The Cruelty Of The Christian God
I have often mentioned the cruelty of the Judaic-Christian God. Let’s examine that claim from the beginning:
It is said that when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, God told them that they could have anything they wanted, but that they should not eat from the fruit of a certain tree.
It is said that Eve was tempted by a snake and she ate from the tree and that she convinced Adam to do the same. Tell me, who did the manipulating here? As I mentioned before, God knew full well that the tree existed. Why did he place it so that they would be tempted to touch it? If he knew all he knew they would touch it without question.
He had just created these two, so he knew full well what they would do, given human nature which he had just endowed them with. He knew that the snake was lurking too. Did he want them to eat the fruit so he could punish them for it?
What kind of God would do such a thing? Could he not have hidden the tree? Could he not have simply made it impossible for them to reach the tree? Does this mean the tree could only exist here on earth? Then why does the tree no longer exist? If it does, where is it? Is it still in the garden? If not, then that is proof that it had served its purpose, and he took it from the world. It also shows that it didn't have to be here in the first place. Either that, or it shows that this is a God that makes mistakes.
That's what it all comes down to: Did god plan it that way, or was it a mistake? Had the incident with the tree been planned by god, he wouldn't have gotten so angry. Not unless something went wrong. But if something can go wrong with one of gods plans, then he can make mistakes. This means god is not omnipotent.
Either way, the anger he shows tells the story. There was something he didn't know.
Did he also make a mistake when he created satan? For surely he knew that this angel would turn against him and be cast into hell. Or did he design satan for that purpose? And if so, why?
That is not the interpretation most of us have of the story. We have been told that god was saddened that satan turned against him. Yet again, his sadness shows god's lack of omnipotence. But think of it this way, would you respect a fickle parent that gave you love and then took it away when another child came along? Did god not tell satan that the angels were no longer his chosen people, and that mankind had become his favorites? Was it not for that reason that satan turned against him?
I realize that this concept is not the one held by most Christians. They claim that satan wanted to be like god, and even more. But there is no basis in the old testament for that idea. In fact a satan is an angel that watches and reports back to gad according to the old testament. They are like police. They accuse mankind in front of god when we have done something we shouldn’t have. There is no basis for the Christian concept of satan at all. It’s a fiction. But let’s pretend it isn’t for the sake of argument.
We must remember that god likes to chose a section of his creation over another. He has a history of choosing "favorite children" just like many human families do. We know that such a practice makes for very unhappy siblings. Could a god be this bad at child rearing?
On the other hand, a supposedly perfect angel like satan would surely know that he could never be as powerful as a god. To think otherwise presupposes that this satan was incredibly stupid or at the very least, incredibly naïve. If his god was all love and light then he would have basked in god's glory like all the other angels. He must know something about this god Christians fail to see.
No one wants to think the unthinkable: that god is destructible. Yet around the time the Jewish people were walking around in the desert, such ideas were a very real part of the region's lore. The duelist religions believed that there was a never ending war going on between good and evil. It was never ending because good and evil were equal in strength.
Looks like the Muslim Gentlemen was right when he said that when two powers of that magnitude get together, they fight for dominance. That idea is prevalent in all myths from around the world. There are always Gods that fight amongst themselves for power, and they always end up taking it out on us.
This is the only way mankind could explain what we were seeing before our eyes. There seemed to be a balance in the thought that good and evil gods were doing all this. We understood this concept because we played political games like that ourselves, and heard stories of people who had. The gods were made in our image.
Just as we were copies of our parents, gods had made adults as lesser images of themselves. What we did, the gods did. What we felt, they felt, only more intensely and with more power attached to their conviction
The Jewish god took responsibility for both evil and good. The Jewish people accepted that and simply lived with the paradox. He too was a balanced god, you simply did what he said and you were ok.
But the Christians wanted to make him omnipotent, all seeing and knowing, all wise, all love with a hatred of sin and evil. The Christians faced a problem, however.
To account for the misery in the world, and give a ray of hope that life wasn't meaningless, a satan was necessary. Only in that way could god take on the role of being all love and forgiveness as the Christians had wanted.
But there was another problem, If god knows what the outcome is going to be for every action, then he can't claim ignorance, so another device had to be introduced: Free will.
In this theory, god knows in advance what the outcome of all this is going to be. But because of free will, we can sin and god can't do anything about it. God does not want us to sin but he is restrained by his "gift." The problem here is that god has free will too, and exercises that free will on a regular basis in the Old Testament.
The point is, satan has free will too. Revelations lays out a blueprint of what is to come. It says that satan's fate is awaiting him. It's a done deal. Does satan know this? If we do, shouldn't we assume that he does too? Are we to believe that a satan who already knows that he will not win against god in the final battle wouldn't have the brains to change the rules of the game by simply not making the moves that will lead to his destruction?
He certainly has free will. This is evidenced by the fact that, according to Christianity, he was able to go against god in the first place. What is to stop him from using that free will? Nothing.
Revelations lays it all out for him. He can read can't he? If he can't even negotiate his way out of such a simple puzzle, he never had a chance. If he doesn't have a chance, it negates the need for satan to be here, and makes his creation a cruel joke played at mankind’s expense.
What I mean is that if god is that powerful that he can force satan to do whatever he wishes, then God is pulling all the strings. God creates the evil and then places it on the earth to.... what? Test us? See how much he can torture us before we turn away from him?
See how much we can take? For what reason? What Purpose? It sounds like the experiments of a mad scientist in an old horror movie.
Before Christianity we had a balanced system of good and bad gods. It made for a certain amount of symmetry. But with this god, there is an imbalance. The other gods fought for or against us. We knew who the enemy was. But this god has created evil in our lives by virtue of a conscious plan.
This then, is a cruel god. If it has no restrictions on what it can do, and it chooses to create evil, and then unleashes it on the world. Then there is no reason to do so other than his own whim.
In other words, If a god is restricted and lives by laws as we do, then we can see a definite reason for him to work within those rules if he wants to get something done. In that case, the end can sometimes justify the means. Just because we don't understand the reason God does something doesn't mean it is bad because we don't know all the variables this God may encounter along the way. Mountains sometimes have to be moved to build a road. We can justify his actions because there is no way we, or he, can know with certainty what will happen. But if that is true, then all the prophesies of doomsday are just so much speculation and hot air.
A god that must live by laws is not an omnipotent god If god does not control time then he is ruled by it. A god that does not know past, present, and future, is not all knowing and can't be all seeing or all wise. The logic of this seems too simple to be missed by millions of people. Yet it is. But an omnipotent god that does what it wills, when it wills, with no restrictions of any kind, does not "have" to be cruel. It chooses to be.
A god that can create a satan, is a god that must create it from himself. Just as Jesus is said to be the son of god, so must satan be said to be part of him.
To me this would suggest that god has split himself in to two different entities. One side of himself which he is embracing, (Jesus) and one side which he is trying to cast out. (satan)
He is constantly at war with himself, in this case. We can compare this with Oden or Zeus being in constant conflict with other gods. But with one difference. In this case, there is hope that god... (good) may have a chance to win. Because by improving the Jesus side of himself, he diminishes the satan side. We must remember, however, that by the same logic, the satan side could win. So Christianity has built in an edge. God is still somehow separate from the two sides. It’s two against one. In this scenario we see a god that wants to improve himself. (Yet another trinity)
This is not the way most Christians would view their god. But it does show what they have effectively done to the Jewish god. It also reflects the message that Christianity wants to impart, and it reflects the actual divisions in human experience. (duality)
Moderate Christianity wants us to evolve in to loving, blissed out individuals. To them, god is not the same one that lives in the Old Testament. He is a god of "infinite love". Christianity created this idea of God by giving us free will and satan. It does not reflect the Jewish view anymore, and obviously is fraught with logical inconsistencies.
Seen in the way I have just described above, Christianity's god also seems to want balance for itself. To me, this is the subconscious of mankind manifesting itself in the form of its god. God is incomplete, or ill, and needs help. This is a god with frailties. We can relate to it and sympathize. We can even empathize with a frail god, and that is what we do when we say he created us out of loneliness.
But for the Christian to ever see his god this way they would have to acknowledge that their god evolves. As soon as religion sees that god evolves, it must realize that its god was not perfect to begin with.
As long as they keep to the old god of Judaism, they can never reconcile the two sides of their faith. A God of "Infinite love" Vs. A God of "Worship me or got to hell."
For me, it is a simple question of Evolution Vs. Planned Cruelty. If god is omnipotent, then he is cruel, if he is not, then he is inept.
Then there is the question of incest. Why would a god create only two people, and then tell them to multiply? Who were their offspring supposed to multiply with? Each other? So why did they only have three sons? Granted, the Bible does not speak of woman much except in a bad light, but it should mention Adam and Eve's daughters. Well they are mentioned in books that were rejected by the early church like the Gospel of Adam and Eve. And icest is the way it went.
Cain and Able couldn't mate with each other, obviously, so that left Eve and their sisters to the task of being wife to who knows? No mention is given in the OT or NT as to how all this was to be accomplished either. In fact if we rely on the current bible alone Eve was the wife of all of them. But wait.
Others say that Adam and Eve were not the only people god created, but that they were the first. Again, an interesting speculation. Nowhere does it actually say this to be the case, but it is implied by the fact that the brothers do find mates in other sections of Eden. We don't know anything about the woman or their families, and the Bible is very confusing on this issue.
GEN 4:16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the
land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
GEN 4:17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he
builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
So where is the land of Nod? Who were the people who were living there? Cain got a wife from this place and then had more sons. Or did he? it only actually says that it was there that she bore Enoch but it does not say she came from there. It says here that he built a city, but what is a city but a whole lot of people living in the same aria? Where did they come from?
As you see, this is quite impossible without some kind of intervention. But nothing is said about how it was done.
GEN 4:18 And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael
begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.
Again, where did Enoch's wife come from? Were Adam and Eve a metaphor to represent the first Hebrews or Semitic people that god created?
That doesn't make much sense when compared to the rest of Genesis, does it? But that is the evidence we see before us. We know the Jews borrowed this myth from the Babylonians, so they must have taken Adam and Eve to be the first Jews. They must have also been assuming that the Babylonians were distant relatives. Of course they did as they must have been sons of Noah.
We can only assume that God "provided" a few more woman by divine intervention. Perhaps they were taken from the ribs of Adam's sons as well. Though I would hardly think they would have to go to other parts of Eden in order to undergo this surgery.
Of course, it is not said in the Bible that the sons stuck around to build a community either. What is said is that they went out to build cities of their own. Again we have a problem with incest and cities without people, or all related to one pair.
Even if we ignore all of this first creation, we still have Noah to contend with. Now literally everyone had been done away with, there was no choice anymore. We would still have to think that God intervened. But in Noah's case, there is no evidence of intervention whatsoever $6, either.
Continued in the next hub