User Tag List

12311 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 153

Thread: Is God Evil?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    6

    Default Is God Evil?

    I was challenged to a formal debate by a conservative. The topic is:

    Is the God as described in the Bible moral according to any reasonable standards of morality?

    Our side is the negative - That the biblical God is amongst the more despicable of all fictional characters ever written about.


    I am working on the draft of my opening statement. These are some bullet points.

    Christians do have a few gems in the otherwise bleak seas of their holy book, and one of them gets paraphrased as "You can judge a tree by it's fruit." We use this very often to condemn people who claim they are great, for instance the fruit of the 'Glorious leader' of North Korea falls short of any glory.


    Likewise, one must do so for the God as described in the bible. To examine Gods true character, we must look at 3 aspects of his actions: His worst deeds, his greatest deeds, and the relative frequency with which he partakes in the said deeds.


    To kick start this discussion, I will begin by diving into the evil actions of God. Now, we all know that God either personally kills or has his chosen people kill multitudes in the bible, ranging from evildoers (list reference), to mocking kids (list reference), to innocent babies (list reference), however today I would like to look at what I feel is among the most despicable acts. Specifically I am referring to Numbers 31. I listed only the chapter and not the verses for a reason: to truly see how horrid an act this is, one must read the full chapter for context.


    In this verse chapter, Moses, under the command of God, leads his people to destroy the medianites, and it lists the evil deeds that these medianites do. First, they engage in armed combat with the men of the other tribe. Fair enough so far, it's not the 'turn the other cheek' mentality most Christians embrace as being the will of God, but I can understand fair combat. Moses's men beat their opponents and collect all the prisoners of war, namely the women and children.


    So, what commands do they get for the women and children? Do they send them packing? Jail them with Geneva like conventions? Provide them with proper food and medical attention, and educate them about a better life and invite them to join in a grand utopia headed by God? No, they decide to slaughter them. Kill every single prisoner in cold blood, from the grieving mother to the innocent child. All of them, except for the young virgin girls. No, these young virgin girls have a life of being raped by their captors ahead of them. And I am not talking about a dozen of them, no it actually gives us a number for how many of these young virgin girls are to be given to the brutal men who just took their baby brothers and killed them in front of their eyes: 32,000!


    God does however give one condition about these rape victims: Some of them must be given to his holy elect, and not just to the war heroes.


    I don't know about you, but killing thousands of children in a genocidal slaughter, and raping thousands of young girls seems like something that can only come from horrendous dictator, far short of any ethical beacon. How could you call got moral when he engages in an act we consider to be upong the worst possible one, one that makes Suddam Hussain look like a saint?
    Any criticism?

  2. #2
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    MBTI
    ISTx
    Posts
    10,552

    Default

    I'd like to think that if the God of the Bible exists, he is not an evil force; however, I've been unable to reconcile with that notion.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pixelholic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    MBTI
    ENFP
    Enneagram
    8w7
    Posts
    571

    Default

    I think you'd do good to point out that the golden rule is not Christian specific. As they'll most likely use that to prove that Yahweh is not evil. The golden rule isn't specific to Christianity and without that the Christian god doesn't have much to stand on morally.

    Another fun thing to do is make a chart showing the number of people Satan kills in the Bible and the number that Yahweh kills.

    Everything you reference that is immoral in the bible they will have some kind of apologist rebuttal as to why it is actually a good thing. Nine times out of ten this will be some kind of logical fallacy (no true scotsman and appeal to authority are fun ones) so be ready for that.

    Otherwise it looks good.
    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” -Nietzsche

  4. #4
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    MBTI
    Mine
    Enneagram
    1w9
    Posts
    1,770

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Barmaley View Post
    I was challenged to a formal debate by a conservative. The topic is:

    Is the God as described in the Bible moral according to any reasonable standards of morality?

    Our side is the negative - That the biblical God is amongst the more despicable of all fictional characters ever written about.


    I am working on the draft of my opening statement. These are some bullet points.


    Any criticism?
    Several occur off the top of my head, but first I want to ask this: This is your first post on the forum, so I don't have any prior experience to go on regarding your likely intent. However, it does appear from what I'm reading that you're posting in order to get feedback that will facilitate a debate elsewhere, not to hold one on THIS forum. Would you be able to clarify this?
    Look into my avatar. Look deep into my avatar...

  5. #5
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    ESFJ
    Posts
    1,211

    Default

    It seems clear that God, as described some parts of The Bible, is responsible for heinous acts. Anyone who attempts to defend such actions by contemporary moral standards is inviting ridicule, so a more sensible response would be to challenge the accuracy of the description.

    The Old Testament was the product of a primitive people--the God described by modern Christianity would have been an absurd, almost incomprehensible muddle to them. Thus, the acts and directions of God were simply misinterpreted. People knew gods to be petty, vengeful, and capricious, and falsely imputed such motives, desires and characteristics to their God when describing His acts (or other events which weren't actually God at all).

    (Afterall, why would God have such people write a text that would only make sense to people living 2000+ years in the future?)

    The apparently evil God described in the Old Testament merely reflects the ignorance of its authors, who only dimly perceived God's true nature from their primitive, polytheistic understanding of the world. The seemingly contradictory nature of God is reconciled as a productive of mankind's gradual discovery of who God really is, and The Bible records some of this progress.

    Just a thought.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    Several occur off the top of my head, but first I want to ask this: This is your first post on the forum, so I don't have any prior experience to go on regarding your likely intent. However, it does appear from what I'm reading that you're posting in order to get feedback that will facilitate a debate elsewhere, not to hold one on THIS forum. Would you be able to clarify this?
    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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nonsensical's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    MBTI
    ENFP
    Enneagram
    4
    Posts
    4,010

    Default

    God preserves the balance of life and death.
    Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    MBTI
    ESTJ
    Enneagram
    9 so/sx
    Posts
    21,630

    Default

    I would have to answer emphatically no, he's not evil.

    To play devil's advocate, and in this instance I think its quite apt and possibly literally the case (I'm even interested that this is posed in a class at all), I would suggest that instead of engaging in what appears to be fairly derisory descriptive remarks, such as describing God as "fictional", or selective citations from scripture I would examine what is meant by "reasonable standard" means and what "moral" means and then consider God "as described in the bible".

    God could be moral by a reasonable standard but not ethical, if you make the distinction between morals, governing the self, and ethics, actions towards or involving others, there is not a consistant description of God in the bible text, not surprising given the diversity of authors and books, but I suspect you could find some disparity between the devinated intentions of God in an ethical sense and his moral conduct, ie if God has provided ethical mandates for his clerics and people why does he not personally intervene to enforce these, which is basically the old "problem of evil" when there is an omniscent, all loving God.

    To be honest there's going to be major differences depending upon whether you concentrate upon the old or new testament.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    MBTI
    ISFJ
    Posts
    6,020

    Default

    I don't know how anyone can base their world views on conflicting texts written by numerous different individuals with their conflicting views of God and Jesus and whatever else.

    If God exists he believes in free will. But back in the Old Testament he was testing all his rules.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    12,418

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    I don't know how anyone can base their world views on conflicting texts written by numerous different individuals with their conflicting views of God and Jesus and whatever else.

Similar Threads

  1. Is God Evil? Can we overthrow him?
    By RaptorWizard in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 82
    Last Post: 05-20-2013, 04:36 PM
  2. What is God?
    By SolitaryWalker in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 37
    Last Post: 01-26-2013, 08:10 PM
  3. What Type is God?
    By Haight in forum What's my Type?
    Replies: 118
    Last Post: 06-07-2012, 07:00 PM
  4. is God sadistic??? Or is it just me?
    By targobelle in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 198
    Last Post: 07-12-2009, 07:32 PM
  5. "A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on."
    By sriv in forum Welcomes and Introductions
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 04-23-2008, 08:35 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO