The Appalling Justifications Conservative Christians Use to Justify their God’s Immoral Behavior in the Old Testament

Image result for image of the slaughter of the amalekites

 

Conservative Christian blogger:

When attacking atheism, Christians will say without God, there is no objective right or wrong. With no divine lawgiver, everything is permitted. Rape might be taboo, but there is no way the atheist can say that it is truly evil. If the skeptic knows a bit about the Old Testament, they might be glad you brought up the R-word. “Oh really!? Well, then how can morality be based on a divine lawgiver that condones and allows rape?”  Admittedly, there is some funky sounding stuff in the Old Testament. For example:

  • We read in Judges that the Israelites hatched a scheme to allow the pathetic Benjaminites to essentially rape 400 women at Jabesh-Gilead so their clan’s population wouldn’t die out. (Judges 21:10-24)
  • Moses seems to have made room for female POWs to be war trophies. (Numbers 31:17-18Deuteronomy 20:10-14)
  • And we read in Deuteronomy that God “punishes” rapists by paying a bridal fee while the victim has to marry her rapist! (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)

When was the last time you heard these passages taught in Sunday school? There’s no sense in hiding from these verses, so let’s deal with them head-on.

…God isn’t involved with [these] actions, and nothing is being prescribed. These verses no more endorse rape than Lamentations 4:10 authorizes cannibalism. These are horrible tragedies reported about a nation that forgot God and became like the nations around them.  …You can’t just rip these verses out of the Old Testament without an understanding of the cultural context and God’s original intention. This tactic is one of the skeptic’s favorite ploys to make God out to be the bad guy, but after closer inspection, we’ve seen that God isn’t supporting rape at all.  Jesus is the ultimate standard for morality. On atheism, there remains no objective standard to even judge what they find immoral in the Bible. And using Old Testament passages out of context as clobber verses is just a red herring.

Gary:

Another possible explanation for the development of “morality” is that it is a cultural phenomenon. If humans are mammals, most mammals live in packs or herds. Scientists believe that the “herd” developed because it gave a greater chance of survival for the individual members of the herd. But for any herd to function and survive it must have rules of conduct for its members. If a member repeatedly violates the rules of the herd he is expelled or killed. Human societies also developed rules of conduct for their “herd”. These rules of conduct were eventually called “moral behavior” or morality.  Societies define what is moral and what is not. We see this in the Bible. At one time in the Jewish culture it was “moral” to stone a bride for not having an intact hymen on her wedding night. Having a non-intact hymen on your wedding night is no longer a stoning offense in Jewish culture. Morality changes based on the time and the circumstances of the “herd”.

There are other verses in the Bible that are more troubling than what you have mentioned. The Hebrew god, Yahweh, allegedly ordered the slaughter of every man, woman, and child in the camp of the Amalekites. Is it ever moral to target children and infants for slaughter?

Conservative Christian Blogger:

…What I’m saying is that it’s possible this one time in history there were morally sufficient reasons to bring judgment on Canaan, and in my post here I’m saying that God regulated the behavior of fallen people and Jesus pointed us to the correct, objective standard and gave man through his Spirit the power to do it. I think you’re quite right to point out that certain things are normally morally wrong, objectively speaking. But that’s a claim well beyond morality being a socio-biological adaptation.

Gary:

I am not suggesting that rules of conduct (morality) are absolute. They are always subjective, even in the stories of the Bible. In the Bible, it is always immoral to kill children of one’s own herd (Israel) but it is sometimes moral to kill the children of someone else’s herd (Amalekites). Therefore, even the Bible has no absolute moral rule against slaughtering children and infants. In the Bible, the morality of killing children is subjective/conditional. One thing to notice about Jesus is that he never once condemned these acts of genocide, yet he taught his followers to be pacifists; to turn the other cheek. To me this shows that even Jesus saw morality as subjective; moral standards change with time and conditions.

 

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40 thoughts on “The Appalling Justifications Conservative Christians Use to Justify their God’s Immoral Behavior in the Old Testament

  1. “You can’t just rip these verses out of the Old Testament without an understanding of the cultural context and God’s original intention.”

    Does this Christian argue for objective morality, or not? If so then what does cultural context have to do with anything? If something is wrong it doesn’t matter what the cultural context is!

    “On atheism, there remains no objective standard to even judge what they find immoral in the Bible”

    Of course there are! I wish apologists would stop repeating this nonsense. Human well being can be objectively measured. Putting a bullet through a person’s head is not conducive to well being, and should generally be seen as immoral by anybody who holds well being as a standard.

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    1. No there isn’t. Atheists have try to come up with an Objective Basis for Morality and have continually failed.
      https://www.equip.org/article/atheists-and-the-quest-for-objective-morality/

      “Not conductive to a human being”

      “Not conductive” according to what Standard? Who cares if it isnt conductive? Aren’t we all just a bunch of highly evolved animals? Why would any of that manner if that is true?

      What does “human well being can be objectively measured” mean?

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      1. It depends on what exactly you mean by “objective morality.” I do consider morality objective, but if you’re a Christian, I probably don’t mean in it the same way that you do. There are no objectively true “oughts”, because you cannot derive an ought from an is.

        That said, we can say that if we want to avoid human suffering, and promote pleasure, then there are objectively good ways to achieve this goal. In that sense, morality is objective.

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        1. https://carm.org/atheism/is-it-always-wrong-torture-babies-to-death-for-personal-pleasure

          “”It is always morally wrong for anyone to torture babies to death merely for their personal pleasure.”

          “Now, let’s analyze the statement. The word “always” means in every circumstance. The word “anyone” necessitates the inclusion of all people.  The word “merely” means “for no other reason than.” And “personal pleasure” is the reason given.”

          https://carm.org/why-necessary-to-appeal-to-god-for-objective-morals

          “In the context of our discussion, an “objective moral” would be a moral truth that is not based on a person’s subjective experience, that applies to all people and does not change with circumstances. By contrast, a subjective moral would be a moral that is based on opinion and does not apply universally. For example, one person might think that drinking alcoholic beverages is wrong, where another person has no problem with it. This would be an example of a subjective moral based upon personal preference.”

          A couple of more articles will follow shortly.

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          1. “In the context of our discussion, an “objective moral” would be a moral truth that is not based on a person’s subjective experience, that applies to all people and does not change with circumstances.

            If that’s what you mean by objective morality, then there is no objective morality.

            By contrast, a subjective moral would be a moral that is based on opinion and does not apply universally.

            Which, at least the way you look at morality, would seem to be the case. Human morality ultimately depends on our subjective experiences, and values. These experiences and values are not arbitrary, even though they are subjective. Just because something is subjective doesn’t make it arbitrary.

            Also, I won’t read any more crap from Matt Slick. I’ve read enough of his work to see what a dishonest charlatan that he is. Any more posts from him will simply be ignored.

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            1. So now I am actually not able to respond to your comment. Last time, it happened to be shorter so I was only to respond back to it quickly, but now it’s longer and I am unable to respond back to it quickly. So, when I’m available, I’ll respond then. TTYL!!

              Like

            2. Of course you’re going to simply ignore him because the reality is that you are scared. If his stuff truly is crap, which that is simply your opinion, then you would need to prove that it is. The first article that I provided to you about “torturing babies”, where it gives you a statement is something that I would very much appreciate if you would respond to and quite honestly, the fact that you choose not to, can only be because your scared. The idea that its “crap” is simply an excuse to avoid having to read it. You’re simply assuming that everything he writes is “dishonest”, when you haven’t even looked at the articles that I have sent to you.

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            3. Was what Hitler did for example Objectively wrong which would mean, it is still wrong even if people were brainwashed to think that it was right?

              Is “Rape” Objectively wrong, or is it only wrong according to each person’s opinion? If it’s the second one, then that means that one person can decide that Rape is perfectly okay to him or her, such as the rapist, and another person, such as the rape victim, can decide that rape isn’t okay to him or her, but since Morality is Subjective and is based on what each person decides, (then) no one can say that the other person is wrong.

              Do you understand why Subjective Morality is a problem?

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              1. Was what Hitler did for example Objectively wrong which would mean, it is still wrong even if people were brainwashed to think that it was right?

                This depends on exactly what we’re talking about. Hitlers actions inflicted objective suffering on millions of people that was completely unnecessary. I consider that wrong, but it’s only wrong because of human opinion.

                Is “Rape” Objectively wrong, or is it only wrong according to each person’s opinion?

                It’s wrong we, as humans, agree that we shouldn’t cause unnecessary suffering on other humans. Rape objectively causes unnecessary suffering, but there’s nothing, outside of subjective human goals and desires, that makes rape wrong. I believe that morality is objective, but not that there is an objective morality. That is to say that actions have objective consequences, and we can measure those consequences against humanities shared goals and desires, but human morality only exists because we have these goals and desires. Reality doesn’t care about us, or our actions, one way or the other.

                Do you understand why Subjective Morality is a problem?

                The reality is that all humans have a set of shared moral instincts because we have evolved as a social species. Our shared heritage means that there are non-arbitrary things that we do not like, and things we do like. We like pleasure, and we avoid pain. I can’t emphasize this enough: Just because morality is subjective does not mean that morality is arbitrary!

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                1. “Would it be okay to rape a woman in a coma if she doesn’t know about it and no one ever finds out since no one is harmed but it gives the rapist pleasure?”

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                  1. I would say no, because of the moral axiom of bodily autonomy. That is, nobody has the right to use the body of another without consent.

                    This idea isn’t objective, but most of us like the idea that our bodies are not the playthings of others.

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                2. “I consider that wrong, but it’s only wrong because of human opinion.”

                  Really? Is that really what you think you need to tell yourself? Seriously?

                  Do you realize that there are Atheists who disagree with you? They dont think that what Hitler did was wrong merely because of our opinion. They think it was Objectively Wrong. Here is a couple of examples, so you can see what I’m talking about. Now, of course, if what I’m about to claim was said by these Atheists wasn’t ever said, then I would very much appreciate evidence to support that.

                  Here’s the examples:

                  http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=4101

                  “So were the Nazis guilty of “real (objective) moral wrong”? According to atheist Antony Flew, they were (Warren and Flew, p. 248). Atheist Wallace Matson agreed (Warren and Matson, p. 353). Whether theist or atheist, most rational people admit that some things really are atrocious.” People do not merely feel like rape and child abuse may be wrong; they are wrong—innately wrong.

                  Just as two plus two can really be known to be four, every rational human can know that some things are objectively good, while other things are objectively evil. However, reason demands that objective good and evil can only exist if there is some real, objective point of reference. If something (e.g., rape) “can properly be the subject of criticism (as to real moral wrong) then there must be some objective standard (some ‘higher law which transcends the provincial and transient’) which is other than the particular moral code and which has an obligatory character which can be recognized” (Warren and Matson, p. 284, emp. added).”

                  Now I always have found the Objective Morality debate to be interesting because there are usually two, I wouldn’t say kinds of Atheists, but its more like, different way that Atheists approach this topic. The first way is that they deny that Objective Moraloty doesn’t exist and thus God does not provide a basis for Objective morality (putting aside the argument of whether or not He exists). The other way that they argue is that there is Objective Morality and they can account for it. They then try to and fail because they can’t.

                  That’s usually how the discussion about Objective Morality goes. Interesting, huh?

                  What does it mean to say that “actions have objectve consequences”?

                  I haven’t finished responding to this comment. There are a couple of things that I don’t understand. But it will have to wait, because I’m about to walk into a movie called “Motherless Brooklyn”.

                  TTYL!!

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                  1. Really? Is that really what you think you need to tell yourself? Seriously?

                    Human morality ultimately is ultimately subjectively because it requires human minds. Without human minds, goals, and desires, nothing that we do is wrong, because reality itself doesn’t care what we do to each other.

                    Do you realize that there are Atheists[sic] who disagree with you?

                    Sure. There are also plenty who agree with me. Being an atheist says nothing about what you think about the nature of morality. As far as the ontology of morality goes, it is really little more than conceptual ideals, and is the invention of humans, largely because of what we’ve inherited through evolution.

                    People do not merely feel like rape and child abuse may be wrong; they are wrong—innately wrong.

                    The fact that people feel like something is “innately wrong” doesn’t make it actually, really wrong. All that wrong means is that it goes against human desires.

                    Just as two plus two can really be known to be four…

                    2+2=4 is true by the meaning of 2, +, =, and 4. This can be derived analytically and proven, just like I can prove that bachelors are unmarried.

                    …every rational human can know that some things are objectively good, while other things are objectively evil.

                    Depending on what exactly you’re talking about, I may agree. There are some actions that objectively lead us towards survival and pleasure, and other actions that objectively lead us away from those goals. But it’s only the consequences of the action, and how they relate to human survival and pleasure, that makes something good. Without some underlying goal, you cannot derive that we ought (or ought not) do something from pure facts.

                    It’s not a fact that punching somebody in the face is wrong, but it is a fact that punching somebody in the face causes pain. You simply cannot derive how we should act from facts alone, and Hume effectively proved this over 200 years ago.

                    The first way is that they deny that Objective Moraloty[sic] doesn’t exist and thus God does not provide a basis for Objective morality

                    Even if I accepted that there is an “objective morality”, that is a morality that exists outside of human minds, I have yet to ever find any convincing reason that God could be the source for it. Again, Hume’s is-ought problem is a serious one for any moral realist.

                    What does it mean to say that “actions have objectve consequences”?

                    It means there are real, and measurable effects to our actions, and every time we act there are measurable consequences in the real world. Literally every action we take has some repercussions in the world, and those are objective. Cutting off somebodies head will have objective consequences for their survival. Providing shelter to a homeless person, in the middle of a cold winter, will have objective consequences to how likely that person is to survive the winter.

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            4. The article actually gives an example of an Objective Moral Statement, if you actually took the time to read it, instead of coming up with excuses that are simply your opinion.

              “It is always morally wrong for anyone to torture babies to death merely for their personal pleasure.”

              “Now, let’s analyze the statement. The word “always” means in every circumstance. The word “anyone” necessitates the inclusion of all people.  The word “merely” means “for no other reason than.” And “personal pleasure” is the reason given.”

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            5. “Just because something is Subjective, that doesn’t make it arbitrary.”

              That certainly can be true, but the problem is that, if Morality is Suvjective then there is no real basis for Right and Wrong. Morality instead is just based on people’s opinion, and since people’s opinion can often times be arbitrary, that ends up being a problem.

              If Morality is Subjective, then who decides what is right and wrong? And who saw that that person is right? And how would you know?

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              1. That certainly can be true, but the problem is that, if Morality is Suvjective then there is no real basis for Right and Wrong.

                Sure there is. Pleasure and pain and a fine basis for morality. We are a social species that depends on other humans for our survival. If I go around and start inflicting unnecessary pain on others, those others are very likely to stop working with me, which means that I’m very likely to not survive. The basis for right and wrong comes from our biology,.

                Morality instead is just based on people’s opinion, and since people’s opinion can often times be arbitrary, that ends up being a problem.

                Is it just your opinion that having your skin burned hurts? Is it just your opinion that getting punched in the face hurts? Is it just your opinion that having a loved one die sucks? These are all subjective experiences that are not at all arbitrary. Morality does not become arbitrary simply because it is subjective.

                If Morality is Subjective, then who decides what is right and wrong?

                We do. We decide what is right and wrong, because our shared evolutionary heritage means that we all share the same kinds of experiences of pleasure and pain. Punching someone in the face is going to inflict pain on that person, and this is not arbitrary, and never will be. For that reason we can make an objective analysis of how harmful our actions are. Once we agree that we want to minimize pain, and maximize pleasure, we can make objective analysis of any action in a given context.

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        2. “There are no Objectively true “oughts” because you cannot derive an ought from an is”

          What does that mean?

          “That said we can say that if we want to avoid human suffering, and promote pleasure, then there are objectivity good ways to achieve this goal. In that sense, Morality is Objective.”

          No. That does not work.

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          1. What does that mean?

            That there are no ought statements that can be derived from facts alone. That we ought not kill babies for pleasure cannot be objectively determined without something other than pure facts.

            No. That does not work.

            Why not? I can make the statement that there if I want to prevent suffering, I shouldn’t stick my hand in a vat of boiling oil. This is an objectively true statement. So what exactly is the problem you have?

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            1. “That we ought not kill babies for pleasure cannot be Objectively determined without something other than pure facts.”

              What does that mean.

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                1. I’m just having a hard time understanding.

                  What exactly would that other thing be, that isn’t “facts”?

                  I wouldn’t respond to your comment immediately but, I just wanted to post this now.

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            2. Why is it an “Objectively True statement? It has not been demonstrated to be an Objectively true statement. It is simply your opinion. Is it not? How (has) is been demonstrated to be an Objectively true statement?

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              1. What is the answer to “Is it always wrong for anyone to torture babies to death merely for their personal pleasure?”

                I simply regard such an action as wrong, but I do not regard it as absolutely wrong, or wrong outside of human opinions on the matter. It’s objectively true that such an action would inflict harm on another human, but reality doesn’t care! It’s not a fact that we shouldn’t (as in a prescription) perform such an action.

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  2. Haha – atheists/skeptics etc be like “why doesn’t God punish sin and remove all evil from the world?”

    God floods the earth because of sin, and punishes a child-sacrificing and evil people.

    Atheists/skeptics etc: “How can God do that!?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If your god exists, yes, he could do that, but then you can’t describe him as “just” and “good” because his despicable behavior defies every definition of those words. He is a mass murderer. He is a monster. No one should call this monster…”Heavenly Father”. No sane human father kills his children.

      Your sense of right and wrong is warped due to your brainwashing, Liam.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. What you’re describing is God using a nuclear bomb to remove a cockroach in the kitchen.

      God, who was supposed to be all knowing, and all powerful, could have created the universe in any way that it wanted, yet chose this because it is the best possible world. Something is bit off here, and I don’t understand why theists can’t see it.

      Like

        1. Thanks for the heads up about that, it’s weird that it was detected as spam. Guess I’ll have to keep a closer eye on blog comments to make sure I don’t miss that kind of stuff.

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  3. “Moses seems to have made room for female POWs to be war trophies. (Numbers 31:17-18, Deuteronomy 20:10-14)”

    Regarding Numbers 31:17-18, there is simply nothing in this that suggests that they were (in fact) raped.

    The idea that this supports Rape is based entirely on verse 18 saying
    “save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.”

    But let’s be realistic for a moment. Does verse 18 actually say that the Virgins were raped? No, it doesn’t. So, therefore, the Skeptics are simply assuming that it supports Rape but they have to real evidence to support this claim.

    http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=763

    “The allegation that the Israelite men spared the young girls in order to rape them is nothing but baseless supposition predicated upon a lack of biblical knowledge. In the custom of the time, marriages were conducted at a young age. Therefore, the reference to the young girls who had not “known man by lying with him” would indicate that they were very young, likely under the age of twelve. These girls were too young to be able to lead the men of Israel away from Jehovah; therefore, these girls were allowed to live. As to raping them, it is more logical to assume that they wanted these girls for servants. This would be similar to Joshua 9, where Joshua allowed the Gibeonites to live in compelled servitude to the Israelites. Moreover, it would have been sinful for the Israelite men to rape the Midianite girls because rape was (and still is) abhorrent to God (Deuteronomy 22:23-28, esp. 25).”

    http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2333

    https://www.rationalchristianity.net/numbers31.html

    https://debunkedevil.blogspot.com/2009/10/rape-in-bible.html?m=1

    “Murder, rape, and pillage of the Midianites (Numbers 31.7-18): Almost the same thing as above. Again, they say “Clearly Moses approves of rape of virgins”. Apparently EB sees the word virgin and immediately thinks rape. Rape, or even sex, is never mentioned in the entire verse. The process above still applies, as well.”

    In Summary, Skeptics have no real evidence to support their claim that this verse supports Rape. It is simply something that they have either assumed or simply inserted in hopes of not being noticed. Skeptics are clearly willing to do whatever possible in order to justify their Rebellion against God, and it has become remotely clear that they are even willing to lie. Unfortunately for them, the idea that this verse supports Rape has already been debunked on numerous occasions, so there is simply no chance that they will win this argument.

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