Christian Apologetics Failure: Morality
Today is going to be one of those rant style posts. I apologize if it seems disjointed. Just yesterday, I wrote that I “never write in anger”…well as the cliché goes, there is a first time for everything. I was on Twitter last night having a discussion with a Christian. The subject turned to the morality of the bible. I was uneasy about this shift, as I knew where it would eventually end up…and it always angers me. The person in question, Christopher, was either surprised, truly ignorant (neither of which I believe), or playing dumb when he asked me to provide examples of Yahweh acting immorally in the bible.
I and a few others gave him several. Our conversation settled around the genocide of the Canaanites, Midianites, and others. Let’s be very clear here. We are talking not just about genocide, but rape, slavery, and the slaughtering of animals as well—a ton of suffering condoned and/or ordered by Yahweh directly, depending on the story we are discussing. This is indisputable, though, at first Christopher did try to dispute it. Through the end of the conversation, long after I went to bed, he was still trying to blame all sorts of people and was ignoring or failing to recognize his god’s hand in all this.
Let us look at some of his (and many Christian apologists, like William Lane Craig and others’) defense of this. His first line of defense was that Moses was doing the commanding of the Army during a Holy war—not god. This is pure fantasy. Everything Moses did was at the behest of god. Though this only led me to ask him one question—In the Moses story, was it not Yahweh, who “hardened Pharaoh’s heart” to then only inflict untold suffering on the Egyptian people for the Pharaoh’s supposed, but in reality Yahweh induced, transgression? Anything that would unleash plagues, and kill the firstborn male child of an entire people is immoral by any standard you want to use. Yahweh is a monster.
Christopher then tried to say some nonsense about the book of Numbers being a history and not necessarily showing what Yahweh condoned. What exactly is this the history of? The relationship between Yahweh and the Israelites, during which this god is a central character in the narrative. This is pure apologetic nonsense.
Christopher then has the nerve to inform us that the story of the Jericho genocide (Josh 6:21-24) was really, to use his words, “a hard truth: Men, women, children, and animals are destroyed due to God’s command”. Let me pause here to ask—WTF? A hard truth? Genocide is a hard truth? Let’s assume for a moment that the adults of Jericho were guilty of a terrible crime. In what scenario would it ever be justified to kill them all? What did the children do? Did they all deserve to die? How about the animals? Did the animals sin against god? Did they deserve to suffer? A hard truth? The only hard truth that needs to be learned from this story is that Yahweh is a monster.
Christopher tries to get around my objection to this story by exploring my moral foundation. Here’s a tip, my moral foundation is irrelevant to this conversation. If you don’t understand how the systematic slaughter of every living thing in a town is immoral, my moral code ain’t gonna help you. I inform Christopher that his god is a monster. He tells me that he, as a lowly sinner, has no right to judge god. My response was, “Oh Bullshit”. Not much more to be said there. Christopher is living in denial and delusion and thinks his god can do no wrong.
Realizing (at least I hope that he is) that his argument is falling apart, he accuses me of cherry picking only the bad parts from the bible. How this is relevant to Yahweh’s monstrous ways is beyond me. However, let me clarify. The bible has booth good and bad parts. The good parts are fine and well, some decent moral teachings, etc. However, those good parts are not unique to the bible. Second, I am not cherry picking anything. We cannot talk about the bible as a moral compass without discussing the moral disasters and failings in the book. They far outweigh any good.
Christopher, who somehow is not a serial killer or mass murderer, at least to the best of my knowledge, continues this conversation with a new person on Twitter as I have gone to bed. I wake this morning to see that they have discussed the Canaanite genocide. Christopher makes a VERY disturbing argument. He argues that the Canaanites deserved to be punished and that the punishment fit the crimes. WHAT? What crime could be so offensive as to warrant, genocide of the adults and animals AND the raping AND enslaving of young girls “who have not known man”? This is beyond barbaric. What could these people have done that was so offensive that mass slaughter, rape, and slavery could be a just punishment? Christopher replies, “The Canaanites were morally corrupt. For one thing, sacrificing their children to the “god” Molech!” (quotes and exclamation point are his).
The only response I have to this is WTF? Let me get this straight, the Canaanites were worshiping the wrong god, so mass murder of all adults and rape and slavery are just punishments? Clear something up for me Christopher, and any other theist who reads this. When the hell, or in what moral code, is rape a just punishment for anything? How about slavery? Yet, this is the moral code that your omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent god supports, abides by, and commands?
This is disgusting on several levels. You want proof that the Christian god doesn’t exist? Here it is. No omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent being would ever ever ever ever use rape as a punishment. This deity would know that this is not moral. That future human societies would very much frown on this and would move past it morally. Do you know what this is? This is a god that was created by Bronze Age men. Period.
Christopher would believe, according to his god’s moral compass, that if we went to war with say…India, we would be justified in committing genocide, selling kids into slavery, killing all of their animals, and raping their young girls, because most of them are Hindu and worship the “wrong god”. This is what Yahweh would command. This is Christopher’s moral code.
But wait…Christopher informs us that he feels that it is “no longer acceptable to kill kids today, that this was ancient Israelite society”. That doesn’t work Christopher, unless you have a new god. Your god was the same god who commanded those disasters? Did he err then? Has he changed his moral code to fit with our views today? What about his omniscience then? You can’t walk both sides of that line. This is the same god who commanded two bears to slaughter 42 children for making fun of a bald guy (II Kings 2:23-24 23). Think about that for a minute. Imagine being torn apart by a bear. Imagine putting your arms up in self-defense. Imagine the bear ripping through your forearms. Tearing flesh and muscle. Breaking bones. Ripping you to pieces before you either suffer an instantaneously fatal wound or slowly bleed to death. Not a good way to go. Now imagine it happened to 42 kids—for making fun of someone. Now realize this action was committed by YOUR GOD—YOUR OMNISCIENT GOD. The god whose knows all, past, present, and future. He would have no need to change his morality for this century. Those are his morals. That is his moral code.
Naturally he would respond that we have no right to judge or criticize his mighty and omni-whatever god. BULLSHIT. This is pure dishonesty on Christopher’s part. This is delusion. This is fantasy and apologetics at its worst. I have zero respect for anyone—anyone who will try to defend the barbarous actions of Yahweh in the Old Testament as moral. They are not living in reality. They are trying to fit reality to their worldview. They are trying to square the moral peg. It doesn’t work, and is completely and utterly dishonest.
You want to know where Christianity fails? Forget cosmology. Forget biology and evolution. It fails right here—the question of morality and evil/suffering. It fails every time. No amount of apologetic spin, throughout the centuries can save it—regardless of what people like Lewis and Craig tell you. They fail too. The simple fact of the matter is this. If my completely ordinary self can sit at my desk and know that genocide, animal cruelty, rape, and slavery are wrong—in every possible scenario—no matter what. Then surely and omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent being would as well. The Christian god can’t exist as he is defined. Why? I am none of those things and I can get to better answers than he can.
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