The Bible, Man's book or God's Word?

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posted on Feb, 15 2011 @ 04:56 PM
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reply to post by imjustlikeyou
 




You love your child more than anything yet feel compelled to enforce right and wrong so the child will grow into a wonderful adult.


Your argument is entirely invalid. Punishing a child who has done something wrong isn't analogous to God killing the first born of Egypt in the slightest. A loving parent disciplines yes but would that discipline ever include taking the life of an innocent child? Surely you're not suggesting the first born of Egypt deserved death from on high. This is possibly the worst excuse for the Biblical God's genocidal acts that I've ever seen. God is allowed to punish, sure, but is he allowed to kill the innocent - NO.



DID GOD COMMIT THE EVIL OR WAS IT OUR FELLOW MAN ?


If we assume for a moment that the Bible's account of Egypt is literally true let's look at who is to blame for the smiting of the first born.

Here's what God said just before the plague of locusts:


1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them 2 that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD.”


Exodus 10

Let's fast forward to Chapter 11


4 So Moses said, “This is what the LORD says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. 5 Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well


Source


9 The LORD had said to Moses, “Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you—so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt.” 10 Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country.


So not only did God directly kill the firstborn he premeditated it AND hardened Pharaoh's heart so that his "wonders may be multiplied". So yeah, it seems like, at least as far as the Bible is concerned, God did commit the evil.

In short it is your argument that is lame.




posted on Feb, 15 2011 @ 07:57 PM
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^ We are all god's children (adults, the whole lot).

Man is scared of death but should we really fear it.
Fear is mans weakness.

Did those Egyptians really suffer or do we just assume they did ?


What is your purpose in attacking God ?

Do you think you will change the world ?

Do you feel special when you attack God ?

Do you think you know more than God ?

Would you make a better god than God ?

PS I'm curious how old (or young) you are and how much actual life experience you really have.

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posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 02:03 PM
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reply to post by imjustlikeyou
 



We are all god's children (adults, the whole lot).


You can't prove that as you can't prove a God exists, you can only define God as what you don't understand about reality. "GOD is everything" "GOD is love" "GOd is morality"


Man is scared of death but should we really fear it.


Scared/fear - Same thing - Most people fear death because they enjoy being alive, death is inevitable.


Fear is mans weakness.


A great evolutionary characteristic that allows humans to be cautious. (aware of predators)


Did those Egyptians really suffer or do we just assume they did ?


The Amalekites were slaughtered as stated in the abrahamic scripture - God demanded their genocide. But then again, who trust's the bible as an accurate historical document? I don't, nor do many Historians.

Just another immoral preaching by the Christian God. To go alongside many others. I consider many preachings written in scripture to be morally reprehensible.


What is your purpose in attacking God ?


It would be unwise to attack something you believed didn't exist. But if religious folk are able to describe God and give "him" characterists, then there is much room for attack, especially considering the despicable inhumane acts written in the bible. and other scriptures. God is man-made. A Creator/source is unprovable.


Do you think you will change the world ?


I think it will, perhaps it will make it more scientific - People only believing in evidence rather than having "faith"

(afterlife, God, fortune tellers, mediums, astrologists)


Do you feel special when you attack God ?


No.


Do you think you know more than God ?


Again, i can't prove God exists, so i can't prove what "he", "she" or "it" knows. I know that science knows more than what was written about in the bible and other ancient scripture.

We have greater knowledge and improved morality (in some cases social, cultural or religious influences cause people to do despicable acts things)


Would you make a better god than God ?


How would i be a better version of something i can't prove exists or doesn't exist?

I know i would make a better God than man-made Gods: Yahweh, Allah, Satan, Zeus, Ra, Thor. Many of their prejudices come from early man, where knowledge was little an xenophobia was ripe. These God's are MAN-MADE ideas.

Perhaps you would like to read some of my short rantings:

- "The Atheist Alternative: The 10 Commandments"
- "It's called "FAITH" because it's not knowledge"
- "Religious Dogma Is Speculation"
- "Relgion is a conjuring trick"
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posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 03:40 PM
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reply to post by imjustlikeyou
 





Did those Egyptians really suffer or do we just assume they did ?


Yeah, I'm sure they lived through plagues of locusts, frogs, flies, boils darkness and finally the death of the first born WITHOUT ANY SUFFERING


Even if all the children died peacefully in their sleep, which the Bible doesn't say is what happened, that doesn't excuse the act of genocide and certainly the parents of those children WOULD suffer.



What is your purpose in attacking God ?


Attacking the Bible is attacking God in what way? It must first be established that there is a God to be attacked. As far as I'm concerned I'm merely attacking the depiction of a God, a fictional character in a novel. In this case the authors and fans of this character (God) claim he is actually the hero, the good guy in the story, but I'm arguing his actions and words in the story say otherwise.



Do you think you will change the world ?


No. I do think that if enough people object to the absurd nonsense in the Bible it could change the world but I myself don't think I'm going to make that much of an impact. Any impact I do make is well worth making though.



Do you feel special when you attack God ?


I'm not attacking God, I'm attacking a fictional character with a massive fan base. It doesn't make me feel special but it does make me feel like I am defending an educated opinion.



Do you think you know more than God ?


Again you're presupposing that a God even exists. I don't even know whether or not there is a God and thus I wouldn't presume to know more than a being which is hypothetical. If we're talking solely about the Biblical God here than yes, I do know more than the fictional character Yahweh as he was imagined by ancient people who didn't have access to the same sort of knowledge we do today.



Would you make a better god than God ?


Indeed I would make a better God than the Biblical God. For one thing I know how to forgive people with requiring blood sacrifices and cutting the organs out of bulls or goats. I also think I could come up with a better plan for humanities redemption than getting my son brutally murdered by Romans. I also think I'd be much better at communicating and proving myself to people, in other words I wouldn't force people to believe in me based on the hollow worthless thing called faith.



PS I'm curious how old (or young) you are and how much actual life experience you really have.


That is entirely irrelevant to the discussion. Address the points being made not the person who makes them.
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posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 09:35 PM
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^^ The two posts after mine show that Atheistic World would be one HELL of a scary place. ^^

Both of you are the product of the new social engineering which started back in the eighties. You are both brainwashed and have been told a lie. Your education has been based on lies.
A society without religion is much easier to control, much easier to enforce.
This new society will be your society as you have been brainwashed into believing that a god does not exist. You will blindly follow science, You will blindly follow your government as they are your new god.


I have proof that God exists. My proof is over 2000 years old. It is called the bible. It is still relevant today.

The science that I learnt at school has already been super seeded. The Science you were/are taught will also be old hat very soon. Why would you blindly follow something that will never be 100% right ??!!

PS your age is entirely relevant as I feel I am dealing with a couple of teenagers and their very basic view of the world.



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 09:56 PM
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reply to post by Titen-Sxull
 


the answer to your questions are easy..

the pharaoh families held horrible ethics and would teach said child who would "HEIR" The thrown those said ethics so how do fix a problem you would face in the future? kill the heir.

as with job... job has always been accepted as a myth. a folklore that has been taught as a lesson to those who would listen. morale of the story trust in God no matter how bad things get.



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 09:59 PM
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reply to post by imjustlikeyou
 




A society without religion is much easier to control, much easier to enforce.


Probably the most patently false thing I've ever heard in my life. So you've given up trying to refute my arguments and gone straight for the: "The world would be a terrible place if everyone were atheists"... right. And you have evidence for this where? Religion can act as a control for behavior. Look at all the fervor in the USA about Gay Marriage, those are religious people denying people their rights, denying people the freedom to get married. Sure seems like religion is CONTROLLING people, trying to stop them from getting married. The same thing goes for abstinence only, trying to control. Celibate priests - trying to control. A society with religion is much easier to control because most religions already have strict moral precepts that are, in Christianity's case, enforced under penalty of eternal damnation.



It is called the bible. It is still relevant today.


I have proof that gods exist, its over 2000 years old, its called Egyptian Hieroglyphs, yep, Osiris, Isis, Horus, Anubis, ALL 100% real because I have the documents to prove it



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 11:01 PM
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reply to post by Titen-Sxull
 


I read your blog. (I have views on it)
Thank you for posting it as it let me see things from your side of the fence.

Have a look at China or North Korea if you want to see how an Atheist government can "control" and "love" it's people.

The bible IS STILL relevant, pretty good for some "made up" garbage written ages ago by a bunch of crackpots. Many predictions from the bible have been proven to be true. Revelation is eerily accurate in today's world.

Where was science at 2000 years ago ?

Do you believe in the "Big Bang" theory ?

I feel that you harbor no more useful information than I do.
I feel you are just ranting against the bible for the sack of it.

I feel you are just angry about "certain things" and have made it your life goal to destroy those things.

If you feel you would be a much better god then why not focus on that.
Show the world how wonderful you are and why we should love you.
Attacking a few pages of the Bible does not make you God material or clever.
It's predictable, classical Atheist behavior.

But don't worry God still loves you all.

The truth is all that is worth following.



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 11:17 PM
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reply to post by imjustlikeyou
 


The only reason some Communist countries outlaw religion is because Churches tend to become rival power structures and the last thing a dictator wants is is rival power structures. In the cases of those country it is the political structure, not the lack of religion, that makes things bad (and arguably the lack of freedom of religion).



Many predictions from the bible have been proven to be true. Revelation is eerily accurate in today's world.


Biblical prophecy is extremely vague and unimpressive. Revelation depicts angels, locusts with scorpion tales and golden cities in the sky, beasts rising from the ocean, giant horsemen. Sure you can reinterpret it to fit modern events if you take is all metaphor and imagery, the book is filled with figurative imagery that could be reinterpreted to fit anything.



Where was science at 2000 years ago ?


The age of Science has no bearing on its accuracy. I thought I debunked this point in my last post when I mentioned hieroglyphs and cuneiform tablets both of which predate the Bible - the antiquity of an idea or belief system has no bearing on whether or not its true. Science as a philosophy was not fully developed to what it is today until the nineteenth century.



Do you believe in the "Big Bang" theory ?


Given that the evidence collected thus far supports it yes I accept the Big Bang theory.



I feel you are just ranting against the bible for the sack of it.


For the sake of all those who were, like I was, lied to and taught the Bible was absolute truth. For the sake of the brainwashed... for the sake of denying ignorance.



I feel you are just angry about "certain things" and have made it your life goal to destroy those things.


Yes... I'm just so angry, so very very angry (sarcasm again). Once again you are addressing me and not any of the points I've made. Is this, perhaps, because everything I've said has been valid and you have no rebuttal for it? I do find it funny how many theists come up with this "you're just an angry rebellious teenager" stereotype in their heads and whenever they are out of ideas they toss that out and hope it works





Attacking a few pages of the Bible does not make you God material or clever.


Now you're just being bizarre. When did I say I wanted to be God? YOU asked ME a question about whether I'd make a better God than the God of the Bible and yes, I think almost any human being who has ever lived would make a better God than the genocidal tyrant depicted in the Bible. I'm not attempting to be God and I'm not attempting to be "clever". I'm not doing this to be cute, rebellious or trendy, I'm doing it because I care about what is true and what is not true and after extensively reading the Bible I find it to be not true.



The truth is all that is worth following.


We're in agreement then. The difference is that you believe the Bible to be the truth and I do not. This thread is full of reasons why I object to the Bible and why I think it simply isn't true. Thus far you've not suggested a single reason why you think it is the truth, other than its age of more than 2000 years... oh and prophecy. The truth is worth following, it is also worth FINDING. In that way we are also different, you seem to suggest you've already found the absolute truth, I wouldn't presume to claim that.
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posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 12:10 AM
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Well all we agree then is that we are traveling two different roads.

I believe in and love God, Jesus and the Bible. You don't.

At least you don't deny your Christian upbringing.
It's probably why you are polite.

To be honest you don't really have an argument to attack, It's just a statement. "God did something bad so therefore he can not be all loving, so therefore he doesn't exist"

I questioned your thought process and why you probably "think" like that.

As I said we shall have to agree that we disagree.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 12:52 AM
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reply to post by imjustlikeyou
 


We're on the same path, the difference is that I am still looking for truth while you believe that you have already reached your destination.



To be honest you don't really have an argument to attack, It's just a statement. "God did something bad so therefore he can not be all loving, so therefore he doesn't exist"


It's a heck of a lot more complicated than that and if you read my deconversion story you should recognize that. The bad things that God supposedly does in the Bible and the logical inconsistencies of the Bible and its God was just responsible for doubting the Bible. I continued to be a Christian for a while even while holding the Bible to be flawed and not true, I still believed the Christ part for a time. My atheism didn't emerge until at least three years after I stopped being a Christian, before that I had been a pantheist and a deist and during that time I researched other world religions and continued to accumulate knowledge about the Bible.

The main reason I don't believe in any gods is because there is no good evidence supporting the existence of god(s).

My rejection of the Bible is just one part of my deconversion from Christianity all the way to atheism, just one step on the road from superstition to skepticism. I don't just object to the Bible on moral grounds, I object to it because there's no evidence that any of its supernatural claims are true and because it is self-contradictory and logically contradictory. All of these things add up to leave me with no evidence for Yahweh and therefore no basis to believe in him other than blind faith. As you may know blind faith is never a good thing to base beliefs on.

There is nothing to distinguish Yahweh or any god from things which are entirely imaginary.

We can agree to disagree but don't you find it strange that your God has given you no evidence with which to convince me? Do you not find it odd that the best your God can muster is a dusty old tome filled with primitive laws and barbaric tales? I would think that someone in possession of the truth would be able to demonstrate that truth...



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 03:06 AM
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reply to post by stuncrazy
 


So its okay for God to commit the genocide of every Egyptian first born because killing Pharaoh's heir will make the Egyptians have better ethics? You do realize that your argument makes no sense whatsoever don't you? This makes sense how exactly? If God is all powerful than the number of ways in which he could have effected the ethics of the Egyptians are innumerable. The death of an innocent solves nothing and still counts as murder even if he would have grown up to be an unkind ruler (something you don't know for sure).



posted on Feb, 19 2011 @ 11:57 PM
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reply to post by Titen-Sxull
 





Indeed I would make a better God than the Biblical God .For one thing I know how to forgive people with requiring blood sacrifices and cutting the organs out of bulls or goats. I also think I could come up with a better plan for humanities redemption than getting my son brutally murdered by Romans. I also think I'd be much better at communicating and proving myself to people, in other words I wouldn't force people to believe in me based on the hollow worthless thing called faith.



Did I just catch you monologuing?

Before you open with a statement like that, could you begin with a mmmmmuuuuhahaha?

By the way, you get to be God when you create a universe and fill it with lifeforms.

Or just overthrow the god/emperor of the most powerful empire on earth and free its slave population.




So its okay for God to commit the genocide of every Egyptian first born because killing Pharaoh's heir will make the Egyptians have better ethics? You do realize that your argument makes no sense whatsoever don't you? This makes sense how exactly? If God is all powerful than the number of ways in which he could have effected the ethics of the Egyptians are innumerable. The death of an innocent solves nothing and still counts as murder even if he would have grown up to be an unkind ruler (something you don't know for sure).


You repeat this topic over and over and over again in thread after thread.

Every plague tore down each of the Egyptians false gods.

The firstborn son of Egypt was dedicated as sacred to the sun-god Amon-Ra.

The Egyptians had a choice. They could have sprinkled blood on their doorpost and the Angel of Death would have passed by.

The bible doesn't say that Egyptian children were killed.

God hardened Pharaoh's heart not his head. Pharaoh made his own decisions.

The Egyptians could have gotten rid of Pharaoh and let the Israelites go.

God delivered His people from the most powerful nation on earth. He marched them out of the land and into one that He promised Abraham. The ancient world was a brutal one. Freeing a race of slaves is not an easy undertaking.

Titen it is ridiculous that you try to judge God Almighty and His judgment of an ancient people. You don't know the people or the situation, you were not there. You have no clue as to who was innocent and who wasn't.


God gives people a chance to use their free will.

He gave the Egyptians nine chances before the final plague.

Over 600,000 people died in the US civil war. Abraham Lincoln is considered by many to be a hero for freeing a population of slaves.

Abraham's God freed a population of slaves with far fewer casualties, and you think Him a villain.

Titen, let my people go.............




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posted on Feb, 20 2011 @ 06:03 PM
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reply to post by dusty1
 


Someone asked me if I thought I'd make a better God. Way to take me out of context




By the way, you get to be God when you create a universe and fill it with lifeforms.


Again - I was responding to someone else who asked me whether I thought I'd make a better God. I think most human beings who ever lived would make a better God than the Biblical one. Take your troll tactics elsewhere please.



The Egyptians had a choice. They could have sprinkled blood on their doorpost and the Angel of Death would have passed by.


This is stupid beyond belief. If someone threatens your child and than tells you that if you sprinkle blood on your door you will be spared and you fail to sprinkle blood does that make it morally okay for them to come into your house and murder your child? The obvious answer is no. The only one making a choice, and Exodus is clear, is God, as he chooses to commit genocide and hardens Pharaoh's heart to make sure it happens.



The bible doesn't say that Egyptian children were killed.




Well I suppose those exact words don't appear, here's what it does say:


29 At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. 30 Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.


Note how it says all the firstborn, this would include children, also first born animals, so God kills puppies in this story too. What are the words I'm looking for again, ah yes, check mate.



The Egyptians could have gotten rid of Pharaoh and let the Israelites go.


An interesting twist to the story, I imagine this was inspired by recent events in Egypt eh? However merely because there were other possible endings that doesn't mean God's actions are excused. Why anyone would ever make excuses for genocide is beyond me.




The ancient world was a brutal one.


Perhaps you see my point after all. The ancient world was a brutal one. A brutal God imagined for a brutal world.



Titen it is ridiculous that you try to judge God Almighty and His judgment of an ancient people


It's really quite simple, genocide and murdering children are both morally wrong. God does not get a free pass, he doesn't get to be a lawless evil sinner. I'm not sure how familiar you are with the Bible and Christian theology but the Christian God is meant to be loving, righteous, merciful and omnibenevolent. I cannot think of a deed more evil than killing a child. God is being a hypocrite violating his own commandments. Now of course to you I am condemning an actual God, but to me I am merely condemning the horrific actions of a fictional character, a character who doesn't deserve the rabid fan base he's gathered. God did not judge anything in the story of the plagues. Judgment and justice are when you punish those who are to blame. God punishes the innocent in the story.



Abraham's God freed a population of slaves with far fewer casualties, and you think Him a villain.


How many innocent children did Abraham Lincoln personally slaughter?



posted on Feb, 20 2011 @ 08:18 PM
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reply to post by Titen-Sxull
 






The Egyptians had a choice. They could have sprinkled blood on their doorpost and the Angel of Death would have passed by.

This is stupid beyond belief. If someone threatens your child and than tells you that if you sprinkle blood on your door you will be spared and you fail to sprinkle blood does that make it morally okay for them to come into your house and murder your child? The obvious answer is no. The only one making a choice, and Exodus is clear, is God, as he chooses to commit genocide and hardens Pharaoh's heart to make sure it happens.


Talk about taking things out of context.

Where did the Bible say child again? Oh, yeah, it didn't.

A previous Pharaoh ordered the killing of all firstborn children of Israel in Egypt.

The current Pharaoh was proud and arrogant and after eight attempts at reason he still wouldn't let the slaves go.

God hardened Pharaohs heart not his head.

God did nothing to influence the Egyptian population.

If you knew a storm was coming wouldn't it be reasonable to prepare?
How about the chance of accidents, don't we use safety equipment?

Only someone arrogant or negligent ignores warnings or doesn't use some caution.

I do not condone murder.

According to the Bible God can bring anyone back to life if He chooses. He is not a man that cannot undo what has been done.

God spared Egypt as a nation. He could have destroyed them all.

He didn't.

BTW do you even understand what genocide means?





How many innocent children did Abraham Lincoln personally slaughter?


Abraham Lincoln gave the order that caused the death of 600,000 people, some innocent, some not.

Abe cannot bring himself or anyone else back from the dead.

A nation was protected, to produce a Messiah, that would bless all nations of the earth, and he would bring back those in the grave.

Titen, God did not kill your brother or anyone else you love.

They exist in your memory, but they exist in His, in every detail. They will be brought back to a better world.

That is of course, if you believe the story............



posted on Feb, 20 2011 @ 11:55 PM
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reply to post by dusty1
 





A previous Pharaoh ordered the killing of all firstborn children of Israel in Egypt.


Right, which is why God, in an act of eye for an eye vengeance, wants to kill the Egyptian children. The word child isn't used, that is correct, but the scripture says that ALL first born are struck down, this would include children and make sense in the context of what Pharaoh did.




God hardened Pharaohs heart not his head.


The story is clear that God hardened Pharaoh's heart so that he could complete the plagues.


9 The LORD had said to Moses, “Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you—so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt.” 10 Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country.


Sure seems like whatever God was hardening it kept Pharaoh from letting them go.



Only someone arrogant or negligent ignores warnings or doesn't use some caution.


I'll grant you that, although I think some warnings are worth heeding and others aren't. Even if you're right that doesn't excuse God's behavior. In the run up to the holocaust there may have been warning signs but that doesn't mean it is the fault of the Jews that genocide was carried out against them, it also doesn't mean that Hitler was justified in doing what he did. Fair warning of doing something wrong doesn't make it suddenly become right.



God spared Egypt as a nation. He could have destroyed them all.


And? Is this some sad attempt to make him seem merciful? He went out into the night and killed the firstborn of Egypt, even killed the firstborn livestock, he committed an act of genocide, it doesn't matter how much more awful he could have done. Merely because he could have been MORE heartless his actions are some how excused?



BTW do you even understand what genocide means?


Yep and God's actions qualify.



Abraham Lincoln gave the order that caused the death of 600,000 people, some innocent, some not.


This is true and its been the source of some thinking on my part. Lincoln was in a tough spot morally. He could allow the South to exist as a separate country or he could attempt to put the torn Union back together through force. I'm honestly not sure whether the Civil War was morally justified, it is certainly a debatable issue.



Titen, God did not kill your brother or anyone else you love.


Given that I'm an atheist and never had a brother this comes as no surprise to me.

I don't believe the story, there's no evidence that the story is even true and that alone is a good reason to question it. Of course I have my moral objections as you've seen but in the end it comes down to evidence. As such there's not even any good archeological evidence that the Hebrews were ever enslaved in Egypt. Like I said to me God is a fictional character who doesn't deserve the fan base he's attracted.
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posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 06:48 AM
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Titen


Like I said to me God is a fictional character who doesn't deserve the fan base he's attracted.

And yet, you have no curiosity about what his fans see in the story? Or do you have a theory about what they see?

I congratulate dusty1 on the American Civil War example, since it is so beautifully parallel. I have sprinkled stars in gratitude.

Lincoln did what was necessary, in his view, to put the United States back together.

General Sherman, under Lincoln's command, made total war against Confederate American civilians, which, had Sherman been captured, would have caused him to be hanged (not shot; being shot is a soldier's death, being hanged is for criminals). Prisoner of war camps were maintained, by both sides in the Civil War, with inhumane conditions comparable to those for which Japanese military officers were hanged, by Americans, after World War II.

The Old Testament story is that God did what was necessary, in his view, to establish a nation fit to launch the rebirth of humankind. Now, as with Lincoln, one can disagree about whether the goal was worth the price, and disagree whether this or that act was necessary to achieve the goal. One can certainly apply the settled law of a later time (about genocide, slavery, treatment of prisoners, noncombatant rights, etc.) to the past, overlook the details of that law (God is not a human being, the United States Constitution extinguishes the enforceability of civil rights during times of insurrection, etc.), and tally the hangings that never happened.

With no "eternal reward" in view, and without fear of "everlasting punishment," reasonable, thoughtful, knowledgable people exist, in today's legal and ethical environment, who admire Lincoln for what he did, even though they are mindful of the costs as well as benefits. Typically, these people agree with Lincoln about the merit of the objective, and are apt to view the costs as inevitable, under the circumstances actually prevailing at the time, and as the only actual alternative to abandonment of the objective.

That is not strictly true, BTW. Lincoln did observe constraints of law which inhibited his prosecution of the war, and so arguably increased the costs of obtaining the objective. For example, he did not immediately abrogate the treaty with Texas which, though a member of the Confederacy, was not a state in rebellion, but a foreign sovreign. How many people died for that legal nicety is a matter for discussion. It is introduced here to parallel the belief that God respects the constraint of human freedom of action, which incurs additional costs.

So, enter God of the Old Testament. Was manipulating the rise and chastisement of the successors of Abraham a worthwhile objective? Maybe, maybe not. Both views are tenable. Was there any less expensive means of accomplishing the objective? Maybe, maybe not. Both views are tenable. Is everything literally true that is said about this trajectory in the national epic of the people involved? Certainly not, we have some duplicate accounts of the same incident with different details. There are also very probably poetic renderings of many incidents.

So what? The vast majority of living people who are in the "fan base" are not literalist, inerrantist fundmentalists. That alone explains a lot of the attraction, whether or not you share their sentiment. And of course, if your taste in literature is such that you cannot abide figurative narrative about emotionally charged action painted on a big canvas, then that in itself would explain your lack of enthusiasm for this work.

It seems to me that the "evil Bible" community (EBC) thinks that other people are supposed to agree with them. That is, they write as if the reader's reaction to any literary work is determined by impersonally valid considerations. In this case, those considerations include agreement with the EBC opinions about how a God, whom they believe does not exist, ought to behave, especially if he aspired to earn their respect and admiration.

The Bible isn't a geology textbook, or a biology textbook, or a history textbook. There are only so many times you can say that, or engage the tiny minority of the Bible's living readership who is mistaken on those points. After that, it's just not news anymore. It wasn't much news in the first place, seeing how widely the work is read, and has been read for a long time.

Perhaps a loving God does care about your respect and admiration. In which case, your loss was just one more price he was willing to pay to accomplish his temporal objectives. It's not my place to comment whether or not that falls under the "small price to pay" umbrella. I am confident, however, that comparable concerns didn't stop Lincoln for a heartbeat.



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 11:24 AM
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reply to post by eight bits
 


1. Christianity: 2.1 billion
2. Islam: 1.3 billion
3. Hinduism: 900 million
4. Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
5. Buddhism: 376 million
6. African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million
7. Sikhism: 23 million
8. Juche: 19 million
9. Spiritism: 15 million
10. Judaism: 14 million
11. Baha'i: 7 million
12. Jainism: 4.2 million
13. Shinto: 4 million
14. Cao Dai: 4 million
15. Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
16. Tenrikyo: 2 million
17. Neo-Paganism: 1 million
18. Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand
19. Rastafarianism: 600 thousand
20. Scientology: 500 thousand


"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 11:37 AM
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reply to post by eight bits
 


The Civil War analogy doesn't work.

For one thing Abraham Lincoln was not a god and did not have infinite possibilities open to him, Abe Lincoln's choices were limited - Yahweh's cannot be. Abe Lincoln also is not claimed to be purely righteous or omnibenevolent. God's genocidal actions do not fit his character, namely that of a righteous merciful and loving God. Also Abraham Lincoln did not commit any acts of supernatural wrath instead using the military might of the Union to bring the rebels back under control. There is far more going on in the Civil War than there is in Exodus. Surely one can argue that Abe Lincoln was, or was not, justified to wage the Civil War but can one really argue that God was justified to strike down the first born of Egypt after hardening Pharaoh's heart to make sure Egypt would suffer the full extent of his wrath? The stories are not analogous.



So what? The vast majority of living people who are in the "fan base" are not literalist, inerrantist fundmentalists. That alone explains a lot of the attraction, whether or not you share their sentiment. And of course, if your taste in literature is such that you cannot abide figurative narrative about emotionally charged action painted on a big canvas, then that in itself would explain your lack of enthusiasm for this work.


This thread is about the belief that the Bible is the Word of God, it is about Fundamentalist literalist beliefs and whether they are correct or whether the Bible is, as you say, mere literature. I understand there are varying degrees to which one can accept the stories in the Bible. I am attacking the belief that it literally happened merely by pointing out that if someone literally believes the Bible than they believe God murdered Egyptian children. God went out and personally struck down the first born of Egypt. I don't believe the story, my issue is that many people do. This isn't about appreciating it as a literary work however I imagine my appreciation for something like Lord of the Rings or any other novel would be reduced if there were followers who believed it was literally true. You might find me similarly attacking the moral character or Gandalf (for example) if that were the case.

I'm not trying to get a point across to those who already reject that the story actually happened. I am trying to point out the problems with the belief that the Bible is the Word of God, as should be apparent from the title of the thread and the other discussions therein.

As I explained to someone in this thread a little while back, if taken literally the killing of the first born is a horrific act but if we're only going to judge the Bible as a LITERARY work it could be called poetic justice. We're not dealing with just another literary work of fiction, we're dealing with a work of fiction believed to be absolute truth by some.



edit on 21-2-2011 by Titen-Sxull because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 01:46 PM
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Titen

Thank you for your reply. Of course, what you meant is that the analogy doesn't work for you. Obviously, it works for at least some other people. That is typical of analogies.

Some thoughts, then, on some of the points you mentioned:

Lincoln is not a god, but God, like Lincon, is constrained to work temporally by leadership and by projecting force. In part, this is because God respects human free will, but also in part because nation building may reasonably include as an objective the participation of those whose nation you intend to build. Plausibly, this might improve the quality of the nation built.

Unlike God, Lincoln has limited resources. So, when thinking about an issue like killing the Egyptian first born, that is, killing simultaneously all the first born male residents of the states in rebellion, Lincoln gets no credit for not doing what he lacked the means to do.

In the event, Abraham Lincoln killed over not so very long a time many first born sons, on both sides. If he could have crisply killed all the first born sons resident in the states in rebellion, perhaps in return for a mitigation of Union casualties and a shortening of the war, then I suspect he would have done so.

He couldn't, so he didn't, and we'll never know if he would have. There would still be reasonable people who admired him if did. It's not as if what he actually did is so very different in kind, or as if the civilian casualties were carefully chosen so that only grown-up bad people died.

I also find it amusing how readily some atheists argue absolute morality when it suits them.

Atheist: God kills babies.

Other: Yes. Instead of what?

Atheist: It doesn't matter. Killing babies is wrong.

But I don't subscribe to absolute morality, so I am unpersuaded that killing babies, or killing all the first-born Egyptian sons, is necessarily wrong, especially when I don't know the alternatives to doing so, nor the consequences.

By hypothesis, God does know the alternatives and their consequences. His devotees believe that he chooses appropriately based on that knowledge, as is perfectly reasonable for them to do in the absence of evidence to the contrary, and consistent with their other beliefs.

And, of course, I am unpersuaded by an atheist's definition of the words used by a theist to describe his or her God. Since the Christians' literature and scholarship on these points is extensive, you may be sure that there are definitions of omnibenevolence and whatever else that are fully consistent with the recieved record.

The very fact that your definition leads to a contradiction is dispositive that your definition is simply wrong. Your only hope is that your definition is shared by your opponent. Fat chance of that, but maybe you'll catch some lightly schooled fundies napping or something. Good luck.

As to the rest, it was you who expressed disagreement with the "fan base." The vast majority of Christians are not literalist, inerrantist fundamentalists, as those words pertain to the received text. Nevertheless, Christians typically, from across the spectrum of the credal faiths, would agree that the Bible could fairly be described as "The Word of God." They're in the fan base.

Those were also the people at whom you said you were primarily directing the thread:


This thread is primarily directed at Christians, specifically the ones who believe the Bible is the actual “Word of God” but I welcome the opinions of anyone else who cares to join in…

Maybe back then you thought that the only Christians who accept the Bible as the Word of God were the literalist, inerrantist fundamentalists.

Well, now you know better. Even if you think I am telling you a fib, discussion of the correct applicaton of the phrase that appears in the title of the thread, and which is used in the OP's explanation of the thread's intent, is on-topic in the thread.


a & a

Not a single religious label used in your post describes me. I can only assume that your copypasta souffle was intended as a reply to someone else.

-
edit on 21-2-2011 by eight bits because: realized that another post was "reply to" me, but had content relevant only to other posters.





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