Monday, May 21, 2012

The Non-Ethics of Christianity

Most Christians believe they have no laws to follow, since according to Paul, Jesus died to save them from the laws--so where does their "ethical code" come from then? Not the 10 commandments, because they were part and parcel of the "laws" that Jesus died to revoke. (It was MEN that separated them into categories later.) Jesus however, said "ALL the laws, and ALL the prophets MUST be followed until heaven and earth disappear. (Matt 5:18) So do Christians even have a moral code, and if so, where does it come from? Do Christians follow Jesus, or do they follow Paul? The answer is--Paul. Let me explain.

The belief that Christians do not have to follow the laws came from Paul. According to Paul, Christians are in essence, "lawless. " This makes "sin" something of a paradox because a sin is defined as a transgression against God's laws--but there are no laws! This was evident when Paul first began preaching, as his followers began having orgies, and participating in all sorts of debauchery--because they believed they had no laws--so he had to backtrack a bit and tell the Corinthinas that well, you can do anything, but not everything will be good for you. (1Cor. 10:23) Hmmm..... Unfortunately, even if there were "laws" to break, they would be redundant anyway, when anything can be forgiven as long as a believer sincerely "repents." There is no punishment for the "sinner" (as long as they don't get caught by the "secular" police!!) and no compensation for the victims under the Christian system either--making "sins" virtually meaningless. This is why Christianiy in and of itself is immoral and unjust.

Unfortunately, today we live in a society full of these "born sinners"--people who believe they were born bad, and cannot help but to do bad things--which explains the chaos. However, if Christians cannot help but to sin, do they really have "free will??" Not according to the Bible--but that is for another post. To explain the insidiousness of Christianity and their lack of real ethics and morality, take into consideration this wee bit of Socratic dialogue. In a conversation between a Christian and Jesus--according to Paul's version of Christianity:

Sinner: "Jesus, I know I shouldn't, but I really want to have sex with my neighbor's daughter. She's only 6, but I want her so bad."

Jesus: "You know that would wrong, but we both know you are a born sinner. So we both know it would be wrong to rape that little girl, but your sinful nature will compel you to rape her anyway, so go ahead. I have your back. When you are done with her, just come back and see me. Explain to me what you have done, and tell me how sorry you are for doing it, and I will forgive you. It will be like nothing happened at all, and you will still get to live with me in paradise forever."

Sinner: "Thanks Jesus! I'll be coming back to talk to you in a few hours! I gotta go, she'll be getting out of school right away, and I don't want to miss her!"

Yes people, THIS is Christian ethics and morality. I don't even have words to explain how sick this philosophy is.....

I often wonder what society would be like if people were taught they could be "perfect" in their choices, and that yes, they CAN make the right choices. What if they did not have a "fall guy" to take the blame for them? What if they had to take responsibility for their OWN actions? I doubt I will find out within my lifetime, but maybe someday...........


Grundy said...

I think you repeated yourself at the beginning there.

You may be technically correct, although I'm not sure, but practically Christians follow Christ. It's right there in the name. The law they most stick to is the same law we all more or less follow as a "best practice" of living: the Golden Rule.

A is for Atheist said...

@ Grundy--In philosophy, it is expected that we repeat ourselves. It is how we emphasize our points and conclusions. I also posted this a "Debunking Christianity'--so essentially all of it has been "repeated"!--lol.

So by what you have said then, in that "we all more or less follow as a "best practice" of living: the Golden Rule."

I agree, but for Christians well, they might as well be Buddhists then, as the Dhammapada is the "guidebook" for the "Golden Rule" The Sermon on the Mount was essentially plagiarized from the Dhammapada.

There is no need to be "saved" from anything as long as we all just follow the "best practices." Unless of course "believers are just looking for an excuse to behave badly........

OybloodyVey! said...

Listen to this, it will address your questions to some degree. It takes about an hour and about halfway through sounds like he's wrapping up so stick with it. I don't think it will be a waste of your time. After 14 years of teaching in this area you will be more than familiar with some of his terms, but don't let that familiarity cause you to stop before the end. looking to a conversation on the other side of it.


Alvin said...


Just to happen upon your post. I would like to clarify that you've failed to include Paul's condemnation to 'Christians' who think like you do e.g. Opportunistic and Mercernary. He clearly rebutted the position that since Grace is free, sinning is free position by saying that people who think like that should be condemned as evil

As well as John and Jesus condemnation of hypocrites who say that they love god, yet don't love their brother being liars, cheats and hypocrites

But in all seriousness, how can you judge christians being hypocrites if atheism itself strongly implies amoralism. You can't do so because right and wrong don't have any fixed point of reference since their just social conventions shaped and re-shaped by whatever society values at any given time or place.

A is for Atheist said...

@ Alvin,

Atheism doe not imply amoralism--why one of my favorite responses to the question of why we as atheists are not out “killing, raping and pillaging" without the Bible's guidance came from a former Christian. He says:

: “I’ll leave that to Joshua and his marauding hoard of Israelites under the direct leadership of God in the Bible!”

Which is exactly correct. The god of the Bible demonstrated his "immorality" on many occasions. when he orders the killing, raping and looting of others--as well as condoning slavery, and the the mistreatment of women. That is not a "fixed point of reference" that I care to follow. Instead, I rely on Normative Ethical Theories such as utilitarianism--meaning doing what is right for the overall good. No gods required.

You can say Christians who continue to "sin" by raping little girls are "condemned as evil"--but easy grace still makes sure they get into heaven--whether you think they are evil or not!! Once saved--always saved! No consequences! Rapists, murderers, wife beaters--they are all saved as long as they just "believe"! How BIZARRE!!!

Alvin said...

What you've done is put your own anachronistic standards that are individualistic 21st century liberal bias to the ancient israelites who lived in the ancient near east.

You really do not know what it's like to live in an age where there are no conveiniences in modern technology like showers, microwave ovens, smart phones not to mention social safety net that a stable industrialized country can provide for.
AND you have the gall to judge a culture that had to contend with the constant threat of famine, wars and scarcity that a pre-modern civilization can only cope for.

This whole God committed genocide thing, slavery blah blah! Frankly, I've seen this parrotted many times by atheists who are overzealous enough to raise clamour but lazy enough to find intellectual answers either because they fear what it would do to their deluded projections of the Bible and God. It's been answered by Paul Copan, Glen Miller of the Christian thinktank and other Scholars.

Also, you pointed out your reliance to utilitarianism, that itself is a fixed point of reference. Greater good for the greatest number. You see even utility ethics like these can lead to justifying some horrible act to prevent a greater evil as in the case of the atomic bombing of hiroshima and nagasaki. (See The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by Gene Hu) The people who made the decisions to drop or even create the atomic bomb were scientists, who's rationalizations weren't theological but shared by you and other atheists that God is irrelevant.

You may deny this all you want, but that mind set proves that even within atheism there's fragmentation of likes, dislikes and opinions. Your definition and ethical implication of atheism versus another person's definition of atheism, which could range from the Horrible to the Beautiful, to the Noble to the Amoral. Just like Religion and Christianity, because you are just as human as the religionist you so love to condemned.

A is for Atheist said...

@ Alvin,

You say:

"What you've done is put your own anachronistic standards that are individualistic 21st century liberal bias to the ancient israelites who lived in the ancient near east."

No, your god is supposed to be "absolute" and his moral rules are said to be "absolute", therefore it makes no difference in what time period his followers are living in, the rules stay the same. If you say otherwise, then his "moral rules" are not absolute. According to your god's so-called "absolute morality" if killing, looting, pillaging, and raping was ok with him 2000 years ago, it would be ok with him now.

Paul Copan cherry picks and uses Humpty Dumpty semantics (making the bible mean whatever he wants it to mean) He does not address Hosea 13:16 in which your god orders pregnant mothers and their fetuses to be slaughtered. Nor does he address the fact that Moses did not include women in his census in Numbers. He only addressed what he felt he could get away with--and he did not do a very good job at that either.

Indirect rule utilitarianism means if any proposed direct moral rule, when generally acted from, increases overall good, then it is a correct direct moral rule." --which can be applied without gods. But god's laws are said to be" absolute." i.e. They DON'T change. So for instance, you are told "Do not lie." --this does not change. Consider the following DMR's (Direct Moral Rules)

DMR1: If any action is one of lying, then it is wrong to do it.
DMR2: If any action is one of preventing the hurting of someone's feelings, then it is right to do it.

So, if your mother baked you a birthday cake, and it tasted awful, you considered lying about it, we can see that the above DMR's give us different and conflicting results. To lie is wrong; to prevent hurt feelings is right. If all we had were the DMR's both actions would be right AND wrong! Since this is a case of conflict, we would then apply the principle of utility directly to the situation, arriving, most likely at the judgment that it is right to lie, and thus avoiding inconsistency.

Alvin said...

Personally I am a Deist that means Yahweh is not my god. I'm more closer to Voltaire's view of a disinterested designer deity of some kind.. so i apologize if I didn't make it clear on the onset.

My purpose here is to provide a more clear cut picture of Christianity. I'm an ally if not a practicioner of the religion.

I find it funny and ironic that you accused Paul Copan of cherry picking when I could say exactly the same thing of you and the atheists. The passage in Hosea talks about the consequences and subsequent judgement of Yahweh that will befall on Samaria in the hands of foreign nations. Yahweh did not order anyone to rip open pregnant women. In fact, Yahweh is against this (Amos 1:13-15)

Also your rebuttal to my statement about your own biases is totally non-sequitur. I'm talking about your errors here in scolding Ancient Near East Israelis who lived in an agrarian society that is dependent on slaves and hence their welfare to survive demanding that their actions be judged according to someone like you from a 21st century civilization of automation and modernization.

in fact its totally bigoted for you to demand that they adopt a universal human rights code and women's equality rights according to how you perceived it. But they've done that, its just formulated radically different from what we post-modern westerners are used to. In Leviticus for example atheists cite that its inhumane for a rapist to marry his victim but in reality the rapist has to pay the bride price (mohar) to the father as trust money for the girl. The rapist has to take care of the wife meaning all the burdens and responsibilities of a husband is now at his lap.

As for Slavery, it was a way out of poverty. Parents sold their children as slaves not because their evil slave-traders but as a means for them to send their children to another household as a means of support for the upkeep of the child in exchange for the child being a household servant. You also neglected verses about social justice, the year of jubilee where israelite servants are to go free on the seventh year that are found on the law of Moses, a code you so abhorred as inhumane.

Add to the fact that Moses and elders were gracious enough to amend the law of inheritance to provide for Zelophedad's daughters with regards to property inheritance (See Numbers 36: 1-13)

Alvin said...

Well I guess the raping killing looting plundering god may exist in your mind, but its not how Christians see it now. After all there are no hivites, perizzites or any-ites people that was on God's death list. Furthermore, you are in no position to state what God thinks of in the contemporary. You're no theologian so don't go poking your nose in something that's outside your purview.

A is for Atheist said...


Obviously you do not understand how logic and the dialectical process works. I am not "cherry picking" at all. If the Bible says "P" and "not P" then if a commandment states "do not murder" and then Yahweh orders the murder of every living thing including innocent women and children (Deut. 20) then it is a contradiction. Now, if someone chooses the part that says ""never murder" that does not rule out that he commanded them "to murder." You cannot get out of a contradiction by merely pointing to one of the conjuncts and ignoring the other. Another example would be that Christians want to say that their god is "all good" and then point to examples of his so-called "goodness" but ignore the parts that illustrate his vices of anger, jealousy and wrathfulness. Now, if Christians say their god is all good, I am permitted to provide them with a counter argument using passages from the Bible. See how that works?

Note that the "curse" in Hosea to "rip open the bellies of the pregnant women" was dictated by Yahweh, and would have been carried out because Yahweh had created the curse in the first place. The Bible says that Yahweh ordered the killing of multitudes of innocent people, (except for the virgins--they were kept for raping) Now, the fact that he did not do that in some other case does not eliminate the other case.

Again, the social context argument does not work for an all-knowing, all-good, all powerful god. His rules are said to be ABSOLUTE. Now, we have someone like Buddha who argued against such atrocities such as rape, murder, pillaging etc. So if Buddha was against such things, then it would be possible for Yahweh (or your "Deist" god) to be against such things. What you are saying is that the social situation of the people dictate the laws and social standards of whatever time period they are in (which makes the laws relative, and not absolute, and created by HUMANS and not any so-called "absolute" god.)

We can ask any woman that has been raped whether or not being married to her rapist would be an "acceptable solution.' I doubt you would have anyone say that yes, they would be willing to marry their rapist. In fact, the majority, if not all of the women would find this repulsive. This is only a viable solution for a society ruled by men that does not consider the rights of a the woman involved. The father is being "reimbursed" for the loss of "his property" because no other man would want her after that. I want to thank you for illustrating how ridiculous the Bible is in this regard, and others....:)

Alvin said...

See here:

and here:

Your answer would only apply to 21st century women that have access to contraception and live in an egalitarian individualistic society that value domestic privacy. ANE Israelite women don't have the luxury of abortion pills nor do they live in a society that's MindYourOwnBusiness. Sex for pleasure is not an option, its a crime. Their virginity is as precious and protected more so before than later. (see here: The community in this case would be keen to ensure that the rapist support the girl's needs and that's not hard for an ancient agrarian community that has a collectivist mindset.

btw can we chat? Is there a google profile I can reach you or something?

A is for Atheist said...

Alvin--we've gone over this before. The Christian god's laws are said to be ABSOLUTE, therefore they would apply then as well as now. Whether this is the 21st century or not is neither here nor there, as the laws, according to Christianity, DO NO CHANGE. The Christian god and his laws are UNCHANGING, I hope you see that now, and that the social context argument does not work when the laws are unchangeable.

You can reach me at my email address aisfor I will gladly answer any questions you might have.

Anonymous said...

Of course not all Christians believe in once saved always saved. In the church of Christ, a small Restoration Movement church condemned by mainstream Protestantism as a cult, for example, once saved always saved is supposedly at least not OFFICIALLY believed in. Yet, even there, as soon as you repent and confess, all is forgiven and you can't be punished by God for what you did. Christianity always puts its emphasis either on Christology (as the Prots do) or ceremony (as the CoC does) -- never on morality.

Anonymous said...

"Personally I am a Deist" (Alvin)

Me too. Now go read Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason again. He already refuted all your silly arguments in favor of Christianity long ago.

A is for Atheist said...

@ Anonymous.

Quite right. On the subject of Thomas Paine, actually, Thomas Paine's "Age of Reason" is in agreement with what I argued in this blog post.

Like me, Paine used the Bible against itself. He further showed that it was inconsistent and contradictory. Paine tested the Bible for internal consistency and questioned its historical accuracy, and concluded that it was not divinely inspired, and that in fact that the Bible is inconsistent and contradictory. As such, in logic, when something is not consistent, and contradictory, then you can basically conclude anything from it! So given the fact that Paine proves this means that not only is what Paine wrote not refute what I wrote, but supports it!

Back to Alvin's main point, that being as he said:

"But in all seriousness, how can you judge christians being hypocrites if atheism itself strongly implies amoralism."

Atheism, as I have argued many times on this blog, does not entail amoralism. No god is necessary for objective morality, and anyone can read the blog post that I have written which points this out. We use Normative Ethical Theories to make our specific moral judgements. In a similar fashion to how theories are used in science.

Now, Paine just used a "RIGHTS" NET. He believed that we have certain rights and liberties--such as the right to life. No god is necessary for the rights NET, and this is consistent with Paine's writings.

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