After considering the Holy Bible from my atheist point of view, I get the impression that Yahweh created humans KNOWING that they could sin and, perhaps, hoping that they would sin so He could implement His master plan for human redemption: harvest those that are totally obedient to his commands. Never mind all the billions of people who will suffer and die to make this plan work. And between Adam & Eve and the New Jerusalem is the span of time where this deity feels all of His temper tantrums are justified because humans  are stubborn and they won't listen to Him---even though He gave them the ability to make their own choices. The sins of mankind sets the stage for this god to act like a drama queen (instead of a mature, enlightened adult) and kill large numbers of people with natural disasters & diseases. 

When I try to make logical sense of all this, I feel like banging my head against a wall. I really don't understand how Yahweh has anything to do with morality. The concepts of good and evil in the Holy Bible are ambivalent. If I'm a member of Yahweh's chosen people, I can invade another country, steal jewelry, kill babies, rape virgin women, and still be "righteous" as long as I'm obeying His commandments. However, as a lesser being with a conscience, I don't believe Yahweh is a righteous character in the Holy Bible. And, ironically, I wonder why Satan is considered to be evil when there's no account of him raping, robbing, or murdering anyone? I mean, is this the best mankind can do when it comes to teaching morality or creating social order? To me, there's something wrong with the obedience = righteousness/disobedience = sin model of behavior. 

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You're at an atheist site. God doesn't exist, neither does Satan. They are characters from a book. Instead, ask this:  Why did people write about and do such horrible things as mentioned in the Bible? What makes you think they are so horrible? Or, what were the authors trying to convey? Think of it as reading Harry Potter and it's a lot more interesting.

I feel upset when people tell me that Yahweh is the source of their morality. Yet the Old Testament is full of stories where this god allows Israelites to murder, rape, and enslave people in nearby cities. I have seen religious people experience cognitive dissonance when they are presented with these horrors...and the explanation that gives them solace is, "God is mysterious." 

Could everyone please refrain from clicking on this link.

Is @Reg developing a God complex?

i think it's a redirect from http://Reg.edu but i'm unable to trace back to the origin.

Dr. Bob...you can be as hypocritical as you like. Feel free to complain that we laugh at stupid religious people and feel free to laugh at stupid religious people more than anyone else. (pulling @Davis's line to the top)

@Davis, if your position is that religious fundamentalism is a bad or at least ill-informed way of looking at the world, then we are in perfect agreement.  I have said repeatedly that we Catholic types roll our eyes at our Protestant fundamentalist brethren.  We find them misguided and at times exasperating.  I know most Jews feel the same about fundamental Jewish groups, and I expect that many Muslims feel the same about their fringe players.

Personally, while I may chuckle and roll my eyes in private, my interactions with them are more as an educator because I feel that's more productive and responsible.  There are times when friendly laughter is OK, though, because laughter is an antidote to being too serious, and often these folks are just too serious and worked up about things. 

So if we are talking about a need to better educate and inform our fundamentalist friends about both science and religion, then we are allies in that cause.

Where we may differ is that I see fundamentalism (fundamental Protestantism within Christianity) as a fringe movement within broader Christianity and broader religion generally.  It isn't a valid proxy for all religion or all Christendom.  That being the case, I find it problematic for atheists to impute fundamentalist thinking to all religion, or adopt a parody of fundamentalist thinking to caricature all religion. 

This I believe to be the equivalent of caricaturing all black men as criminals because some black men in the urban U.S. have higher rates of incarceration.   While the speakers may think it's an indictment of blacks in general, it's really an indictment of their own biases and inability to reason with complex data.

I feel the same about atheists imputing fundamentalist thinking to all religion.

One might argue that it is harmless humor, I suppose, but it honestly doesn't come off that way.  It's not the same as Tom Lehrer singing the Vatican Rag.  It's more like the sophomoric Pollock jokes I grew up with, or the nastier Jewish "jokes" which were really just anti-Semitic.   It encourages really hurtful and hateful inanity, like belief that religions cause wars, oppress masses, rape children and whatnot that any rational and responsible person should vocally oppose.

@Bob. I get it that you feel the fundamentalists in the Christian religions are predominantly Protestant, or from a different sect of Christianity than yours. Yours, as you have emphasized before, is pretty central Catholicism. You have affirmed that you feel you are a "traditional" Catholic; your words not mine.

I find that the concept of exorcism is extraordinarily bizarre, dangerous and frankly, a little crazy. However, If you google exorcism, the web directs you to Catholic exorcism. It's not a Protestant practice. The Catholic Church even has a chief exorcist. How do you justify the validity of such a bizarre practice with the medical and scientific community you apparently move in?

Of course....needs to cover all bases eh?

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