The Straw Man Gallery
Oh, but I have studied the Old Testament in depth and do not see at all the atrocities you claim. I see a God who created humans, knowing they would reject him, but choosing to love them anyway and offer a relationship. God only authorized violence against those people groups who purposefully and willfully, and knowingly tried to extinguish God’s people and their message about God from the earth. Have you ever wondered why,after thousands of years, Israel still exists? And why so many still are trying to “wipe them from the earth?” to quote the Iranian President. Such talk is irrational, unless the Jewish people truly are chosen by God for a special purpose. In that case, the hatred is not justified, but at least understandable.
As for circular reasoning, here is an example of how you do it: There is no God. Without God there is no purpose. However, the universe has purpose. You say the universe is not an accident. Consider this–suppose you went to the art store and purchased paints, brushes, and a canvas, then left them on your dining room table all day while you worked. Upon arrival at home that evening, you discover a beautiful original painting where the supplies had been hours before. You assume,rationally, that SOMEONE with a purpose created that painting. There is no other rational assumption. This is why atheism is a hard sell for most people. They cannot look at all they see and determine there was no purpose for it. But you cannot remove God from the equation, thus removing what you consider his objectionable attributes, and leave in the attributes that YOU find acceptable to your worldview. That does not remove God–that reshapes him into what you want or need him to be.
Here’s another example:There is no God. Therefore there is no higher authority than man. Man can decide what is just. Some men’s actions,particularly Jews and Christians, are unjust.– You claim God is unjust, but without a purposeful creator, justice does not exist. Laws are only a matter of majority opinion if there is no higher authority. We could legalize murder if we wanted to, and you could not object! You could not call upon a higher authority. So what if people in the bible killed each other? IF there is no God, it doesn’t matter what we do. We, and everything in the universe, are just one huge collective accident that has no point, no purpose, and no meaning.
Really, you do not see at all the atrocities?
– In Genesis 7:21-23, God drowns the entire population of the earth: men, women, children, fetuses, and animals.
– In Exodus 12:29, God the baby-killer slaughters all Egyptian firstborn children and cattle because their king, because of God, was stubborn.
– In Numbers 16:41-49, the Israelites complain that God is killing too many of them. So, God sends a plague that kills 14,000 more of them.
– In 1 Samuel 6:19, God kills 50,000 men for peeking into the ark of the covenant.
– In Numbers 31:7-18, the Israelites kill all the Midianites except for the virgins, whom they are allowed to rape as spoils of war.
– In 2 Kings 2:23-24, some kids tease the prophet Elisha, and God sends bears to dismember them.
Did you happen to miss all those while engaged in your in depth studies of the Old Testament? The list goes on and on but I think I have made my point, the god you claim to worship, if he were real, would be a malevolent prick of a deity.
So your god creates humans and when they reject him, he expresses his love by slaughtering humans by the millions. You know what, that’s the kind of relationship that wife beaters have with their spouse. The husband (god) goes on and on about how much he loves his wife (humans) until the wife does something the husband (god) doesn’t quite like and then the violence beings; except according to you the violence is done out of love.
So if god’s violence was only against those people who tried to extinguish his people then why did he “authorize” the violence against Job? According to the story, Job was one of the most faithful yet god, TO WIN A BET, sat back and “authorized” the devil to kill innocent people. If god’s “violence granting” was only against those who opposed him then why did he allow Jephthah to sacrifice his own innocent daughter? (Judges 11:29-40) Jephthah promises to sacrifice the first thing that came out of the door of his house when he returned home from winning a battle. His daughter came out and after allowing her to lose her virginity; he slaughtered her in the name of the god you claim loves us all so very much. I’ll be damned, she must have been one of those people trying to extinguish his people though; according to you that is. I have more examples but I will move on to your next fallacy.
Have I ever wondered why Israel exists? No, because the history is quite clear and does not involve supernatural forces. Israel was carved out after WW2 by the British as a place for Jews after the atrocities committed against them by Germany. It became a country because zealous Jews felt they were mandated by ancient screed to do so. Your god didn’t come down and say here you go as much as you like to pretend that is what happened.
Why are so many still trying to “wipe them from the earth?”; because of Christianity. Matthew 27:25, the WORD OF GOD itself, says quite clearly that the Jews asked to be responsible for the murder of Jesus. There is your reason and justification for people hating Jews, your own damn religion says they asked for it. It does not matter if you choose to ignore that portion because for 2000 years millions of Christians lived and died disagreeing with you. Likewise, millions of Jews died at the hands of Christians who believed themselves to be acting out the will of your god. Ugh NO, Just because a new country for Jews was founded and given the same name (Israel) does not in any since confirm it was done by god, there is nothing divine about humans self-fulfilling a supposed prophecy. You are committing a “Fallacy of the single cause”.
You make straw-man arguments that even if I had made them would not be circular. What you wrote are arguments you conjured and ascribed to me.
1) I NEVER wrote that “There is no god”. My position is that there is no good reason to think that there are gods.
2) I NEVER wrote that without a god there is no purpose. I actually think humans are perfectly capable of deciding their own purpose. In fact, you have decided that your purpose in life is to make yourself a slave to an invisible sky wizard in the blind hope that you will never die.
Your assertion that the universe has a purpose is fallacious as it requires proof but is assumed without proof. There is no reason to think the universe has any purpose. You may believe this as part of your religion but it is a claim which you must support with evidence.
1) I NEVER wrote that the universe was not an accident. You asked if the universe was just an accident and I explained that for anything to be described as accidental you must demonstrate that something else was intended. That requires evidence and you have provided none.
Your analogy of a painting is flawed because you presume from the outset that the cosmos is like a painting, having been designed, fashioned, or created according to some design. We know that paintings are DESIGNED and MADE because we have evidence that humans do the DESIGNING and MAKING. Where your argument fails is that you do not know that the cosmos was DESIGNED, and you refuse to provide any evidence that the cosmos was DESIGNED. Because your creationist premise is unsubstantiated, your argument by analogy is fallacious.
Atheism is not trying to sell you anything, atheism means not buying what religion is selling. Atheism is a result of the application of logic and an acknowledgment of one’s own limited knowledge.
You wrote that you cannot look at all you see and determine there was no purpose. Well this fallacy is called an appeal to consequences. Your hold the premise (cosmic purpose) to be true based on whether that premise leads to desirable consequences. This is based on an appeal to emotion and is a form of logical fallacy, since the desirability of a consequence does not address the truth value of the premise.
I am not leaving any attributes which I find acceptable about god in my worldview. My view is that there is no reason to think your god has any effect upon reality, good or bad. I am not reshaping anything; to the contrary, you have reshaped the jealous, vengeful, angry, genocidal god of the bible into a loving teddy bear deity who wants to snuggle with you when you go to bed at night. You do this by purposefully ignoring all the evil shit he does and focusing on just the nice parts. What a clear cut case of projecting if I have ever seen it.
You are still making straw-man arguments. I never made the argument you outline, you are making that argument and again it is an appeal to consequences. You apparently believe that by accepting that there might not be a god, chaos will break loose and everyone can just start killing and raping at will.
Let me ask you, if you suddenly awoke tomorrow and did not believe in god would be more inclined to just randomly kill the first person you met? Would you rob the first gas station you drove past? Would you rape the first good looking woman you looked at? If you answered YES to any of those then you are a psychopath, but if you answer as I suspect most morally inclined people would then what have you just admitted? You have admitted that even in the absence of this “higher authority” you are perfectly capable of distinguishing right and wrong, good and bad, the just and unjust with nothing but your own reason to guide you.
We humans have advanced to a point where we form bodies of men to discuss at length the reason why certain actions should be disallowed and erect laws to prohibit such acts. All of this is done without asking what your god thinks and waiting for an answer. If we did follow what the Bible says then slavery would still be allowed and almost any minor offense would warrant the death penalty, including working on the Sabbath. And before you give me that crap about Jesus changing all that you might want to read Matthew 5:18-19.
God is very unjust, arbitrary, and capricious and justice does not require a magical sky wizard. That assertion is just utter bullshit. Justice is a social construct of humans and derived from the mutual agreement of everyone concerned; or, in many versions, from what we would agree to under hypothetical conditions including equality and absence of bias. It is not magical and does not require a divine dictator to operate.
You actually think that in the absence of god “We could legalize murder if we wanted to, and nobody could not object!” Murder was legalized multiple times by your god and nobody could object then. Never mind that though, supposing some society did agree that murdering each other was just fine, that society would eventually die out. Justice is founded upon consequences and just because there is no sky daddy does not mean there are no right and wrong answer concerning the consequences of certain acts like killing each other at random. Therefore even without a God, it does matter how we act toward each other, our survival depends on getting our morals correct. OH NO! You might say morality EVOLVED! I am suspect that possibility makes you shit a brick.
Again, you cannot rightly claim that everything in the universe is just one huge collective accident because you have no evidence that there ever was an intended purpose in the first place!
So what if the universe and your life have no divine purpose!!! God damn it, that fact does not prevent you and me from deciding our own purpose. Stop crying like a baby and childishly demanding that you keep your invisible sky daddy and get the hell on with fulfilling a purpose you choose! The divine purpose is rather shitty at any rate; prostrate yourself before an invisible being and waste the one life you know you have reading ONE book over and over again, never learning anything new, never discovering how the universe really works, just wasting away in ignorance and the false satisfaction that by remaining stupid until you die, you will spend an eternity in some magical place where you can be a slave for the rest of time. That actually sounds like HELL to me so I think I will pass on your unfounded divine purpose thank you very much.