The Mutt’s Nuts

Where religion is about as attractive as a two week holiday in Afghanistan

De-bunking God

with 26 comments

In a recent comment on another post, Twelve asked me to explain my statement that “the Christian god had been debunked in my mind”. As it required quite a lengthy reply, I decided to answer his question in the form of a new post.

In the process of leaving the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I developed the ability to critically examine my beliefs for the first time. Following my deconversion from Mormonism, I found that I was better able to look at every aspect of belief, including God, more objectively.

I had always been taught that God was kind, loving and good. However, the Bible does not bear this out. In the Old Testament especially, God is portrayed as a jealous, paranoid, murdering bully. God demands that humans worship no-one but him. He is wrathful and brings all kinds of horrible plagues upon people. He orders the slaughter of innocent men, women, children and babies. He drowns every single human being and animal that he ever created and saves only one family and a male and female sample of each creature. He devises cruel tests, such as commanding a man to kill his own son to prove his loyalty. He condones lying, deceit and slavery. In the story of Lot, he saves a man who willingly offered to provide his two virgin daughters to be raped by an angry mob.

god-at-his-computer.jpg

The New Testament God, in the person of Jesus, tells everyone that they should hate their parents (contradicting one of the 10 commandments which demands that parents should be honoured). He treats his own mother disrespectfully. He apparently thinks that it’s okay to consign people to a fiery pit to be tortured forever, just for not believing in him, because he repeats it over and over again. He is verbally abusive to his disciples and to the religious leaders of his day.

It amazes me now that I had never picked up on these ugly aspects of the loving, sympathetic, gentle God that I had been taught to believe in.

When I looked around at what was happening in the world today, I wondered where was the deity who intervened so regularly in the affairs of his people several thousand years ago? The God who led his people out of captivity in Egypt left them to die in their millions in the gas chambers of Nazi Germany. The God who claimed that not even a sparrow fell to the earth unnoticed seemed to be unaware of the Rwandan genocide. The Bible tells of Jesus raising a child from the dead in answer to the pleadings of her mother, yet countless children have died of starvation and disease in Africa with no kindly God to either ease their suffering or return them fit and well to their grieving families. But then, maybe that is perfectly in keeping with the Biblical God – the God who commands the murder of innocent babes, punishes viciously for perceived slights or offences and turns his own mother away when she tries to see him.

The more I looked at the reality of God’s behaviour, his clear disinterest in the affairs of the weakest and most helpless of his creations, the confusion surrounding competing Christian religions all claiming him as their deity which he does nothing to clarify, and the appalling cruelty that has taken place in his name throughout the centuries which he has refused, or perhaps been unable, to curtail, I decided that I could not in all good conscience bow the knee to such a being. I was sure that, if God was all knowing, all powerful and all good, then the circumstances that I have outlined would not have taken place. I read the excuses that believers made for God’s decisions and actions, but none of them were at all credible. I realised that most ordinary people, myself included, were simply more moral than God. We would not countenance the kinds of behaviour that God apparently endorses. We would act where God stands aloof. We would seek to comfort in situations from which God has withdrawn.

Finally, the only conclusion I could draw was that the Christian God just does not exist. If he did, he would behave very differently from the way that is documented so graphically in the Bible and in the lives of millions of unfortunate people living on the earth today. I’m thankful that such an imposter does not exist and grateful for the mere human beings – both believers and non-believers – who are real examples of bravery, selflessness, kindness and compassion in this world. I believe in people, not God.

IslaSkye

Written by islaskye

November 11, 2007 at 10:47 am

26 Responses

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  1. …and as Christians are fond of claiming, this god and his book is what underpins Western morality. No wonder we’re in such a mess.

    Another good post from an excellent blog.

    Juke

    November 11, 2007 at 12:24 pm

  2. This is a point I think Sam Harris makes really well: even if you think the Bible contains some good moral lessons in there somewhere, that’s hardly impressive enough given that this is supposed to be THE one and only best book on morality and so forth anyone needs or has ever written. It’s from God right?

    And yet the Bible is so woefully confused and convoluted on morality that even today no one is sure whether or not it condones, say, slavery or forced marriage and then marital rape. Of course some people feel it gives clear answers on these questions, but history shows them to be mistaken: it simply cannot be clear at all if so many devoted readers not only got things wrong, but were darn sure that Bible supported their views and not the views of the reformers.

    And so think about it: when it comes to laying out basic moral principles and ideas for how to treat other people, wouldn’t you trust almost any person on the street living today to virtually any Bible believer living in the past?

    That’s because the common moral knowledge of today just seems to know things far more clearly and directly than the Bible. Pretty much everyone agrees that slavery is wrong, that genocide is wrong, that rape is wrong: we can give clear answers on these questions, and even justifications of these positions based not on abstract and bizarre ritual, but based on things like empathy, dignity, and rights. I would trust nearly any person alive today, even if they used the Bible as their supposed guide to morality, over someone from any other age who used the Bible as their guide. That’s because the Bible is clearly far from the best and last word on morality: we’ve come a long way from that darkness.

    Bad

    November 11, 2007 at 4:02 pm

  3. Interesting read:)

    I think the major problem with Christianity is interpretation and representation. There are so many denominations and they all think they are right. You present Jesus as a pretty horrible person, but his basic message was that we should treat each other with love and respect (he said there are really two commandments we should follow: Love God, and love your neighbour as yourself). His parables generally seem to be teaching people to do right by each other, and care for one another. So I’m not quite sure how you arrrive at picture you portray of him. Maybe that’s the way the churches you have belonged to have portrayed him (some churches do like to push fear on their congregations). But having said that, the Gospel were written by men, and so open to error. I can understand though how many people are turned away from Christianity, whatever denomination, through the hypocracy of those within it, the dogma, and those who demand others believe exactly as they do in regards to interpretations of verses otherwise they are ‘sinners’. You may be right. The God they portray may not be the true God. They may have got it all wrong (considering again that all the works in the Bible were written by ‘men’ who as human beings are subject to being biased, wishing to have their own religious views followed, and to making mistakes). But there is also the question to be considered, if there is a God, how can we possibly say what his agenda is? Maybe the suffereing is not because he is mean and unpleasant to us, but because of our own human failings – greed, selfishness, jealousy etc. Maybe he leaves us to make our own choices : we can choose to be selfless, compassionate, understanding, or we can choose not to be, and suffer the consequences here in this life, or, if you believe in an afterlife ,suffer spiritual degredation (the real meaning of hell?). I don’t think rejecting Christianity should necessarily mean rejection of God, just a rejection of one belief about God. There are many others. They may be incorrect too. One does not have to follow any of them (Deist philosophy is interesting in this respect).

    But, does one really have to believe in a God anyway to be a good, moral, caring, compassionate person? I think not. There are many aethists and agnostics who behave in the way Jesus said people should behave, more so than those who proclaim themselves ‘Christians’.

    evangelines

    November 11, 2007 at 4:19 pm

  4. Juke

    Good point. Thanks for the kind words.

    Bad

    You’re right. Morals, like many other things, have evolved over time. What was normal behaviour hundreds or thousands of years ago, may well be considered totally unacceptable today. I think that’s why most Christians pick and choose which parts of the Bible they read or follow.

    islaskye

    November 11, 2007 at 6:21 pm

  5. Evangelines

    I know that Jesus taught some good moral principles, but the purpose of my blog entry was to explain why God lost his appeal for me. That involved talking only about the contradictions and dubious morality contained in the Bible as those were the things that helped to drive me away from belief in God.

    You mention that Jesus’s two main commandments were to love God and to love our neighbour as ourself. These sound laudable, until you realise that he is asking us to love a being that sends unbelievers to an eternal punishment in a fiery hell and who suggests that we cannot follow him unless we hate our families. Now, I’m sure some Christians will have a way of interpreting those statements in a positive way. You might even excuse them by pointing out that the human authors of the Bible made mistakes, but I’m afraid that’s just not good enough for me. I cannot reconcile the idea of a loving God also being cruel enough to devise gruesome punishments for people who’ve simply decided that there is not enough evidence to believe in him.

    As for human suffering being a product of our own failings, I concede that there are plenty of cases where that is true. However, surely an omnipotent being could choose to step in far more often to divert tsunamis, halt hurricanes, relieve drought and famine and banish fatal diseases? Can you really blame all these natural disasters on humans?

    And if hell is really “spiritual degredation” rather than a place of eternal fiery torment, why don’t the scriptures explicitly say so, instead of painting a picture of continuous physical torture and pain?

    I agree that rejection of Christianity doesn’t necessarily mean a rejection of all types of gods. However, I have read and thought about the subject enough to decide that all gods are man-made and that I simply don’t want to waste my time believing in any of them. I also agree that you don’t have to believe in any kind of deity to be good, moral, caring and compassionate and only wish more people accepted that too!

    islaskye

    November 11, 2007 at 6:45 pm

  6. Excuse me. I’m new to this.
    Don’t forget God condons weapons of mass destruction. Afterall, He used them in Egypt (the plagues) and Sodom and Gomorrah. He also condones incest for the purpose of procreation i.e. Lot’s daughters after the destruction

    dani450

    November 11, 2007 at 8:16 pm

  7. Everyone has an opinion…. If the bible helps some people live a better life great but when they push it on the rest of the world, that’s a whole other issue.
    Thanks for the pics.

    Flowers

    November 12, 2007 at 5:29 am

  8. Dani

    Thanks for pointing that out. Shocking, isn’t it?

    islaskye

    November 12, 2007 at 6:31 am

  9. But, Flowers, the Bible encourages its adherents to push the book on the rest of the world. There’s no getting around that mandate, unless you choose to conveniently ignore it.

    Curmudgeonly Yours

    November 12, 2007 at 7:41 am

  10. Hi Islaskye, God talked to me and he told me that you don’t go to Hell if your an Atheist. He did send Leona Helmsley to Hell though. She was a mean selfish you know.

    Mel Steffor

    November 19, 2007 at 4:14 pm

  11. God also said that Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, Nancy Reagan and Richard Dawkins go to Heaven. Now Richard is a well known athiest and He goes to Heaven. God said that he is an embarassment yet God is fond of Richard. With Mike, Merv and Nancy money does not seem to be a factor in going to Heaven. Now Nancy is still alive and ear marked for Heaven. I found that interesting.

    Mel Steffor

    November 19, 2007 at 4:19 pm

  12. Dani, the bible is part Fact, Fable and another part is Fabricated. When you talk about the plagues in egypt you could be referencing a Fable. Not a Fact. Parts of the bible are the stories of Roman Gods, like Zeus. Constantine put the bible together to give himself power over the region.

    Mel Steffor

    November 19, 2007 at 4:24 pm

  13. God said that Jerry Falwell did not go to Heaven. Now Jerry said he was a Christian. He was a TV evanglist. So just believing in God does not get you into Heaven. Now Jerry hated Gays. He also blamed bad weather and disasters on God. He called these disasters the ‘Wrath of God’. I don’t think God liked that. And I don’t think he liked Jerry putting words in his mouth. Anyway Jerry falls into a catagory of people that God does not want in Heaven and He does not want to torture him in Hell either. When Jerry died he just disappeared. Or he became Null. It was quick and painless. No Judgment, just a final Fare-well to Jerry. Bye Jerry

    Mel Steffor

    November 19, 2007 at 4:33 pm

  14. Before I leave. Jesus had a message for everyone. The message is about the meaning of First is Last and Last is First. The mesage is this:
    In the morning I go to Heaven. In the afternoon, I live my Life. In the evening I die, death. Birth=First. Or Birth is Last.

    Mel Steffor

    November 19, 2007 at 4:36 pm

  15. In 2007 God had a message for all of his Children. The message is this:
    We each die in sucession, then we are born on the same day.

    Mel Steffor

    November 19, 2007 at 4:38 pm

  16. I hate to be wordy but God had a lot to say. I will just give you the proof to the message above. The proof is in the story of 3 famous people. Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin and Nancy Reagan. Mike died on his birthday, Aug. 11. Merv died the day after Mike on Aug. 12. Merv and Nancy are born on the same day, July 6. Hence the message from God.
    We each die in sucession, then we are born on the same day.

    Mel Steffor

    November 19, 2007 at 4:42 pm

  17. The Catholic Church does not give you any proof that anything in the Bible is gospel. Now I can prove each and every message that God told me. I don’t have faith I have proof. Lots of it. Volumns of it. You can all read it after I am gone. I mean in Heaven. God said I am going to Heaven too and I am no where near the age of Nancy. Nancy is very old. I found that interesting.

    Mel Steffor

    November 19, 2007 at 4:46 pm

  18. Mel, you’re obviously one sandwich short of a picnic.

    Curmudgeonly Yours

    November 20, 2007 at 2:08 pm

  19. I’m waiting for Mel to start telling us the good news about mortgages and erectile dysfunction.

    Lenoxus

    November 29, 2007 at 6:48 pm

  20. [...] a story of de-conversion and defection from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in De-bunking God. God is loving, kind and merciful, right? Well, think of this post as a character assassination, [...]

    Carnival of the Godless

    December 9, 2007 at 6:02 am

  21. Botzman’s Brains.

    john mruzik

    December 10, 2007 at 1:27 am

  22. The bible was written by many authors and redacted by many editors over time based on facts, myths and cultural memes and motivated by religious, literary and political motivations. As with reading palms, head bumps and tea leaves, practitioners can find many patterns in anomalous stimuli.

    Ex-drone

    December 13, 2007 at 11:41 am

  23. “The second coming of God is at hand”. Take heed and make note, God has returned.

    Mel Steffor

    September 8, 2008 at 3:55 pm

  24. Correction: to the meaning of First is Last and Last is First. It means that Birth is Last and Birth is First, In that order. Sorry for the error, I just realized the correct meaning a few days ago.

    Mel Steffir

    October 10, 2008 at 7:40 pm

  25. I don’t think people understand the message about Birth is Last and Birth is First. To clear up any misunderstanding I would like to explain what this means. God is saying that Birth is Last (First is Last). The next part of the message is: Last is First. Since we now know that Birth is Last (Birth=Last), subsitute birth for last making the second part of the message, birth is first. Or last is now first.

    I know this seems jumbled. Think of it in another way. Birth is Last in this part of your developement. After you are born in the next stage of development it becomes the first.

    Another way of understanding this is to think of a fetus. A fetus exists but has not been born yet (unborn). The last stage of a fetus is Birth (Birth is Last). After a fetus is born it now becomes the beginning or First, (Birth is First).

    Mel Steffor

    April 16, 2009 at 12:40 am

  26. To the Author, I did read what you wrote at the top and you do have some points that are hard to argue. I do argee that God is a trouble maker. It is hard to defend him on some of the stuff he’s done. And I did read the story about Noah this evening of which you mentioned above.. These are my thoughts on the story about Noah: I think Noah’s Ark is a story to explain why rainbows appear and to create a covenant to say that God would never destroy life on Earth again. I don’t believe that the whole Earth was ever flooded and that everything on the face of the Earth died. I think God made up a story for Children to read.

    I don’t think it is possible for Noah to live to 950 years, for the Earth to be covered with water to the top of the mountains or for one mans family to feed and keep two of every animal for the length of time the ship was afloat. Only a child could believe all of that. It is not possible for any of this to happen. So I believe this is just a story about rainbows and that God is saying he is not going to destroy everything even if all of you become evil and wicked.

    That also means the Apocalypse is not going to happen like is says it is in Revelation. I believe that Revelation and the entire New Testament was made up my the Romans in a similar way God made up a story about a flood.

    Mel Steffor

    July 9, 2011 at 12:55 am


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