Thursday, 29 May 2008
Following up on yesterday's post, I wanted to talk some more about Exodus. This is an especially vile story. In it, god wants the Israelites (led by Moses and Aaron) to leave Egypt to travel to the promised land, but hardens Pharaoh's heart so that he will not let them go. Then, comes the familiar plagues: rivers turn to blood, frogs, lice, death of all the Egyptians' cattle, boils on man and beast, pestilence, hail (which kills all of the Egyptians' cattle again), locusts, three days of darkness, and finally the death of the firstborn across the land (including the cattle once again).
Apart from the fact that there is no archaeological evidence of any of this, and that god must have really hated the Egyptians' cattle (and been spectacularly bad at eradicating them), and that god is kinda not so omniscient if he needed the Jews to smear blood on their doors in order to make sure he didn't mistakenly kill any of their kids, what can we get from this story? I think god makes it pretty clear. He has hardened Pharaoh's heart (thus negating the arguments about free will and how much god values it) so that Pharaoh will not let the Israelites go, meaning god will be able to show off his power and get to kill little children. There is no way around this, god wanted to kill the children of the Egyptians; he wanted to show off his powers in a grand display. This is not a god that is worthy of worship.