Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Faith Equals Ignoring Brutality

I recently posted an introduction to myself on a creationist's forum. I had the intention of disscussing some theology, but was greeted with less than civility.

Here's part of that introduction.
My de-conversion started when I read the bible as an excercise to better know God through his word. I started at the beginning and read it cover to cover. What I found was appalling to me. Some of the things that God commands people to do in the OT (a few in the NT too) are not things that I would call moral or divinely inspired. (see Deut 21:18-21) Of course, my Dad explained to me that that was a different time and that the people were under the law. That was just not a good enough answer to me. To me, brutality is brutality, no matter when it was practised. I didn't go completely non-theistic at that time. It happened in stages and eventually I realized that I just didn't believe anymore. For me to pretend that I did would have been dishonest to myself and everyone around me.
And, here's one of the responses I got from one of the theists.
People who are truly saved and without doubt already in their hearts do not allow such things to make them stray away from salvation. You would have enough faith to pray and wait until God shows you why, instead of basing your de-conversion on such a small tidbit.
In other words, I shouldn't let anything deter me from trusting the bible even if it's the contents of the bible itself. There's just no logic in that at all.

I wonder what the everyday working Germans thought when their supreme leader was telling them to kill innocent people. Did they just trust in their leader and that he was doing what had to be done for the greater good? Did they just say that their leader must know more than them and that what he was doing was good because he said it was good? That they should just have enough faith in Hitler until it's the right time for him to explain things?

It's scary to think about that kind of faith. Real scary!

Click here to read the entire thread.

17 comments:

Mark Morrison said...

You said, brutality is brutality, no matter when it was practised.

So according to you captiol punishment shouldn't be allowed? What if they did some pretty evil deeds?

ethinethin said...

Never learned "two wrongs don't make a right", Mark? Do you seriously believe there is any justifiable case of taking someone's life?

Robert Madewell said...

Hey Mark! I missed you buddy!

You know, I haven't actually solidified my stand on capital punishment, yet.

On one hand, I tend to support it in the case of murder. I do not support CP for other crimes and I believe that when it is done, it should be done as humanely and painless as possible.

On the other hand, I think there should be some way to rehabilitate even a murderer. Maybe, its not possible, but maybe it is.

However, the bible supports CP for just about anything. The prescribed method the bible supports is probably the most brutal way to kill someone. Many times it takes a whole day of suffering for someone to die by stoning.

The bible supports CP for the following crimes:
Murder
Homosexuality
Adultery (for the woman)
Picking up sticks on the wrong day
Being raped
Being a rebellious son
Making statues
and much more.

Keep in mind to that my statement that brutality is brutality was a response to my dad telling me that it's ok that the bible has those laws because it was for people a long time ago. That excuse just does not satisfy me.

ethinethin said...

Yes, we can't look at the ancient laws of the ancient hebrews in a culturally relative way and simultaneously make the claim that the bible is the infallible word of god. It's either one or the other.

If that's "just how people were back then", why didn't god set down a less brutal system of laws, bringing their culture into an age of enlightenment? Why was he content to keep them in darkness for so long (and still to this day to some extent, since old testament laws are still in many holy books)?

If it's the infallible word of god, I would expect that all of those laws still apply to modern christians as the ideal way to live.

ethinethin said...

I mean seriously, these are laws given directly from god, telling his favored people how to live. Almost none of them can be applied to the modern way of life and our current secular ethics can show how they are flawed.

To be fair, Robert, a day of pain from being stoned to death is nothing compared to eternity in hell. God's own brutality is much larger than the brutality he commands.

GCT said...

CP is wrong. End of story.

In this country, the application of it is disproportional towards African Americans and other minorities and one is more likely to receive the death penalty for crimes against whites. It's also sexually skewed with men receiving more death sentences than women. Even if it's not enough to simply realize that killing people as criminal punishment isn't justified, the statistics alone should make people want to abolish it (at least those who value equality).

Robert Madewell said...

You know, GCT, I just haven't made up my mind about it, yet. I suppose the fundyism is draining away slowly. Give me time, I might come around.

Robert Madewell said...

Hey Mark, I want to know what you think about the commentor's statement. Should I have just ignored the brutality in the bible? Should I just have faith that I'll understand it all, by and by? If I were to do that, could I still hold to a theology of inerrancy? Is faith ignoring something that you find immoral? Or, maybe, was the commentor just an idiot? Or, maybe, am I an idiot? I really want to know what you think about the topic of this post.

Mark Morrison said...

Robert Madewell said...
Hey Mark, I want to know what you think about the commentor's statement. Should I have just ignored the brutality in the bible?

Of course you shouldn't ignore it. But it was there for a reason. At the time Deut. was written Israel had roamed the wilderness for 40 years. So I can see where the punishment was pretty harsh for certain offenses. The passage you used does go into some of the things that the young man was doing but we can't begin to understand the setting. So I make no judgement on the crime or punishment. I think that was the position that your Dad was taking.

Mark Morrison said...

ethinethin said...
Never learned "two wrongs don't make a right", Mark? Do you seriously believe there is any justifiable case of taking someone's life?

I do believe that murder is reason enough. As long as there is no question they are guilty.

Mark Morrison said...

You wanted to know what I thought about the title of this post.I don't agree that faith equals ignoring brutality. I don't understand everything in the Bible but I'm not afraid to ask about passages I don't understand. I don't think that God minds us asking questions. Also I never thought you were an idiot,I actually like talking to the people that post on this blog.

Mark Morrison said...

GCT said...
CP is wrong. End of story.

In this country, the application of it is disproportional towards African Americans and other minorities and one is more likely to receive the death penalty for crimes against whites. It's also sexually skewed with men receiving more death sentences than women. Even if it's not enough to simply realize that killing people as criminal punishment isn't justified, the statistics alone should make people want to abolish it (at least those who value equality).

Don't fall over but I do agree with you about minorities being more likely to recieve worse punishment. Race has long been a dividing issue in this country. It is a shame really. What if it were possible that equal punishent for all could be maintained. Would you be ok with CP then?

Robert Madewell said...

"The passage you used does go into some of the things that the young man was doing but we can't begin to understand the setting."

I disagree with you. That passage says that you have to say that your son is a drunk and lazy, etc. It does not specify that your son has to be all those things before he is murdered. You just have to say that he is. No investigation. You accuse your son, end of story.

GCT said...

No, Mark, I would not support CP even if it could be applied fairly. You also stated that you would want to be sure that the alleged murderer really was a murderer, but how will you ever be sure to the extent that you need to be to take away someone's life, especially someone that has already been detained and arrested? Does murdering the murderer serve any sort of function other than assuaging the bloodthirst of the victim's loved ones? Is justice really served by "An eye for an eye?"

ethinethin said...

GCT,

I was going to say just that in response to Mark's answer to my question. We can never be 100% certain that someone was "the murderer", even with a smoking gun, a video tape, eye witness testimony and an admission of guilt. You could have all of these things and still have an innocent person.

But I understand your position, Mark, and why you support the death penalty. As Bill Hicks pointed out, Christians who are against the death penalty are somewhat hypocritical. ;)

DagoodS said...

Legal systems (as good as they may be) are still too fraught with error due to human involvement. We now have alternatives to capital punishment—life imprisonment—obviating its necessity.

There is no reason for it.

Mark Morrison said...

ethinethin said...
GCT,

I was going to say just that in response to Mark's answer to my question. We can never be 100% certain that someone was "the murderer", even with a smoking gun, a video tape, eye witness testimony and an admission of guilt. You could have all of these things and still have an innocent person.

But I understand your position, Mark, and why you support the death penalty. As Bill Hicks pointed out, Christians who are against the death penalty are somewhat hypocritical. ;)


Thanks to all. GCT I do understand your point of view.