Maggie A's Meanderings




 Jul 13, 2014

Why I'm More Moral Than God
(The Judeo-Christian God of the Old Testament)
Part One

This topic was inspired in part by an online discussion I had on the "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" TV show board on IMDb. This discussion was with a Christian who -- unbelievably to me --- had joined IMDb specifically so he/she could come on a board about a science program and preach about his/her religious beliefs. I told that proselytizer that the god portrayed in the Bible had worse morals than I did. (Though I did acknowledge that if the Jesus Christ portrayed in the Gospels was accurate, there was a person who was more moral than I was. But, according to their religion, Jesus Christ is only one facet of the Judeo-Christian deity's multiple personalities. It's like pretending that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde don't inhabit the same body to say that the sins of God-the-Father aren't a part of God-the-Son.) I listed a number of actions that the Bible depicts God as doing, but couldn't get an acknowledgment that any of those acts were bad though the person did admit that those would be bad acts if people did them.

That's the moral equivalent of..............

If the old guy down the street is teased for being bald by some neighborhood children and he goes into his garage, comes out with an ax and starts hacking the kids to pieces, Christians (especially fundamentalist, law & order Christians) are all for throwing him in prison. The Judeo-Christian God has forty-two children torn to pieces by bears for calling one of his prophets bald, those same Christians are fine with that. Their next door neighbor knocks up an twelve year old girl and Christians will express the hope he'll get raped in prison. And when he gets out of prison, they sure don't want him living next door to them again, especially if they have a twelve year old girl in the family. But God knocks up a twelve year old Mary (the age that Jewish girls would be betrothed) and Christians invite Him into their homes and introduce their children to Him. There's a doctor in town performing abortions ----- shut that clinic down! They're murdering babies. Get the Republican legislature to pass laws about "transvaginal ultrasounds" and "fetal pain." But God can wipe out towns, countries, most of the world with all those unborn babies killed and those same Christians screaming about how it's wrong to kill the unborn won't let out a peep.

As I said to that proselytizing Christian on the Cosmos board, Christians are the kings of moral relativism. Even though they pretend that moral relativism is abhorrent to them, they're actually the biggest practitioners of it. Because none of the ones I've met have the stones to say that those acts of their god were evil though they have no problems condemning the actions of the people. As I told the person on the board, "Your arguments all boil down to 'God did it, so it's okay.'"

Me? I don't have any problems saying they're not okay and condemning many of the acts of the god depicted in the Old Testament. It doesn't even matter to me that I believe those acts are fictional. Fictional actions and fictional characters can be evil --- a good villain is a necessity for many stories. (It didn't matter in Star Wars that the stormtroopers wore white hats, well, helmets --- you could tell the Empire was bad by its actions of murdering Luke's family and the Jawas, torturing Princess Leia and blowing up the planet of Alderaan.) So even though I believe that most of the Bible is fictional, especially the Old Testament (though some of it may have a very loose basis in historical events), when I read about the character of God in the Bible, I don't think he's very moral in a lot of it.

So it's easy for me to say that I'm more moral than the God of the Old Testament.

Now, I'm no saint...............I'm better than some saints. After all, I would never burn someone alive for having a book like Saint Thomas More did. (Ironically, the book they were burned for having was the Bible.) And I would never continue to employee a pedophile in a job where he can keep on molesting children like Pope, excuse me, Saint John Paul II did* --- and his sainthood raced through. 
But sainthood is less about being truly moral and more hinged upon miracles. And, hey, John Paul II had the requisite number of miracles (2) that got credited to him, so make him a saint. The sexual abuse of thousands of children is nothing compared to a couple of "miracles." Yet according to the Bible the spirits of devils can perform miracles, so miracles seem a poor criteria for sainthood to me.

And I'm no angel. But then, one-third of the host of heaven rebelled against God. Of course, if their god was the God depicted in the Old Testament, I wouldn't blame them for that. If I were forced to worship someone who did the things that deity did, I'd hope I'd have the courage to rebel.

What I try to be is simply a decent person most of the time. Most of us, I hope, try to be a decent person most of the time whether we're motivated by religion or humanism. If you do manage to be a decent person most of the time, then "Congratulations!" because that would make you too more moral than the God of the Old Testament, because that deity committed a lot of wrongdoing even if plenty of morally relativistic Christians absolutely refuse to acknowledge it.

So here for comparison I present part one of what the Biblical God did and what I would have done were I God. And I have no problems saying I think my actions would have been more moral..................

Event What God Did What I'd Have Done as God
The Story of Adam and Eve
Instructions to the First Humans
and Animals
1:28 Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
"Remember, you share this wonderful world that I created. Live in harmony and balance with it. Treat it and the other creatures that live in it --- whether they live in the sea, the air or the land --- with respect. That goes for the children you'll have one day and their children and all the generations to come out of your fruitfulness and multiplying. Just keep that multiplying to a reasonable amount --- a stable population of a billion, max, is a good goal."

This I actually agree with. I'd have started the world off as vegetarian too.
Warning about the Forbidden Fruit 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
"You can eat from any tree in the garden except this one. Leave this tree alone. It's the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and it will forever change your life and alter this wonderful existence I gave to you.

"Don't ask me why I planted it here in the garden with you when I don't want you eating it and could have planted it on the other side of the planet; and, believe me, you have know idea how far away that is.

"It's here. You're going to have to deal with it. Trust me. A lot of life can be like that."
The Serpent 3:3 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? "Hey, you snake. Stay away from my children." As I'm God, I can enforce that command.
Temptation of the Forbidden Fruit  3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise,  If there's something any parent (or caretaker) should understand about young children who don't know the difference between right and wrong, it's that you have to tell them over and over what their limits are and what's acceptable behavior. And my human creations, though physically mature, are children in emotions, psychology and experience. So they have to be taught just like children.

Here's where being God comes in handy. You see, I'm omniscient. So the first time Eve approached the tree and started to pick a fruit, I'd have told her, "No!" very firmly. After that, the warnings would escalate. A loud clap of thunder, a strategically placed lightning bolt should scare the bejesus out of those two. Never mind that Jesus hasn't been born yet.
Eating the Forbidden Fruit

she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

13 And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
All right, I've warned those kids it feels like a thousand times about the forbidden fruit. They have a thorough understanding of their limits and that they should not eat that fruit.

But they ate the fruit anyway.

"Did the two of you eat the fruit I told you not to eat?" I ask full well knowing the answer.

"Adam, quit blaming your wife. You knew perfectly well that you shouldn't eat that fruit. God knows and you know, I've told you enough times."

"And you, young lady, if the snake had told you to jump off a cliff would you have done that too? You made your own decision."

The Punishment 14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
I don't need to punish the snake. Human nature is going to do that one for me.

"You are so grounded. And I mean G-R-O-U-N-D-E-D. When you're through with your chores, it's straight to bed with you. And that fun stuff you do to try to be fruitful and multiply............forget it. You're going to be too tired.

"Because it's suddenly autumn in the Garden of Eden. And you haven't invented the rake or the wheel barrow or even the wheel and the Hefty garbage bag is long time off, so have fun trying to pick up all those leaves and take them to the compost pile."
The Aftermath 3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
"Adam, you're welcome to suggest a name for your wife. If she likes it, she'll use it. But don't start getting full of yourself. I'm the mother of all living. Even after you and your wife have children, she's still not going to be the mother of all living. And you're not going to be the father of all living."

What? I'm going to start killing my other innocent creations who haven't done anything wrong, just so those two can have clothing? Not this God.

God speaking to myself, "Hmmm. Maybe I should transplant that other tree and get it away from those two. After all, I'm God. I shouldn't make the same mistake twice. That would make me a pretty dumb God."

Kick my children out of their home because they disobeyed me once?
Not this God. This God has a sense of proportion.
The Story of Cain and Abel
The Offering 4 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.

2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.

4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

My vegetarian kids are now meat eaters. Sigh. Oh well, that's what happens when you give them free will.

"Thank you, Cain, for your present to your grandparent. I know you worked hard on this."

"Thank you, Abel, for your present to your grandparent. I know you worked hard on this."

Not a chance of this happening. It doesn't matter which one I liked better (which offering or which grandchild), I'm still going to be equally respectful of both their offerings. They're both my grandchildren, and they both worked hard at making their gifts for their old grandgod.

The Murder 8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?

10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.

At least I know my actions in favoring one grandchild over the other didn't cause this horrible crime because I didn't favor Abel over Cain.

No, this is clearly the result of eating that forbidden fruit. Even though I didn't pass their parents' sin onto their children. I'm trying to be a moral God here and what kind of moral deity curses children for the actions of their parents? A moral deity wouldn't. No, it's their parents who passed on their sin. Adam and Eve have the knowledge of good and evil and they raised their kids with that knowledge.

"Cain, what have you done?????????"
The Punishment 4:11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;

12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
"Now for murdering your brother, for this you get kicked out of the Garden of Eden. But first you're going to have to tell your parents what you did."

Cain's Reaction to His Punishment 4:13 And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

15 And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
"Tough. Don't do the crime unless you can do the time."

"Cain, the only other people on the entire planet are your parents. I don't blame you for thinking your parents are going to kill you after what you did. But I've already decided your punishment so I won't let them kill you. Though it's understandable if they knock you around a little."

I can only hope that a few decades of wandering the Earth by himself will teach Cain the value of human life.
Exit from Eden 4:16 And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch
And, now, I as God have a dilemma --- one of my own making.

You see, I don't want my grandchildren committing incest with their siblings. That kind of inbreeding can cause serious genetic problems down the line. Brothers and sisters fucking, that's going to lead to pointy headed Egyptian pharaohs and Deliverance.

And I better explain all that to Adam and Eve before the other kids they're going to have start playing doctor.

But that still leaves with my problem of who those kids are going to play doctor with. Obviously, I'm going to have to create some more people for Adam and Eve's kids to eventually marry. I'll put them in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Sadly, they'll never have the innocent existence that Adam and Eve had. It doesn't even matter if they eat of the fruit of the once forbidden tree. Because simply by being around Adam and Eve, they're going to learn about good & evil just like Cain and Abel did. And when some of them do something bad enough, I'll have to kick them out of the garden. Or maybe a few of them will get the urge to explore. It is a gorgeous world, if I do say so myself, and well worth seeing.

Let the begetting begin.

Next time -- I handle the Flood and Noah's Ark.

* I first heard of pedophile priests in the 1980s, and I wasn't even a member of the Catholic Church much less the head of it. Then about every 10 years after that there would be another big media blitz in the U.S. about the Catholic Church and its pedophile priests. But Pope John Paul II just sat on his thumbs instead of getting those perverts the hell away from children. One prominent example of Saint John Paul II's continuing to employee a pedophile was the case of Rev. Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legion of Christ. "In 1979, a US bishop sent the Congregation for Religious a bombshell set of documents detailing the 20 Legion priests and seminarians who had been sexually abused by Maciel." That was 1979. The entire time that Saint John Paul II was pope (1978 - 2005), he did nothing to investigate Maciel. Maciel wasn't convicted and sanctioned until after John Paul II was finally dead.

apple eaten

For more of my take on religion, the religious and what the Bible has to say, read "Life Among the Baptists: One Outsider's Perspective" and "Self-Proclaimed Antichrist."

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