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2/22/09

Ecce Homo’s Commandments

The New Atheists claim that atheism is holier than theism. Dan Barker, of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, declared that “Darwin has bequeathed what is good.” Being hard a work concocting a neo non-religious religion Professor Richard Dawkins has thus bequeathed “The New Ten Commandments.”[1]

Atheism and morality
Behold, The New Ten Commandments, of Which There Are Fifteen:

1. Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you.
2. In all things, strive to cause no harm.
3. Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect.
4. Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted.5. Live life with a sense of joy and wonder.
6. Always seek to be learning something new.
7. Test all things; always check your ideas against the facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it does not conform to them.
8. Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you.
9. Form independent opinions on the basis of your own reason and experience; do not allow yourself to be led blindly by others.
10. Question everything.
11. Always devise your rules as if you didn’t know whether you were going be at the top or the bottom of the pecking order.
12. Enjoy your own sex life (so long as it damages nobody else) and leave others to enjoy theirs in private whatever their inclinations, which are none of your business.
13. Do not discriminate or oppress on the basis of sex, race or (as far as possible) species.
14. Do not indoctrinate your children. Teach them how to think for themselves, how to evaluate evidence, and how to disagree with you.
15. Value the future on a timescale longer than your own.

Atheism and morality

Atheism and morality
Numbers 1-10 were copied and pasted by Prof. Richard Dawkins from a random website.Number 11 is what Prof. Richard Dawkins imagines John Rawls would have said if he had been asked to make a statement on this matter.Numbers 12-15 are Prof. Richard Dawkins’ own invention.Atheism and morality
What Prof. Richard Dawkins did is type “New Ten Commandments” into an internet search engine, copied the first thing he saw, and purposefully looked no further (the very definition of modern day skepticism, by the way). He then imagined the 11th and concocted the last four. But why did he do this?
“The whole point is that it is the sort of list that any ordinary, decent person today would come up with. Not everybody would home in on exactly the same list of ten.”[2]
Atheism and morality
In keeping with the new anthro-commandments, we will now test and question them since they appear to be in serious need of commentary, interpretation and elucidation.Atheism and morality
Interestingly enough, as outdated and irrelevant as some New Atheists think the Bible’s commandments to be A. J. Jacobs, editor at large for Esquire, published a book entitled “The Year of Living Biblically.” Jacobs, who is an agnostic, set out to live according to biblical precepts for a year. Some of the results are very interesting:
“His biggest challenges? ‘That’d be no coveting, no lying, no gossiping. They’re little sins, but they’re killers. My year made me realize just how many of these sins I committed every day. And refraining from them for a year was really hard but completely transforming.Biggest lesson? ‘Your behavior shapes your beliefs. If you act like a good person, you eventually become a better person. I wasn’t allowed to gossip, so eventually I started to have fewer petty thoughts to gossip about. I had to help the less fortunate, so I started to become less self-absorbed. I am not Gandhi or Angelina Jolie, but I made some progress.”[3]

Atheism and morality
Considering Each In Turn:

1. Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you.

Considering that atheists are forced by their amoral worldviews to borrow morality from theistic systems, it is not in the least bit surprising that the first new commandment is a dyslexic version of an old one.Known as “The Golden Rule” this first anthro-commandment is most readily recognizable as being derived from the Bible.

“whatever you desire that men should do to you, do even so to them (Matthew 7:12).“as you desire that men should do to you, you do also to them likewise” (Luke 6:31).

The anthro version merely requires not doing something while the Biblical versions are proactive and call us to do: we are to actively treat people well and in doing so we will also not treat them badly.Atheism and morality
Some have pointed out that the golden rule does not originate from the Bible but can be found in Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, etc. Yet, some questions ought to be asked about these other occurrences such as:
How do we know that Zoroaster, Krishna, Confucius, Lao Tzu or Siddhartha Gautama even existed?
When were such things spoken by them?
What is the time of this event to the time of the writing?
Who wrote it?
What is the time of the writing to the time of the earliest manuscript?
How many manuscripts do we have?
How do the compare?
Why should we believe that they accurately reflect what was spoken?
Etc., etc., etc.
These are questions that modern-day-pseudo-skeptical-New-Atheist would never even imagine asking.
Atheism and morality
But, if they did state such things why should this not be so? After all the Bible tells us that God has written His law in our minds and hearts (Jeremiah 31:33 and Romans 2:15).Interestingly enough the original author of the first ten, “The New Ten Commandments” made the following comment,
“The first thing to notice about this list is that there are no ‘Thou shalt nots’. That time-worn phrase is too dogmatic, too authoritarian; it conveys all too well the idea of a stark list of laws chiseled in stone.”[4]

Atheism and morality
Oddly enough we only have to read as far as the first one to find a “Do not do” statement. I do not wish to get sidetracked into the whole issue of semantics but “Do not do” is merely updated English for “Thou shalt not.”Atheism and morality

2. In all things, strive to cause no harm.

This statement appears to be derivative from a lineage dating back to Aleister Crowley, the most infamous occultist of the twentieth century, who stated, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.” The Wiccans seem to have attempted to subdue the statement in their Rede which states, “An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will.” Prof. Richard Dawkins seems to have taken one step back since he does not state “cause no harm” but “strive to cause no harm.” Give it the 'ol college try chaps.
But what does it mean to “harm”? The answer is not as simple as it may seem. We learn an important lesson here which is that the very moment that someone asks “What does that mean?” behold, an interpretation has been born. And so the new ten commandments will have to, by necessity, grow by the addition of interpretations and commentaries.The Bible states, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18).
Atheism and morality
3. Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect.

This is certainly a commandment that we ought to request that Prof. Richard Dawkins model for us considering that he is famously, or infamously, voluptuously belligerent towards his fellow human beings—where’s the love?The Bible states:

“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I [am] the LORD” (Leviticus 19:18).
Atheism and morality
“‘Honor your father and [your] mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 19:19).Atheism and morality
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).Atheism and morality
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).Atheism and morality
“For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if [there is] any other commandment, are [all] summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Romans 13:9).Atheism and morality
“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Galatians 5:14).Atheism and morality
“If you really fulfill [the] royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well” (James 2:8).


Atheism and morality
4. Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted.

In other words act just like the Bible states:

“Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven’” (Matthew 18:21-22 ).Atheism and Richard Dawkins
“And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do’” (Luke 23:33-34).

Atheism and Richard Dawkins
5. Live life with a sense of joy and wonder. And6. Always seek to be learning something new.

These are pretty straight forward although #5 is a bit too ethereal for me except to say that it is commanding us to enjoy life—done! I generally state “Learn something new every other day—take a day off.” But seriously, generally it would be difficult to find anyone anywhere who does not always seek to learn something new whether it is reading a newspaper, having a conversation or studying a new subject—“knowledge shall increase” (Daniel 12:4).

Atheism and Richard Dawkins

7. Test all things; always check your ideas against the facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it does not conform to them.

Someone calling themselves “Liberal Eagle” posted a fascinating comment to this commandment in a post entitled “We’re smarter than God” the Eagle wrote,

“This one wins the award for most diametric opposition to Yahweh’s whole ‘believe with no evidence, or I’ll let Satan torture you for eternity’ thing.”


Certainly, one is tempted to state something to the likes of “How could someone compress so many fallacies into one sentence?” Yet, it seems immediately noteworthy to point out that the very verbiage “Test all things” is a direct quote from the Bible, “Test all things and hold fast to that which is good” (1st Thessalonians 5:21). The Eagle may also be interested in learning the following verse, “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ Says the LORD” (Isaiah 1:18).Atheism and Richard Dawkins

8. Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you.

The Bible praises the Bereans who would not simply believe but researched whether what they were being taught was true:

“Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 11:10-11).

Atheism and Richard Dawkins

It is hard to believe that Prof. Richard Dawkins reproduced this one since he is a consistent breaker of this commandment. Please pardon our lengthy circumlocution but a few rejoinders come to mind. A creationist group called Answers in Genesis interviewed Prof. Richard Dawkins in 1997, eventually this interview was included in a video entitled “From a Frog to a Prince” Much controversy has ensued form this event—Prof. Richard Dawkins’ point of view can be found here and Answers in Genesishere. For the moment, let us grant Prof. Richard Dawkins’ retelling as it appears in ch. 2, essay 3 of his book of essays entitled “A Devil's Chaplain.” In part he wrote:

“In September 1997, I allowed an Australian film crew into my house in Oxford without realizing that their purpose was creationist propaganda…they issued a truculent challenge…only a creationist would ask…it was the point I tumbled to the fact that I been duped into granting an interview to creationists – a thing I normally don’t do, for good reasons. In my anger I refused to discuss the question further, and told them to stop the camera. However, I eventually withdrew my peremptory termination of the interview, because they pleaded with me that they had come all the way from Australia specifically to interview me.”


Clearly, censorship and cutting off dissent are Prof. Richard Dawkins’ modis operandi. But he did claim to have “for good reasons.” Before getting to those reasons, perhaps he should have edited the commandment to read, “Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent, unless you have a good reason for doing so” (read the qualifier as “A self-serving and convenient reason”) in which case the commandment is null and void.
Atheism and Richard Dawkins

But what are those good reasons? Prof. Richard Dawkins has answered that question in, Why I Won’t Debate Creationists. In this article he encourages all practitioners of “real science,” those who have “a passionate conviction that such wonders [the wonders of the natural world] deserve nothing less than a purely natural explanation.” I must admit that I am not quite sure what passion and conviction have to do with science. The long and short of Prof. Richard Dawkins’ reason is encapsulated in his following remark, “Look at me, I’m having a debate with one of the big boys. Doesn’t that just prove that creationism is being taken seriously in the universities?”
Atheism and Richard Dawkins
Incidentally, he was specifically referring to Philip Johnson who is not a creationist (surely such factual accuracy is beyond Prof. Richard Dawkins’ concerns although they did share some correspondence in which Philip Johnson virtually begged Prof. Richard Dawkins to fulfill his duties as Professor of the Public Understanding of Science).
Atheism and Richard Dawkins
Referring to himself and Steven J. Gould reference was made to “our refusal to engage in public debates with creationists,” and they seek to encourage others to censor and cut off dissent, “we don’t do debates with creationists, and encouraging other scientists to refuse for the same reason,” they “encourage others to refuse all debating invitations from pseudoscientists avid for publicity.”Atheism and Richard Dawkins
It may be of interest to refer to the 1986 Oxford Union Debate between Prof. Richard Dawkins, John Maynard Smith, A. E. Wilder-Smith, and Edgar Andrews (the audio of which is found on Prof. Richard Dawkins’ web site. Again, much controversy has resulted from the debate and its mysterious outcome (some background can be found here and here).
Atheism and Richard Dawkins
That some have made likewise statement and yet, proceeded to debate, notwithstanding. What Prof. Richard Dawkins, et al, want is for judges who are trained in law to decide what is and is not valid scientific pronouncements. Or they may opt for written debates, perhaps in biased peer-reviewed journals.Atheism and Richard Dawkins
But we digress.Atheism and Richard Dawkins

9. Form independent opinions on the basis of your own reason and experience; do not allow yourself to be led blindly by others.

One can only wonder if we are being asked to blindly follow this commandment. Consider the following scenario: what would happen if you form independent opinions on the basis of your own reason and experience while not allowing yourself to be led blindly by others but you end up formulating beliefs with which Prof. Richard Dawkins disagrees? As we know very well, Prof. Richard Dawkins will take it upon himself to break his very own commandment number 3 and besmirch you and what you believe.Atheism and Richard Dawkins
The apostle Peter stated, “we did not follow cunningly devised fables” (2nd Peter 1:16). See our essay The Apostle Thomas: Patron Saint of Scientists? where I discuss Prof. Richard Dawkins’ erroneous presumption that all of the apostles, except for Thomas, relied on blind faith for their belief in the resurrection.
Atheism and Richard Dawkins

The Bible makes the following reference to Dr. Luke’s research methodology:

“Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed” (Luke 1:1-4).

Atheism and Richard Dawkins

10. Question everything.

Indeed, and don’t forget to question the commandment to question everything (see Acts 17:11 for this advise 2,000 years ago).Atheism and Richard Dawkins

11. Always devise your rules as if you didn’t know whether you were going be at the top or the bottom of the pecking order.

This one is very humane and expresses the Bible’s view of fairness in treatment, law and empathy:

“You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 22:21).Atheism and Richard Dawkins
“Also you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 23:9).Atheism and religion
The LORD “administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10:18-19).

Atheism and religion

12. Enjoy your own sex life (so long as it damages nobody else) and leave others to enjoy theirs in private whatever their inclinations, which are none of your business.

Here Prof. Richard Dawkins runs headlong in the fallacy of presuming that sex is a private act between people who have consented. This is a fallacy because even if it does take place in private and those engaged in the act did consent, the results of the copulation or fornication rarely (if ever) remain a private matter between the consenters.
Atheism and religion
It appears that we again ought to request an extended explanation of what “damages” means. Just as with the term “harm” in #2, this commandment will have to grow by the addition of interpretations and commentaries.


Does sex between a 65 year old and a 12 year old constitute damage? Ah yes, the issue is really consent. Two (or more) people can engage in any sexual act as long as they consent. But surely, a 12 year old could verbalize some form of consent. How would Prof. Richard Dawkins gage the viability of the child’s consent? What about bestiality? How will Prof. Richard Dawkins gage the viability of the animal’s consent? Moreover, when two (or more) people consent to engage in any sexual act that they wish the consequences of their actions have a very high potential of finding its way outside of the consenters. How is that? Further examples are that sexual copulation or fornication results in personal pleasure indeed but what else? It can lead to the birth of children or the abortion of children or the adoption of children. A child may be born to parents, or a single mother, who consider it to be a mistake, a mere accidental biological byproduct.


Is it not damaging to have only one parent because the other one disappeared after copulating or fornicating?
Is it not damaging to have even two parents whose only relation was a one night stand which forced an innocent child to live out of a suitcase as they are caught between two adults in enmity with each other?
Is it not damaging to be brutally aborted?
Is it not damaging to be put up for adoption?
Is it not damaging when, as the Jan. 29, 2009 Washington Post reported, that in the USA President Obama’s stimulus package includes $400 of tax payer money to go towards dealing with sexually transmitted diseases. Thus, money is being taken out of my wallet and away from my provision for my family in order to provide for people who thought that they were consenting to a private act—private no more.


Lastly, we should ask it is truly humane and none of our business to simply turn a blind eye to consensual sexual practices that are sure signs of psychological problems.See my upcoming essay “Too Sexy for My Theology? On the New Atheist Obsession with Sex” for more on this issue.Atheism and religion

13. Do not discriminate or oppress on the basis of sex, race or (as far as possible) species.

The Bible beautifully expresses this sentiment:

“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26).
Atheism and religion“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

Atheism and religion

The Bible teaches that all of humanity are related, having been derived from Adam and Eve.As far as the reference to species it should be mentioned that Prof. Richard Dawkins literally takes this “as far as possible”:

“if late-aborted embryos with nervous systems suffer – though all suffering is deplorable – it is not because they are human that they suffer. There is no general reason to suppose that human embryos at any stage suffer more than cow or sheep embryos at the same developmental stage.”[5]

Atheism and religion

This is certainly as far as possible since all suffering is deplorable—the suffering of a beautiful, healthy, innocent and defenseless human baby who is brutally murdered is on the same level as that of a cow or sheep embryo (see my essay On Abortion, Tadpoles, Rape, Cows, Murder and Sheep).Atheism and religion

14. Do not indoctrinate your children. Teach them how to think for themselves, how to evaluate evidence, and how to disagree with you.

Would it be simply capricious to state that you should only indoctrinate your children to think for themselves, evaluate evidence, and disagree with you? On a serious note, I have written on this issue at length in my essay Daniel Dennett’s One Way Street of Censorship (Or: On the Hoodwinkification of Children).Atheism and religion

15. Value the future on a timescale longer than your own.

Fair enough, clean up after yourself.Atheism and religion

In Conclusion

Simply stated, Prof. Richard Dawkins had stated that the whole exercise in producing the new ten commandments, of which there are fifteen, was that “it is the sort of list that any ordinary, decent person today would come up with.”[6] Yes, and who ever said that they could not?
However, it is of the utmost importance to point out that the Biblical ten commandments have been a guide to human civilization for millennia, they have had cultural norms based upon then, they have guided lives, they have been the foundation upon which countries are built.
On the other hand, the new ten/fifteen commandments are nothing but words on a page and the very foundation upon which they are based is belittlement, belligerence and besmirchment of the original Judeo-Christian Biblical ten commandments.Atheism and religion

After having bequeathed the new ten/fifteen commandments let us see just how Prof. Richard Dawkins deals with moral issues:

“There is no logical connection between what is and what ought. Now, if you then ask me where I get my ‘ought’ statements from, that's a more difficult question. Firstly, I don't feel so strongly about them. If I say something is wrong, like killing people, I don't find that nearly such a defensible statement as 'I am a distant cousin of an orangutan'. The second of those statements is true, I can tell you why it's true, I can bore you to death telling you why it's true. It's definitely true. The statement 'killing people is wrong', to me, is not of that character. I would be quite open to persuasion that killing people is right in some circumstances.”[7]
Atheism and religion
“[Nick Pollard: ] Suppose some lads break into an old man's house and kill him. Suppose they say: "Well, we accept the evolutionist worldview. He was old and sick, and he didn't contribute anything to society." How would you show them that what they had done was wrong?

[Prof. Richard Dawkins: ] If somebody used my views to justify a completely self - centred lifestyle, which involved trampling all over other people in any way they chose roughly what, I suppose, at a sociological level social Darwinists did - I think I would be fairly hard put to it to argue on purely intellectual grounds.
I think it would be more: ‘This is not a society in which I wish to live. Without having a rational reason for it necessarily, I'm going to do whatever I can to stop you doing this.’ I couldn't, ultimately, argue intellectually against somebody who did something I found obnoxious. I think I could finally only say, ‘Well, in this society you can't get away with it’ and call the police.
I realise this is very weak, and I've said I don't feel equipped to produce moral arguments in the way I feel equipped to produce arguments of a cosmological and biological kind. But I still think it's a separate issue from beliefs in cosmic truths.”[8]
Atheism and religion
[Justin Brierley (JB): ] “If we had evolved into a society where rape was considered fine, would that mean that rape is fine?”


[Prof. Richard Dawkins (RD): ] I, I wouldn’t, I don’t want to answer that question. It, it, it’s enough for me to say that we live in a society where it’s not considered fine. We live in a society where uhm, selfishness, where failure to pay your debts, failure to reciprocate favors is, is, is regarded as [I could not understand this word, perhaps it was a Britishism]. That is the society in which we live. I’m very glad, that’s a value judgment, I’m very glad that I live in such a society.


[(JB): ] When you make a value judgment don't you immediately step yourself outside of this evolutionary process and say that the reason this is good is that it's good. And you don't have any way to stand on that statement.

[(RD): ] My value judgment itself could come from my evolutionary past.

[(JB): ] So therefore it's just as random in a sense as any product of evolution.

[(RD): ] You could say that, it doesn’t in any case, nothing about it makes it more probable that there is anything supernatural.

[(JB): ] Ultimately, your belief that rape is wrong is as arbitrary as the fact that we've evolved five fingers rather than six.

[(RD): ] You could say that, yeah.[9]


[1] Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2006), pp. 263-264
[2] Ibid., p. 264
[3] Carol Memmott, “Agnostic cloaked himself in the Bible for a year,” USA TODAY, Life, Section D, Monday, October 8, 2007, 1D
[4] The New Ten Commandments - A decalogue for the modern world
[5] Dawkins, p. 297
[6] Ibid., p. 264
[7] Nick Pollard talks to Dr. Richard Dawkins (interviewed February 28th, 1995 published in Third Way in the April 1995 edition [vol. 18 no. 3])
[8] Ibid.
[9] From, Dawkins Interview with Justin Brierley (this is a link to the audio) the whole interview is very worth listening to; I picked it up at 4:56 into the interview

9 comments:

  1. Great post, Mariano. It makes me jealous, because had you handed me the same material, and said, "Write something about this," it wouldn't have been half as good.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Considering that atheists are forced by their amoral worldviews to borrow morality from theistic systems ...

    So, when you borrow morality from theistic systems, you wind up with an amoral worldview.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Considering that atheists are forced by their amoral worldviews to borrow morality from theistic systems ...

    So, when you borrow morality from theistic systems, you wind up with an amoral worldview.


    I forget off hand what this fallacy is called, but your inference is broken.

    It was kind of funny though. I don't know if that's what you were going for, but...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dawkins is saying that all "commandments" are man-made including the Biblical ones, which as it happens, were borrowed from the ancient Egyptians. This is true whether you believe in "God" or not.

    As for the "suffering of a beautiful, healthy, innocent and defenseless human baby", I take it that's fine as long as it's "God's Will", yeah?

    Here's the thing. Morality can only be just if the law giver, whether human or divine, is bound by it's own rules. Since the standard Judaeo-Christian vision of "God" is not bound by the rules he makes for everyone else, then that vision of God is clearly not "just".

    If that's the God you worship, then fair enough, bully for you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. PTET,
    Thank you so much for your readership and interesting comments.

    Actually Dawkins is making a mere assertion since he does not know it to be a fact that all commandments are manmade but his chosen worldview forces him to come to that conclusion a priori.

    The commandments being borrowed from the Egyptians is irrelevant since no one has ever claimed that God was bequeathing anything that no one had heard of before. In fact, that there are likewise laws in various cultures is only expected as God leaves no one unguided. God was establishing His commandments to a people who had just been freed from 400 yrs of slavery and had to be established as a nation from the ground up.

    As to abortion being God's Will this is simply a very weak side stepping of the issue.

    As to your view of morality; that it “can only be just if the law giver…is bound by it's own rules” this is arbitrary. For example, I have laid out various laws for my children to follow which I, being much bigger, stronger, and wiser than they, do not follow. God is not bound to follow the morality of humans but the ethos in the very nature of His being, His character.

    aDios,
    Mairano .

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello Mariano. Nice talking to you :)

    We know these "commandments" came from men, because men wrote them down. You believe these men where inspired or directed by God - but there is no way you can prove that to any standard. It's just you asserting your belief.

    I didn't say abortion was God's will. I said that in your view the death, pain and suffereing of children is OK if it's God's will. That's what you believe. Why sidestep it?

    The actions you atrribute to God - those laid out in the Bible - are not just by human standards. You say that God is not bound by human standards. But again, all we have is your assertion based on your faith that God exists and is like this.

    Why should I or anyone else believe that only you and those who think like you are right about "God"?

    There is no reason whatsoever.

    Best

    P

    ReplyDelete
  7. "I didn't say abortion was God's will. I said that in your view the death, pain and suffereing of children is OK if it's God's will. That's what you believe. Why sidestep it?"

    And without God death, pain and suffering of children is OK if it's the will of the mob, because society defines morality. Majority rules.

    I'm not saying that's necessarily fundementally worse, but I don't see how you can argue that it's much better. The only argument for that that I can see is that mob rule is democracy and God is authoritarian, but if there are no objective morals, democracy isn't inherently better than dictatorship.

    And belief that what is right derives from God isn't dictatorship anyway. What kind of omnipotent dictator gives people free will? The rules have to be defined. Parents give moral guidelines to their children, because they know more than their children do. Then they give the children the chance to follow them or not. And we don't call that dictatorship, because it isn't. Even if the children could outvote the parents. Certainly some people's idea of God make him out to be a dictator, but not all.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Anonymous. Thanks for your response.

    Mobs aren't "majorities". They are groups of people acting on impulse, in anger. Morality is something which has developed over thousands of years, by consensus. That isn't "democracy" - it's much more subtle.

    All you have to offer in it's place is authoratarian dictat.

    If God exists and God is "all-loving", then he is not as the Bible describes. It's as simple as that.

    Jumpin' jehosephat, most Christians in Europe realized that a long time ago.

    Why some Christians insist that the Bible "must be true" no matter how ludicrous that makes their supposed "God" to be is beyond me.

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  9. PTET, you assert that Mariano believes that the death, pain and suffering is OK *if* it's God's will.

    I think that this statement ignores a lot of things. It implies that it is God's will that we die, experience pain, and suffer, which I think is a major distortion of Christian doctrine.

    The Bible is pretty clear that death is a consequence of sin, and it is not the desire of God for us to die.

    According to the Bible, Jesus died a sacrificial death in order to save the lost from eternal death, and Jesus is God. I think this clearly demonstrates that God is not satisfied with leaving us to experience the just consequences of our sin, and therefore God is not "OK" with us dying.

    Consider the book of Jonah and what is communicates regarding God's desire towards man. I think it demonstrates a couple of things - one, as Jonah says about God in Jonah 4:2 "...for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love." Second, it is a good example that God pursues even those who do not honor him, which means that he really wants no one to perish, even physically in the case of Nineveh.

    Physically, yes, we still suffer and die, regardless of our beliefs or life choices, which is a continuing consequence of the curse and our sinful nature, yet this existence was not God's original intention for us, according to the Bible, nor is our life on this earth the sum total of our existence, according to the Bible.

    So it's important to point out that the Bible presents death as being something beyond just physical death, which your assertion ignores. Your assertion implies that this physical existence is all we have, yet Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 12:7 "and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it."

    Be careful not to misrepresent the beliefs of others. It really isn't helpful to overreach and distort someone else's views. In saying this, I am assuming you are familiar with basic Christian doctrine. Whether this is true or not, I suggest you read the Bible :)

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