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its clear that the theists feel its their story book ( be it the buybull , koran or any other book of fairy tales ) and they get to twist, spin and cherry pick it any way they choose to.
Translation- “Why can’t just swallow what we Christians want to leave in your mouthes?”
Like all the other drones.
I like the God of the Old Testament. He’s like Dr Doom without the Doombots.
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Any Christian who knows anything about the Bible would not take the position of the person in this cartoon. God is the same God in both Testaments. I wonder by what standard the pig determines God is a “vengeful murderous thus?”
this exact sentiment has been tossed in our faces by a few theists that visit this site, go back through some posts from the past and you’ll see for yourself. i think flooding the planet killing almost all its inhabitants qualifies as a vengeful murderous act, don’t you?? and thats just one of many i could point out.
I understand the point but what I am asking is by what standard do you call it a vengeful murderous act? Is that just your standard? If so, why should anyone else believe it? Is it the standard of the majority? Does the majority determine what is right and wrong? If I had time I would go back and read the other post but I don’t at this time. I believe that there is just as much love and compassion in the Old Testament as there is in the New. There is also judgement in both. The Bible must be taken as a whole, not just sections taken out of context. Thanks.
In what context is it okay to take away life? I have seen a number of over 2 million killed by gods hand with specific references to bible verses to back this number up. You say its out of context, so I ask you what is the appropriate context for taking away life?
by any standard i would think killing all beings on the planet except the few privileged ones, as a vengeful murderous act, as well as killing a whole nations innocent first born, wouldn’t you?? if not how can you call yourself moral and still find these acts acceptable?
“I understand the point but what I am asking is by what standard do you call it a vengeful murderous act?”
The standard of common sense and decency. Killing innocent people, owning another human being, blood sacrifice…..these are things that your book endorses. We disagree. We think it’s just a book. Nothing more, nothing less.
I know you are trying to make an argument that without the Bible we would have no moral code, no standards, or know right from wrong. We have heard that before. Many many times. It’s bullshit. The Bible’s morals are contemptible and horrific. The Bible didn’t introduce the idea of right and wrong…..and it certainly didn’t do anything to further it either.
“The Bible must be taken as a whole, not just sections taken out of context.”
Indeed. And read as a whole, in context, it’s absolute rubbish.
“The Bible must be taken as a whole, not just sections taken out of context.” I hear this a lot and frankly I don’t see how it’s possible. what we know of today as the Bible was written in disparate sections over several centuries in different languages and by numerous authors who did not collaborate with eachother in any way. It was only relatively recently that it was redacted and cobbled together into what we have now and even that has been revised and retranslated several times. The Catholic bible also has several books that are missing from Protestant versions. I don’t see how you can take the bible as a whole and take it seriously at the same time. (of course, acknowledging the Bible’s origins also considerably undermines its power as “the Divine Word of God”)
as for standards, I think those of the Hague are pretty viable. Any person who committed acts similar or comparable to that of the Old Testament God would be tried as a war criminal without a second thought.
Ok @Evan and FTF=Llet me ask these questions for some clarification. What specific examples in the Bible are you referring to? Are morals relative? @Mkilp You might want to do a little more research on the history of the Bible. It is nothing like you describe. So the Hague is viable. Did you choose that? What makes that a standard over everyone? Why should you be able to make that determination without the agreement of everyone else? I will respond to your other comments later. I work graveyard so I am off to bed.
Aaron, I am going to back off from my own viewpoint for a minute to see if I have a clear and correct understanding of yours. From what you are saying, you believe that no human standard of morality is valid, only that of God. And I also gather you believe that morality is what God says it is and cannot be questioned. Basically if He says its wrong its wrong, and if he says its right its right. God is in equal parts compassionate and punitive and humans should accept that. Is that more or less where you are coming from? am I mistaken about anything? If you were the person talking to the Pig in the cartoon what would *your* response be? And not just to ask the pig what his standards are, but WHY God should not be described as a vengeful murderous thug.
the only other thing I’ll say is this: you said “Any Christian who knows anything about the Bible would not take the position of the person in this cartoon”. However I have heard several self-described Christians take exactly this position. What would you say in reply to them? (The Christians, that is).
I believe that the only human standard that is valid is that which is grounded in the ultimate standard of God’s character. All other standards are relative to the person making the standard. It changes from one person to the next and one culture to the next. What is right and wrong reflects God’s character. God is righteous and just in all his actions for he is the standard by which justice is carried out. If he were just we would all receive the just penalty for our evil deeds? I am sure, though you don’t agree with the Biblical standard in every case, that you would agree that you don’t even live up to your own standard perfectly. God is also love. He shows that love towards his people by paying the penalty for the sins they have committed and granting them the perfect righteousness of Jesus. In Jesus both perfect justice and perfect love are accomplished. God can not be described as a vengeful, murderous thug because whatever he does is good. There is no standard above him by which he can be judged. He is the standard and he is good. He is the one who defined murder. Killing and innocent person. Before God, there are not innocent people. All are guilty. It is by his compassion and love that He forbears the judgment on mankind allowing them the opportunity to turn to Him for forgiveness. To judge God as a vengeful, murderous thug is to try to judge him by a standard that is higher than his. It is to try to judge him by a subjective standard that depends on the person making the judgment.
I would say to the pig that atheist don’t pay enough attention to the Old Testament. There is more there than just a few descriptions of God’s justice being executed. There is much more. There is grace and mercy given, starting from Adam and Eve. They tried to cover themselves but God, sacrificed an animal in their place and covered them. He did not immediately kill them but provided as substitute. He promised that he would bring about, at the right time, both justice and love. Focus more on the OT, not less. But also read the NT. See the love and justice there as well. Perfect justice carried out upon Jesus Christ. God suffering, taking the punishment of the sins of His people upon himself so that He could be perfectly just and not just turn his eyes away from evil but actually punishing it, in order to pour out his love upon His people. All they have to do is ask and they will receive. You may not agree but does it make sense within the Christian worldview.
Earlier you said “what we know of today as the Bible was written in disparate sections over several centuries in different languages and by numerous authors who did not collaborate with each other in any way. It was only relatively recently that it was redacted and cobbled together into what we have now and even that has been revised and retranslated several times. The Catholic bible also has several books that are missing from Protestant versions”
The fact that the Bible was written in disparate sections, over several centuries, in three different languages by numerous authors who did not collaborate and yet it has one continuous flow with a continuous story and theme to me seems like evidence that it is divine rather than human in origin. How is it possible for this to be the case with no contradictions? Truly amazing!
The idea that the bible was only recently put together is incorrect. Before the time of Christ the Jews had an agreement on the OT. The New Testament was nearly universally accepted by the 4th century though there is much more detail to this process than I can write here. The books of the NT were recognized early, it was only when people started to circulate letters that they knew were forgeries or Gnostic did they decided that they needed to make and official declaration as to which were authentic.
What we now have has not been revised. We have so many manuscripts of the NT that we can be certain what was originally written. To get the most up to date info on this and the recent discovery of even earlier manuscripts check out http://www.csntm.org/
As for the Catholic Bible. They are wrong. I can say that because the Jews did not accept the books that the Catholics have added to their bible. They knew they were not inspired texts. Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post. I hope this helps.
It would be helpful to know where you are coming from. How do you ground morality? What is evil? I am not asking about examples of evil but what IS evil?
Morality is grounded in the same way for an atheist as it is a theist. In both instances, things are right and wrong because of the way things are.
Because reality is not arbitrary and morals come from values, and values come from measuring reality, morality is grounded in reality.
All we need to do is get better at making accurate valuations of things. Values are determined by working with known properties of things to get the best measurement of them. What makes morality unknown is that we aren’t always the best at figuring out the most accurate value of everything. But we can rest assured, that since morality is grounded in forming values based on the best attempt to accurately measure reality, that absolutely best measurements do exist even if they are unobtainable by us.
this is from the Wikipedia article on Immanuel Kant – “With regard to morality, Kant argued that the source of the good lies not in anything outside the human subject, either in nature or given by God, but rather is only the good will itself. A good will is one that acts from duty in accordance with the universal moral law that the autonomous human being freely gives itself. This law obliges one to treat humanity – understood as rational agency, and represented through oneself as well as others – as an end in itself rather than (merely) as means to other ends the individual might hold. This necessitates practical self-reflection in which we universalize our reasons.”
What we now have has not been revised. We have so many manuscripts of the NT that we can be certain what was originally written.
An complete and utter lie. Even the most ardent Christian biblical scholars don’t claim that. Utter rubbish.
Take it away Bart…
Bart has already been dealt with. You are mistaken. Some of what he says is acurat it is his conclusion that does not follow. Any biblical scholar worth anything knows that we have an accurate Bible.
An accurate Bibele. Good one. I’m glad that your book containing giants, unicorns, dragons, zombies, talking animals and 200 year old men is “accurate”.
Good comic, good posts. Suggestion for last line, if you do a 2nd ed. of the comic: “I’ll let it go, when you let it go.”
Hi everyone, I’m new here and enjoy the site.
Aaron, you ask by what standard should we judge an act to be that of a “vengeful and muderous thug”.
If you take the Bible as a whole to be true then the earth is roughly 6000 years old at most by most biblical scholars reasoning asuming they take the ignore scientific findings because that is the devil trying to fool us approach.
So 6000 years ago God created all things including humans and gave them dominion over all things. This perfect being created imperfect humans, thus the perfect being intended to make them imperfect otherwise he would not be perfect. Knowing his imperfect creations as he does, he gives them one rule to follow knowing they would break that rule because if he is perfect he must know this. The imperfect creations break the one rule, realize what they did and hide from the perfect being because the punishment for breaking the one rule is death. And so the imperfect beings intentionally created exactly as they are by the perfect being make the perfect being angry by breaking this one rule. The perfect being comes back sees what they have done and instead of killing them he kills an animal that committed no crime and proceeds to bring punishments down upon the imperfect beings.
Do you see what all this means? God created humans with all of their flaws, knew they would break the one rule he gave them, set up death as punishment, and when humans broke that rule he punished them for doing what is in their nature, a nature he gave them intentionally.
I am a parent so I do understand the parent/child allegory in the story but I also know I am not and my children are not perfect. When I set a rule I do not know absolutely that they will break it. If I did set a rule I know they could not follow and punished them for it, there is not one person on the planet that wouldn’t say that I was not being fair with my children.
God did this with his children and he is perfect and omniscient so that means he was not playing fair with humans from the moment he created them. And that is in the beginning of the book. Later he decides to flood the earth to rid it of our wicked ways. Makes us speak in different tongues to keep us from working together. Send one tribe after his favored tribe to make war in order to teach them a lesson. Sends the favored tribe to be slaves of another and then punishes the other later for not letting his favored tribe go free. Then he punishes the favored tribe again for not following rules he hasn’t given them yet by making them wander in the desert after giving them the new rules they already violated. This is the God the Old Testament tells us of, a jealous and vengeful God.
The New Testament and the teachings of Jesus change all of that and transform God into a now benevolent being that sacrafices his son Jesus to create a back door so sinners (all humans) can now get into heaven so long as they ask for forgiveness.
So now God realizes heaven is empty because we were all sinners by his own design and admits he needs to create a way to play fair with us. This is in direct conflict with the perfect being in the Old Testament because now he is shown as having made a mistake.
By what definition is the God that has done all of these things not what would be described as a “vengeful and murderous thug”?
You can’t be perfect and have flawed creations unless you intended them to be imperfect at which point you can’t get mad and punish those creations for doing exactly what you created them to do.
By the way, I am a theist, but a thinking and reasoning theist. Jesus rejected a lot of the teachings that are in the old testament and that alone introduces inconsistency and that is where a lot of people get messed up. We need to understand that the Bible is in many ways like Grimm Fairy Tales, it uses stories, sometimes horrific stories, to illustrate a point; no more no less. If you get hung up on the literal truth of a book that has been handed down through oral tradition and then primitive writing where a smudged letter changes the meaning significantly, you will wind up missing the point of the stories contained in it.
If you want your kids to not wander around the woods, you tell them the story of Hansel and Gretel and they will take it as truth and stay out of the woods… for a while. When they grow up, they will doubt the story is true go out into the woods and when nothing happens declare it as a fairy tale. But the point of the story wasn’t wether it was literally true, the point was a parent was trying to keep their child safe. When theists realize this, as atheists already have, then we might have a much better world.
Even if we hold up God’s definition of morality to his actions he falls short. His first commandment states he is a jealous God, is that not considered a character flaw in humans? “Thou shalt not kill”, but floods and plagues and wars are outside that rule.
I think it’s also important to realize that the story of the creation and Adam and Eve is only partly, and not even mostly, a morality story. It’s really a story that was used to explain the world’s existence, like the many other creation myths that issue from other cultures. Remember that for thousands of years people believed literally in the Adam, Eve and Garden story. It explains why there is day and night (as Dostoevsky asks in The Brothers Karamazov “If God did not create the sun, the moon and the stars until the fourth day, where did the light come from on the first?”), land and sea and different types of animals. It also explains why there is pain, death, why snakes are considered pests and why men shouldn’t trust women. It was an adequate explanation for people who had the excuse of not knowing any better. Personally, I think the biggest example of God being immoral is one that hasn’t been mentioned in this thread, the Book of Job. Not only does God allow himself to get roped into a pissing contest with Satan (you would think that as the almighty beacon of goodness he wouldn’t feel the need to prove anything to anybody, much less to the Devil) and Job and his family suffer horribly for God’s need to prove to the devil that he is superior. I can’t see any way that God comes out of that story looking any less than despicable.
Yeah I thought about Job but that is such an extreme I left it alone. Interesting enough that it was basically a contest for bragging rights, but it also illustrates that God has a need for people to worship and praise him no matter what he allows to happen.
My brother-in-law and I had a discussion on what it is to allow things to happen and as a parent you understand you need to allow your children to do thing in order to learn. So allowing people to have and act upon free-will is something I don’t see an issue with as opposed to questioning why a god would allow things to happen. So I get that.
It is a completely different thing to allow, through an agreement, another supernatural entity to do everything possible to ruin a person’s life just to prove to them that they have a loyal follower. So as a father I should let someone else essentially torture my child just to prove to that person my child loves me no matter what and this is God’s version of morality? Of course my child, not knowing that I set this up is not going to think I am allowing this other person to torture them so why would they stop loving me when it is someone else causing them pain.
But then the religulous among us will never fully understand that in the case of Job, human morality is better than God’s morality because that would destroy their entire believe in an almighty and perfect God who is also self-described as jealous.
There is so much here in all of your resonses I don’t have time to respond to it all. All I can say is each of you are making judgments as to right and wrong. You are judging the acts of God in the Bible. And each of you has a different standard by which you judge. I have not reason to trust any of them. They are subjective standards that changed from person to person. Without an eternal standard to measure actions we only have opinions. One thing I would like to comment on is John1981 comment. He said
“Morality is grounded in the same way for an atheist as it is a theist. In both instances, things are right and wrong because of the way things are. Because reality is not arbitrary and morals come from values, and values come from measuring reality, morality is grounded in reality. All we need to do is get better at making accurate valuations of things. Values are determined by working with known properties of things to get the best measurement of them. What makes morality unknown is that we aren’t always the best at figuring out the most accurate value of everything. But we can rest assured, that since morality is grounded in forming values based on the best attempt to accurately measure reality, that absolutely best measurements do exist even if they are unobtainable by us.”
Yes, things are that way. Why are things that way? Which worldview best accounts for the way things are? Atheism and the evolutionary explanation does not give grounds for the fact that we do find objective morality. Morals are obligations and obligations are only to a person not matter for we are only different arrangements of matter. Evolution is geared for survival not discerning truth for there is no truth. From an evolutionary perspective the Israelites annihilating people groups is only an example of survival of the fittest. Natural selection. It is what got us here so why is it wrong. Why do you think it is wrong? Even the claim that there are contradictions in the bible is a demonstration that there is objective truth. We are appealing to something outside of us, above us that says “A” can not be non “A” at the same time and in the same way. If this universe is only matter, motion, time and chance there is there are no obligations. There is no truth only things. And what one thing like another may not. Whoever has the most power wins.
What is “accurate”? One can only know what is accurate if it is measured by something that is objectively, true. An ultimate standard.
What is “the best measurement?” We must have an ultimate standard to measure it to otherwise we measure it to our own opinion. We measure it to what we think is straight. That changes from person to person.
“We aren’t always the best at figuring out the most accurate value of everything.” How do you know that? To know that is to know the accurate value of everything by which you measure everything.
“But we can rest assured, that since morality is grounded in forming values based on the best attempt to accurately measure reality, that absolutely best measurements do exist even if they are unobtainable by us.” Again, how can you know what is the best attempt, an accurate measurement or best measurement unless you know the standard by which you are measuring all of this. We know that something is crooked because we know what is straight.
This is what is so difficult to get atheist to see. In almost every statement they make they make a judgment. That judgment must be according to a standard. What standard are they using? Theirs? Why should anyone use their standard? Why is it better than the next atheist? To ask a “better” question is to compare something to an ultimate standard.
Thanks for the discussion.
“You are judging the acts of God in the Bible. And each of you has a different standard by which you judge.”
The God in the Bible doesn’t exist. The standard we are using is logic, reason, and evidence.
“They are subjective standards that changed from person to person.”
Yeah, not like Christian standards. Those standards aren’t subjective and don’t change from person to person. That’s why there are over 30,000 sects of Christianity.
“. From an evolutionary perspective the Israelites annihilating people groups is only an example of survival of the fittest”
You obviously don’t have the first clue as to what evolution is. I would advise you to pick up a grade school Biology textbook.
“Even the claim that there are contradictions in the bible is a demonstration that there is objective truth.”
Or a demonstration of a shitty narrative compiled by ignorant illiterate desert dwellers.
“What is “the best measurement?” We must have an ultimate standard to measure it to otherwise we measure it to our own opinion. We measure it to what we think is straight. That changes from person to person”
The Scientific method is the best measurement. We have known this for quite some time now. Science doesn’t care about your opinions, your bias, or your gods.
“This is what is so difficult to get atheist to see. In almost every statement they make they make a judgment. That judgment must be according to a standard. What standard are they using?”
Logic, evidence, and reason.
Aaron let me help you understand how this works for everyone theist and atheist alike…
We all agree there is a sanctity of life, it is what separates us from inanimate objects. Since life itself is special we don’t want ours destroyed and there is an assumption that neither does any other living thing. To that end we all tend to believe taking the life of another living being as something to not be taken lightly. Furthermore, all morality is somewhat subjective even to theists. Have you ever wondered why the rule, thou shalt not kill only applies to humans. There is no caveat in the language it it just simply stated thou shalt not kill. If this is a completelyobjective rule then it must apply to all living things equally.
Atheists tend to have a higher regard for life than theists because they believe that once you die that’s it, game over, no reset button. Theists take it a little lighter because when someone dies they go to a better place and still exist.
It is two different means to the same end… we must be kind to each other.
@Rich-let me help you see that you are mistaken. We may agree in the sanctity of life but an atheist has no ground for that sanctity. Only his preference. I have grounds, for all humans are created in God’s image. So special that God gives the death penalty for anyone who murders another human. I have ground and atheist does not. Only opinion and preference. Atheist gives sanctity from the outside. Christians believe that sanctity is intrinsic.
The term in Exodus 20:13 is murder. In the bible the Hebrew word for murder always applies to a human. God gave animals in Genesis after the fall to man for food. God was the first to kill. Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves. God had told them they would surly die if they disobeyed. God provided a substitute, killed an animal, and covered them himself. The first picture of God providing a substitute. I know no theist that takes life as you describe it. We take it as serious as God does for the penalty for murder was capital punishment.
i find it very interesting that you claim to be “grounded” based on a belief backed by not 1 shred of proof, bolstered by this beliefs claim to reward you for good and punish you for bad actions, while claiming i am not grounded because i choose to base my life on facts instead of unproven fiction, i do good because i am good not because of a reward or punishment that has been projected on me from childhood. fact is your groundings are the ones that are falsehoods based in fiction and ours are not based on fiction.
you state “Christians believe that sanctity is intrinsic. ” yet your “kind loving god” will “murder” you if you disobey him…whats “intrinsic ‘ about that??? I’m in no need of a friend like that… thanks but no thanks !
Aaron, I already stated where the grounds are for anyone to believe murder is wrong. Any sane person can recognize that murder is wrong based on enlightened self-interest. I don’t want my life prematurely and involuntarily ended by someone else therefore we all agree that murder is wrong. In contrast believing it is wrong because you were created in someone else’s image is like saying it is wrong to destroy a statue created in someone’s image, because they can’t agree on the image.
So God gives the death penalty for anyone who commits murder? If he gives the death penalty then why should humans have to carry it out? If we are not to judge because only God can do that, then shouldn’t God also carry out the execution? I mean if you are looking to keep someone from murdering by giving a harsh punishment why not also make it so anyone that would commit the act should just drop dead on the spot?
The translation to English is kill, not murder. Admittedly translations are often wrong but you also have to wonder what else was translated wrong.
So the sanctity of life is so great for a theist that it follows they should take a life in retribution of someone else taking a life? That hardly seems like taking life seriously. You know of no theist who believes life can be taken to send someone to a better place? So no theist has ever taken a loved one off of life support or helped them end their suffering? What world are you living in? The crusades and the Spanish Inquisition alone refute this claim.
In all my above post I have never mentioned rewards and punishments so please do not put words in my mouth. You do good because your are good. What is good? I am not asking you to give me examples of good. I am asking what good is. Not one shred of proof? What you mean is proof you accept or understand for I have done nothing but give proof that God must exist for there to be any meaning, good or evil in this world. Again, murder is unjustified killing? When someone justly received the death penalty we do not call that murder. God does not murder. He punishes justly the actions of men. The fact is you do need a friend like that. You need a perfectly just God and a God that is willing to forgive you. If you would only look at the evidence. If you will only grasp that you can not make judgments of right or wrong without an objective standard by which to judge. Otherwise it is just your opinion. And you know what they say about opinions.
first off the book your faith is based on relies on the rewards and punishment game to justify itself. second, i do not need any god of any kind, you do, not me ! third ” If you would only look at the evidence” you state… oh please do tell of this “evidence” you claim to have….. i read alot of sophomoric spin in your comments as well as double talk like “what is good” and its only murder if its not justified, you sound like an old stoner looking for the meaning of life after 1 too many bong hits.
Aaron, the problem most theists have, and I know this because I also had this problem and I am a theist, is that they don’t fully understand the difference between proving things without relying on their religious doctrine. Blind faith is believing in something while ignoring any evidence pro or con to that belief, faith is believing in something whether there is evidence or not but actually taking in that evidence and comparing it to your beliefs and at time adjusting what you take on faith. The difference is blind faith is inflexible and doesn’t ever consider that there might be errors.
I take it on faith that God always existed, but make no mistake in ever believing I can attempt to prove it. To use the diversity in the world as proof that the story of the Tower of Babel is real is like proving the world is flat because it looks flat when standing on the ground after seeing a picture of it from space. It is an argument based on ignoring evidence that is contrary to your beliefs. Science is about acknowledging evidence and holding it up against your beliefs to see how they hold up in light of the evidence. Sometimes it is right and sometimes it is wrong and it is always flexible to new evidence.
If you spend some time talking with real atheists, those who don’t hate god and don’t judge you based on what you take on faith, you will realize that they have read more of the holy books than most theists. Their main issue with all of comes from trying to justify a belief in a higher power or supreme being that is not subject to the same jealousies, anger, and other human imperfections. If there is a supreme being that is infinitely better than humans then why is it jealous? Why does it get so angry it floods the earth to teach people a lesson by killing everyone that made it mad? How can it know everything and yet be surprised and angered when humans build a tower or eat a fruit? Why did it want to keep the knowledge
o good and evil away from humans? Since it is the source of all good humans could never know what that is without the knowledge of good and evil. So this supreme being did not want us to know the difference between good and evil, why? These are all things that atheists have asked themselves but most theists will not even consider even though they insist on the literal truth in the bible. If we literally did not know the difference between good and evil how can we be punished for doing something we did not know was wrong. And before you say because god told them it was wrong, how could they understand right and wrong without knowledge of good and evil?
Most theists believe it is a hard pill to swallow that the universe has always existed because something cannot come out of nothing, but rarely consider that saying God has always existed is the same size pill. Life is not a happy accident God created all life. If this is true and God is a living entity then either he created himself or something else did.
that is awesome
i wanna join this debate so bad but there aren’t enough theists to go around. =/
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