More moral than God?
I’m not a collector…no coins, stamps, clown figurines. Sometimes I’ve thought it might be fun to have a collection of something, and then I think about having to dust it all.
Well, I’ve found something I can collect that doesn’t collect dust. Atheist memes. There are a lot of them out there, and most are pretty dumb. But many seem, to the undiscerning atheist or skeptic anyway, to be really on point, exceptionally reasonable, and quite unanswerable. “Take that, theist,” you can just hear them saying.
But answer them the theist most certainly can, and this theist intends to do just that. Of course, answering a meme with another meme only goes so far. But I’ve addressed the topic depicted below to a fuller degree in my post Atheism’s best argument, as well as in other posts.
Feel free to share if you have meme-loving skeptics in your social “meme-dia” world.
Considering that the Judeo-Christo-Islamic god is for genocide, for poisoning a woman if her husband is jealous, for killing children for the actions of their parents, controlling people’s minds and stealing from them, making a man blind to show off and for working with its arch-enemy so it can damn another bunch of the faithful, I have no problem in knowing that I’m more moral than the Abrahamic god. I am a former Presbyterian and have read the entire bible as a believer and as not.
You are misrepresenting and misinterpreting the text. But nevertheless, on what basis…what foundation or standard…are you judging events recorded in the Bible to be immoral, and your actions as moral?
No, I am not misrepresenting or misinterpreting the text at all. These words have been interpreted again and again, by people who claim to b guided by your god. Are you saying that they are wrong? And if you think only you have the right interpretation and meaning of the text, please tell me how you know it is the right one. Christians in the past never questioned the simple literal meaning of the words. It is only now, with Christians having to make their religion match modern morals, is that you have to make claims that somehow these demands for genocide, etc are somehow not true or mean something different. Your bible again has to be made to fit reality, never the other way around.
The standard I’m judging your god and its followers on? Empathy, compassion and mercy, wonderful human things that have existed long before Christianity and are continually thought about and improved upon by humans. I’ll ask you a direct question: is genocide and the murder of children ever okay?
“Empathy, compassion and mercy” are values, but on what are these values based? Why should I demonstrate and practice them? If I don’t want to, what objective standard would you refer to to hold me accountable?
Not your god, that’s for sure. Something that murders children for the actions of their parents is no compassionate, empathic or merciful. They came from humans and their cultural growth, understanding that helping each other is beneficial. They were in every culture and Christianity has no lock on being a humane human being.
I don’t need an objective standard for morals. I’m happy to change them if they are wrong. I do it because it benefits me and others. Our morals have been changes for thousands of years. And your bible has been reinterpreted again and again to excuse its xenophobic and ignorant moral structure to make it fit with whatever was current at the time. You don’t have an objective standard either. This supposed “unchanging” god goes from being genocidal and all for slavery (as acknowledged by the US Confederacy) to being the happy fuzzy Jesus of universalists who can’t stand the thought of a god who would have an eternal hell. If Christians can’t convince each other on what this god supposed is and wants, there’s little reason to think any of you has the right god or right religion.
If you don’t have and “don’t need” an objective standard, and feel free to change your morals, then you have no basis from which to judge another’s morals, including God’s.
Wow, just because you made that up? No. I can judge whom I want based on societal standards. Happily, most humans find genocide, killing children for the sins of the parents, poisoning women, making a woman marry her rapist, collaborating with evil, etc to be wrong. It’s a shame you apparently don’t find these things repugnant.
And you still have yet to show me how you know your version of the bible god and what it wants is the right one. As it stands, you are no more believable than a Muslim, a Wicca, a Hindu, etc, since you all have no evidence at all. Combine that with the fact that Christians can’t even convince each other that their version is right, and your claims about your religion and god are easy to dismiss. Christians don’t agree on what morals this god wants. Why is that, Caroline, and again, why can’t you convince those other Christians?
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I, of course, disagree with your interpretation of the Bible, but even if I don’t have history with you as a commenter, I would be able to tell just from these comments that you are not interested in knowing what is true but only in casting aspersions. And I don’t waste my time engaging in discussions with atheists who only want to attack and ridicule.
But I’ll just note again that you have not been able to defend and objectively establish a basis for your condemnations of God or anyone.
I know you disagree, Caroline. It’s interesting that you like e.g. agree/approve of my post, which make me curious why. I also have to wonder why you choose to lie about me when you want to convince yourself that I’m somehow not interested in knowing what is true. That is not true and I am indeed inteersted. Why would you bear false witness against me? To just get out of explaining yourself and why you approve of violent acts as long as they are done by your god?
I’ve also been able to defend the basis of my condemnation of your god, and again do not need some “objective” source of morality. You seem to have no problem with genocide, and the killing of children for their parents’ actions. I suspect because you have one set of rules for your god e.g. might equals right and one set for humans, genocide isn’t acceptable, killing children isn’t acceptable. In this, your own morals are based on subjectivity, dependent on what you are judging.
I don’t believe you believe the sentiment of your objection here.
You are claiming that you require an authority who can hold you accountable to care about the lives of others.
And, even if my doubt is misplaced here, so what? If you don’t care about the results of compassion, empathy and mercy; if you don’t care about morality; what does that do to the truth of it? Nothing, I would wager.
I’ve played games of basketball where one team simply didn’t care about the non-contact rule, and I’ve played games of football (soccer) where one team didn’t care about the offside rule. Does that mean they didn’t break the rules, just because the local sports center doesn’t offer an impartial referee? Or does it mean one team wasn’t playing correctly?
I’m not at all referring to whether or not one cares about morality. The issue is simply, by what objective standard do we determine/know what is moral/lawful or immoral/unlawful?
For a parent to take a child to the dentist, the parent has to have some understanding of the benefit being offered.
By contrast, I could refuse to feed my child and not lock my front door so that anyone could take them or they could wonder off into the streets and whatever happens, I can claim God had a plan.
In the former, you manage your life and those you are responsible for based on informed decisions. On the latter, you don’t ever have to do anything because God will apparently always provide — even if what God provides seems to correlate with our lack of taken responsibility and may sometimes be absolutely horrific.
If you did everything you could to protect a child and it simply wasn’t enough, maybe you want to convince yourself God had a plan. If you do nothing to protect your child and something happens, you’re a monster — God or not.
Again, you seem to be missing my point, which is simply to say that’s it’s plausible that God has sufficient reasons for allowing suffering.
I’m interested in what is plausible. It’s not plausible that child rape, on balance, is good.
The very idea that the rapist then goes to hell is confirmation of the fact it wasn’t, on balance, good.
I didn’t even imply that it’s plausible that rape is good. But if there is no God and we are only the product of random chance and natural selection, by what objective standard could we establish that rape is wrong?
I’m happy to have that conversation, but not with someone who is denying the content of the messages that still exist in the thread…
My conversation point here is that the meme’s first rebuttal (‘morally sufficient reason’) isn’t plausible and contradicted by the idea of hell. My second argument would be the double standard: God does allow us to establish an objective morality, either, unless you are merely willing to outsource your ‘objective’ standard to someone else’ opinion.
If your comments are irrelevant to the topic or a mischaracterization of it, I don’t want to waste my time responding to them. It’s not that I don’t respect your views or enjoy the back and forth, but “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Well…some folks do, but not me.
We disagree on whether God having morally sufficient reasons for allowing evil and suffering is plausible, but I think you’d have to agree that it’s at least possible. I don’t see, though, how it would be “contradicted by the idea of hell.” And I don’t understand your second argument. God doesn’t “allow us to establish an objective morality.” He is the objective standard. If we establish our own morality then it is subjective, not objective.
To say there is a morally sufficient reason for something happening is to say that the consequences of it, which could not be brought about in other ways, were — on balance — good. (We’ll ignore, for now, the questions that raises about omnipotence.)
And yet, the actor who brought about that good is being punished… That’s a contradiction.
With the one hand, you grant deontological morality (duties and imperatives). And yet, with the other, you replace it with consequentialism (sufficient reason or ‘ends justify the means’). They are not compatible moral structures. That’s why hell disconfirms the ‘morally sufficient reason’ argument.
ME: The primary good, I think, that can be cited as a morally sufficient reason for God allowing suffering and evil is free will. God wanted to create beings who could freely enter into a loving relationship with himself and that required they/we have the freedom to reject him and do evil. There is no contradiction in punishing the evildoers. The evil deeds are not the good, and the good (free will) does not depend on them.
As for omnipotence, nothing is impossible for God…except the impossible. And by that I mean, the logically impossible. God can do anything, except that which is nonsensical. He cannot force us to do something freely – that is illogical. If a loving relationship with God and an eternity spent with him is an incomprehensibly great gift – as I believe it is – then it is plausible that allowing as much evil and suffering as there is in order to provide this gift (which depends on our free will) for as many as he can is a morally sufficient reason.
The two short videos I include in this post are very instructive, and I ask you to watch them. We can continue our discussion after you have, if you’d like.