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Thread: Is God Evil?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barmaley View Post
    Our side is the negative - That the biblical God is amongst the more despicable of all fictional characters ever written about.

    ...

    Any criticism?
    Actually, yes. Next time, pick a side of the argument which you might have a chance at.

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    If you want to do that and see what God "is" in human terms, you have to look at the life of Jesus... there was no evil in him whatsoever.
    Don't you think that Jesus and that guy with a beard is the came person?
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barmaley View Post
    Yes, you summed it up about right. I am having a formal debate on another forum and I am going around too see what other people think. I am moreso asking the question so I can see how people would answer it so I can get a feel for how my opponent will respond.
    Not sure I want to go too far into an actual discussion in that case...

    What I would say is that at the moment you're missing a lot of the context of the passage you're trying to criticise, which isn't going to help you in debating it with someone who most likely knows their bible off by heart. Your overall criticism may be valid, but to form a fully coherent perspective on the points you're addressing the passage needs to be viewed in the light of:

    1) The first, and let's not forget, most important commandment. The Old Testament God is a jealous god who demands exclusive worship above all. All subequent events need to be viewed in this light, because that is really what this passage is about. The morality of God's jealousy seems to me a more important consideration, because the events don't make a lot of sense divorced from this context.

    2) Events in numbers 25 (in particular) as they relate to violation of the first commandment. God's purpose appears to have been to prevent the Israelites from going astray from their worship of himself, and the destruction of the Midianites (particularly the mature women, who are named as seducing the Israelites into this false worship) is the primary objective of this war.

    3) Deutronomy 21, which would already have been applicable law to the Israelites, provides for the conditions under which a female captive may be taken in (presumably forced) marriage. It does not legitimise rape; and also makes clear that she posesses rights in these circumstances and cannot be treated as a chattel.

    4) The actual act of rape, where it can be proven according to the harsh standards of the day, is anything but condoned; it makes clear in the following chapter, Deutronomy 22, that the punishment for a proven rapist is to be stoned to death. I don't know of anything that actually legitimises it, let alone enjoins it, towards servants. Presumably the young women would have been mainly required for service, in accordance with the standards of the day. There's not really a basis on which to ground the assumption that they were being primarily kept alive for sexual purposes.

    5) The call both for the young women to be left alive and the young boys to be killed appears to have been made by Moses, in his position of authority, not as the directly inspired command of God. God wanted the Israelites to destroy the Midianites to free themselves of their corrupting effect on them, and perhaps as a form of purification (?) through the act of war itself and subesquent tribute given. They'd already disobeyed God's command by bringing the older women back for themselves, when it was earlier made plain that they were the main source of the corruption. Moses is enforcing the existing command with respect to the mature women, and makes the personal judgement (I'm not even going to attempt to figure out why) that the young males should also be killed in the process.

    That should be enough to get you started
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    Moses is enforcing the existing command with respect to the mature women, and makes the personal judgement (I'm not even going to attempt to figure out why) that the young males should also be killed in the process.
    Even the youngest male would grow up and be potentially dangerous once they found out what their enslavers had done. The virgin women are the only safe ones to integrate into the tribe as they would not be effective fighters or sexually corrupt/adulteresses

  5. #35
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    This might be easy to refute. It does not seem impossible to do so. I haven't the time to play Devils Advocate though.
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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentMind View Post
    I haven't the time to play Devils Advocate though.

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    Morality is subject to the individual and the society. While some Chinese people might think it's entirely moral and healthy to eat dogs and cats, most American people do not. So what is immoral to one is moral to another. Each person believes their morals to be more reasonable, and then finds that others are immoral.

    The issue becomes even more layered when you consider that people had a very different view of God thousands of years ago than they do today. Hell, to some people, the contemporary Christian God thinks that the Old Testament God was immoral. This is because most people today do not have a firm grasp of Biblical culture.

    Furthermore, to take such texts literally, or to not question the authors, would be to assume a great deal. I do not think you can compile every gospel and every book, take them literally, and call them consistent.

    Look at the story of the bears, for instance. How do we know that it was actually God who willed the bears to attack the children? Maybe it was the authors assumption that God did it. Maybe that was the most reasonable explanation at the time. Bears attack children because supernatural forces prompt them to. Everything that was outstanding was assumed to be a miracle.

    Already, you may be attacking a strawman. You might not be questioning God at all, but instead, the validity of the Bible.

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    1) Our argument was not designed to convince Chinese people or ancient tribes.
    2) Our debate was specifically designed to discuss the biblical God, not the god that person X considers to be the real one. Since almost every person has a unique view of what God is, we must agree to discuss a specific one, and my opponent foolishly agreed to examine the Biblical one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    Morality is subject to the individual and the society. While some Chinese people might think it's entirely moral and healthy to eat dogs and cats, most American people do not. So what is immoral to one is moral to another. Each person believes their morals to be more reasonable, and then finds that others are immoral.

    The issue becomes even more layered when you consider that people had a very different view of God thousands of years ago than they do today. Hell, to some people, the contemporary Christian God thinks that the Old Testament God was immoral. This is because most people today do not have a firm grasp of Biblical culture.

    Furthermore, to take such texts literally, or to not question the authors, would be to assume a great deal. I do not think you can compile every gospel and every book, take them literally, and call them consistent.

    Look at the story of the bears, for instance. How do we know that it was actually God who willed the bears to attack the children? Maybe it was the authors assumption that God did it. Maybe that was the most reasonable explanation at the time. Bears attack children because supernatural forces prompt them to. Everything that was outstanding was assumed to be a miracle.

    Already, you may be attacking a strawman. You might not be questioning God at all, but instead, the validity of the Bible.
    The debate has been limited by "God as described in the bible" though.

    Re: moral relativity, I'm inclined to disagree, there are cultural variances but to be honest philosophers and others have been able to infer "natural law", though it may be argued a "naturalistic logical fallacy", because there is such consensus across cultures, contexts and, properly understood I would suggest, across epoches of history.

    The reasons for this being practical reason as derived from the empathy, sympathy and theory of mind of any individual who isnt fatally traumatised or mentally defective or maladapted.

    The riddle of the dogs is an interesting one because in frontier life, this has been recently revived by survivalists you know, families and frontiers men would have kept domesticated animals as sources of food in an emergency, Dogs where nicknamed "stew meat" and cats "roof rabbits".

    In France the eating of frogs legs and escargo, as delicacies no less, first arose during various sieges by the Prussians or others during the revolutionary republics when they emptied the zoos and search for food anywhere anyhow.

    Some of the notional idea that Chinese or others would eat domesticated animals is derived from racism, suspiscions of foreign diets and norms, this behaviour was attributed because it was by then considered detestable and also because of disappearences in stray dogs or cats attributed to Chinese restaurants by rival restauranteers who did not like the competition (this apparently still happens in England where there is much antagonism between regular Butchers and hallal (spelling?) butchers who butcher animals in accordance with religious laws).

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barmaley View Post
    1) Our argument was not designed to convince Chinese people or ancient tribes.
    2) Our debate was specifically designed to discuss the biblical God, not the god that person X considers to be the real one. Since almost every person has a unique view of what God is, we must agree to discuss a specific one, and my opponent foolishly agreed to examine the Biblical one.
    The Bible says Jesus is God come to earth as a man, though. He shares the same qualities.

    "I and the father are one." (John 10:30)

    If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I do them, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father. (John 10:37-38)

    but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. (John 14:31)

    Why would you cherry pick single instances from the old testament which are difficult to interpret when you have the entire new testament dedicated to describing God in human terms? Or do you plan to seperate out the entire new testament as not being part of the Bible? That would be very difficult ground to argue upon.

    Jesus... got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet (including Judas, the man who betrayed him) drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. (John 13:4-5)

    "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." (John 10:11)

    [In the middle of being cruxified] Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34)


    So your argument is that this guy is evil?

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