Sunday, January 14, 2007

Is God a Mass Murderer?

There's a new blog in town. It's called Biblical Bunk and is authored by someone who goes by the improbable name of Adonis Anacondus. His second post is titled Noah's Flood: Is Bible God a Mass Murderer? Here is the post:

Is Bible God a mass murderer of men, women, children, babies and fetuses?

If Noah's Flood actually took place and you worship or pray to Bible God does this mean that you condone mass baby murder?

Since Satan never killed anyone in the Bible does this mean he is Good and Bible God is Evil?

Why do Christians often declare they detest murder yet go to all lengths to defend what looks like the mass murder of Bible God?

This is how I replied:

The Bible literally says that God killed countless men, women, children, babies, and fetuses. So if we read it as literally true in these accounts, God killed all of these people. But did his killing constitute the "murder" you say it does? One definition of "murder" is: "The unlawful killing of one human by another." I often define murder as "unjustified homicide." Do God's killings meet the first definition? No, since the biblical God is not a human being. What about my second definition? Christians reply that since God is and does only good, he cannot do something that is unjustified; therefore, his homicides are justifiable. I think this is debatable, but I won't elaborate right now. Some Christians also reply that these stories should not necessarily be interpreted literally. Rather, they should be seen as metaphors authored by ancient people to eff ineffable truths about the awesomely incomprehensible nature of God. Thus, if you ask them what these metaphors tell us about the living God, they say that this can't be precisely expressed in literal language but can only be understood to any degree via some complex and prolonged process of faith-based study and contemplation.

I confess that I don't know what to make of all this. It seems to me that there can be no justification for God's literal acts of mass-killing; I can't imagine how even a metaphorical interpretation of them tells us anything valid about a true God who is truly as supremely loving, just, and merciful as Christians believe him to be; and, finally, if we aren't to interpret THESE stories as literal fact, why should we interpret miraculous stories about Jesus' virgin birth, unique divinity, and bodily resurrection as literally true? Yet, can someone who doesn't interpret them in this way be Christian? I understand that such a person cannot.

That is one reason why I do not consider myself Christian.

No comments: