Tuesday, 10 November 2009

By Whose Standards?


When evil acts of god are brought up in debate with a Xian (like genocide, rape, etc) one apologetic that is frequently heard is that we can't judge god by our standards, because god is well above us. IOW, god should go by his own standard.

Really? Well, there's a few problems with that.

It's first and foremost an appeal to relative morality. We have our moral system here, where we generally try not to steal, kill, rape, etc. while god is able to do those things at will...simply because he is god. Also, Xians believe that god will judge us by a standard of perfection, however, yet the actions of god are decidedly less than perfect, so he is also advocating having different standards - one for him, one for the rest of us.

But, really the thing that I see as the worst aspect of this is that god is held to a lower standard, yet god is supposedly perfect. This is like taking the A+ student and asking them only to write a paper with their name on it, while the student that is struggling in the class is required to write a paper that would pass a Ph.D. dissertation. Why would we hold a supposedly perfect being to a lower standard than beings that are decidedly less than perfect? It makes no sense. If anything, god should be the exemplar of morality and perfection, instead of someone we have to make excuses for and hold to lower standards.

Things like genocide and rape and murder shouldn't come from such a being and instead of making excuses for this being when the do, we should rightly be outraged by the behavior of a being that should know better. If a child does something wrong, we know that the child may not know better, but god doesn't have that excuse. If a person errs and messes up, we might take pity or think of leniency because we all make mistakes, but god does not have that excuse. So, why are apologists excusing god's actions?

12 comments:

The Rambling Taoist said...

Yes, you've hit the nail on its proverbial head! I agree that it's always confounded me how people can worship a supposed perfect being whose morality is several rungs lower on the ladder than ours.

Anonymous said...

Your argument is flawed in that God is not the author of evil, humans are. God created humans with free will, humanity chose to use that will for evil and everything wrong with the world is a result of that choice, not God's doing. To control a human being like a robot (which God is very capable of) would be outside of God's character. For humanity to truly understand love and good we must choose it over evil. "Genocide and rape" are simply part of this evil that man has chosen. Evil is simply the absence of God in the lives of the people doing it. Note that it is not the absence of God from the world, simply the absence of God from the persons life.

Eliza 422 said...

Let's face it - it's the only way that they can live with themselves when faced with such questions...I think I've read in several places comparing religious people to abused spouses - making every excuse for the behavior of the abuser.

Robert Madewell said...

"Your argument is flawed in that God is not the author of evil, humans are."

That's not what the bible says.

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. Isaiah 45:7 (KJV)

GCT said...

Anon,
Are you contending that god did not know that evil would occur when he created all? At best, you could conclude that god is only guilty of negligence.

Of course, human sin doesn't account for natural evil, and it doesn't account for why the universe is set up in such a way that humans are able to pass that sin on from generation to generation or why we are allowed to negatively affect others with our sin.

Also, we know that controlling humans is not outside of god's character, as the story of Exodus plainly shows when god hardens Pharaoh's heart.

But, perhaps you can explain why god allows people to rape and kill others? I'm sure that it is not part of the free will of the person raped to be raped. Further, you might explain how there can be an absence of an omnipresent entity in the universe. Lastly, you might want to explain how free will is even possible with an omni-max deity.

GCT said...

Welcome Eliza. It's interesting that you would bring up battered spouse syndrome as it is something that I've said in the past about apologists excusing god's evil behaviors. Of course, it takes a special kind of thinking to believe that god's threats of obedience or hell somehow constitute love.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter what it constitutes, it's His world and we just live in it. Your opinion of God really doesn't change anything.

ethinethin said...

You forgot to threaten us with hell again, Anonymous.

GCT said...

Anon,
You've gone from defending god as being good to defending god as being a bully who can and will do whatever he wants to us as we are powerless to stop him. Why worship such a being, because you are being forced to?

Maynard said...

I gotta go with Anonypuss on one point here: ...God is not the author of evil, humans are.

Humans wrote the bible, right?

Robert Madewell said...

I agree Maynard. Humans wrote the bible, so humans are the author of the evil in that book.

Eliza 422 said...

Hi GCT! I've been reading this blog for a while, and finally felt the urge to comment! Not sure why this was the post that did it :-)