God is not great – by Godless Teen

January 20, 2013 in Fun, General

Not too long ago, a particularly pissed-off believer decided to email me about God’s alleged “moral law”. To protect the person’s privacy, I’ll call him “[Josh]” from now on. Here’s the email:

My Moral Code… For one, it’s not mine.  It’s God’s.  It’s his moral law. It’s grounded in Him.  His moral law is perfect and just, because He by nature, by necessity of his nature is perfect and just. So, the question then is: how do we discover this moral law? For one, we have the Bible. (now, before you jump all over this, just read it out first so you get a basic understanding) Through the Bible we see this moral law revealed and put to use all the way to perfection: Jesus.  The Bible does NOT establish moral law.  The law existed before the Bible.  The Bible only reveals the law to us. But that isn’t the only way we can come to know this.  We know these things too because God as ‘written’ them on our hearts as Paul tells us in Romans. Romans 2, 14-15: 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) Other ways are through personal revelation and “conviction” (or guilty feelings, etc.). So what is this law? Well, thankfully Jesus tells up implicitly what it is: Love. As Jesus tells us that upon the two commands: love God, love your neighbor hang the law and the prophets. And then he takes it one further – love your enemy. And just so we are clear on what that means, Jesus gives us a few examples.  Certainly he could’ve given more, but what he did give was clear enough, especially in light of the other two. So to put it bluntly God’s moral law is to LOVE.  And who is to receive this love? Everyone, no exceptions. None. And I believe this is the hardest part of the law to accept because of the ramification – as they come to be unpopular with the rest of the “world”. Example:  Hitler. Is Hitler to receive our love? Well, he was our enemy and Jesus says we are to love our enemies…and while he gives us examples of who is our enemy, he doesn’t provide us with exemptions. So yes, even Hitler is to receive our love. I’m guessing you’ll immediately disagree with that – most of us normally would.  Because we don’t WANT to love people like him.  However, this is putting ourselves in God’s place – to judge others. Now, I’m sure you would like to argue that you are better than Hitler – that most of us are. But that’s not for us to decide – and in God’s eyes we are ALL sinners.  For if we measure ourselves against the law, none of us come away squeaky clean.  sure, you may not have ever killed someone – but Jesus tells us that in our hearts we have, and do. And that’s what the key to all of this is: God wants our hearts – but that’s another topic. Let’s get back to Hitler.  Loving him, however, does NOT mean we condone his actions, or that we say he should’ve been free from punishment.  Sadly, because as we are a fallen world – certain allowances have to be made, such as social laws and punishments, etc. He would be “our enemy” would he not?  Well, regardless of whether we like it or not, we are to send him our love. No exceptions, remember. Tough, for sure.  It was this type of stuff – this offensive loving, that partly (I would say mostly) got Jesus nailed to the cross. Now, because Hitler is long dead, and for many other reasons – seeing how loving him would have changed anything is very hard to do. So here is a more relevant example of loving our enemy put into practice: http://www.mppc.org/series/who-was-guy/john-ortberg/forgiveness (it’s about a lady who lost her son in a shooting and what she did) In order to truly understand forgiveness and loving one’s enemy, I ask you to listen to it. And perhaps you’ll see the true beauty that is love – and what this love can do. It’s really no more complicated than that, really. To Love. And love, as you’ll discover if you haven’t already – is far greater and more than just an emotion…it’s a way of being (in love), of acting (out of love), of living (on love). Yet despite it’s simplicity, it is quite difficult for us to accept or follow at all times. But that’s one area where prayer comes in.  When loving becomes difficult, we turn to him. I’m sure you have questions and objections (especially as we look at the OT), so I’ll leave it at that and answer them as you present them to help flesh this out even more for you if needed. [Josh]

Let’s take this apart, shall we?

My Moral Code… For one, it’s not mine.  It’s God’s.  It’s his moral law. It’s grounded in Him.

I’ve shown before the Euthyphro’s Dilemma either means that God can or cannot control moral law, and that, one way or the other, the theist has to give something up in this dilemma- either omnipotence, or the objectivity of moral law.

His moral law is perfect and just, because He by nature, by necessity of his nature is perfect and just.

Well, again, we have two options: either God has defined perfection and justice, or he hasn’t. If he hasn’t, then he is not omnipotent. If he has, then of course he’s perfect and just, because he made himself so.

So, the question then is: how do we discover this moral law? For one, we have the Bible. (now, before you jump all over this, just read it out first so you get a basic understanding) Through the Bible we see this moral law revealed and put to use all the way to perfection: Jesus.  The Bible does NOT establish moral law.  The law existed before the Bible.

Ok.

But that’s assuming that the Bible is true in what it says. Plus, it doesn’t (technically) matter whether or not the Bible establishes moral law. Either way- theists look upon it as Teh Ultimate Trueth (TM), so the Bible might as well say that not raping your cow is immoral, and thus Christians would be forced to say the same. To that extent, the Bible does establish what is and isn’t moral- at least, for us humans, anyways.

But that isn’t the only way we can come to know this.  We know these things too because God as ‘written’ them on our hearts as Paul tells us in Romans. Romans 2, 14-15: 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)

Yeah, because citing Bible verses to me is going to absolutely convince me that the Bible is true. Maybe I can cite some Harry Potter quotes and state that those make Harry Potter true.

That aside, this quote becomes pretty amusing later.

Other ways are through personal revelation and “conviction” (or guilty feelings, etc.)

… Ok then. Of course, my personal revelation last night involved me and a lot of extremely sexy looking women, so…

So what is this law? Well, thankfully Jesus tells up implicitly what it is: Love.

Hmm. First of all, although I’ve never liked AiG, there is one thing that I have to agree with them on: if you’re going to believe that the Bible is the word of God, then you shouldn’t be placing “human ideas” into scripture.

Implies? Well, I can tell you that the Bible implies a hell of a lot of things, and love isn’t exactly the first one to pop into my mind. Because, for some odd reason, the idea of mauling forty-two children for name calling, flooding an entire planet of people and animals, condemning the Pharisees for not killing a child…

Man, I must be really messed up if I think for even a second that all of that isn’t loving.

As Jesus tells us that upon the two commands: love God, love your neighbor hang the law and the prophets.

Love God… Well, I can tell you that if God exists, he really f****d me up when he made me. Not sure I really want to love him for that. Not to mention the lives of the people that he has completely and utterly annihilated, assuming he exists…

And love my neighbor? Are you kidding? We have missile silos, armed guards, motion detectors, trained dogs, and much more to protect my family from our neighbors.

Kidding aside, I see no reason why we morally ought to love our neighbors. Not commit immoral deeds towards them, such as murder, theft, or rape? Certainly. But go to the extent of loving them? Uh… That’s kinda gross.

Anyhow, within this “moral law”, as well as the, y’know, logical one that I’ve argued for, the theme of not making your neighbors go through severe pain seems to be a common theme. Who can possibly imagine why that might be?

And then he takes it one further – love your enemy.

lolwut?

Deuteronomy 20:13And when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword:

Deuteronomy 20:14 But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.

… God is an awful hypocrite. Not to mention- I’m not sure what there is to love about Hitler, or Stalin, for that matter.

So to put it bluntly God’s moral law is to LOVE.  And who is to receive this love? Everyone, no exceptions. None. And I believe this is the hardest part of the law to accept because of the ramification – as they come to be unpopular with the rest of the “world”. Example:  Hitler. Is Hitler to receive our love? Well, he was our enemy and Jesus says we are to love our enemies…and while he gives us examples of who is our enemy, he doesn’t provide us with exemptions.

Hitler?

HITLER?! The hell is wrong with [Josh]?!?!

I believe that, as humans, we all receive, at birth, the right to being happy. I believe that happiness covers many spectrums: love, pleasure, etc, etc. That being said, this right morally ought to be taken from a person, once they reach a certain line.

So, when [Josh] says that somebody like Hitler deserves our love… I have to say that I completely and utterly disagree.

Hitler- having done what he did- did not deserve the right to happiness. At the very least, he deserved incapacitation, unable to harm the outside world and violate the rights of others; discouraging other possible Hitlers from doing the same thing in the future. What he really deserved (and later got, although not at the hands of the Allies, if I remember correctly) was death. He deserved to be a demonstration to the people of what happens when somebody tries to do what Hitler did. He deserved to be completely unable to harm the rights of others in the future.

But no- [Josh] believes that Hitler deserves love. So what? Does he want to encourage behavior like Hitler’s? Does he want to show others that they can be loved even after they commit atrocities against humanity?

Point in case- why should we show people like Hitler love? Is love given freely, or is it earned? I believe in the latter; and yet, apparently, we ought to love everyone, according to [Josh].

I’m guessing you’ll immediately disagree with that – most of us normally would.  Because we don’t WANT to love people like him.

Wut.

But that isn’t the only way we can come to know this.  We know these things too because God as ‘written’ them on our hearts as Paul tells us in Romans. Romans 2, 14-15: 14 

Apparently, God’s handwriting is hardly legible.

So, which is it? Doesn’t it seem odd that we have morality “written” on our hearts (whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean), yet we seem to always veer away from it? I find it quite contradictory that we have morality “programmed” into our bodies, as [Josh] says, and yet we seem to live extremely immoral lives.

Plus- maybe we, y’know, have a reason not to “love” others. I again state that I see absolutely no reason why we ought to love all others, even our enemies, especially considering that God has (according to the Bible) completely and utterly violated this principle hundreds of times. The principle in and of itself makes no sense whatsoever.

However, this is putting ourselves in God’s place – to judge others.

Well, you stated originally that we ought to use the principle of “lovingness”. Yet, how is it “loving” to show love to a tyrant who has killed millions upon millions of people, has caused millions more to flee their homes, and ruined the lives of many others? In fact, what is “love” even supposed to mean in this context? Is it supposed to mean that we let such a tyrant run loose in the world, destroying the lives of many more?

In this regard, [Josh]‘s own moral principle is self-contradictory. You can’t apply this principle of “love” to life while also stating that you cannot judge people. If both exist, then there will be times when we cannot do the most loving thing, because we can’t judge others, nor deny them any degree of love, and there will be times when we must judge, because we must do the most loving thing.

It is in this regard that this moral principle is terrible, and has no place in reality.

Now, I’m sure you would like to argue that you are better than Hitler – that most of us are. But that’s not for us to decide – and in God’s eyes we are ALL sinners.

Not for us to decide? lolwut?! Free will- what BS. There is absolutely no rational reason for this to be the case; if it were, then law would be completely useless. Loving others, for that matter, would be meaningless; I’d be judging a person based on their appearances, personality, intelligence, and the like. Anyways, judging [pun intended] by other things that this person has said to me (that I will not mention here), I can tell you that this person is extremely judgmental.

For if we measure ourselves against the law, none of us come away squeaky clean.  sure, you may not have ever killed someone – but Jesus tells us that in our hearts we have, and do.

What… the…?! “That we have, and do? Maybe I misunderstood… But Jesus seems like an even worse person than he already did appear to be. That I and a serial killer, rapist, thief, tyrant- could be said to have all the same rights to “love”, is absurd.

And that’s what the key to all of this is: God wants our hearts – but that’s another topic.

All I can say to this is:

Slide1

That’ll be all, I believe. The rest of [Josh]‘s email is just a repeat of beforehand.

Unfortunately, this moral code makes no sense. The principle that I have supported, in the past, rationally ought to be followed because it benefits society. However, this moral code wants us to love people that commit atrocities against humanity.

It is in that regard that I must completely and utterly reject this principle of morality.

Please leave a reply!

%d bloggers like this: