure of objective moral reasoning on the part of New Atheists. The second claim tries to work in the counter-factual: If Scripture is true, then God is clearly evil.

It must be clearly understood, that if we are to work in the counter-factual and say "If Scripture is true" then we must consider both the NT stories and the OT stories as accounts of the Dayspring. Furthermore, we must acknowledge that this is the same God who created our ability to exercise moral reasoning. In otherwords, the very moral facilities we are using to analyze the OT and NT stories of God, are the same moral facilities God has absolute control over.

So now lets look at one of the "evil" things God commanded:

The Lord your God will cut off before you the nations you are about to invade and dispossess. But when you have driven them out and settled in their land, and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.” You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.
[Deuteronomy 12:29-31]

However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God.
[Deuteronomy 20:16-18]

The Lord was clear to "kill everything that breathes" even the women and children. Many New Atheists love to hang on this as genocide. So the Lord gave a clear warning: Do not leave any of them alive, or you yourselves will end up burning your own children alive, among other terrible things. Israel did not obey, so lets see what ended up happening:

They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.”

They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sought omens and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.

[ 2 Kings 17:15-17]
#2kts123(Topic Creator)Posted 12/24/2012 4:52:30 PM
God was very clear to “commit genocide” otherwise this is what would happen. Israel did not obey and ended up becoming morally corrupt to the point they were burning their own children alive. God understood that if they did not entirely destroy those nations, that would happen -- and it did happen. Unlike Hitler’s attempt to exterminate the Jews, God had a clear understanding that leaving those nations alive really would lead to a host of horrible things, and lo and behold it did lead to those problems. What is morally corrupt, is to flee from the notion of genocide at the expense of centuries of children being burned alive to molech.

Even further yet -- asides this one clear example of God playing hardball and getting it right -- is the fact your very moral faculties that naturally want to exalt love are made by the same God being called into question. God simply does not need to play by the rules of a dictator. He can instantly brainwash whoever he pleases, however he pleases, whenever he pleases. You cannot seriously imagine that if Hitler had the power to control humans with omnipotence, that his abuse of such things would be vastly different that God’s use of such omnipotence. Do you really think Gee, if Hitler were omnipotent, I think things would look just how they do know! That is clearly not the case. So given God’s omnipotence, and control over your very moral faculties, the fact you can even question him shows stark differences between God and Hitler.
#3OzymandiasIVPosted 12/24/2012 5:22:40 PM
Was it necessary to label the argument as New Atheism, especially right off the bat? Now, it will be too easy to dismiss any arguments against, as well as the arguers, as New Atheism, which will make it all too easy to dismiss because it's just "New Atheism."

Couldn't you have just argued against the argument itself and not label this something as negatively perceived as New Atheism?

Also can't help but feel that your one example is just you stacking the deck...
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#4JonWood007Posted 12/24/2012 5:28:02 PM
Um.....the whole thing with many "new atheists" as you call them, is that we're critiquing the "perfect" moral standard the Bible puts forth. While it may be superior to some of the local cultures, I'd argue ours are superior to theirs. On what basis? Logic and reason. We've had 2000 years to evolve a more complex moral conscience about things and we did. Windows 3.1, aka the law, may be better than that old commodore 64, but windows 7 is better than windows 3.1. Looking at the Bible through a modern lens, it seems to be that it's the product of human minds, flawed human minds, not the intelligence of a supreme being. Becuase a supreme being would have morals superior to my own, not inferior and based on bronze age logic.
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#5Lord_IchmaelPosted 12/24/2012 5:28:22 PM
I don't consider your example to be a good justification for God's command. So genocide would have prevented their "descent into moral corruption"? I'm not convinced. Even if this one specific instance is justified, that says nothing of all the other terrible things God does and orders in the Old Testament, or above all else the very concept of Hell.

I indeed don't consider the Christian God to be wholly evil (just almost). That doesn't mean he is automatically wholly good. Yes, Hitler might be worse, but that isn't saying a whole lot.

I don't consider this to be evidence of God's evil quite as much as it is evidence that the Bible is not the word of God. It has tons of contradictions including the many moral contradictions, which point to being of primitive human origin rather than divine. If it was the word of God, there should be no contradictions whatsoever.
#6OzymandiasIVPosted 12/24/2012 5:40:43 PM
From: Lord_Ichmael | Posted: 12/24/2012 7:28:22 PM | #005
If it was the word of God, there should be no contradictions whatsoever.


But then they'd have no go-to excuse.
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Sucking at something is the first step to becoming sort of good at something.
#7darklaoPosted 12/24/2012 5:40:55 PM
Really? He couldn't send a bunch of missionaries? Just kill them all and take their stuff? It doesn't really matter if he predicted the moral failings of his people. Wouldn't it be better for him not to order the slaughter of a bunch of people and just convert them over the millenia which apparently to him are as a day? Super-powerful all-loving god can't wait two subjective seconds to try something else?

Try again.
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#8chukie_suePosted 12/24/2012 5:54:41 PM
From: JonWood007 | #004
Um.....the whole thing with many "new atheists" as you call them, is that we're critiquing the "perfect" moral standard the Bible puts forth. While it may be superior to some of the local cultures, I'd argue ours are superior to theirs. On what basis? Logic and reason. We've had 2000 years to evolve a more complex moral conscience about things and we did. Windows 3.1, aka the law, may be better than that old commodore 64, but windows 7 is better than windows 3.1. Looking at the Bible through a modern lens, it seems to be that it's the product of human minds, flawed human minds, not the intelligence of a supreme being. Becuase a supreme being would have morals superior to my own, not inferior and based on bronze age logic.


How does the morality you're talking about not fall under the category of emotivism? How does logic and reason create or discern abstract, invisible qualities like good and evil?
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"Christ is with those of humble mind, not with those who exalt themselves over his flock." -St. Clement of Rome.
#9LastManStandingPosted 12/24/2012 6:10:31 PM
Law of Moses was fulfilled by Christ, but I see this get brought up and up again. People need to learn what fulfilled means. Peace
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#10Lord_IchmaelPosted 12/24/2012 6:20:57 PM
LastManStanding posted...
Law of Moses was fulfilled by Christ, but I see this get brought up and up again. People need to learn what fulfilled means. Peace


Irrelevant to the topic, as usual.