The Infallibility of God
Mankind lives by laws and seeks justice. A lot of the morality we find in the bible has made its way into our laws, or was created and put in to the bible because it solves human problems. We know that to kill each other is wrong. We know that taking things that don’t belong to us is wrong. It’s a matter of survival. Morals are in our individual and social best interest.
Most Christians I talk to think god is infallible. He is all good. Humans and Satan brought sin and evil in to the world, not god. Original sin: eating that fruit was such an evil thing to do that god not only kicked us out of the garden, he also locked us out of heaven.
So later on he gives us his only son as a sacrifice so he can open heaven to us again, forgive our original sin, and forgive other sins we will do if we ask really nicely.
Now if you are a believer all this sound great and wonderful. But if you look at it critically there is something not right about it. Why would a god need a blood sacrifice just to forgive?
Say a leader of a country felt that other people had trespassed against them. He develops a weapon that can destroy all his enemies. He feels they all deserve to die for what they did. But instead of killing them all he decides he wants to forgive them. So he says to them, I will forgive you all your deeds against me, if you kill my son and then promise to worship him and follow me from now on.
He sacrifices his son so he can forgive his enemies? What kind of a nut job would think this guy is? Were there a human like that entire psychiatry texts would be devoted to his mental state. But not when the story is told about a god.
As soon as god is mentioned, it becomes a loving act. The passion. Amazing. Black turns white, evil turns to good instantly. Why? How? We can see none of this is moral behavior. We would be appalled if a man did the same thing.
Christianity has taken something away from the Jewish god, and that is absolute responsibility. Most people think god is all good. But the bible clearly shows him ordering the murder of several tribes along the way to the Promised Land. He kills hundreds and perhaps thousands of innocent people with his plagues in Egypt.
The usual excuse the bible gives is that the tribes believed in Baal and they sacrificed their kids to him. Yet were they told to save the kids? No. They were told to kill every last man woman and child. Genocide.
So god ordered genocide to save kids from being sacrificed to Baal? Strange rationality to say the least. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
The Jews are told to sacrifice their first born, but are allowed to save them by offering an animal instead. So child sacrifice was not out of the question for god. It just wasn’t being enforced anymore.
In Isaiah god tells us he created good and evil. Of course evil is intent, not a being or a thing. So he is saying he created the conditions for evil. The Jewish god took responsibility for everything. He made the rules but they didn’t apply to him. He did what he wanted.
Christianity in general doesn’t like that idea. So for many bibles the word evil is changed to catastrophe, even though Jewish scholars say the word used means evil just as translated in the King James. Most Christians think god hates evil, so how could he have created it? We created by going against his will.
Now, is punishing all generations for the crime of one pair really fair? Our law makers think it is unfair. We don’t allow people to substitute someone else for their crime. Each of us to stand trial and be punished for what we have done. It is logical that son is not guilty of the crimes of the father or mother. Yet god not allows substitution, he encourages it and uses it all the time.
There is precedence for Jesus substitution in the bible. Aaron was told to get two goats. One he sacrificed to god. The other he prayed over and placed all the sins of the tribe on. Then it was sent into the desert to be claimed by a goat demon.
God does not forgive unless something dies. The penalty for going against god is always death. But he often allows you to substitute the death of another or of your first born in the early days, or an animal, for yourself. Seems he doesn’t what dies, as long as something dies.
But humans do not find that at all moral when done by other humans. Yet it is normal for a god to do it? Even praiseworthy? How?
Well that’s the issue. It isn’t. But god is above the law. His word is law. He can do what he likes. Who are we to tell him what to do? He knows best.
The fundamentalist Christians go farther still. Whatever god does is not only ok, it is good, even if it looks terrible to us. If we kill an innocent person in a brutal way it is evil. If god does it, it is not just ok, it is good and righteous. What a strange and dangerous concept. It is little wonder kings and rulers throughout history who believed they were sons of gods thought they were infallible.
Infallibility of god does not only give him a get out of jail free card, it means his acts however evil are actually loving and benevolent. No wonder so many atrocities are done in his name. If god says it, you can smash babies on rocks and not only is that ok, it is a loving thing to do. God is love. No matter what he does he is showing his love and wisdom.
I’m sorry but that doesn’t wash. A god that orders the death of his son because he was the only thing pure enough to be good enough for god to accept as a scapegoat for original sin cannot be thought of a moral being. He had his son murdered. It was his plan. Even though fundamentalist agree that everything that is done is part of god’s plan, god is never to blame for what we do. We have free will so we can refuse to do it. But then how is that all part of god’s plan?
He knows what we will do so he uses us, but it is our choice? Really? If he knows in advance what we will do then what we will do is written in stone. Not because a god knows it, but because our future acts can be known. If they can be known by anything at all, we can’t do a thing about them. We have no free will at all. Every move is predetermined.
Then we have the real twist. Jesus is god. Well sort of. The fundamentalists say Jesus offered himself so god did not order the killing. But wait. It was his plan, wasn’t it? Did Jesus not ask for the burden to be lifted from him in that garden scene? Did he not say he would do his father’s will? If it was his father’s will, his father ordered the killing. There is no other logical alternative.
The fundamentalist stance applied to Hitler would mean he was not responsible for the war, the murder of Jews, or anything else that happened because while he planned it, his men had free will. He killed no one himself, invaded nothing himself.
We wouldn’t stand for that interpretation about Hitler and rightly so. So how can anyone think such an illogical idea can apply to a god? If a god orders a killing, it is as responsible for the event as those who carry it out. In fact the Old Testament god seemed to have no problem taking responsibility for all its acts. It’s the followers of the god that want to give it impossible and irrational deniability
I won’t even refute the idea that god is above the law because he decides what the law is. He may even decree what sin is. But morality boils down to one simple rule: Do no intentional harm. It is the standard morality for all humans and expressed in many different ways. But it cannot be decreed. It exists or it does not.
Now I do not mean that we should not punish criminals. It is against our best interests to allow people who harm others intentionally to stay in our midst. But there are ethical ways to do that. How we do it is up for debate. But that is protecting ourselves from harm. Not, in principal, doing intentionally hurtful things.
Even if god has no judge and no consequences for his acts, an evil act is an evil act, and those who plan and carry out their plans are responsible for their actions, even where there is no one to hold them to account. That applies to humans, animals, the insane and even gods.
Not because I say so, or because a god decreed it; but because it is logical.