Does the Bible really say those evil things?

13 Jan 2015

Inquisitive commenter John makes a request:

Please post the verses in the New Testament that command us to “take slaves, burn witches, murder children, perform executions for imagined crimes, and treat women as cattle.”

Sure! That awful stuff is part and parcel of the Bible, and I'm more than happy to preach straight from it.

I'm not going to play favorites with this Testament vs that Testamant, though; it's all the Divine Word of the Almighty, amiright? I'm good with all of the Good Book! (As you might expect, though, it's the Old Testament that really delivers on the slavery and murder and other divinely-commanded horrors. The New Testament tones down the evil, even if it carries forward some of the OT's moral fumbles and even makes up a few of its own.)

So. Here's a quick guide to particular nasties as requested:

God condones and even commands slavery

Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT: However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. 

It's official: You can buy, sell, and own humans as property! Children too!

But wait – what's this about "foreigners"? Not everyone is the import-buyer type. Perhaps you'd prefer a genuine, home-grown Chosen People slave? Well, just hurry on down to Crazy Yahweh's, 'cause he's running a blow-out special on domestic models, too:

Exodus 21:2-6 NLT: If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.' If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever.

Yikes! That seventh-year release would seem to make Hebrew slaves a poor investment! But never fear, slave-owners. Thanks to the above loophole from the Divine Source of All Mercy and Goodness, you can keep your Hebrew slaves for life too!

But. Say you're a real capitalist, wanting to create the means of production on your plantation. Can you make slaves – that is, can you breed children to serve as slaves? You betcha, says God!

Exodus 21:7-11 NLT: When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.

I can haz money from selling my daughters as sex slaves? Awesomez!

Truly, the preachers were right: With God, all things are possible!

Well, not all things. You can't, say, murder your slaves. Because that'd be immo... Wait, what? What's that, Yahweh?  

Exodus 21:20-21 NAB: When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.

Got it! God just wants to be clear on this point: Your slaves are genuinely your property. You can even kill them, consequence-free!

Next the New Testament chimes in:

Ephesians 6:5 NLT: Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. 

1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT: Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them.

In Jesus' world, slavery is not something to be prohibited or even criticized. It's the way things are done, and who is the mere Son of Almighty God, the Holy of Holies, to suggest that things should be any different? Office memo from the Messiah: Slaves, your Lord and Savior would really appreciate it if you'd just get with the program and act like good slaves. ("Human rights." Pffft.) 

But, to make sure we address the question that was asked, let's quibble a detail: Yes, it's clear that God and Jesus condone slavery with the same ease with which you and I condone extra sour cream on a Burrito Supreme. Still, does God ever actually command slavery? The answer is... Hell yeah! Here's a good instance:

Deuteronomy 20:10-15 NIV: When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.

Yep, it's officially a commandment: When you attack a city, enslave everyone. (Unless they don't want to be slaves, in which case you can just murder the men and take the women and children as "plunder" anyway. It's all good, says God!)

God commands the execution of witches

This one is well known:

Exodus 22:17 NAB: You should not let a sorceress live.

Murder, He commanded. Pretty clear on that one! 

But, to address the question in fiddly detail: While God would would be pleased if you round out your Thursday to-do list with "Murder a witch", it's true that He doesn't explicitly specify "burn" as the means of execution. The dramatic business of burning women alive appears to have been a later Christian improvisation. So, technically, when we murder a women we've somehow defined as "sorceress", we're free to choose a mode of murder to match our mood. (Hey, the theologians were right! God does allow us free will!)

One caution, though. While you're about your killing people for God, be careful not to let any witches off the hook because they slyly go by another trade name:

Leviticus 20:27 NAB: A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death.

Dang right, they have no one but themselves to blame: Isn't it just professional negligence when a "fortuneteller" doesn't foresee the arrival of the murder mob? (Which, of course, suggests that they're not real fortunetellers... which, in turns, means they shouldn't be murdered... which... Ack, it makes my head hurt! Just kill 'em all and let God sort the illogic out!)

(Do note the cool part of the above scripture, though: It's not just about women. We can murder men, too! Yay, equality!)

God commands the murder of children

Hoo boy. Where to begin? It's not easy to pick a point, The Old Testament is a non-stop, slay-o-rama murder-fest nonpareil, treating us to the sight of Yahweh and his band of Chosen People slaughtering men, women, children, infants, fetuses, and animals, book after book after book.

Here's the kind of family unity Yahweh dreams of: Dad, Mom, Junior, Sissy, and Baby, together as one – in the grave!

1 Samuel 15:2-3 NAB: This is what the Lord of  hosts has to say: 'I will punish what Amalek did to Israel when he barred his way as he was coming up from Egypt. Go, now, attack Amalek, and deal with him and all that he has under the ban. Do not spare him, but kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and asses.'

Ooh, sorry about the murder there, kids. Sucks, I know! But I'm sure you did something to deserve it.

Yahweh's such an enthusiast when it comes to child-butchery that I won't try recount all of his slayings on this page. There's a great cataloguing here of God's own kills and his contract kills. It's a list so long, it even has its own section to catalog His glorious snuffings of children's lives!

God commands executions for imaginary crimes

"Imaginary" crimes are those that hurt no one and nothing at all – save for, apparently, God's delicate feelings. Well-known examples include God's commandments to murder people for blasphemy, for worshipping other gods, and for working on the Sabbath. (One dude – at least one – was actually murdered by divine commandment for picking up sticks! Read Numbers 15: 32-36, and praise the Lord for cracking down on the barbaric criminality of untimely yard work! It's good to see God bring down the hammer on such iniquity, rather than waste His precious "thou shalt nots" on trivialities like the ownership of human beings!)

Once again, I'll pass on a detailed recounting; God's murder diary in this category is huge, and there's no need to repeat what's so well catalogued elsewhere. Head here and read up on all the crazy, harmless things for which Yahweh demands that his followers murder others.

Yahweh, the original lady-killer

Whatever His guise – Yahweh, Allah, or generic ol' God – that guy upstairs sure has a problem with gender. Let's take a look:

Exodus 20:17 KJV: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

Women? Just another form of property, like an ox or ass. (We've already noted the lovely Exodus 21:7-11, allowing you to sell your daughters as slaves.)

Exodus keeps on spewing the Godly love:

Exodus 22:16-17 NLV: If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife. If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins.

Again: A woman and her virginity are the property of her father. Where such things are taken, a monetary price is to be paid for said property. Other holy verses concur:

Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NIV: If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

Rape a woman, pay some money. But don't pay it to the woman. You pay her father – you know, the property owner.

Well, that at least closes the sordid affair, and the victim can now get on with her life. Maybe she can even consider marrying someday, when she meets a caring, responsible, worthy man who loves her and...

Whoa, wait! Jumpin' Jehovah, did I misunderstand my Yahweh there. The raped woman is doing no such thing! God has decreed what happens after the violent crime: By holy command, the raped woman must marry her rapist. (Who, it should be noted, is not only a criminal, but a poor criminal. At least, he's 50 shekels poorer than he was. Hey, girl, you'd better get used to a rapist husband and thrift-store cookware!)

Any of this sound horribly unfair, ladies? Well, the New Testament would like to step in and say a few words: Shut up, broads. Ephesians 5:22-24, 1 Timothy 2, and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 make clear where you're to stand: in submission below your husbands, with your mouths closed. Let the menfolk do the talkin', okay? Sheesh, chicks could get so uppity in the 1st century, acting like they're all not property or something. Good thing the Bible's here to clear up that mess!

There's a lot more in scripture about God's mistreatment of humans for the crime of being born with this genitalia instead of that genitalia. I do hope you'll read more at The Horrible Treatment of Women in the Bible

So. To make sure we've addressed the original question: Does the Bible treat women as cattle? Answer: Yes, in that they're both property, to be bought, sold, used, and abused by men.

(Well, all right, it's not exactly the same. While God does condemn animal rape (i.e., bestiality), he doesn't condemn a raped cow to marrying the rapist. So, yeah, there is that difference.)

Are you following the Bible?

The message of scripture is clear: God commands that we take slaves, burn witches, murder children, perform executions for imagined crimes, and treat women as cattle.

All ye followers of God, do you do these things? If not, why not?

Comments

I'm sorry, but all the ranting on this site about murder, rape and slavery is getting really old. I could sit here defending God's word, but you have an agenda to see the opposite in everything. So I'll keep it simple. I don't believe in Santa Claus. Does that mean I'm gonna go make an anti-Santa site? Nah. I wouldn't waste my time. Get defensive if you want, but the simple fact that this site exists, is because people like you are angry that they can't find real faults with the Bible. The collection of scriptures has withstood moral, scientific, & archealogic tests over the thousands of years it's been around. Unbiased tests that is. Not tests with people who THINK the universe exploded into existence from nothing, organisms evolved the ability to survive, and we came from monkeys. You are one of the many who has evaded logic to believe such theories. Sorry. God is real, He made science (how things work), and He is GOOD! :D He doesn't condone slavery, unjust violence, or sexually imorality! In fact, He's waiting patiently to pour out His wrath on the people who do such things! It says so, many times in the Bible. Why don't you ever talk about that? Is that too "violent" for you. Well have it one way or another. Either way, justice is real. God would be cruel if He didn't punish the wicked. I'm not going to get into an argument. It's not because I'm not loaded with answers to give you, it's because I know your type, and the types of all the people who come to this site looking to feel good about themselves and their anti-God decision. I'm deeply sorry, but you're so deceived you can't even see passed your own nose without thinking the ability to breathe and smell evolved by chance. Good day, ye of little-else-to-do-except-make-up-sites-about-things-you-don't-think-exist! :D

defaithed's picture

Hello, visitor!

I'm sorry, but all the ranting on this site about murder, rape and slavery is getting really old.

It's the commandments to commit murder, rape, and slavery in the Bible* that are really old – thousands of years old. Any "ranting" on this site is only months or a few years old. And looking at the bigger picture: Global-scale, no-holds-barred criticism of religion's immorality isn't very old – and it's not getting old. I'd say it's really picking up steam!

* As well as similarly awful commandments that are not in the Bible. That book, and other "holy books", are certainly not the only source of such immorality. They're only specific examples of a long, sad history of humans being awful to humans. Something we're only slowly growing out of...  

I could sit here defending God's word,

I think you couldn't. That is, you could try to defend immoral commandments as being somehow moral, but you can't do it successfully. That's not a knock against you. I know I couldn't do it. I've never seen anyone do it. It'd be like successfully arguing that black is white, that a circle is a square. Can't be done. 

but you have an agenda to see the opposite in everything.

Do you mean my seeing the opposite in believers' claim that murdering children is moral? My seeing the opposite in believers' claim that owning and killing slaves is acceptable?

Do you not see the opposite in those claims? If not, why not?

So I'll keep it simple. I don't believe in Santa Claus.

Out of genuine curiosity: Why don't you believe in Santa Claus? What's your basis for believing or rejecting the claim of existence for a given being?

Does that mean I'm gonna go make an anti-Santa site?

No. But would you make a site in opposition to belief in Santa? More specifically:

If hundreds of millions of adults believed that Santa exists as a real being, and if those people demanded that children believe it as well, and demanded that school curricula be subordinated to unfounded claims from the Church of Santa, and demanded that laws be changed to appease the purported wishes of Santa... and if, as the basis of all this, these people produced a "Holy Word of Santa" book claiming that Santa murders children and condones slavery and views women as property, and they then demanded that we all venerate this book as the sole moral foundation of society... 

... would you then not speak out against this cult of Santa? If not, why not?

Nah. I wouldn't waste my time. Get defensive if you want, but the simple fact that this site exists, is because people like you are angry that they can't find real faults with the Bible.

The article you're replying to is nothing but a listing of moral faults in the Bible. All around the world, your Bible is being picked apart for faults, and the faults are legion.

Your religion is dying. When people discover myriad faults in the Bible, and you respond by sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting "THEY CAN'T FIND FAULTS", you're helping your religion die. 

Want to keep your religion alive longer? Listen to the claims of faults, and address them

The collection of scriptures has withstood moral, scientific, & archealogic tests over the thousands of years it's been around. Unbiased tests that is.

"Withstood moral tests"? What does that mean?

"Withstood scientific tests"? What does that mean?

That sort of fuzzy wording only holds up in churches, where everyone is trained to nod in agreement, and not ask what the words mean or ask for evidence of such claims. Out in the real world, people ask for explanation, and they wait for answers. No answer comes, and your religion takes a step closer to death. 

Not tests with people who THINK the universe exploded into existence from nothing,

This is not an accurate description of humanity's understanding of the origin of the universe. Read up on our modern understanding, and try again.

organisms evolved the ability to survive,

That is not an accurate description of humanity's understanding of evolution. The ability to survive is the prerequisite for reproduction; this non-random selection of reproducable traits is what causes changes in populations over successive generations. There are many excellent books that will explain the details for you.

and we came from monkeys.

That is not an accurate description of humanity's understanding of human origins. We did not "come from monkeys". Read up on our modern understanding and try again.

You are one of the many who has evaded logic to believe such theories.

What logic was evaded?

Sorry. God is real,

How do you know this?

He made science (how things work), and He is GOOD! :D

How do you know this?

He doesn't condone slavery, unjust violence, or sexually imorality!

You don't believe there's a god who condones slavery, unjust violence, or sexually imorality. Neither do I! We agree there.

But there are billions of believers in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism who claim otherwise. They insist that whatever is written in their holy scriptures is the accurate record of what their god thinks and does. Those scriptures are crystal-clear in depicting this god as one who condones slavery, unjust violence, discrimination, and other nasty things.

Are these believers all wrong? Are their scriptures untrue depictions of this god's thoughts and deeds?

In fact, He's waiting patiently to pour out His wrath on the people who do such things! It says so, many times in the Bible.

Many times in the Bible, this god commands his followers to murder children. Are you saying he's going to "pour out His wrath" on the people who followed his commandments?

Why don't you ever talk about that? Is that too "violent" for you. Well have it one way or another. Either way, justice is real. God would be cruel if He didn't punish the wicked.

That's arguable, depending on the definition of "the wicked". But it's not where the argument lies.

The argument lies in this god's horrific actions against people who don't appear to be "the wicked". According to believers, he commanded the murder of children. He himself murdered children in Egypt, and murdered an entire planet full of children in a flood, they claim. The believers insist that he ordered and condoned slavery, and even the murder of slaves. The believers insist that he ordered execution of women for sex before marriage, and commanded that raped women marry the rapists. And on and on.

Are those things not cruel? If not, why not?

I'm not going to get into an argument.

Arguing is an odd way of not getting into an argument...

It's not because I'm not loaded with answers to give you, it's because I know your type, and the types of all the people who come to this site looking to feel good about themselves and their anti-God decision.

I'll call BS on that one. The reason you don't respond is that you can't.

And it's not because you're inadequate. It's because one can't defend the indefensible. I can't do it. No one can.

I'm deeply sorry, but you're so deceived you can't even see passed your own nose without thinking the ability to breathe and smell evolved by chance.

This is a completely inaccurate description of humanity's understanding of the process of evolution, a well-supported explanation of how such abilities developed through a natural process and not by chance. 

(Someone is feeding you very poor information. You might want to ask those sources why they're lying to you, and you might want to look into what else they may be lying about.)

Good day, ye of little-else-to-do-except-make-up-sites-about-things-you-don't-think-exist! :D

The "things" in question are belief, faith, and religion. These things do exist. Or do you claim otherwise?

You take scripture out of context and get angry at the idol you've created in your head. First of all, why would I trust you to tell me whether God is moral or not? You don't even believe in Him. So any time you read a scripture you're already looking for a fault. So you're going to find one because anything can be taken out of context. I've been on this site before, and have heard elsewhere the claims that you have made in your reply. Such as forcing raped women to marry their rapists. That passage is simply talking about fornication in whatever severity it comes in. In Exodus and Deuteronomy it is referring to a man who has simply had sex with a woman. And the "punishment" was for the man. It was a warning to a man who fornicates with a woman (rape or not), that he had given up his rights to choose whether or not he would marry that woman. If it was the will of the father and daughter then he had to. And since virginity was highly valued in finding a spouce, her loss of virginity would cause her to be more likely to choose marrying the man. (And remember, the man wasn't always a rapist, if he ever even was in this case). In Deuteronomy it points out that the man would be unable to divorce her for any reason the rest of his days. Those warnings were meant for the man. And the father of the woman always had control. The father would not command his daughter to marry a rapist if she did not want it. Would you do that to your daughter? (If you're a man). Would you want your father doing that to you? (If you're a woman.) I hope not. And as for the whole slave thing. The only reason commands about slaves are ever given is because it was the law of the land in those days. Many laws and customs are addressed in the Old Testament, and some in the New, that do not apply to our culture today. However, in a sense, we can relate because any moral command or advice given about slaves and masters can be at least somewhat equivalent for employees and employers (honoring, submitting, etc). As for the homicidal slavemaster in Exodus, it is simply meaning this: Killing of slaves was punishable just as any other murder. However, if the slave died some time after, (days, weeks) then it was evident that it was not the direct intent of the slavemaster to kill his slave. It could be looked upon at the highest as manslaughter if the death was still connected to the Master. I've defended some of the points before on here, and I'm sure there's others you'd bring to the table but the problem only ever is the fact that accusations are made with little knowledge on the subject, vast assuming, and little to no context in the verse. Moving on... Evolution is unscientific. Nothing created everything? So I guess the universe ignored the first law of Thermodynamics so that we could all exist. That's nice. And ummm... what? Of course organisms have to evolve the ability to survive. How could you deny that? They had to or none of us would exist. So when organisms snapped into being they immediately had all the functions necessary to operate (breathing, eating, reproducing, etc)? No. Your theory says it took millions of years (as if vast quantities of time makes a difference). Well then all I have to say to that, is that's a fairytale. Organisms cannot evolve the ability to live. And as much as you want to deny that statement, it is exactly what your theory implies. And then I guess the universe ignored the second law of thermodynamics and decided to get better over time. Nothing's getting worse. Everything's evolving and getting better, right? Who needs scientific laws when you've got evolution on your side? And that poor old universe... It just doesn't get the conservation of angular momentum quite right does it? Different planets and even galaxies all spinning in different directions. I guess laws only apply sometimes. Or they don't even exist. So if these laws about slaves and rapists you claim are true by your perspective, then who even cares?! According to your philosophy in life, laws don't even matter. Why are you trying to disprove God by pointing out a few little laws that you don't like (since you don't really know what they're meaning in the first place). But unlike the silly law accusations you bring up against God, you ignore scientifically concrete laws to believe in and push your own faith-based religion on others. That's why I say the Bible is scientifically sound. Not only does it contain some science that mainstream science didn't figure out until thousands of years later, but there is nothing in REAL science that goes against a Creator. As humans in reality, we are not strangers to saying a creation needs a creator. A mechanic can tell me exactly how a car works. That doesn't mean the processes of the car are what got it there. It doesn't deny the fact that the car needs a manufacturer. Yet people can look at our complex bodies, nature, and the universe, and say it's all just random chance. More complicated than anything we could ever make as humans, but it's still random chance. Nothing creates everything. Information doesn't need intelligence to come about, although observation in reality tells us otherwise... I come on this site, and comment on certain Facebook posts so that whoever wants to be challenged, will take advantage of the opportunity to seek truth. I'm not about indoctrinating. I'm about truth. Take a step back and think with your mind, not your parents and not the atheist scientist's who are making ridiculous theories to disprove God. Take a step back and really think about it. Is there anything that directly disproves the idea that there is a God who created time, space, and matter, and thus He is not effected by time, space and matter. Of course He's not going to be visible through the clouds. He's incomprehensible to our created minds. And that's not new age philosophy, that is a simple point we come to if we are dealing with a Creator. He has to be outside our 5 senses or He COULDN'T be our Creator. So as I said, I hope you can simply take a step back and think. The person who gets set in their ways without ever thinking for themselves becomes mentally handicapped for the rest of their lives. And you can turn that around and say that about me, but please trust me when I say that I am not someone who believes in something just to believe in it. I could believe in the Big Bang Theory. I was taught the theory growing up in school. But it's just not logical. I could believe in evolution, I was taught it as well. But it's just not logical. I could believe in a lot of things. But I'm not out to simply believe. I'm out to find truth. And as much as you hate to hear it, the KJV Bible is the only absolute truth there is. Not subjective. It is truth. It identifies with and convicts the moral essence that we are. You think God isn't moral? Any time you read of children dying in the Old Testament, why don't you ever think "God must have known what He was doing?" Instead you jump to, "God hates children." The problem isn't killing children, it's the topic of innocense. If you see on the news a child who got a knife and stabbed his/her parent or friend to death, would you not want to see some sort of justice? Well there are demented children out there. The age for loss of innocense is getting younger every day. My point is that when God flooded the earth, there was no hope for anyone, except the 8 souls He saved. That's not because He made some standard that nobody could live up to. It's that He had a standard that nobody WANTED to live up to. And those children who died in the flood, or any time in the Bible, were simply carbon copies of their parents. Evil was everywhere, just as it's becoming again. The last days will be as the days of Noah. Except now, we as humans are killing our own children. Are you for women's rights? Then you're against children's rights. It's that simple. And that is mainstream society. Not God. God abhors abortions. Don't for one minute think He's pleased with them. If you're still reading I want you to encourage the idea that God actually is good, and see where your scripture reading takes you from there. Any evil in the Bible is always because of man choosing evil. It's that simple. Just because we hear someone died, it doesn't mean we know that person, or why they were killed. Don't read that people were killed and automatically think God is a homicidal maniac. Justice is one of our traits as humans. The need to see it when wrong is done. And the Bible says we are made in the image of God. God loves justice more than we ever could. Only evil will be condemned. Not righteous people. If anyone was killed by God it was because they were evil. If a town was ever destroyed by God or commanded of God to be destroyed, it was because of evil. If a world was ever flooded (look at the physical evidence around the earth), then it was because of evil. God is good and in Him is no evil. Therefore when evil is brought up, it doesn't go well. But under the New Covenant, He gave us a new chance to be redeemed. And you've probably seen hundreds of hypocritical "Christians" in your life. That's probably what's fueled this hatred for religion (which I hate too by the way, religion sucks but God is not religion). Jesus dying on the cross wasn't so that people can say "Oh my sins are forgiven" and look exactly the same as before. He died and rose again to make transformed lives that walk in power. That's my issue I'm dealing with at the moment. Looking at all the fake "Christians" filling the pews every Sunday and knowing the terrible impression of God they're leaving on this already confused, messed up world. Anyway, that's a whole other topic I could go into but I know I've already written a short novel. If you're read this far, I really appreciate it and ask that you realize the search for truth doesn't end up in atheism. I'm not wanting this to sound negative against you. I just want to challenge you to ponder on what I've said, if you're up for it. 

defaithed's picture

Hullo! First, a word on format:

I don't know whether you say "Sorry for the format" because you like the giant mono-block (if so, hey, to each his own!) or because the site is forcing it on you. If the latter, let me note that this shouldn't be the case; when commenting, you should have the option of "Plain text" or "Filtered HTML" The latter should appear by default, and should respect paragraph breaks; at least, it does so for other commenters.

In short: please let me know if it is the site that's misbehaving for you.

Onward:

You take scripture out of context and get angry at the idol you've created in your head.

I'll start with an important point: I create no "idol" or God in my head. I attribute nothing to any gods. Rather, the believers tell me that this God exists, and that he – to pick one example of their claims – ordered the murder of all children in Amalek by the sword (1 Samuel 15:2-3).

It's their claim, not my claim. I only ask questions about their claim. Is the claim untrue? Have they created an idol in their heads? Or is this claim of divine child slaughter true? 

First of all, why would I trust you to tell me whether God is moral or not?

I don't know; why would you? You should decide that for yourself! Is the Bible's God a moral character? I would base my reply on the actions of this character. On what do you base your reply?

You don't even believe in Him. So any time you read a scripture you're already looking for a fault.

How does that make any sense? "You don't even believe in Superman. So any time you read Action Comics you're already looking for a fault." What does that mean?

I don't know how things work for you, but I don't "look for" fault in fictional characters. If it's there, it's there; if not, it's not. I see faults in Dracula: he murders people. I don't see such faults in Ron Weasley: he doesn't hurt people. (He may be a goof, sure, but he's a good kid).

The God character in the Bible, like Dracula, murders people. He even murders children, and commands his followers to murder more children. Is that not a fault? If not, can you explain why?

I've been on this site before, and have heard elsewhere the claims that you have made in your reply. Such as forcing raped women to marry their rapists. That passage is simply talking about fornication in whatever severity it comes in. In Exodus and Deuteronomy it is referring to a man who has simply had sex with a woman. And the "punishment" was for the man. It was a warning to a man who fornicates with a woman (rape or not), that he had given up his rights to choose whether or not he would marry that woman.

Let's just cut to the chase: Whether this hideous "law" had any reason or justification behind it at all – and perhaps you can make an argument for some justifiable aspect of it – the simple fact is that I can create a better law. A better law for today, and a better law for back then. A law like this: "If a man rapes a woman, he will be punished severely, and will be made to compensate the woman to the extent feasible, and will be made to respect the woman's wish regarding whether he may even approach her again." That's off the top of my head and is by no means perfect, but it's already a better law than this God allegedly made.

In Deuteronomy it points out that the man would be unable to divorce her for any reason the rest of his days. Those warnings were meant for the man. And the father of the woman always had control. The father would not command his daughter to marry a rapist if she did not want it. Would you do that to your daughter? (If you're a man). Would you want your father doing that to you? (If you're a woman.)

Again: As a lawmaker, I can do better than God. Here's my off-the-cuff legislation: "If the woman is a legal adult, her marriage is her own damn business. She may marry any legal, consenting adult she wishes to marry, and she and her mate will share equal rights concerning divorce. Third parties, including the woman's father, can make all the noise they want about her marital matters, but may not coerce her into doing anything."

That's better than God's law.

...And as for the whole slave thing.

Again, let's jump to the end game: I can write a far, far better slavery law than God allegedly did. Here's my vastly superior version: "NO ONE MAY OWN SLAVES."

You can argue that the Bible's slavery laws don't constitute the absolute worst depravity that we can imagine, but you can't argue that we don't have better laws today. You and I and all sane people today hold to higher moral standards than did the God of the Bible. That's a fact.

In short: The God of the Bible is, according to what's written in the Bible, grossly immoral and a crappy lawmaker. That doesn't necessarily render him existent or non-existent. It doesn't necessarily negate good in all of his actions, or negate value in all his words and commandments. It simply makes him... well, grossly immoral and a crappy lawmaker.

Moving on... Evolution is unscientific. Nothing created everything?

This is why Creationists are rapidly plummeting from majority belief-holders to laughingstocks. "Evolution is unscientific" is an untrue statement concerning (one presumes) the biological Theory of Evolution, which addresses the process of changes in populations of life forms over successive generations. "Nothing created everything" is an untrue statement concerning (one presumes) the Big Bang Theory, which addresses the origins of the universe. These are entirely separate topics; the Theory of Evolution has nothing to say about the Big Bang origins of the universe, and vice versa. (Even more delightful, "nothing created everything" is not even an accurate description of the Big Bang Theory.)

I'm feeling the creative urge to come up with my own version of "Evolution is unscientific. Nothing created everything?". How about this:

"Germ theory is unscientific. A right angle is 85 degrees?"

I won't respond to the subsequent "science lesson" part of your comment, as "organisms snapped into being" and "everything's evolving and getting better" and "It just doesn't get the conservation of angular momentum quite right" are nonsense. These ramblings don't address any scientific claims.

It appears you've never bothered to look into what scientists actually claim about the origins of the universe and about biological evolution. If you want to refute those claims, you need to first listen to the claims. Please do so!

Until then, I think you're better off sticking to theological stuff. Maybe, anyway:   

So if these laws about slaves and rapists you claim are true by your perspective, then who even cares?!

Who cares about laws concerning rape and slavery, you ask? Anyone with an ounce of concern for the human condition, I say! Do you not care?

According to your philosophy in life,

What is it you see as my "philosophy in life"?

laws don't even matter.

How does that make any sense? When I point to certain laws as bad, and claim that we must hew to better laws... that means laws don't matter to me? Is today Backwards Day or something?

Why are you trying to disprove God

Who is "trying to disprove God"? I can't disprove the existence of a god. No one can. No one can disprove the existence of gods, leprechauns, or ghosts living inside Alpha Centauri.

What one can do is ask for evidence to support claims that these things do exist. That's what I do. Do you not ask for evidence to support claims of existence for such beings?    

by pointing out a few little laws that you don't like (since you don't really know what they're meaning in the first place).

A law allowing the enslavement of men, women, and children is a "little law"? A law forcing a woman to marry a rapist is a "little law"? How do you defend that statement? Do you think so little of people that grossly harmful laws are "little laws"? 

But unlike the silly law accusations you bring up against God,

What is a "silly law accusation" that I have brought up against God? The Bible claims that God made laws allowing slavery. I point out that the Bible makes this claim, and I do so accurately: you can open a Bible and confirm it for yourself.

Is it an "accusation" to accurately point out things that are written in the Bible? Or is it an "accusation" to say that slavery is immoral? Or does the "accusation" lie somewhere else?

you ignore scientifically concrete laws to believe in and push your own faith-based religion on others.

What "scientifically concrete laws" do I ignore? What is my "faith-based religion"?

That's why I say the Bible is scientifically sound. Not only does it contain some science that mainstream science didn't figure out until thousands of years later,

Such as?

but there is nothing in REAL science that goes against a Creator.

True. Just as there is nothing in science that goes against claims of the existence of leprechauns.

It's trivial and meaningless to suggest that nothing in science forbids the existence of gods and thetans and leprechauns. What would be interesting is a valid claim of something in science that argues FOR the existence of gods or thetans or leprechauns. Alas, no such claim is forthcoming... 

Yet people can look at our complex bodies, nature, and the universe, and say it's all just random chance.

Yes, "it's all random chance" – you know, that thing that scientists don't say. Scientists speak of natural processes, which are not "random chance". Scientists say "here's something we don't yet fully understand", which is not code for "it's all random chance".

You have no idea what scientists actually claim, and are attributing fictional claims to them. Learn what scientists actually claim. Not what pundists and preachers tell you that scientists claim. Stop lazily refuting fictional claims; try learning and refuting actual claims. Stop heaping even more embarrassment on Creationists. (They live with enough as it is.)  

I'm about truth. Take a step back and think with your mind, not your parents and not the atheist scientist's who are making ridiculous theories to disprove God.

You claim "I'm about truth", and immediately follow that with a wholly untrue fantasy about scientists making "theories to disprove God."

This is what gets believers laughed at. Please don't do that to yourself!

Any time you read of children dying in the Old Testament, why don't you ever think "God must have known what He was doing?"

Is that how we should react to reports of child murder? "Ahh, it's okay, the murderer must have known what he was doing. So, what's on TV?"

Is that how you react to child murder? Why?

Instead you jump to, "God hates children."

I'm less concerned with "hate" – an emotional state – than with actual harmful actions. Like murder. 

I don't claim that a god murdered children. Christians insist that there is a god, and that he did indeed murder children. Is that true? If so: Is it not an expression of hate to murder someone?

Or – a crazy idea, but bear with me – is it murder that God hates, and he expresses his hatred of it by performing it? Because if that makes sense, then so does this:

God abhors abortions.  

So he killed every fetus on the planet in a flood, to express his hatred of killing fetuses? You know, it's starting to make sense, in an up-is-down, black-is-white kind of way...

The problem isn't killing children, it's the topic of innocense. If you see on the news a child who got a knife and stabbed his/her parent or friend to death, would you not want to see some sort of justice? Well there are demented children out there. The age for loss of innocense is getting younger every day. My point is that when God flooded the earth, there was no hope for anyone, except the 8 souls He saved. That's not because He made some standard that nobody could live up to. It's that He had a standard that nobody WANTED to live up to. And those children who died in the flood, or any time in the Bible, were simply carbon copies of their parents.

In short: "The problem isn't killing children... those evil children deserved it." I think I'm starting to see now that evil is the key to understanding all of this:

Evil was everywhere, just as it's becoming again.

Yes. I can see that evil is still with us. In fact, I can see a whole paragraph of it above, starting with "The problem isn't killing children."

And the Bible says we are made in the image of God.

Hmm, another piece of the puzzle. If people were made in the image of a god, and if those people are evil... perhaps they were made in the image of an evil god! It's starting to make a little sense now!

If a town was ever destroyed by God or commanded of God to be destroyed, it was because of evil.

Yes. The evil of God. It's all coming together...

If a world was ever flooded (look at the physical evidence around the earth),

(I have, and the evidence supports no global flood whatsoever, but...) 

then it was because of evil.

Yes! Only immense, monstrous evil would murder an entire world of men, women, and children!

Any evil in the Bible is always because of man choosing evil. 

Yes! Sing it! Like Samuel and Saul butchering the men, women, boys, girls, and babies of Amelek. It makes sense now: the evil that occurred in Amalek was because, just as you say, men chose evil.

They chose to follow an evil god.

==

Now that I'm enlightened, perhaps we can call it a wrap. Unless, of course, I'm in error on some point, in which case I welcome corrections. But I do have to say that any further comments based on 1) misunderstandings of science, or 2) any defense of the murder of children will just get us nowhere, and will waste the time of us both.

In any case, please keep searching for truth. (Especially with regard to learning what science actually says about cosmic origins and lifeform diversity. No one can force you to believe what you hear, but you'll learn what the claims actually are, meaning you'll be better able to question them. If nothing else, the ideas and the evidence behind them make for fascinating reading!)

All right then. Be good!

Our replies to each other could go on and on and could continue to be extensive reads, so I'm going to start getting simple. If you've done your research, (which judging by the fact that you have a website devoted to proving it wrong, you definitly must have), there was a fall of man. Evil and sin is not God's fault. If He hadn't given us a choice we'd all be robots serving Him because we have no other choice. And that's evil. Any time I mentioned evil I never once implied it was an inherited trait from God's image. We were originally made in God's image, that's what Jesus died to reclaim.

But anyway, the sentence you quoted which said "the problem isn't killing children"... I may have said that wrong, so if that's the case, I apologize. In no way did I mean that killing children isn't a problem. My meaning was that there is nothing you can say that would directly disprove that even the children were evil when God flooded the earth. It's a matter of innocense, not age. Am I condoning killing children? Of course not. The innocense of children is something that I admire above any human trait on this planet. Anybody who thinks killing a child is just like killing an adult (which I also don't condone either), is fully disturbed. Children possess something special, but as I said, the age of that innocense is dwindling lower and lower, just as the Bible said it would. And the Bible says the end days would be like those of Noah. Which leads me back to my question. Say for a minute you believe in God and the flood... How can you KNOW that the children who died weren't evil? It's merely an assumption on your part. But that's simply based on your feelings, not on what was really going on at the time, and what's beginning again. I can't believe some of the stuff I read that children are doing these days. It's disgusting. It's about innocense, not age. 

I've already made this longer than I wanted to.. But about the science: I stated very general, basic, scientific laws. So for you to disregard them was a little odd.. But it's very typical. Any atheist I bring these things up to does the same thing. Doesn't even take into account what I said then simply says that I don't understand the real theories. Well please, for my sake, and for the sake of others, take the time right now to explain to me the science of the Big Bang and Evolution. Try to convert me to the faith that you have. Because in the end, that's all it is. You didn't see the Big Bang, you can't see Evolution (other than micro, which isn't evolution it's just variation in kinds). And in my observation it doesn't take a science major in college to see that those theories contradict many solid scientific laws that are observable and testable.

So, like I just said, explain to me how the universe came into being, and how organisms came from soup and evolved. And why everything's getting worse if evolution states everything's supposed to get better. And please don't give me the whole "You don't understand, it's about changes in populations, and no the Big Bang didn't come from nothing" thing, but then never tell me where the Big Bang or those populations first came from. It all had to come from somewhere or it wouldn't exist. And if all you're going to say is that matter is eternal, or if you're going to give time the same attributes that God as, then that's just silly. Do you not see how far you're reaching to avoid God? Don't you see that's been the agenda of the entire mainstream science community? I can see countless people IN the church who don't want to live for God. Why wouldn't the atheist community be doing even greater works to disprove God? And yes, it is disproving God, no matter how much you want to deny that. Creation is here. There has to be a Creator. Any belittling you do to the complexity of the universe's existence is ignorance on your part. So really you have the explaining to do, not me.

I'm sorry, but all the ranting on this site about murder, rape and slavery is getting really old. I could sit here defending God's word, but you have an agenda to see the opposite in everything. So I'll keep it simple. I don't believe in Santa Claus. Does that mean I'm gonna go make an anti-Santa site? Nah. I wouldn't waste my time. Get defensive if you want, but the simple fact that this site exists, is because people like you are angry that they can't find real faults with the Bible. The collection of scriptures has withstood moral, scientific, & archealogic tests over the thousands of years it's been around. Unbiased tests that is. Not tests with people who THINK the universe exploded into existence from nothing, organisms evolved the ability to survive, and we came from monkeys. You are one of the many who has evaded logic to believe such theories. Sorry. God is real, He made science (how things work), and He is GOOD! :D He doesn't condone slavery, unjust violence, or sexually imorality! In fact, He's waiting patiently to pour out His wrath on the people who do such things! It says so, many times in the Bible. Why don't you ever talk about that? Is that too "violent" for you. Well have it one way or another. Either way, justice is real. God would be cruel if He didn't punish the wicked. I'm not going to get into an argument. It's not because I'm not loaded with answers to give you, it's because I know your type, and the types of all the people who come to this site looking to feel good about themselves and their anti-God decision. I'm deeply sorry, but you're so deceived you can't even see passed your own nose without thinking the ability to breathe and smell evolved by chance. Good day, ye of little-else-to-do-except-make-up-sites-about-things-you-don't-think-exist! :D

http://adam4d.com/bible-advocates/

defaithed's picture

The link here is to a cartoon defending the Bible's condoning of slavery, genocide, etc., on the basis that anyone pointing out this awfullness is ignoring the "context" that turns this apparent wickedness into godly light.

Said cartoon fails to provide said "context".

Granted, a cartoon isn't the place for detailed argument! But perhaps the artist, or those who would link to the cartoon, could point to the best "in context" argument for the loving morality of what appear to be inhuman horrors.

I have no expectations. Even in the world of book-long "sophisticated apologetics", I've never heard the "context" that justifies murdering children.

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