General Question

ninjacolin's avatar

Why does the God of the Bible Commit evil acts?

Asked by ninjacolin (14206points) March 16th, 2009

Genocide is just the beginning.. With the flood God killed EVERY LIVING THING ON THE EARTH (men, women, babies, kittens) that couldn’t survive under water. With hell, he actually created a perfect atmosphere for the torture and torment of souls for all eternity.
Why is god so mean?

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104 Answers

AstroChuck's avatar

Because he’s pissed off because of all the God questions on Fluther.

TaoSan's avatar

boy, can you imagine the effort chiseling all that lurve on stone tablets???

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

God has a low tolerance for stupid questions, and has finally snapped. It’s his equivalent of Road Rage, if God could have Road Rage. Which he can’t since God does not have human attributes. Like being male.

steve6's avatar

Read the book of Job. Then come back with a little more insight.

psyla's avatar

It’s the old eye-for-an-eye mentality, which now exists as a-lawyer-for-an-eye. I think it’s still a-tooth-for-a-tooth though. I believe we have the intelligence and right to rid ourselves of obnoxious compounds if we choose. Me, I like my obnoxious compounds.

teirem1's avatar

Good question, is God moral I wonder?

psyla's avatar

In our own image?

asmonet's avatar

Take a class in theology. Serious.

There’s a lot of silliness in ‘Religion’.

Ever wonder why God looks so much like Zeus? I try not to think too much about Western Religions.

I take no issue with spirituality, and belief, but there’s a lot that’s just plain stolen from the next religion back all the way down the line.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@teirem1, I believe “Moral” is God’s superpower.

psyla's avatar

Damn! The Zeus link doesn’t work. I wanted to see Zeus!

@asmonet, why does God look like Zeus?

asmonet's avatar

Zeus works just fine for me. It’s because the Roman Empire adopted Christianity and stole the previous icons to make it more appealing to the masses. Zeus is almost as wrathful and fucked up as God in his ‘early days’. In Christianity at least.

Short version from someone going on 26 hours awake.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@asmonet, I get a linked without permission message for Zeus

ninjacolin's avatar

lol, i love how there’s not a single serious attempt at a response as yet. haha..

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

See my first answer above. I’m channeling God this evening, since the Holy Spirit resides in all people, and The Trinity is God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as One. Therefore, God is telling to tell you he’s pissed at stupid questions. He has better things to do—like attend to all those praying to win the lottery or make the correct NCAA bracket picks.

asmonet's avatar

Just wait till seVen finds us.

I’m uploading some Zeus photos. Gimme a minute. Or you guys could JUST GOOGLE THEM BOTH. Jeez. :-P

teirem1's avatar

If we say morality is the principle of good and bad, shouldn’t God should be held to that accountability? Or maybe I should have asked is God ethical? By the deeds ninjacolin mentioned, if you substituted any other name for God, you would consider the person or entity unethical and cruel. A jealous and demanding tyrant. In it for the power. You hardly teach your children a lesson by killing the kids kitten and telling them it’s for their own good or you heard them crying from pain not to worry, but choose not to come help – only tyrants use those fear methods for control.

asmonet's avatar

Zeus

That’s the one I finally got to upload right.

asmonet's avatar

They’re both always scowly, middle to senior aged men, great big fluffy beards and hair that’s just whipping about in the fierce winds of wrathy goddy judgementiness.

Blah. Next.

You’d think the Romans could have thought of something more original. I mean, really.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

God IS. End of discussion.

Accountability is a human trait. God is not human. You can’t have a “close, personal relationship” with God or Jesus. He will not come over and help you tile your floor, move your furniture, or watch basketball with you and split a pizza and a six pack of beer, or any of the other things friends do in a relationship.

God just IS.

psyla's avatar

@ninjacolin, if you are so godlike, treat us pagans to a “serious response”.

Damn! God really does look like Zeus!.

ninjacolin's avatar

Sorry, psyla. Misunderstanding.. I just meant a serious apologetic. (from the God side.. but Alfreda says s/he has so I’ll have a look at that)

ninjacolin's avatar

@AlfredaPrufrock said: “God does not have human attributes. Like being male.”

Earthquakes don’t have human attributes either yet we can still all agree that they hurt and suck to have to deal with in a heavily populated city.

Similarly, God seems to be quite an undesirable problem. Just like an earthquake only IT tends to do things things intentionally to harm us whereas an earthquake does not.

psyla's avatar

No harm done, but I really would love your thoughts. The Roman Goddess “Alfreda” is the goddess of eating pizza with God.

We assume that the earthquake is not intentional in its attack but the truth is that we really don’t know. It’s a preconceived notion to assume that there is no form of intelligence in energy & matter. Can we be sure that plants don’t think in some way or that the entirety of earth doesn’t have some form of collective conciousness?

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Nonsense. I’ve articulated basic Catholic teachings. God IS.

ninjacolin's avatar

… harmful?

asmonet's avatar

No, just is.

Seriously. Get thee to a class.

ninjacolin's avatar

That explanation does not explain ANYthing. Not even God.

asmonet's avatar

Then you should really broaden your horizons and your capacity for abstract thought, silly. :)

And since I am off to bed, I shall leave you with one of my favorite quotes of all time. I read it when I was ten and it’s stuck with me since.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
~Aristotle

Goodnight for now, loves. :)

teirem1's avatar

From a Christian theological perspective, pain and suffering are supposed to have redemptive qualities. They are an important part of a spiritual life.

asmonet's avatar

^Yup.

Okay, I’m leaving.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Faith is the absence of fear.

psyla's avatar

By saying “God is”, the meaning is that “God is effective”, the only opposition to God would be ineffective. Basically it means that God is whatever works.

ninjacolin's avatar

God is whatever works” tee hee.. can you tell why i love this so much?

psyla's avatar

Hobbes hasn’t found us as we have this parallel discussion almost as if we’re living in an 11 dimensional universe that’s shaped like a plant. (Conventional advanced physics theory).

We diverge from the timeline like a fractal.

Damn, I’m poetic tonight!

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

yes, you are, psyla. And for that, you’re awarded this lovely musical rendition.

psyla's avatar

Thank you, as I accept my award, I’d like to first thank God for tolerating my crackpot delisions for all these years, I’d like to thank @ninjacolin for standing beside me in multiple dimensions of the universe and last but not least I’d like to thank @AlfredaPrufrock who led me to the study of abstract theology. It’s been five days since I’ve had a drink.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

And perfect timing, psyla, since it’s St. Patrick’s Day, and you can consume all the green beer your little ol’ bladder can hold.

psyla's avatar

Not a good day for Alcoholic Anonymous. What? You mean they locked all the bathrooms?

All my comments have been off-topic, like the work of an evil God.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

My kids ask the same silly type of question when they get grounded.

If I had nearly 7 billion kids I’d probably have to adopt a new strategy.

TaoSan's avatar

@asmonet

LOOOOOL, yeah, seVen to the rescue, haha

Sellz's avatar

When god flooded the Earth, did he not give a warning to all telling them to join Noah on the Ark? He gives us a textbook with all the answers in it that you need to graduate. He’s not mean at all. I guess you must live in a world where there are no consequences for you actions…. If you know right but dont do right, why should you be rewarded just the same as somone who struggled to do the right thing. Doing right is not always easy. But doin wrong is as easy as 3.14. Hell was created for the “pie” people.

-Sellz

Qingu's avatar

@Sellz, no, he gave no such warning before he flooded the earth to anyone except Atrahasis… I mean, Noah.

Also, just to be clear, let’s define “doing the right thing.” Let’s say you find out your new wife is not a virgin on her wedding night. What do you think is the right thing to do?

a. Nothing
b. Yell at her
c. Stone her to death on the doorstep of her father’s house

What do you think is the “right thing”? You can consult Deuteronomy 22 to see what God says is the right thing.

SeventhSense's avatar

Well the imagination of the people was lacking in breadth and so they were limited by their capacity to ideate a vision of God which went beyond the scope of their tribes. Power was force and so the imagination was naturally that the greatest power must exert the greatest force. The capacity to imagine a God who was outside the realm of sense perception and not subject to such attachments was simply a byproduct of their own incapacity to do the same. Any ability to truly identify necessitates the recognition of that attribute first within one self. I can not imagine a loving God if there is no counterpart within. Until this was awakened by advanced minds God was a despot who served to further the aims of the group.

nebule's avatar

um….maybe he was just a bit cranky….? poor God…all alone up there….

tinyfaery's avatar

Read Fear and Trembling by Kierkegaard. Good stuff.

asmonet's avatar

^Agreed.

ubersiren's avatar

To make you fear and respect him. Really, I just think he’s a sorry douche bag.

fundevogel's avatar

“With the flood God killed EVERY LIVING THING ON THE EARTH (men, women, babies, kittens) that couldn’t survive under water.”

This is a little off topic but he did leave one underwater olive tree alive for those 300 odd days of the flood just so the dove could land on it. That or he made one super fast growing olive tree that instantly germinated and produced foliage at the first appearance of dry land. All just so Noah and company would know it was safe to get off the boat and start worrying about the fire next time.

People always talk about God’s big miracles and forget the little ones, like super-trees.

Sellz's avatar

@Qingu god did give Noah the warning and told noah to inform the people. Read up on it. And in this day in age it’s not uncommon to have a wife that is not a virgin. You should not kill her because the bible also states that we should obey the law of the land. It just so happens that the law of the land that i’m from states that killing is illegal. And also, correct me if i’m wrong, but the bible state in the 10 commandments that though shalt not kill… Right?

-Sellz

Sellz's avatar

@fundevogel lol you crazy lol. You do have a point, though.

Qingu's avatar

@Sellz, chapter and verse please?

• 6:7—God decides he’s going to kill everyone.
• 6:13—God informs Noah of his plan to kill everyone, telling Noah that only he and his family will be spared.
• 7:1—God tells Noah he alone is righteous, then proceeds to kill everyone else.

I don’t see any instruction for Noah to inform the people. Do you?

As for stoning nonvirgins, are you saying the law of America is morally superior to the law of the Bible?

As for “thou shalt not kill,” there is all kinds of killing commanded in the Bible. In fact, do you know what the punishment was for breaking any of the commandments? Death. In addition, God commands several genocides in Deuteronomy and the following historical books. This is why most people today translate the Hebrew as “you shall not murder.” God is only saying you should not unlawfully kill someone, not that all killing is wrong.

Sellz's avatar

You should not kill her because the bible also states that we should obey the law of the land. It just so happens that the law of the land that i’m from states that killing is illegal. And also, correct me if i’m wrong, but the bible state in the 10 commandments that though shalt not kill… Right?

Sellz's avatar

obey the law of the land. You (in general) kill ya wife and see what happens.

Qingu's avatar

You didn’t answer my question. Do you think the law of the land—which outlaws killing nonvirgins—is morally superior to the Bible, which says you should kill them?

Sellz's avatar

i’m saying that the bible states to obey the law of the land. Whichever land on which you reside. No law on earth is more Superior than that of the bible. no way

Qingu's avatar

Okay. So do you think that America would be a better place if we changed our “law of the land” to require nonvirgin newlywed women to be stoned to death, per Deuteronomy 22?

Sellz's avatar

Yes. Because the bible also states the fornication is a sin

Sellz's avatar

So is having a child out of wedlock

Qingu's avatar

Thank you for your honest answer. May I ask also what you think about the current state of slavery in this country? Should we legalize buying and owning foreign slaves as permanent property, like the Bible says in Leviticus 25:45? (And, per Exodus 21:22, you’d be able to legally beat these slaves as much as the Romans beat Jesus before they crucified him.)

Just trying to figure out what exactly you mean when you said “the right thing” earlier.

Sellz's avatar

Na i dont. By the right thing i simply meant that giving your life to Christ, treating others how you would like to be treated, being careful of what you watch and listen to because it could have an effect on what you speak. Feel me?

Qingu's avatar

You don’t think slavery should be legal in America?

But I thought you said the Bible’s law is morally superior to America’s. Why support changing America’s laws so that they conform to the Bible’s laws about newlyweds, but not slavery?

Sellz's avatar

look,I’m on fluther as a passtime, something to get my mind off of what i’m going through fighting this war here in Iraq okay? I really did not come up here to debate with anyone. Only express my opinion. Now you dont have to accept what i think, that’s cool. But i’m not gonna sit up here and be interrogated by a complete stranger. K? God bless. Conversation over.

-Sellz

Qingu's avatar

@Sellz, debating religion is my pasttime. :) Hope you’re doing okay in Iraq. My thoughts are with you.

Sellz's avatar

I thank you for that and i completely understand. No hard feelings.

AstroChuck's avatar

So the fighting over?
Damn.

cdwccrn's avatar

I think someone got way off subject.

fundevogel's avatar

I think it fit into the question at hand. Though this answer probably doesn’t.

:)

nebule's avatar

because he was going through a learning curve?

Qingu's avatar

@lynneblundell, this answer is supported by the Bible’s flood story. God creates humans and then gets pissed off that they are apparently hardwired to kill each other. So he presses the “reset” button (literally—the flood, in ancient Mesopotamian and Hebrew cosmology, was seen as “popping the bubble” of the earth, which was believed to be sandwiched between two oceans, one above the sky, the other in the underworld).

Then, he realizes he likes having humans around for sacrifices (Noah’s big sacrifice pleases Yahweh with its odors) so he basically makes Version 1.1 humans, giving them a software upgrade in the form of laws.

Of course, Version 1.1 humans are still screwed up, so Yahweh has to have a son who is himself and kill him(self) and somehow this makes it possible for the 1.1 humans able to receive the version 1.2 software. Later, he plans on killing all the humans who just have version 1.1.

Really, the Flood story in earlier Babylonian myths like Atrahasis and Gilgamesh makes a lot more sense to me. Because at least the general incompetence and schizophrenic nature of the whole “kill all humans! No wait, I want them around for sacrifices! No wait, better change them so they don’t piss me off again” contortions makes sense when you have multiple gods arguing with each other about it.

AstroChuck's avatar

Just a grammatical note (because I’m an as and misuse of literally happens to be my pet peeve.).
He figuratively pushed the reset button. There would have to have been a button with reset on it in order for it to have been literal.

Thanks. I needed to do that.

steve6's avatar

I would like to applaud all these long answers on religion. Now that everything has been said can we move on to something interesting?

justn's avatar

Just to correct your question, there is no torture in Hell. Just Torment. They are two very different things. Torture is physical. Torment is psychological.

ninjacolin's avatar

ah, i see. so i had the wrong evil act in that case. thanks for the clarification. :)

AstroChuck's avatar

Edit: I’m an ass…

Qingu's avatar

@justn, Jesus says there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. His parables imply physical violence. Most of the punishment in Revelation is described as physical.

Also, are you saying it’s okay to psychologically cause the equivalent of physical torture? Or that that’s somehow more okay than just plain torturing them?

fundevogel's avatar

I was musing on hell earlier and, without any biblical reference, I figured, if such a place existed it would have to be more in the neighborhood of torment, since you wouldn’t have a physical body. Of course you wouldn’t have a brain either, so that could make psychological torment tricky too.

The_unconservative_one's avatar

Because he is just an invention created to control the masses

Sellz's avatar

@The unconservative one Dass about as funny as that quagmire pic you got as ya avatar.

The_unconservative_one's avatar

@Sellz , I don’t know if you are trying to be sarcastic or not. However, my comment wasn’t intended to be funny, and I don’t really care what you think of my avatar. Ok pal?

psyla's avatar

I’m damn glad that some people follow those religions that have behavioral rules because those kinds of people are cruel, hurtful, negative, and destructive and need to go to church and be told to be nice to others.

SeventhSense's avatar

Amazing that man evolved laws, civilizations, art and societies on the foundation of this book. The book that all these wonderfully brilliant minds here insist on taking literally. Is that because metaphor would be too much of a stretch or it might challenge you to find some significance in a book which you’ve dismissed as worthless? And the foundation of this discourse itself was a direct influence of it having evolved through centuries of questioning inspired by such books. We need to honor our past and its contributions.

Qingu's avatar

@SeventhSense, what are you talking about? The Bible? Man evolved laws, civilizaitons, art, and societies long before the Bible. In fact, the Bible’s laws and mythology would not exist without the previous civilization of the Babylonians and the Code of Hammurabi.

For most of history, the only people who cared about the Bible was a group of apparently genocidal desert nomads who were repeatedly conquered by more advanced civilizations. Meanwhile, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Persian, Chinese, and (later) Mesoamerican civilizations emerged and flourished and had nothing to do with the Bible.

Of course, Rome eventually did become Christian and start paying attention to the Bible. I understand it didn’t end well for Rome.

teirem1's avatar

Well said @Qingu. I was going to write something similar but you beat me to it!

Sellz's avatar

@psyla okay whatever. Have someone talk negatively about your Father and see how you react.

gambitking's avatar

God does not commit evil acts. He judges according to His standards. Because His standards are not only Perfect, but inconceivable to humans, we cannot comprehend such actions.

Qingu's avatar

Actually, God explains why he makes several of his actions.

In Genesis 8, God explains why he killed everyone in the flood. Humans were polluting the earth with blood and murder. Blood was literally seen as a form of pollution. God says he “regrets” making humans in the first place. The flood is basically a reset button on creation. Afterwards, God puts a rainbow in the sky as a form of impulse control to remind himself never to flood the earth again. He also institutes laws so humans don’t murder each other so much.

In Exodus, God explains his actions clearly. Pharaoh wants to just let the Hebrews go. But God repeatedly “hardens his heart” and forces him to keep the Hebrews. The reason God does this is so he’ll have more chances to intimidate and kill Egyptians with magical plagues in spectacular fashion. The reason God does this, according to God, is to impress his followers, the Israelites.

In Job, we know perfectly well why God allows Satan to torture Job and kill Job’s family. It’s a test of faith, egged on by Satan. Job doesn’t know this, and God gets mad when Job asks “why.” But we, the audience, do, because God is narrated as explaining himself.

Or @gambitking, were you talking about some other God?

gambitking's avatar

@Qingu: We were talking about the same God, although you are now expressing your view on the biblical doctrine while I summed up the precepts.

Clearly this, like all discussions involving interpretation of the Bible text, could be perpetuated.

In the Bible, along with your mentioned scriptures, God presents humans with choices. It is the same as it always was, from the time our Free Will was born. Because we have the ability to choose, and often the ability to get ourselves out of messes (usually due to lack of faith or disobedience to God), God wants to give us options.

Let’s use an example that is congruous with your views on God’s wrath that you haven’t already mentioned: Sodom & Gamorrah. God razed it to the ground with fire. But before he did so, he gave Lot the option to try and find at least ONE person left loyal to Him, and he’d spare the city. Lot failed at even finding one person. God’s destruction of the city could have been prevented. In many aspects, these Biblical encounters can be viewed as horrific manifestations of a tyrranical Deity. But not if your belief in the scriptures encompasses all of it…including, according to the Bible, mankind’s purpose is to worship God.

tinyfaery's avatar

Don’t forget Abraham and Isaac.

Qingu's avatar

@gambitking, how do you reconcile what you said about free will with God hardening Pharaoh’s heart and forcing him to keep the Israelites enslaved (and ensuring that his own country would be horribly punished)?

fireside's avatar

@Qingu – Technically, since the Pharaoh thought he was God, God’s free will wouldn’t extend to him, no?

“These are the terms of the covenant the LORD commanded Moses to make with the Israelites in Moab, in addition to the covenant he had made with them at Horeb.” (Deuteronomy 29:1)

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Qingu's avatar

So if I believe I’m a god, God can control my mind?

Sweeeeeeet.

I don’t see the relevance of the verses you’ve cited…

fireside's avatar

Basically, Free will was offered as apart of the covenant between God and Moses.
i.e. Free Will was not available before then?

Qingu's avatar

Hm. I would not interpret Dt. 30 that way. I would interpret it as a threat/reward.

It is coming only a chapter and a half after Dt. 28, which is a laundry lists of carrots and sticks (much more sticks) for following the covenant. Dt. 29 is sort of a recap, continuing to Dt. 30, where we get some more carrot/sticks.

I don’t see any reason to interpret your verse as an explicit offer of “take this covenant and you get free will.” I think that is just cherry-picking. I don’t see any evidence elsewhere in the Bible that the covenant was understood to metaphysically impute free will either. (In fact, just looking at the OT, the covenant was pretty clearly like a “pagan debt consolidation” where if you agree to direct all your prayers to this one god—instead of praying to Shamash for justice, Marduk for war, Ishtar for fertility, etc—this god would take over all the duties expected of all these other deities, hence the idea of “chosen people” ... but that’s a pretty big tangent.)

fireside's avatar

Yeah, you could be right. I didn’t go back and read the whole chapter for context.

gambitking's avatar

Free will came about when Eve ate the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil in the Garden of Eden. With that forbidden fruit, she chose to learn of Good and Evil and decide for herself what was good and bad.

Qingu's avatar

So did the Pharaoh just not inherit the magic “free will gene”?

fireside's avatar

lol, i forgot about eve for a while there.
guess i should be focusing on work today

BBSDTfamily's avatar

He doesn’t…. evil is the absence of God.

The_unconservative_one's avatar

@BBSDTfamily Oh? I think it was evil to condemn billions of people to eternal damnation and torture because 2 people disobeyed his order thousands of years before they were born. I think it was evil to completely destroy the life of one your most faithful followers (Job) just to prove a point to satan. I think it was evil to say that if people don’t believe in him, when he has given us no evidence of his existence, they will suffer eternal damnation and torture. There are very many evil acts committed by this god in the bible. Don’t take my word for it, read the stories yourself. Even if I thought he existed, the christian god of the bible is not anyone that I would want in my life.

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