Wednesday, 13 August 2008

The Goodness of god


A logical disproof:

1. god is good
2. The Bible is god's word and true
3. The Bible describes god's actions truthfully
4. In the Bible god commands and carries out genocide
5. Genocide is not good
6. Those who commit genocide are not good
7. Therefore god is not good
8. Number 7 contradicts number 1 - therefore god is either not good or does not exist.

Some apologists will argue, of course, that god's acts of genocide are necessarily good, but this is not an envious position to be in; to have to defend genocide. It makes me wonder who else they'd like to kill. But, there's a problem still, because they are guilty of begging the question. They assume that god must be good, so they fit all the facts and data in order to fill their already assumed conclusion. This is logically fallacious. You can't simply conclude and then fit the evidence to your conclusion. Unfortunately for them, all apologetics do this.

13 comments:

IM_BLACK said...

One potential problem that we may have with your "logical disproof" is the premise of the first point.
1. god is good
I am sure that between you and me and maybe the next 17 people sitting to my left that we could come up with possibly 19 different definitions of what "good" means here.
So who is right....maybe the one with the biggest gun...maybe no one. Maybe everyone. The funny thing is that we are trying to define something that we have infinite knowledge of and should have no problem with this one...the character, motives and reasoning of God. Sometimes I forget that as humans we are all knowing and truly do know why God did this or that, and why he told someone to go kill those guys, and take all their stuff.
We need to come to realize that we don't know everything, and can't know everything. The motives and character of God is included in this. We would be once again foolish to think that if we just dug a little deeper or thought a little harder that we would suddenly have the knowledge needed to make some of the statements that you have here.

GCT said...

"I am sure that between you and me and maybe the next 17 people sitting to my left that we could come up with possibly 19 different definitions of what "good" means here."

So, you are arguing for moral relativism? That's very unusual for a Xian.

"We need to come to realize that we don't know everything, and can't know everything. The motives and character of God is included in this."

If you can't judge whether god is good or not, then you can't say that he is good. True, that puts a halt to item number 1, but the problem is that theists do argue that god is good. Using their argument, I've shown that god is not good if they also hold the Bible to be true.

faithful warrior said...

Where in the bible does God commit genocide?
If you can prove this to me then we have alot to talk about.


- Faithful warrior

GCT said...

1. Noah's flood
2. Saul's orders to kill all the Philistines (in 1 Samuel)
3. Saul's orders to kill all the Amalekites - all the men, women, children, and livestock (1 Sam. 15). In fact, god is angry with Saul for sparing the Amalekite king and not killing all the livestock.
4. Deuteronomy 4 gives a couple accounts.

Those are just 4 examples. There are more.

Anonymous said...

As you say, there are numerous examples of God's wrath and genocide, a couple of mind that immediately came to mind.

1. Sodom and Gomorah
2. The first born of Egypt: Exodus 12:12 - "For on this same night I will go through Egypt, striking down every first-born of the land, both man and beast, and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt-I, the LORD!"

And if God is in control, as most Christians profess ...

3. Myramar typhoon
4. Jews in Nazi Germany

Wallis said...

My answer has already been posted.

This subject is redundant of another topic.

GCT said...

No Wallis, it is not redundant, you simply completely missed the point of the other post.

Wallis said...

When I served in West Berlin behind the Iron Curtain, I rather upset my pastor and most of the congregation when I declared the the extermination of the Jews at the hands of the Nazis was God's will.

The congregation then called in the bishop, and when he heard my explanation, he also shocked the congregation by agreeing with me.

The argument really boils down to this: God's will is whatever happens happens. If man wants to destroy himself, then God will allow it. If man wants to save himself, God is there to help.

One of my favorite theology teachers told us this story: If a person stands in the middle of a busy highway and lets a semi run him over, God is not going to stick his hand down and pluck the man from danger. It was the man's decision to stand in front of the semi, and it is God's will that this man decides to kill himself.

At the same time, it is also God's will that people call upon him when they are in trouble.

In these posts, we have supposed examples of God committing genocide. The examples cited are not of God's doing.

People kill people. The natural phenomenon of the Earth kill people. The notion that God is to blame just doesn't hold water.

As a writer, I essentially become the god of my stories. My characters become, essentially, my puppets. However, often in the midst of my writing, my characters tend to do things I had not originally planned on, and it is kind of exhilerating when I experience these episodes. Now, you could blame me, as the god of the story, for people getting killed, etc. And you would be right.

But here the analogy has to differ, because people are not God's puppets. Natural phenomenon are not being written by God to occur at any given moment. Unlike the characters in my book, we have free will and write our own stories. We even have the ability to embrace God (in whatever form you prefer) or to deny the existence of any god (which is illogical, because in the absence of a supernatural being, we make ourselves the god of our existence).

GCT said...

Wallis,
"The argument really boils down to this: God's will is whatever happens happens. If man wants to destroy himself, then God will allow it. If man wants to save himself, God is there to help."

You are only partially right. You are right that whatever happens must be part of god's will, but not in the Xian perspective. The Xian tenet is that god is omni-max, so anything that happens is directly because god caused it to happen. If you are talking about a passive god, then you are a deist, and in that case why bother to worship this god?

"At the same time, it is also God's will that people call upon him when they are in trouble."

And this theology leads to the hateful doctrine of god's grace being the only way to salvation. We are all bound for hell and god picks and chooses which people to save and bring to heaven with us unable to do anything about it. god has made humans for no other reason than to send them to hell. This shows a god that is not loving or just.

"In these posts, we have supposed examples of God committing genocide. The examples cited are not of God's doing."

The Noachian flood was not god's doing? Also, god must fire his publisher post haste, considering that his publisher allowed his biographers to state that he came and directly told them to annihilate whole groups of people and then became angry at them when they weren't bloodthirsty enough.

"People kill people. The natural phenomenon of the Earth kill people. The notion that God is to blame just doesn't hold water."

Um, yeah actually it does. Apart from the fact that an omni-max god can't have things happen apart from what he planned there's this little tid-bit: god made us this way. IOW, god made us to be beings that murder each other, etc. He can't escape responsibility for that, and you shouldn't let him off the hook.

"But here the analogy has to differ, because people are not God's puppets."

Your evidence for this is what? We have no free will if god is omni-max so we have no choice but to be puppets to an omni-max god. god certainly treats us like puppets.

"Natural phenomenon are not being written by God to occur at any given moment."

Again, this is false for an omni-max god. Natural phenomenon occur directly at the given moments that god created them to occur in.

"Unlike the characters in my book, we have free will and write our own stories."

Again, free will is contradictory and impossible with an omni-max god. Try again.

"...or to deny the existence of any god (which is illogical, because in the absence of a supernatural being, we make ourselves the god of our existence)."

No, it is not illogical, else there is no logical position. It is not logical to posit the existence of a god because there is no evidence for a god. Therefore, it is not illogical to deny that these posited gods exist due to the same fact that no evidence exists of these gods. Simply because I deny that your god exists doesn't mean that I'm elevating myself somehow to the supernatural realm of my own god. I don't even think that's possible and your comment is simply non-sensical.

LoZer said...

I think this all boils down to what each individual constitutes as proof of the existence of God. I find the fact that anything exists at all proof that it was created. Well, then, you naturally ask, "So, by that logic, God Himself must have been created, right?" Well, this is where you'd need specific evidence. However, if you're asking that question, you're most likely either an atheist or agnostic, and if having an answer that makes sense is a prerequisite to you believing in God, then you never will, because you are, in essence, asking the impossible; to fully understand the entire realm of infinity, which is well outside human comprehension. Conversely, if you do believe in God, then you accept that he has represented Himself perfectly in spite of imperfect men, and is truthful in saying that he is The Most High, that He always was and always will be.

As for God being genocidal, that's surprisingly ignorant to say. God never decided out of nowhere to eliminate an entire group of people without reason. Would a judge and jury be convicted of murder for sentencing a man to death for committing murder? Surely not. God flooded the earth and ordered everything else you listed to happen as a part of his wrath, his judgment. Is a parent not supposed to punish their children so that they might learn from their evil deeds, instead of turning the other cheek so that they learn to destroy everything they touch? God gave us free will, and it is a powerful, very precarious responsibility that most people view as a mere game. But every choice you make afforded by your freedom of will to do so, there are consequences for, but before the consequences comes the choice. We could all save ourselves from hell if we so choose, but it is our weakness, our waywardness, our stubbornness that sends us, not God. God isn't making anyone go to hell without a choice, and the sad part is most people in this world are choosing it, and it's no one's fault but theirs. All in all, I view life as a love story based on contrast. The greater the pit we as a human race dig ourselves into, the greater the love required to pull us out. Once you understand the roles of pain and sorrow, you begin to see that life wouldn't be as great as it can be without them, and if you experience enough of both in this lifetime, it can ultimately save you from an eternity of more pain and sorrow than you can even fathom.

Fredegis said...

GCT, I think there's a flaw in your reasoning: Number 8 doesn't necessarily follow from number 7. What that contradiction tells you is that one of your former statements is incorrect.
Whether:
1. Genocide is good
2. Or, in the Bible, God doesn't commit acts of genocide.
3. Or, the Bible lies.
4. Or, God is Evil.
(Number 2 of your list is irrelevant to the question,it doesn't matter if it's the word of God or not, after all he's the man in question ;) and Number 6 follows from number 5.)

I think Number 2 (of my list), is out of question. Yahweh does commit several acts of genocide and hate and anger and injustice through out the Old Testament. I always remember Phinehas, and his Friday-the-13th-like impalement of an inter-ethnic couple, in Numbers, 25:8.

Therefore, anyone who says that "God is good" is implying, one of these 2 things:
- The Bibles lies.
- Genocide is good.


Other possible conclusions could be:
- Only the New Testament is truthful to God’s good nature. (But that implies further problems)
- Or the Gnostic belief in the evilness of the creator God.

For myself (and aside from the present question) I'll go for the evilness of those who wrote those passages in the Bible. But I think Jesus is good. Maybe his story isn't 100% historically accurate, maybe he didn't existed at all, just a myth, but from his words and deeds, one can, if one chooses to, extract principles for being a better person.
Some people (a great number of them, in fact) have chosen to use Jesus for hating, for war, rape and murder. But that doesn’t mean Jesus’ teachings are of no value. And if you don’t believe in Jesus, but you’re a person who goes through life without harming anyone, a person who uses love and justice as the guide for his/her acts, you got my admiration. Words and names nad isms don’t really matter, what matters is the heart, the actions.

Well, peace, bro.

Anonymous said...

Idiots like "LoZer" are partly the reason that there are so many athiests amd god-haters.

GCT said...

Fredegis,
"...but from his words and deeds, one can, if one chooses to, extract principles for being a better person."

This isn't limited to just Jesus. Anyone can use the example of any other person to draw a moral lesson from it or not.

LoZer,
Special pleading will get you nowhere. And, if god did not commit genocide, then that word has no meaning, unless you are going to contend that each and every person wiped out in the floods and mass murders of the ancient Jews was somehow deserving of being murdered, and that it's just a coincidence that they all happened to be of one ethnic group.