Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why Killing Puppies, Kittens and Babies is "Good" According to Yahweh

Recently, I came across a blog called "The Gospel According to Erik" where Erik, as a Christian, attempted to show that the Euthyphro dilemma really is not a dilemma at all, and that for the Christian believer, there is no quandary. I disagree however, and I have already done so in a posting on Objective Morality. In this post, I will elaborate by illustrating why it is a dilemma.

The Euthyphro Dilemma is a one of the classic arguments raised against God, and origniated via the writings of Plato, in which Socrates asks Euthyphro: “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?” Which translates to: “Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?”

This is a "Catch-22" for theists, because as Eric himself says, it would mean that:"
  1. "God could command any arbitrary thing that popped into his head – like killing kittens – and we’d be obligated to obey and call it good because God says so. Or
  2. God answers to some sort of higher moral standard outside of himself, thus he cannot be the basis for our morality."
Let's take Erik's 1 & 2, and relate them to the bible. Now, according to the bible:

1.  Yahweh killed millions of kittens, and puppies, babies and pregnant mothers in the so-   called "flood" of Noah--and according to Christianity, his murdering all of those kittens, puppies, babies and pregnant mothers would be called "good."


2. Yahweh answers to some sort of moral standard outside of himself and cannot be the basis for our morality. It is true that Yahweh is NOT the basis for morality, as I have already explained in a previous post. Humans develop morals and ethics within societies themselves, and those groups (such as Buddhists and Taoists) that do not posit a god of any kind, do have moral and ethical guidelines. Therefore, it can be said that morality need not come from any god, let alone the Abrahamic god.

Eric goes on to say that God is "light" and god is "love," but again, I can illustrate using biblical passages that logically, Yahweh is NOT love:
"But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love." 1 John 4:8
"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud " 1 Corinthians 13:4
"You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me," Exodus 20:5
In the logical form of Modus Tollens, the following is the conclusion drawn from the above passages:  IF god is love, THEN god is not jealous. God IS jealous. Therefore god is NOT love.

Eric goes on to explain that god is "triune," which I have also shown is illogical in a previous posting.  He also claims his god is eternal by quoting John:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” Jn. 1:1-3
It can be said that "In the beginning was the Word" but this is an Egyptian reference. Long before the time of Jesus, Thulis, an Egyptian pharaoh, was in the habit of consulting an oracle. On one such occasion, Thulis asked him if there was anyone before him, or that will come after him that was or would be greater than him. His oracle replied:
"First God, afterward the Word, and with them the Holy spirit, all these are of the same nature and make but one whole, of which the power is eternal. Go away quickly moral, thou who has but an uncertain life."
Calling Jesus the "Word" or the "Logos" is an Egyptian reference which Christianity adopted  after his supposed death, and is just another example of the Christian plagiorization of other, older religious texts and beliefs.  (Bible Myths and Their Parallels in Other Religions, TW Doane, p. 373)

Eric also made the claim that:
"So if God is light and he is unchanging, then He cannot on a whim become a “dark god” and command torture of little babies."
Now, anyone that has read the Old Testament, would know that Yahweh does command the murdering of little babies, and would, according to Erik, be a "dark god." (I will call this torture, as killing defenseless "first born" would be torturous) In Exodus, which is the beginning of the Jewish passover, Yahweh "smites" the first born, and goes as far as ordering the killing unborn fetuses in Hosea 13:16:
On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord." Exodus 12:12
"The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open." Hosea 13:16
Every first born, whether they were kittens, puppies, babies, teens or men were "smited" by this god, who is claimed to be the "god of love." The same god that drowned all of the kittens, puppies, babies and pregnant women in the flood. I see no "love" in those actions--especially since this same god is said to be all-powerful, and could do anything he wants, including freeing his people without resorting to murdering innocent children, puppies and kittens. Please note that the flood was a wasted effort in eradicating "sin." Assume that Yahweh is god.  If Yahweh is "all-knowing," then Yahweh knew ahead of time that killing the kittens, puppies, babies, and pregnant women would be for nothing, as it did nothing to eradicate sin.  Yahweh is all-knowing. Therefore, Yahweh murdered all of the kittens, puppies babies and pregnant women for nothing--most certainly not the actions of an "all-loving" god.

Erik also tells us that Christians have a "special advantage." They benefit by having their sins forgiven, but they also have God’s very own Spirit living within them, enabling them with divine grace to keep God’s commands.
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.  Ezekiel 36:26-27
The problems with this claim are many. Number one, is the claim that the death of Jesus is said to have absolved Christians from the law. (Jesus said the laws stand until "heaven and earth pass away" in Matt 5:18, however most Christians follow Paul when he said the blood of Christ revoked the laws, as he did in Romans 3:27) That being said, Yahweh made it known in Deuteronomy 7:12 that he would only love his followers IF they followed ALL his laws and commands--just like it implies in the passage Erick cited from Ezekiel.
Having their sins forgiven is a ONE TIME deal for Christians according to Hebrews 10:26-27, as once a believer has the laws written on their hearts and they are saved, there is NO MORE sacrifice for sins. If they sin willfully after being saved--they go to the pit of fire. No repentance. And no, this does not apply to "apostates" as many apologists now claim--it applies to believers who have the laws "written on their hearts."
Moreover, the false belief of Christians that they can continue to sin, repent, sin, repent, and repeat when necessary, has resulted in a society full of Christians who believe they are "born sinners" who cannot help but do bad things. But they have a fall guy in Jesus, so they do not have to take responsibility for their own actions. This belief leads to what Pelagius called "moral laxity" where Christians commit adultery, rape, murder, incest, child abuse, etc. at higher rates than other groups because they believe they are born bad, and can't help but be bad--and they do not have to take responsibility for their "badness", as Jesus does that for them.
Finally, Eric claims that we are "hard wired" to recognize the commands of this god, and that we know internally that we ought "love our neighbors as ourselves."  But this is just the Normative Ethical Theory known as "The Divine Command Theory," which states that whatever God says is right, is right.  But the major flaw of the Divine Command Theory is the epistemological problem, in that we do not know what, if anything any god has ever said. For example, Andrea Yates claims god told her to kill her children to save them from Satan, but Christians would say she is crazy, and by doing so, they dismiss the Divine Command Theory in favor of a different ethical theory.   If we were in fact "hard wired" to recognize the commands of god, then there would be no disagreements about such issues as whether one can or cannot be divorced, or what constituted adultery, etc.--but Christians cannot agree amongst themselves on such issues, so therefore, they cannot be "hardwired." 

 Not only is Erik's claim an epistemological problem, but the "golden rule," has been around for much longer than the bible, as Buddha himself said:
"Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful."—Udanavarga 5:18
Therefore, we are not "hard-wired" to recognize the commands of god, but we may be "hard-wired" to find ways of living together amicably.--and no gods are required for that, as the Buddhists and Taoists, atheists, and others that live amicably together without gods will tell you.


ex-minister1 said...

Buddha may have been one of the first golden rulerers, but I think this may have been where Jesus (or the composite character) got the quote. The Jesus quote just gives it the positive angle. I rather prefer this one, because just because I like to be treated a certain way doesn't mean others would like it the same.

"What you yourself hate, don't do to your neighbor. This is the whole law; the rest is commentary. Go and study."
Rabbi Hillel, born in Jerusalem 110 BCE, died 10 CE. 20 years before Jesus' ministry. Hillel taught the love of man was the core teaching of Judaism.

Anonymous said...

The first horn of the "dilemma" appears to be "Everything dies, therefore there cannot possibly be a God."

Why doesn't that sound persuasive to me? Why am I so eager to say "I'll take horn #1, Monty?" Hmm...

I'd really like to see the "logic" that begins with "Everything dies" as a premise and ends with "There is no God" as a sound and valid conclusion. I can envision a syllogism that begins "Everything dies" and ends "I don't like God's world very much," but even that logic is absent from this piece. In this article, the only connective tissue appears to be the assumption that kittens dying is such a terrible terrible nasty bad thing that no good God could possibly have done such a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE thing as to make kittens die...

Again, I wonder why I'm not persuaded. Hmm...

Atheism appears, in my experience, to be the persistent attempt to make infantile whining sound as though it's profound. This article stands as a case in point.

A is for Atheist said...

@ Philwynk

I find it amusing that you don't mention the fact that YOUR GOD IS RESPONSIBLE FOR KILLING INNOCENT PREGNANT WOMEN AND BABIES. Of course you mention kittens, but according to you, they are expendable anyway, as they have no soul and are here for your own personal "use."

You present no argument, and what you state (except for the kittens) is not even in this post, and what you exhibit is exactly what you are complaining about--infantile whining--how pathetic.

Instead of whining, you should have at least attempted to present a logical rebuttal instead. I would at least have more respect for you than I do now.

T. A. Lewis said...

On this topic, I love Steven Cahn's quote from his essay "The Irrelevance to Religion of Philosophic Proofs for the Existence of God":

"Clearly, the attempt to deduce moral precepts from the fact of God's existence is but another case of trying to do what Hume long ago pointed out to be logically impossible, viz., the deduction of normative judgments from factual premises. No such deduction is valid, and, thus, any moral principle is consistent with the existence of God."

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