If god were evil, I'm pretty sure we'd all be dead.
Mass murderers are only pseudo-evil. They don't even have sharks with lasers.
Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.
Establishing that someone is immoral is no easy task, not even if the subject is the all-powerful all-present ruler of the universe itself, but there are a few steps one may take to make the connection. Immorality is not just a neutral stance, not amorality, thus the obvious first step is to establish that the subject did or does some acts that are immoral in and of themselves. This is my task in this debate
Under some moral stances, this would be enough, however the task here is not to show that God is immoral under some stances, no, it is necessary to show that he is immoral under any reasonable moral stance, and since some moral stances allow redemption through other deeds, it should be shown that God's good actions do not come close to outweighing his evils. Since I hold the negative position that God does not have the said good deeds, it is simply my duty to show that any examples my opponent brings up do not come close to making up for the great evils the Biblical God has done.
Though there are numerous cases of God doing horrors, and downright wrongs, I do not possibly have time to cover all of them so I have selected 3 examples of how God is evil, doing things that no moral being could possibly do. I will begin by naming two of them, namely the story of Elisha and the She-Bears in 2 Kings 2, and the slaughter and torture of innocents in Numbers 31. The third is one my opponent will inevitably bring up himself later in this debate, so we will address that example when we come to it.
I am charged with a difficult task, showing that an action is wrong by any reasonable moral system, given that moral systems are as numerous as there are Christian denominations, so I will have to go to the very roots of what makes something immoral. I can think of two universal factors that are considered immoral by virtually all systems, so basic I find it difficult that anyone could possibly disagree- These are:
1) To cause harm or pain to an innocent unnecessarily.
2) To unjustly cause harm or pain to a child.
These two are certainly not necessarily mutually exclusive, but I feel enough distinction exists to list them separately. Both of my examples apply to both these principles, so if you could show that harming someone, especially a child, without any good reason is not immoral, you will successfully destroy my argument, so I welcome you to try.
For an act to properly fit under the 2 forms of immoral actions performed, 3 aspects of the act must be shown. Firstly the act must cause actual harm or suffering to the victim- This should go without saying. Secondly, it must be shown that the actor knew that he was going to inflict suffering or harm, and knew that such was not just. Finally, it must be shown that the actor could have acted differently, took an action that would not have caused the suffering or harm, without someone else suffering or being harmed in the process. It must be shown that the act could reasonably been avoided.
So, let us now dive into the two examples I provided.
First up we have the story of Elisha and the She-Bears. This story is written out in 2 Kings 2:23-25 and I would suggest you read it as this point. The story is brief in and of itself, that the summary is nothing but a translation is modern English: Elisha was on his way to a random destination when a large group of youths came out and started to mock Elisha for being bald. Elisha got angry so called upon the help of God, and God responded by sending forth 2 female bears who preceded to maul 42 of the youths to death. That is the entire story, and no other justification or explanation is given.
So, lets see if this falls under the guidelines I set up for an immoral action. First- did God's act cause harm or suffering? The answer is pretty obviously yes- Being mauled to death by bears not only causes death, it is a very painful and unpleasant method by which to die. The children in the group who were not mauled to death got to see their friends being mauled to death by bears which would leave some very powerful and lasting psychological effects.
Secondly- Did God know that the act of sending Bears to maul the children would cause harm to the children? Obviously yes. The second part asks if the act was justified. This could be a potentially more challenging questions, but for now I am simply going to state that by common sense, mauling children for calling someone bald is not justified. If you would like to contest this claim, then I will be happy to address it.
And finally, could God have done something else. I can give plenty of examples- He could have given the children an equal punishment, such as dye their skin blue for a day so others will make fun of them. He could have given a slap on the wrist to Elisha for wanting to maul children to death in the first place. He could have been the 'Bigger Man' as the saying goes and simply walked away from the ordeal. It does not require much to think of better alternatives for God to have taken.
Given that all 3 of the aspects qualify for this case, God clearly acted immorally here.
The second example is a darker one, not only in the number of victims (reasonably estimated to be well over 50,000 children) but also in the true horror of what the victims had to go through. The story is in Numbers 31, and to truly appreciate the genocide that happened in this story, you must read the entire chapter for context.
The story goes as follows: Moses and his men are commanded by God to eradicate a group of people called the Midianites off the face of this earth, because they practice in evil forms of religion and could potentially corrupt the Israelites in their journey to salvation. The men under Moses first engage the armed men of the Midianites in fair combat and defeat them. They then gather all the women and children as prisoners of war. Wondering what to do with these POW's the answer comes very clearly 'Kill all the women and children boys and children girls, EXCEPT for the young virgin girls whom you may keep for yourself" The reason for killing the women is listed:
I will at this point state that my issue is specifically with the second two parts: The killing of the young boys/ non-virgin girls, and the enslavement of the virgin girls. While I personally believe that killing thousands of women held in captivity is also a great atrocity, and that it paints God as a beast in my eyes, a justification for the women is given- That they hold the corrupt views of their culture, and could be, however weakly, justified away. What is indefensible is the slaughter of the children and the implied sexual enslavement of young girls.
The children are innocent, they did nothing to deserve a slaughter. Even moreso must I speak for the virgin girls- To see their helpless mothers, sisters, and baby brothers killed in front of their eyes. Their families ripped apart, their lives shattered, and finally, worst of all, to learn that they are the slaves, most likely sexual slaves, of the very men who just moments prior stuck a blade though their friends, and relatives. I cannot imagine the horrors of having to be that 13 year old girl, forced to live with such men who claim that they acted on God's behalf. I could never imagine worshiping the God of love, who sits back while under his command men stick cold steal between the eyes of a 2 month old child.
As hard as an example this may be, as obvious an evil act it is, we still need to formally show it to be one, so lets go through the three criteria.
The first and easiest one- Was their harm from this act.
The second- Did god know that slaughtering children would cause pain and suffering?
Both of those get an overwhelming yes.
The third is slightly more challenging to answer, but the result is the same. Could God have taken an action to not cause the suffering of the children without a greater wrong coming out of it. The issue was that the Medianites were getting in the way, so the first answer comes to mind- Why not just move the Medianites? We are dealing with the omnipotent creator of the universe, who in only 6 days created the earth, the sun, and all the stars in the sky. Who sent a flood to wipe out all inhabitants of the world just because he felt like it. He could, with the snap of his all mighty fingers, simply create a new island on the pacific ocean where the Medianites are instantly moved to live out their lives in peace and without a painful bloodshed.
One may argue that the Men and Women of the medianites were guilty and needed to be punished, or that the Israelites needed to see them suffer so they may learn a lesson of some form. Even by these standards, God could have simply teleported the children away to safety. He could have sent them away as gifts to many infertile loving couples so they could live out a great life. Still, one could argue that they would still suffer from losing their parents and that death is a better choice than life knowing your relatives were killed.
Even if this is the case, there is one option God could have chosen that would have minimized the suffering of the children that has no possible counter- He could have killed them all instantly and painlessly right on the spot. That way, they would not have to live through seeing their fathers beaten in battle. They would not have to be dragged in shackles before their captors, they would not have too see their brothers and sisters bleeding to death, and most importantly, they would die an easy death and not have to suffer from blood loss, or the pain of cold steel entering their bodies. God gave the order to kill the Medianites, and he could have given the children a quick and easy death, yet he chose to have their death be a painful and traumatic one. And no God that makes over 50,000 children suffer when he could have easily and without any drawback prevented it could possibly be moral.