Note: Firstly, I would like to apologize for the length of the post. I drafted the following post because this individual relied on verbosity and many questions in his replies (go to his blog to see what I mean). Given that, Tumblr’s “woah, wait one hour” rule, and the fact that he didn’t grant me my request for a submission box, I decided to answer his many questions and counter his fallacious arguments in this post. Furthermore, I decided to, once again, put this kind of mentality on display for people to see; this is yet another example of appalling apologetics and that shouldn’t be ignored. I also dislike having these types of discussions in private because that is beneficial to no one. Perhaps this obdurate individual will refuse to see the flaws in his arguments, but one of his brethren may notice them. Any person that can be snatched back from the depths of outright lunacy should be rescued without question.
The God who gives life can’t take away what He gives?
No. When it comes to innocent children and even infants, he would not have the right to take away their lives for no good reason. However, he didn’t simply take their lives; he also charged them for the crimes of the guilty! Here’s my challenge; reconcile the notion of a perfectly good god with the following verses:
- Genesis 7 (Note: it is safe to assume that there were children in this mythological world that was flooded by your god)
- Exodus 12:29,30
- Leviticus 26:21,22
- Deuteronomy 21:18-21
- 1 Samuel 15:3
- 2 Kings 2:23,24
- Isaiah 13:15,16
- Isaiah 14:21
- Ezekiel 9:5,6
- Daniel 6:24
- Hosea 9:11-16
- Hosea 13:16
Mind you, that list could be longer! Before you mistaken this for the logical Problem of Evil, let me present my modal argument for the Problem of Child Murder and Infanticide:
P1 Any being that commanded the murder of children is not perfectly good.
P2 Any being that promised to murder innocent children is not perfectly good.
P3 Any being that carries out a promise to murderer innocent children is not perfectly good.
P4 Yahweh commanded the murder of children, promised to murder children and carried out promises to murder children.
C Therefore, Yahweh is not perfectly good.
That argument can be continued to refute your moral argument for god:
P6 A being that isn’t perfectly good cannot be an absolute lawgiver.
P7 Yahweh isn’t perfectly good.
C Therefore, Yahweh is not an absolute lawgiver.
From C we can conclude that morals do not derive from your god. Notice, I didn’t even include the modern day. If he exists, he is allowing children to die slow and painful deaths. Why must they starve? Why must they suffer cancer? Why must they suffer other diseases? Why must they be trafficked for sex? Why must they suffer abuse at the hands of parents, guardians and even strangers? You’ll probably justify this with original sin. Original sin is based on a man that was depicted in a myth or alternatively, on a devil that is just as unsubstantiated as the god you believe in. Adam did not exist; therefore, original sin did not exist and thus, sin could not have continued if it had no beginning. Now that that’s out of the way, you’ll then appeal to free will to which I would respond with my knowledge of neuroscience. A murderer is often an accident. A cyst growth in the right hemisphere of the brain can drive someone to murder; however, most people who grow such cysts are oblivious to the growth. Where is the free will in that? Where is the free will in a psychopath, who is a victim to abnormalities in his brain or a pathological liar to whom the same may apply (this is still being argued)? If your god exists, he is allowing trivial impairments to infringe on normal behavior. Perhaps you would argue that it isn’t the brain but rather the soul. Therefore, he’s creating or at the very least allowing the existence of damaged souls.
Also, I don’t think children are innocent before God unless He makes them so. By your standard, ethics can change by public opinion. It’s ridiculous. If the public decided to kill a certain racial group tomorrow, would it be morally acceptable because public opinion has changed? It’s ridiculous. You’d be calling what is evil, good. It’s ridiculous.
Social convention isn’t public opinion. Perhaps it will serve you to shed your ignorance and look up the definition of a term.
A convention is a set of agreed, stipulated or generally accepted standards, norms, social norms or criteria, often taking the form of a custom. In sociology a social rule refers to any social convention commonly adhered to in a society. These rules are not written in law or otherwise formalized. In social constructionism there is a great focus on social rules. It is argued that these rules are socially constructed, that these rules act upon every member of a society, but at the same time, are re-produced by the individuals. Social rules reflect what is acceptable or normal behaviour in any situation (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_%28norm%29).
Therefore, ethics do not change due to public opinion. When Hitler commanded the genocide of Jews, Gypsies and Slavs, the rest of the world watched in horror and some countries responded with military action. There will never be a time when social convention is replaced by dictatorial, tyrannical public opinion.
Children aren’t innocent before god unless he makes them so? So, the Amalekite infants (!) had to be made innocent in his eyes? Since when are infants guilty of anything? You have truly shut the eye of reason and I find that absolutely egregious.
Also, your stance on normal would in fact be determined by the generation prior to us as that is how we were raised, yea? So our ethics are always preconditioned by the generations before us- and yet you think they are not as profound as we are since we are the pinnacle… It doesn’t hold up, sir.
It does hold up. You are guilty of a straw man here. When I speak of previous generations, I am not speaking of one or two generations; I am speaking of a few, several or many generations before this one. Apparently, Bronze Age Israelites felt it okay to enslave young female virgins (Numbers 31:17,18). Sex slavery of this sort no longer applies within civilizations; they apply, albeit with some slight difference, to pedophiles who would traffic children for sex or to religious people who feel that it is proper to marry a child. However, such people are particulars or minorities. They are not entire civilizations. We have greatly improved. So, stop straw manning and address the actual arguments.
“Both have improved over time”
How so? On what basis?
On the basis of social convention. See above.
Generational and chronological snobbery are unfortunate.
Just because people set up laws, doesn’t mean they are adequate or competent to do so righteously.
And that’s where we must be thankful for social conventions, which are re-produced independently by other people. Person A may not be competent enough to set up laws righteously, but person B will correct person A. It is no wonder congresses and parliaments and the like have become common. That’s also why the US installed a system of checks and balances. Abuse of law-making power is hard to come by when there are people abiding by social convention — people who will correct corruption. Granted, corruption can still occur in governments, but in most, if not all, countries the population will eventually notice such corruption and as history has proven, the population will make corrections. There are them who would hinder social convention by force (i.e. North Korea), but other countries do not stand idly by as such corruption perpetuates.
What is the pinnacle then? If your definition of normality changes and develops over time and corrects itself over time, then why should I trust your basis of normality? I can’t.
I cannot pretend to predict when the pinnacle will occur, but it is obvious that we have not reached it. Why ask the second question if you already have a preconceived answer? You’re guilty of nirvana fallacy in this section: the tendency to assume that there is a perfect solution to a particular problem. Our definition of normality may not be the perfect solution to our problems in society, but it is a working definition and an evolving definition, and an adequate solution I might add. Will you now reject science because it changes, develops and corrects itself over time? At least social convention and science have that to their advantage. Christianity isn’t known to change, develop and correct itself over time; it’s the same hogwash it has always been regardless of the contortions throughout the Christian population (i.e. intelligent design, theistic evolution).
My “depression” isn’t self-inflicted, but rather thrown upon me by your pathetic worldview.
Poisoning the well. My “pathetic worldview” has nothing to do with this debate and your predilections have no place here either.
You can’t argue that a religion is true because x number of people believe it, but you can do that with ethics and morality?
Morality and ethics arose due to social convention and they have improved and continue to improve via the same. Social conventions aren’t ad populum/ad numerum arguments. “X religion is true because x religion has y number of followers” is an argumentum ad numerum. I explained this in one of my previous replies. Read up on the fallacy and you’ll see that social conventions are not included in any list of ad numerum arguments.
Christianity in no way demands the abolition of logic and humanity- in fact, it rather defines humanity and gives it identity and actual value.
In my experience, Christianity demands the abolition of logic and humanity. Your humanity should be against a child murderer; yet in this case, it isn’t because you just so happen to worship him. That is exactly why you have abolished the use of logic, and you’re not alone in doing so.
Everything after the dash is an appeal to belief, which is a specific type of ad populum. In simple terms:
P1 Most Christians believe that Christianity defines humanity and gives it identity and actual value.
C Therefore, Christianity is true.
Granted, other Christians will express what you’ve said in a different manner, but the message will be exactly the same.
On what standard has the God over all things committed atrocities? Did He wrong you? Did He owe you some sort of proper treatment? If anyone is ignoring criminal behavior, it’s you, sir. Your standard and commitment to justice is only normal if it matches up with your own presupposed logic and doesn’t take into account how your standard changes, so your justice hence changes.
I’ve already provided the standard (see above). The follow-up questions are irrelevant and so is the comment. It’s a baseless accusation.
If the crimes change, in what generation was God’s character immoral? In what generation was His actions abnormal? Well, of course they are abnormal. There is only one God and He is transcendent so I’d agree with abnormal- but why does the creation instead of the Creator determine correct and good morality?
God’s character would be considered immoral in any generation that penalized the act of murder. There were many generations before the Israelites who did exactly that. Thus, in those generations as well as in current generations, god’s actions were considered abnormal. “There is only one God” and ironically he’s the popular god in your nation. Too bad Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs say the same thing of their respective gods. Transcendent? A god that was concerned with the correct manner of sacrificing animals is not transcendent; that’s a human being pretending to write on behalf of a god. A god that was concerned with the correct manner of removing skin from a penis is not transcendent; that’s a human being pretending to write on behalf of god. Your god isn’t transcendent; he’s a literary character that is morally inferior to most, if not all, human beings. To answer your last question, the “creation” determines correct and good morality because the “Creator” does not exist. It really is that simple.
Of course, there really is a simple way to reconcile all this: see Yahweh for what he is — a character who served a literary purpose. He was considered the god of war or the god of armies, and his character in the OT is consistent with that. However, if you want to believe that he exists, you must conclude that he isn’t perfect, isn’t the absolute lawgiver and isn’t worthy of worship. After all, why would anyone want to worship an entity less than human? There are better options. Worship the deist conception. Worship Spinoza’s god. Worship the universe. Atheism isn’t the default view after realizing the flaws in Christianity; again, there are other options. I would advise you to explore them or live with the fact that you worship a celestial child murder who is also infanticidal — an entity that is far less than human and far from god-like.