Jan 8, 2012

The God of the Old Testament...

I have a friend who's Dad was a religious leader. He went on a 2-year mission for his church. Now he is not a big Richard Dawkins fan. He recently posted this on his facebook page...

"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."

I would like to take these accusations one at a time.

When God said he was a jealous God, he was telling his followers to not worship Ba'al. Worshipers of Ba'al would get their Golden statues glowing hot, and put living babies on the alter. It wasn't wrong for God to tell his followers to not worship other other Gods. If I really was the true God, and I had worked miracles, to prove it, then I would be jealous also if people started worshiping Ba'al. This accusation is stupid, and arrogant, and shows that he is not interested in seeing both sides of an issue. Anyone who spent more than a day looking into this issue would realize that Dawkins is an idiot... God cannot be jealous in the sense that you and I are... over people's houses, and stuff, or the way that unpleasant characters are from history... this is just a stupid guy twisting words, to say how stupid his opponents are...

But if I am missing his point on jealousy, please tell me...

The "petty" thing holds a little more water for me... I'm thinking of those kids that made fun of Elijia and God sent a bear to eat them... that seems sort of petty, from the outside, but they must have needed it, we are not getting the whole story, or it was incorrectly translated, but I agree with Dawkins on this one, that given the text we have, we might be able to find some petty examples of God's behavior... Also those people who tried to steady the ark... yes, they knew the rules, but its not like they were trying to do wrongly, they just saw it wobbling, and reached out to keep it from falling... of course only stupid people make conclusive decisions, without having all the evidence, but from just the text, it seems sort of petty to kill them for just trying to help... perhaps they were evil, and wanted to break the laws, but again, just from the text, I will concede this to Dawkins, unless someone has more evidence, or ideas...

"Unjust" goes with petty... the bears, the steading of the ark... however, if you look at the Old Testament as a whole, the God of the Old Testament is a big promoter of justice... the Solomon Story, about cutting the baby in half: this is a story that tries to get at the truth... The God of the Old Testament promotes justice, more than other books from that time... I would really like to look into it, and get a count of all the stories that seem to promote justice, and those that don't. When Jacob stole the birth-right by tricking his Dad, that does not seem to promote justice... the children of Egypt being killed, just because Pharaoh was stupid does not seem to be just, the killing Sodom and Gamora is fine with me, we are told they were wicked, and God bent over backwards to save those who were righteous... I feel this is self-rightouse of me to start this argument, as though I am the first person to think about this... I know this argument has been going on for a couple of thousands of years... if the God of the Old Testament is just... but I would like to think that a group of amateurs like us could outline, much like Wikipedia, the best arguments for and against the justice of God, and that will continual refinement, we could outline and continually improve our representation of the arguments for and against the belief... One of the apostles said that to believe in God is to know that all the rules will be fair and their will be wonderful surprises. I agree. If you believe in God, you have to believe that eventually everything will make sense, but in the mean time, lets keep our humility, but do the best we can...


"unforgiving control-freak". This gets me mad at Dawkins. He is just throwing mud to be man. What I want is Data. I want Dawkins to try and prove his point, and not just throw mud, and if we are right, I want us to prove it. I want to prove it once and for all... I want to gather all the best data, so that people in the future, will, with very little work, see the arguments made by both sides, well documented, researched, etc. Someone who creates and runs the universe is by definition in control. It is stupid to say that the person who bakes a cake, controls the heat, and ingredient too much. He should just let the oven do what it wants, and let the wheat go free...

"Control-freak" is a 3rd grade accusation, and proves why Dawkins should be ignored. However he is not ignored, and so when he makes substantial accusations, like, "unforgiving", we have to put-up or shut up. Is the God of the Old Testament "unforgiving". Who are major sinners that got a second chance in the Old Testament... he didn't just Kill Pharaoh... he was always sending prophets to "warn" sinning countries. This seems forgiving of sin...

Well that's enough for now: What do you think?

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