27 July 2009

The context of John 3:16

The most popular verse in the Bible by far is John 3:16. Nearly everyone, believer or skeptic, can quote this verse. But in case you've forgotten it, here it is.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

But let's look at it in context.

Just before Jesus (supposedly) spoke these words, he (supposedly) said:

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:14-15

That's right. Jesus believed in the snake-on-a-pole story of Numbers 21, God's 23rd Killing. He believed that God sent fiery serpents to bite and kill the people for complaining about the lack of food and water. And he believed that God told Moses to make a brass serpent and put it on a pole so that those who looked at it would be magically cured. And he was OK with all that.

In fact, Jesus said his own death would be just like that. If you believe in Jesus' magical death, you'll be saved just like the people that had been bitten by God's fiery serpents were saved by looking at Moses' magic snake on a pole.

But what if you don't believe in Jesus' death any more than you do in Moses' magic snake pole? Well, here's what Jesus supposedly said right after the famous words of John 3:16.

He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18

And, a little later, in John 3:38:

He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

So let's put John 3:16 in context. If you believe in Jesus and in Moses' magic snake pole, you'll go straight to heaven after you die. If not you're going to hell.


Thanks to matt311 and wise fool for pointing out Jesus' belief in the cruel and stupid story in Numbers 21.

51 comments:

Monoclelad said...

Just be careful when believing in the magic snake pole. If you believe in it too much then thats a sin and God will smote you good for it.

apomate said...

I suspect that if I had all your words and actions recorded on a life-length feature film, that I could fairly easily go through it and find a scene where I could edit away events before and after it such that what remains actually looks like a very bad event. Then I splice them together to portray you in a bad light.

In my personal opinion you are making some basic and critical assumptions in presenting your views, but you have not stated them, nor attempted to prove them. If any of these assumptions turns out to be wrong, your presentation collapses. I'll give my impression of one possible assumption, but I'm just guessing: it appears to me that you are assuming that god does not have the moral justification to put someone to death. If this is not the issue, then what precisely is it about the serpent issue (or any of the other "death" issues) that makes you accuse god of being evil?

I Am said...

apomate, I think you have it backwards. Before this blog post, I had never seen anyone else mention the reference Jesus made to serpent story in Exodus. Why don't people mention the verses right before or after John 3:16?

It's because believers "splice" out verses to portray God and Jesus in a more positive light than the complete text would leave us with.

I grew up a Christian in America and used to attend church as a kid and adolescent (and occasionally now when needed). I considered becoming a pastor. I have heard John 3:16 so many times, I could quote it in my sleep. But I have never heard *anyone* ever say the verses preceding or following John 3:16 out loud, or reference them. Why?

Because Jesus comes out bad when you don't cherry-pick your verses. Either he's seen condemning people to eternal death due to God's wrath (which 3:16 doesn't mention, it puts a positive spin on it by only saying he'll save you if you believe) or he's seen referencing a story where his dad (who is part of the same Trinity as Jesus, and/or who sent Jesus depending on your flavor of Christianity) sent vicious poisonous serpents to kill people, and then told Moses to make a magic stick to save the people he just sent serpents out to kill. And Jesus identifies with this story himself.

Maybe it worked back in the first century, but most modern readers would have problems with taking these serpent verses literally, and many like to gloss over the whole punishment part of Jesus' incomplete saving of humanity. So both of these references are conveniently spliced out, leaving only the middle verse John 3:16, which portrays a kinder, gentler Jesus.

If most believers think it's okay for God to kill people, then why do they skip over these verses, even in the safety of their own churches when they're not out trying to convince others to join? I think it's because they think the parts they cut out are simply bad (or evil, if you prefer).

sconnor said...

apomate

it appears to me that you are assuming that god does not have the moral justification to put someone to death. If this is not the issue, then what precisely is it about the serpent issue (or any of the other "death" issues) that makes you accuse god of being evil?

My problem is why does he cause his earthly children to suffer first: a god who can supposedly blink the universe into existence could also A. not create the people he will eventually hurt or B. blink them out of existence without causing them to suffer in vile unthinkable ways.

Does a god have the moral justification to create his earthly children just so he can cause them to suffer?

Do you condone and worship a god who harms, tortures or otherwise causes his earthly children to suffer?

How can this god be an all-loving benevolent god and still cause his earthly children to suffer in unimaginable vile ways?

I'm reminded of this hideous verse from th OT: 1Sam 15:3 -- The Lord says, Go and attack the Amalekites! Destroy them and all their possessions. Don't have any pity. Kill their men, women, children, and even their babies.

Many deluded christians have to do mighty back-flips and mental gymnastics in order to condone and salvage their sky-father's vile, sadistic actions by offering bloated rationalizations like the Amalekite children were being sacrificed to false gods, and children living with evil people would be better of dead, blah, blah, blah.

So, lets get this straight, an all-loving, god created these children and babies, knowing they would be abused and suffer egregiously, with evil people, some of them being burned alive, in heinous sacrificial offerings, but still chose to put these innocent children and babies in these vile, unimaginable situations anyway?

And god's only solution to the problem was to rescind his commandment of thou shall not kill, thereby ordering in a barbaric army of men, to destroy everyone, including, pregnant women and innocent children and babies, showing them no pity, using the primitive weapons of the day -- cutting throats, chopping off heads, plunging swords into bellies, bludgeoning and eviscerating, causing some to suffer for hours or days as they slowly died?

How the fuck is this god NOT evil?

Now these same psychotic christians will assert that god gave them life, so he can take it -- BUT why did he have to cause them to SUFFER in egregious unthinkable ways first?

Why would an all-loving, god create and send these children into these horrific situations, in the first place?

And again, why would a god -- who could simply wish the universe into existence -- not just simply wave his hand and make these children disappear into his awaiting arms, forgoing all the immense pain and mass suffering?

--S.

apomate said...

I am: Yes, you are right - believers are also capable of taking verses out of context to please their taste. But no matter who does the "cherry-picking", they will come to the wrong conclusion - believer or not. I directed my question at Steve because I believe he is doing just that. His conclusions are weak because he is not including the whole picture, and also because he is making assumptions without explaining or justifying them. (Does or does not God have the moral justification to put someone to death?

Sconner: I'm not sure if you are really wanting me to suggest any answers, or if you really are just wanting to express your anger at god. Do you see that you, too, are assuming some things that are not necessarily true: you assume God's motive is to harm these people he created. Certainly creating them so that he could harm them would be immoral. But I believe that examining the whole picture of the Bible will reveal God's true motives as being good. So here again we are back to the same problem: failing to look at the whole picture, and making assumptions we cannot prove.

sconnor said...

apomate

I'm not sure if you are really wanting me to suggest any answers...

Oh yeah, I'm always ready for a big laugh. In fact I'll number them so you can address them specifically. If you choose to NOT address them specifically don't bother at all.

...or if you really are just wanting to express your anger at god.

You're an idiot. (Talk about making lame assumptions)

1. Let this sink into your head, I do not believe in your invisible omni-present personal christian god-concept. Which means I am not angry at him -- do....you...understand?

Do you see that you, too, are assuming some things that are not necessarily true: you assume God's motive is to harm these people he created.

2. My contention is NO one has any credible information about god's will or character. I am merely pointing out the major inconsistencies and contradictions in your particular bible god-concept. Comprende?

3. We know (in the context of the bible) bible-god created these Amakleite children -- right?

4. He knew they were going to SUFFER either by child sacrifice or by his command -- why create them in the first place?

5. Additionally, in a broader sense, god also knows that the majority of his earthly creation is destined to be tortured in the flames of hell; to SUFFER for an eternity. Why create them in the first place?

6. The only thing I can conclude (assume?) is god is a sadistic torturer of souls -- what other reason is there?

Certainly creating them so that he could harm them would be immoral.

8. Certainly, ordering men to cause the suffering of children is immoral too -- correct?

But I believe that examining the whole picture of the Bible will reveal God's true motives as being good.

9. Yes, yes, of course especially if you disregard ALL the repulsive evil occurrences your bible-god commanded or committed and/or disregard the verses that describes god's character as being evil. Or in other words, give bloated rationalizations to protect your sadistic god-concept.

So here again we are back to the same problem: failing to look at the whole picture, and making assumptions we cannot prove.

10. Exactly, your whole god-concept is built on assumptions and your idiosyncratic interpretation of scripture which you can NOT prove is true, with objective evidence. All you have is a definition of a god, fabricated by primitive superstitious sand-dwellers who used god's supposed -- voice as their own -- to give them a bogus senses of authority and a false sense of credibility, which you use to proclaim god's will and character.

11. I'll tell you what apomate, if god exists, then god knows, exactly, where to find me -- he can tell me, exactly, and concisely, everything he needs me to know, himself -- this way, I can be absolutely certain, what god wants from me, and I don't have to rely on some fallible, deluded christian who quite possibly is insane, that makes extraordinary, interpretive claims, he can't substantiate -- M-kay?

12. While you're at it -- why don't you go back to my post above and address each and every one of my paragraphs, specifically. Waiting.......................

--S.

matt311 said...

The whole picture? It just reveals he's a jealous, petty tribal deity; nothing else.

apomate said...

Well, I started off saying, "I'm not sure...." That is essentially an invitation for you to clarify my question. Why do you call that an assumption?

I made my original post to bring up two issues: namely that Steve is disregarding large portions of the bible in attempting to portray god's character, and that he is making unstated and unproved assumptions in his presentation. If these are true, and I believe both of them are, it would mean his conclusions are faulty.

Some of your statements continue to make an assumption: namely that god is motivated by a desire to cause suffering. How can you prove this motive? The fact that suffering exists does not by itself prove that God takes pleasure in suffering.

And you say there are bible-believers who ignore parts of the bible selectively. My reply is you are right, and those people will come to erroneous conclusions just like you or Steve will if you ignore parts of the bible selectively. The truth or falsehood of your or my statements here does not depend on what "other people" are doing.


(Matt311 - Your concept of the "whole picture" is not what I'm speaking of.)

sconnor said...

Well, I started off saying, "I'm not sure...." That is essentially an invitation for you to clarify my question. Why do you call that an assumption?

Clearly you have a difficult time digesting simple to read information. You assumed I was angry with god. Pull your head out of your ass and slowly read my arguments and comments before you waste any more time being a dumb ass.

~moving on~

It's painfully obvious you can NOT address the specifics of my arguments (which speaks volumes) so you must resort to the myna bird tactic of repeating your earlier lame arguments.

If you do NOT address the specifics of my arguments you have readily admitted you are incapable of offering a credible defense.

So, either address the specifics of my comments and arguments or F-off

Don't let the proverbial door hit you in the ass on the way out.

--S.

apomate said...

Yes, there is repetition, and that is because I wish to stay on the subject: I made a post with two issues, and you (and Steve) ignored them and you substituted ten or twenty others, some related and some not (a typical approach on this site). You demanded my attention to your issues, and now you are upset that I didn't treat them. I'm here to address two issues. If you don't want to treat them, then no need to reply.

Steve Wells said...

apomate said,

"Steve is disregarding large portions of the bible in attempting to portray god's character, and that he is making unstated and unproved assumptions in his presentation."

OK. I give up, apomate. What parts of the Bible do you think I am disregarding and what assumptions do you think I am making?

You ask, "Does or does not God have the moral justification to put someone to death?"

Well, that's hard for me to answer since I don't think the God of the Bible exists. It's like asking me if I think Vishnu has four arms.

I am just listing God's killings as they are described in the Bible. I don't think any of them actually occurred, because imaginary beings seldom kill anyone.

God's killings are only a problem for those who believe God exists. They are especially troublesome for those who would like to believe that the God of the Bible is kind and loving. If you think God is a complete asshole and you're completely OK with that, then I suppose you think it's great that God sent snakes to bite and kill people for complaining about the lack of food and water.

Do you think the Bible God is a complete asshole, apomate?

sconnor said...

apomate

Yes, there is repetition, and that is because I wish to stay on the subject: I made a post with two issues, and you (and Steve) ignored them and you substituted ten or twenty others, some related and some not (a typical approach on this site). You demanded my attention to your issues, and now you are upset that I didn't treat them. I'm here to address two issues. If you don't want to treat them, then no need to reply.

You're a bullshitting liar.

I stuck to the topic and offered counter-arguments and comments you absolutely can NOT address specifically.

If you noticed I went line by line addressing each and everyone of your arguments and comments detailing why I think your god-concept is evil. My contention is fairly simple he causes people to suffer in a myriad of ways for a plethora of reasons including unjust reasons, which I gave examples of --which you ignored.

Now I defy you to go back and address ALL my arguments and comments line by line starting with my first post on this thread: My problem is why does he cause his earthly children to suffer first...

The only time I didn't stick to the topic at hand is when you made fallacious statements like I'm angry with god.

Now either put up or shut up and address the arguments and comments specifically, line by line or get the fuck out of here.

If you spent half the time you do in delivering bullshit excuses to why you won't address them, you would have been done by now addressing my arguments and comments.

We're on to you apomate, you won't address the arguments and comments line by line specifically because you CAN'T.

--S.

apomate said...

Steve said: OK. I give up, apomate. What parts of the Bible do you think I am disregarding and what assumptions do you think I am making?

Suppose I edited together all the video portions of your life that only show you eating, to try to prove that Steve Wells does nothing but eat, and that he is a glutton. You would say, "Apomate, you left out huge portions of my life!" If I then replied, "All right, Steve, show me what I left out," you might well begin to curse and swear at me or however you react to such answers with something like, "Man, you know very well what you left out - everything but the eating. That's not the real me!"

In reality in your website (regarding the killing) you are not describing the god of the bible. You are describing a god that exists only in Steve's edited video who does nothing but kill, and indeed, I agree with you that the god of Steve's edited video is a horrible figure. I do not know that god.

When I asked you if god had the moral and justifiable right to judge someone and put them to death, you, yourself said that god doesn't exist so you can't answer that question. So you agree that you are not talking about the god of the bible in your posts, but only the god that exists in Steve's edited video. (Similary we couldn't say whether Steve has the right to exercise authority over his property - to prevent trespassing for example - because he doesn't exist as a property-owner in the video tape - only as an eater.)

Are you willing to take on the challenge to prove bad character in the god of the bible (whole bible)? To do so, of course, would require that you allow your debaters to use the whole bible to describe god's character, not just the "edited bible."

Yes, I do know that you don't believe the bible, nor in the god of the bible. But if you intend to attack the god of the bible, you must, for the sake of the attack, get your evidence from the bible, and you therefore must allow those who would defend the attack to also get their evidence from the bible. That is what you are disregarding.

apomate said...

Myna bird says: I still want to stick with the issue of assumptions, and the issue of using the bible selectively. (By the way, there is a reason for this: unless we resolve these two issues, the other "issues" are meaningless.) So I will address your issue #2 which says:

2. My contention is NO one has any credible information about god's will or character. I am merely pointing out the major inconsistencies and contradictions in your particular bible god-concept. Comprende?

If there is NO credible information available to anyone about god, then how do you intend to prove he is evil? You have no credible evidence. You have constructed an easy (but false) win for yourself: you can quote the bible to prove god is bad. But when I suggested that examining the whole picture of the Bible will reveal God's true motives as being good, you replied back with this statement #2 that there is NO credible information about god available. So, ... you will not allow me to refer to the same bible you are quoting from.

Now, based upon this, you are quite correct: I indeed CAN'T address any of your issues. You've set it up that way. Indeed, you can't prove them either. So why waste our time?

Issues 8-11 we pretty much agree on anyway, so there isn't much to discuss:

8. Certainly, ordering men to cause the suffering of children is immoral too -- correct?

Yes, I agree. (But there's a fish hook in that statement!)

#9. I already agreed with you that for both believers and non-believers, selectively choosing parts of the bible to prove a point will lead to erroneous conclusions.

In #10 you speak of objective evidence. I would say that neither of us has the kind of objective evidence you are referring to.

#11 Suppose god gave you the option to determine how this would take place. In other words, god says to you, "Sconner, what do you want me to do for you so that you are convinced I am who I say I am?" What would you demand of him as solid evidence?

Steve Wells said...

apomate,

If you posted a video of me eating all the time, that would be strange. But if you showed me murdering millions of people for no reason in 89 separate killing events, that would be worse, don't you think?

I eat several times a day. I'm not particularly proud of it, but I'm not ashamed of it either. So go ahead with the video. I don't mind at all.

The (imaginary) God of the Bible is proud of his killings, apomate. Since you worship him you should be proud of them, too. Why are you ashamed of God's killings?

It's true that since I am trying to document all of God's killings in the Bible, a person that reads my blog might get the idea that the Bible God does nothing but kill. And that's not true.

God does lots of other things like send evil spirits, tell fathers to kill their sons, threaten to spread dung on peoples' faces and force them to eat their children and friends. Stuff like that.

You say that I must get my evidence from the bible, and allow those who would defend the the God of the Bible to also get their evidence from the Bible. And that is exactly what I am doing with this blog. Every killing that I describe is from the Bible, and I would love to see a believer defend God by using the Bible. But so far no one has.

sconnor said...

apomate

Myna bird says: I still want to stick with the issue of assumptions, and the issue of using the bible selectively. (By the way, there is a reason for this: unless we resolve these two issues, the other "issues" are meaningless.) So I will address your issue #2 which says:

2. My contention is NO one has any credible information about god's will or character. I am merely pointing out the major inconsistencies and contradictions in your particular bible god-concept. Comprende?

If there is NO credible information available to anyone about god, then how do you intend to prove he is evil? You have no credible evidence. You have constructed an easy (but false) win for yourself: you can quote the bible to prove god is bad.

1. Read this carefully -- it is abundantly clear you can not digest information: I do NOT believe in your god-concept -- the one you constructed from your own idiosyncratic interpretation of scripture.

2. There is NO objective evidence that the bible is god's word.

3. I am NOT trying to prove god is evil.

4. When we say god is evil we are referencing your bible and pointing out contradictions and inconsistencies in scripture that are antithetical to your god-concept, being ALL-loving ALL-merciful, benevolent, etc. It is NOT an admission of god's existence; it is NOT an affirmative assertion that god is evil.

5. My contention is: bible-god is a fictional character and this fictional god-character is an evil entity based on his actions and commands in those works of FICTION.

It baffles me why you can NOT grasps this simple notion.

6. So just to be clear I do not believe in your personal christian god-concept. Any argument used against your god-concept is provisional. We are attacking your god-concept by pointing out inconsistencies, gaps of logic or contradictions of YOUR DEFINITION of god that you have fabricated by your idiosyncratic interpretation of scripture and stunted imaginings.

7. Furthermore it should be understood that unbelievers are debating in the hypothetical. For example: "IF" god is ALL-good why does he let children suffer in vile unimaginable ways? Or "IF" god is an intelligent designer why was he morbidly negligent in creating an umbilical cord that can choke the baby in utero that can lead to death or brain damage causing the baby to suffer for the rest of her life.


8. So NOT only do you have objective evidence that the bible is god's word you also have a bible that is inconsistent about god's character and will.

Do...you...understand?

But when I suggested that examining the whole picture of the Bible will reveal God's true motives as being good, you replied back with this statement #2 that there is NO credible information about god available. So, ... you will not allow me to refer to the same bible you are quoting from.

9. Any suggestion that examining the whole picture of the bible will be NOTHING short of a feeble and deluded attempt, to salvage your God's despicable, reputation, with absurd, bloated rationalizations and strained excuses, that try to -- insanely --condone and justify your god-concept's reprehensible atrocities, in the old testament.

sconnor said...

~continued~

10.This is why I concluded; the bible is a spurious, collection of separate, ancient stories, written by differing men, using the -- supposed, voice of god -- so as to give it a bogus sense of credibility, and authority where there was none to begin with, which came together, slowly, over time, that dealt with how a primitive superstitious people understood, what god meant to them, during their own specific, time period and their own specific culture. Anything after that is interpretation, speculation or delusional gullibility, which gets us the perverted ideas, beliefs and agendas of so many christian religions. Your god is nothing but a human construct -- a figment of your imagination, a definition, based on your myopic, interpretation of scripture and flights of fancy.

Now, based upon this, you are quite correct: I indeed CAN'T address any of your issues. You've set it up that way. Indeed, you can't prove them either. So why waste our time?

11. You can't address them because you have NO answer for them -- at least without doing mental gymnastics trying to rationalize your way out of it.

12. What's more, you can't CAN'T address any of my issues because your god only resides in the confines of your limited mind, which you simply made up from your interpretation of scripture and/or you credulously digested spurious information from other so-called religious authorities.

13. In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing. -- Mark Twain

Issues 8-11 we pretty much agree on anyway, so there isn't much to discuss:

8. Certainly, ordering men to cause the suffering of children is immoral too -- correct?

Yes, I agree. (But there's a fish hook in that statement!)

14.More mental black-flips? What? -- no elaboration?

#9. I already agreed with you that for both believers and non-believers, selectively choosing parts of the bible to prove a point will lead to erroneous conclusions.

15. What confuses you is: I contend the bible is a morbidly inferior way of trying to get god's supposed ALL-important messages to his earthly children because it can be interpreted anyway someone wants. It's a virtual grab-bag where anyone can interpret or misinterpret it to push any agenda they desire. Your interpretation is just one of the many truth-claims that posit you know how it should be deciphered (looking at the whole picture)

16. Funny how so many christians who have vast and varying interpretations of scripture ALL contend there interpretation of scripture is based on the whole picture and is true also.

sconnor said...

~continued~

In #10 you speak of objective evidence. I would say that neither of us has the kind of objective evidence you are referring to.

17. You are the one making the extraordinary claim that you know god's character and will.

18. You are the one that is required to offer objective evidence for your extraordinary claim.

19. Anyone can make extraordinary claims.

20. I could claim I have an invisible poodle in my garage that grants me wishes. Automatically, you realize it is an extraordinary claim and if I do not present evidence of said claim, you would take the default position of unbelief until when/if I proved it to you or you would think me a lunatic.

21. Or as in another example: you take the default position of unbelief concerning Allah's will and character and the relevancy of Allah's final testament in the form of the qur'an. Why? Because there is no objective evidence to suggest the extraordinary claims of Muslims having any reference in reality -- Which goes the same for your extraordinary bible-drenched christian claims. Comprende?

22. As of now you are a lunatic making crazy unsubstantiated claims. My characterization of you will stand until you are able to supply objective evidence that you actually know god's will and character.

23. I argue that you really do NOT know god's will and character.

24. Again, I contend you actually fabricated an imaginary god-character from your own idiosyncratic interpretation of scripture and flights of imagination -- making unsubstantiated crazy claims that you know god's will and character.

25. I also maintain that there very well could be a god but I deny your particular definition of god, because you have no objective evidence for this god. Furthermore, your god-concept has many inconsistencies in logic, further exacerbated by scripture that contradicts your definition of god.

26. I deny your unsubstantiated (with objective evidence) god-concept that you constructed from your idiosyncratic interpretation of scripture.

#11 Suppose god gave you the option to determine how this would take place. In other words, god says to you, "Sconner, what do you want me to do for you so that you are convinced I am who I say I am?" What would you demand of him as solid evidence?

27. Doen't matter what I want. God being god should be able to convince my analytical and skeptical mind of his existence but sadly he remains invisible. Funny how invisible and non-existent look so much alike.

28. Again he can come to me so I can be absolutely certain, what he wants from me, and I don't have to rely on some fallible, deluded christian who makes extraordinary, unsubstantiated interpretive claims.

--S.

apomate said...

Steve,

Sorry, I didn't make my point clear. That illustration about eating was to answer your earlier question to me, "What parts of the Bible do you think I am disregarding?" It makes no difference to this illustration whether it is eating or killing. The answer to your question is, "You've left out everything but the killing." Whatever there is in the bible that might justify the killing is omitted in your presentation.

You said, "...and I would love to see a believer defend God by using the Bible." But I'm not quite yet convinced that you will really let the believer use the bible without declaring it to be of little value, invalid, or insignificant. To my query about whether god has the moral justification to put someone to death you replied:

"Well, that's hard for me to answer since I don't think the God of the Bible exists. It's like asking me if I think Vishnu has four arms."

You have no difficulty using the bible to declare god guilty of immoral killing, but you seem unwilling to use the bible as a basis to determine whether god has the moral justification to put someone to death. That pretty much guarantees you a win in any argument, right? You can use the bible to show god's evil, but not to show anything else.

I am not taking up the other issues you've brought up, because there is no point in addressing them until you are willing to allow me the same liberty that you take with the bible. That would mean you will be willing to accept a defense from the bible without making such escape remarks that essentially imply, "well, just remember the bible isn't true anyway so your argument is not valid."

I am perfectly willing to discuss the god of the whole bible, but on a level playing field.

apomate said...

I will never attempt to address the quantity of questions you bring up in a single post, so relax and save your time. My feeble mind works on very few issues at a time.

You say:

3. I am NOT trying to prove god is evil.
4. When we say god is evil we are referencing your bible...
5. My contention is: bible-god is a fictional character and this fictional god-character is an evil entity based on his actions and commands in those works of FICTION.

You just said you are not trying to prove god is evil. Yet in number 4 and 5 you "say" god is evil" and you "contend" that he is an evil entity.

Until you admit you are trying to prove god is evil we have nothing to debate.

And according to your words in #4, you are "referencing your bible..."

If you can reference the bible to assert that god-character is an evil entity then you must allow me the same freedom to reference the bible to refute your statement. At this point you do not do this, so indeed I can't address your issues.

So, either we BOTH reference the bible to make our assertions, or NEITHER of us uses the bible to make our assertions.

You may continue to assert the bible is fictitious, and that is fine, but either we BOTH use it or NEITHER of us uses it.

I know and freely admit you don't believe the bible.

Steve Wells said...

apomate,

You said, "You have no difficulty using the bible to declare god guilty of immoral killing, but you seem unwilling to use the bible as a basis to determine whether god has the moral justification to put someone to death."

I'm not saying that god is guilty of immoral killing. I'm just telling bible stories here. I don't believe any of them. God didn't kill every firstborn child in Egypt, he didn't drown everyone in a flood, or send serpents to bite people for complaining. But the Bible says he did. I'm just saying what the Bible says. I don't believe a word of it.

You can use the Bible to try to show that the Bible-God is morally justified in killing whomever he pleases whenever he pleases for whatever reason he chooses or for no reason at all. Go right ahead and do it right here. It would be great to have a believer try to do that.

The playing field is completely level here, apomate. The believers just don't want to play.

sconnor said...

apomate

You say:

3. I am NOT trying to prove god is evil.
4. When we say god is evil we are referencing your bible...
5. My contention is: bible-god is a fictional character and this fictional god-character is an evil entity based on his actions and commands in those works of FICTION.

You just said you are not trying to prove god is evil. Yet in number 4 and 5 you "say" god is evil" and you "contend" that he is an evil entity.

Until you admit you are trying to prove god is evil we have nothing to debate.


1. Holy shit! I contend that "IF" there is a god out there -- in the universe -- NO ONE has any credible information of his will or character.

2. I am NOT trying to prove that the invisible entity you think exists up in heaven is evil. please, put that in your memory banks.

3. Your holy book is not a credible source to prove whether or not your god-concept is evil or good. NO ONE has actual knowledge of god. You claim to have knowledge of god but that is from your idiosyncratic interpretation of spurious scripture. It's exactly the same as a muslim claiming to know Allah's will and character from scripture in the qur'an -- comprende?

4. I am saying your book of fiction contends he is evil. This does not prove -- god (if he exists) up in heaven -- is evil it just proves that your holy book contends this -- which is antithetical to your other god claims from the bible (ALL-loving, ALL-merciful, benevolent, etc.)

5. I'm just referencing bible stories. And like Steve, I don't believe in any of them, which would include god's character of being good or evil.

6. I also contend you must offer objective evidence that your holy book is the word of god, which you have not done. Circular reasoning is inadmissible. You contend to know god's character and will because it is in the bible -- the bible is true because it is god's word (that's circular reasoning).

7. Please, please, please, take your time and comprehend what is being said.

I will never attempt to address the quantity of questions you bring up in a single post, so relax and save your time. My feeble mind works on very few issues at a time.

Evidently.

--S.

sconnor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sconnor said...

apomate

Now by all means if you want to have a scripture war -- I'm prepared to go into battle.

But just so you know, this will not prove whether -- the god you believe exists in heaven -- is good or evil.

All it will prove is the bible (fictional stories) have conflicting characterizations of bible-god's character and will.

--S.

apomate said...

...sorry for the delay.

In my first post I suggested you might be assuming incorrectly that god does not have the moral justification to put someone to death. Your reply was, "Well, that's hard for me to answer since I don't think the God of the Bible exists. It's like asking me if I think Vishnu has four arms."

Then in that same post I asked, "If this is not the issue, then what precisely is it about the serpent issue (or any of the other "death" issues) that makes you accuse god of being evil?" You didn't address this question, but I suspect (based upon the next paragraph) that you would reply to this with, "I'm not saying that god is evil. I'm just telling bible stories here...."

In a later post I commented to you, "You have no difficulty using the bible to declare god guilty of immoral killing,..." and your reply was, "I'm not saying that god is guilty of immoral killing. I'm just telling bible stories here...."

Thus, it appears that you do not really take a position, but only imply your position by the way you pick your bible stories. The only thing I can challenge, then, is that the character of god as you imply it is radically different or even opposed to the character of god as the whole bible actually describes it (all of this speaking of god in his role as a character in the bible). But since you are only implying your position it is hardly worth discussing the matter because that would be rather like trying to nail down a cloud.

So, in the final analysis unless you wish to clarify anything, I'd suggest you are a very clever manipulator of information and able to distort it very effectively to your purposes. But there is nothing for me to defend since I've no interest in discussing issues as undefinable as a cloud.

apomate said...

Sconner: "4. I am saying your book of fiction contends he is evil. This does not prove -- god (if he exists) up in heaven -- is evil it just proves that your holy book contends this -- which is antithetical to your other god claims from the bible (ALL-loving, ALL-merciful, benevolent, etc.)"

Sconner, Your point number 4 is great, and you take a clear position. I agree that we are not discussing whether the bible is describing a true and living god.

This is the same as if we were debating the character of Tom Sawyer. We would talk about Tom Sawyer's actions almost as if he existed, but all of our comments are in the context of the book, and we would not be trying to prove that Tom Sawyer existed in real life.

One question: you also say in point 6 that I must prove the bible is true. But this is not necessary for point 4. We can talk about point 4 and we will use the bible as our source of evidence, but again in the same sense we would use Mark Twain's book to get our evidence about the character of Tom Sawyer. We don't need to prove that Mark Twain's book was a true-to-life narration in order to talk about Tom Sawyer. So point 6 is totally separate from point 4 and could come later on if you'd like.

By the way, I'm not interested in war. Any discussions I have are with the intent that both parties desire to arrive closer to the truth about something. I expect to learn something from this conversation and from you. I can't speak for you, but if your one and only desire is to do damage, it would almost look like you are taking the position taken by some christians (and atheists can do it too) who act as if: "I've already got my mind made up - don't confuse me with more information."

Do you want to give me a starting place? Where does the bible contend that god is evil? Or shall I make an assumption and start with it?

I Am said...

apomate, I'm sure Steve can answer for himself if he wants, but since you and I also exchanged thoughts earlier in the thread I wanted to post my reaction.

You said "The only thing I can challenge, then, is that the character of god as you imply it is radically different or even opposed to the character of god as the whole bible actually describes it [...] unless you wish to clarify anything, I'd suggest you are a very clever manipulator of information and able to distort it very effectively to your purposes."

You seem to be saying it is unfair to only point out bad things God does in the Bible, that this doesn't accurately portray God's character, is this correct?

First of all, if you consult skepticsannotatedbible.com you'll see that there are also passages marked as being good. Steve is currently focusing on one aspect (God's killings) and blogging on it.

Second of all, how is directly quoting what's in the Bible (giving the full context of each passage) "distorting" it? If the circumstances and reasons the Bible gives for God killing people is provided, then I don't see how it's distortion.

Lastly, with any person, any character, anything, people have the right to examine the different characteristics individually. If I want to discuss Don Quixote's friendship with Sancho Panzo, I am not also required to discuss his love for Dulcinea.

You could also explore other aspects of God -- for example, maybe you can find verses saying God is also forgiving or loving, when he wants to be -- but it doesn't negate the fact that God is (also) a murderer. It is not inaccurate, unfair, or unjustified to focus on this, just as you would fully explore any other theme (salvation, miracles, etc.). The God in the Bible kills people; it is not manipulation or distortion to explore this.

sconnor said...

apomate

By the way, I'm not interested in war. Any discussions I have are with the intent that both parties desire to arrive closer to the truth about something. I expect to learn something from...

Relax -- it was just a hyperbolic colloquialism.

Do you want to give me a starting place? Where does the bible contend that god is evil?

OK -- here we go. One, two, three, four -- we're gonna' have a scripture war.

Evil Bible-God.

Consider Andrea Yates: She was the mother who drowned her five children in a bathtub. A heinous massacre where everyone would agree that she was either mentally ill or evil. Can you imagine the scene?

Yates Odyssey. Time Magazine

"On June 20, 2001, when the police reached his modest brick home on Beachcomber Lane in suburban Houston, they found Andrea drenched with bathwater, her flowery blouse and brown leather sandals soaking wet. She had turned on the bathroom faucet to fill the porcelain tub and moved aside the shaggy mat to give herself traction for kneeling on the floor. It took a bit of work for her to chase down the last of the children; toward the end, she had a scuffle in the family room, sliding around on wet tile below a poster that proclaimed the epithets of Christ: SAVIOR, SHEPHERD, BISHOP OF SOULS. She dripped watery footprints from the tub to her bedroom, where she straightened the blankets around the kids in their pajamas once she was done with them.

The kids were still having breakfast when she began. First was "Perfect Paul," the 3-year-old who had been her most joyful and least trouble. He died in seconds, held violently underwater by the mother whose hands had carefully washed his hair so that the soap would not sting his eyes. She carried his soaked body to her bed, tucking him beneath a maroon blanket, his head on the pillows. After Paul, she drowned Luke, 2, and moved on to John, 5. Next she killed their baby sister Mary, whom she had distracted with a bottle so she wouldn't scoot away and hurt herself while her brothers were being killed.

Noah, her firstborn, was the last to die. The 7-year-old left his half-eaten cereal on the kitchen table when Andrea summoned him. Walking into the bathroom, Noah saw his sister facedown in the water, her tiny fists clenched. He asked, "What's wrong with Mary?" and then, according to the account Andrea would give police, he tried to run away. His mother chased him down, dragged the wailing boy to the bathroom and forced him facedown into nine inches of cold water in the tub, his sister's body floating lifeless next to him. Noah came up twice as he fought for air. But Andrea held her grip. She then laid Mary in bed with her brothers, wrapping their arms around the baby. She left Noah in the tub."

Can you imagine? Can you imagine those trusting children as they gasped for air -- only swallowing water into their lungs? Can you imagine the terror sweeping over them as they looked into their mothers eyes through the water? The panic, the fear, in the last minutes of their lives?

Now, all we need to do is go about four pages into your holy book and imagine an entire world flood where your heavenly father drowned ALL his earthly children -- millions of lives wiped out; the devastation of a world flood with massive walls of water -- wreaking havoc. Your god committed mass genocide, unequaled by ALL genocidal manics combined but that is not what I take issue with. Most christians try to condone god's egregious actions by rationalizing, "God created them so he can kill them". Fine go with that insane rationalization -- but why did he have to cause them to SUFFER first? Why did children, babies and pregnant women have to suffer first?

sconnor said...

~continued~

How, exactly were babies and children wicked? Why did they have to suffer the same consequences? Speculating that they were to grow up and become wicked still doesn't answer the question, why did god cause them to suffer?

Drowning is a horrible way to die. And being consistent with what really happens to flood victims who die, then it's safe to say that during the Genesis flood, thousands were crushed by debris, suffering for hours before they died, while others clung to rafts and boats, only to starve to death. Not everyone was wicked and violent, basically your severely, disturbed, and maniacal god -- in an analogy -- burned down an entire orphanage because some of the other kids were bad.

This is not a clean and easy way to die. This is not a scolding where the men women and children could learn from their mistakes, this is not constructive criticism this is mass genocide -- which accomplished NOTHING. Not only did he kill them he made then SUFFER first -- this is not an all-loving god; this is a megalomaniac, evil character who causes his earthly children to suffer.

Presumably your god is omniscient -- why did he create them in the first place? He would've known that he was just going to destroy them anyway? He could have chosen not to create them and/or he could have simply wished them out of existence -- but NO -- your god decided to inflict as much anguish and destruction as he could causing millions of young children and babies to suffer egregiously -- that's fucking evil.

The Deluge: A punishment inflicted on the human race by an all-knowing God, who, through not having foreseen the wickedness of men, repented of having made them, and drowned them once for all to make them better - an act which, as we all know, was accompanied by the greatest success. -- Voltaire

Why did God fill the world with his own children, knowing that he would have to destroy them? And why does this same God tell me how to raise my children when he had to drown his? -- Robert G. Ingersoll

Was the god of the Hebrews so wise that he couldn't think of anything better than flooding the whole earth to kill those evil humans? That's like burning down the barn to kill rats, or using a sledgehammer to debug a rose bush. Even the world's dumbest surgeon doesn't use a guillotine to remove a mole on someone's neck. -- Skip Church

I don't know who the worst sinners are on this planet, but I am quite sure that if a High Intelligence wanted to exterminate them, It would find a very precise method of locating each one separately. Carelessly murdering millions of innocent children and harmless old ladies, and dogs and cats, is absolutely and ineluctably to state that your idea of God is that of a cosmic imbecile. -- Robert Anton Wilson

sconnor said...

~continued~

The first Born in Egypt

Exodus 12:12-13 That same night I will pass through Egypt and kill the first-born son in every family and the first-born male of all animals. I am the LORD, and I will punish the gods of Egypt. The blood on the houses will show me where you live, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. Then you won't be bothered by the terrible disasters I will bring on Egypt.


Now, we'll just forgo ALL the absurdities of this fictional story -- like your bumbling god NOT knowing that the first nine plagues wouldn't do the job or that god was responsible for hardening Pharaoh's heart and that god needed someone to mark -- with blood -- which houses he was to avoid and instead I will shed another perspective that is steeped in personal tragedy.

Bible-god's act of killing children is not the most reprehensible part of this story -- it is the subsequent fall-out, where millions were made to SUFFER their losses; desperately grieving their loved ones.

I can attest, to the anguish and monumental grief of losing a son. My ten year old son --Connor -- suffered and died from a heart attack, related to leukemia (his own blood poisoned him) and everyday; every minute of everyday, the tsunami of grief makes my blood run cold and my heart turns to lead. I breathe the loss of my son -- it's unbearable.

For me it has been a crippling grief, where I lost everything; my job, my friends, and my identity. The egregious pain is parroted in the support groups, I belong to -- some have divorced their spouses, some harm themselves, by cutting into their arms, some drink themselves to death every night, some use illicit drugs to block out the pain, while others, like myself have been institutionalized, in mental hospitals and some parents and/or siblings have even succumbed to the egregious pain and have killed themselves. To this day -- wanting to kill myself -- has become a part of my very existence.(I would also like to add, christains (wrapped in the holy spirit complete believers in god are not immune to the unbearable pain of losing a child and many attend these meetings and suffer in a myriad of ways).

Along with my suffering, my daughter suffers; never to have her big brother in her life, destined to be an only child and emotionally scarred for life. She too suffers everyday, dreading to go to sleep, thinking she will die, like her brother did. She feels her throat closing in and thinks she can't breathe. She suffers with night terrors and also sees a psychologists regularly to deal with her anxieties. After Connor died the spider web of grief grabbed hold of Connor's friends, who also went into deep depressions -- failing grades, loss of appetite, ambivalence and so on. My mother fell apart too -- not only from losing a grandson but also from languishing in my pain. The immediate family was crushed, forever changed and NOT for the better. And this does NOT even begin to describe the unimaginable pain of having your own child die.

This, too, is what god wrought upon his earthly children when he killed the first born of Egypt. So while god was leading his chosen people out of bondage, he left in it's wake a devastation, so great, because hundreds of thousands of families were affected, stricken with incomprehensible grief -- the untold mass suffering, where joy and hope have been obliterated, is massively catastrophic. A god that would do this, is nothing less then, a repugnant, vile, evil, torturer of souls -- a megalomaniac that is both utterly contemptible and thoroughly indefensible.

sconnor said...

~continued~

Job

Also, from my perspective, the story of Job is atrocious and vile. First, the story is a mishmash of two separate stories, that actually contradict each other. I won't bore you with the details, but if you want to read about it, I recommend a book by Bart D. Ehrman, called, GOD'S PROBLEM, How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question -- Why We Suffer.

In the book of Job -- god -- who is supposedly omniscient -- asking satan where he's been -- reeks of an evil fairy tale character, who, in league with satan (adversary), which doesn't make sense, if he's helping god), are on the ultimate, sadistic Punk'd episode, just to fuck with Job.

And why does god want to fuck up the innocent, Job? -- just so he can prove a petty, little point to satan. Is god so insecure that he has to prove his point by making Job suffer? God is the cosmic equivalent to a psycho juvenile delinquent who has an ant farm and on some boring, afternoon, day, decides to take an ant out of it's farm and torture it with a magnifying glass. God is the equivalent of the creepy, little insane kid who hammers to death a puppy.

And after god tortures Job and kills his children (sometimes god and sometimes satan, it's hard to tell, at times, who is doing the torturing) he decides to make everything better, restore the faithful Job to his healthier self and with the compassion of a demented, sick-bastard, he replaces Job's seven sons and three daughters with an entirely different set of children. holy shit -- what kind of screwed-up, deity is this? This is an ALL-loving god? How can the excruciating pain of losing a child be removed by replacing it with another? What is god saying? -- that a child is expendable and then replaceable like a lost wallet or new ants for the ant farm?

sconnor said...

~continued~

What's more, according to your holy book -- god created everything, including suffering and evil. How do your reconcile these attributes from scripture with the god-concept you piece mealed together to form your idiosyncratic definition of this god-character?

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

The Hebrew word for evil is [r or Ra' meaning:

adj
bad, evil
bad, disagreeable, malignant
bad, unpleasant, evil (giving pain, unhappiness, misery)
evil, displeasing
bad (of its kind - land, water, etc)
bad (of value)
worse than, worst (comparison)
sad, unhappy
evil (hurtful)
bad, unkind (vicious in disposition)
bad, evil, wicked (ethically)
in general, of persons, of thoughts
deeds, actions n m
evil, distress, misery, injury, calamity
evil, distress, adversity
evil, injury, wrong
evil (ethical) n f
evil, misery, distress, injury
evil, misery, distress
evil, injury, wrong
evil (ethical)

Additionally, in Ecclesiastes 7:14 the Hebrew word for adversity is also [r or Ra'

Ec 7:14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

Which in plain English means:

When times are good be happy but when times are bad think what it means. God made both to keep us from knowing what will happen next.

And in 2kings and Proverbs the Hebrew word for evil is [r or Ra'

2Ki 6:33 And while he yet talked with them, behold, the messenger came down unto him: and he said, Behold, this evil is of the LORD; what should I wait for the LORD any longer?

He also creates the wicked (the sinners)

Pr 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

The Hebrew word for wicked is [xr and means:

wicked, criminal
guilty one, one guilty of crime (subst)
wicked (hostile to God)
wicked, guilty of sin (against God or man)


Also when studying Judaism you must acknowledge they believe G-d is the Creator of EVERYTHING, which they base on their interpretation of scripture from the Torah http://www.jewfaq.org/g-d.htm
"Everything in the universe was created by G-d and only by G-d. Judaism completely rejects the dualistic notion that evil was created by Satan or some other deity. All comes from G-d. As Isaiah said, "I am the L-rd, and there is none else. I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create evil. I am the L-rd, that does all these things." (Is. 45:6-7)." http://www.religionfacts.com/judaism/index.htm

The bible view is clear, your supposed all-loving, moral, god creates, misery, calamity, adversity, evil and the wicked people who cause evil; SUFFERING is god's fault -- how do you reconcile this with your god-definition, that it is supposedly not god's will to effectuate incomprehensible suffering?

sconnor said...

~continued~

Furthermore, according to the bible -- doesn't this quote, below, from scripture, suggest that god invites unjustified suffering on his earthly children?

1Sam 15:3 The Lord says, Go and attack the Amalekites! Destroy them and all their possessions. Don't have any pity. Kill their men, women, children, and even their babies.

Many deluded christians have to do mighty back-flips and mental gymnastics in order to condone and salvage their sky-father's vile, sadistic actions by offering bloated rationalizations like the Amalekite children were being sacrificed to false gods, and children living with evil people would be better of dead, blah, blah, blah.

So, lets get this straight, an all-loving, god created these children and babies, knowing they would be abused and suffer egregiously, with evil people (which god created according to scripture), some of them being burned alive, in heinous sacrificial offerings, but still chose to put these innocent children and babies in these vile, unimaginable situations anyway?

And god's only solution to the problem was to rescind his commandment of thou shall not kill, thereby ordering in a barbaric army of men, to destroy everyone, including, pregnant women and innocent children and babies, showing them no pity, using the primitive weapons of the day -- cutting throats, chopping off heads, plunging swords into bellies, bludgeoning and eviscerating, causing some to suffer for hours or days as they slowly died?

Now these same psychotic christians will assert that god gave them life, so he can take it -- BUT why did he have to cause them to SUFFER in egregious unthinkable ways first?

Why would an all-loving, god create and send these children into these horrific situations, in the first place?

And why would a god -- who could simply wish the universe into existence -- not just simply wave his hand and make these children disappear into his awaiting arms, forgoing all the immense pain and mass suffering?

sconnor said...

~continued~

And finally, how could this get any worse for this fictionalized evil charcter out of your holy book?

Why -- the christian doctrine of damnation, where the majority of god's earthly children will be tortured in the flames of hell for an eternity, for what is surely the most heinous of sins (massive sarcasm) unbelief.

Only 30% of the world is christian and out of that 30% -- only a minority will be supposedly saved because they have deciphered the one true correct criteria from their idiosyncratic interpretation of scripture that will supposedly tell us how one is saved, while the majority of god's earthly children, (the unbelievers, the non-religious and All the other religions throughout history) will be tortured in the flames of hell for an eternity.

A god who would save his earthly children ONLY because they had faith in him, while the majority of his other earthly children are damned because they did NOT believe in him, paints a portrait of a deity that is obscenely, petty, unreasonable, unjust and malevolently evil.

And while I'm thinking of it, explain the logic behind a god who preaches, "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another." Colossians 3:13 ~and~ "Forgive not seven times but forgive seventy times seven." -- Matthew 18:21-22 with a god who will torture you for an eternity simply because someone didn't believe in him?

Ah, yes these are just a few examples of the evil god of the bible; god -- through out the bible -- doled out vile, unimaginable, punishments ( disease, famine, plagues, firestorms, killing millions of bad and innocent people, alike) -- continuous acts of heinous, punishments, which, as we all know, was accompanied by the greatest success (biting sarcasm) You would think after the first 30,000,000 earthly souls god destroyed, by punishing them in the flood and the subsequent bloodletting that never changed the minds of his people, he would have finally come to the conclusion his atrocious, loathsome, ways of controlling a people were morbidly inept.

sconnor said...

~continued~

"The best minds will tell you that when a man has begotten a child he is morally bound to tenderly care for it, protect it from hurt, shield it from disease, clothe it, feed it, bear with its waywardness, lay no hand upon it save in kindness and for its own good, and never in any case inflict upon it a wanton cruelty. God's treatment of his earthly children, every day and every night, is the exact opposite of all that, yet those best minds warmly justify these crimes, condone them, excuse them, and indignantly refuse to regard them as crimes at all, when he commits them. Your country and mine is an interesting one, but there is nothing there that is half so interesting as the human mind". -- Mark Twain

And yet you leave your ethics at the door and condone your god when he commands the murder of innocent children and babies -- throughout the bible -- by having them unmercifully, and unjustly, butchered. You must bend over backwards and jump through hoops -- making strained, illogical, over-rationalized arguments, to justfy bible god's evil actions. Your god is the mother of all hypocrites. I'm confused, should we abide by god's commandment of thou shall not murder or not?

The Almalekite massacre, the flood, Job, The massacre of the first born coupled with, ALL the acts of genocide -- in the bible -- commanded or perpetrated by your god, that caused the inexcusable, repulsive suffering of innocent children and babies and their ensuing deaths, demonstrates, the god of the bible, to be nothing more than a made up entity, painfully constructed by fallible humans. He is a mirror into human behavior, at it's worst. The god of the bible, possesses all the contemptible flaws of humanity, an apathetic monster, who (again) makes all genocidal maniacs, combined, pale in comparison -- a being who should be far above and immune to such abhorrent attributes, and should encompass the best of what humanity has to offer, on a level, at least, equaling the magnitude of the universe but sadly, in the end, the god of the bible is far below us.

--S.

apomate said...

Hi I Am,

Yes, most certainly we frequently study selected portions in any piece of literature. But I'm saying that Steve's presentation in his blog is not accurately representing god as he is portrayed in the bible. But since Steve only implies these things and does not take a stand on my questions, I cannot really prove anything. But I believe that any well-studied literature student would say that Steve presents a poor analysis of god's character as it is presented in the bible. (I'm not addressing the other website you referred to, just this one.)

Regarding your question, << Second of all, how is directly quoting what's in the Bible (giving the full context of each passage) "distorting" it? If the circumstances and reasons the Bible gives for God killing people is provided, then I don't see how it's distortion.>>

My contention would be that Steve is NOT including context. To understand this very foundational portion of the bible requires that one see where god is coming from and where he is going with these people. That means pretty much taking as context the whole bible from Genesis to Revelation. The god that Steve has invented by his implications is NOT the god that is portrayed in the bible as a whole.

apomate said...

Sconner, I skimmed but didn't read all your post. For every single bad example you come up with, I'm quite sure I can search newspapers, and magazines and find an equally impressive good example. (Similarly for the quotations.) So if in the end you present 1000 bad examples, I could find 1000 good ones and we will have wasted our time and proven nothing. In other words, quantity will not prove anything at all.

Many of your examples do not address your contention that "The bible contends that god is evil." Events that happen in real life, and quotations from people outside the bible have nothing to do with this contention. So give me a couple examples (pick your best one or two) of where the bible itself contends that god is evil and I intend to show that by considering the whole bible one will find reasonable evidence to suggest that the bible in fact does not contend that god is evil.

I better make it known right now that I don't intend to address every single issue that gets piled up here. I will take on one or two at a time, and after a reasonable time we will leave the matter.

sconnor said...

apomate

Sconner, I skimmed but didn't read all your post. For every single bad example you come up with, I'm quite sure I can search newspapers, and magazines and find an equally impressive good example. (Similarly for the quotations.) So if in the end you present 1000 bad examples, I could find 1000 good ones and we will have wasted our time and proven nothing. In other words, quantity will not prove anything at all.

This has become increasingly tiresome. You fucking skimmed and came away with an erroneous and morbidly LAZY conclusion of my arguments.

Read the whole post in context, because as of now you are wasting our time.

Many of your examples do not address your contention that "The bible contends that god is evil." Events that happen in real life, and quotations from people outside the bible have nothing to do with this contention.

EVERYTHING in my post accurately and specifically addresses my contention that the bible-god is evil. Next time try reading the whole thread.

Again, either you lazily skimmed (which you admit) and did NOT digest the arguments OR you do NOT have the intellectual capacity to comprehend what was written -- specifically how my arguments attack your bible-god's character by equating the evil he committed in the bible with a certain perspective that lends verisimilitude to the bible-stories in question.

So give me a couple examples (pick your best one or two) of where the bible itself contends that god is evil and I intend to show that by considering the whole bible one will find reasonable evidence to suggest that the bible in fact does not contend that god is evil.

NO. Read the whole thread, in context, so you know what the fuck you are arguing against.

I better make it known right now that I don't intend to address every single issue that gets piled up here. I will take on one or two at a time, and after a reasonable time we will leave the matter.

Already with the excuses?

I presented a well thought-out, cohesive, detailed argument that shows exactly why I think the god-character in the bible is evil and you chose to skim it, subsequently coming away with an erroneous conclusion of my position.

I'm NOT here to fuck around. Read (examine thoroughly) the whole thread from beginning to end so you can fully understand my position and so you can give me a detailed rebuttal of ALL my points. If you are NOT equipped to handle a discussion of this magnitude, you do NOT have any reason to be debating me and I'll gladly accept your concession, so you can tuck your tail between your legs and bail, for ALL I care.

--S.

apomate said...

I remind you of my post on August 11: "I will never attempt to address the quantity of questions you bring up in a single post, so relax and save your time. My feeble mind works on very few issues at a time." --- So I most certainly will not attempt 8 simultaneous posts. (If I did you would respond with 16 more.) Your approach creates only confusion.

So if you are willing to present one issue in a single post I'll address any that you wish to bring up.

The first issue you brought up is a real-life event that is not in the bible. This event shows the horrible evil that humans can do in real life. It does not show that "The bible contends that god is evil" which is the challenge. In this challenge we are talking about the bible as literature and about god as a character in this literature, so our evidence must come from within that same literature. Is this correct, or not?

apomate said...

Ahh, Sconner I see one source of confusion I didn't notice before. We started out with the topic "The bible contends that god is evil." But now that topic has changed to "...why I [Sconner] think the god-character in the bible is evil." [from your second to last paragraph] These two topics are NOT the same. Indeed I'm sure that everything you wrote probably does address the second topic very carefully. But it does NOT address the first one, which is the topic I agreed to.

sconnor said...

apomate,

I remind you of my post on August 11: "I will never attempt to address the quantity of questions you bring up in a single post, so relax and save your time. My feeble mind works on very few issues at a time." --- So I most certainly will not attempt 8 simultaneous posts. (If I did you would respond with 16 more.) Your approach creates only confusion.

Excuses, excuses, excuses -- in the amount of time you have used ballyhooing about how detailed and cohesive my arguments are, you could have been at least half way through them by now. You are spending ALL your time telling me why you can't address my arguments. Your lack of intellectual prowess and/or your inability to address my arguments are not my concern, If you can't handle it -- I could give a rat's ass. I have used this approach on several sites, in many debates and there was NO confusion.

So if you are willing to present one issue in a single post I'll address any that you wish to bring up.

Nope. I presented ALL my issues -- if you are incapable of starting at the beginning, addressing those issues one by one -- it's hardly my concern.

The first issue you brought up is a real-life event that is not in the bible. This event shows the horrible evil that humans can do in real life.

Exactly. Tell me something I don't know -- you little time waster you.

It does not show that "The bible contends that god is evil" which is the challenge. In this challenge we are talking about the bible as literature and about god as a character in this literature, so our evidence must come from within that same literature. Is this correct, or not?

My contention is: in the bible -- god is an evil character. Just because you came away with a different understanding is again NO concern of mine.

I used events in this literature to show exactly why I felt the god of the bible is evil and shed light on those events by challenging you to go deeper into the reality of these events to understand how these people SUFFERED. I did this by giving real-life examples so it would lend a certain verisimilitude to the events in the bible.

This is my approach; these are my arguments; and they are well within the parameters of contending the bible-god character is evil.

So spare me you blubbering bullshit excuses and put up or shut up.

Ahh, Sconner I see one source of confusion I didn't notice before. We started out with the topic "The bible contends that god is evil." But now that topic has changed to "...why I [Sconner] think the god-character in the bible is evil." [from your second to last paragraph] These two topics are NOT the same. Indeed I'm sure that everything you wrote probably does address the second topic very carefully. But it does NOT address the first one, which is the topic I agreed to.

The topics are the same; you are just splitting hairs so you can use it as a feeble excuse as to why you'll bail.

When you say, "the bible contends god is not evil" it is also an admission why you [apomate] thinks the god-character in the bible is not evil.

Again, there is ample support from the bible as evidenced by god's atrocious actions and the immense, unimaginable SUFFERING that ensued -- I just put it in the context of reality, where we can know exactly how these poor abused characters, in the bible, actually SUFFERED at the hands of the evil bible-god.

Again, put up or sod off -- you whiny excuse-monger.

--S.

apomate said...

Very well, amigo. I will not bother you anymore. Thank you for your reply.

sconnor said...

apomate

Very well, amigo. I will not bother you anymore. Thank you for your reply.

...and thank you very much for wasting my time. (sarcasm)

Well, of course, you're going to tuck your tail between your legs and jump ship -- your deluded myopic, understanding of the bible is seen through the rose colored glasses of christianinty and when push comes to shove, the EVIL bible-god character; the sadistic torturer of souls; the one who caused the unjust, misery and morbid SUFFERING of his earthly children is thoroughly indefensible.

This coupled with you being easily confused, unprepared and overwhelmed with my arguments just goes to show you -- you're desperately out of your league.

Don't let the proverbial door hit you in your incompetent, whiny excuse-laden ass on the way out.

Back to your bunker of bibles and rose colored christian glasses where you can bask in morbid ignorance, wallow in deluded superstitious explanations of the world and where you can willfully ignore that your stretched-thin rationalizations can NOT -- in ANY WAY -- justify or condone god's vile evil actions in the bible.

May reason pull you out of the deep dark mucky swamp of christianity.

--S.

apomate said...

Well, I'm sure not going to leave your additional assertions without comment. But
I'll be brief.

Yes all humans look through colored glasses. I know of no exceptions.

And yes, it is not difficult to overwhelm someone - but that doesn't mean you have the truth. It may well be an immense pile of unproven opinions, theories, assumptions, and false logic that makes it exceedingly difficult to find truth.

There are three issues you are ignoring.

1) You assume without proof that it is evil for god to end someone's life. The bible as literature gives the character god in the bible absolute justification to give life and take it away. Can you show anywhere that the bible condemns god for taking away life?

2) You fail to see that much (though not all) of the suffering that bothers you is man's own choice. In almost every case man had both ample warning AND the option to avoid the suffering, but opted instead for his selfish desires. But you absolve man of all responsibility for his decisions and indeed blame god for mans decisions. (Shall we blame Henry Ford for all the deaths that have been caused by automobile accidents?)

3) You assume without proof that all suffering is automatically evil. There are abundant examples in the bible as literature and in real life as well of suffering that brings about maturity of character, or in other cases prolongs life. I'm willing to suggest that we all NEED to suffer to some degree or we would be extremely self-centered and totally spoiled rotten.

(I agree that causing suffering just to see suffering, that killing just to kill are not justifiable. But no one has proven that god is doing this, and in fact there is evidence to the contrary. When god takes the life of some person in the bible it is ALWAYS justified, and is NEVER simply god killing only for the sake of killing.)

Think about these things, Sconner, before you reject them. They address many of your questions.

sconnor said...

apomate

And yes, it is not difficult to overwhelm someone - but that doesn't mean you have the truth. It may well be an immense pile of unproven opinions, theories, assumptions, and false logic that makes it exceedingly difficult to find truth.

Waaaaaaaaaaaah -- more excuses. More time wasted.

Curious, notice how you make this accusation but you NEVER specifically addressed ANY of my arguments to show that they were just an immense pile of unproven opinions, theories, assumptions, and false logic that makes it exceedingly difficult to find truth.

1) You assume without proof that it is evil for god to end someone's life. The bible as literature gives the character god in the bible absolute justification to give life and take it away. Can you show anywhere that the bible condemns god for taking away life?

Dip shit -- if you ACTUALLY read my arguments; if you could ACTUALLY read, you would comprehend that NONE of my arguments are claiming god is evil because he took away the lives he created.

2) You fail to see that much (though not all) of the suffering that bothers you is man's own choice. In almost every case man had both ample warning AND the option to avoid the suffering, but opted instead for his selfish desires.

Doesn't explain why god still caused millions of INNOCENT people to suffer in unimaginable ways.

But you absolve man of all responsibility for his decisions and indeed blame god for mans decisions. (Shall we blame Henry Ford for all the deaths that have been caused by automobile accidents?)

Strawman. Should we blame Hitler because he ordered the unjustified brutal killing and egregious morbid suffering of god's chosen people?

I contend that god is more evil than hitler and I argued that -- you know the ones you completely IGNORED.

3) You assume without proof that all suffering is automatically evil. There are abundant examples in the bible as literature and in real life as well of suffering that brings about maturity of character, or in other cases prolongs life. I'm willing to suggest that we all NEED to suffer to some degree or we would be extremely self-centered and totally spoiled rotten.

I didn't assume anything. I specifically addressed the stories in the bible where bible-god caused the unnecessary evil suffering of his earthly children -- the arguments you chose to ignore like a little bitch and decided to vomit up bullshit strawman now to diverge from my germane and salient arguments.

As for your bullshit "suffering builds character argument" -- it just another strawman and can -- in no way -- be used against the arguments I presented against the evil bible-god. In the examples I provided he wasn't using suffering to build character or prolong life. Give it up; you got NOTHING. You are floundering in a sea of bullshit.

sconnor said...

~continued~

(I agree that causing suffering just to see suffering, that killing just to kill are not justifiable. But no one has proven that god is doing this, and in fact there is evidence to the contrary. When god takes the life of some person in the bible it is ALWAYS justified, and is NEVER simply god killing only for the sake of killing.)

None of my arguments had ANYTHING to do with god killing for the sake of killing. ALL my arguments were about bible-god causing the unjustified, mass, unimaginable, vile suffering against his earthly children.

Think about these things, Sconner, before you reject them. They address many of your questions.

They did NOT address shit. Not ONE of my arguments were addressed, specifically. In every case you completely missed the major tenants of my arguments and you did an end-around to skirt my points.

The cold hard fact of the situation is you can NOT specifically address my arguments because what your evil bible-god did by causing his earthly children to egregiously suffer, is thoroughly INDEFENSIBLE.

Your mode of operandi is revealing: because you could NOT specifically refute the arguments I presented you had to resort to one bullshit strawman after another completely diverging and misrepresenting my premise -- this speaks volumes.

Again, either address my arguments, specifically or fuck off.

--S.

apomate said...

I have now finished reading your 8-post message of last week.

First, I am indeed sorry for the suffering and loss you and your family experienced in the death of your son, Conner. I can now better understand a little why you feel what you do, but because I have not been through any experience like that I obviously cannot know what you have suffered through.

I do wish there was something I could say that would be an encouragement to you, your daughter, your mother, and the others you mentioned that were deeply affected. Suffice to say that I do hope you all succeed in finding a way through your grief and that perhaps during this time you can be of comfort to others.

Second, you raise some worthwhile and interesting points about the flood. I have thought much more about the matter. You said: "In the examples I provided he wasn't using suffering to build character or prolong life." The more I think about your statement and about the flood, the more I begin to challenge your statement and to suggest that perhaps god in fact DID intend for the flood to have a "character building" effect -- both for the immediate survivors and those who lived after them. (I also challenge your assertion that god's actions in the book of Job weren't for character building - but that is a separate issue.)

sconnor said...

apomate

I have now finished reading your 8-post message of last week.

Too bad you didn't do this at the get go -- it would have saved tons of time and it would have alleviated ALL your whiny excuse making and fallacious arguments that had NOTHING to do with the specifics of my actual arguments.

First, I am indeed sorry for the suffering and loss you and your family experienced in the death of your son, Conner. I can now better understand a little why you feel what you do, but because I have not been through any experience like that I obviously cannot know what you have suffered through. I do wish there was something I could say that would be an encouragement to you, your daughter, your mother, and the others you mentioned that were deeply affected. Suffice to say that I do hope you all succeed in finding a way through your grief and that perhaps during this time you can be of comfort to others.

I appreciate your empathy in the matter, but I was not soliciting it. I used this particular real-life anguish to give the stories (the first born in Egypt story in particular) a certain verisimilitude, which again you simply can NOT refute.

Second, you raise some worthwhile and interesting points about the flood. I have thought much more about the matter. You said: "In the examples I provided he wasn't using suffering to build character or prolong life." The more I think about your statement and about the flood, the more I begin to challenge your statement and to suggest that perhaps god in fact DID intend for the flood to have a "character building" effect -- both for the immediate survivors and those who lived after them. (I also challenge your assertion that god's actions in the book of Job weren't for character building - but that is a separate issue.)

Oh man -- again you are floundering,; desperately reaching for straws.

You do know what it means to construct a strawman? You do comprehend it is a fallacious tactic?

You are constructing a strawman because you can NOT address the specifics of my arguments, so now you must make up another bogus argument and attack that.

You have added your own speculative interpretation of "building character" that has NOTHING to do with the story contextually nor does it address my arguments specifically. In a desperate effort to salvage your god-concept's reputation, you have simply pulled this out of your ass, offering conjecture over the actual context of the story. These stories in NO way deal with building character -- outside your rather limited speculative imagination.

You now -- in essence -- are offering a fallacious argument: "what god really meant by causing the mass suffering of his earthly children is............"

Again, you got shit.

Furthermore considering your strawman: inconclusive non-evidence; nothing but guesswork reasoning about "character building": If this were to be the case (which it is NOT) then you just painted a portrait of your god-character as an evil sadistic torturer of souls.

You are telling me god is using suffering -- heinous, vile, unimaginable mass suffering -- as a tool? -- where his earthly children egregiously suffered so supposedly Noah and his family's and others character could be built? Countless millions suffered in unimaginable ways just so someone could have their character built?

Are you fucking NUTS?

If god is using suffering as a tool then that god should be held in contempt for his repugnant actions.

I mean -- would you give one of your children a disease causing him to suffer egregiously, so your other child could have his character built? This questions is rhetorical.

Would you maliciously drown your one child so your other child's character could be built? This questions is rhetorical.

Now for fuck's sake -- BAG the bullshit STRAWMEN and go back to the beginning and address my arguments specifically, one at a time, without your incessant bullshit diverging tactics. Waiting......................

--S.

apomate said...

Thanks, but no thanks. I've said what I wish to say, and seen what I came to see. I'm not up to the war, so I'll concede that to you. Peace to you.

sconnor said...

apomate

Thanks, but no thanks. I've said what I wish to say, and seen what I came to see...

...which is: the morbidly evil god-character -- from the fictional stories of the bible -- caused the unjust, vile MASS suffering of his earthly children as established by my arguments which you could NOT refute, specifically.

I'm not up to the war, so I'll concede that to you.

No; you're not being honest with yourself -- It's painfully, obvious, you can NOT refute my germane and salient arguments, specifically.

The mind virus of christianity still has it's leash on you, which keeps you shackled to your romanticized version of your god-concept, where you must bury your head in the sand like an ostrich, ignoring the specifics of my arguments and make feeble excuses and bloated rationalizations to condone your god's evil actions and salvage his malignant, vile reputation.

Now the only question is: will you ever be honest with yourself and admit that what I wrote above is tenable?

An extraordinarily good read on the subject of suffering and the bible is: GOD'S PROBLEM -- How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question--Why We Suffer by Bart D. Ehrman

I'm not sure why I suggested this book to you -- It will be a hard read, with your head buried in the sand and all.

May reason find you.

--S.

LEWE said...

Everyone has bias. Only when we admit this can we have a profitable conversation. When you mentioned that John 3:16 is very often spoken out of context, you made a categorical mistake which painfully admitted your bias. You quoted John 3:18, without first mentioning the verse before it, which distinctly puts IT IN CONTEXT. Verse 17 of John 3 establishes God's nature driving principle, that he does not take positive action to condemn, but rather to save. This verse 17 establishes verse 18, without it 18 is an incomplete thought. The curious thing about man is that we spend our lives in self-condemning action and then blame God for the consequence. This is our pride.
P.S. notice that I did not quote verse 17. I think there is too much non-didactic mudslinging going on nowadays. "go and learn what this means" - Matthew 9:13