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