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October 17, 2012

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God is malicious?

So Graham posted this on his facebook:

I think that when it comes to God, we like to forget that sovereignty means absolute authority and control.

I think that is an uncomfortable thought. Not only does that mean that
God DOES let bad things happen (they COULDNT happen, in fact, without
His allowing them to), it really does make a lot of other issues a lot
weirder, especially the question of the doctrine of election, better
known as predestination.

In a discussion on predestination, a question occurred to me. If
election isnt true, if God doesnt already know precisely who will or
wont be saved (which, Him knowing that means that it MUST happen, which
could be seen as choosing), if that isnt in His hands, then God is NOT
all-powerful and NOT all-knowing. We know that God is both of those
things, right? I'm not saying that I'm absolutely right, but the logic
is painfully and irritatingly obvious.

So what about free will? Simple answer is that I dont know. According
to Psalms, every step of our life was written out by God before our
birth. That means He knows every sin, every joy, every mistake, every
single thing that we will do before we even think a coherent thought.
Once He knows something, that is the way it is. There are no "what if"
games with what God knows, no room for Him "knowing where each of our
choices could lead." To be all-knowing, He MUST know every answer
already. By Him knowing it, it MUST happen that way. That means that
though we have free will, we have no choice at all and we dont even
realize it.

As frustrating and ego bruising as that is, I find that I dont really
care that much. More than He cares for us, Yhwh desires His own glory.
If it is in His plan that He is glorified by my one path, then so be it.

Darned peculiar thought process. I'm reasonably certain I intended to
be in bed almost an hour ago. I dunno. I'm open to other thoughts or
people punching holes in mine. :-)

I responded with:

Karissa Krapf wrote
at 11:26pm on October 20th, 2006

problem is the Bible says different things about no one really
knows what this supposed god is like...which is why i think hes most
likely made up...and if a god does exist we dont know shit about him-
obviously. Also, if he knows everything and is all powerful, that means
he made us he damned some of us to hell on purpose because he
put the tree there and knew what we would do if he did...messed up
stuff. but i take great comfort in knowing it probably isnt real.

Graham responded:

From: Graham Wells
To: Karissa Krapf
Subject: Well . . . you're right on something.
Message: "What if God,
choosing to show His wrath and make His power known, bore with great
patience the objects of wrath - prepared for destruction?" Romans 9:22

yeah, I think that does state that some people are created that are
destined for destruction in the long run. It's not pretty, but a lot of
things arent. *shrug*

Is this what every Christian believes?  I have definite problems with this and I would hope that others do as well.  God cannot possibly be what Graham states and be loving/all good.  It would basically go like this:  God says, "Okay, I'm going to make some people.  I am going to make a place called hell (or it already existed) and make some of the people burn in it.  I will torture them forever.  I will give them the illusion of choice between me and hell, but ultimately a lot of them will burn for all eternity because I say so."  Now seriously people, that is far from good.  And that is not love.  That is like me saying that I will have children and give one all of my love, care, attention, and help them their whole life, and the others I will throw out on the street or keep in a closet with little food and water and beat occasionally.  Tell me how that is NOT the same thing.  And on top of that, God supposedly expects his Christians to be good, loving, and "turn the other cheek"=peaceful.  Hypocrisy?  Basically, the concept of god being concerned about his authority and his glory and thus electing some people to be with him cannot be reconciled with god being love and goodness.  Tell me how it can be.  It can't.  And I can't believe anyone would want to worship a God like that.

Opinions please.

8 remarks
Quick Remark:

One More Thing On Abortion

I found an entry at this

It makes some VERY interesting points.  Points that I never thought of as a Christian or an Atheist.  It is worth reading the entire thing because it has a good message that is about more than just abortion.  Please take the time to read it.  And as the person below wrote when they posted it on their site, I would like your opinions ON THE ARTICLE- not on me like "your dumb" or "your logic is flawed".  This isn't my logic.  I just think this writer has a good point.

Why Abortion is Biblical

hate me for this one, I'm just a messenger.  Although I wish I was
brilliant and scholarly enough to be able to figure this out on my own,
I have copied the entire article from an article by Byron Elroy
McKinley.  Enjoy.  Please comment and tell me what you think.


One sided. That's the abortion stance of most Christians -- one
sided. We hear the Christian Coalition speak against abortion. We hear
Focus on the Family tell Republican candidates it will not support them
unless they state their opposition to abortion. We hear Operation
Rescue's Christian members praying God will turn back the clock and
make abortion illegal again. Over and over we are bombarded with the
"Christian" perspective that abortion is outright wrong, no exceptions.

With all these groups chanting the same mantra, there must be some
pretty overwhelming biblical evidence of abortion's evil, right?

Wrong. In reality there is merely overwhelming evidence that
most people don't take time to read their own Bibles. People will
listen to their pastors and to Christian radio broadcasters. They will
skim through easy-to-read pamphlets and perhaps look up the one or two
verses printed therein, but they don't actually read their Bibles and
make up their own minds on issues such as abortion. They merely listen
to others who quote a verse to support a view they heard from someone
else. By definition, most Christians, rather than reading for
themselves, follow the beliefs of a Culture of Christianity -- and many
of the Culture's beliefs are based on one or two verses of the Bible,
often taken out of context.

This is most definitely the case when it comes to abortion.
Ask most anti-abortion Christians to support their view, and they'll
give you a couple of verses. One, quite obviously, is the Commandment
against murder. But that begs the question of whether or not abortion
is murder, which begs the question of whether or not a fetus is the
same as a full-term human person. To support their beliefs, these
Christians point to one of three bible verses that refer to God working
in the womb. The first is found in Psalms:

"For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my
mother's womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for Thou art fearfully
wonderful (later texts were changed to read "for I am fearfully and
wonderfully made"); wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very
well. My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, and
skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Thine eyes have seen my
unformed substance; and in Thy book they were all written, the days
that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them."
Psalm 139:13-16
Although this
passage does make the point that God was involved in the creation of
this particular human being, it does not state that during the creation
the fetus is indeed a person. According to Genesis, God was involved in
the creation of every living thing, and yet that doesn't make every
living thing a full human person. In other words, just because God was
involved in its creation, it does not mean terminating it is the same
as murder. It's only murder if a full human person is destroyed.

But even if we agreed to interpret these verses the same way that
anti-abortion Christians do, we still have a hard time arguing that the
Bible supports an anti-abortion point of view. If anything, as we will
soon see, abortion is biblical.

Anytime we take one or two verses out of their context and
quote them as doctrine, we place ourselves in jeopardy of being
contradicted by other verses. Similarly, some verses that make perfect
sense while standing alone take on a different feel when seen in the
greater context in which they were written. And we can do some rather
bizarre things to the Scriptures when we take disparate verses from the
same context and use them as stand-alone doctrinal statements. Some
prime examples of this come from the same book of the Bible as our last
quote. Consider these verses that claim that God has abandoned us:

"Why dost Thou stand afar off, O Lord? Why dost Thou hide Thyself in times of trouble?"
Psalm 10:1
"How long, O Lord? Wilt Thou forget me forever? How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me?"
Psalm 13:1
"O God, Thou hast rejected us. Thou hast broken us; Thou hast been angry; O, restore us.
Psalm 60:1
Not only can we use
out-of-context verses to support that God doesn't care for us anymore,
we can even use them to show how we can ask God to do horrible and vile
things to people we consider our enemies. In this example, King David
even wanted God to cause harm to the innocent children of his enemy:
"Let his days be few; let another take his office. Let his children
be fatherless, and his wife a widow. Let his children wander about and
beg; and let them seek sustenance far from their ruined homes. Let the
creditor seize all that he has; and let strangers plunder the product
of his labor. Let there be none to extend lovingkindness to him, nor
any to be gracious to his fatherless children."
Psalm 109:8-12
Are we indeed to
interpret that God, speaking through David in these Psalms, is saying
we have been abandoned by God and that when wronged we can ask God to
cause our enemies to die and cause our enemies' children to wander
hungry and homeless? Indeed, it would seem the case.

But rather than interpret that God is with us as a fetus, but
forgets us as adults, and yet will allow us to plead for the death of
our enemies, we need to look at the greater context in which all these
verses are found: songs.

Called Psalms, these are the songs of King David, a man of
great faith who was also greatly tormented. He was a man of passions.
He loved God, lusted for another man's wife, and murdered him to get
her. He marveled at nature and at his own existence. All his great
swings in emotion are recorded in the songs he wrote, and we can read
them today in the Book of Psalms. What we cannot do is take one song,
or one stanza of a song, and proclaim that it is indeed to be taken
literally while taking other stanzas from David's songs and claim they
should not be taken literally.

Yet that is exactly what anti-abortion Christians are asking
us to do. They use those few verses from the Psalms to support their
dogma that abortion is wrong. They proclaim those verses as holy writ
and the other verses as poetry that we should not be following.
Clearly, this is a perfect example of taking verses out of context. And
it leads us to only one conclusion: if we cannot trust that God wants
to kill our enemies and abandon us, we must also conclude that we
cannot trust that God has defined the fetus as being a person.

For indeed, if we allow that kind of thinking we could also
make an argument that God is willing to maul children to death if they
make fun of a bald guy who just happens to be in God's favor. You think
I'm joking, but I'm not. In the book of Second Kings, our hero, the
Prophet Elisha, who was quite bald, so it seems, was taunted by a group
of young boys. Elisha's response was bitter and cruel:

" he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the
city and mocked him and said to him, 'Go up, you baldhead; go up you
baldhead!' When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in
the name of the Lord. Then two female bears came out of the woods and
tore up forty-two lads of their number."
2 Kings 2:22-24
Did God kill
those forty-two kids for making fun of a bald prophet? We can certainly
make an argument for that if we use the anti-abortionists' kind of

Likewise we can also use the anti-abortionists' methods to
establish that God approves of pornography, as seen in these following
verses by Solomon as he pondered the female body:

"How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince's daughter! The
curves of your hips are like jewels, the work of the hands of an
artist. Your navel is like a round goblet which never lacks for mixed
wine; your belly is like a heap of wheat fenced about with lilies. Your
two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle."

"Your stature is like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its
clusters. I said 'I will climb the palm tree, I will take hold of its
fruit stalks.' Oh, may your breasts be like clusters of the vine, and
the fragrance of your breath like apples, and your mouth like the best

Song of Solomon 7:1-3,7-9
steamy stuff. Taken by itself, it would appear God is indeed promoting
a written form of pornography. But just like Psalm 139:13-16, we cannot
take it by itself. Instead we must take it within the context it was

The same is true with the other two verses used by anti-abortion
Christians to defend their cause. From the book of Jeremiah, these
Crusaders are fond of quoting the phrase, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee," from the first chapter. But they never quote the entire passage, which changes the meaning considerably:

"Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed
thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the
womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to
all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt
speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver
thee, saith the Lord. Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my
mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy
mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the
kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw
down, to build, and to plant."
Jeremiah 1:4-10
This is a
special event -- the birth of a prophet. God brought the prophet
Jeremiah into the world for a divine purpose, and because of that, God
was planning Jeremiah's life "before" he was even conceived. God was
preparing him to do miraculous things, such as speak on behalf of God
while still a child and setting him up as an overseer of nations and
kingdoms. But the anti-abortionists simply overlook this on their way
to claiming that the one phrase they quote proves God sees us as
individual people while still in the womb. God saw Jeremiah in that
way, but to claim it applies to all of us is akin to saying that we
were all prepared as children to speak for God, and that God has placed
all of us "over the nations and over the kingdoms" of the world. In
essence, to claim this verse applies to anyone other than Jeremiah is
to claim that we are all God's divine prophets. We are not; therefore,
we cannot apply these verses to our own lives.

Another problem in this passage is the phrase, "Before I formed
thee in the belly I knew thee." In Psalm 139:13-16 the
anti-abortionists claim that because God was active in the creation of
King David in his mother's womb that we must conclude the fetus is
recognized by God as being a person. But here we see God stating that
he knew Jeremiah "before" he was formed in the womb. By
anti-abortionist logic, we would have to conclude that we are a human
person even before conception. Since this is a ridiculous notion, we
must, therefore, conclude that the anti-abortionist is interpreting
these verses incorrectly.

The last verse most often quoted by anti-abortion Christians
relates the story of Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and
Mary, the mother of Jesus, while both were pregnant. When they meet,
the pre-born John the Baptist leaps in his mother's womb at Mary's
salutation. Let's read the original:

"And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with
haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias,
and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard
the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was
filled with the Holy Ghost:"
Luke 1:39-41
As much as the
anti-abortion lobby would like this to mean that all fetuses are
sentient persons because one is recorded as knowing Mary's words and
then leapt inside the womb, the logic is as flawed as the Isaiah
misquote. Again we have a miraculous event. Again we have a divine
prophet whom God had ordained since before he was conceived. And this
time it's even more miraculous, because the gestating John the Baptist
is reacting to the approach of Mary, who at the time was pregnant with
Jesus. Unless we believe all of us are chosen before birth to be the
divine prophet ordained by God to herald the arrival of Christ on
earth, then we cannot claim this passage refers to us. And indeed, it
does not. While gestating fetuses are known to move and kick as their
nervous systems and muscles are under construction, only
divinely-inspired babies understand the spoken words of the mother of
Jesus and can leap in recognition.

The point to all this is simple: we cannot take the verses we like
and interpret them to support what we want to support. And, more to the
point, we cannot simply accept what some Christian leaders proclaim as
being God's word on a given subject without carefully reading the full
text of the book and taking into consideration the entire context. We
cannot, as we have shown, simply interpret those few verses from
Psalms, Isaiah, and Luke as a reason to be against abortion. And, as we
will see in a moment, there are still other verses -- if interpreted in
the sloppy manner demonstrated by anti-abortion Christians -- in the
Bible that could easily lead us to argue that indeed God, at times,
supports abortion. Let's take a look.

In the full context of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon makes the
point that much of life is futile. Over and over he writes that if life
is good then we should be thankful. But when life is not good, Solomon
makes some interesting statements:

"If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, however
many they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things, and he
does not even have a proper burial, then I say, `Better the miscarriage
than he, for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity; and its name
is covered in obscurity. It never sees the sun and it never knows
anything; it is better off than he.'"
Ecclesiastes 6:3-5
Clearly there
is a quality of life issue being put forth in the Scriptures. And in
this case, Solomon makes the point that it is sometimes better to end a
pregnancy prematurely than to allow it to continue into a miserable
life. This is made even more clear in these following verses:
"Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being
done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and
that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their
oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them. So I
congratulated the dead who are already dead more than the living who
are still living. But better off than both of them is the one who has
never existed, who has never seen the evil activity that is done under
the sun."
Ecclesiastes 4:1-3
Here we have
an argument for both euthanasia and abortion. When quality of life is
at stake, Solomon seems to make the argument that ending a painful life
or ending what will be a painful existence is preferable. Now remember,
we're not talking about David's songs here. We're reading the words of
the man to whom God gave the world's greatest wisdom.

And Solomon was not alone in this argument. Consider the words of
Job, a man of great faith and wealth, when his life fell upon the
hardest of times:

"And Job said, 'Let the day perish on which I was to be born, and
the night which said, "a boy is conceived." May that day be darkness;
let not God above care for it, nor light shine on it.'"

"Why did I not die at birth, come forth from my womb and expire?
Why did the knees receive me, and why the breasts, that I should suck?
For now I would have lain down and been quiet; I would have slept then,
I would have been at rest, with kings and with counselors of the earth,
who rebuilt ruins for themselves; or with princes who had gold, who
were filling their houses with silver,. Or like the miscarriage which
is discarded, I would not be, as infants that never saw light. There
the wicked cease from raging, and there the weary are at rest. The
prisoners are at ease together; they do not hear the voice of the
taskmaster. The small and the great are there, and the slave is free
from his master."

Job 3:2-4,11-19
And again a few chapters later Job reiterates the greater grace he would have known if his life had been terminated as a fetus:
"Why then hast Thou brought me out of the womb? Would that I had
died and no eye had seen me! I should have been as though I had not
been, carried from womb to tomb."
Job 10:18-19
Clearly there is a
strong argument here that the quality of a life is as important if not
more important than the act of being born. Indeed, we could claim that
the Bible supports ending a pregnancy in the face of a life without
quality. And, if I wanted to be bold, I could claim that this
interpretation is in fact a biblical mandate to support the use of
abortion as a way to improve our quality of life. And taking these
verses to their extreme, I could claim that abortion is not just a good
idea, it is a sacrament.

Actually, I will stop short of making that claim. In fact, I will
stop short of making the claim that the Bible condemns or supports
abortion at all. It does neither. The condemning and supporting comes
not from the words of the Bible but from leaders within our Culture of
Christianity who use verses out of context -- the same way I just did
to support abortion -- to support their views against abortion. The
condemning and the supporting comes not from the Scriptures but from
average Christians who take the easy way out, accepting one or two
verses of the Bible as proof that their leaders are speaking the gospel
truth. The condemning and supporting comes not from God but from those
who do not take the time to read the Bible, in its own context, and
decide for themselves the meanings therein.

For indeed, there is one passage in the Bible that deals
specifically with the act of causing a woman to abort a pregnancy. And
the penalty for causing the abortion is not what many would lead us to

"And if men struggle and strike a woman with child so that she has
a miscarriage, yet there is no further injury, he shall be fined as the
woman's husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges
decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a
penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand,
foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise."
Exodus 21:22-25

This is a very illuminating passage. In it we find a woman losing
her child by being stuck by men who are fighting. Rather than it being
a capital offense, however, it is relegated to a civil matter, with the
father-to-be taking the participants to court for a settlement. But, as
we read on, if the woman is killed, a "life for a life," then the men
who killed her shall be killed. Some have claimed that the life for a
life part is talking about the baby. But from reading the context we
can see this is not true. It also states a tooth for a tooth and a burn
for a burn. Babies don't have teeth when they are born, and it is
highly unlikely a baby will be burned during birth. It is pretty clear
that this part refers to the mother. Thus we can see that if the baby
is lost, it does not require a death sentence -- it is not considered
murder. But if the woman is lost, it is considered murder and is
punished by death.

It's important to note that some anti-abortion lobbyists want
to convince us the baby in this passage survived the miscarriage. They
point to the more "politically-correct" translation they find in the
New International Version of the Bible. There it translates the term
"miscarriage" into "gives birth prematurely" (the actual words in
Hebrew translate "she lose her offspring"). While this may give them
the warm and fuzzy notion that this verse might actually support their
cause if maybe the child survived, it is wishful thinking at best. In
our modern era of miracle medicine only 60% of all premature births
survive. Three thousand years ago, when this passage was written, they
did not have modern technology to keep a preemie alive. In fact, at
that time, more than half of all live births died before their first
birthday. In a world like that, a premature birth was a death sentence.

Others have looked to the actual Hebrew words, themselves, to try and refute these verses. They note that the word "yalad" is used in verse 22 to describe the untimely birth, and that yalad is also used in other places to describe a live birth. They then go on to say other places in the Bible use the words "nefel" and "shakol"
to describe a miscarriage. Therefore, the argument goes, the baby in
Exodus 21:22 must have been born alive. It's easy to see how a novice
might make this mistake, but a closer look at the words in question
reveal the flaw in this argument.

The word yalad is a verb that describes the process of
something coming out - the departing of the fetus. Since it is
describing the process, and not the result, it could be used to
describe either a live birth or a miscarriage. Shakol which
shows up in Hosea 9:14, is also a verb, but its meaning is to make a
woman barren. Now a barren woman certainly might miscarry, but with
this understanding of the word, it's clear why the writer of Exodus
would not have used it since this miscarriage was caused by an
accident, not by barrenness. And the word nefel is not even a
verb. It's a noun. True, as a noun it is the term for a miscarried
fetus, but the writer wasn't using a noun. He was using a verb to
describe the coming out of the fetus. Thus, if I were describing a man
falling to his death, I would use the verb "to fall" which can be used
for both those who die and those who survive a fall, but to describe
the man himself I would use the word the "fatality." So we can see that
while a novice might mistake a verb for a noun and come to the wrong
conclusions about the original Hebrew words used in the Exodus passage,
a more careful look proves that the words only describe the action of
losing the fetus, not the fetus itself. And that being the case, we
can't use the Hebrew translations to determine if the fetus was alive
or not when it came out - so we are forced to accept that in all
certainly, considering the medical knowledge at the time, the preemie
died. This makes it even more clear that the "tooth for a tooth"
passage refers only to the mother, not to the miscarried fetus.

What has been so clearly demonstrated by the passage in Exodus
- the fact that God does not consider a fetus a human person - can also
be seen in a variety of other Bible verses. In Leviticus 27:6 a
monetary value was placed on children, but not until they reached one
month old (any younger had no value). Likewise, in Numbers 3:15 a
census was commanded, but the Jews were told only to count those one
month old and above - anything less, particularly a fetus, was not
counted as a human person. In Ezekiel 37:8-10 we watch as God
re-animates dead bones into living soldiers, but the passage makes the
interesting note that they were not alive as persons until their first
breath. Likewise, in Genesis 2:7, Adam had a human form and a vibrant
new body but he only becomes a fully-alive human person after God makes
him breathe. And in the same book, in Genesis 38:24, we read about a
pregnant woman condemned to death by burning. Though the leaders of
Israel knew the woman was carrying a fetus, this was not taken into
consideration. If indeed the Jews, and the God who instructed them,
believed the fetus to be an equal human person to the mother, then why
would they let the fetus die for the mother's crimes? The truth is
simple. A fetus is not a human person, and its destruction is not a
murder. Period.

It is time to stop the one-sided view of abortion being
proclaimed by Christian leaders. These leaders do not -- despite their
claims -- have a biblical mandate for their theologies. It is time to
stop preaching that the Bible contain an undeniable doctrine against
abortion. It is time to stop the anger and hatred being heaped on
abortion doctors and upon women who have abortions, especially when
it's done in the name of a God who has not written such condemnations
in his Bible. It is time to stop, because the act of making a judgment
against people in God's name, when God is not behind the judging, is
nothing short of claiming that our own beliefs are more important than
God's. We must stop, because if we don't, then indeed the very type of
theological argument being used against abortion can be turned around
and used to proclaim that abortion is biblical.

1 remark
Quick Remark:

My Point in the Pro-Abortion Issue

So I think I already remarked about why I really brought up the verses in the Pro-Abortion post.  It was mainly to bring up the fact that god of the Bible commanded violence and that this is dangerous (you can read the remarks for an explanation of why).  Anyway, the following is writing on the issue of atheists being moral.  Often times when people find I am an atheist, they think me and my "kind" are the ones causing problems in society.  In fact, religion is most often the cause of death.  Usually, Atheists do not kill other people because they believe in god or because atheists are without morals.   I do have high morality and respect for humanity.  That is why I wanted to say something about the dangerous beliefs in Christianity- mainly in fundamentalism.  They are dangerous in all religions that say god is the ultimate authority for good, bad, whatever and that he can command whatever he wants and it will be right.  The writing below addresses the problem of good and god.  Please feel free to tell me what you think.

The Euthyphro Dilemma

What is Atheism?

by Douglas E. Krueger

How Can Atheists Have Morals?

p.26 - 30

1. The Euthyphro Dilemma is effective against the view that god is the source of morality.

The Euthyphro dilemma, named after some insightful points taken from
Plato's dialogue Euthyphro, shows the failing of the divine command
theory of ethics, which is the view that god is the source of morality.
In the dialogue, the character Socrates, speaking for Plato, meets the
character Euthyphro, who is on his way to court to prosecute his own
father for the murder of a field laborer. For the Greeks, loyalty to
one's relatives was a matter of great importance, so Socrates asks
Euthyphro whether he is certain this act will not be offensive to the
gods; i.e., whether it is immoral. Euthyphro assures Socrates that he
is an expert in matters pertaining to the wishes of the gods, and in
the course of the discussion Euthyphro attempts to defend the divine
theory of ethics. According to this view, we know what is good only
because god tells what is good. However, as Plato asked 2,000 years
ago, does god command what is good because god recognizes what is good,
or is it good because god commands it? That is the dilemma, and each of
the options turns out to be undesirable to the theist.

a. One horn of the dilemma is that what is good is defined by the fact that it's god's will.

On the one hand, if something god commands is to be defined as good on
the grounds that it is god's will, then the divine command theorist
must admit that anything can be considered good as long as god commands
it. It would make no sense to ask whether god's commands are good. God
could command someone to bash infants to death, to commit genocide, to
stone people to death (and other atrocities such as we find in the
bible), and such things would by definition be good acts, since god
commanded them.

Would a Christian want to commit to such as system of ethics where anything goes? The philosopher Bertrand Russell notes:

If the only basis of morality is God's decrees, it follows that they
might just as well have been the opposite of what they are; no reason
except caprice could have prevented the omission of all the "nots" from
the Decalogue.

In other words, the ten commandments (the Decalogue) could have been
just the opposite of what they are and they would, on this view, still
be good because they would still be the will of god and that is the
definition of good. Theists who take this horn of the Euthyphro dilemma
must admit that they really don't have a standard of ethics. What they
have is a standard of obedience -- they will do whatever god commands.
Slavery, however, is not ethics.

It would also make no sense to say that god is good if god is the
standard of goodness. After all, if god is good, in the sense that god
is identical with standard of goodness, then to say "God is good" is
merely to say "God is god," which is an uninformative statement. A
devil worshiper could say the same thing about the being he or she
worships -- "Satan is what he is." The subject and the predicate are
the same object, so the sentence is uninformative. The relationship
between goodness and god loses its meaning if god is the standard of
goodness, so "god is good" would say nothing.

Further, if one would like to know whether a given being is god, there
would be no set of standards with which one could compare that being in
order to identify it as god. For example, if one wants to know how to
recognize a generous person, one could have a list of actions which one
might expect a generous person to perform. The list could include such
things as giving a certain percentage of one's income to the poor,
handing out money when approached by beggars, volunteering at a local
food bank, and other such activities. Similarly, the list could exclude
activities such as obsessively hoarding money, refusing to share any
part of an inheritance with one's siblings, and so on. The list of
criteria is compiled using the concept of generosity. If the person
measures up to the standard, then we can declare that person generous.
In the case of god, however, there can be no such moral standard for
theists who insist who insist that god is the standard. There can be no
list of criteria to identify whether a being is the good god. If god
can can perform or command any act because he sets the standard, what
kinds of acts could possibly be put on an identification list? One
could never say, "An evil being might command this, but god never
would." No action could be required or ruled out with regard to god
since that being could always decide to perform or command the opposite
of any given criterion. After all, god sets the standard, doesn't he?
Without an independent standard of moral or immoral acts against which
to measure god, god could never be identified by his moral standing.
Thus, morally speaking, there would be no way to distinguish being a
slave to an evil demon as opposed to being a slave to god. In both
cases the one doing the commanding could command anything whatsoever
and carrying out that command would be, by definition, a good act. No
act would be considered immoral in and of itself, or good in and of
itself, apart from the issue of whether it has been commanded or
forbidden. Anything from rape to murder would be considered good if it
were commanded by the being who serves as the standard.

No act could be taboo for the being giving commands because that being
who defines goodness would not have any independent standard of
morality by which it could be limited to a certain set of acts. The
being could not be bound by any moral code.

The only immoral act, on this view, is disobedience. The follower would
be committed to a system of blind obedience to a being who cannot be
meaningfully called good. Clearly, this option is undesirable for the

b. The other horn of dilemma is that god recognizes what is good and then wills what is good.

On the other hand, if the theist chooses the other horn of the dilemma,
that god commands that which god recognizes as good, then the theist is
admitting that there is a standard of goodness independent of god, and
is, in fact, admitting that god is not the source of morality. In other
words, if the view is that god in some way "sees" what is good and then
tells us what to do on the basis of that, then god is not the source of
morality, since the act god commands was observed to be good by god,
not made good by god. God becomes, at best, merely an intermediary or a
reporter about ethics, but he is not the source. This option, too, is
undesirable for the theist, since it admits that god is not the source
of ethics, and if god is not the source of ethics then there is nothing
in principle which could show that the atheist cannot have an ethical
system also.

Thus, the theist must choose between admitting that he or she has no
standard of ethics but merely a principle of slavery, or admitting that
god is not the source of morality. Neither option allows for the
possibility that god is the source of a system of ethics. The Euthyphro
dilemma has been conclusive in showing that the divine command theory
of ethics cannot work, and no theist has ever been able to overcome
this strong objection to the view that god is the source of ethics.
2 remarks
Quick Remark:

God is Pro-Abortion

...according to the Bible anyway....check it out:

1 Samuel 15:1-3 (NIV) - "Samuel said to Saul, "I am
the one the LORD sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so
listen now to the message from the LORD.
This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'I will punish the Amalekites for
what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from
Egypt.  Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men
and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'

Isaiah 13:13-16 (NIV) - "Therefore I will make the heavens tremble;
       and the earth will shake from its place
       at the wrath of the LORD Almighty,
       in the day of his burning anger.

 14 Like a hunted gazelle,
       like sheep without a shepherd,
       each will return to his own people,
       each will flee to his native land.

 15 Whoever is captured will be thrust through;
       all who are caught will fall by the sword.

 16 Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes;
       their houses will be looted and their wives ravished."

Isaiah 13:18 (NIV) - 18 Their bows will strike down the young men; nor will they look with compassion on children. They will have no mercy on infants.

Hosea 13:16 (New Living Translation) - "The people of Samaria must bear the consequences of their guilt because they rebelled against their God. They will be killed by an invading army, their little ones dashed to death against the ground, their pregnant women ripped open by swords."

Hosea 13:16 (King James) "Samaria will bear her guilt because she has rebelled against her God.
They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open."
37 remarks
Quick Remark:

Man I Take too Many Pictures...

but I just love him! 

This is Alden at the springs yesterday.  His daddy was painting.  I was supposed to be studying, but, well, you can see what I was doing!

1 remark
Quick Remark:
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