God as Hitler

Is God violent?
Is God violent?

God and Violence in the Old Testament

In the Old Testament, God comes across as an extraordinarily angry, violent and psychotic character. But is there an explanation for behavior that otherwise would be considered deranged on the part of God and his followers?

If anyone can show us, it is William Lane Craig, one of the brightest Christian Apologists today. Dr. Craig sets out to do just that in the three videos at the end of this article. He tries to make sense of the violence committed by God and ordered by God in the Old Testament. Unfortunately for him, his effort comes up short, as we shall now see.

Dr. Craig's arguments are in bold, and my commentary is in regular typeface.

Did God Commit Atrocities in the Old Testament?

This criticism is really an attack on the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy.

Essentially, yes. But here's the problem: if one part of the Bible is suspect, then all parts of the Bible are suspect. Therefore Christianity, being based on the Bible, is suspect.

These events might just be Israelite nationalist myths.

If so, then the entire Bible might be a collection of myths and human stories. And if the words uttered by God during these atrocities were actually human words, then every word uttered by God and/or Jesus might just be a human word, thereby robbing Christianity of divine inspiration. This issue very much affects the legitimacy of the Christian religion, more so than Craig would like to admit.

God as Hitler

Dr. Craig's main argument is two-fold: (1) God is under no moral obligation to anyone or anything, (2) the Canaanites had it coming because they sinned.

God has no moral obligations ("Divine Command Morality").

If God is under no moral obligation to anyone or anything, then to describe him as loving, just, wise, fair, compassionate or anything else is logically absurd. Craig makes this mistake multiple times as he speciously cites God's "moral sufficiency" or "just cause" for these and other killings.

These labels assume an external standard of justice, love and compassion. But if God is the standard of justice, love and compassion, then justice is God and God is justice, by definition. Therefore to say "God is just" is simply another way of saying "God is Godly." Therefore whatever God does is just/ loving/ compassionate, no matter how bizarre or appalling it may be to the human consciousness.

This also means that morality--defined as God's law--has no identifiable characteristics. It just is whatever God says it is, at any given moment. At this time, it is moral to kill. At that time, it is moral to not kill. Since God cannot be predicted, we are left with a provisional morality that is not absolute, not timeless and not reliable. It could change at any time. This is also contrary to the Christian conception of morality.

The Canaanites deserved it because they sinned.

Here we have at least three problems:

  1. The killing of the children: the children had not sinned. Here is where Dr. Craig plays a game of "musical commandments" and claims that suddenly the anti-murder commandment is trumped by the commandment against mixing with pagan nations, without explaining why this is the case. (Normally all commandments are to be followed with equal vigor, and God is very clear about that innumerable times in the Bible.)
  2. The fact that the Canaanites had no way of knowing what God's standard-du-jour was (hardly seems "just"). God did not mind when the Israelites violated his laws before he enlightened them, but the Canaanites were expected to know despite never having received instruction from God.
  3. Since, as we have seen, to "sin" really means "to not follow God's laws," this is of course arbitrary because at another time, were God's law to change and find Canaanite practices acceptable, then killing them would not be justified. To make a permanent punishment--death--subject to impermanent laws is not the action of a coherent entity, and certainly not a perfect one.

God the Psychotic

Toward the end, the host asks a very poignant and extremely important question: why do we have reason to doubt a person who kills in the name of God today?

Craig replies "I think a person like that is psychologically deranged and a psychologist could tell that."

Well, well! There were no psychologists in ancient Israel, were there?

He says "there are not the justifying circumstances in that case that there were in the conquest of Canaan."

We see once again an aforementioned contradiction: on the one hand, God does what God wants, and that's that--the root of Craig's "Divine Command Morality." But on the other hand, there were "justifying circumstances" for this atrocity. Justifying to whom? If God is the ultimate arbiter of justification, what possible meaning does "justifying circumstances" have for Him? He does what he wants, and that's that.

The logical absurdities, contradictions, schizophrenia and paranoia of God demonstrate that the God of the Old Testament is simply the tribal god of the ancient Israelites. His genocidal xenophobia more closely resembles Adolph Hitler than any rational or moral being.

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Comments 26 comments

Joyus Crynoid profile image

Joyus Crynoid 6 years ago from Eden

The psychotic God makes perfect sense in ligtht of Julian Jaynes's theory that many of the Old Testament stories came from people with bicameral minds. If that is true then the God of Abraham was a hallucinated voice much like those experienced by modern-day schizophrenics.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

The religionists will never accept that their gods have flaws. No matter how many times you point this out to them, they insist that their gods will save them from their human condition.

When a realist looks at the bible, he sees all of the flaws and very little of the sane parts. I can only imagine what a psychologist sees when they examine the "inspired" words of "god" written by men. I can believe that schizophrenics did indeed hear the "voice of god" and that would explain a great deal of the controversial "laws" and odd things contained in the bible.

It's logical to assume that schizophrenics existed in biblical days.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Joyus, I just did a quick read of Jaynes' theory, I had not heard of it before. Fascinating stuff. Whatever its real psychological underpinnings, it definitely passes the smell test.

Even barring Jaynes' idea, though, I think it is eminently easy to imagine a situation in ancient, primitive societies where a person--who is not totally insane and thereby an actual threat to himself and others--but rather just a little nuts, could become a prophet.

I know that if someone today claimed to hear a voice in a burning bush, of all things, there is no question that that person would be considered nuts. Moses, on the other hand--well, if he was able to function more or less normally in society and his unusual but captivating ideas could be heard and appreciated by the people, suddenly he becomes a major leader.

We know that people with acute mental disorders often have very engaging personalities, which of course would play VERY well in a primitive society lacking our modern culture and modern notions of politeness, etiquette and other cultural motifs.

Indeed, we routinely see similar phenomena nowadays in primitive societies in Africa or Papua New Guinea, where a person is maybe not so crazy to be harmful, but just crazy enough to hear the voices of the gods, and then charismatic enough to make commands of the masses and seize leadership of the group. A great example of this is Joseph Kony of the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda.

I also have a pet theory that Jesus himself was a little nuts. He saw himself as the son of God, but as God at the same time, he made no bones about spitting in the face of traditional beliefs/ customs, he said and did really unusual things, and made really unusual claims. Same story--nuts enough to attract attention and get a following and to make his ideas seem believable, but not crazy enough to be a menace to everyone around him.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Austinstar, you bet. Great points. I bet it would be a really cool experiment to take all of the words attributed to God, organize them and clean them up for modern language, and then present the result to a psychologist or psychiatrist to see what their verdict would be. Something tells me it would be grave concern, lol.


Baileybear 5 years ago

psychopathic despot is a description I've seen for the god of the bible. There's a little graph image that has no. of deaths by God - millions (big bar) & by satan (little bar). Believers harp on that God is love, but gloss over the bits where he loses his temper over nothing and punishes way out of proportion to the crime.

The flaws of God (all human characteristics) confirm that he was invented by men.


Baileybear 5 years ago

Here you go: who killed more in the bible, and what for

http://www.religico.com/2009/12/17/who-killed-more...


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Excellent resource, Baileybear. The numbers certainly put it into focus. I do love quantifying these issues. Certainly brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "to fear God."

When one subscribes to the moral relativism of Christianity, all sorts of ridiculous outcomes are possible.

My personal favorite is killing the kids for making fun of the bald guy. Guess they didn't have many juvenile delinquents in those days!


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 5 years ago from The Fatal Shore

"But if God is the standard of justice, love and compassion, then justice is God and God is justice, by definition."

As Anthony Flew said, that reduces God to a 'pretentious tautology'. As you point out, Craig's choice means that there is no inherent moral reason why this or that ought to be commanded. It's a dilemma for theologians.

Good dog...;)


Rick 5 years ago

If you go back to the Garden of Eden you will discover that man ate from the tree of knowledge. Once man ate from this tree then whether they want to acknowledge this fact or not, we know what is good and what is evil.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Rick, then why did God give us the Ten Commandments?


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 4 years ago from Isle of Man

Man has blamed God for all the woes of the world. Many people believe that God created the world and take no responsibility for what they themselves have made up.

God did not create the world... we did! The world is construct maintained by the ego and powered by our unfaltering belief in illusions based on perception.

Thanks for a great hub.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Spirit Whisperer, thank you for your comment. You make some excellent points. God did not create man, man created God.


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 4 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

While you poke holes in Christianity, consider what life is like without it. Take a good look at the old Soviet Union, where God was an outlaw. Even today, with the Iron Curtain no longer cutting it off, the crime rate tends to be highest in the most anti-religious countries. If there is no God, why were they so afraid of Him that they had to persecute Christians?

While you have a point in a number of your statements, I'll point out that I attended a Christian high school, and it literally saved my life. If interested , check out my hub, "The Case for Christian Education".


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Oh, life is quite good without Christianity, my friend. Everyone always cites the Soviet Union, but actually that illustrates the evils of dictatorship far more than anything else. Atheism was incidental to Marxism and socialism.

Actually, you are wrong. It is the more secular countries and American states that have less crime, and the more religious ones tend to have more crime and instability. This is exactly what I demonstrate in my hub on Atheism, Religion and Crime:

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Religion-A...

That's good for you that your Christian schooling benefited you. But for many others, it did not benefit them, and even hurt them, and as soon as they had the freedom, they left or moved away from Christianity.

All of the positive things that religion might provide--discipline, community, standards, etc--can be had (and are had) in the absence of it.

What all this indicates is that Christianity, and religion in general, is not necessary for people to be moral.

And this hub and others demonstrate that religion actually often leads to immorality, violence and harm. The self-righteousness and disrespect in your Christian school that you cite in your article is exactly the kind of mentality that often leads to religious communities persecuting and harming "outsiders."


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 4 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

Interesting, Secularist10! Perhaps you also heard the statistic about drinking rates going up with tithe-giving. You can draw the conclusion that paying tithe drives people to drink. Or you can realize when times are good and wages go up, people spend more on everything - including church and alcohol.

Crime rates tend to be lowest in countries and regions where people most agree on common mores, like the Scandinavian countries. They tend to be highest where you have several populations of non-indigenous people, like the US and South Africa. If everyone agrees on the same religion, there's little cause for conflict. The Scandinavian countries tend to be overwhelmingly Lutheran; the US has a HUGE influx of religions, including 27 Baptist denominations - not to mention Buddhists, Catholics, Muslims, etc. So there's plenty of reason for conflict there.

Yes, I was raised to be self-righteous, but after my rebellion, I have since learned no one has the answers to EVERYTHING. I Corinthians 13 states that now we see "through a glass darkly", but in the next life, we will understand much better; just like children have only a limited amount of knowledge, but when they grow to be adults, they understand much more.

You must realize, also, that there's more to existence than life on this earth. Check out this guy's near-death experience.

http://www.near-death.com/storm.html


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

"... when times are good and wages go up, people spend more on everything - including church and alcohol."

That's why my article is about correlation, not causation. I never said anywhere that religion causes crime. The main takeaway is that the same kinds of social factors that cause crime--poverty, poor education, lack of opportunity--cause religion.

If I may, your story is itself an example of this. The comfort, stability and discipline of that religious community, in the midst of violence and chaos, attracted you to it.

"Crime rates tend to be lowest in countries and regions where people most agree on common mores, like the Scandinavian countries. They tend to be highest where you have several populations of non-indigenous people, like the US and South Africa."

That's absolutely true. However, countries like France, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada have diverse populations, religiously as well as ethnically and culturally, yet they have very low crime rates as well.

Moreover, very diverse states such as New York, California and New Jersey still have less crime than states with comparable levels of diversity such as South Carolina, Tennessee and Louisiana. But the first 3 are more secular than the second 3.

However, it is true that more diverse places tend to have more crime. Poorer places tend to have more crime than richer places. Big cities tend to have more crime than small towns. There are many factors in play, not just religion.

My point is that religion is, in fact, correlated with crime and instability. And your original claim, and the claim of countless other religious believers--that crime and instability rises without religion, and declines with it--is clearly shown to be false.

Toward the end of the article I mention that reliable international crime stats are tough to get. One reason for this is that different things are considered a "crime" in different places. For instance, what we would call domestic violence here in the US, a punishable offense, probably would not count in Saudi Arabia, where women are legally recognized as second-class citizens and their husbands and fathers have much more legal control over them.

But of course, that casual attitude toward domestic violence is caused by--you guessed it--their religious beliefs.

BTW, the Nordic countries are only nominally Lutheran. They are actually among the most secular and atheistic populations on earth. And the stats indicate that religious differences actually are the source of extremely little crime in the US today.

There is no reason to think that anything exists beyond this life or this natural world.


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 4 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

You BET Oakland's high crime rate drew me to my Christian school!

If God is evil, where does good come from?


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Haha. Uh, well... a very brief question, but a lot to unpack there.

First of all, you are assuming that God exists. God is defined as a perfectly good being. So by that definition, the article more or less demonstrates that the Christian God does not exist. Because he is doing many evil things, thus he is not perfectly good.

Of course this requires an external, non-God-based morality. As I say in the article, if "good" is simply defined as "whatever God says," then if God commands you to kill 10,000 children, then that atrocity suddenly becomes the "morally good" thing to do.

So I of course do not believe that God exists. I have no position on that particular question. Therefore the statement "God is evil" is meaningless to me. But I have demonstrated that "God" the character of the Old Testament is indeed evil. Just as many literary characters are evil.

Now, assuming God exists, and assuming further that God is evil, where does good come from? Who knows. I suppose just as Christians tend to say "God is good, but humans become evil by using their free will," one could invert that statement for an evil God and say "God is evil, but humans become good by using their free will." Interesting idea.

Finally, a related question: if there is no God at all, then where does good come from? A very long discussion of course (which I am happy to have). But in a nutshell, morality comes from us. I am not talking about our evolved tendency toward empathy or anything like that (although that is definitely true).

But rather, morality, if it is to have any meaning at all, must ultimately come down to human happiness, well being and thriving. That is why we have a visceral reaction to the atrocities of the OT, which someone like Craig simply cannot erase with his silly rationalizations.

Morality and purpose only have meaning for sentient creatures. Since we are the only sentient creatures, and since we are the ones doing the thinking, we thus are naturally drawn, by logic and reason, to a general humanism.


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 4 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

"Morality, if it is to have any meaning at all, must ultimately come down to human happiness, well being, and triving. That is why we have a visceral reaction to the atrocities of the O.T."

Consider the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God informed Father Abraham that He was going to destroy them, raining fire and brimstone from heaven. Since Abraham's nephew Lot lived in Sodom, he asked God to save the city if 10 righteous people were there, and God agreed.

As you know, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Apparently, there were not even 10 righteous people there. What sort of people were they? When two angels disguised as men came to Lot's house to warn him to get out, a mob gathered outside, telling Lot to send them out so they could gang-rape them!

I don't know of any American city that bad. If it exists, God has my personal permission to destroy it! It would be cruel of Him not to!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Ever been to Washington DC? Haha.

It's interesting you say God would have your personal permission. God, by definition in the Christian religion, does not need or want anybody's permission for anything. But the fact that you say that indicates that you do have a moral compass that transcends God. I'm sure you had a moral sense before you became a Christian--indeed, you indicate as much in your story of joining a Christian school. All of this indicates that morality does not need Christian religion.

Ok well, since this is a Biblical story, there is a massive amount of glossing over and simplification. When the writers of the Old Testament say "10 righteous men" what exactly do they mean? Do they mean 10 righteous people or 10 righteous adult males? Do they mean righteous as in a normal person minding their own business not hurting anyone, or do they mean "righteous" as in conforming to the highest possible moral standard, Gandhi-like or priest-like? Remember that these ancient writers thought and communicated very differently than us today. See how it isn't so simple anymore?

But suppose we take it at face value. These were cities. We are safe in assuming there were children there. Probably at least several hundred children. Voila, we have a problem: how can children be condemned to death for moral failings? Obviously they can't.

So the message of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is negated by the story itself. It is extremely unlikely that literally every single resident of the city, including children, would be so morally corrupt as to warrant its decimation in this way. So unlikely that it is almost impossible.

And anyway, there are countless other atrocities, large and small, committed by God in the OT that were even more bizarre and capricious. How about the one where God sends a bear to kill a group of kids just for calling one of his followers "bald head"? I mean you just can't make this stuff up.

Don't you find it just a bit odd that so many intellectual contortions are needed to rationalize the atrocious actions of God, just to save his "good" reputation? And even then, it STILL doesn't make any sense, what with all the contradictions from God's mouth?

With the amount of faith that is needed here, why not just have faith in something much simpler and more straightforward: human well being.

Voila, morality.


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 4 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

"I give my full permission" - you're right, it's not my place to tell God what to do or give Him permission! My bad! That was poorly worded.

I have issues with a number of stories in the Bible myself, but regarding Sodom and Gomorrah, the young children there would most likely have been exploited anyway. The people raising them were all monsters, as was demonstrated by the treatment of those two visitors. If God had spared the children, who would raise them? Better to mercy-kill than have thousands of orphans running all over the desert.

You ask for the definition of "righteous men". I take it to mean people who live clean lives, and don't go around gang-raping strangers, among other things. Even if the Bible meant only adult males, in two cities with thousands of people, that's not much to ask for, is it? As it is, Lot offered the mob his two daughters in the strangers' place, which doesn't sound very righteous to me! Yet, his life was spared - so God must have not set the bar very high. Apparently, all the citizens in those two cities were far worse than that. Anyway, it's not a place I'd even want to visit, let alone live.

As for the mob of boys who mocked the prophet Elisha - we're constantly hearing stories of kids who commit suicide because of harrassment from their peers. Having been a victim of harrassment myself, growing up in Oakland, CA (which, bad as it is, doesn't nearly approach Sodom and Gomorrah), I don't protest it. I doubt if any of those boys had been ganged up on in a similar manner, they would have protested a couple bears bringing it to a halt. People often write off certain actions because of the perpetrator's age, but they might consider where axe murders come from. They don't suddenly turn evil on their 18th birthday. Ted Bundy used to lay knives in the bed of his sleeping aunt when he was a child, and he was very cruel to animals. All this was overlooked, and we all know the results.

America has pussyfooted the crime issue for decades; that's one explanation why it's one of the most violent nations on Earth.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Eh... that's a pretty weak one. Why did God have to kill the children? Why not round them up in a giant tornado and deliver them untouched to the "blessed" Israelites? Or to some other peaceful place? He is all-powerful after all.

Giving them to the Hebrews would also significantly increase the ranks of the "chosen" people, which seems like a major priority of God's. Seems like if God is so smart, there are plenty of options available other than allowing children to be slaughtered.

"Yet, [Lot's] life was spared - so God must have not set the bar very high."

Haha. Uhh... not so sure about that. There are many guys cast as heroes in the OT who today would be locked up as clinically insane or psychotic. The point is that it is arbitrary. It is not like there was an entire city of evil people, and the Hebrews themselves were angels. Even the most "righteous" of the Hebrews were monsters, by any rational ethical way of thinking.

I don't understand this. I didn't say anything about age. In fact in those days, with the life expectancy much lower, most people were married with kids by the time they were 18.

You really think laughing at/ making fun of some guy's bald head warrants death? Come on, you seem like a reasonable person. Don't rationalize this away. The story does not indicate anything approaching "harassment," to me it just sounds like some kids having a harmless giggle at an old man. And anyway, what makes the old guy so weak he needs the kids to be KILLED to stop it?

None of this Biblical stuff makes any sense whatsoever.

I'm not sure what you mean by "pussyfoot," but actually America is the toughest on crime in the rich world. It has the death penalty, the longest prison sentences, 1% of the adult population is in prison, has one of the highest prison populations in the world, etc. Yet it still has the highest crime rate in the rich world.


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 4 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

"Eh... that's a pretty weak one. Why did God have to kill the children? Why not round them up in a giant tornado and deliver them untouched to the "blessed" Israelites? Or to some other peaceful place? He is all-powerful after all."

There were no Israelites in those days, remember? The Nation of Israel BEGAN with Father Abraham! And apparently, there were no "peaceful places" then, either. That's why God called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees and sent him to a strange land to begin this new nation.

"There are many guys cast as heroes in the OT who today would be locked up as clinically insane or psychotic... It is not like there was an entire city of evil people."

The Prophet Elisha performed many mighty miracles, including making bitter water drinikable by merely pouring salt into it (Author Arthur Maxwell visited that spring in the mid 20th century, and said the water is still sweet). His mentor, Prophet Elijah, strongly protested such pagan practices as burning babies at the sacraficial altar of Molech. I doubt these men would be considered insane in this day and age. Yes, some 'righteous" Hebrews were monsters; those were the ones who ordered the false trial and crucifixion of Jesus. Normally, no one would want to murder anyone who went around healing people and preaching social justice, so the fault lies with those self-righteous monsters, not God or Jesus.

"You really think laughing at/ making fun of some guy's bald head warrants death? Come on, you seem like a reasonable person. Don't rationalize this away. The story does not indicate anything approaching "harassment," to me it just sounds like some kids having a harmless giggle at an old man. And anyway, what makes the old guy so weak he needs the kids to be KILLED to stop it?"

This happened at an extremely sensitive time in Prophet Elisha's life. He had just lost his mentor. Not only this, but when he told people about Prophet Elijah being taken to Heaven in a chariot of fire, few people believed him. To make matters worse, those kids were not just making fun of him; they were essentially saying, "Let's see if you can go up to meet him!". The King James Version of the Bible (2 Kings, Ch2, Verse 23) says they chanted, "Go up, thou bald head, go up thou bald head!" This may sound like they were making fun of his baldness, but they were actually mocking his story about Prophet Elijah. Apparently, Prophet Elisha was in a state where he couldn't take it, so he cursed them. And apparently, God saw fit to act on it in the form of those two bears.

Regarding the crime rate in the US, compare a drug bust here with one in France. Over there, no means NO. Over here, no means maybe. There are all sorts of plea bargains a professional criminal can take advantage of; that's one reason we have such a high crime rate.

One last statement, regarding the title of your hub - I'd like you to read Matthew chapter 12, verses 22 - 30, and think about it. You may be treading on very dangerous ground.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Actually, in a way that section of Matthew plays right into my argument, ironically: a house divided against itself cannot stand. Indeed, given the contradictions and hypocrisies of the Biblical God, the religion does not stand.

I agree that in some ways the US is softer on crime than other countries. But overall in total, it is much, much tougher. See the facts I cited above. You need to have a crime committed before the plea bargain even becomes a possibility.

"There were no Israelites in those days, remember?"

Ok, you are right about that. But my overall point stands.

"And apparently, there were no "peaceful places" then, either."

Well, of course there were! What about some place in China, Southeast Asia or Africa? How about some small town in India? What you seem to be forgetting is this: he is God! He can do whatever he wants! He could create a wormhole and deliver these kids to a 20th century foster home if he wanted. The fact that he chose to kill the children, regardless of any rationalizations about his actions, speaks volumes.

"Yes, some 'righteous' Hebrews were monsters; those were the ones who ordered the false trial and crucifixion of Jesus."

Heh, sure. I wasn't talking about self-righteous Christian narratives about the trial of Jesus. I was talking about the folk heroes of the Hebrew Bible, such as Joshua. And somebody who claimed to be able to heal people that easily probably would be considered crazy today, incidentally.

"This happened at an extremely sensitive time in Prophet Elisha's life."

Oh boo hoo. What happened to "forgive them, for they know not what they are doing"? So if I go nuts and shoot up a government office, it's understandable because I'm going through a tough time in my life--my girlfriend just broke up with me, I just lost my business, someone close to me just died, etc. Does that make sense? Come on.

"Apparently, Prophet Elisha was in a state where he couldn't take it, so he cursed them. And apparently, God saw fit to act on it..."

Precisely. Thus this demonstrates God's morally corrupt character. The fact that he "saw fit" to do something deplorable and inexcusable.

There are countless more examples like this in the OT, negating any claim that "God" equals "good."

Don't you find it just a bit unsettling that the master of the universe needs puny humans to intercede on his behalf to make excuses and rationalizations for his immature, capricious and bizarre behavior?


CR Rookwood profile image

CR Rookwood 4 years ago from Moonlight Maine

I was raised Catholic, but my parents were poor, so they couldn't afford to send us to parochial school. That meant we had to go to catechism classes and were regularly threatened with hellfire by all sides. Even neighborhood kids would say, "Hey why aren't your parents sending you to Catholic school? Won't you go to hell for that?"

I took it all very seriously and tried again and again to fit the round peg of my personal self into the square hole the Church had constructed for it, and I remember well thinking through much of it that the God of the Catholic Church seemed like a bad-tempered bully and his son something of a masochist egomaniac (if that is possible).

Ultimately I had to let it go, but it was late in life. Religion does a lot of damage. My issue is that I still think there is a dimension to life (mine anyway) that is not delusional and not scientific either, but articulating that is difficult in this climate. Thoughtful hub, thanks.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Glad you liked it, CR Rookwood. Thanks for coming. I like the "bad tempered bully and masochist egomaniac" haha. Good description.

It's amazing how some people can tell children this stuff with a straight face.

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