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Friday, December 16, 2011

Moral absolutes

I was recently provided this link which argues that there are moral absolutes.

The example provided this example. Molesting children for fun is absolutely morally wrong (or not wrong). It is stating that people would all agree that raping young children is always wrong. I will agree with that statement. However, in the Christian bible, god commands people to molest young girls. Now he does not say have fun with it, that is true, but the people voice no objection. There is no reason to assume they did not enjoy what they were doing. The way the passages read, the people simply rape  the young girls. Now, if we are to assume that there is a moral absolute, such as do not rape young children, and it comes from god, shouldn't we expect to see him not command people to rape young women?

What it ignores is that there is a third option. That we cannot determine what an absolute truth is in all cases. There are certain statements, such as raping children that lead no doubt about whether it is a good or bad concept. But just because there are some ideas which are black and white does not mean all concepts are equally understandable. For example theft. In general terms, theft is considered wrong. How about when a starving man needs to feed his family? How about when a starving man needs to take from people who are preventing him from obtaining the means to feed his family? The issues are  not so black and white in those cases.

Let us consider killing. Once again, killing is viewed as wrong. However, how about in self protection or war? Killing is not considered wrong in those circumstances. So, it is not just that killing is wrong. It is killing someone for the wrong reasons that is wrong. Who decides what are the right reasons? People or "god". People have decided in many different cultures around the world that killing for different reasons is acceptable. In some cultures, it is ok to kill a family member for dishonoring the family. In other cultures, it is ok to kill a spouse for infidelity.  In the USA, we have decided that abortion is acceptable in many cases. We also still permit capital punishment is many states. Other cultures would tell us we are barbaric and that this is unacceptable. 

So, let us consider the idea that we should accept the standards set by god in the bible. Does he condone killing? Of course he does, and for many varied reasons. Of all the ideas about the bible, the concept that God is against killing people is one of the funniest. God is always telling us to kill other people. It is his "go to" response when he gets upset.

Kill People Who Don’t Listen to Priests
Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

Kill Witches
You should not let a sorceress live. (Exodus 22:17 NAB)

Kill Homosexuals
“If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

Kill Fortunetellers
A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death. (Leviticus 20:27 NAB)

Death for Hitting Dad
Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:15 NAB)

Death for Cursing Parents
1) If one curses his father or mother, his lamp will go out at the coming of darkness. (Proverbs 20:20 NAB)
2) All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)

Death for Adultery
If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)

Death for Fornication
A priest’s daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death. (Leviticus 21:9 NAB)

Kill Nonbelievers
They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

Kill False Prophets
If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, “You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord.” When he prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall thrust him through. (Zechariah 13:3 NAB)

Kill the Entire Town if One Person Worships Another God
Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. “The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.” (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

As we can see, the god of the bible believes it is acceptable to kill almost anyone at any time. Let us not forget that he killed everyone on the face of the earth, except for 8 people, because he considered the entire human race too corrupt to exist. At least, that is one of the fables in the bible. 

Do people follow these rules? Of course not. They are absurd and idiotic. If you tried to kill people for worshiping another god, you would never be done with this project. You also would be locked away in a lunatic asylum. 

So, between the two concepts, of accepting that gods word is always right and assuming there are not moral absolutes, people have correctly decided there are no moral absolutes. 

"Strong faith in a weak bridge is dangerous."

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