Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Only God Makes Genocide Moral

Perhaps the greatest "miracle" of religion is that it has convinced so many billions of people that the God who threw us into this gladiatorial arena of life and death, should be regarded as necessarily "benevolent" for having done so.
Many Christians often claim that a "belief" in God is not only necessary for people to know the difference between "right and wrong," but to act accordingly as well, "for you will be judged by God at the end of time." This is true, even though the idea of "God" such Christians are referring to necessarily operates outside of any such distinctions. And he operates outside of those distinctions by being something - in fact, the ONLY thing -  that is per-determined by Christians as necessarily "good" a priori, so that anything such a "God" does, must therefore be good, even if it would be "evil" if anyone else engaged in anything even close to it. 

If Joseph Stalin or Pol Pot kill millions of people to advance Communism, for example, they are pure evil, but if God kills basically everyone on the planet for being the sinful bastards He created them to be, and since God is necessarily always "good," He's seen as glorious and loving and righteous and wise and .... you get the point.

Ask a "believer" about why they feel the need to exempt God from the same moral standard they wish to apply to everyone else, and you sometimes get a robotic reply that  "God is incapable of evil," as if what you just said didn't fully compute in their mind. 

It is not that the Christian denies that God "murdered" virtually everyone on the planet with flood of Noah, according to their Bible, it is that the Christian can not bring them self to consider that a "good God" could ever be accused of committing "murder," even when He engages in things that would clearly be murder if anyone else did it.

With regards to abortion, for example, some Christians insist that a "person" is born at the moment of inception, even in the zygote, and it is therefore "murder" to have an abortion, even of what amounts to little more than a clump of evolving cells that are hardly distinguishable from the many animals we slaughter for our food and amusement every day.

But if the Christian "God" kills everyone on the planet with a flood, or sends his "chosen people" to slaughter some pagan tribe for their 'horrible religious practices' (I have never understood how the "horrible religious practices" of the pagans could possibly have been worse than a bunch of religious fanatics committing genocide), that's not "murder," it's God's moral wrath, or something like that.

That's what makes Religion so paradoxically interesting. It purports to help people understand the difference between good and evil, even as it often only makes it harder for people who "believe" in such a God to ever know the difference. And this is especially true when it comes to "beliefs" that emanate from such an amoral Being. The Christian can readily admit that burning someone alive at the stake is murder, but at times has difficulty admitting it is murder if God does it as well.

 It is to assume, in other words, that whatever God does, it must be good, because it was done by God, and God is ONLY "good." And if there is any evidence that could be interpreted otherwise, the problem is the interpreter, not whether what God did is objectively "good" or "evil." It is this assumption, in short, that instantly turns moral absolutists regarding humanity, into moral relativists regarding God. And by exempting God of any moral culpability for the "murders" He engages in, the hunted defend their "beliefs" in the benevolence of the Hunter.   

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